Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Classic American Garden, Backyard chickens, No French Carrots, Cold Frames, No Frills

Jimmy Wins. No baby chicks this year. We will be buying  young laying hens to replace the  the reds.  Jimmy made a good argument about how with show season upon us we just don't have the time to babysit.  ...Annnddd he wants eggs NOW.  The reds look like they are getting ready to lay again.  We can tell because their combs are beginning to poof up and are getting a brighter color red.  I'm going to miss them when they are gone. But, gone they will be.  All of them are pretty mad at me right now.  They need to get used to the idea of being penned up for the gardening season so I have started shooing them into the pen around 4 pm.   We cant just suddenly pen them up one day. The noise levels from their bitching would be intolerable.  For those of you wondering about the penning ...don't worry, relative to their size, the pen area they have to run in is enormous. 10x14 with an extra 8x10  exercise yard we let them into to dig around in the grass. Even penned up they are still  'free range'.  Even penned up they are still spoiled and demanding. But the garden must be protected from them. Especially this year as food prices are predicted to skyrocket.  When Jimmy and I first started our little backyard suburban farm....it was an experiment in quality of life. I think maybe this year it will be a necessity. And this year it is spreading to the front yard.  The big beautiful 50 ft pine tree in the front had to go down this winter, much to my tree hugging dismay.  We had to make a choice..... toilet or tree.  Yep the roots were breaking the plumbing pipes.  Makes me very sad, but the upside is  sunny garden space in the front yard.   Full sun almost all day.  Jimmy and I were thinking it might be a good place for the squash since we always underestimate the jungle  that our squash plants turn into. 
 Its raining in Seattle...... SURPRISE! But as soon as we get a nice day we are going to add new soil, condition it and then build our cold frames over the boxes . We are beginning our starts in the garage next week.  Our  garden grid will NOT  include  french carrots this year. Those things were a waste of space.  We have pretty much decided to go all classic American garden.... no boutique veggies.  We are going to have a 'no frills' garden to go with the new American 'no frills' economy.      

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