Sunday, June 12, 2011

Forgive me SFGers for I have fallen off of the wagon.

I have a confession to make. I am no longer SFGing. Well, I guess I am, but I'm SFGing only a few plants. I planted a big old fashioned garden this spring. But despite all the weeding I'm having to do, I'm really enjoying it. In February/March of this year my brother-in-law and sister-in-law moved to The Woodlands, and after their trailer was moved we had a huge gaping hole in our land (and our hearts). Rather than drive by that empty lot every day and be reminded that they were gone, we decided to take advantage of the clear spot and turn it into a traditional garden plot. We hired someone to come till it up with the tractor (after we spread semi-composted chicken manure and pine shavings over the plot), and boy did that dirt powder up nicely.

The new garden spot

Nice and soft

The weekend after the garden spot got tilled, we got busy planting - tomatoes, corn, squash, zucchini, green beans, black eyed peas, spinach, sugar snap peas, and potatoes.

The Brawn using the high wheel cultivator. I really want a wheel hoe, but maybe next season...

Getting some help in the garden from my brother and his gf

We are still using some of the things we learned while SFGing. We are trellising our tomatoes and sugar snap peas.

So far I'm pleased with the output of our traditional garden. That was one of my biggest complaints with SFG. I didn't get the yield that I wanted out of my garden space. I like that with my traditional garden I have enough produce to share with friends and family, and I wasn't able to do that with my SFG. Of course, I guess I could have made more boxes, but that would have been pretty expensive.

Here are some pictures of our harvests so far this year:

I'm still SFGing my strawberries and more recently - herbs. For mother's day my wonderful hubby built a lovely raised cedar planter box for his mom, so she could have an herb garden. She'd been hinting for months that she'd like a herb garden, so we figured Mother's Day was a pretty good ocassion for that.

My m-i-l's herb garden

After The Brawn finished with his mom's box, I asked him to convert my 12" box to a herb garden. He put 36" legs on it, and voila! we have fresh herbs just steps away from our kitchen window. (Well, technically it's closer to the bedroom window.) My herb garden isn't as pretty as my mother-in-laws, but I don't own a bed and breakfast like she does, so it doesn't have to be as aesthetically pleasing. Plus I'm a cheapskate and we already had a 12" SFG box that wasn't being used. And the chickens are currently the only ones who see my makeshift herb garden anyway. :)

My herb garden

Speaking of the chickens they are doing well in spite of our sweltering heat. I currently own 3 Silkies, 3 Delawares, 3 New Hampshire Reds, 2 Rhode Island Reds, and 3 Welsummer pulletts. I also have 7 Easter Eggers that we hatched out right here. Two of my Silkies are currently raising 5 Welsummer chicks and 2 Welsummer/Ameraucana chicks. I have a broody Delaware sitting on 7 (maybe 8. can't remember for sure) eggs from assorted hens covered by a Welsummer roo, a broody Silkie sitting on 7 Welsummer eggs, and in the incubator I have 16 Ameraucana and 6 Welsummer eggs due to hatch on June 27.

I'm hoping to have chicks coming out my ears here in a couple of weeks, but as I've never used an incubator before and the Ameraucana eggs were shipped from Washington I don't know how many will actually hatch. I need to candle the eggs, but I haven't done so yet.

Below are some pictures of the Hokey Pokey Hen House and its residents:

The Hokey Pokey Hen House

Delaware pullet

Everyone loves watermelon

Welsummer chick hiding under its Silkie mama's wing

Peek a boo

So that's a very brief summation of what's been happening around here the past 9 months or so. I've got oodles more pictures of chicken stories I could post, but I'll probably save those til next year when I post again. :)


  1. The Woodlands, TX? I use to live there. Loved it! Your chickens are too cute! And your produce looks beautiful! However a garden works best, at least you are doing it! What comes out of it is what counts!

  2. I too have moved on from sq ft gardening. It was a good idea, just did not work for me. Couldn't grow anything but tomatoes so this year I have switched to homemade self watering buckets. I live in the Tx panhandle and we are in the middle of the worst drought since 1800's plus we are already having weather in the 100's so I am hoping the self watering buckets save water and produce veggies! Yours are lovely. I enjoyed seeing your photos