Thursday, August 18, 2011

Blue ribbon beauty

Tonight we went and picked up our final member of the flock. We named her Persephone. She is a bantam Mille Fleur and is really a stunner. She recently showed and placed at the Dakota County Fair, but they weren't going to take her to the state fair.

We have been patiently looking for this breed all spring and summer so we were happy to find her on craig's list. We drove out to Rosemount to get her and it happened to be a few miles from the zoo, so we stopped there beforehand. We really packed it all in.

It's hard to tell her size from this picture, but compared to the other hens she is about 1/3 their size. Also hard to see are her feathery legs. More pictures to come.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Giving Tree 2011

We have decided to take a picture every year around Harriet's birthday at the apple tree to show how she has grown along with the tree. This year you can barely see the tree since we took it in the evening. Better luck next year I guess.

Lucky for us though, there are TONS of apples on it to enjoy soon. The tree is, quite literally, the gift that keeps on giving.

2011

2010

Friday, August 05, 2011

(A little past) Mid-summer update

The summer heat has slowed us down in the garden a bit lately, but here's what's been going on. Tomatoes galore. I think our 11 plants might have been too much, particularly the planting of multiple grape/cherry tomato plants that had the word 'million' in their variety name. Not to worry, we will eat them.

Pepper time. This is more Steve's domain, but we have a lot of peppers for salsa and pizza, which are about ready to pick. Some are the kind that look like jalapeno peppers, but actually aren't. Good for party tricks I guess.

Carrots! My short suit in veggie gardening is that I never have any idea when the optimal time to pick things is. I know I could count the days since the seeds germinated, but who has time for that. I always seem to pick things too late or too early. So, these look ready to pick soon (right?!?!).

Surprise! A zucchini or squash plant popped up in the flower garden. Just decided to go with it. Must have come from seeds from our compost-- seems like a logical explanation.

We have been talking about a water feature for a while. We debated making our own, but really we didn't want to rip out part of the garden to dig a hole for the water basin, blah blah blah, so this just seemed easier. It has a simple design and will aid in attracting birds to our backyard urban wildlife sanctuary. Ideally, I guess.

New addition to the front-- much needed gutters and also a rain chain. We decided to have a company put up the gutters after many annoying encounters with them at our old house. Now we can hold someone else accountable if they don't work properly. The rain chain works well and we are pretty excited about it. Just hoping the neighborhood metal scrappers aren't as excited about it too.

Chickens are getting bigger, but still no eggs and also nameless. They should start laying any day we keep telling ourselves.

Well you win some, you lose some. In this case- lose. We transplanted these raspberry plants from my dad's neighbor's garden. I didn't have high hopes since he ripped them out on a super hot day. Good thing my expectations were low. The raspberries we planted last year are still alive (see that smudge of green behind the brown stalks?), but I wouldn't say they are thriving.

I will leave you with this. A little slice of summer goodness.

Monday, August 01, 2011

"Brain Pickings is a human-powered discovery engine for interestingness, culling and curating cross-disciplinary curiosity-quenchers, and separating the signal from the noise to bring you things you didn’t know you were interested in until you are."