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Favorite Chicken Breeds

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Every winter I look forward to the chicken catalogs. I love flipping through, looking at the pictures, reading the descriptions and figuring out what I’d get if I had infinite money and space. Sadly I find both of those things in short supply so I have to cut back on my list. If you’ve ever found yourself in the same position you know my pain. I know how confusing it can be to settle on one, or a few chicken breeds so I asked a few of my blogger buddies what their number one chicken pick would be and why.

Favorite Chicken Breed - Chicken Scratch NY - Brahma

Just for fun we’ll start with my favorite. I absolutely adore my Brahmas. They’re a heavy breed and they do fantastically through our harsh winters, they’re SO FLUFFY and they have small combs so frostbite isn’t much of a concern. My ‘main man’ is a large Brahma and judging from the fact that all the chicks we hatch out are at least 1/2 Brahma (despite there being multiple Orpington roosters) he’s doing his job. They’re all very friendly and curious, even my rooster is a sweetie pie. [Read more…]

Cackle Hatchery Surprise Box – 6 Weeks Old

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Our surprise babies are 6 weeks old and I thought I’d share how they were doing. If you follow me on Facebook you might have seen some of their baby pictures!

Cackle Hatchery Surprise Box - Day 1
The Cackle Hatchery Hatchery’s Surprise box is basically an unknown quantity of poultry where you get at least 40 birds, when I was reading about it I saw that some people get ducks or turkeys in their boxes but we weren’t that lucky. [Read more…]

Saffron Prep – The Bed

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We’re trying Saffron again! The first round was a few years ago and it didn’t survive the chickens. I ordered 100 saffron crocus bulbs from Fedco, the ordering deadline is August 15th so hurry up if you’re in the market for some!

This time we’re planting it in it’s very own bed that’ll be over-planted with direct seeded annuals during the summer. Saffron crocuses bloom in the fall and the whole show takes place September-November. The bulbs are set for delivery after Labor day so the bed will be empty until then and leaving soil open is never a good plan so we’ll be filling in with a cover crop for now. The crocus won’t mind and a frost killed annual is the perfect bedfellow. No digging means no viciously murdering disturbing the bulbs with a shovel.

4x4 Perenial Veggie Beds
The box is 4×4 and will be placed next to the other 4×4 boxes we have set up for perennials in the vegetable garden. In the far corner of the garden I have a large L-shaped bed of asparagus, a 4×4 currently planted with leeks (it was strawberries but they didn’t survive the neglect, next year it will be horseradish), another 4×4 with Jerusalem artichokes and finally the new bed.  You can see the JA behind Alfie and the new bed behind that one. This one will have 1/2 hardware cloth across the bottom, the others don’t. It’s basically a giant version of the DIY Compost Sifter so I won’t rehash those instructions. [Read more…]

Tomato Cage Caterpillar House

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DIY Tomato Cage Caterpillar House

A few years ago my sister and her friend went to camp a came home with a box full of Monarch caterpillars. We raised them in a large tub covered with bug net, filling it up with fresh milkweed everyday until they formed dozens of chrysalises (I had to look that one up, thought it might my chrysali but it’s not) and finally turned into a whole flock of monarch butterflies. We released them all after their wings has hardened and let me you, being surrounded by a swarm of dozens of fluttering monarchs is beyond words. The tub worked but since you had to remove the top it got tricky once they started pupating.  [Read more…]

Last Minute Garden Crops

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With the calender quickly turning to August you might think you’re out of time for new plantings. But with a few quick crops you can fill in those empty garden spaces and your dinner plate before the season winds down.

Last Minute Crops for a Fall Harvest
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