Monday, March 31, 2014

The Farm Update

We are making progress on our "farming" plans.  You know we're not on a farm, right?  We're just using the land we have for a garden and chickens...but compared to life in Southern California, it's a farm.  And we live among a lot of farmers, so it works for us.

First, the garden.  I started a lot of tomatoes in cups.  Some might say too many tomatoes.  The little guys have been incubating in the laundry room under a fluorescent light, and they grew faster than I thought they would (there's still 5 weeks until last frost!)  I think they will be ready to plant in 2 weeks--but that's too early--so I put them in larger pots.

This is about five or six days after planting.

Here they are three weeks after planting.  We put about 4 seeds in each cup, then clipped the smaller ones so there were two plants in each cup...

...Then I divided most of them so there was one plant in each larger pot...

...then I didn't have enough pots so I just stuck two plants in one larger pot.

And here they are, back in their nest.  I had planned to start some peppers this weekend, but didn't make time.  Thankfully many of the other plants I want to start inside (squash, watermelon, pumpkin) only need a few weeks before they are planted outside.

This is what I'm dreaming of (our tomatoes at the end of June one year).  Just keeping the goal in mind!

And then there's the chicken coop!

Tom contemplating the floor he just built.  It's 8' x 8', so enough for about 16 chickens.  He's recently had the idea of building a second story (chickens don't need tall ceilings) so we might eventually have a few more than 16.  But I think we'll start with just 5 or 6 this summer and see how it goes.

The men posing with the first wall.

The third wall is up!

Tom is doing a great job designing and building the coop, and using free wood from construction sites and materials from the reuse store.  Our mantra is, "Hey, it's just a chicken coop!" but Tom is still building it to last.  He had a muscle spasm in his back last week, so that made the construction process grind to a halt...but he's feeling better so we hope to make more progress this week.  It's fun to go out after dinner and work for an hour or two on the coop...slow and steady.

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