Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hen Update

First off, let me say thank you to the outpouring of encouragement, love and hugs from everyone. I didn't think I'd loose it over some chickens, but they are my babies and it mattered.

The remaining hen seems to be holding her own. We were worried that she wasn't eating or drinking enough, but then she let loose all over DH and it was the right consistency and amount, so that's a good sign. I put them in a box inside last night until we can get a better coop outside to protect the remaining birds.

It just breaks my heart though to see the remaining two birds so listless and nervous. It's akin to seeing a child lose it's innocence. The rooster is very protective of his remaining hen, and they are just aimlessly moving around in thier normal paths, none of their normal madcap intensity.

When DH went to move the chicken tractor that they normally live in, he found that something had dug under the edge of the cage. Perhaps one of the small foxes that lives near the river?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

And then there were two?

So, something got three of our hens, and tore up the fourth hen, leaving me only the wounded hen and a rooster... I'm kinda upset this morning... Nothing to do at the moment though. Go to school, go to work, go to knit night. If DH warrants that the fourth hen isn't going to recover from her mauling then he will put her down this afternoon. Whoever remains will return to the back where the predators are less likely to come.

I'm, of course, questioning my wisdom in trying to do anything as it seems that everything keeps ending futilely. I haven't had much garden produce over the last three years due to various herbivores, and I'm desperately afraid something will happen this year too, despite the fencing. And my decision to go to grad school - maybe I'm not up for it and am making a foolish mistake. Maybe I'll feel better later. I wonder if it's too early for chocolate?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Garden Babies

An inspection of the garden reveals the fruits which will be ours, in some cases in a matter of days. We have baby tomatoes on most of the vines, baby watermelon, baby beans. There are the first of the female flowers on the acorn squash plants. Yipee!

In the meantime, look at these beautiful beefsteak tomatoes from Lisa's Petals and Produce, round zucchini from Blossom Hill, and cherry tomatoes from Natural Trading Company. Scrumptious! And then there's the locally produced, hormone-free bacon and sausage from Coffee Pot Ranch. DH is making a vegetable and sausage soup for dinner. It's summer dining at it's best.

And here is my fledgling rooster presenting one of my favorite comfort foods, chicken pot pie! We have been letting the chicks run around in the back before they begin their tour of the property in their chicken tractor. They have become confident enough to explore the front area of the house. One morning I came out and couldn't see or hear the chicks. As I'm listening more closely, Cassie, one of our cats, comes tearing around the corner from the front of the house, followed closely by the chickens! The cat took refuge behind my legs, while the chickens skidded to a stop in front me. When questioned, no one had anything to say, not a meow, nor a peep!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Guerrilla Gardening

No, I'm not about to tell the joke about winter squash plants being the equivalent of large primates sitting wherever they want in the garden. (Although that is exactly my acorn squash are doing at the moment - more pictures later.)

The basis of guerrilla gardening is the improvement of land at a community, grass-roots level. Or in t
his case, hardy perennials, even fruit trees and corn! The term was coined in the 1970's in New York to describe the clandestine gardening activities involving empty lots. The basics are simple: find an ignored, empty bit of orphaned land (like a median strip), recruit help in the neighborhood via community boards or join an existing "cell", set a work date and clean up the area. Of course, it's also recommended to leave the area clean, post some signs at the site or nearby about the rejuvenated space and be prepared to water the plants. Why does this strike my fancy? Being a rebel while doing one of my favorite activities and leaving the world just a little bit more beautiful are excellent reasons to be a guerrilla gardener.

Now, if I can just get these Aussies to raid the weeds in my garden, my life just might be complete until the next round of weeding! Perhaps this isn't the best example of clandestine activities, but it's certainly eye-catching.