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!