Saturday, July 30, 2011
Friday, July 29, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
The retaining wall was hired out, but the rest was compliments of family members blood, sweat, and tears.
Future plans include:
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
- 12 Roma Tomatoes
- 8 Celebrity Tomatoes
- 12 Juliet Tomatoes
- 1 San Marazano Tomato
- 100+ bush green beans
- 100+ carrots
- 1 pumpkin
- 2 butternut squash
- 36 onions
- 1 swiss chard
- 10 potato plants
- 10 sweet red peppers
She also has perennially grapes, strawberries, raspberries, rhubarb, sour cherries, red currants, mint, chives, garlic chives, saskatoons, roses (rosehips), poppies, bee balm, and catnip. Not to mention a pond, iris's, lilies, peonies, babies breath, brown eyed susans, lilac trees, and more.
|grape vines crawling on fence, mint, strawberry batch, raspberry patch, and future chicken coop site.|
Monday, July 25, 2011
Friday, July 22, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
I am new at raising chickens we have 18 between 2 separate houses. The one has ten 20 week old hens, 1 red sex link that started laying in April and one rooster. Roughly 2 weeks ago our sex link started to sit so we assumed she was going broody, but had noticed white bugs crawling on her head…lice. We bathed the whole flock in an organic tea tree and peppermint, cleaned the coop, dusted with De. She seems to be doing better but still have not received an egg from her in these 2 weeks. Our other girls which are 6 red sex links in the other house started decreasing in egg production also within the past 2 weeks….we would get 6 a day….to gradually 5….then we went to three…. to two….one….then none for two days. These girls were treated the same within 1 day apart from the first one mentioned above other… and we just started getting 1-2 eggs a day a few days ago, still not at normal. Nothing has changed in diet (other than brand of feed) they were on pellets, but went to local feed store and got them a layer mash (which they had on one other occasion with no troubles) there are no predator issues, it has been hot but not to terrible, they have access to dust bathe. So I am stumped to what else might be going on. They all are eating/drinking well and look healthy and no missing feathers. Do you have any ideas or no how long it takes them to bounce back to laying after an infestation of lice ?
Monday, July 18, 2011
Friday, July 15, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
As food prices rise higher and higher, we are all trying to find ways to save money on our food. Starting a garden is a great way to save on produce. The initial cost may be a little high, but year after year, you will reap the benefits.
As I was driving last Saturday, I was listening to a radio program that promised if you went shopping with him, he could show you how to buy 15 meals worth of food for just $35. I just needed to be one of the first 20 callers. I pulled over and called right then, and I was one of the first 20 callers.
Shopping day arrived and I decided I would buy whatever he said to buy, even if it wasn't something I would normally get. As we walked down the aisles in a caravan of shopping carts, I just couldn't stop saying, "oh, my kids are going to be so excited, we never buy this" and, " wow, we sure are getting a lot of treats, the kids are going to want me to shop with him every week!"
As I was checking out, my total came to $38 due to the tax and the extra head of lettuce I bought. I have to admit, my cart was pretty full for such a small price because of the coupons that were provided by my shopping guide. As I looked at the individual items in my cart, I realized that only about half of it was actually "food".
He wanted a $10 tip at the end and another $10 for more coupons just like we used that day. I had to smile and pass him by. It is against my moral code to tip him for encouraging people to shop and eat that way. And there is no way I'm going to get the coupons if it is going to encourage me to buy those types of items. I will stick to price matching, that way I'm getting the best deals possible on my produce, which normally would fill up at least 1/3 of my cart. I use this website for my price matching. (I have not been paid or endorsed for linking this website, I genuinely like it, and want to share what I like.)
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Michigan Woman Faces 93 Days in Jail for Planting a Vegetable Garden
This is not some gated community with HOA regulations. This is an ordinary, working class neighborhood in Oakland County, Michigan.
