Geez it was nice today. When you have as much to get done in as short a time as I do, you have to prioritize. Luckily at this time of year, you get so few nice days that when one comes along, it makes prioritizing easy. So I finished double digging the tomato bed.
This was a chore, but I'm glad it's done. I hope to transplant the Amish Paste tomatoes into the ground tomorrow that I grew from seed (Baker Creek) and which have been cooling their jets (okay, warming their jets then) on the deck the past few days.
But in the meantime, the herbs I ordered from Territorial Seed showed up this week.....
....one of which is a bay laurel tree. I was e*x*t*r*e*m*e*l*y disappointed in its size:
Even the anise hyssop was a LOT bigger than that. I knew the pot was small, but I expected at least something that looked like a tree; certainly not a rooted cutting, which is all this looks like. I'm bummed, especially when I think of the monster laurel in my mother's back yard.
While I was hustling around in the backyard, unbeknownst to me, the wee ones were being boisterous, to say the least. Here they are the night I brought them home (and I've labeled this 3of4 because you can't see all of them):
Kind of a scary picture. Well what was scarier was that while I'm trying to be a good hen mother and keep them on paper that will keep their little legs and feet straight, they were hell-bent on destruction. I checked on them in the middle of the afternoon to find that even though their waterer was still standing up, what remained of the quart of water with which I filled it was about an eighth of an inch. The rest of it had saturated their bedding. Not sure how they managed to swamp the brooder and leave the waterer still standing but I envisioned a crazy jump on the edge of the bottom and the thing swinging crazily around, sloshing its entire contents but never actually falling over. So I set about cleaning up, but obviously I needed to prevent its recurrence. So I wired the top of the waterer to the side of the brooder and things appear to be alright. I learned something interesting. I saved the red plastic caps of the two five gallon jugs we ordered and I noticed that they went crazy on the chick grit I put down in one of them. So much so that I had to take it away from fear of them filling up on grit to the exclusion of everything else. Later today I brought them treats of finely cut greens, chopped raw sunflower seeds and oh joy! Cut earthworms. True to everything I've ready about chicken behavior, when one had a piece of worm in her beak, the others would chase her around the brooder. Sometimes they ignored the treats, or at least, they didn't seem to see them. Then I decided to try giving them treats by serving them in the other of the red plastic caps. I chopped up raw sunflower seeds and dandelion greens, and served them in the red cap. That got their attention and their eyesight pretty quickly. So going forward, if there is something I want them to have, I need to put it in the red cap. Glad I saved them.
Other than that, most of the day was spent outside working. Here is the state of things:
That last one is of the tiny pie cherries on the Montmorency.
This place is slowly coming together, but it's a journey, of sorts as well.
I'm glad I decided to take the first step.