My Edible Garden

I've been gardening for most of my life and have been a devoted fan of organic gardening the whole time. It just makes so much more sense to work in harmony with Mother Nature than to fight her. Besides which it is better for the planet and better for our bodies. Here you can see what I'm planting and harvesting, with gardening hints and resources thrown in for good measure.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Last Day of the Year 12/31/19

So this is how we started the morning. Freya is about as crazy as Loki. 

It was a dark grey cold day.  9:00 and no sun. Mmmm. Not supposed to rain today. Mmmmm. Those look a little like snow clouds.....

I was originally going to process excess cockerels this morning but it was way too cold. Instead I got some laundry and housekeeping done. Did some errands. 

Yesterday’s eggs. Things are picking up. 

Today I appreciate the turning of the year. Not only the end of the year but the end of a decade. 2019 was certainly not the best year I ever had. I am looking forward to a new year, with new ideas, new plans, new things to try out, new friends to meet (and seeing old ones!). 

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Sunny Sunday 12/29/19

There wasn’t much snow left this morning but everything damp was frozen hard. 

9:00 am and the sun is barely peeking over the hill. 

Ugh the wind blew the row cover off. It’ll have to wait until it thaws out and warms up to get fixed. 

Spent the morning turning wet bedding in the coops. No smell yet! 

The girls like to pick through and see what they’ve missed. 

Damn grackles have dug up almost every single pea plant. 

This faucet has been leaking a long time but the past few days has just been pouring. Time to fix it.  I tried to take out the valve stem to replace the washer but couldn’t get it out. Tried to unscrew the faucet from the pipe and that didn’t work either. This faucet usually has a Y on it to run the hoses out to the chickens but the BRASS Y broke off last week. 

So a trip to the store for parts and all fixed. Won’t need a Y on it now!

There was still a chill in the air but the sun was nice. My phone won’t zoom any closer. The white blob on top of that pole is a big hawk. Early to bed tonight, an early morning at work tomorrow. 

Just appreciating the faucet situation was an easy fix. Also appreciating being warm and comfy in my bed with a full belly. 

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Snowy Saturday 12/28/19

This morning the wind was blowing cold and fierce. A little crack by the front door was letting in a huge amount of cold air. 

I covered the crack in the frame work with gorilla tape and then taped a flap of feed sacks to the door to cover the crack there until I can get some weather stripping. 

I did some across the bottom of the door to cover the gaping hole there. When the weather clears maybe I can get the threshold installed. 

And then I went in the bedroom to find this.  I think that explains the big muddy paw prints on my bed the other day!

So I spent some time cleaning in the kitchen and discovered my wooden crusher is splitting so I put it in a bowl with some olive oil.  I’ll leave it a couple days to soak up the oil. 

It’s supposed to be down to 27° F tonight so it will probably be around 25 at my house. I realized I didn’t have enough dry wood to make it through the next few days so I went and picked up some of these. They work pretty well and help keep the house warm overnight. 
I did chores a little early and sure glad I did!

(And Giotto stayed out for more than an hour in the snow!)

Getting some eggs this week. There were actually 3 more than what’s in the bucket. 

Today I am appreciating all the great farm and homesteading you tubers out there. What a great way to spend a nasty cold day, I watched tons of how to DIY videos today and have lots of new ideas to try out this year. 

Friday, December 27, 2019

Farmer Friday 12/27/19

First things first: cut some wood for the stove. 

Put out grit and oyster shell

Did chores in the drizzle. 

The girls are really enjoying the soaked grain. 

It was a grey drizzly day and tried to snow so I cancelled my afternoon deliveries. I did find a plug in mouse to replace the wireless one on the PC. I cleaned out the tower and moved it where it will be easier to keep after the dust. 

And hooray the PC is back up. I still need to clean off the desk and figure out how to arrange the printer hook up. 

And a nice fire and some bone broth on a cold winters evening. 

Today I am appreciating that I don’t live where there is deep snow and below zero temps!  I like where I live, tho I wouldn’t mind if some of this winter rain came in June instead!

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas 12/25/19

This has been a busy week with work and more rain. It was almost full dark when I got home from work on Christmas Eve and got chores done. 

Then went in the house to find it raining on the wood stove. Doesn’t seem to be a really bad leak but I do need to get on the roof and patch it as soon as the weather clears. 

I spent the morning having breakfast with the kids then came home and gave all the chickens some fresh hay. 

