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Thursday, October 28, 2010


HELLO & welcome to Garden Daddy here at the urban farm! A rather sad afternoon here at the urban farm as after having made a quick trip over to Nashville, TN. today and returning home I made a mad dash to the back yard and check the egg count from the little pullets (not so LITTLE now!). I did not notice anything amiss at first and went about gathering a record number of an exact even ONE DOZEN eggs in I think it was my second Easter basket I got as a 2-year old in the spring of 1955. I use that basket to gather eggs in now. Anyway, I digress. I gathered the eggs and started looking at every bird as I always do and found "BESSIE", one of the Ameraucana pullets I named after my own Mother, with an issue. I named her BESSIE because as I have mentioned in these rantings before that when the pullet was only 4-weeks old she fell victim to a gene defect and her beak became crossed almost overnight literally, and has gotten steadily worse and worse all the time.
Again, digressing with the name thing...My Mother had an accident when she was "expecting a new baby" (yes, THIS very Garden Daddy) and in the long term suffered a life altering and life long handicap with an artificial right leg. But the pullet Bessie has gotten worse and not eating and drinking as well as she was & I knew it was not going to be long till I would indeed have to put her down. Today, I noticed blood dripping from her top, long and very curled under beak and she was acting very-very withdrawn with her head down. I have noticed all along that the other birds often pick at her crossed beak, as when she has food sticking out of her mouth or bits and pieces of food stuck on it where she is unable to adequately clean it off as the others do. I imagine that the other pullets probably were pecking at her beak, damaging the inside of her mouth and now with blood dripping out of her mouth and down her beak they were almost mauling her to get to the blood.
I knew what must be done. I will not go into details but with sad goodbyes, sad hearts and solemn words, I did the deed and she rest now in the urban farm garden site in one corner. She will go back to the earth and feed the next years' garden site and I will know she lives on in that and is not suffering now or hungry.
It has already been suggested I replace her but I think that will not happen. I have plenty with the remaining 18-pullets and will just make it fine. "Bessie" had not started laying and I predicted long ago that due to being smaller and probably somewhat deficient in egg-making sustenance, I was really keeping her as a pet and that is not wise urban farming for this or any operation and just postponing the obvious need of eliminating her from the flock. Not sounding rough but just facing the honest truth of what our domesticated gifts from the Creator are for. I love my pets, my chickens, my little Max-dog...but facts are facts and I did what I had to do. But one must deal with "livestock" as such. If it was a 20-year old pet dog I can understand feeling like my best friend just passed away. But in this case I was just showing true compassion for a suffering member of this urban farmstead and took care of the problem.
So on this less than productive (other than eggs) day, THIS Garden Daddy leaves you with our gardening and urban farming affirmation in mind: "URBAN FARMING: ONE (DOZEN) EGG AT A TIME!"

Sunday, October 24, 2010


HELLO & welcome to Garden Daddy here at the urban farm! Another landmark egg day today here at the urban farm. As I stated a few days ago, I believe the little micro egg from last week was the first little dark egg from one of the Cuckoo Marans and today's gift proved my right. This is the offering today and look at the dark, milk chocolate difference between my regular brown egg laying pullets and this very-very dark egg.
It is written by Ian Fleming in the James Bond 007 series that the Cuckoo Marans eggs (in French, pronounced Muh-ran) are the only eggs he would eat. It is also reported that 'Martha Stewart' only eats Marans eggs as well. It is often stated that these darker egg shells are thicker and thus either store or travel better and if placed on a flat surface the yolk has a tendency to spread out less and retains a rounder form. Of course for my part, I think the darker brown eggs are just beautiful all on their own just as they are. I have enjoyed my "celadon-green" eggs already, seeing they are green all the way to the inside of the shell as well.
Things remain dry here...drought conditions and a burn advisory as well. I see though today on the national weather as well as local that we might FINALLY get some badly needed rain late today through Wednesday this week. I wish it would rain every day this week for my my part. And on that, I leave you today with our ongoing garden affirmation in mind and as always, thank you for following Garden Daddy: "URBAN FARMING: ONE EGG (chocolate or brown) AT A TIME!"

