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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Garden and Chicken Updates

It is going to be near 90 degrees today! Our gardens are going to love this weather as will our chicks. Today, Andy is planning to construct two raised gardens, where we will plant melons, cucumbers, cooking beans, corn, and popcorn. We are behind in this process because we were unsure we'd go through with these new plots due to pending summer travel plans  (which have now officially been cancelled).

Last weekend, we finished off the main garden with 25 tomato plants (beefsteak, cherry, and Roma combined) and 8 pepper plants (sweet, medium, and hot!). All but one pepper plant are flourishing. Two weeks ago, Andy planted approximately 40 feet of three different types of potatoes. They are coming up and decorating the garden with their various shades of purple and green foliage. Earlier this spring, we planted a row of carrots, a row of kale, and a row of beets. Of course, the garlic and raspberries have their place and are thriving.For all of your gardeners, how do you know what is a carrot and what is a weed? I'm doing my best to keep up with the weeding, but there are several carrot-top-looking weeds coming in along with the carrots. I'm having a hard time distinguishing between the two; in fact, I don't even know that we have any actual carrots coming up! Help!

In our side garden, we've planted basil, summer savory, rosemary, sage, curly parsley, flat-leaf parsley, ground cherries, and for the first time ever, sunberries. Has anyone ever tasted sunberries? We bought seeds on a whim, so we're very curious to try them. We also planted a few extra tomato plants, and we're still planning to plant lemongrass, peppermint, and cilantro.

Up in front, we have a box of Swiss chard growing. And our asparagus bed is looking fabulous. Next year, we should be able harvest asparagus. For the last season, this year, we utlized the space between the rows for planting.  Currently, 66 onions are happily growing in the asparagus bed. Next year, awesomely, there won't be room for any extra plantings there!

Now, to the chicks ~ they are a real pleasure. One of them is exhibiting major rooster-like signs. He has a  large comb and has started to try to crow. Luckily, he is the more affectionate of the two chicks, so I think we'll have a sweet, loving rooster on our hands. He is officially named "Zappa" after Frank Zappa. Our other feathery friend, we believe, to be a girl. Mostly because "she" hasn't exhibited any of the signs of roosterhood that Zappa has. She is named, "Ani" after Ani Difranco, of course. Do you notice a pattern or theme regarding the choice of names? Suggestion for the next batch of chicks??

Ani and Zappa love the outdoors, but interestingly enough, when we are out there, they tend to just want to sit on my lap and be held. Zappa especially likes to sit in my hand while I nuzzle under his chin with my other hand. He quickly falls asleep during this ritual. They are the best of friends; if Zappa is getting the love, Ani feels she must jump up and cuddle in too.

It's oddly heartbreaking to put them back in their cage when we want to come in. They chirp nonstop as we carry them back . To accomodate their growth, we've transferred them from our smaller cage into a large Tupperware container  with hardware cloth on the top. When we're home, they enjoy the skylights in the living room while the cats try to determine if the peepers are lunch or entertainment! :)  The chicks are scared of the dark. At night, we've tried turning off the heat lamp (now that they're okay at room temperature), but they cry and peep, and so, I haven't been able to officially turn off the bathroom light for the whole night.    Soon!  

Zappa and Ani falling asleep on their new outside "toy."

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