Sunday, December 16, 2007

Past due!

Here is a picture of some of the heirloom corn I grew, of course, now the corn is all picked and dead so this isn't the timeliest of posts...

Now there are sugar snap peas, bell peppers, banana peppers, serrano chilis, the second round of tomatoes, several varieties of beets and radishes, rainbow swiss chard and moon and stars watermelon. The clementines are just now getting ripe.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Roxie joins the club!

Roxie in the Middle
After lots of squawking from the other hens cheering her on (or wanting her to get out of the nest box) and several hours of sitting, Roxie laid an egg! It's a beautiful shade of green.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

First Brown Egg

The Rhode Island Red egg, Nightcrawler's egg, a small store-bought egg
About a week ago our Rhode Island Red laid her first egg. These tiny "pullet eggs" will gradually get bigger and by spring we should have eggs that are a more regular size. Unlike Nightcrawler, the Rhode Island Red was quick to lay her second, (Though to Nightcrawler's credit, she's now on a 6 eggs/week plan) she only skipped one day and has laid an egg a day every since. This kind of productivity is why they make the big bucks.
I planted 30 kernels of corn, we got heavy rains the day after I planted them and most of them had sprouted within 36 hours! I found some old shutters in the neighbor's trash and coupled with bird netting and rocks rigged up something that I hope will keep the birds, especially the chickens, from eating the young sprouts. I would post a picture of my ghetto corn-fort but I think it would bring too much shame to my family.

Monday, August 6, 2007

2nd egg, new seeds

I got a second egg from Nightcrawler today. I'll spare you the goofy picture of me holding it as this egg looks exactly like the last one. I am very excited though. She had been sitting on the nest for about an hour a day the past few days, and this weekend I was so sure she was going to lay that I watched with binoculars from my room for over 30 minutes (I didn't want to bother her and keep her from laying) as she sat and bobbed her head in the nest, to no avail.

I planted some crookneck squash this week. The crookneck plants from spring all died. Wes and I both hate squash, we figure we can use it for barter or gifts. I guess it would be neat to learn to like it, but I don't see that happening. He, in fact, doesn't even know I'm giving it another go, and since he doesn't read this, it's unlikely he'll find out until it's too late!

I put in an order at today. Here's what I'm getting:



The purple tiger pepper will be a good addition to the goth garden when I get that up and running. It will be a bed that grows only food that is dark purple/black or has some kind of very gothic title. I'm surprised at how many different vegetables have a "bloody butcher" variety. I'm thinking about balancing all that out with a rainbow garden, where the rainbow swiss chard and the easter egg radishes will fit in. I'll be looking out for more variegated or "rainbow" varieties.

Friday, August 3, 2007

The honeyloupe

I've been going outside and checking the nestbox every half hour or so since I got that first egg 3 days ago. Still no second egg. I think the Rhode Island Red will start laying really soon. I'm getting nervous because I'm going to be leaving town in a couple weeks and I'll be gone for over two weeks and I'm afraid I'll miss a chicken's first egg (or at this rate, Nightcrawler's second egg).

I went into the garden this morning and saw Nightcrawler making a huge mess out of one of my raised garden beds. A small watermelon plant has completely vanished. I assume she ate it, so this weekend looks like it will involve some quality time at Home Depot buying fence-making materials. I've been picking a lot of cucumbers. Each one of these large Armenian cucumbers yields between 10 and 14 cups of sliced cucumbers (peeled and seeds removed). I've been making vats of cucumber salad and I think I'll try pickling them somehow, though I don't think the texture is right to be good for that. Have I mentioned that I don't even like cucumbers?

I picked this honeydew the other day:

only to slice it open and confirm that I had planted it WAY too close to my cantaloupe vines:

Oh well, even though it was orange instead of pale green, it tasted fantastic. Like a vanilla sugar cookie!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I'm so excited I can hardly type! I got my first little white egg this afternoon! It came from my Blue Andalusian (she's the only white egg laying breed of the bunch so I know it was her) which according to the books should not have been the first to lay, but being that it's so hot here, I think that could affect it. I went in to put the hens in for the night and it was in the nest box right next to the light blue plastic easter egg I had put in there. (That's a thing you do to try and help the chickens learn where the eggs go). First eggs are small as not to explode your chicken, you can kind of see that in the comparison shot I have below of my chicken's egg (right) next to a small supermarket egg (left).

