Sunday, May 15, 2011

Chicken Run!

I made a thing I am proud of!

We decided we should get a few more chickens (an Auracana named James who is a she and a Silver-laced Wyandotte named Bonnie, with 3 more to come from the same home), but we needed a bigger spot for them. We contemplated under the deck out back, but we would have to somehow cut holes into the house's siding to brace a structure and we didn't want to do that. But bracing it against our front fence? Much better idea.

Usually projects with long pieces of lumber are not my list because we don't have a big car, but now that the xB has no carseats because the Mazda is our family car, I just went for it. Helps that the lumber yard is about a mile away. And the xB is magical, I fit like 16 pieces of 8 and 10 foot 2x4s in with no issue, I just used a bungee cord to tie-down the back door. I wish they still made the original xB because man, what a versatile and fuel efficient car.

So anywho, we sketched out a basic plan and I wrote up what I needed and then got to work:


The basic box.


I cut down an old extra fence piece to make our gate, and we had a bunch of deer fencing lying around which was just enough to finish the project.


Finished, with the deer fencing stapled on and the gate latch attached.


So now the chickens are a little safer, since predators usually can't enter our front fenced yard. We can also sell the Eglu as soon as we put the chickens together - we are separating them right now because the larger two were picking on the new babies.

Now we just need to convert an old dog house into a coop as soon as we can find one.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Garden 2011

Last year's garden was a terrible mess. I was pregnant, it was hot, and the project was just way too ambitious for me at the time.

But I'm looking forward to this year. Here's our setup so far:


This time I'm not letting the weeds win. I put down newspapers, then weedblock fabric.

On the side next to the house: sugar snap peas, spinach, grape tomatoes, bell peppers, and banana peppers. On the side facing the yard (and camera): kale, and in a few days, I'll also plant zucchini and bush beans (green beans).

In containers along the side, I also planted a green bell pepper and more banana peppers.


And this guy is a cherry tomato plant, which will share the bucket with a lettuce plant. In the front yard is an identical bin with sunflowers that accidentally grew from seeds left in our birdfeeder. Hee.

Oh, also, I have to find somewhere to stick a strawberry plant.

This year I think will be better because Mike can help me since he's not in pain all day anymore. He already set up a grow light operation on the top of our chest freezer. It looks like we have a pot farm, but I swear it's just cilantro and mesclun.


Nathan enjoys watering things. I do not enjoy him watering things, mostly because they are usually things like me, the baby, his own pants, or the mail.


I think he has reached peak cuteness. He's all "Mommy, helping YOU!" when we're outside. He also told the baby he loved him, completely unprovoked. DYING OF CUTE. I AM DED.