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Wednesday, September 29, 2010


HELLO and welcome to GARDEN DADDY here at the urban farm! I want to take a moment this morning and share with you some photos of the basically fully grown pullets I have here at center city Jackson, TN. I just came in from giving them their corn scratch and then added an over ripe watermelon a neighbor gave me to feed to the "girls". The first two photos are of the flock as a whole and the last two show two of the four, 2-Brown Red & 2-Blue Wheaten, Ameraucana pullets who will one day soon be giving this Garden Daddy the blue and green tinted eggs. The white Ameraucanas are called "Blue Wheaten" due to the cream main body with brown (or Wheat colored feathering) and some hints of gray-blue, which you can see under her neck on the "beard" of this breed. You can also easily see the "ear tufts" on both the Red Brown & Blue Wheaten in these photos.
You can get a nice idea of the coloration I have in my little backyard flock, some being the Barred Rocks, the Cuckoo Marans (that look similar to the Barred Rocks), both Silver Lace and Golden Lace Wyandottes (2 remaining SL & 1 GL, having given away 2-SL to a near & dear relative), Black Jersey Giants (& this Garden Daddy does mean GIANTS too!), Black Australorps, big Buff Orpingtons...hey, I think I got them all! And of course previously mentioned Ameraucanas. Going to the Jersey Giants...they are doing well by giving this garden home several double yolk eggs even this early in their laying career..."WELL DONE GIRLS"!
Not much other news. Still very-very dry here but cooler temps have arrived. Around 47-48 degrees in the mornings and in the mid to upper 70's for daytime temps but no rain to go with it so the fall gardening is on hold till we get some rain. Useless to plant greens or anything else till we get some wet weather. So the community garden is sitting there in "wait mode"! On that, I leave you today with our ongoing gardening affirmation in mind: "URBAN FARMING: ONE EGG AT A TIME!"

Saturday, September 25, 2010


HELLO & welcome to Garden Daddy here at the urban farm! Yesterday, Friday, was a record egg day here at the urban farm. I evidently got another pullet that has started to lay now. I got a whole seven - 7 - eggs! Three were in the same nest even. So that is a bit over 1/3rd of the pullets are laying now. Again, I have 19 birds so we are slowly getting to a full complement of layers here. I am still waiting on the Cuckoo Marans to start their laying to see just how dark their eggs are going to be. WAITING...WAITING...PATIENTLY WAITING!
I had another set of "visitors" this week as well. A set of raccoon babies has decided to winter over in the soffit under the eaves of the garden home. I was woken from a deep end of sleep cycle this morning around 5:30am when I heard a baby that was climbing up the side of the house fall and hit the top of the air conditioner condenser with a huge "thud". He tried several times to restart his climb. He ended up on the front porch and then when I went out there he climbed over the wall of the porch and successfully up to the roof and ran over and into the chimney...OH NO...NOT AGAIN! I have set a trap for them with some cat food in it but no catches yet...hopefully soon so I can repair their entrance area(s).
Sorry I have not been with you for some days but this Garden Daddy was taking the last of my vacation off from work and then back again. I was getting back into the swing of the work week as well as working on the lawn/turf here at the urban farm and over at the community garden as well. So I will leave you today with our ongoing gardening affirmation in mind: "URBAN FARMING: ONE EGG AT A TIME!"

