Thursday, May 21, 2009

Little Farm Update

Garden Update

Attempt #1: I think I may have mentioned--my garden died. All of it. (Well. All of it except the basil and chives, which were in a separate thing.) Even after it was totally thriving in my post about how I'd started a garden. I don't know what happened to it, but I think it may have to do with the greenhouse lid for my inside starter thing. I think that my plants get a lot of sun as it is, and with the greenhouse lid on, my plants were being steamed and that's why they died.

Attempt #2: But I hadn't really figured that out, so I just replanted the whole thing and the same thing happened: a bunch of stuff grew, and then almost everything died. At this point, I guessed that it may be the greenhouse lid and I removed that. A few plants survived. From my second planting, I have: one bean plant, one cantaloupe plant, five onions, two peppers, and either a broccoli or cauliflower plant (I forget). Also, for extra fun: I thought a whole bunch of stuff was growing, because a ton of these teeny tiny sprouts came up. But it was kind of weird because all of the sprouts looked the same, and
they never got any bigger. Soooo...I think something in the soil sprouted, which wasn't something I planted.

Attempt #3: I got some of those little planter things that you just add water to, like I did last year. In a couple plastic containers I planted just a few of each of the things I was excited about/still had seeds for. I planted: arugula, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, a few carrots, and lettuce. I put no special greenhouse lid on them, and just set them in the window with everything else. And! They're growing!!! Third time's the charm! These plants are also kind of a surprise, though, because Paley
knocked the bigger container over and all of the little plants fell out, so now I don't know which ones are which anymore. It's kind of like those grab bags at Claire's. Who knows what I'll get?! They're doing well though, whatever they are.

Attempt #4: About the same time that my second garden died this season, J suggested that we plant a garden at his house. He has a bunch of containers because he's done container gardens before. He's actually even grown stuff indoors with grow lights. He's actually kind of a much better gardener than I am, I think. Probably, since all I got from my square foot garden last year was like 2 strawberries and one tomato in October. (This was actually mostly because our balcony got like, no light. And because I didn't use a starter tomato plant.)

SO! We bought little plants. We got 6 strawberry plants, 2 tomato plants (J is learning , an artichoke plant (!!), and two blueberry plants, plus seeds to grow spinach (two varieties), and carrots. And we've planted them. They're doing great! The strawberries don't really like that we separated them, but they'll get over it.

Also, yesterday I bought a fancy green pot to transplant my kitchen herbs into, because get this--they've grown so well that they don't have much soil left! I will also re-re-plant the kitchen herbs that didn't re-grow when I re-planted them. Plus, fun discovery: the girl before me planted stuff in our front yard and a bunch of strawberries(!!) have come back along with some lemon herb and...sage? or something. Her tomatoes did not come back. Too bad.

So that's what's growing at our houses.

Chicks Update

For a while, every morning when J and I would text, I would ask him if the chicks were still alive. I remember us getting chicks when I was little, a couple times. And I think all of them always died. None of them ever really grew up. I think this was because we were little kids and we loved them too much. I'm sure we dropped some, and held them too tight, and were so excited to hold them that we didn't always remember to wash our already-clean hands. Also, they were in the garage, I think, which was probably cold. J and I don't drop them, or squish them, and we wash our already-clean hands before we pick them up. So they haven't died. Also, baby-chick food is medicated, so that probably helps with all of the baby-chick diseases.

The chicks are about a week old now. They're really strong and healthy, so we think they'll probably all make it, because the first week is probably the roughest for them. (Wahoo! Only five more months until they're big enough to start laying!)

They're still mostly fluff, but their wings have feathers now. Sometimes they try to get a little air, but they don't really fly much.

They eat a ton! We at first had a mason jar lid in there for their food, but they were eating [spilling] so much that J put a shallow tupperware thing in there instead. That seems to last them a bit longer.

They're starting to develop tiny personalities. Evelyn CHIRPS and CHIRPS and CHIRPS VERY LOUDLY! when we pick her up. Gertrude is the sweetest of our little ladies. She likes to be held. She is also really cute these days because she has a poofy, fluffy head. Maude and Gladys tolerate being held, but act like they have more important things to be doing. Silly birds.

I took them outside for the first time yesterday. They loved it. At first they weren't really too sure what to think of the grass and they stayed close to me, in the shade. Then they started to explore a bit and pecked at the grass and the ground. The flock stays together. It's pretty cute.

We think that we want to make a [very!] simple coop from a doghouse, which, if we found the right one, could work really well. And then after J moves to a house with more space, it would be nice to build/adapt something much bigger so that we can have 10-12 hens instead (and plenty of eggs to share with neighbors and friends).

Cat update:
Paley is doing fine. She likes to sit on the top of my ladder to get a great view of everything going on in the house and out the window. She likes attention! Whenever I'm home, Pay thinks I'm here to entertain her. When J comes over, she likes to cuddle with us. She's a sweet cat. (ALSO: She is almost a cat. In July, supposedly, she will be a year old, which is when kittens magically become cats.)

We play fetch. Paley brings me one of her toy mice, and drops it by my feet. I throw the mouse across my apartment. She runs for it, snatches it up, brings it back to me and drops it by my feet. We repeat this several times, until I decide I want to do something else.

Other, unrelated updates:
This weekend we are hiking across the Grand Canyon, rim-to-rim, in one day. It will be fun for me to see my family, and it will be fun for J to meet my family. (We see his family pretty regularly since they mostly live up here, but he's only met Jess from my family.) Our hike will be 24 miles, and I kind of want to die already, just thinking about it. I remember hiking Timp last year and hating my life. There should be fun parts, too, though. We have some geocaches we'll be finding in the Grand Canyon. And after we're finished, we will have Done it. I'm sure I'll have lots of pictures and interesting stories to blog about when I can't move on Monday.

Also, my grades posted and I got an A- in Children's Lit, an A- in Modernism, an A in my Darwin literature class, and a B- in my Diversity in American Lit class (which, I totally deserved a B at the lowest, but whatever). That means I made the Dean's list for this past semester. Cool. I'm looking forward to my Fall schedule, except now I'll probably drop the class by my Diversity teacher.

1 comment:

MamaErin said...

How funny that you have a chick named Evelyn- that is our top choice for a baby girl name if we have a daughter (spelling it Evelynne). I'm so jealous of your hike- I've always wanted to go to the Grand Canyon. We're thinking MAYBE next year for our anniversary. And congrats on your grades!