Thursday, May 15, 2014

Training tomatoes and teenagers

We are continuing to make great progress around here at the homestead and it feels great to get some major projects finished!  I am hoping to give an update soon on some of our progress.  For today...tomatoes and teenagers!

The garden is off to a great start this year.  Most years, after planting the garden, I forget about stuff for a few weeks while the seeds get started.  Then the weeds and the tomatoes get unruly!  So this year, I have convinced myself that I am going to be diligent about keeping the weeds under control.  I have also been working on training the tomatoes around stakes and in their cages.  Past crops have never been pruned or really managed, but we always got great yield, albeit unpredictable from year to year.  After some research, I have figured out how to prune both our indeterminate and determinate tomatoes to get the best yield and to keep the crazy plants out of control.  Training tomatoes...let's hope it works. 

Oh and we have teenagers...our chicks are not babies anymore!  They have been exploring the outdoor world in their run and it is quite amusing watching their curiosity bloom.  I still haven't given them all names yet, but we are getting there!  

I think I am going to call this one "Snoopy", she has her beak in everything!

This is "Scrappy" because from the get go she was the smallest, but the bravest!

Hubby made a seed growing frame for the chicken pen.  We have an Omega 3 greens seed blend and I planted it in the chick run.  Placing the frame over the seeds allows the seedlings to grow tall enough without allowing the chicks to mow it down!  It works great and the chicks love foraging on the top of the screen.  In a few days I will remove the frame and let them mow it down, then we will start over!  This gives the chicks some forage material while they continue to grow, until they are able to venture in to the yard!

Our other teenager, Gibson, is giving us quite the run around, keeping us busy and on our toes.  He is a joy to have around, but a lot of work.  Checking on the chickens is the favorite part of his day.  He does well with the adult chickens but is having a hard time adjusting to the chicks, they are so exciting!  He is learning to watch calmly and seems to understand the chicks are off limits but they are JUST SO FUN!

"Aw mom, can't I just play with one of them?"

 "oh, I am so bored with this...."

Next time: sheds, trees, jeeps and sandboxes!