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


HELLO & welcome to Garden Daddy here at the urban farm! I have been getting some small eggs now for about 2-1/2 weeks and last week I even got a very large egg, which I ate this past Saturday that had double yolks. That in itself was a surprise but today when out to do my afternoon check on the pullets and give them some strawberries that I was discarding from being abandoned in the fridge too long I got a SMALL surprise. As you can see above, it was a tiny, micro egg that was not much larger than a standard $0.25-cent piece. I also put it along side two other eggs I got today at the same time. Later on I got a fifth egg, dark brown and regular pullet size. I think the last egg came from one of the Black Jersey Giants that has started laying now. So glad they are now laying. But I thought you followers might like to see this little treat. Almost round and not much of a point on either end. I hope this is the only one of these I get and am surprised I have not gotten more already.
This garden home has transformed its face on to autumn splendor. Summer decor and flowers are about gone and I have adorned the exterior with fall colors. I have placed bushel basket size yellow mums in large pots I already had but painted them to match the exterior trim work. I also added some cone shaped baskets that are faced with green moss and added some fall mums, mixed grasses and some late ferns and berries. Fall flags are also waving in early fall breezes. All in all, we are set till about Thanksgiving now and can finish winterizing the yard over the next 2-months or so. My banana trees will be dug up and put in the basement as well as digging up the large elephant ear tubers and drying them and putting them in winter basement storage.
Other work here remains constant. We are still harvesting okra from the community garden and working to plant some fall greens before putting that garden to be after this planting and late fall harvesting. Leaves are falling all over Jackson here in the third week of September but this Garden Daddy believes that it is from our still dry weather and unusually above 90-degree temps we are having. We had a slight rain over this past weekend but not enough to even make the ground get wet and take away the dusty ground and grass.
I leave you then today with our ongoing gardening affirmation: "URBAN FARMING: ONE EGG AT A TIME!"

Monday, September 6, 2010


HAPPY LABOR DAY & HELLO & welcome to Garden Daddy here at the urban farm! I know, I know...I promised you over and over I would NOT get too "EGG-CITED" over this egg laying going on by the little pullets. But after being out of town from Friday afternoon this past week and returning home on Sunday afternoon, I had 3-more eggs in the nest boxes, 1 in one box and 2 in another out of the 8 nest boxes I have. i had already gotten one on Thursday and one on Friday. This is a good time to remind you that one nest box is good for 3 to 4 hens to share. Having 20 pullets that makes plenty enough to go around.
Well after work this morning, I went out to feed and give fresh water to the pullets and there were no eggs. It was still early, around 9 o'clock or so this morning. I went over to the community garden to pick okra, spray for Japanese Beetles, pick up garbage blown in or thrown out into the street area...general look-see and make a showing. When I got back I had a little garden insect spray left in my pump up sprayer so I used it and sprayed out under the pine trees in the shade to help rid some mosquitoes and I also sprayed on the OUTSIDE ONLY around the sides and back of the chicken coop, as this will prevent some unwanted crawly critters from entering that are not welcome...certain mites, etc. I heard one of the pullets just start cackling and really making a huge ruckus and went in and found one of the friendly Barred Rocks getting off a nest with a pale brown egg in it (one of the suspected culprits) and then one pullet, Miss Prissy, a Buff Orpington, still on a nest box. I gave her a little privacy and then went on with other projects. I then started to go back in the coop and when she heard me coming in she jumped off he nest and came running...remember, she is the pullet that has a strong affection for this Garden Daddy! So she abandoned her egg she just laid to come to get me to pet her and rub her head. She and the Barred Rock that are laying are the most friendly, other than one of the Ameraucana pullets. I think now I have had enough of the newness of it all and will just keep you updated at I start to get the bulk of the eggs. Lets see...with 20-pullets...that should be between 15 to 16 eggs per day on the average...that will be about what...say 15 per day for sure multiplied by 7-days per week...equals...105 eggs per week divided by 12 (1-dozen) equals about 8.75 dozen per week or around 9 dozen a week. I am glad I have a lot of neighbors, co-workers and friends who are wanting eggs. I will eat about a dozen a week so that will leave about 8 dozen to get rid of. No problem as I see it for sure. I know what I will be taking to any neighborhood association meeting or Master Gardener meetings...that's right, deviled eggs!
On to other news. The community garden I oversee is still putting out okra and lots of it. I would be getting even more if we would get some good rain here. It is still very dry, though somewhat milder and not as humid as most of the summer has been. I am waiting on some rain to plant some greens for the fall. I hope we do have a nice long fall. It has been so hot a nice fall would be lovely this year. In fact this being Labor Day, I plan to start later today or tomorrow to set up my fall garden home decor and I will post some photos on this site later this week. I have a new fall garden flag and lamp post flag that are a set and will show them later as well. So I will leave you this holiday with our ongoing gardening affirmation: "URBAN FARMING: ONE EGG AT A TIME!"

