Sunday, August 4, 2013

Adventures in Gardening {& Chicks} ~ Reflections & Updates

I almost titled this post "End of Summer Reflections" because I head back to my second full time job next week (first full time job: wife & mommy ~ second full time job: teacher) it is kind of the end of summer for me.  I can't believe how quickly it flew by!  The girls and I have had all kinds of fun together.  We gardened, we crafted, we played, we got was delightful, and I'm so thankful for it all.  

{This was supposed to be my weekly Instagram photo roundup, but I decided to focus on our garden and chicks because that's where we spend all of our time these days.} 

Our sunflowers are finally blooming!  It is one of the most cheerful things to plop a fresh cut sunflower into a cute bottle and leave it on the kitchen counter to spread its joy.  It just makes me all kinds of happy.

The carrots are coming along, too.  

The cucumbers are still coming in full force.  And we finally have squash!

So far from our "Happy Foods" garden, we've eaten cucumbers, lettuce, carrots, swiss chard, basil, and squash.  I was hoping for more, but I can definitely be happy with that...I'm still learning.  {Note to self for next year: plant fewer cucumber seeds and more tomatoes and beans.}  My tomatoes are suffering from some kind of disease.  They never really did well, which is really disappointing.  I don't care for tomatoes, but my guy loves them, so I had several plants just for him...and none of them did well.  {sigh}

My first basil plant is rocking.  The picture above is from a cutting I took of the original plant.  And below is another cutting for a new plant.  I will have two new plants taken from the first one which is still growing strong.  I just love basil.  The taste, the smell, all of it. 

I'm hoping to have a fall garden with some cool weather crops.  I'm thinking spinach, salad mix, beets, broccoli (we planted broccoli in the spring, but the creepy crawlies ate it before we could), garlic...and I'm not sure what else.  Do you plant a garden in the fall?  What do you grow?  {On a side note, I think seed packets are just lovely.}

I'm not a big shopper (unless you count online...Amazon is my best friend).  I actually loathe shopping for clothes and having to try things on...I just do.  Don't judge.  But send me into a garden or feed store...I may never leave.  I had to stop one day this week and pick up more chick feed for my growing girls and saw this beautiful thing:

Oh yes, beautifully aged whiskey barrel, I have a place for you!  I'm thinking about planting a rose bush in it...we'll see.  For now, I just like to look at it.

Speaking of Amazon and online shopping, I bought a new book about incorporating chickens into the garden and landscape, which is what I'm hoping to do eventually.  The pictures are gorgeous, and it's full of great information.  One of my friends was asking for convincing points to help persuade her hubby to get chickens.  So far, these are my points:  Chickens are so entertaining (I could watch the chicks for hours...who cares about dishes and laundry).  Chickens eat bugs (in fact, this winter, I want to let them scratch up the garden beds and remove as many pests as they can find).  They provide great fertilizer, and of course, the incredible, edible egg.  Now, I love my dogs, but they don't do any of that.  Just sayin' ;)

The chicks are growing and bouncing around, and their little feathers are coming's adorable.  But it also means we the hubby has to finish their coop-a-loopa because he's not going to let them stay in the house forever...although, at this point, I probably would.  

He's doing such a great job.  Seriously, if I was in charge of this...well, that would be a disaster.  I am perfectly content to snap pictures, carry tools, and fetch lemonade while he does his thing.  We have no plans or blueprints.  I found a couple of coop pictures that I liked online, showed them to him, and he's just kind of thinking it up as he goes...there will probably not be a DIY post on coop building because I don't have a clue.  I just know that it has to be predator proof...and cute. 

 Because we sure have gotten attached to these chicks! 

Rapunzel ~ our Buff Orpington (2 weeks)

Juliet ~ my Silver Laced Cochin with her adorable feathered legs (2 weeks)

Diamond ~ a Barred Rock {look at those little feathers coming in} (2 weeks)

I think instead of referring to this girlie as the munchkin, I will call her my chicken whisperer.  She is holding Rapunzel, Sophie (an Australorp), and Diamond.

This is probably my favorite photo from the week ♥

And it is quite possible that three new chicks showed up for me at my post office this week.  I'm quite sure I have no idea how that happened...{that's my story, and I'm stickin' to it}

Molly, Giggles, & Layla ~ our little easter eggers (3 days old) 

Favorite quotes from the week:

My Mom:  "I can't wait to see what you do with all that chicken poop!"
Me:  Seriously?  I used to muck out horse stalls for fun.
Mom:  "Oh did."
I got this!

My husband after walking in on me sitting in the floor watching the chicks: "You're worse than the girls, you know that."  That is highly likely.

This is not related to gardening or the chicks, but it was still a great quote.  My six year old sometimes argues with me about having to brush her teeth:  "Well, if I was a little orphan girl living in the jungle, how would I brush my teeth?!"  Nice try little cutie.

If you want to read more about the first week with our chicks and how I prepared (great links I found and chick supplies), see this post:

Adventures With Chicks ~ Week 1

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you had a great week :)

@alilivi on Instagram

{It's a little late this week, but I'm sharing this post with these lovely ladies}

life rearranged

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  1. wow that is a beautiful hen house. We just got 4 new hens this weekend. right now the peaking order is being established. We are trying to figure out a winter garden here. I'm hoping to grow some lettuce and greens. wait and see.

  2. It will take me a while to catch up but what a joy for your place to be one of my first stops. Your pictures make me smile and your obvious warm heart is so very touching. Love your newest additions! :)
    Blessings to you Amanda.