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Saturday, March 26, 2011


HELLO & Welcome to Garden Daddy here at the urban farm! As you can see, mother Dorothy and her babies are all doing fine some 30 hours after putting these chicks under her. She has clucked and clucked and mothered one and all. It is raining and cool here today, in the 50's or so but they are nice and dry and very warm. She allows her chicks to run out and feed and drink and run around a bit but she soon clucks a little louder and they come running back under her wings. I could not ask for a better mother out of her. As she has always been friendly and sociable with me she allows me to move her around, pick up her chicks, pet them and reassure her as well that she is a good mother. All the while, she is clucking softly, day and night to her chicks.
I think probably tomorrow they will venture out a bit more I am thinking into the rabbit cage I have attached to this little wooden box as a make-shift run for them. She is alone with her brood and away from the rest of the flock. This seems to be working just fine and hopefully the raccoons and opossums will not find them where I have them in the yard to cause problems for them. Yes, we have both here in the center of midtown Jackson, TN. Lots of raccoons for sure. I see a lot that are coming and going from around the sewer openings in my neighborhood especially. And you regular followers will remember I had some make a home a few years ago in the chimney here. I even had a baby abandoned and had a professor from Union University sent some students out to retrieve it, as he was already raising a litter of orphaned raccoon kits.
Otherwise, things are the same here this weekend at the urban farm, with much rain for several days in the forecast or cloudy skies at least. So any further spring planting is on hold for now. Just waiting to have what is planted both here and at the community garden start to come up. So, I will leave you this day under rainy skies and baby chick watch with our ongoing urban farming affirmation: "URBAN FARMING: ONE EGG AT A TIME!"

Friday, March 25, 2011


HELLO & Welcome to Garden Daddy here at the urban farm! The day has arrived, today, when I got my 5-new little Wellsummer day old chicks. My broody Buff Orpington hen has been sitting on her nest of 6 plastic golf balls for almost a full month now. This morning I decided not to wait until tonight to slip her the little hatchlings. It has been dark, cold and cloudy here today and so at around 8:00 am this morning I slipped in a chick - took out a golf ball. She put her beak to it, turned around in the nest, started preening her back feathers and pulling downy feathers up to make her whole back fluffed up. Then out came another golf ball and in went another chick...this went on till all 6 golf balls where gone and 6 chicks where under her and she was clucking and mothering one and all!
DID I SAY 6 CHICKS? Oops...You know this Garden Daddy cannot resist little chicks. So I added an unplanned baby to the mix, a little yellow chick that will grow up into a standard white Chochin hen hopefully one day. I covered up mother and babies and left them alone only to find myself slipping out there again about an hour later to find one and all doing just fine. As I said, it is rather cool here today, about 30 degrees this morning, warming slowly to lower 50's I think is scheduled but now without having to artificially brood chicks, saving both room and electricity, I think I will take a break from what has been a busy week here, with working at the community garden and planting some snow peas here at the urban farm for my freezer later on as well as fresh stir fry...YUM!
I leave you today with our ongoing urban farming affirmation with a twist: "URBAN FARMING: FIVE CHICKS -PLUS ONE EXTRA - AT A TIME!".....OH MY!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


HELLO & Welcome to Garden Daddy here at the urban farm. I have several things to share with you for a few moments this afternoon. First, I know that true spring must have arrived as my "usual suspect" Mr. & Mrs Robin Red Breast have once again for the 5th season in a row built their nest on my front porch pier tops. I have had around 14 total fledglings soar from off my porch over the last few years. She always starts to build her nest in a high March wind, working through a strong storm, only to have the storm aid her in allowing the nesting material enough wetness with the mud she provides to make it finally stick to the top of the pillar. For several days the couple works and works, only to have another gust of dry wind blow off all materials. Then it starts raining and the material FINALLY starts to stick and then it is nearly concreted to the ledge. Every year I wait anxiously for this sign of some true spring here at the urban farm.
Also I would like to share with you a gift this garden home received from a good friend and co-worker on Monday. I was so surprised to see this lovely gift. I was at work and this wonderful and very talented person came up to me and showed me something in a bag. It was a wonderful concrete leaf she had decorated with glass chips and stones in the shape of a flower. But the very part was she had stamped "GARDEN DADDY" in the center of it! I was so very thrilled to get it and it meant more to me because of the special person who thought enough to make it special for this Garden Daddy. THANK YOU SHERRY R.!

Finally on to my little Buff Orpington hen, sitting all alone in the mostly darkened hen house on her little clutch of now 12 plastic golf balls. I felt sorry for her with her one lonely golf ball and decided that since the other hens had slowed down laying so much due to an extended molt that I would take the "nest eggs" (I told you how dumb they are that they cannot tell a golf ball from an egg) from the other nest and give her a whole nest full of "eggs". Again, I am hoping she will stay broody for another 8 or 9 days till my new Wellsummer chicks arrive on March 25 so that night I can slip them under her at night and hopefully she will accept the little peepers as her own little brood. That is my plan anyway...good luck to me! So I leave you this sunny afternoon with our ongoing urban farming affirmation in mind: "URBAN FARMING: ONE EGG AT A TIME!"

Friday, March 11, 2011


HELLO & Welcome to Garden Daddy here at the urban farm! I must share with you that I have a broody Buff Orpington hen. She currently sits and clucks on her one lonely plastic golf ball in her nest box she is guarding from the use of other hens. So I have decided that if she will stay put on her little clutch of the lone golf ball for a few more weeks I will slip in one night and ease some day old chicks under her.
Two weeks from today, March 25, I have 5-Wellsummer chicks arriving at my local feed store and if I can keep her broody till then and in the mean time get her confined in last years' brooder cage then I think the night the chicks arrive I will slip them under her and hopefully in the next morning all will be right with her world. As I have mentioned many times in these posts over the last year and a half, chickens are kind of dumb if you will excuse the slang language. They cannot tell a golf ball from an egg or a baby chick from a duckling. Hey maybe I need to slip a little quacker or two under her as well. I have been promising my middle brother to brood off a few ducks for his lake home and this might be a good time to try two or three along with the chicks.
Anyway, I thought you might like to know of my broody girl and hopefully she will continue to brood for a bit longer, two weeks at least I hope and that will cut down on the power of having to run a brooder light as well or worry about keeping a close eye on the new arrivals OR keeping them in the house for the first 5 or 6 weeks anyway. She will warm them and help them eat and they will fare fine with her and separated from the older hens till the get feathered out some and she will then even protect them from predatory habits from the other birds when introduced to the rest of the flock.
I will leave you today with our ongoing urban farm affirmation: "URBAN FARMING: ONE EGG AT A TIME!"

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


HELLO & Welcome to Garden Daddy here at the urban farm! Well it appears I will not be having bees here at this urban farm. There is NO LAW about having bees or not in the city of Jackson but out of courtesy for my neighbors in such close proximity here in center city Jackson I have chosen to return the hive body I won back to the Jackson Area Beekeepers Association for regiving next year. It is not really feasable for this garden home and urban farm to keep something I feel would be intrusive into my very close neighbors and after much thought and concern and talk about it, I feel I should withdraw my idea of actually using the hive to cause the slightest possibility of angry neighbors, who I am fond of all of them and in good standing with at this time.
Other than that and lots and lots of rain for many days on and off there has been a slow start to the community garden but we are on the way much better than last year. The same holds true for the urban farm here at the garden home. I think it will be soon though that I can get the spring garden in for both. Otherwise, things remain constant here and I leave you today with our ongoing gardening affirmation: "URBAN FARMING: ONE EGG AT A TIME!"