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Grow a Garden
It’s time to bust out the spade and gloves and get dirty. If you want to go ultra-local, grow a mini-garden in your backyard! There are plenty of fruits and vegetables that are fairly easy to grow, like chives, basil, carrots, lettuce, and berries. If you aren’t sure which foods will work best in your region’s climate, take a trip to the nearest garden nursery and ask lots of questions. You could also join a community garden if you’re feeling less confidant about your gardening abilities. Visit the American Community Gardening Association website to find a community garden near you.
Join a CSA
If you haven’t already, you should join a CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture. A CSA allows you to get food items fresh off of the farm in exchange for a personal pledge, paid up front. Prices can vary for different farmers and depending on their portions so find a CSA near you on the Local Harvest website and inquire about prices. If you like to cook, the CSA program could be a wonderful way to experiment with new fruits and vegetables.
Get an Animal
For the meat-lovers out there, get an animal! All right, this may sound a little cuckoo, but small farms are starting to sell animal shares. The farm raises, processes, and packages the animal and you simply purchase and devour. For a list of farms that sell beef, check out EatWild.com.
You may also try buying a few chickens. Anyone who has had an egg straight from the nest knows that there is simply no comparison between fresh and store-bought eggs. Not only does raising poultry provide eggs, it can also rid your backyard of pesky insects. Chickens provide one egg every 24-48 hours, so make sure to buy enough for your morning omelet. However, some cities do have limitations on backyard livestock, so make sure you have the green light to get poultry beforehand.
So there you have it, a few more ways to eat local. There are always more ways that you can get fresher food and help your environment.
James Kim is a writer for foodonthetable.com. Food on the Table is a company that provides online budget meal planning services. Their goal is to help families eat better and save money.
Friday, July 8, 2011
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
I’m Uncle Dale’s son and Michael’s cousin. I’ve been reading backyard farming for a couple of years now and I’ve been mentioned in some of my father’s articles (Broiler Apocalypse, Proper Snake Removal). My father asked me to describe our urban farm on this blog. I hope that my backyard farm might inspire you to get creative with your situation and start to grow something.
My wife, daughter, and I live in an urban jungle – Arlington, Virginia. Our house was built in 1945 during the post WWII defense boom as part of Ft. Barnard. The army built it right into the side of the steepest hill in Arlington to use every square foot possible. Being on a hill, we have more stairs than anything; 25 to the front door, 15 from there up to the back door and patio, 9 more take you to the highest terrace, and 30 inside that connect each room which is on a different level. As part of an urban neighborhood, our entire property is barely larger than the US median square footage of new homes - 2,600 sq feet.
Last summer we started a garden in the only truly flat piece of land, the 7.5’x13’ patch of soil next to our patio. This year with a toddler we decide that our flat plot needed to be a place for her to play so we had to get creative to grow a garden. We installed raised beds across the front of the house. We built shelves into the retaining wall to support flower and herb boxes. On the highest portion of the hill we pulled out the thick underbrush that occupied the space and put in terraces. We use trellises for vertical gardening. Most of the crops are irrigated with soaker hose. Fortunately, our property has a southern exposure so we get plenty of sun.
We now grow a variety of crops including lettuce, chard, tomatoes, cucumbers, black berries, broccoli, green beans, egg plant, peppers, raspberries, sunflower, squash, and many varieties of flowers and herbs. My father has been jealous of the quantity and quality of our produce. Small gardens produce proportionately more that large gardens because you have to maximize every square foot. My father’s large garden has wide walkways (more room for weeds) and plants that get neglected because of the volume of work to be done.
I hope that our success with a small property will inspire you to find ways to turn your home into a productive backyard farm. If we can do it, anyone can do it. You don’t need the acres that my father has to have a several nice meals a week from your garden all summer long. Grilling fresh vegetables alongside chicken from my father’s farm is a treat after a long days work. If you haven't started yet, get creative and start today. You still have at least 90 good growing days in most of the US.