Friday, December 30, 2022

The Legend of Houdini



We lost our beloved Houdini this week. 
She is the lovely gal to the left here,
an Americana who was a curious soul.
She was the low chook on the totem pole,
and, unfortunately for me, my favorite,
as I always root for the underdog.
I hope she felt loved and cared for
and enjoyed her life here with us.
Bless her as she continues her journey.
I hope we meet again some day.
The Legend of Houdini
From the beginning, she stood out as a curious and crafty girl.
Never one to be caught, much less cuddled,
she was as quick as a flash with her poultry prowess.
In fact, she earned her name because 
the very first night she came to our homestead,
she shot out of the back of our vehicle
and hid in the woods.
She could not be corralled and so,
 spent the night on the edge of the treeline, alone.
Oh, she was a slippery one, that girl.
She lived life on her own terms,
mostly ignoring the bad behavior 
the other chooks displayed toward her.
Whenever Gandalf made his advances,
she made her way to the top of the coop,
once again escaping a most unpleasant circumstance.
It's surprising that one of the only pictures we have (above),
is her with her Americana sister, HENrietta.
She was laid to rest right where she started,
in the woods near the azalea bushes.
You will be sorely missed.


Sunday, December 25, 2022

Happy Holidays!



May your holiday season be merry and bright!
God bless us all, every one!

Friday, December 2, 2022

Garden Friday

Welcome to Garden Friday!
It's been a while and we are well into winter weather,
regardless of what the calendar says.
We've already enjoyed the first fire of the season.
Here's what's going on around the homestead.

Composting can be done in a number of ways.
We have a weekly compost bucket that we empty into a closed bin.
It contains whatever food scraps our chooks or worms don't eat.
Another area holds our yard waste and is an open-air system.
I wanted to try to make compost right in the chicken run,
as I've seen it done on "The Hollar Homestead" YouTube channel.
Welded wire was used to make a ring,
and wood chips, leaves and some food scraps were placed inside.

The chooks showed interest at first,
but wouldn't scale the wire mesh to explore,
so I took it off.
Since then, they've been digging, scratching
and pooping up a storm!
I occasionally add treats in the pile to keep them interested.
We'll see how it goes.

The yard waste area has been cleaned up for fall,
and we are starting over.
One side is for the debris that is accumulated
from fall to spring,
and the other side is what accumulates from spring to fall.

The "sifted" finished compost was added to this bin
and two 5-gallon buckets for use throughout the year.

 Top dressing with compost is one of the ways
we feed the garden.
It also encourages worms to work their magic.

Help was garnered for creating this massive leaf pile.
The boys mulched the neighbor's leaves,
then ours, and transported them to the designated area on our property.
It made such a difference having assistance.
These mulched leaves will be added to 
all veggie and flower beds to keep the soil covered.
This will not only feed the soil, but
deter weeds as well.

The cover crops are helping in that area as well.
This is a cover crop of winter wheat
that not only covers one of the beds,
but doubles as a treat for the chooks!
They enjoy it when it is tossed into their run.

The other cover crop being used this season
is a fall/winter mix.
This was sown in the pollinator bed.

A few things are still growing out there,
despite the cold temps we've seen.
This parsley is a real trooper
and seems unfazed by the dip in the thermometer.

For the life of me, I can't remember what I've planted here.
The leaves are almost spiny,
but the chooks seem to enjoy it.

A few cold-hearty crops are making it through,
although seem to be growing v-e-r-y slowly.
We'll take anything we can get.

I'm happy to report that the wood chip pile
is almost completely gone.
It's been used to cover the chook run as well as the garden paths.
And just in time, as we are to have our trees in back
trimmed and another wood chip pile will fill this space.
Such a blessing!

The flower beds look a bit barren,
as some time was taken this week to tidy them up.
As you can see, the yarrow is still going strong.

Our blueberry bushes have a wonderful blush of color.
I'm awaiting soil test results for this area,
as we did not have a great harvest last year.

The chooks continue to produce eggs,
amuse and delight us with their antics.
We've recently learned how much they adore
cauliflower, so we've been adding it to their diet weekly,
along with turnip greens and any leftover kale or lettuce.

Here's hoping that December is finding you well,
at peace and enjoying the spirit of the season.