Comparison shot

In the nestbox

Nightcrawler, the layer of the first egg!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Friday, June 22, 2007


Here is the view from my bedroom window, there are usually birds stealing the grapes I don't have wrapped in paper out there.

So I decided to pick some to make some grape juice, which tastes great but looked a little sludgy.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

It's too hot and the chickens want in!

It's been 110-115 degrees the last week and the chickens are not excited about it. I give them frozen water bottles to lay on, but this is a frequent sight at my back door.

My dad and an Armenian Cucumber I grew I found out that these things can grow to a little over 3 feet! I'm letting a couple go, we'll see.....

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Tomatoes anyone?

I'm making most of these into tomato paste for pasta sauce, I pureed the tomatoes and they're dehydrating in a bug-proof glass dish in the sun. Hopefully I won't get botulism.

Roxy says hello (Moxie is hiding out behind her)

The chickens trying to be on myspace

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Yellow Lily

I've been picking a lot of peppers, Besser tomatoes and purple calabash, the russian blacks still aren't all the way ripe. The melons and cucumbers seem like they'll start being ready to pick in about 3 weeks. The first grapes should be ready a little before that.
Last year at my wedding we had these yellow lillies planted, I just cut them off in the planters and forgot about them, and sure enough they came back threefold.
One of many lillies

Sunday, May 27, 2007

A bunch of vegetables

Finally, a purple calabash tomato ripened. (That's that lumpy looking thing) There's also a bunch of green beans (and "purple beans") hidden by that white zucchini. I've been having problems with sparrows squeezing in between the chicken wire and eating chicken food, this morning I put bird netting over the chicken wire to see if that keeps them out, they seem pretty determined though.
Up-close of the purple calabash

Friday, May 25, 2007


Oranges and Lemons Rose

Tomorrow I'm going to pick the first purple calabash tomato, it looks like a someone put rubber bands around their bruised fist. It's very exciting and goth. Today I just have some rose pictures
Cherry Parfait Rose

Monday, May 21, 2007

To be fair there was one more...

There were three, but I ate one of these little Besser cherry tomatoes before I took the picture. According to the Besser tomato is: From the southern area of Germany (Freiburg region), this old favorite dates back to the 1800's, and is a must for any tomato lover! The plants produce 3/4 inch diameter fruit in clusters of up to 12, very sweet, cherry tomatoes. The vigorous vines need strong cages for support. Best tasting cherry tomato we've tried! Proudly introduced in the United States by Heirloom Seeds. Indeterminate vines.

This picture is another picture of the veggies, as my lunch. :)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Slow day!

It's still the very beginning of the season.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Belated Mother's Day veggies

I just ate the last peach, the vegetables are just starting to ripen. Here's what I picked today to bring up to my parents' house.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Photos of the "farm" and a list of what we're growing

Here is a list of what's growing this spring:
-10 grape vines, including red flame, muscat and several other varieties
-Winter squash
-Yellow crookneck summer squash
-Fig tree
-Anna apple tree
-Desert Gold peach tree
-Valencia Orange tree
-Clementine tree
-White mulberry tree
-Besser tomatoes
-Purple calabash tomatoes
-Russian Black tomatoes
-Large red cherry tomatoes
-Pink oxheart tomatoes
-Provider green beans
-Royal burgandy bush bean
-Wren's egg bean
-Banana pepper
-Serrano Chili pepper
-Black/Purple Bell Pepper
-Hale's best cantaloupe
-Honeydew melon
-Armenian cucumber
-Moon and stars watermelon
-Nasturtium (edible flowers and leaves)
-Marigolds (edible flower)
-Cilantro (recently bolted and pulled)

4 Hens (we hope!)
2 Americaunas- Moxie and Roxie
Rhode Island Red- PeeWee
Blue Andalusian- Nightcrawler

(and our two cats, Lasa and Stinky)