Friday, March 25, 2011

Seedlings and Rare Breed Chickens

Tomato and Onion Seedlings
         I am very excited to announce that the seeds I planted two weekends ago are popping up! Time to get bulbs into the grow light. Onions were the first to make an appearance, followed by Moskvich tomatoes and tomatillos. There’s no sign of the celery, eggplant, or squash, but a quick Google search revealed that the eggplant seeds need more heat to germinate than tomatoes, so I’m not sure what I’m going to do about that. I may have to wait it out.
Tomato Seedlings
         Also, I thought I’d forgotten to order a cherry tomato this year, but one came in the mail today so I guess I rememb­­ered. Black-out episodes of seed buying makes it seem like I’ve got a problem or something. Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a package of heirloom Red Pear Cherry Tomatoes from High Mowing Organic Seeds. I started them along with Sarian Strawberries from Johnny’s Selected Seeds, some Oriental Poppies that were given to me by a sales rep at work, and an heirloom White Italian Sunflower, also from High Mowing Organic Seeds. The poppies and sunflowers are going into my flower cutting beds so I can have fresh cut flowers in the house all summer. Since my office is now home to about 42 peat pots and a 36 cell flat of seeds and seedlings, I should probably stop seed starting or run the risk of taking over other rooms in the house and needing to buy another grow light. I just need spring to show up in full force so the snow will melt and I can start getting beds ready.
          On another note, my mom recently ordered some Chantecler chicks from a company in Vermont. The Chantecler chicken is a rare and endangered breed, native to Canada, that is supposed to be cold hearty (important since I live in Maine), and good for both laying and meat. We’ll be doing our part to continue the breed. Since she isn’t allowed to have chickens where she lives, my mom will be keeping them at my house. Yay for me! She’s on the self-sufficiency train as well, so this is a big step for us towards being more self-reliant. We’ll have our own eggs, meat, and veggies this year. I’m particularly happy about the eggs because I haven’t been able to buy them at the supermarket since the salmonella scare months ago (thank God for farmers’ markets). The coop is being delivered soon, and then we’ll be off to pick up chicks J To learn more about Chantecler chickens, check out the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC) website.

Chantecler Pullet
Picture from


  1. I grew up with this breed of chicken.

  2. They're supposed to be good for cold weather- a good thing since it appears winter will never end here.