Planting, Cleaning, Growing.

Well, I hope everyone had a great easter! I have finally gotten the rest of my seeds in dirt. My kale and arugula should be popping up any day and the peas and carrots will be a couple weeks behind. I transplanted my pepper and tomato sprouts into bigger containers. They are ordinary posts with clar plastic cups over them. These make great make-shift greenhouses and are stupid easy to put together. My pumpkin has several growing sprouts aside from a nearly foot-tall mother vine, and is spreading in it’s milk-jug greenhouse rapidly! By the end of planting season I should have dozens of plants popping up!
My compost is coming along well, too. There are some mushrooms desperately trying to take hold in the topmost portion (though not doing well), but further down the pile is rich and black. I will soon be ordering $100 of soil ammendments and wood chips from a local landscaping supply company. This will let me level out the low parts of my lawn some and build my raised garden beds. I will be getting two yards of garden bed materials, and a dozen yards of wood chips. The wood chips will go in the back end of my lawn where the chicken, duck and rabbit pens are/will be. The carbon-heavy chips will mix with the nitrogen rich bird and rabbit poo and become some fantastic dirt for next year’s garden beds! And the chickens will regularly turn it and pick out bugs for me so it’ll be well-aerated and maintained!
Speaking of chickens, those will be happening fairly soon! I found someone with Black Australorps for sale and this weekend I will be getting the last of my coop materials. The coop will be about 4’W X 4’L X 3’H with one or two nest boxes off the side. The coop will have a couple of windows, one BIG door that opens to allow for cleaning, and then a lid over the nest boxes that lifts easily. At least that’s the goal! For winter I will have little solar-powered LED lamps in the pen. For summer I will be buying a big peice of canvas and setting up a makeshift swamp cooler.
If the chickens work out I will be moving on to ducks for next spring! Looking WAY forward to that! Greg loves ducks. For that matter, Greg likes Silkie chickens and we may end up with just one of those. In fact since the plan is to have a very small number of chickens (so we’re not FLOODED with eggs) a silkie might be good just to bulk up the flock and make the chickens feel safer. I will also be building my own chicken waterers and feeders! Hoorah!

I have also been cleaning the house like crazy. Greg’s mom and siblings will be in town this weekend! The house needs to not only look nice but all my homesteading stuff (normally spread all over the place) needs to be put away and the animal cages tidied up. Greg’s familly is from New York, NY. Having a pile of fur in one corner, a canner in another and rabbit poo in a third will just not be acceptable! So after this week our house will be spotless! Whew! They will be very excited to meet the baby rabbits though, and the babies already have fur on them! They are also the most active baby rabbits I have ever met. They are constantly squeaking, wriggling and when I check on them they start flipping out of the nest box!

This week is supposed to get warmer, sustained warmer. Is pring finally here? I sure hope so!

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