Friday, April 30, 2010


We finally have everything planted that we wanted to plant. Well, except for the blueberry bush. We'll have to figure that one later.

We went to a local-ish farm last year and brought home some "strawberry corn." We're going to try to plant some of that just for fun/grins. Our neighbors gave us some really good tomatoes last year and we saved the seeds from one of them (basically just let them dry out on a plate by the window...). We started 10 seeds and were shocked to see all 10 sprout! In fact, the neighbor came over to take one of the seedlings back because they wanted to grow the same plants again and had lost their seeds.

That said, I think we planted a bit too much in our new boxes. Things are going to be very crowded.

On the wishlist: things like room to plant watermelons/pumpkins and of course, more planter boxes.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hawk V. Crow

We had the chickens out ranging in our back yard yesterday when we heard some crazy noises coming from directly overhead. Usually when we're looking up, we're doing so because some extra loud small plane is flying into or out of the San Carlos airport, but this time it was a crow constantly "caw"ing.

Over and over it cawed and we noticed that it was chasing a hawk! There's at least one Cooper's Hawk living in/near our neighborhood so all of us chicken-owning families have to be really careful when we let our birds out. The crow was doing a great job of harassing the hawk and occasionally the hawk would let out a raptor screech as it dove and tumbled away from the annoying crow.

Suddenly a second crow joined the fight and the hawk quickly departed. I figured it's spring, and so the crows were just protecting their nest, but it was certainly fascinating to watch! Wish I had really great/huge telephoto lens, I would have had plenty of time to capture it on film.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Our First Harvest

Yes, a pea!

This is a pea plant that got started as a seed way back in late December by complete accident. We finally planted it outside and it took off like mad.

Planted potatoes yesterday. That ought to be interesting... We have to get the rest of the stuff in the ground asap.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Chicken Update

Spring has brought with it a rash of hawk sightings in our neighborhood and even a story on the radio this morning about a person who was attacked by a Cooper's Hawk. The answer is apparently to walk around carrying a purple umbrella.

But our birds are, so far, safe and sound. Between the three of them we're getting two or three eggs a day. For the last two days, one of our hens (they're all Barred Rocks) has been laying slightly smaller, lighter colored eggs complete with a few bumps. I think the bumps are what some folks claim comes from excess calcium in the hen's diet. We do have some oyster shells out for them to eat as a "free choice" though to be honest they really don't seem to eat much of it.

Between the rain and our recent vacation, the hens didn't get much time out in the yard but this last weekend we had them out there while we ran the irrigation in our new veggie boxes and they took some epic dust/sun baths. No pics, unfortunately.

Several months ago one of the hens decided she would rather sleep in the nesting box. We've tried putting her back up on the roost at night, but she's fairly stubborn about it. We did notice, though, upon returning from our vacation that the hen will choose the roost if the nest has a few eggs in it. Our chicken sitters left the eggs in the box the day we were due to return home and when we finally got home that night and went out to check on the flock, there she was, up on the roost.

This week we should finally get all of our seedlings into the boxes! Can't wait!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Visit to Plimouth Plantation

We spent spring break visiting relatives on the East coast and part of the trip was a visit to Plimouth Plantation.

Of course, the plantation isn't "The" plantation, it's a historically accurate reproduction, but we managed to have fun nonetheless.

The girls were very interested in even the mundane details of life in the 1620's. But what really got us revved up was, of course...


Red Dorkings to be exact. We were told this breed was the closest to historically accurate. They even let us gather a couple of eggs from the coop!

The roosters made a lot of noise and wandered all over the place in and out of the houses along with the rest of the hens and pullets.

The next day we visited the Mayflower 2 and Plymouth Rock itself (not that impressive, really)...

The boat was more interesting that I thought it would be, and it was interesting to compare the typical diet on the ship with modern standards.

We marveled at just how crowded that ship must have been with 120-ish passengers plus crew on board. It's just not that big inside.

I took a lot of pictures that day, and here's my favorite:

We were happy to finally get home, though now we have an entire garden to plant this weekend!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Just a quick update. We were away on vacation for over 10 days, and so most of our seedlings are screaming to be planted in the new boxes.

We have a ton more stuff to plant, and I still need to build another box or two.