I will leave you again today with this ongoing gardening affirmation: "GARDENING: ONE YARD AT A TIME!"
Friday, April 30, 2010
I will leave you again today with this ongoing gardening affirmation: "GARDENING: ONE YARD AT A TIME!"
Our area is reporting storms for the next 4-days. The local news & weather is also telling that we are scheduled to get up to 9-inches, THAT'S RIGHT, 9-INCHES, of rain in the next 3-4 days. I truly hope it is not that much as I might lose some of my potted tomatoes I am holding for this community garden site or even have some in-ground vegetables could not only wash up but end rotting right in the ground as well. So wish us well and I hope it is only a worst case scenario they are reporting on. So this Garden Daddy will leave you today with the our ongoing center city gardening affirmation: "URBAN FARMING: ONE EGG AT A TIME!"
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
I have plans for future garden expansion as far as my blooming plants are concerned. Remember I have a goal to have something in bloom from spring through late fall/early winter. I have not quite accomplished that goal yet. Most everything is spring, early-middle-late summer and then I have mums in the fall along with the hydrangeas that keep blooming almost till the first frost really. I also have to work on the shade area where the expanded & uncovered chicken run will be. Just now, I have mostly ferns and azaleas. I WANT to do so much, but I WANT to first get past this new addition of these chicks getting raised to self-grazing and where they are no longer in the brooder and are able to be in the hen house and coop without supervision. Get them started laying and go from there. I am hoping to have a few pullets, the lighter weight and faster growing ones, to start laying a few eggs by about 15-16 weeks of age - around the end of July I hope or early August. I know that is young but not unheard of in smaller birds that do not require more growth toward maturity like the Black Jersey Giants, etc. that I have which take many months to reach full growth.
So where is GARDEN DADDY going? I hope that in about 2-more years I am able to start doing home garden tours of this urban farm in conjunction with not only the Madison County Master Gardener intern classes as a teaching garden/urban farm but for this community at large or maybe in some relationship with the WTREC (University of TN/West TN Research & Education Center) that I volunteer at often with my fellow Master Gardeners. I have, in my mind (a very scary place, right?), the thought and ideas for many uses of this garden home and urban farm but it is getting the resources needed to put these thoughts into action. So Garden Daddy works on his schedule and budget plans and goes ahead...one day, one yard and one egg at a time!
I leave you once again with our ongoing urban gardening affirmation in mind: "URBAN FARMING: ONE EGG AT A TIME!"
Sunday, April 25, 2010
HELLO & welcome to Garden Daddy here at the urban farm! My little flock or at least half of them (8) got to go into some temporary fencing I put up this afternoon to let them get a taste of the real outdoors. They figured it out in no time and those little girls were soon scratching and chasing flying insects and eating grass seeds and looking for more.
Soon I had my little pound rescue Silky Terrier out there and he was wanting to get a mouthful of chicken so badly he could not stand it. But they just seemed to be unfazed by his barking and begging to get in with them. I have let him in the run with them where he could see them in the brooder and they still be safe from his grasp. But none the less, he definitely wants to get at them. I thought you might like to see their progress along with MAX and I tried to load a video on this posting for your enjoyment and amusement below.
I will leave you today then with our ongoing gardening affirmation: "URBAN FARMING: ONE EGG AT A TIME!"
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Not to plug any store over another one but if you are looking for seeds at this date you might visit your local LOWE'S today while the sale is still on and load up on seeds.
In case you are not aware, one can put these seeds packets in a zippered storage freezer bag and put them in the freezer for NEXT year actually. I did not know that for many-many years but that is how it is done at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway. It is holding seeds from around the world in cold storage in case of a global disaster to basically reseed the planet
So this Garden Daddy will leave you today as another round of severe thunderstorms is heading in here. I have already gone and tucked in the little hens for the rest of the day, fed and watered and added some fresh dry oatmeal for a treat and made sure all were running and breathing and looking well this morning. Yep...time to get off of here with that large hit of lightning...I leave you with our ongoing garden and urban farming affirmation: "URBAN FARMING: ONE EGG AT A TIME!"
