Friday, April 30, 2010

Making Progress

Our yard doesn't even look organized yet, but it is definitely coming along. For one thing we were finally able to mow the yard. Our lawn mower blew up last time we tried to start it and it took a couple days at the local machine shop to fix it up right.

The backyard looked like a jungle when we first moved in
backyard jungle

But then Mike from the farm came over and tilled it up for us to prepare for planting
freshly tilled backyard

We are lucky to have a nice enclosed porch that gets a lot of sun. Today it was 82 and it was steamy in there. Great for the plants! I originally had the plants all over the floor in there.

But I worried they weren't getting enough light, so hubby donated a shelving unit from his "man cave" (our pole barn) to give the plants some help
the plants getting some sun

I am already seeing the signs of things to come
blueberry flowers
Blueberry flowers are beautiful :)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Our Menagerie

As part of our (mine and my husband's) goals to be more self sufficient we wanted to keep a small flock of laying hens to provide us with fresh eggs. Last week we went to the farm and picked out 5 beautiful young hens to add to our household.
sleeping chicks

Three days later we picked up our two kittens. I picked these sisters out when they were just a day old and I have had the pleasure of visiting them once a week for the last 10 weeks to watch them grow so I couldn't wait to pick them up and bring them to their new home.
This is what they looked like at 3 weeks old
Reese closeup
my litter box is all the way down there

These in addition to my 5 year old rabbit
My Bun!

Our home is FILLED with the sounds of these bundles of joy. I have my rabbit cage in the library, the chickens brooding in a large box in our living room and the cats confined to the upstairs until the chickens are old enough to go outside in the coop
chicken coop

I have these fantasies all day at work of coming home and having the chickens swarm around my hands when I drop some feed into their bowl and the kittens jumping in my lap and purring when I go upstairs to check on them. Instead I get the chickens running away from me

And the cats play fighting (which sounds fantastic over our heads when we are in the living room)
Willow and Reese playing
Willow and Reese on bed

OK, so it's not the fantasy I had. But what in life really is? It still brings me great joy to come home to our Menagerie. Just wait until we bring home our two new bunnies!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A New Beginning

I have been meaning to start blogging for over a week now but I kept thinking I need to have a gaggle of photos ready to post to make it more exciting. While it's true that I'll be using a lot of photos here in the future to chart my progress I decided that a simple introduction doesn't require visual aids.

I suppose I should start by confessing that I am a notorious plant killer. I believe I am on some horticultural most wanted list somewhere and I'm not convinced my plants don't commit suicide just to get away from me. But I am determined to change my reputation.

On February 8th my husband and I took the plunge and bought our first home. The house was vacant for 2 years before we moved in so it has some quirks, one of which is that the yard has been neglected for two years...and it shows.

The purpose of this blog is to document my journey to becoming a successful gardener and a self-sufficient homeowner. With the help of my father, friends who know what they are doing, the internet and even my husband I will become independent.

My goals are to reduce my impact on the environment, turn my crappy yard into a haven while growing my own food, and learn to properly and thriftily maintain my home.

Please read along and offer your advice because I will need all the advice I can stand and then some!