March 2, 2014
Okay…it’s March…when our weather typically starts to warm…I’m waiting…not so patiently…it has snowed today and is supposed to get down to 15 degrees tonight. boo.
Good news: half way through the week, the chickens went from eight eggs a day to about a dozen a day (again…)! Woo whoo! 😀 That is still our only harvest though. I am definitely thinking about making a small hoop house next year (we have some PVC pipes lying around and plastic already so we would only need to buy re-bar, probably)! Not being able to eat anything from the garden makes me sad!
BIG, BIG news! Friday, we went to check eggs and one chicken wouldn’t let us check under her. We thought she may be broody. When we rolled an egg out from under her with a stick & she stuffed it back under her and growled at us, our suspicions were confirmed 😉 Unfortunately, we had to kill our rooster earlier this year because of his temperament so her eggs will not turn into chicks.
However, a friend of mine graciously volunteered 10 of her freshly laid, fertilized eggs for our broody hen to sit on. Hopefully, three Harvest Mondays from now, I’ll be reporting on our first batch of home-grown chicks! I am excited! She has a Buff Orpington rooster and a Jersey Giant Rooster (our broody hen is a Buff Orpington) but she has a variety of hens so it will be interesting to see what breed of chicks we end up with!
Other happenings this week:
I cleaned out the coop this weekend (all but behind the nesting boxes because I didn’t want to move the mama hen. It was NOT easy work but it is done & it looks great and smells nice! I dumped everything from the coop into the run. I am hoping that it will continue to break down so I can get fine, fluffy compost from the run to cover my garden in the fall, just like Paul Gautschi does 🙂
(Here is the broody hen, sitting on her 10 eggs. You can see the nice, clean wood shavings on the coop floor. I will move the nesting box to clean in and around it thoroughly once the chicks have hatched.) (Having a table under the roost keeps the rest of the coop relatively poop-free and a thin layer of wood shavings makes it really easy to clean the table off whenever needed.)
Over the last couple of years, we have noticed one blueberry bush that has come up on its own. Not sure how that happened…I assume a branch was buried without us knowing it and it produced another bush on its own. This year, it is big enough to be out on its own so we went ahead and moved it this week. It has been a very strong bush thus far and I hope being away from its parent does not weaken it too much. We shall see, as always 🙂
(The ‘mother’ blueberry bush is in the forefront of the picture. The ‘baby’ bush is to the right.)
(‘baby’ bush’s new home)
I’m still waiting for night time temperatures to stay above freezing, consistently. I’m not patient enough to wait too long and since yesterday was a warm day, I went ahead and planted some more lettuce, carrots, and kale. They are covered because tonight, we’re supposed to get ice but we’ll see what happens.
My greenhouses are still not sprouting. This is the time of the year I get nervous about whether or not all of that time & effort was worth it. The good news is, I did not spend any money – this does not mean I do not want success…I am just trying to not get my hopes up too high 🙂 However, looking over last year’s posts, nothing sprouted until March or April so I still have time… and hope.
Check out what others are harvesting over at Daphne’s Dandelions!
Good luck on the new chicks. The blueberries look nice. I planted two more last year. But they are so small right now.
When we first got our blueberry bushes, 7 years ago, we were told to prune the buds away until they are 3yrs old. It was painful b/c we wanted blueberries right away but there was one in which we did not prune that that one is now down to a nub. All of its energy went into the berries, whereas the rest of the bushes put their energy into getting larger so they could produce plump berries for years to come. The one we did not prune deteriorated year after year. Pruning has proven to be beneficial every year (one year, I was unable to & that year’s berries were teeny tiny!
We are getting strawberries this year & it is recommended to pinch the flowers the first year. I don’t want to AT ALL but I am going to try to practice self-control so our harvests in years to come will be better 🙂
At least you have your chickens and eggs to cheer you up in this cold weather! Good luck on your sprouting! Nancy