POST SCRIPT: I saw where The Home Depot also had their seed packets the same as our local Lowe's did, buy one - get one free!
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
I often go out and sit on a bale of hay beside the brooder and "chicky-chicky-chicky" to them and talk to them and tell them to eat well and grow big and fast and that one day soon they will start earning their keep! They enjoy daily dust baths in a tray of sawdust I provide them and today I added a 2nd water fount as I cannot keep the original one filled fast enough for those thirsty "girls".
Sunday, April 18, 2010
I am a man of action and few words in these my later years and I do not see that problem of just hooking a new meter up to the old, existing water meter box that is on the street on my site. They did that around the corner from me on another site and it worked just fine, putting a lift handle spigot on the meter box at the street. That is all I am asking for! GIVE ME WATER METER OR GIVE ME DEATH!!! If I am to plan, plant and work and help others feed themselves and the local soup kitchen for the homeless and needy, RIFA, then I am at a stand still till my plot is not only re-poisoned, then tilled, then finding a water source. Well, you know this Garden Daddy well enough by now to know I do not fight with one hand tied up behind me...I will give it to you out right, right? So I am still working on trying to negotiate with the neighbor to my site for us to use his water availability and will do so till I have some satisfaction with this issue. I am sorry I am using my garden and farming site for this small stance on my needs in the community garden but a lot is at stake here in that if I cannot guarantee having water to water the garden plots with then I will have NO GARDENERS to need the plots for in the first place and the whole process and at least my site and my time will have been wasted for about the last 6-weeks and many hours I have already put into this project with planning and fundraising, donation begging (!) and road time as well.
So, as I start a new week I will let this opportunity I have taken here to release a little steam over this refresh and renew this Garden Daddy with a new fight this week and renewed commitment to this good and worthy cause to feed the needy here in my community and help bring a little bright corner to an otherwise depressed and often neglected area of this community. I leave you tonight with this affirmation in mind: "I am enthusiastic about life. My enthusiasm is like a bubbling brook, that waters a thirsty world!"...Anonymous
Saturday, April 17, 2010
This Garden Daddy will leave you again today with out ongoing city farm affirmation: "URBAN FARMING: ONE EGG AT A TIME!"
Purple hull field peas = 2-rows @ 15ft long
Sweet bell pepper plants - 10-plants
Sweet banana pepper plants - 12-plants
Yellow crooked neck summer squash - 8-hills
Zucchini - 1-15ft row (about 8-hills)
Cucumber - 10-hills (2-varieties mixed together then planted)
Jet Star tomato - 3-plants
Better Boy tomato - 6-plants
Rutgers tomato - 4-plants
Snow peas - 18-hills
Yet to plant here at the urban farm again is the eggplant and a few sweet white onion sets. Of course, I have my usual herbs already planted as well - basil, rosemary, lavender, sage, chives (I have lots of chives this year!). Besides the planting here at "the farm", I must remind you of the Jackson Community Garden site I am coordinating here in the city of Jackson, TN. I have already pre-potted in larger pots to transfer when that site is ready the following tomato plants:
Better Boy - 9-plants
Rutgers - 10-plants
Jet Star - 9-plants
At that site, I will put some of these in for our local soup kitchen plot we are growing, RIFA, as well as share with some of the other gardeners and put a few more out for my freezer there for this urban farm to add to our larder for next winter on our effort to become more self sufficient here at this location. One of my brothers, really BOTH brothers, have have suggested in jest I think that I should also go into the rabbit raising business for good white meat. I have eaten farm raised rabbit before and found I really like it better that chicken...I think with the addition of my little brood I might not eat as much poultry as I used to. So the idea of the rabbits might come in handy, right? Send me your opinions!!! WOW, that would really put this urban farm right up there with a huge self sufficiency bonus in that about the only things I would have to buy would remind one of "LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE" where all they went to town for was tea, sugar, tobacco and dress fabric, right?!?!? I am kidding about getting rabbits, right? OK I take the hint, enough already. Here are some scenes of the vegetable garden as it stands today and lacking the eggplant and onion sets. I just have not had time this week to get it all done. In these photos you cannot see the the yellow squash, snow peas or cucumbers as they are on the outside of my fenced in back yard (You can see the pine straw that is on the outer side of the fencing and that is where the other vegetables are). You can however see how I have used the great pine straw I have saved last year as a mulch between the rows as well as around my tomato plants to not only keep the area weed free but it also cuts down on the amount of mud to bring in the house as well as gives you a good place to kneel and do weeding in the row or just to pick or service the area. Remember, keep that straw you rake up and do not worry about leaves that are in it as that is just extra composting material as well in the garden.
