June 8, 2015
We harvest Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On these days, we are harvesting
- a little bit of spinach and baby lettuce (isn’t bitter like heads of lettuce)
- strawberries (the groundhog has taken to digging so we are not getting very many)
- raspberries here and there
- starting to get a few blueberries! (no pics – never made it out of the garden)
We picked the beets and potatoes for friends. This is what we were able to deliver this week.Our potatoes are starting to die off though so weekly potato harvests will begin to increase. This is it for the first planting of peas. We are going to pull the plants this week. The second planting of peas is starting to produce pods but I am not expecting much, as it is in the shade so much.
Last year, we expanded the chicken run in the summer; which resulted in 4 chicken deaths. They were spaced out about every 3 weeks. It was odd but we assumed they just got into something.
This winter, we split the run into two runs so the grass could grow some while they rotated They spent most of their days in the original run and were let into the other run once or twice a day. The deaths stopped but we didn’t think it was related.
This spring, we bought chicks from the feed store. We have also been hatching chicks out. The chicks went into the second run. The feed store chicks kept dying (about two weeks apart) but the chicks with their mama were fine so we thought it was just weak feed store chicks. Lesson learned.
We separated the mama from her chicks because they were old enough and she was picking on the feed store chicks. Not a week later, one of the chicks we hatched out died. My husband was researching, trying to figure out what’s going on and he found that acorns can be deadly to chickens.
That is when it all started coming together. The second run includes a HUGE oak tree. When we originally expanded the run, including the oak tree, 4 adult chickens died. When we split the run and they spent most of their time away from the oak tree, the deaths stopped. When we moved the chicks into the run with the oak tree, chicks were dying.
SO, we have rearranged the runs again. The oak tree is not in any of the runs – hopefully no more deaths!
As we were moving the runs, I discovered all the work the chickens have been doing. The soil is beautiful! I am thinking about making a section of my garden like Paul’s. I am nervous to do it though. The woodchips are my safety net. I know they will keep the weeds at bay. I am nervous that if I put this soil on top, I will be inviting weeds. But this is the ultimate goal…It is why we got the chickens in the first place, afterall – to be our soil manufacturers.
The biggest issue right now is that I am going through morning sickness right now so the energy involved to haul all of this beautiful soil out of the run and into the garden is just not there. We’ll see if soil transfer becomes enough of a priority or not to get it done this summer.
This week starts planting for the winter garden! If you remember from last year, I do not plant indoors so in order to start my winter crops, I have to start them in an incredibly shady area. We are sowing some cabbage seeds this week. I have chosen this spot:Very shaded most of the day (a little too shaded for these cabbages to grow but I think it will be perfect for growing seedlings to be planted out later this summer).
What is your garden up to these days? Are you already planting for winter harvests? I am linking up with Daphne’s Dandelions today.