Thursday, June 30, 2011

Spring Arrived for a Day, and now It is Summer

One day it was 70*F or so, and we all thought, "how nice." The next day it was 90*F.  And since then, for at least three weeks now, it has been pleasantly warm in the high eighties and low nineties.  Looks like a cool summer again this year - maybe only a few days in the triple digits?  If so, the garden will love it!
Two week old corn is two to three inches high.  What survived initial bird depredation (in spite of using a row cover), is now healthy and growing rapidly.  Planted out the second set this past weekend.  I may set out some more next weekend, but the beginning of July means that there is a 50-50 chance of a hard frost in September followed by several frost free weeks.  Still, if the third planting just turns out to be a place for the chickens to play, that works ok for me, too.

Ate a few peas yesterday.  Chickens like the shells, but the ducks thought I was throwing rocks or something, as they were not enthused about green things flying over the fence.  The chickens were all to happy to go into "shark attack" mode, however, and swarmed the pea shells.  Sorry, duckies.

Been feeding the ducks and chickens tufts of grass that still have the seeds in them.  The ducks like to thresh the seeds out with their bills while the chickens like to "scratch and attack" the grass stems until the seeds fall out and can be eaten.    The benefits to the birds are that they get some fresh food and exercise.  The benefit to me is grass weed reduction.  The benefit to the grass clump is that they get a trim and extra water and get to grow more seeds.
Egg production is in full swing.  Out of 15 hens, I am still getting 6-8 eggs a day.  In some ways, it is better than the 10-12 eggs a day that they laid in their prime. Still, it is almost like zucchini - be careful - if you stand still, I will hand you eggs!

I hate to jinx myself, but there may be a chance that I have morning glories this year.  I need to plant more.  I am babying along the 6 or 7 that I currently have.  They are getting one new little leaf every few days.  Hopefully they will hit critical mass soon and start climbing several inches a day.

Also looks like I will have more than two dozen sunflowers this year.  I planted a dozen or so more on Sunday, but it's getting late for planting sunflowers, too.  I have a set of volunteers from bird seed - we'll see how they do.
I am letting the garlic that is too small to bulb go to "seed," so to speak.  Their scapes will "flower" with tiny bulbils - each a tiny, tiny garlic.  If I time things right, I can plant out hundreds, which in a few years, will be almost big enough to use as planting stock.... or, I might just eat them.  I planted hot garlic, however, so they will definitely add a fiery zing to whatever I put them in.  Maybe put them in pasta sauce to mellow.

If you build it, they will come.