Starting Seeds – Building a seedling flat



I used part of our recent warm stretch of days to work on a seed starting project. I’m hoping to try out a variety of seed starting containers this year to see how they compare. The first one is a seedling flat. They’re super easy – my current building level – and apparently they’re one of the most reliable growing containers, so I have high hopes.   Continue reading


Fifty five degrees and a little warm sunshine

This weather makes me happy and antsy to start my garden. I got an email from Sow True Seed announcing that it was potato and rhubarb pre-ordering time, so I at least got to think about my garden. I picked out some Swedish Peanut Fingerling potatoes, Mary Washington asparagus, and Crimson Red rhubarb crowns.  It’s also time to inventory seeds and plan out what/when I’m going to start indoors on my new growing shelf. Planting time is coming around again. On days like this I believe it.

all this time
the sun never says
to the earth,
“You owe me.”

what happens
with a love like that–
it lights the
– Hafiz

Building a kit for kidding time


I’m a little nervous about playing midwife for the first time. I know that my charges will probably drop those babies like pros and not need the least bit from me. But when you get into the realm of understanding what could happen and what you might need to know to be ready, it can get intimidating real quick.

So I’ve started preparing the kidding kit now, because those April due dates come right when I’ll be finishing spring semester. Continue reading

Springtime is incubator time.


We’re ready to increase our flock. We’ve harvested 5 of the 7 roosters from our hatch last year, and we gave one cream legbar rooster away to someone with a small show flock. So now we have this lovely selection of legbar and Chantecler eggs from our original source, along with some olive egger and black copper marans thrown into the mix. We started them on New Year’s, which means they just reached candling day recently.  Continue reading

It’s going to be SEVEN degrees tonight.

Here were my rush preparations:

1) Add more straw to the onions/garlic. Here’s hoping this bale isn’t chock full of seed heads like the last one. Worst weed preventative ever. I wish I had 15 more bales to make a tower around the bees. But probably that’s a moisture issue. (See #2.)

2) Top off everyone’s bedding. I just feel better thinking there’s less moisture in the goat shelter/coop if I pull off some of the top layer and add new dry stuff. Moisture’s what I really obsess about in the way below freezing times, because frostbite can take off chicken feet, combs, and wattles. Also, respiratory issues are as big a concern as anything else, so freshening things up right before they spend a longer period indoors seems prudent.

3) Check the heat tape on the pvc/nipple waterer just to make sure everything’s in order.

4) Get everyone some warm water and give the chickens a big handful of scratch. (We currently only feed scratch in the coldest part of winter for quick energy. That’s really its only nutritional value.)

5) Make sure all the eggs have been collected so they don’t freeze and crack overnight.

6) Run inside and then in place until the tea makes. And unwittingly crack the egg in your pocket in the process. Luckily, very fresh eggs have a pretty strong inner membrane still, so when this happens you just get to eat an egg right away. If you’re me.

Stay warm!