September 16, 2013
This summer, we have been filling the coop with dried grass clippings. I saw a couple of videos of L2Survive‘s about Paul Gautschi’s chicken coop and how he uses wood shavings. He says it takes the smell away and makes an incredibly rich compost. We have a lot of lumber yards in our town so I called one and they said we were more than welcome to come get their wood shavings. Man! The coop smells great now! It’s pretty too 🙂
Apparently, (at least one of) the chickens like it too because Thursday, at 27.5 weeks, we got our first egg! It was from an Australorp. She gave us another one Friday as well.
It is interesting to see the difference between the first and second egg. My daughter wants to eat them but I am holding off because I just bought 5 dozen at the store and because I like to see how they change. Still only one chicken is laying but it was so exciting – it gives us hope 🙂
(egg #1 is long, pointed, speckled. egg #2 from same chicken is more rounded and uniform)
So far this chicken has given us an egg each day. I am quite impressed with her. I am looking forward to one day collecting more than one egg a day 🙂
Another exciting harvest was from our second cucumber plant. The first cucumber plant was shaded too much from my daughter’s pole beans. It only produced a couple of cucumbers before it died back. The pole beans were planted back in May, my daughter got her first harvest in July, and they are STILL producing! I was never a fan of pole beans before but I can’t deny how much produce we have gotten in so little space! They have taken over and shaded many crops (cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, etc.). So I replanted a cucumber plant at the beginning of July and got my first cucumber this week 🙂
Other harvests for the week were exciting as well but were not different from other weeks…a few peas here and there, plenty of beans, tomatoes, and lettuce (harvested every day but only one picture).
I planted some more cabbages, and broccoli this week and I am going to plant some carrots next week.
I realize we are getting to the point where if I continue planting, plants will not reach full maturity before the winter sets in but, if I can keep them alive all winter, they will have a head start in the spring!
In North Carolina, our winters are generally all over the place. It is not odd to have 80 degree days in January or February. Just a couple in a row, mind you, but enough to make the trees blossom (and then later freeze).
When we have warm winter days, I’ll go out into the garden and plant some cool crops. It takes a lot longer to sprout but as soon as spring arrives, they have already gone through the ‘hardening off’ period and they grow really well. We get some early harvests from crops like broccoli, kale, etc. by doing this.
What are you harvesting? Are you planting anything for the fall or is it too late for your region? Head over to Daphne’s Dandelions to see what everyone else is harvesting 🙂