Sunday, March 8, 2009


Yesterday morning, Dad picked up some baby chicks and we set up the nesting box for them. I'm not a huge fan of birds-as-pets for whatever reason, but there is something undeniably cute about these little balls of fluff. Plus, keeping chickens is relatively easy for big rewards, if you're a fan of eggs, and you can do it in suburbia so long as you don't keep roosters.

They're about 4 days old now, and they'll grow really fast. By mid-April, they should be ready to go into the coop.

It was in general a pretty farm-like day. Once the chicks were settled, Dad and I tied up the peas (harder than it sounds, mostly because of the amount of squatting and stooping required), prepped a new plant bed, and transplanted some vegetables from their pots in the greenhouse: collards, beets, swiss chard, and some volunteer carrots. (Volunteer meaning Dad doesn't know where the seeds came from - they were just kind of growing there.) E will be happy to know I also planted that sprouted garlic that he's been wondering about.

And after that, I trimmed back the grape vines - a bit late in the season for it, but they hadn't started sprouting yet, so hopefully no harm done. And when I say I trimmed them, I mean, after gently sounding Dad out about it - he's more of a "let the plants do what they want" than a "manicured garden" kind of guy - I pretty much hacked them back to the main trunks. (He'd said I should do whatever I wanted! Honest.) So it will be interesting to see what that does for fruit production - if the grapes spend too much energy maintaining canes they don't do as much in the fruit department. Last year there wasn't much and the birds got most of it. This year, we'll see.

It was a beautiful day - cool, but quite warm enough while working in the sun that I left my sweater behind. It was really nice to be outside after all the rain we've been having.

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