This Garden Daddy will leave you today with our ongoing gardening affirmation in mind then: "GARDENING: ONE YARD AT A TIME!"
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
SO, WELCOME HOME, LITTLE GIRLS:
I hope these little darlings grow healthy, happy and into very productive egg layers and give this Garden Daddy here at the urban farm some working environment for my future garden tours and possible teaching through my UT Master Gardener outlets as well as in Jackson, TN. in general. It is a little after 7:00pm here this evening and I am going to check on the "girls" and put them to "roost" for the night. And tomorrow will just "hang with my peeps"!
I leave you this eventful day with the our 2nd ongoing gardening affirmation: "URBAN FARMING: ONE EGG AT A TIME!"
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
You see here your Garden Daddy mixing concrete to set post, then another shot of the finished shed before the floor is put in and then the finished project except for the overhead screening to keep the predators out and hens in. I am very please with the outcome of this project and hope you will be encouraged to let your mind wander through childhood memories of life in simpler times and when "eggs at the door" were the norm. By the way this was written yesterday but I only had time today, Wednesday 04/07/10, to add the photos. Another post will follow this one with a surprise!
So I leave you this day with our ongoing gardening affirmation in mind: "GARDENING: ONE YARD AT A TIME!"
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Saturday, April 3, 2010
First this morning I am heading out to R & J Feed to get my feeding supplies, fount and other equipment to put in the brooder on Tuesday and get it preheated to warm up the area for the little chicks to arrive on Wednesday morning.
I leave you this quick stop in with you this morning...and as always, leave you with your ongoing original gardening affirmation: "GARDENING: ONE YARD AT A TIME!"
Friday, April 2, 2010
AND FINALLY....FINISHED...From rabbit cage to chicken brooder:
Thursday, April 1, 2010
But here are some photos of the rabbit cage conversion to a chick brooder. I have made it to where there are NO SHARP WIRES OR CORNERS (!)...remember, little feet are tender and injuries are most likely fatal at this 1 or 2-day old point. Injuries in general in such young birds will result in the same for the most part. It is a must to make sure to take all precautions with your little pullets as your future laying flock is at stake here and the very food that will go in your mouth. I am showing you the stages I used to remake the cage. I also have a photo of some tools and safety items, mostly gloves to protect your hands from cuts and to fold over sharp edges, for your convenience.
You can see here I added some short casters to roll the cage around for ease of cleaning the area that will be under the area that will be loaded with sawdust in order to soak up wet discharge as well as water spills, etc. The 1/4" mesh floor will allow the little feet to remain in good condition but will allow the small manure to sift through to the sawdust below. This in turn will be added here at the urban farm to the garden as well as added to my site over at the community garden for fertilizer. Since the sawdust is MIXED with the chicken manure, after one or two rains it will have broken down enough to be added and what a difference will be made to the vegetable outcome! It will not only fertilize but the sawdust will add a lightness to the heavy clay soil so often found in these older home sites where my city garden will be. I think I have hit on a winner in all phases of this gardening as not only can I control my eggs I am eating and eventually have some kind of break even point but I can use the manure as the fertilizer and if you have bought any lately and seen the price you will know that since the first of this year the cost has almost doubled.
So your Garden Daddy will leave you today with with this gardening affirmation: "URBAN FARMING: ONE EGG AT A TIME!"