Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Vegetable Garden Grows, The Chicks Roam, and The Dogs Get a Bath

Vermont Cranberry Beans
The first week of June was full of action in the vegetable garden. The Rouge d'Hiver heirloom lettuce is almost ready to pick for salad mix and I set up some supports for the peas, which are growing nicely. Green beans, Vermont cranberry beans, zucchini, butternut squash, pie pumpkins, and sunflowers have all popped up through the soil. I also purchased a few herb plants that are now residing in a container (basil, parsley, oregano, chives, rosemary).

Rouge D'Hiver Lettuce

Basil, Oregano, Parsley
    I broke my vow to buy no more seeds for the rest of the summer and bought a "Save the Bees Mix" packet of mixed flower seeds that, you guessed it, are supposed to attract bees. They're also pretty and will be good for cutting. I picked the seeds up on an whim while I was at Paris Farmer's Union buying tomato cages. I have two Romas in containers and six other tomato seedlings, four Moskvitch and two Red Pear heirloom cherry tomatoes. I also put one eggplant seedling in the same bed; luckily, the weather is supposed to be warm for the rest of the week, giving those nightshades a boost. The tomatillo seedlings looked a little iffy today, which bums me out because my mom has a killer salsa verde recipe I was hoping to make with my own tomatillos; maybe they'll recover.

Moskvich Tomato

Hopefully, these seedlings will fill out the tomato cages.
     The chickens are being their usual cute and amusing selves. I gave them a ton of free-range time this weekend, and have been letting them roam for a few hours before dark, after I get home from work during the week. I had a little scare when I noticed that only one of the chickens seemed to be growing a large comb on the top of it's head. I was worried she was going to turn out to be a rooster, but now I think the others are just a little behind. I couldn't find any definitive tests online to tell if she was a she or a he, but one site did say that by ten weeks it should be obvious if a chicken is a rooster. They are six weeks now so I should know for sure in about a month. If she does turn out to be a Rooster, I'll have to get rid of him, whether it's into my freezer or to another home. I don't have a separate place to put a rooster and I don't think my neighbors would appreciate the noise. 

     Finally, one of the "highlights" of the weekend was giving the dogs their summer bath. They don't particularly like it. Actually, they hate it and aren't at all cooperative about the whole process; there's lots of dragging and carrying of dogs, who alternate between being dead weight and 60lbs of struggling furry fury.  Thankfully, I have my husband to help, since it's definitely a two person job (one holds, one washes). We all end up drenched by the end of it and my shower gets clogged with hair, but we come out with clean doggies. Of course they give us the silent treatment and angry glares for a few hours, but they get over it. 

The Snuggler- Post Bath
     Between chickens, doggies, and veggies, I've got my hands full. I can only imagine what full-time farming will be like.

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