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.


  1. Your yard is wonderful! A tire works well as a holder for compost in the chicken run, not too high and tough enough for them to flock together on it.

    1. What a great idea for a tire! Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. I know what you mean about remembering what's planted where! I always try to write it down, and then usually lose the list.

    We have our compost bins in the chicken yard, similar to your wire bins. So far, for all the various methods we've tried, that system makes the best and quickest compost. And the chickens love it.

    1. Good to know that others have used the system successfully! Glad you stopped by!

  3. What lucky chickens. I heard a report yesterday of cauliflower going for $9 a baseball sized head in another part of the country! Your wood chips inspired me, as I know they're such a great resource. Joseph has always been the one to use the chipper in the past, but just hasn't had time in a few years. He's going to make sure it's in running order, and I'm going to give it a go, with the multitude of sticks and limbs we have. I can think of lots of places that could benefit. That spiny plant looks like one that volunteers here. I wonder if it might be a cross of other greens? Though maybe not their first choice, our chickens will eat it. Have a beautiful weekend!

    1. Wow. That's incredible! Sure wish I had planted some cauliflower this year.
      Hope you enjoy this glorious weekend!

  4. The mantel is so pretty...warm, welcoming, perfect for the winter. Put your feet up and enjoy it this weekend!

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I hope the weather is treating you right!

  5. I love your fireplace. And those gorgeous chickens! And your leaf pile! It must be wonderful to be experiencing some winter weather. It is so hot and dry here!

    1. Yes, the fireplace sure comes in handy on these cloudy, colder days. We love living where there are 4 distinct seasons after being in Florida for so long. Hope you get some rain soon!


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