Friday, August 7, 2020

Garden Friday

Welcome to our first August edition of Garden Friday.
Over the next few months,
we hope to work on our goals for the new garden location,
(read why we need to move it here),
and create a separate chicken garden area.

As for the existing garden,
it's pretty much been left to fend for itself.
Between getting the news about the drain field,
and then being away at a dog-sitting job for a week,
it's been on the back burner for a while.
The okra is a testament to how neglected its been.

This Bradford family variety still tastes good,
even at this size,
but unfortunately,
we won't be able to eat anything from the garden this year.
The volunteer cantaloupe I found in the huglekulture bed
is massive.
Although we won't be enjoying it,
it gives me motivation to plant this crop again next season.

Someone is enjoying the cantaloupe out there
(pesky squirrels).
Another success this summer is the watermelons.
These are the biggest watermelons I've ever grown.

Again, we won't be able to savor them this year,
but they will be on my planting list next year.
These were both sown in straw bales and left to sprawl.
Not one to give up on the dream of a fall garden,
I've pulled my seeds out and used these homemade pots
to sow a few things.
There's just nothing like the thrill of planting new seeds,
except maybe for the sight of them germinating!
I'm intending to grow beets, broccoli, carrots, chard,
kale, leek, lettuce, onions, and spinach.
Of course, I have a whole bed reserved for planting our garlic.
The plan is to use containers on top of pallets as a temporary measure.
I'll be working on obtaining free 5-gallon buckets and pallets
wherever I can to move forward.
When the weather cools off, I'll take on the task of
relocating beds in the new spot to be ready for spring planting.

The other major change on the homestead will be
turning this area of our side yard
into a chicken garden!
I have so many ideas for this area,
but of course I'm trying to figure out ways to do it on the cheap.

I want to set up some cattle panel arches
so that the chooks have some protection from the weather.
This will also serve as a place to keep their feed and other necessary items.
The idea is to fashion a garden where they can explore, forage for bugs,
hide if need be, take dust baths, and enjoy their "chickeness".
A talented friend is helping me with plant selection,
so that I can create a place they love to roam.
I'm hoping to build an adjoining compost area out of pallets,
to make it easy to add the chickens' bedding to the pile
so that it can sit a good, long time before adding it to the veggie beds.

So far, they are doing well and seem to feel fairly comfortable in their new home.
We recently got this mobile fencing
that can be moved wherever we want them to forage.
I have to say that I didn't think I would enjoy them as much as I do.
It just feels right.
This was our first dozen eggs from the girls!
We have one rooster and three hens,
but we are picking up two more hens this weekend.
"I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."


  1. Gosh, it's just so heartbreaking about your current garden. Such amazing produce and so much hard work. So happy to see that chickenkeeping is working out well. They are truly quite easy animals. You had asked for suggestions on any chicken-related books. While you can find out just about anything via google, I do enjoy the Chicken Health Handbook (I believe it's by Gail Damerow). It's an overwhelming amount of information, most of which you will likely never need, but it empowered me to feel confident in diagnosing and treating our flock. The main things I would say is, use diatamaceous earth to dust the interior coop a couple of times during the summer to keep mites out. They love humid and dark conditions. Watch for the egg-bound wattle (they walk a bit like a penguin). This means you'll possibly be putting your hand up the vent to pull out the egg. And a prolapsed vent is easy to see. Keep an eye out for a small carrier (like a dog or cat carrier) to have on hand in case you need to isolate a chicken with something such as the prolapsed vent. You'll have to push the innards back in and keep the hen isolated and calm (the others will peck it back out because of the red) until it stays in. It's from too much straining during egg laying. Oh, and if you happen to have any upper respiratory issues, we used Vet RX but we've had no issues except at the beginning because half of our flock was sick when we received them (we didn't realize). Identifiable by sneezing and a clear slime coming out of their beak. That's it!! I'm sure they will do very well and you will too!!! Happy Friday!

    1. Wow, thanks for the great information! I'll be ordering that book, as my local library doesn't have it.
      Enjoy your weekend!

  2. Beautiful eggs! It looks like you're making the best out of a challenging situation.

  3. Daisy, it doesn't look like the change of garden spots has dampen your emotions too much. In my experience gardeners are always up for the challenge and never give up. It sounds like you already have many great ideas about the new garden and chicken raising.

    Best of luck with the new "and better" garden.

    Nebraska Dave
    Urban Farmer

    1. I've opted to see the sunny side of things. ;0D
      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Do not consider your neglected okra useless. The large white seeds can be added to rice or beans as a seasoning.
    Slice off the top and bottom of the okra pod, peel down the sides like a banana, use a pointed knife to scrape out the seeds. The black seeds are too hard to eat but I read that they can be toasted, ground and used as coffee. Haven't tried that yet.


  5. Fascinating! Thanks for the information!
    Have a lovely day.

  6. Your garden is beautiful. I try not to be too jealous, but there are days when I sure wish we had more sun on our yard.

    1. It's a blessing if home-grown veggies are in the plan.
      Maybe you could find a community garden in your area?


Thanks for taking the time to leave your thoughts!