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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Progress on the Chicken Run

No, this isn't der Stalag.  Es der Huehnerhoff.  I worked on it all weekend (the door is what took most of time) and I'm still not done, but I still made enough progress that I think that if I work on it every night when I get home from work I could have it done next weekend.

The only problem is, I'm pretty well wrung-out by the time I get home from work.

In case you're wondering, the welded wire is out from the bottom about two feet to discourage diggers from getting under it.  The wire will be buried, and the idea is that anything trying to dig under will just be met with more wire and will eventually give up.

I still have to put the large wire up in the back, and then I'm going clad the bottom again with the smaller welded wire with which I made the coop run.  Raccoons have been known to reach through fencing to strangle chickens, so I'm making sure that doesn't happen.

I also need to wire the top, to keep out said raccoons but also to keep out hawks, now that I know they'll fly into the yard.

It's taking awhile, but I'm getting there.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


German Queen
So I haven't posted about the forty-one pints of tuna we canned last weekend, or the fact that I've made zero progress on the chicken yard (much to my frustration), or that I'm getting kale (finally!!) from the garden because I've been working ridiculously long hours at work for the past several weeks, but it hasn't all been for naught.

I got a pretty good raise today.

And, I'm finally making half what my husband is.

But then, he's the breadwinner.

I'm just the gravymaker.

* and I'm going to try to get you all caught up after this weekend, hopefully after I've made some serious progress on my chicken yard.  I need to get my chickens.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Back to Eden

It is truly amazing to me how, one the one hand, my weekend was a total loss for getting anything done, and yet on the other hand, I've also learned something really, really important for the future success of my garden.

Well, okay- I did get the salsa verde canned.  Eighteen half-pints, which is far more reasonable than the thirty-two half-pints I canned three years ago of which we have two left.  But that took the larger part of Saturday so that I didn't want to get started at three o'clock in the afternoon on the chicken yard.

So Sunday- Sunday I set myself to work on the chicken yard.  We duded ourselves up in our grubbies and were all set to head out after welded wire and what not, and the car wouldn't start.  Wouldn't jump, either.  A very long story short, it was the battery, thank goodness, but it seriously shot the hell out of Sunday.  Can't complain though- this is the first time we had to replace the battery in seven years.  So no work whatsoever on the chicken yard.  No work on anything else, what with finding a rental car on a Sunday and getting the car towed to the dealership, and driving out to the airport with the neighbors to get a rental, etc. Oy!  This weekend was not a good one for getting what I wanted to get done actually done.

But-  I finally got around to watching Back to Eden.  All I can say is please find an hour and a half to watch this.  Folks who aren't interested in gardening will not find this of interest, but those of you who do will probably find this as mind-blowing as I did. It has completely changed my approach to building soil.  Incidentally, it fits in very nicely with the study that folks at The Mother Earth News did and reported on last year that found that wood, out of everything they tried, makes the best soil.  The film is heavily scriptural, so I'll warn you about that if it's not your cup of tea, but there is a lot of solid science in it, and it seems to work.  The best part is, if you adopt this method, you can expect to work less, fertilize less, water less, and harvest more.  Don't believe me?

Watch Back to Eden.

And let me know what you think.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Householding Update - 10 September 2012

While I've been working on the hen yard, the Braumeister has been harvesting his hops.  Twice the dry weight harvested this year as last year, so they like the new home.

This is the progress I've made in two weekends.  I was barreling along, and got stuck.

I don't know what to do about watering and feeding; I'd tentatively planned things for the section next to the coop, but realized that since I'm going to house the rabbit hutches in the same yard, I have to go in there every day to feed the rabbits.

I'm really stuck on what to do for watering- any ideas or links are welcome. I want to make it as automatic and tidy as possible.  Toying with 55 gallon food service drum, which is a far cry from the original five gallon bucket idea.

In the meantime, Steve's sister called this evening about canning tuna.  I'll find out Thursday night if the fisherman got any tuna, and if so, will be traveling down to Yachats with a bunch of canning jars and a pressure canner in tow.

I've been wanting to do this ever since I found out she cans tuna, so now I really feel like I'm part of the club.

But really- I need help with the water and feed ideas....