Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Getting Seeds Planted & Started, the 2009 Egg Tally to date, and Tally Ho!

NOT a terribly impressive photo, I know. Sorry. When you're gearing up for things, the photos are always that impressive, what can I say? So, what the hell are you looking at there .. well, I'll tell ya! On the left, the green things shooting up are garlic bulbs coming up. I've been slack and still have yet to order my desired garlic, these are from store-bought garlic cloves that sprouted and I figured can't hurt to plant 'em. Obviously, there are some Black-eyed Susans planted next to them. To the right of the photo you can see some not-impressive looking strawberry plants. There are 6 of them there, though it is hard to see in the photo. We transplanted them for else-where in the yard to that spot, so we'll see how they do. Finally, in the front you can see some mustard greens (planted last year) coming up.
This past Sunday we took advantage of a pretty, and dry!, day and went to work in the front beds, planting seeds. We planted kale, buttercrunch lettuce (a really well-growing staple in our yard), rouge d'hiver lettuce (a red lettuce), and some more mustard greens. These were all planted in the same area, roughly speaking, as the photo above. It'll look good when they come up, so you'll just have to trust me until then.
We also planted some Chantennay Red Carrots and some Cosmic Charlie Purple Carrots. Ok, they aren't really called Cosmic Charlie, they're just called Cosmic Purple, but we're too ingrained with Grateful Dead songs .. so we've affectionately renamed them. We switched up the areas of planting just a little bit, rotating crops some so as to better preserve the soil. We've already planted some onion seeds, Newburg Onions, which are beginning to sprout up a little, but nothing picture worthy yet. This is our first year actually trying to grow onions, so we're really excited about this.
Indoors, we got a seed tray going. We started Romanesco Broccoli, Hungarian Sweet Banana Peppers, Tall Utah Celery, Anaheim (hot) peppers, and Red & Yellow Bell Peppers (seeds we had saved from previous growing seasons). As of today, the broccoli seeds have started to sprout!! YAY!! We also had a LONG and "very stern" lecture with the kids about NOT messing with the seed trays. They tend to enjoy digging in the plants that we have in the sunroom, so we explained that the seeds really needed to be left alone if we want to have a good garden this year. While out getting groceries yesterday I picked up another seed tray, this one will be all tomatoes. We're going to be doing mostly all Cherokee Chocolate tomatoes, but we'll also have some that will be good for sauces and ketchups. I can't decide yet where exactly to plant them though: their heirloom and open pollinated, meaning they will cross-pollinate with each other - something we learned about the hard way after our 1st year. We'll see about that though as the time comes closer.
This should get us well underway. Everything else can be directly sown into the ground once the time comes. We still need to put the new fence up around the garden, and then get some more straw down in there, but that will come. Oh yea, and we're growing hops for our beer again this year. The Cascade Hops from last year are coming back up, but we think all the other ones were destroyed by the dogs last year (the Cascades were the only ones that really grew last year). We'll be ordering the rhizomes in a couple weeks, and should have those in the ground by the end of the month.

As you may remember (or maybe not) our Egg Tally for last year was 72 eggs. Considering the chicks were born a year ago today (HAPPY BIRTHDAY LADYBIRD - who is pictured above, ANN BANCROFT, PATTI, and PATTI), and everything we went through, we were thrilled with this number. We've been keeping count of how many eggs we get a day, even which colors we get so that we can know who is laying. Here is the EGG TALLY for 2009:
January - 53 eggs
February - 98 eggs
March - 109 eggs
2009 EGG TALLY as of March 31st - 260 Eggs!!!
We've given away at least 10 dozen, though I think the number is higher than that (I think I gave away several 1/2 dozens without writing it down). It sounds like a lot of eggs, and to some degree it is, but as I type this, we have no eggs. There was one outside this morning when I went out, but I cooked 2 eggs for Justin for breakfast and the boys split 6 eggs, scrambled, for lunch - so unless there are more outside, we're currently sitting on empty. Still, it is a wonderful feeling to know that the eggs we eat are usually only a couple of days old, if that!
Finally, inspired by the Dervaes and they're Little Homestead in the City,
, we've realized the importance of keeping a tally of how much we're able to grow. We're also going to attempt to keep a tally of how much we're able to save. This helps us know and remember the impact we're able to make, and foster a positive attitude about it. The Dervaes call it "Tally Ho!" and for now we will too.
Look for some slight changes to the blog as I figure out the best way to share these tallies with everyone.


Carole and Chewy said...

Reading your post made me exhausted, or maybe I started out that way because I know how much planting I have coming up myself.
That little garlic shoot looks familiar - my onion bed has one lonely shoot too, but the wild bunnies are eating the garlic shoots.

Carrie and Justin said...

No, I think I make people exhausted in general!! I never shut-up ... and I type the way I talk, which makes reading what I say all that much more exhausting! hahaha :D
I was freaking out about planting and seeds until I realized that we have everything we need and don't have to buy anything, so that made me feel better.

mannu said...

After reading your views in this post it really makes me more amazed just because of you did a wonderful job. You planted Chantennay Red Carrots and some Cosmic Charlie Purple Carrots. That's amazing...
keep up your gud work but you should add one more that is take care of them..
Seed treatments

Sadie from said...

Egg-cellent news!

So corny, I know. Good reminder for me though as Dreg & I are house shopping... where to put our future chickens :)