This plastic had pulled loose in the wind so got some boards put up over the edges. Now the rain won’t blow in. 

Found an egg in pen of my girls that hatched in early June so need to remember to get them some oyster shell tomorrow. There was a break in the rain so I cut some wood for tonight’s fire. 

Today I appreciate my children and grandchildren. My children (and my great daughter in law) have all turned out to be the most wonderful people, kind, caring, generous, intelligent, polite and more. My grand children are growing up the same way.  I am so proud of all of them. 

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Sunday 12/22/19

So I’m trying something out for a bit and have changed up the routine. I was feeding pellets in the morning with a little scratch and mealworms in the afternoon. I’m going to experiment with soaked whole grains fed in the morning with pellet feeders topped off in the afternoon. In addition they are getting some loose alfalfa hay with a lot of loose leaves. 

The alfalfa helps keep their yolks dark when there aren’t a lot of other green feeds available. 

Mmmm.  The fennel and some of the arugula in this bed either need more water or they have freeze damage. I’m not sure which. 

Grrrr. Rats /squirrels!  Ate the tops off the radishes. 

They are coming in under the fence here from a wild area, even though there is fencing laid on the ground they got under it. 

So I pegged it down some more with these and some rocks. 

I filled this void in the wall by the front door with styrofoam packing I got from work. 

And I got the first coat of paint over the raw plywood. 

I picked up more hay sweepings for the chickens and some broken pallets for firewood. 

Both of the younger Buff Orpington pullets laid today with a couple of olive eggers. 

Being the end of the year I have been pondering some things and doing some cost accounting. Currently it is costing me almost $10 a day just to feed the hens and pullets while I’m only getting about $2 worth of sale able eggs. So in the next couple of weeks all the oldest hens are going to become soup. 

I took a census today as I was feeding. 
Large fowl
Hens: 63
Cocks: 5
Pullets: 48
Cockerels: 13
Bantams. 22 

Most of the cockerels are culls and headed to the freezer. At least one really mean cock will join them. About 7 of the bantams will be sold off as pets.  At least 25,  preferably more, of the old hens need to go also. That will give me more space for the others. I’ll also need space soon to hatch and raise chicks for this year. 
This afternoon I was fluffing bedding and discovered mouse tunnels. One made the mistake of running into the pen next door. 

And then the silkies got in on the act. 

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Solstice Saturday 12/21/19

Today is the shortest day of the year. Beginning tomorrow each day will be about a minute or so longer until the longest day, the summer Solstice around June 21. 

I spent the early morning turning compost. I’m pleased to find some worms coming into the oldest pile. 

I also turned and fluffed the bedding in some of the chicken houses.  It’s due to rain again soon and I need all that bedding to be as dry as possible so it can soak up moisture again. 

Then I filled 48 2 gallon pots with compost. 

I planted 150 daffodils in them and a few tulips. I have a few more tulip bulbs to plant. They should have already gone in the ground but I couldn’t get to it. And where I was going to plant them in the ground, well Giotto decided it was a great spot to dig a big hole to lay in. I don’t have time right now to fix that so this was the best solution. 

I made a run for feed but most of those bags are loose hay I raked up from the hay barn at the feed store. 

The chickens totally love scratching through it and eating it. A lot of it is alfalfa leaf which is a high protein feed for them. 


Today I’m appreciating the warm sunshine and the relaxing rhythm of work around the place. 

Friday, December 20, 2019

Farmer Friday 12/20/19

Wow I don’t take but a couple pics today. I slept in super late but it was still really cold.  It took a long time to warm up and thaw out.  Then the water was off, probably because of the sewer project in Miami. 

I did get more eggs today than any day the past couple of months. A couple of old girls are laying again and about 5 new girls. Today I got the first egg from the Buff Orpington pullets that hatched in May. 


Today I’m counting my blessings: I have a roof over my head, food to eat, transportation, communication, good friends, a great community both in person and online

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Thursday 12/19/19

And today the wall is closed back in. 

And Clyde got this project pretty well finished. I need to find a trim board to cover the space next to the door and get a threshold installed, a little weather stripping, paint the plywood and it will be complete. Thank you Clyde!  I sooo appreciate this!  The door latches and everything!

Today I so appreciate getting the door project almost complete. Even so, with a towel in the gap at the bottom of the door the house is a LOT warmer!