August 13, 2015
This week has been pretty crazy! Some good things happened and some bad things. First the good:
#1 It RAINED! 😀
Gardening with a cover means this is not as important to me as other farmers/gardeners in the area but it was still nice! It cooled us down from high 90s to 80s all this week. And everything’s so pretty after it rains 🙂
#2 We got more mulch!
We had gotten down to our last two mounds of woodchips and were wondering what we were going to do when that was gone. I decided, since I don’t have many more woodchips, I would start covering my garden each fall with chicken compost, like Paul does.
Right about that time, our neighbors decided to cut down about a dozen pine trees so we got 8 or so loads of woodchips! I think (as long as the chickens make enough compost) we will still cover our garden area as Paul does and save the woodchips for garden expansion but what a blessing!!!#3 Our last broody hen of the year hatched out all of the eggs we gave her to sit on! That has yet to happen. Our young roosters are finally getting efficient 😉 The chicks hatched 3 days earlier than they were supposed to so one got away from the mother and was pecked in the head by another chicken – she did not make it. 😦 But we moved the mama and the four other chicks into the little coop for safety and they seem to be doing well.
That makes 16 chicks we hatched out this summer that survived. We are waiting for the older chicks to lay any day now. They are 20 weeks but their combs are not very red. All we can do is wait.
Now to the disheartening (hint: they all have to do with unwelcome animals):
We caged in our fruit to keep them safe from the groundhogs. That is not hard to do. However, the racoons decided they wanted the fruit. They can climb over fencing, move fencing out of their way that is not staked down, and even pull up stakes! Every day we go out and more and more watermelon and cantaloupes are eaten. I am so disheartened. My husband is off to find electric fencing. (they lifted up the stake, dug, and got into one of our cages!)
The deer have found our sweet potato patch (and all of our beans on the edges of the garden). They have not eaten it down to the nub YET but they are working hard! 😦 Last year we harvested enough sweet potatoes to last us until May. This year, I know that will not happen but I hope we are able to harvest some! I had issues with moles/voles (whichever eats veggies) and bunnies our first year gardening but as soon as we got a cat, that was taken care of. Other than that, we have never had any animal issues. This year…they found me! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: WE NEED A (well-trained) DOG!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am linking up with Green Thumb Thursdays for ideas and commiseration. 😉
Too bad about the critters. I’ve been pretty lucky here so far. I have had some hits, but not disastrous. And though I’ve seen the raccoons in the garden so far they haven’t taken anything. One year I saw them as they walked right past my corn and squash. They wandered into my neighbor’s yard and took down his trash can. I think they have been so trained in the city that the trash cans are food they aren’t looking for my naturally grown food. They would rather have white bread and chips.
My husband is going to buy some electric wire. I told him to not hold back – at this point, I would be fine seeing some dead racoons lying about in the morning! I am SO SICK of this! Why do they have to take the EXPENSIVE food?! They leave the veggies and take ALL of the fruit!!!
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Is that a buff orpington hatching out the chicks? I have had the best luck with buffs hatching for me!
Ohhh…the deer ate my zucchini and the raccoon ate 4 of my chickens! I feel your pain! We’ve been putting out traps but so far haven’t caught him. Hopefully you’ll be able to keep yours at bay till after harvest!
Thanks for linking up with Green Thumb Thursday. I hope to see you back this week!