Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Cultivating, inch by inch, row by row

I changed the photo at the top of my blog today to that of one single organically-grown strawberry in our new garden on our farm. It looks pristine and perfect, and it is, but not without an enormous effort. :) This new strawberry bed has been prepped (cultivated) over and over, weeded over and over, the blossoms picked off these 50 first year plants over and over with a few that still escaped my attention and went on to actually become this one gorgeous berry, giving us a preview of our hopes for a huge harvest next year!

Now we need to finish the fencing around this bed, which also contains our 50 rhubarb plants, 50 asparagus plants, and the additional tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and corn that could not fit into our other family garden (because of rotational space needs). We have already found turtles, which love strawberries, and if the deer find this garden and chow down on everything before we get that fence up and electrified, that will be a very sad day. We have been stopped by rain, rain, rain and the need to finish the first attempt at a chicken coop in order to get our chicks out of the garage.

Time to get outside (now, since more rain and thunderstorms are predicted for this afternoon) so here are just a few photos of the chicks and Phoebe, their guard dog:

The coop with the 8 chicks (1 rooster and 7 little red hens) all nestled in a pile together underneath their nighttime roosting spot. 

The chicks exploring their new home. After they have had a few days to get used to their home, when they start putting themselves 'to bed' each night in their coop, then they will be able to become free-range again. 

The chicks free-ranging in one of their favorite spots, kicking the leaves underneath an oak tree.

All 8 chicks are there somewhere, with the white rooster clearly visible.

Phoebe on break from guarding the chicks, hopping in my car while getting its first inside cleaning since we bought the farm

Phoebe doing guard duty. The chicken coop is just to the left out of sight in this photo. She comes running if she hears a bit of a distress call from a chick. She frightens them herself with her exuberance and herding instincts, but she is 'on guard!' She throws herself into the air if a hawk or vulture flies over our farm. I don't expect she will ever catch one, but she lets them know this is a 'no-fly zone' in her view. 

PS - I started a new tag with this post - Chickens!

Cultivate your life (even the same spot, over and over) - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row,

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

1 comment:

lookinout said...

I really like the idea of the dog guarding the chicks. Too cool!