Sunday, June 20, 2010

How Our Garden Grows

This was our first full year having a garden here in Texas.  Chet had a small raised garden in Arizona, but nothing planted in the ground.  We had a fairly large area here so he planted a variety of things there to see what would grow. 

The zucchini grew to incredible sizes.  The peppers were perfectly sized for stuffing; tomatoes were nice, but probably not enough of them for Chet.  I asked for lots of onions, which I got - Texas sweet onions, green onions and some Vidalias, too, I think.  He didn't label them, so we're not sure what was planted where. 

The sweet corn and potatoes were disappointments.  The corn was very tasty, but only grew in very small ears.  Too little water, too many bugs??  The potatoes were extremely small - most no bigger than my thumb.  Not sure what happened there.  I know they didn't get in the ground on time because of the snowstorm in February.

We also got some nice green beans and shallots; some great head lettuce that got eaten quickly.  Had to get that harvested before the giant rabbit got it all.

We got lots of garlic, too, which is great because I use it a lot in cooking. We haven't seen any vampires here either, so I know it's working.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Critter Update

Our second attempt to hatch eggs under a hen failed as well.  We tried with a different brooding hen, a small Silkie-x, who was a fierce protector of her clutch.  She went for days without getting off the nest to eat or drink.  The problem came when she pooped on the eggs.  They were all covered with poo and were disgusting; too nasty to even try to clean up.  So, no baby chicks this year.

We had 2 of our 3 Silkie girls brooding and when they brood, they don't lay eggs, so aren't contributing to their room and board costs.  We put them on Craig's list and they went home with a guy looking for female companionship for his Silkie rooster.  We went and got 6 new Americaunas (Easter eggers) who lay the green and blue eggs.  They've been great layers so far.  So, the henhouse is full again, but it's been so hot production is down from everyone else.

We also sold 2 of our alpacas to a great lady who does Pyrenees rescue and trains them for livestock guardian work.  We're at 14 alpacas and the llama now.

Our own livestock guardians, Luke and Leia, have been quite a challenge in the last few months.  Between the 2 of them, they've been in trouble for barking at the alpacas, chasing the alpacas, escaping from the yard, and barking at nothing during the night.  Teenagers!!  They'll be a year old on July 1, so I'm hoping they'll settle down soon.