Monday, June 17, 2013

Chickens, Spicy Peppers, Berries and Other Random Thoughts


Ursilla with Paisley hiding behind her.
The chicks have been in their outside coop for four days, they love it!  They had their first taste of pizza crust yesterday, they love that too!  They seem very happy to be outdoors, scratching and eating bugs.  The buffs still pose for the camera and the other two still seem camera shy.
Athena again

Paisley with Ursilla hiding this time.
At almost four weeks old the Buff Orpingtons are becoming fully feathered, Ursilla is improving, and poor Paisley, I guess she is a late bloomer.

They are hanging around inside the run, once they get a good feel for where home is they will get a chance to free range a bit.

Scroll through the pictures, I'll move on to gardening below.

Back yard garden
The back yard garden has its issues.  The placement of the garden was chosen by the previous owners of the house and like most of the trees they planted, it's in the wrong place.  It is too close to the trees and it is shaded too much of the day in the summer,  the sun doesn't hit it until after noon.  On top of that, the trees that it is too close to are black walnut, which are known to send out a nasty chemical, juglone, to kill plants living near them. I'm doing battle with the caterpillars in the collards and the cabbage, the cilantro and dill decided that it is too hot and bolted, the tomatoes are struggling with the limited sun as are the peppers and eggplants. Sigh.
Front yard garden

All this is why I started the front yard garden, which I created by layering organic materials on top of cardboard, as you can see the squash and the pumpkins like it, the watermelons were planted later and are a bit slow to get moving.
The two pepper plants placed in the flower bed are doing great, they get full sun and my husband squirts them with the hose every time he waters his carnivorous plants.  They were supposed to be the two jalapenos, but I somehow got the plants mixed and it appears that one is cubanelle.  This means that one of the ones in the back yard is jalapeno and I may have a bunch of peppers that appear to be sweet frying peppers that may be "Muy Pica!" due to cross pollination.  Oops!

This Italian squash is almost 10 inches long. I swear it wasn't there yesterday!

The blackberries we planted this spring have just a few berries on them, we weren't expecting any this year, so they are a little bonus.

This doesn't look like much but they are oooooooooooooh so cool!  A cultivated variety of raspberry that has gone wild  and provides a border to much of the property, we do nothing but mow to keep them under control. They produce enough berries to send kids out there on a mission to get enough for a recipe, they can sample as many as they want, as they fill my measuring cups and then repeat it every afternoon for about three weeks.

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