Monday, July 26, 2010

A Good Weekend

This has been a great weekend here at Sparrow Haven. The nights have started cooling off so we can open the windows for fresh air. The chickens are happy and healthy. The garden is starting to come along nicely. We managed to replace two windows, one in the bedroom and one in the study. And, best of all, there is only four days left until PeterC's vacation starts.

The temperatures are finally starting to go back down into something more comfortable at night. Friday night it was to humid, but Saturday we slept with the windows open and a fan on. It was so cool PeterC and I could actually touch each other without sticking together. Last night was even cooler, almost to the point of being too cool for the fan in the window.

We have two chickens who have gone broody on us. Queenie again and Tag. I thought Queenie was grumpy during her last broody session but Tag is downright ferocious. She hasn't pecked me but she growls and hunkers down in her nest making it as difficult as possible to take the eggs out from under her each day. Even when she gets off the nest long enough for another hen to lay an egg, she walks around all fluffed up and growling softly to herself. It is actually quite comical to see.

We've harvested a second batch of peas, two small and rather bug eaten cabbages, and now two cucumbers. There are several more cucumbers in the maturing stage so I am hoping to make Bread and Butter pickles in August. The tomato plants are covered with green tomatoes and I am so looking forward to fresh ripe tomatoes in my salad. The buckwheat is really starting to ripen and the potatoes will be ready to dig in the next week or two. While PeterC is on vacation I hope to get a couple of long flower beds built along the front porch. These will be the home of my cranberry bushes, some blueberry bushes, and if there is room some more herb plants.

Speaking of blueberry bushes. I will not be ordering from Henry Fields nursery ever again. The blueberry bushes I ordered never showed and it took them several days to respond to my requests for an update. An email arrived that said the order would ship in 3-5 days. Then I get a letter saying the delivery was cancelled because their shipper had filed bankruptcy. Then I get an email saying the blueberry bushes will be shipped this fall. Then, on Friday I get a small card saying my order has been cancelled altogether because they ran out of the bushes I ordered, but here is a coupon for $5 dollars off next years order. Optimistic aren't they?

All in all definitely a good weekend. With the windows being already replaced that means we have two flower beds and the bathroom to finish during vacation. These projects should take no more than 3 days total and that gives PeterC plenty of time to visit and work with the horses, and gives me plenty of time to get Chestnut Tree Creations stocked up for the upcoming Christmas shopping season.

Monday, July 19, 2010

As the Garden Grows

A baby cucumber. The herb garden looking good.

Tomatoes, corn, and a lone watermelon plant. Cone flower with a fly that looks like a bee.

Beautiful cabbage being eaten up with caterpillars. The weather is really good for the caterpillars.
Summer yellow crook neck squash bloom.

Young squash, tomato, and nasturtium plants.
The buckwheat is leaning in from the left. The cucumbers are loving the weather.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

First Harvest

This year our first harvest is pretty late. We should have picked currants already but the birds, wild and tame, beat us to them. This year the harvest was 3/4 cp of fresh green peas. Sweet as fresh corn. The peas a re a little later then they should be simply because the heat slowed them down so much but peas are peas and I am looking forward to cooking them for supper one day this week.

The chickens are still getting into the garden. I haven't been able to figure out how. If this keeps up I'm going to put a full net system over the garden beds to keep them out. This morning one of the hens was happily trampling the buckwheat and digging up one of my late sprouting summer squash. Darn chicken.

PeterC and I have also started an exercise routine using the Wii fit and balance board. It is going well and we are finding it much easier to stick to the routine with some feedback from the game system. Of course, I think the Wii hates me since it likes to tattle, to PeterC, if I skip a single day of working out. It doesn't matter if he skipped the same day, it tells him I am not working out much. Sigh, bloody technology.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Dang Chicken!

So I get an email from PeterC telling me to check the garden for damage. Huh! Damage, there is a 5 foot fence around the entire thing, why would there be damage?

Turns out we had a rogue chicken incident yesterday. One of the reds managed to get into the garden and didn't make a peep when PeterC went to shut the girls away for the night. Yesterday morning, when he went to let them back out he heard an odd noise coming from the garden. Sure enough there was a chicken, settled down nicely in the middle of my biggest cucumber plant.

I checked the garden and found that she had trampled the biggest cucumber plant, repeatedly from the looks of things; eaten half of another cucumber plant; and managed to dust bathe in the only hot peppers I had sprout this year. It is amazing the amount of damage a single hen can do to the garden when you're not watching.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Roasting Chickens

The photo is worth more than the words I could use. Ah, to be a chicken.