Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hawks, Gardening, and New Chickens

One of our Red Tail (I think) hawks that have taken up residence in our back yard and surrounding area. He/she even took a dip in our little garden pond. I like them but I am glad our chickens are covered!

Mom's sweet potato slip experiment. This is the two "top halves" of the potatoes.

These are the 2 bottom half's. Next time I will cut of the point and put them in upside down. I think they will do better that way. You see the one is growing a little but under the water! I am put them in the dirt soon and see what happens. 

This is a Amaranth plant that seeded it's self in the middle of the yard. Frank  put wood chips around it, so I teased him and called it his pet amaranth plant and called it Bob. He told me, in his no nonsense voice not to be silly. Amaranth plants are not named Bob, its name is Jimmy. So this is Jimmy the Amaranth plant.   

This is 4 zucchini plants. Notice how big and lovely the one in the front left corner is?  That plant happens to be over a spot where I had dug a big hole last fall and started dumping kitchen scraps into it. We would carry out the kitchen scraps, dump them in, then I would water it and cover with a little dirt, then we would do it again till it was full. This picture was taken over a week ago and this plant is twice as big, I have gotten 2 zucchinis off of it. The other 3 plants look about the same. This is what I need to do all over my garden. 

The tomato plants that have the chicken litter that came out of the Port-a-coop this spring  are very happy. The ones where I just put the wood from the tree trimming around them, look sad. Sticks with one branch ,with a leaf and maybe a sad tomato on it. Yes, my soil needs HELP!

A watermelon plant for Nate the great. I planted 5 and I hope for his sake they  bring forth fruit.

A pretty flower I planted because I wanted too. 

Lettuce plants that lived through the winter and have gone to seed. They are taller than me and lovely. 

Half closed Comfrey flowers. This plant is doing well in it's tire  planter. I took some of it's leaves and put into a bucket of water to make a tea of sorts. It is supposed to be a great fertilizer.

A couple of Japanese Beatles. There are a few but really have not done any damage, possibly because the chickens get to run around the garden a couple times a day and help keep the bug numbers down. These two did die a quick death after the picture. 

Our young Male Coco Maran chick. I hope to keep him for breeding.

One of our 2 female Coco Marans. They are known for laying very dark brown eggs.
It looks to be a very hot summer and my garden is already feeling the heat. I noticed my pumpkin plants are wilting badly even after I pored a lot of water on them, so when it cools off I am going to check for vine borers. (I HATE evil vine borers!) I am rather frustrated by how little I have been able to do in the garden. First by not being able to work on the soil this winter like I had hoped. I had been making good progress before I shattered my elbow and lost 6 months while healing. I feel as though I am running uphill trying to keep plants alive in soil that is empty. How much blood meal and concoctions can I poor on these poor plants? I guess I will find out. I don't have a lot to lose at the moment. There are some plants doing well though so I should not complain. I have been making walking paths through the garden to help keep the weeds down and it is looking very nice. With exception of the Thyme I planted, my herbs are doing very well. On my to do list; clip and dry herbs, learn how to gather lettuce and herb seeds, dig out a couple of beds and start my kitchen scrap dumping, as that seems to have been the best thing for my soil, and finish rolling the wood chips down and finish my paths I started.


  1. Well I don't know why that bottom piece looks highlighted but I can not figure out how to fix it! It's not really highlighted!

  2. Hi, I just came across your blog today, looking for others who are going back to the basics of life. I also garden, raise chickens and rabbits, live frugally and try to waste little. Anyway, I am usually a silent participant to blogging, prefering to read, learn and move on. However, I wanted to share a bit about yams/sweet potato slips. I planted them in my garden last year for the first time. I started out the same way you have pictured, however, I plucked off the growth on top and then rooted them in another glass/mason jar. When I accumulated a dozen or so, I planted them, not the 'mother' yam. They grew beautifully and trailed throughout the garden. When it came time to dig them up, I had one yam at each location that I originally planted. (I had thought perhaps I would get them whereever the vine went.) Anyway, that was my experience. As I live in the desert Southwest, I will be planting again in September when the temperatures are out of the 100's. I looked for a place to contact you through email and didn't find one :/. Feel free to email me deniselee4(at)yahoo(dot)com. Sorry this is long.

    1. Thank you for you comment! I did plant each slip, till I ran out of room and then planted the whole thing. :-) Sadly my chickens killed them all. Word to the wise, keep your chickens OUT of the garden. LOL