Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Slowly but surely...

It may be hard to see in the picture, but the hardware cloth (1/2 inch mesh wire) is installed in the ceiling of the coop and the other side of the hen house frame is in place. I couldn't have done it without help. My son's best friend came for a play date after school and his dad offered to come by after work and help with the coop when he came to pick up his son. I have to say nailing in poultry staples basically upside down is not an easy thing to do. I am so glad this part is done! I have a lot more wire to put up, but the rest gets nailed in straight ahead instead of overhead so I am hoping it will be easier. Unfortunately I now have to dig a trench around the coop so the lower wire can go down into the ground - but it is supposed to rain the next two days so that means probably no progress again until the weekend. I have said it before but this is both good and bad - bad that I won't make progress but my hands are killing me. Between working on a keyboard all day at work and then all the hammering, painting, drilling, etc. after work - my hands are really really sore. Anybody know where to get a good hand massage? :)

The garden is really getting exciting - I can't wait for things to get big enough to eat! The carrots are all starting to sprout, I saw tiny shoots from the dill and fennel, the potatoes are growing (but I'm pretty sure I didn't plant them with enough space though so the harvest may be pretty limited), and the yellow straight neck squash and cow peas (like black eyed peas) have all sprouted. It is so exciting to know that if you have some good soil, add a few seeds and some water and sun - soon you have all kinds of things sprouting up and growing. A few months of watching them grow and then you get free food! How cool is that? In my book it is pretty darn cool!
Tonight - I actually picked a few leaves off of the lettuces that I planted about a month ago to add to our store bought lettuce for a salad! The leaves were from the outside of the red and green lettuces in the picture on the left (with a potato and some shallots in the foreground), I read that for head lettuces you can harvest the outer leaves and the head will keep growing, so you can take little bits here and there and still keep a growing head of lettuce to harvest later. Of course, there wasn't enough to make a salad on its own - but it was fun to get a little tidbit to add to the salad and feel like we are starting to get some payback for the hard work. I think I may try to grow lettuces under my grow light in the house as the weather gets hotter and they die back outside... certainly worth a try! :)

Time to get myself and my kids to bed - I hope you all are enjoying spring and getting out in your gardens!

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