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Wednesday, June 2, 2010


HELLO & welcome to Garden Daddy here at the urban farm! I want to take a moment today and stop and cool down and catch you up to date on the progress of the garden and backyard chickens here at the urban farm. After many warm, no really now hot days and the past two days in the 90's here in Jackson, I finally closed the windows and turned on the air conditioning inside the garden home. When I saw my little dog inside and calm and quiet and laying still and panting, I knew it was time for some cool air. I know it is summer now. I always try to make it till June 1st till I turn on the a/c. I made it till the 2nd anyway.
But on to the urban farm and back out doors. I thought I would share some progress photos on the vegetable patch in the back yard. I even found a zucchini that is ready to pick today. But I will give it about one more good day in this heat and it should be ready for sure. The variety of zucchini I planted this year is called "Black Beauty". It is a very-very dark green and hopefully as described on the seed package as tasty as it is lovely. But things look really good and I will share some photos below.

As you can see by these photos, once again this year I have used every available space inside and outside the fence of my yard to make the most of usable, viable growing space. I have addressed almost every issue I can think of in prevention of disease and insect control and in the weed control in the main garden. I have had more than one person, neighbor or otherwise, mention when viewing my garden that, "You really have this weed problem licked". BOY, little do they know that weeding goes on here on a daily basis and I do mean DAILY! It is not a "once and then done thing" but a true daily chore here at the urban farm. We have been getting enough rain every day or two and that has prevented the need for much watering to speak of except newly planted seedlings, etc. At this time, I also have 24-more tomato plants up and staked over at the community garden as well. Okra will follow shortly this week. As you know due to delays on tilling, etc. there, that garden will run a little late this summer.
To bring you up to speed with the little pullets I would also like to share some photos of some of the little girls, as they now truly look like small full grown chickens. I have reworked the main door to the run and coop a little to allow it to remain opened during the worst heat of the day in order to allow a little more air flow on a larger scale than just coming in from the top of the pen and run. It is like a screen door inside the main fence door. But take a look at the little hens below. You can see "MAX" checking out his little flock...they are not afraid of him even when he barks, as they have had him around since day-#1 when they first arrived here and now they think he is just another chicken I guess. In fact when they see him they run up to the screen door and try get his attention, which is really no trouble for that little Terrier! You may can see in this first picture where I threw a watermelon rind in the coop this afternoon and those chickens have stripped it down to the rind, seeds included! Thus the organic ideas of what I am feeding and giving them as supplement to their grower feed. And they are basically free and not kept in small cages.

You see in the immediate photo above these two hens, the one on the left is a little Buff Orpington pullet and you can see her comb starting to turn a little rose pink. The little pullet on the right is a Blue-Wheaten Ameraucana pullet, the tinted egg layer (1 of 4 Ameraucanas I have in the backyard flock) and you can really see her ear tufts and beard coming in nicely, a sign of a purebred Ameraucana. She also has green feet just as her 3-sisters do as well (another sign).
I have really enjoyed having these little pullets as a wonderful addition here at the urban farm. It has brought this homestead, small as it is and in the city center of Jackson, TN., into an almost ideal situation. I get free manure for the compost bin and garden, I will get (shortly I hope in starting in about two more months) all the eggs I could hope for and then enough to share with neighbors as I do the garden produce and it also gives one a true feeling that I am in control of maybe a little more of my life and living and taking that control away from others and giving this Garden Daddy back some independence and a sense of freedom, I am sure much like my ancestors must have felt in times past on their own farms in the rural areas of South Alabama and North Florida.
I will leave you today then with our ongoing daily gardening affirmation: "URBAN FARMING: ONE EGG AT A TIME!"


  1. Meanwhile, my little flock of two hens and a rooster are starting to lay two eggs per day now! Wow! One white and one brown. Who knew?


  2. Well, actually, I am sure the person you got them from knew they would start laying regularly again once they got settled in one space and felt comfortable. Remember, give fresh greens and rinds, grass clippings, etc for them to dig in and forage. I also add some extra hay straw sometimes. In fact yesterday, I made a deal with our local Farmers Co-op to clean up around their wheat straw trailer in exchange for the free straw with wheat seeds, etc. They were in heaven yesterday with a nice watermelon rind and seeds and then the extra straw!
    Good luck and keep on clucking...Garden Daddy