Saturday, March 26, 2016

Getting the Garden into shape

Here it is, the end of March and I have had tomatoes and peppers in the ground for two whole weeks. I have only lost one from the original window box group and that was to snails and not transplanting shock.  In payback to the snail population for eating my tomato plant, there was a reckoning and the chickens served as their executioners (Insert evil laugh here)


I am trying the black ag cloth this year to try to keep ahead of the weeds.  It has worked pretty good where the wind and the dog will let it.  Every tool not in use has been pressed into service to hold the ag cloth down.

Even though I'm the only one who eats it, I'm thinking of planting some Okra in the open space on the right.

Last year's purchase of 3 flats of strawberries and 2 flats of pineberries (white, pineapple tasting strawberries) has survived the brutal California winter and filled in to an actual patch.  Of course there are the ever present weeds.

Two years ago, I had enough strawberries from a smaller patch to make some jelly.  I'm hoping to have enough for more jelly this year.

Collard greens and spinach in the ground.  Plenty of room for more.  There's a volunteer tomato and lettuce that have come up over here.  Corn has just sprouted on the periphery, I always have corn but seem to miss the harvest window and it gets starchy so I have not planted much this year.  Even it I miss the ripeness window, it's a treat for the chickens and it make me feel productive with tall corn in the garden.

In the window, I have just started some broccoli, pickling cucumbers and with a lot of luck, black pepper as well. The pepper plants are almost ready to go outside.

Last but not least, my gopher eradicator.  She's also good at chicken removal - Keeping an eye open for anything that needs killing in the back yard.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

A little introduction

Where to start?  I grew up in the 70's & 80's and saw the world making much more sense than I see it today.  Simpler times, common sense values, hard work, fair play and rule of law were instilled into everyday life.  In the current world those aspects of the life I grew up with have been vilified - Common sense values are seen as too judgmental, hard work is for people too stupid to get a government handout, fair play is for chumps who cannot figure out how to cheat the game, rule of law is trumped by a good attorney and the ability to keep the collected jury IQ below room temperature.

OK, I've done it - exposed the fact that I grew up to be a conservative.  I am sure that many out there would consider that to be a birth defect just as much as I would consider spaying or neutering a suitable way of controlling the liberal population.

As a child, we always had livestock - Chickens, geese, hogs and cattle.  All of this on a half acre of land.  My grandparents owned a 4 acre farm with milk cows and made a living selling hogs.  All of this meant that as the youngest grandson, I would loose my teenage summers to working for someone.  Later in life my mother mentioned that we lived below the poverty line but I can't say that I remember things being too bad.  We had a freezer full of beef and we ate steak 5 or more days a week.  Between productive gardens and local farmers we always had fresh fruit and veggies.

The backyard micro-farm (garden and chickens) is my attempt to regain some of the flavor of my younger life.  I've had a garden for the last three years and chickens for the last two years.  Having fresh eggs on the weekends, collected from my own hens is really a pleasure.

In my blog I will try to stay the course and keep to just my own backyard but I'm not making any promises.  Especially during election season.