Garlic sprouts showing!!

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Now to keep the chickens out. I’ve been making them stay in their coop until 2 hours of daylight left. They destroy everything I do!! They had a field day with the leaves and straw I put out last week. I just spent nearly an hour raking the beds back together. They can stay. Gotta get a fence around the garden! I put maple leaves in the bottom of their coop so they could scratch around in there. It’s still so cool to open their nesting boxes and find 2 different colored eggs! They are getting a bit bigger in size too. I have the coolest looking dozen eggs on my street, I’m willing to bet!

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Covered my container carrots and strawberry beds with straw. It’s supposed to be 28 degrees here tonight. They are really flourishing, one thing chickens couldn’t get to! I call them Carrots for Eli to encourage an apartment dwelling friend of mine to garden anyway! I rearranged the chickens new design of the drip hoses. Creative little buggers.

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Getting ready for winter..

Image Getting the chickens ready for their first winter.. I first cleaned out most of their old soiled bedding, not as good as their Spring cleaning will be if they are still in that coop, but remove all wet or really soiled stuffed, wiped out the nesting boxes. Then we laid in extra straw and leaves back in their boxes and the area under their roost and around the pen. We had our first frost this week and I don’t want their feet to get frost bite. We definitely have a rooster, now to figure out what to do with him. Michael wants to butcher it himself. I told him to have at it, but finish the job if he starts it.

We stopped letting them out of their pen this week as well. I will have no Fall garden because of them. Our plans are to build  a fence over Winter and move their pen once a week. We built it to where the two of us could do this, we just thought the birds all over the yard was ‘cute’. Not anymore! Donna finally started laying yesterday!! She laid the first that morning in the shed and the second in their coop but on the floor, not in the nesting boxes. The other two pullets will have around 2 months before they lay if we supplement their light. Pepper already sits on Althea’s!

We are still pulling peppers by the day. Today’s pull of jalapeno barely took the weight off the bush! Bell peppers are still forming, but I’m sure once the frosts are more consistent, they’ll be gone in the week. We let the chickens ruin most of our trail and error for this years Fall garden. I did plant three rows of garlic and plan to get onion sets over the weekend. But they completely ate the Brussels, lettuce, striped the potatoes. I guess I did learn one error!

Garlic is in the ground and the potatoes are piled high!!

We planted three rows of garlic cloves today! I spent the morning weeding the beds and hard raking all the loose dirt the chickens have been scratching away from the beds. They have really screwed my pooch on the Fall garden, I knew they would and the precautions I took just weren’t enough. I planted the garlic in the beds to the farImage left. Not like a regular Fall crop I guess, it stays until May. I think I’ll rotate out with a block of corn.

Writing down bed layouts for crop rotation is one of the biggest things I want to learn and work on. I planted legumes after the corn to hopefully fix nitrogen for the next crop. Each plant can help or hurt each other just by the way you plant it! I guess it’s time to reread all my Permie stuff. I have different questions this time through, just like they said I would. The old theory vs. practice. With Winter approaching, I’m sure I’ll get my fair share of catching up on my reading. A new GRIT came just today, with winterizing your chickens on the cover, just what we’ve been talking about!

I piled the potatoes today as well, tried to leave just the tops showing. This will be my first trial with growing them this time of year. I’m assuming just like the carrots, if I keep the tops from getting freezer burnt and die, they’ll continue to grow. The carrot tops in the container out front are a good 4 inches now. I’m glad they’re out front, the chickens would have had a field day with those fluffy tops! I plan on getting onions from Renfroe’s this week and a couple bales of straw to add some finishing Fall touches.

Keeping up the good work 😀

Girl day :)

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Michael helped a friend of ours out on a side job, so Syd and I planned it where we could spend some time with Liz, his girlfriend/my confidante. I don’t get to see her much as it is and she loves to bake.. So perfect way to spend the afternoon 🙂 We decided to do jalapeno poppers (we are all still harvesting jalapenos every day!), a dip and a peach crisp for desert.

Goodness it was good to be just girls! Sydni played with the dogs, burying Coyote’s stick from him. It was so funny, he would sit beside her and act like he wasn’t looking when she buried it. Then they would ‘find’ it together. Liz and I sat on her back porch where you feel tucked away and safe. Her little treasures peeking from different corners all with a story to tell. We laughed the afternoon away in between preparing each dish. It was really needed..

She hollowed the peppers while I sliced up the peaches. I know they are not in season here right now, but I was craving the peach crisp. (She had already told me she had vanilla ice cream) Sydni helped me with the final touches on it. By then the boys had come back and we moved the dinner back to our friend. We ate black bean salsa and baked dinner. It was delicious!! Not only did I get some time with my girls, we made a kick ass meal with dessert. Day well spent..

Potato Pull!!

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We had a great day potato pull yesterday of some white sweet potatoes. Less sweet and less nutritious than the orange variety, this was a new potato for us. This harvest had been growing for about 6 months. We covered the beds twice with straw and compost as the greenery raged.

We started by loosening the soil with the pitchfork and digging in and around for the potatoes. I always feel like an archeologist digging away fossils. Yeah, I grew up in the Jurassic Park era.. So I love digging up potatoes and garlic.. and onions,, 🙂 It was a great day to be in the yard. Lower 70s, great breeze. I love just being out there with Michael harvesting part of our dinner for that night. It was just a really good moment in all the stress we’ve had lately. The world sure doesn’t make it easy sometimes to go back to basics, ya know? That little cottage I want nestled in the foothills with a clean stream that runs by. We can’t catch and eat but so many of those fish due to mercury levels.

What do we do you ask? We cook potatoes. I pour enough olive oil to drizzle over the pan of cut potatoes and went out front and stripped two rosemary branches. Dropping those in with the oil, I chunk 3 small/med white sweets and one large orange sweet. I spread them out on a cookie sheet, drizzled the oil and roasted them at 375 degrees F. The rosemary made the house smell so good and even though the scent was strong, it did not out power the potatoes at all 😀