Sunday, October 17, 2010


HELLO & Welcome to Garden Daddy here at the urban farm! Another landmark occasion here today when I just went out to put the pullets to "bed" for the night and close them up and secure for the evening. We had a slow egg day today, gathering 8-eggs. Day before yesterday I got 10-eggs. But I digress...Included in this 8-egg day was the little dark brown egg shown above (top photo and bottom photo - right). I put it alongside the "original" winner (bottom photo - left) of the Urban Farm Smallest Egg Contest so you can see it is even SMALLER. It was not in a nest box but just on the ground by the 5-gallon water fount. I thought it was a piece of pine cone when I first saw it and had to look several times to make sure it was what I thought I saw.
I also believe it might be a "first" for one of the French Cuckoo Marans (pronounced Ma-rans). I am hoping anyway. It is pretty dark, not as dark as I was hoping for or SHOULD get but think it might be a start at least. I am looking any day now to go out and have a full dozen eggs or more to gather. Many of the 19-pullets have fully developed combs and wattles now, including the Wyandottes, the Speckled Sussex and the Marans. That will give almost all birds laying except for 2 of the Ameraucanas still do not seem to have been "on the nest" as I have seen. I have seen about every pullet that has been in the boxes at some point and have gotten eggs from under them while laying. They are all fairly friendly or at least "civil" to my approach, except for a few. Not to say all are laying but of all the ones I know that are laying I have seen on a nest at some point.
I have cleared off the garden site here at the urban farm and turned it all under with the tiller, running over it several times in different directions, to work in both some chicken house mucking as well as some of the dried up garden discards, straw, etc., that was mulching the rows and getting it ready to be "put to bed" for this year. It remains very dry here, not having rain for over 6-weeks now. I gave up trying to have a fall garden this time due to this untimely heat and continued drought.
It is late Sunday afternoon/early evening and I must leave you now with our ongoing gardening affirmation: "URBAN FARMING: ONE EGG, EVEN TINY ONES, AT A TIME!"

Friday, October 15, 2010


HELLO & welcome to Garden Daddy here at the urban farm! "I'd like to thank the Academy, my fans...I am just speechless! I love you...I love you all!" That is just this Garden Daddy quoting Corporal Klinger from the TV series "MASH" when he thought an article was being written about him being crazy dressed like Scarlett O'Hara. What a great surprise this morning when someone from the neighborhood association came around and rang the doorbell and when I got there it was one of the ladies from the committee and gave me the LANA Most Beautiful Yard Award sign. Now in the 4-years I have been here in this garden home I have won 4 different awards. That is pretty good I would say.
Of course now that means I am probably out of the running for a good while. But now that they are just doing "seasonal awards" it will take more to win I am sure. I think then I have won for the fall season from what I understand. Anyway...WOW!!! That is all I am saying.....WOW!!! I do get folks just driving by or walking by all the time though and commenting on my yard. And I do try to not only make it nice for myself but to instill in others or give an idea that might spark some interest in the neighborhood that could help others become interested in maybe making a little more effort in their yards that would not only help their own property value but that of the entire neighborhood as well.
So get out and get to work and tune up your own garden home and make yourself proud and others as well and give a neighbor a hand if necessary. So I will leave you today with our ongoing garden affirmation in mind: "URBAN FARMING: ONE EGG AT A TIME!"

Monday, October 11, 2010


HELLO & welcome to Garden Daddy here at the urban farm! As this garden home attempts to make itself more fall-like and decorative for the longest season we really have (Labor Day through Thanksgiving for our fall season) I came up with the idea to add a little whimsy to the process. I looked at one of my local sporting goods stores and found a good pre-season buy on single goose decoys. I thought a pair of Canadian Geese might add the idea and feeling of the Fall season and placed them around the yard flag which says, "Autumn Splendor". What better way to express that feeling than with this idea of fall migration and relatively inexpensive decor. I understand I am up and in the running and nominated for another "Yard of The Month" award, now given out seasonally instead of monthly. Of course, that is only neighborhood hearsay!
To update you on the pullets that are laying...Today, I got 2-celadon green eggs, which means that 2 of the Ameraucana pullets are now laying and may have been all this week and alternating days. Still getting around 6 or seven eggs daily now and lookin' & hopin' & prayin' for at least 15 daily in the foreseeable future out of my 19-pullets.
Weather still unseasonably warm and very-very dry. We have not had rain here for over
1-month and I am watering almost daily in my front yard to keep things growing and green during this warmer weather and keep the mums alive and looking as lovely as they are at full bloom out this week. They are truly beautiful here and I get daily comments from neighbors and drive-by's and walkers in the neighborhood. On this note, I will leave you today with our ongoing gardening affirmation in mind: "URBAN FARMING: ONE EGG AT A TIME!"

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


HELLO & welcome to Garden Daddy here at the urban farm! It has been a while since I was with you last but you are not forgotten by any means. Yesterday, Tuesday, the little pullets really got busy. They delivered a total of 9-eggs including the greenish egg above that had to come from one of the Ameraucana pullets. I believe it was from the one named "Frances" that is a Brown-Red pullet. She was almost guarding the nest box area late yesterday afternoon when the egg gathering was going on and acting a little over protective in a way. But I thought you might like to see the "gifts" as they are coming in, especially for those of you who have never seen the tinted eggs other than the brownish tones most are used to seeing.
This give this Garden Daddy an idea about a future brunch theme..."Green Eggs & Ham" will be the theme I will use and make it work with these lovely, smooth and these almost moss green beauties. I can see a whole basket of them used as decor along with some sheet moss and maybe some other natural items...either berries or something like that.
I hope you are enjoying these little pictures and stories about the pullets. But I have really enjoyed having them here at the urban farm. So I leave you today with out ongoing gardening affirmation: "URBAN FARMING: ONE EGG AT A TIME!"