We're way behind on our Garden Journal, as it should be this time of year. Means we are in the Garden. Of course, we are also in the Studio a lot. We make our living as full time professional artists and just as the Spring Plantings are going in, the Spring Festivals need work! So, busy, busy!
Got our asparagus beds all weeded out and remulched, as well as the upper beds cleared. This is the fourth year with asparagus beds, however, we had trouble in the beginning, and haven't gotten a good harvest yet. Hoping the 4th year is the charm, as long as the bitter cold winter didn't kill them.
Warm weather and the potatoes had to go in.
The weather also meant the rest of the plastic "green house" covering over the chicken run off. It worked great and we will store it carefully for next winter. We supported it on scrap wood frames.
Warm spring weather and April showers mean flowers. So, we are cutting for indoors.
Spring also means frosts and tender plants! So we sometimes cover the blueberries with old flannel sheets and taps, and the delicate flowers with buckets.
Of course, the variable temps mean all sorts of new life coming forth. Our first salamander of the season.
During cleaning, we found an old seed source. A garland of marigolds from 1988. A special gift from teacher in a Hindu Temple, during a time spent studying there. It's been dried and stored all these years, so we will see if we can get any to germinate. They are likely large lion mane type species.
Everyone loves the warm days. Our young pullet hens, chicken littles we call them, are getting some excercise time in a play pen paddock while waiting for their grow out coop and run to be built next to the Chicken Bigs. Our young Girl Child Little is getting some sun and some chicken little time with a Buff Orphington in the lap. They are known to be a breed with lots of cuddle, and it makes her very happy.
Good warm weather means compost turning. On the left is the bit I turned a couple of weeks ago. Turning it into the one on the right, and adding some carbon. Collecting masses of earth worms from it while doing so, in the white bucket, to feed the chickens of various sizes.
Every one is out enjoying spring. The Blue Jay couple is building a nest in our pines. We can watch them studio windows. So we put out a basket of nesting materials. Always use all natural, bio-degradable materials. We use hair from our brushes, some unspun wool and some hemp & sisal cordage. They haven't taken us up much on the offer. Some birds will, others...not so much. Jays are flighty. Pun intended.
Spring certainly means lovely sunsets.
Of course, Spring means Easter, and we found where the local Easter Bunny finds the eggs. In the Chicken Coop of course!
Naturally, we did some natural egg dying.
Sometimes the eggs aren't so pretty! Found one of the only few malformed eggs ever from our chickens. This one was under the roost, where she must have accidentally laid it while sleeping. It wasn't fully shelled yet. It happens.
The back corner behind our main coop and run. It was left empty on purpose as part of our expansion plan. Adding a Grow Out Coop and new run area, by roofing it, and wiring it in.
On the day we set the corner post for the addition, our daughter took a tumble on stone steps, carrying a basket of four eggs from the Chicken Bigs. She was ok, if bruised, and all the eggs were shattered. We scooped them up and used them in a traditional cornerstone type offering to the construction. So, four eggs and a small measure of our end of the day beers when into the hole! We like the rhythm and relationship to such traditions, and tend to incorporate them into our lives.
Step one, build the back wall and hang the rafters. We will write up the whole coop build in detail one day. So here it is getting started. We bought new rafters of 2x4 treated, but walls were pallets and all other lumber is re-purposed. We spend as little as possible on coops to make the eggs cost efficient.
The back wall is North, and built of pallets. Over that goes a 2 foot wide section of 1/2 inch grid, with half buried in the the footer trench. Over that goes tar paper, and then ply. Stones and soil fills the trench.
We did the a similar process to make our main coop and run. Pretty good looking.
Everyone enjoying the sun. Rosie the Cat of Three Colors is enjoying her cat grass as well.
Spring is in the air here. Tomatoes are busy growing on our bedroom seed rack. Also pallet built. It will still be a while before they can go in. Our final frost is May 15th...give or take. However, there is lots to do before then, and not nearly enough time to do it all.