Monday, April 25, 2011

On the verge

You know that feeling of anticipation, like being at the top of a hill on a rollercoaster about to plunge down and around, screaming with delight?

That's how I feel right now. We've been in this house nearly 5 years now. I've cleaned and scrubbed and demolished and built. I've scrubbed some more and dug up useless landscpaping that was plopped in inappropriate places. It seemed like a never ending project. While I'm sure there will always be things that need done around here I believe I've begun to see some results.

Grape cuttings waiting for the rain to stop

                             Container-grown strawberries. I am soooo looking forward to these.
                                     Asian pear trees are producing for the first time. Woo Hoo!
                                                                 Happy Rooster

                              Happy chickens. The grass is always greener on the other side, right?
           White broiler chicks. They're almost 4 weeks old and they are little white eating machines.

                   Elephant garlic and egyptian walking onions (they are related to shallots. mild and tasty).

  Black raspberry vines are covered in buds and blossoms. Last year there were just enough for a full batch of jam. This year there will be plenty to share the the CSA subscribers.
 We've hatched our own peeps this year. The yellow ones are purebred White Plymouth Rock.
 The colored ones are White Rock crossed with my best Ameraucana hens. The cross chicks are larger, more active and are developing much faster than the purebred chicks. This is an extension of the epiphany I had a while back. As we become more self sufficient we eliminate the need for external inputs. So long as I have hens and a rooster I need never buy chicken or eggs in a store again. What freedom!

Now we can call ourselves a proper CSA, with 20 shares available and deliveries starting next month. After all the hard work this is the exciting part.

I didn't get photos of the potatoes just beginning to bloom or the newly grafted apple trees. I didn't get a photo of how the front yard is being converted to edible landscape. Nope, the rain cut my celebration short.

I'm coming to the end of the initial garden creation/landscape renovation part. There will be plenty more refining and adjusting to come as I learn from my mistakes.

Take a deep breath. Here we gooooooooooooo.

Monday, April 11, 2011


To Life! I love that toast.
Here on the Not-So-Urban farm life is exploding in all its springtime glory.

The Asian pears have bloomed for the first time. Various pollinators have bellied up to the bar so we're hoping to taste sweet fruit this fall.
Mr. Man (I know, not very imaginative) has been growing bigger and bigger. He's now 8 months old and he's well aware of how beautiful he is.

Everything in the garden is growing like crazy. I planted potatoes back in February. The early planting forced me to wait patiently for green sprouts but now they are full and leafy. There's two beds each of lettuce and cabbage and a full bed of spinach. Onions, shallots, garlic, and peas are all growing well. 

New life is everywhere.

We'll start delivering for this year's CSA in Mid May with twice the variety we had last year. I'm so looking forward to seeing our friends and clients on a weekly basis again.
We have a Facebook page now. Mamas Garden on Facebook, come on over and say HI. I've been collecting some of the best Local Food/Slow Food/Urban Homesteading pages so check the left sidebar for some great pages, awesome people and latest news about good, healthy food and the people who produce it.
While you are there, post your favorite pages and links.

Now that a few warm days have brought us all back to life, what have you been doing outdoors lately? Post your links so we can cheer you on.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Unexpected but welcome

It seems most folks are either cat people or dog people. I've thought of myself as a cat person, not willing to get a dog for fear the cats would eat it.

I'm not sure which one of these characters would do the deed but I was convinced they would never tolerate a D-O-G in their house.
Then one day, about three weeks ago we spied something that made me pull off the two lane highway and stop. A dog was running frantically from one lane to the other, confused and unable to get off the road. It was pouring down rain and the little guy was not going to last long unless someone did something. My daughter and I got out of the car, convinced the traffic to stop and gathered up Mr. Cold Wet and Shaky. We checked the neighborhood to see if anyone recognized him. We placed an ad on Craigslist. We refused to give him a name because we were not keeping him.
No one claimed him. We waited.

This happened

Who knew?

So now he has a name. Meet Hamish, the mystery terrier.

We have a dog.