Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Small space veggie garden

This year I decided to only do three straw bales. This is a good example of being able to have a vegetable garden even in the smallest of spaces. I planted only my very favorites this year (tomatoes,zucchini,sweetpeas). Part of the reason for the smaller garden is time constraint's this year, money and just plain ole' lack of motivation. The fencing is up because my chickens will eat everything in sight when I let them out to free range. In the space to the left I'm going to do a memorial garden for my Dad...will keep you posted!

Love & Miss You
Forever & always!

Here is an update: New pics taken July 21, 2011

Already picked a few Zucchini. I noticed today when I went to take the pictures something is eating my tomatoes. I suspect it isn't the chickens & ducks considering I've netted them. More like those nasty green tomatoes caterpillar's with the red spiked horn ugh! I'm scared to death of those...what's the name of them again? my brains not working...

Miss YOU Dad!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Human Urine for Compost, Start to Finish

Straw Bale Gardening: Start to Finish

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's A Dog Day--

Photos: Alex With Trainer Terry Cook & Titan

Today we focused on getting our German Shepard Titan trained. We hired a great company called
sit means sit to come to our house and train him. Terry Cook is the owner and just happens to be our trainer for Titan. So far I am totally impressed and happy that we choose this type of training for Titan. If your interested and in Ohio; within 60mins of Lancaster, give him a call and mention Titan to get 10 bucks off the cost of whatever program you choose. They do a great job of working with you to fit your financial needs and have lots of options for training your dogs.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Chewys Spuds--

As the season has come to an end I am excited thinking about next year and saddened about the fading of this year. I am sad because my new venture decimated most of my garden; the chicken and ducks. I'm a novice caretaker of these birds and on much advice was told that if your veggies are "Big Enough" the chickens and ducks can't hurt them.....well I beg to differ considering I had lovely cucumbers, cantaloupes, tomatoes, squash of so many different variety etc...and they all went to the BIRDS!! lol...ah well, live and learn. Needless to say I had high hopes for the crops that the birds couldn't get their beaks on and boy was I excited when I dug up these beautiful Sweet Potatoes!!!! I shared the scraps with the chickens and ducks but my husband loves Sweet Potatoes, so the giant ones were all his :) It's a nice ending to my garden adventures for the year. I like the idea of planting many different cold tolerant vegetables so that you have a steady variety , extending your harvest late into the fall.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Chewy's Day in the Sun----

My Days in the sun has been vast and plentiful.....letting myself go from the crazy daily routine and trying to take a moment and just appreciate. Sometimes life can get so crazy that I truly miss the joy between the everyday mundane tasks and the overload the world willingly provides.

So if I want to kick off my shoes and swing barefoot with the baby..........or sport my mud boots and wade through chicken,duck and turkey poo......maybe sink deep in the dirt on these really hot summer days only to return unburnt, dirt faced and thirsty but still dreaming of next years garden.....I won't feel guilty about it!!!

I have come to believe or realize rather.....that everyone especially children need to plant their hands in the dirt, reel up a large mouth bass, play mother to a bunch of adorable ducklings, taste a sun warmed tomato right off the vine, dust the dirt off a carrot and eat it right there, fill the chickens feeders with ice cold water from the hose; while giggling because they filled their boots too.........accidentally crack a duck egg because they are so excited that they found one and can't wait to show you, read a book languidly around the lake.......I can close my eyes and sigh realizing in these moments I am completely, utterly content. Our Minds (Hubby,Myself, Children) are rested, refreshed, reset; ready to conquer a new day and all it's woes with a little less seriousness and a little more silliness. I can't remember who said "Life is a Journey, not a destination." It's not about getting there or how fast you do! It's about enjoying the journey and all it's bumps and bruises ...learning along the way and making your happiness now! not when everything seems perfect!

Isn't Chewy wise and full of Wisdom? .....well she's full of something alright! and it's kinda creepy that I am talking about myself in third person...I have always hated people who do that! and use excessive !!!!!!!!!!!! I'm just gonna stop while I'm all content like :) Found my Chi so to speak:)

Check out the photos I took with my new camera. My daughter took the pic of the mini-rex rabbit, her baby. Isn't it fantastic?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Chickens & Ducks and Turkey's Oh My....!!!!!!!!

