Monday, July 21, 2014

New Fence and Monarchs!

Our front / side yard vegetable garden is doing well. the raised beds I brought with me from the old house are in, we've harvested a bit of food but I wanted to add a fence to the front area to divide it visually / screen it a bit for the neighbors sake.  As we all know, gardening ain't always pretty so I thought by adding a front fence it would help avoid any possible complaints from the neighbors. (Although seeing as how we bought the empty for years hoarders house the neighbors have been nothing but grateful that we've fixed up the place and we get compliments every week from our neighbors)

So we were at the new Starbucks Drive through and saw some great landscape and fencing panels.  My hubby said he could build it and he did.  Now normally that could be a period of months or years before he feels like getting it done, but this time he had it done in a few hours! Wow!

So here's the new fence.  He used pressure treated lumber since the color and thickness was right and sunk the posts in some quickset concrete.  I love how it turned out

View from the front

View from the Back after we planted milkweed, bay laurel, sedum, etc. and added more bark nuggets to give it a finished look

And look here, just a few weeks later and my milkweed plant is being decimated in a good way by monarchs!  There are at least 30 of them on the plant and it doesn't look very pretty anymore but I can't wait to see the butterflies!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Garden Update Spring 2014

More garden goodness

Artichokes-they are perennial here in Zone 10 but the Santa Ana winds have been pushing them over, so I have plates under the plants kind of propping them up. I think I'll add rocks and gravel around their base to help anchor them from the wind

Annie over the Dragonfly built me these two potted arrangements a few years ago and they are still going strong.  I give the pot a haircut every 8 weeks or so in the spring / summer and less frequently in winter but it's always trying to escape the pot :)

Dusty Miller, Pink Polka Dot Plant, Chocolate Mint, Rosemary all getting lush and full

Late Winter Cabbage, definitely had a few cabbage worms that I had to hunt down and squish!

But we still ate a lot of coleslaw, next year Saurkraut

Kale has gone gangbusters this year!

Our sod is recovered from the horrors of chemicals

And my best friend in the garden :) MooPooTea from Annie Haven

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Chicken Salad Bar 3 Month Update

My hubby built me a Chicken 'Salad' Bar out of scrap lumber and chicken wire a few months ago and here is an update on how it worked.

I used the Omega 3 Forage seed mix from Peaceful Valley and scattered seeds under the wire and watered for a few days.  It grew quickly and very lush and the chickens enjoyed it for about 6-8 weeks before it needed re-planting.  I moved it out of the area, let them dig up the remaining plants and just re-planted it.  I love this because it is a great way for them to get fresh greens when they are locked up in Chicken Park.

The outside of the chicken salad bar is surrounded with random bricks and it is about 6 inches tall which is perfect.  We tried it about 2 inches off the ground but the chickens weight smashed the wire down and they ate the roots of the plants quickly, so lesson learned on that one!

Saturday, June 14, 2014


Still working away here getting things in order in the garden.  We're coming up on almost 12 months here and so much work and care has gone into pulling this place into shape.

Thanks to the miracle of MooPooTea  and Gypsum, my sandy, salty, chemical laden, disgustingly full of broken glass and pottery soil is starting to let things grow.

Brewing up the MooPoo Tea from Annie Haven, this is a miracle worker and I can't say enough good things about, organic, cheap, easy, you name it! It's my go-to defense and fertilizer for my entire garden

After a few trials and errors we realized belatedly that the previous owner had managed to keep everything to 'dirt' by spraying on a TON of full on bad stuff like Round up, a pre-emergent, and loads of SALT!  (What the heck!) etc.  So no seeds would sprout if put directly in the soil AT ALL.  We invested in sod for a part of the back-yard and it died faster than anything I've ever seen.

That's when we became Gypsum fanatics.  We read that gypsum will bind up salts and other pesticides sprayed onto land then let it wash away so my husband became throwing gypsum over all of the soil.  In the last 6 months I've been able to plant directly in the soil and see results from seed, yippee! My anemic plantings are becoming lush!

On another interesting note, I've discovered that if you dust an area with Gypsum and do not water it in, it will dehydrate and kill anything in its path.  This is a very useful discovery because we had some runner grass creeping in to my vegetable garden and it is now decimated once sprinkled with Gypsum.

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Rooster

Oh we had a Mr. Chicken visit us a few months ago, our neighbor came over to tell us that a rooster was on the run down the street thinking that it would be ours since we're the 'chicken people' wasn't ours, all our girls were accounted for.  Hubby jumped in the car, chased down the rooster and tossed it in the trunk and drove it home.  This poor pitiful rooster was in bad shape, very skittish, flaky skin, just looked like he had a tough life.  He stayed here for a couple of days before he went to live at our local feed store. It was the first time the ladies had seen a rooster, they were twitter-pated!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Rosy Ruffles My Newest Hen Addition

It's been a while since I posted! Um, yes a little over a year and so much has changed and so much stays the same.  I moved, started another urban farm six miles from my old urban farm which is now happily rented out to a family with a green thumb :)

So I started over with more land, this time with a city lot that was used for 50 years by a hoarder.  As in every time I put the shovel in the ground I become an archeologist, unearthing treasures as in lots of broken glass, pots, cement, random bricks, knives and bones(!?)  Seriously!

I have just recently adopted a new hen from her old owners who were stealth chicken keepers in Newport Beach and got busted.  Here's my newest little girl :
Rosy Ruffles lays pale tannish pink eggs and has a ruffled comb, hence her name

Friday, December 7, 2012

Homestead Survival: Black Soldier Fly Composter / Automatic Chicken Fe...

I want to make one of these....

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