Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The chickens, update on garden stuff

I promised chickens and here they are.  Partner has named the front two Nellie and Jessie.  He's named the other two but I can't remember their names, nor which one is which anyway.  I can tell those two apart because one is slightly smaller and blonder, and the other is speckled.  Franklin loves going into their fence and following them around.  They don't mind at all.

Though my sister has been and gone, I wanted to brag about her big accomplishment during her visit:  she cut down a tree!
Here she stands on the trunk at the end of the day.  Notice the hand saw.  This tree was cut down by hand.  My sister's hand, mostly.  She took off all the main branches and then the next day Partner got the hand-held power saw (not a chainsaw) and cut down the trunk.  Let me point out this tree was not planted;  it's an elder and they spring up everywhere as a weed, and if left to grow, will end up a tree.  An ugly, hugely prolific, extremely soft-wooded tree.

The space, approximately 4' x 8', was completely taken over by the tree and had been used as a dumping ground by previous owners (after pulling out the fourth broken plastic basket from underneath all the rubble, I asked Partner, "What was wrong with these people?  Why couldn't they just use the bin like everyone else?!").  The task seemed overwhelming, but after a group effort, a lot of it was cleared out and I even planted my runner beans in the newly sunny spot.  What we'd assumed was a four foot high mound of trash was actually a 3.5 foot high mound of dirt under a layer of trash.  We now think it started life as a compost heap.

When those runner beans finish at the end of the year, we'll clear it out to ground level and incorporate it into the rest of the garden.  I'm thinking raspberry bushes.  It's a private little spot with the garage on one side, a wall at the front, and next door's shed on the other side. 
Elsewhere in my garden, I've planted peppers and tomatoes in pots and half reside under my "cold frame" (aka the shower door). 
My remaining tomatoes are in the ground under my other "cold frame";  I know it looks unprofessional, but it works--promise!  I took this photo a month ago;  since then, the bed in front (where that carpet is) was planted with broccoli which have shot up like rockets. 

Oh and I'm saving those elder logs for a hugelkulture bed later this year.  I'm really excited to try it out--I've been hinting to Partner we should cut down the other three elders on the edge of our property so I can use those logs too.

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