We took the agribond (cloth cover) off of some of the little hoop houses where we had some winter cabbage growing before Thanksgiving. And, there were still a few little heads hanging around, so the chickens got a real treat. As for the chickens, the four young pullets stay in the coop all day and mess up the laying nests. I am replacing the wood chips in the nests daily. I tried luring the little ones into a corner so I could catch them and put them outside. I was one for four. Other things growing--kale which went into my baked beans tonight and parsley, cilantro, thyme, and rosemary under agrib
last Saturday was an 'on-the-farm-day' all day! I love that--just drifting from one task to the next with no hurry or worry. It was a beautiful, sunny 50+ degree day, but we decided to turn the temperature up a notch or two by working in the greenhouse. I think it was a balmy, short-sleeve 60+ degrees inside. I turned the second compost pile and am anxiously waiting to see if the middle of the pile increases in temperature to assure that composting is going on.
This weekend Mark worked on the growing room-an 8' x 10' room inside our large metal building. This is where we will start seeds and do some initial transplanting. I got to assist with putting up the foil vapor barrier. We covered all of the walls and ceiling with this shiny foil that will keep moisture from the walls and reflect light for growing. I also had the not-so-pleasurable experience of tracking down the ammonia smell in the chicken coop-seems I hadn't raked the shavings in the corners for quite some time--the raking allows air to damp shavings. So, once the wet shavings were removed, the air is fresh again. Live and learn. We still have two distinct flocks of chickens. I hope they come together as one someday.....don't they know they are all created equal and this is Martin Luther King's birthday weekend.
We have had the four new additions to our flock for a little over a week. They still 'flock' together in two groups-the old group and the new group. I just hope the little ones are getting enough to eat--they seem healthy enough. The biggest disruption has been the nests. The pullets keep knocking all of the wood shavings out of the laying nests. We found eggs on the floor--none stepped on fortunately. I have moved two nests to the other side of the coop. Seems to help. The four layers continue to average at least eggs per day. I wonder when all eight will 'flock' together.
We had a visit tonight from Dale Croes, archaeologist for South Puget Sound Community College and member of the Thurston County Historical Commission. He is getting ready to present a paper on the George and Isabella Bush Family at the upcoming Association for African American Historical Research and Preservation (AAAHRP) Conference in Seattle on February 5. We have some artifacts like ox shoes and butternuts that will be used as part of the presentation. Dale's co-presenters are Shanna Stevenson, Washington State Historical Society and Roger Easton, Thurston County Historical Commission.
Mark found this very cool greenhouse kit from Hoophouse.com. Our son, Nate was with us for a few months and he helped Mark build the frame. I had the honor and pleasure of helping him put the plastic on today. We had gorgeous weather--cold and sunny and very little wind.
We kept the old and new girls separate last night, but today it was do or die in getting these two groups to get along. Two of the older hens (Peach and Rosie) turned out to be pretty mean--chasing and pecking the young ones. I just kept separating and putting them together throughout the day and am happy to report that tonight, the young ones are roosting on the left side of the coop and the old ones are in their traditional right side of the coop. Here's to hoping all goes well tomorrow because I am going back to work
This blog reflects the journey of Kathleen and Mark who have left suburbia to steward this historical property and transform the land back into a working farm.