Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Chicken Ark and other stuff...

At last, the chicken tractor is here! We just need a few finishing touches (chicken wire around the whole thing, for one).

Dad is the carpenter. He made some vague plans from a book come to life, and we are all grateful. Of course I worked on it, but I'm not going to pretend I did any of the higher-order carpentry. I got more practice using a saw and a drill--both skills I've used many times since we moved here. I remain impressed with the ingenuity required to build something from scratch. Dad is proud. When we carried it from his barn to mine today he must have said, "It sure looks good" six times.

It has a ladder that we can pull up and down...

...and the coop/roost part where we'll get the eggs (chicken expert speaking)-- that part at the top opens...

So how cool is that? Right now, the chicks are hanging out in their rubber bin, but they are growing so fast. Meet Marie Curie, Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein, and Doctor Emmett Brown (also a female). And no, we can't tell them apart by looks yet. I took this picture yesterday and I swear they've changed significantly since then.

That's the chicken ark! I promised other stuff.

Tomato varieties this year include:

  1. Brandywine Black (our favorite) 
  2. Brandywine (which is a potato leaf variety--a non-starter for seed saving) 
  3. Nyagous, 
  4. Japanese Trifele 
  5. Black from Tula  
  6. Mortgage Lifter
  7. Beefsteak (I realize there are many, this was what the original seed packet said)
  8. Aunt Ruby's (green when ripe-that will be interesting)

and I think I'm forgetting something. Oh, I had a salad in Santa Fe with some cute green striped cherry heirlooms (I think "zebra," but I'm not sure) from Trader Joe's. I saved those seeds and I have sprouts, but who knows whether they will be true or revert. I can't believe that's it! It's late, but I've still got seeds for Bloody Butcher (a bloody potato leaf) and Black Krim.

Lots of peppers, too. Beets and radishes, arugula, asparagus, rhubarb, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, ... and I am running out of steam. I was out playing in the dirt and sunshine half the day. The other half, I was sorting through  many voices weighing in on the current "crisis in psychiatry" --a discussion I waded into last week. Guess which part I enjoyed more?