I'd like to say I took a moment.....some time away from blogging just to enjoy the summer. I'd like to say that but I can't! My summer thus far has been very hectic. I'm not sure how I ever worked a full time job and was a full time Mommy too.

I've added to my own stress with a bunch of chickens and a few turkey's which hopefully my husband continues to think are just really tall chickens.

I'm a city girl at heart who has to learn to be a country girl. We lived out in the country once before and I hated we find ourselves out in the country again, in a fairly new state is beyond me. But alas here we are. I have always complained to my husband that it's boring! that was before I started to garden and fell in love with it. I came to the conclusion that country life isn't boring if you have something to occupy your time and MIND!!

Well....One day I saw that my neighbor was erecting a really nice shed...what I thought was a shed until I heard noises. That is when I learned she had purchased a few Cochrin chickens and a few ducks and was building a chicken coop. Oh! how cute were the ducks!!!! so cute that not long after my kids fell in love with them we ended up purchasing two ducks too (see older post). Well at the the time I didn't really take to the chickens. They didn't really appeal to me at all...............................................................

A few months later and Wham! I have chickens (all different varieties) plus the neighbor's chickens and ducks visit everyday. I started out only going to order a few chicks from and for some reason I became amazed and order happy because of all the different varieties of chickens. Who'd have thought there were so many? I ended up purchasing Plymouth rocks, heavy feather legged pullets, Silkie bantams, Wyndottes, Buff orfington's, speckled sussex to name a few......and the ducks, well they had just as many varieties; crested swiss, Penkin's, black runner ducks, fawn crested and on and on......

All was great until I got them all here and realized that I was going to have to come up with some housing and quick. Sure they can live in an old child's swimming pool with straw placed on the bottom and a heat lamp hanging from the garage ceiling...but they grow, and fast!!!!

needless to say that between all the kids day sport camps, fundraising, car-pooling, College campus day's and dentist, doc and general "run me to the mall or I'll die" trips for the kids........I've let the garden slack a wee bit and have been running around myself like a chicken with it's head cut off trying to get recycled or free housing and learn to build are a few pics.......

Sadly...being the chicken novice that I am we lost 13 chicks and 2 turkey's from either a skunk, cat, coyote neighbor's lost 5 chicks the next night and shot a skunk so................This was a month or so ago. I took a trip to Tractor Supply Company and while getting chick feed this guy came strolling down the Aisle and happened to ask if I had ducks.........cause he lost 6 of his to coyotes and was telling me to make sure I had at least a six foot fence. we talked I asked if he had any experience with chickens and "Oh, sure........" was his response. Well in the course of us conversing he ensured me that if I had a heat lamp on them even out in the open, and a fence around them nothing would get them. Hrmp!! well Tractor supply Man was Wrong! maybe that's why he had a cocky little smirk on his face as he sauntered off.....hmmm........

PS: Don't look like a city slicker when you go to Tractor Supply Company--that's sac religious!!

Here are a few pics of the temporary shelter's I have built, salvaged and found on the side of the road for free (converted Green rabbit hutch into a chicken coop for the silkie Bantam's as they will not grow very tall. The ramp is built with left over wood from my son's "tree house" and an old hose I cut to make the treads. The A-frame I built using three wooden pallets and left over roof paper and shingles again from my son's tree house project. I covered the floor with chicken wire and then put straw onto for warmth and comfort. The A-frame fence was given to my by my neighbor and I made a chicken run out of it using wooden tree branches I staked into the ground on either side to keep it from collapsing and I also wired the top together with left over spool of wire I used on previous fencing and helped give it support by resting it against the A-frame wooden pallet house I made. All of this is portable so I can move it around to fresh grass area's. I plan on making a STRAWBALE CHICKEN COOP in the next few weeks. My love for straw bale garden is extending into all areas of my researched it and turns out it was one of the very first shelters for animals and still holding strong today.

I put a few pics of the garden area's.....they are very overrun with weeds! Since I have been spending so much of my time researching and taking care and building chicken,duck and turkey housing I haven't had much time left for weeds. The center of the StrawBale area has acorn squash, cantaloupe , eggplant, cucumber, sweet potatoes in it. The neighbors chickens and duck are peaking to death the squash and eating the entire plants on some. The tops of the bales were planted with strawberries but they are entirely Gone thanks to little cluckers..... Next year I will put a fence around it to keep out all chickens and ducks including mine...LOL they are so cute it's difficult to be mad......