Life and Death on the “Farm”

This weekend we had a little sun, after another week of cold and rain. I was concerned the seeds I planted last weekend would not survive. They did!

The arrows are lettuce sprouts! The circle is a pea sprout!

There was a disaster this weekend, too. Sunday, Oscar was holding Eager (the broody hen) and she jumped down and squished one of her eggs. The chick was cheeping for awhile but, while it’s pretty close to when it would have hatched, I really didn’t think it would make it. We left Eager alone on the nest for the rest of the day hoping for a little Mama Hen magic. The chick was still alive Sunday night but I still didn’t think it would live. I knew that when the mama gave up on it, though, she would chuck it out of the nest. Sure enough, when I came home from work Monday night, the body had been dumped from the nest and I disposed of it. The other brown egg disappeared without a trace more than a week ago. Last weekend, we found the blue egg buried in the bedding rather than right under mama hen so we don’t know it’s fate. Being a legbar egg, it will probably take another day or two to hatch if it is going to hatch. We’ll just have to wait and see.

In other news: we didn’t do much work outside this weekend but we did get the compost pile defined. Up to this point we’ve just had a pile of stuff. Now it has a well-deliniated place to belong. If all goes as it should, perhaps next year I won’t have to buy dirt.

I also got two more of the large planters I brought from Cheyenne cleaned out and ready to fill with something. I don’t know what I will plant in them yet. I was considering asparagus, but so much of this year’s garden is a “building” year with all the perennials I’ve been planting. I’m kind of wanting something to show for all our work this year. Perennials are an act of faith in the future with their growth following the pattern “first year sleeps, second year creeps, third year leaps.” We’ll just have to see what I decide.

I watched a virtual seminar presented by homesteaders from all over the US last week. It was organized by Drew and Lacey at The Schoolhouse Life. It was quite well done and, while I skipped a bunch of presentations on topics I’m not interested in or am not ready for, I learned plenty. One thing I was excited to learn was that I can use cedarwood, peppermint, and lemongrass essential oils in my plant water each week to repel a variety of garden pests. I ordered those oils right away! I hope it works because snails, slugs, moths, ants, and mosquitos, have been a real problem for me and if I can get rid of them with essential oils rather than pesticides, that’s a good thing.

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