urban farm update: september 2011
Egad we have been busy. We still have dirt everywhere, but for good cause: we are digging trenches to upgrade water, sewer and add electrical, gas and sprinklers. That one sentence is hours of digging, yard-mapping, home-depot trips, cleaning, more digging, wheelbarrow + rock, teaching sons 'how-to' and more. But we are making progress.
Our backyard neighbors needed to bring big trucks through our yard for their remodel. Our benefit was: the company renovating their home hauled off piles of our broken up concrete and mountain of bamboo roots. Not having to haul it all our ourselves saved our backs and our pocket-books! Plus: they had to put down a good amount of crushed rock to drive on... which we are now using for our pathways. Love re-use, re-purpose!
Examples of our urban farm 'recycling re-purpose program': the crushed rock is lining in pathways, outlined by bricks from our old chimney. While digging we found large stones throughout the yard: they now circle the base of a tree in our front yard (which I filled with fresh dirt the other day and it looks lovely!). The dried up tree bamboo and, old plumbing pipes plus some forgotten rusted garden tools (hoes, rakes, shovels) are all used as trellises for my Sungolds, pumpkins and mixed squash.
My tomatoes are starting to turn red! And with recent hot weather: I am guardedly enthusiastic about the masses of tomatoes we get to eat---and can! (I already made two substantial batches of red tomato jam and yellow tomato jam). Currently showing promise: my corn, tomatillos, peppers and potatoes. Am planning to plant kale, chard and broccoli for the fall.
As for the chickens: they continue to grow (no eggs yet; we don't expect them until late fall) and eat and peck. Oh yes peck: we are learning play-by-play who is boss and what birds stick together (we have two 'sets' of BFF's). They are so hilarious to watch! My only complaint: they are in a temporary coop in our backyard (all dirt!). Somewhere on our long list of to-do's is build a beautiful coop, which will be alongside our house for easy viewing and access. (I keep threatening to build an outside 'bar' for martini-drinking-while-viewing these vastly entertaining creatures. Especially if you throw them some fennel).
While the chickens' favorite food is still fennel, there are no complaints and plenty of frenzy when we feed them: leftover polenta, wilted and/or dressed greens, watermelon rinds and corn on the cob. Coming soon: pictures of our 8 chickens, their names and 'status' in the pecking order.