Friday, September 3, 2010


HELLO & welcome to Garden Daddy here at the urban farm! Like my headline today reads, I promise to not give you an "egg-by-egg play" of the happenings with the start up of the little pullets laying. But since this is still so new and egg-citing here at the urban farm and like a discovery now every day, I will tell you that Miss Prissy has blessed us again with another gifting of a lovely, dark brown egg this morning. Nicely shaded and even of color. She is about the most vocal of the pullets to date and she is always "talking" to the others. I think she is very much at the top of the pecking order anyway, along with maybe one of the Cuckoo Marans, who really thinks she is the top of the flock.
I will not detain you long but for you dedicated followers, I am just letting you know as stated yesterday, that the egg madness had started in earnest and now just waiting on some of the other 19-pullets to follow in her little steps. I am anxious to see how dark my Marans pullets eggs are, after seeing the result of their parents very dark, nearly chocolate eggs I shared with you earlier in the spring, actually on the day I got them. So I leave you today with our ongoing gardening affirmation in mind: "URBAN FARMING: ONE EGG AT A TIME!"

Thursday, September 2, 2010


HELLO & welcome to Garden Daddy here at the urban farm! I just had to take a moment at the end of this busy day and tell you that a second egg appeared today. I found out earlier this week from a long time flock owner that you can tell by looking at the hen's "vent" who is starting to lay. And this week and again this morning I believe the delivery of both eggs has been "Miss Prissy", guilty on both counts. She is the Buff Orpington I put up on photos this week taking the test drive in one of the nest boxes, clucking softly and making a little nest around her and feeling all grown up and "motherly" it appears.
So, with that first egg last Saturday, I am going to assume the others are soon to follow and one of my neighbors told me today that one day I will just go out to the coop and start screaming with both joy and the overwhelming feeling I have too many eggs...NOT LIKELY I SAY! In fact tonight I attended our monthly meeting of the Madison County UT Master Gardeners at the West TN Research & Education Center here in Jackson, and sat with my former intern friends from last year and as we talked about the little hens I have and was asked if I would be interested in sharing some with them in the future. I said of course I would. So the need and desire for fresh, basically organic, non-medicated, non-steroidal, home grown and home fed by grasses & fruit/vegetable trimmings & good grains, causing happy producing laying hens giving good eggs is high and the demand for these products stands the test of any monetary value I hear. That very reason is why I hope and plan and imagine my future with a little more land in a little more rural area and enough room for me and my birds to roam a little more freely.
So I leave you this evening with our ongoing gardening affirmation in mind: "URBAN FARMING: ONE EGG AT A TIME!" .....and waiting on MORE!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


HELLO & welcome to Garden Daddy here at the urban farm! Yesterday afternoon, Tuesday, I thought I was getting a second egg when I went into the chicken coop and found Miss Prissy in one of the next boxes. Do you remember Miss Prissy? She was the skinny little hen on the cartoon of "Foghorn Leghorn" who Foghorn always tried to move in with to winter over. That is why I call this Buff Orpington pullet Miss Prissy. She sat in this nest the whole time I was giving my daily treat of scratch and looked out onto the others eating and "scratching" around. After taking several photos of her on the nest I left thinking I would return to find another egg. After about an hour I returned to find nothing other than the plastic golf ball I have placed in each nest box for incentive. I guess Miss Prissy was just doing a test drive. She was sitting in their, pulling wheat straw up around her and making quiet little clucking sounds and I just knew there was another egg on the way. But alas it was not to be...not yet anyway. Not even one today, Wednesday.
I will continue to wait...wait...& wait...patiently! Thank you for following Garden Daddy & I leave you today with our ongoing gardening affirmation in mind: "URBAN FARMING: ONE EGG AT A TIME!"