Eighth of an Acre Bounty

Random thoughts and anecdotes on cooking, critters, gardening and life on our small city lot.

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January 25th, 2009 · 7 Comments

Well once again I ended up taking a unintended week off from blogging (aside from my little post on Tuesday when I just had to express my delight at seeing that helicopter take off from the capital). I went down to Oregon to visit my grandparents last weekend and had a good time catching up. Then back home and into the thick of work and everything else. So if there are any readers left, sorry for the long silence!

I also missed last weeks Dark Days post, so the next post will be a double. Things around here have been cold. We got a bit of snow last night, but it is mostly melting off at the moment. We finally got around to getting some better fencing for expanding and splitting the chicken area. Blume and Dahl are regularly escaping thier 3′ chicken wire fence so that needed to be addressed. In addition I want to expand thier pen area but split it in two so that I can sow seed on one side while they scratch the other. That way we are growing at least a portion of thier food ourselves. And they can do thier own harvesting and fertilizing.

We knocked apart the last raised bed in the backyard in anticipation of redefining the coop area. I heeled in the two sage plants that needed to be relocated – still need to find a final resting place for them now. We also ordered several dwarf hazelnut trees that should arrive sometime in April. So if we don’t get the farm, at least we will have nuts in 10 years.

If it warms up enough we will work on a gate today (extreme cold ain’t kind to the burgeoning carpal tunnel of two career computer monkeys). Gary came up with a brilliant idea of wiring pvc pipe to the ends of the cattle panels we bought and then strategically sinking short rebar stakes in locations where we want to secure the fencing. This would be a sturdy enough fence when erected and when the girls were ranging in it. But at the times when we have them in the other pen, we wouldn’t have a big obstructive fence in the garden area. I am excited to see how it works. Part of the trick of working with such a small amount of land is figuring out ways to make it work for us, and still be somewhat presentable and pleasant for at least half the time.

While we were at the hardware store I noticed a dumpster stuffed with a good deal of odd-cut cedar boards. I asked if I could have them and came home with what I think will be enough to construct at least one of my Glass door cold frames. A lucky find. I am gearing up to start seed shortly and this year I am trying my hand at making newspaper pots. Several nights this week we rolled pots as we watched tv. I am a bit concerned about them holding together long enough for transplanting into larger plastic pots but I figure it is worth a try.

Huxley has been particularly needy since I left for 3 1/2 days. This is the look of a dog that really wants to sit on your lap and can’t understand why you won’t let him. (We regularly cuddle and he climbs up on my lap, but he is over 100 pounds and has a tendency to put my extremities to sleep if he stays too long.)

Tags: Minutae

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Mangochild // Jan 25, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Glad to hear back from you! Please do post back about how the newspaper pots for starting seed goes – I am also planning to start soon and am trying to learn about the different methods/tools available. Dwarf hazelnut trees – neat idea :-)

  • 2 maya // Jan 27, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Hey Mangochild, good to be back. I will definitely post an update on the pots. I used coconut coir pellets last year for a lot of my seed starting indoors. And while they worked great and are a much more renewable resource than peat pellets or pots, I am not exactly in coconut country here. I’d like to find a medium for seed starting that isn’t ripped out of bogs or carted halfway round the world before I handle it.

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