I have been so busy doing work related things for some poorly timed double deadlines recently that I have not been able to focus on my garden or this blog and I am sorry about that.
This has not been the best gardening year. I thought that putting down landscaping paper would control the weeds and that then the garden would be under control. The weeds were under control for certain and I actually didn’t have any major issues with disease, even with my tomatoes, the few times I got to visit them.
One of the big holes in the garden came from dedicating so much space to bell peppers. I had bell pepper lust and they simply REFUSED to produce, period. My sweet peas, they too were not fecund. My cucumbers were relatively vague in their output. My squash, well, I got two hubbard – modest in size.
I commute 400 miles a week, most of my gardening time was spent in my head, pining for actual gardening. Pining and mental anguish do not lead to a better garden, just frustration. When I get home, my 3 kids but especially my 2 year old requires 100% of my time. I have literally spend no small amount of time this year inside comforting a 2 year old who is really suffering my long absences as I look out the window at a directionless garden. I certainly do not blame the child or the garden. I blame having to drive 3-4 hours a day, working a good 9-10 hours a day on top of that to put food on the table and keep a roof over our heads.
I have to be honest with you, there has to be a better way but I have not found it yet.
Ok, I will leave you with that rant. There is no solution unless: 1) you want to be our sugar daddy/mommy, 2) give me a winning lottery ticket, or 3) give me a telecommuting job that will replace or boost my current income.
Lets turn to more interesting details! While I am gone at work, things are happening here on the homestead. One of those things is chicken husbandry, which my oldest is fully dedicated to.
The chickens have trained her well (she sees it as her training them but, well…) and she takes care of them with much love.
One chicken, a buff orpinton named Bonnie (who was the victim of a vicious rooster attack and then miraculously survived after home-surgery by my husband) has been broody for some time.
Recently, my daughter noticed the sound of peeping coming from the eggs so she moved the chicken and eggs that Bonnie was brooding on into the house (we had two chicks hatch in the hen house a couple of months ago and they were killed by non-mother hens or roosters). As she is homeschooled, she had the opportunity to watch as the first egg hatched and how the chick recovered from the experience. We now have 4 chicks with more possibly on the way.
Its not a good time of year to have little chicks and I think that we will have chicks and Bonnie with us in the house over the winter until the chicks are big enough to fend for themselves. This adds even more chores to my daughter’s day (she milks one of our goats twice a day and feeds all the animals) because she has to take Bonnie out 5 times a day to let her “do her thing” outside instead of around the chicks in the house. The chicken has been trained somehow to wait for my daughter to hold it until one of those 5 times.