Thursday, May 24, 2012

Two Weeks Old and May Flowers

Today, the chicks are two weeks old. Here they are when they were barely hatched:



 And here they are today. It's amazing the difference two weeks can make!



So far, our four little chicks seem to be doing well. Their wing feathers are starting to come in, they're curious and adventurous, and they like when I talk and when Nathan whistles. I can finally tell them apart and have named each of them. Louise, Georgia, Alice, and Polly. They don't come when I call them individually, but I'm sure it's just a matter of time. 

One not-so-great thing about our inquisitive chicks is that they've learned to jump out of their bin. I check on them often throughout the day, and yesterday when I pushed open the door, two chicks were standing next to the bin, looking in through the plastic side. Oops. I scooped them up and placed them back in, and they seemed glad to be home. Good thing we keep the door to the office shut at all times! Still, I'm looking forward to moving them to the coop once they get all their feathers in - should be another week or so. Nathan has been working on the coop on and off and he's got the outside almost completely done. My job will be painting it. Here's a progress photo:


In other homesteading news, our garden is thriving. We've had a lot of rain the last two weeks, which the plants have been loving. We figured out pretty quickly that our tomato cages are woefully small - we've lost a few branches, some with tomatoes on them, and are building teepees out of bamboo to help support the HUGE plants. I already made pesto once with the help of the basil, and our eggplant is finally getting bigger.

Tomatoes, eggplant, basil.

Everything else is blooming beautifully, but the yellow squash are among the first to actually produce a vegetable. The squash are still tiny, but I'm sure they'll be big enough to eat soon enough. 

Yellow squash.

The cucumber is sprawling and needs a trellis to climb on - I'm hoping we get one in there by the end of the week. The peppers and tomatoes are all flowering, and I've definitely seen a few honeybees (probably ours!) buzzing in and out of the blooms. Very exciting.

Cucumbers.

Peppers.

Tomatoes.

Potted blackberry bush, also from Nathan's mom. Tiny for now.


Because this is our first real garden, and because we planted late, we've mostly gone the transplant route instead of growing from seed. This means that every time I go to the Farm Supply Store, or to Lowe's, I buy another random plant and stick it haphazardly in the garden. Last week we added asparagus that Nathan's mom gave us, a cucumber that had sprouted in the compost, and a spaghetti squash plant. So much for carefully planning what we'd grow and exactly where in the garden it would reside. I'm looking at this year as a big experiment, seeing what works, what doesn't, and what varieties we like. Next year we'll approach the garden with a better plan. And buy bigger tomato cages. For now, I'm enjoying the progress our garden is making and celebrating every new bloom.