Friday, February 20, 2009

Got Eggs?

Have you ever tasted an egg fresh from the hen that laid it? I'm lucky to have some friends who raise chickens, and now and then I get some fresh eggs, usually in trade for something that I have that they want-- like a bottle of homemade wine, or some venison trail bologna. (Don't knock it if you haven't tried it!)

But this fall I'll begin to have my own eggs from my own chickens. I've ordered a chicken coop to be delivered soon. (My DH is good at building, but short on time and patience, so I thought a ready-made coop was the way to go. Obviously, I'm not raising chickens for the money savings, but rather for the healthy eggs and the sense of independence, in some small way, from the grocery store/factory egg farms.)

I'll be raising Buff Orpingtons, a docile breed that is friendly and lays well in the wintertime.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Plans for the Veggie Garden

Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin' into the future. My blog post before this one bemoaned the fact that December was gone, and now January is gone, and half of February. Eek! (Happy Valentines Day, by the way!)

The huge piles of snow are gone here, finally, and despite the snow flurries we had today, I am cautiously optimistic about the coming of spring. My table is getting covered with piles of garden catalogs, and I've circled waaay more items than I have space or energy to plant. So I need to begin to edit. I love choosing-- editing, not so much.

My DH has promised to build me some more raised beds in the Taj-ma-garden (my fenced garden that is quite big, and only partly filled with beds.) My goal is to grow a lot more of our food this year, for lots of reasons. Food safety, food freshness, food variety (my grocery store carries very little in the way of fresh herbs and non-typical fruits and vegetables) fresh air and exercise, and just the satisfaction of growing it myself. Now if I can only afford a way to keep the deer from eating it all before I have a chance to pick it. (Deer fencing, while effective, can get mighty expensive when the area being fenced is as large as mine is.)

We have espaliered pear trees outside the fence along one long side of the garden, an asparagus patch on one short side, and a pair of hardy kiwi vines growing up the archway that marks the entrance to the second long side. This year I'd like to add blueberry bushes and some grapes to finish the outer border. (The second short side faces up to the garden shed and really doesn't have enough space to grow anything outside the fence.) I'll post some pictures as the season progresses.