A Personal Dance about Family, Garden Planning, and Backyard Chickens

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I think I have a solution to my garden planning problem. See, I have lots of big ideas, and small supplies of time and energy. But I do have a fifteen (soon to be sixteen) year old son.

Overthinker went out with friends yesterday afternoon, which turned into yesterday evening, which turned into ghost hunting with friends until 1:00 AM. He was in communication with me all evening, but when I told him to get home by 11:00, he argued with me and I gave in because I had no practical way to find him and drag him home.

When he got home I informed him that the city’s curfew is 11:00 PM, and so is his, and that the next time he does this to me, he will be grounded (to hard labor, because that’s how I roll) for a month. You see, I have two pertinent anxiety related traits: 1) I can’t sleep until he comes home and 2) Generally, once I’m up in the morning, I’m up, and I generally can’t sleep late even when I want to.

So here I am, a daily post overdue for the website, and my head is full of scrambled eggs. I can’t think well enough to write a coherent post. Instead, I’ve been spending the morning leafing through the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed 2013 catalog, surfing for chicken coop designs, and reading up on soil inoculants. Basic garden planning/dreaming on a too cold to work outdoors day.

I have a line on free 2×8 lumber to add raised beds, and I have decided on a two tiered design with a 4’x4′ base and a second tier that is 90 degrees turned from the first tier, forming corners on the bottom layer for smaller veggies and flowers and herbs such as strawberries, thyme, chamomile, forget me nots, lettuces, etc. Of course, I won’t be able to access my source until the middle of next month.

So… in the meantime, more planning. Printed up a planting schedule and a companion planting guide, and all I really need to get into the garden before the end of March are broccoli, onions (and leeks), radishes (seeds), garden peas, mustard (yum!), kale, collards, turnips, and carrots. In a couple weeks, I’ll add beets, lettuces, potatoes, and spinach. It’s not til the end of April and beginning of May that things really get cracking.

A friend has told me she’s going to teach me a way to turn all of my planters including my raised beds into self watering beds. I’ve been reading about composting in place and/or in the chicken coop, both of which strongly appeal to my lazy self. My goal is to have everything set up and self sustaining except mulching or weeding by June 1st.

English: Chicken coop and run by Oakdene Coops (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And I’m hoping that by June 1st, I’ll have a coop and a few pullet chicks as well as meat chicks for it. I plan on growing lettuces and other favorite foods for chicken where the chickens can reach them, either in the compost on the bottom of the cage or in boxes around the edges of the cage. The coop will have broody boxes up on a second level with an outside access, and will have chicken wire completely surrounding, including the floor. Plenty of room for the ladies to explore, and plenty of veggies and bugs (and probably, I guess, chicken feed) for them to eat.

And guess which perpetually grounded son of mine is going to help me with the labor? Or possibly do most of it? If I had a perfect kid, I wouldn’t get nearly as much done.

No questions today. Questions are hard, and my brain is tired. Feel free to ask your own.

  • How to Raise Backyard Chickens (artofmanliness.com)
  • Chicken coop costs have sky rocketed! (a-homesteading-neophyte.blogspot.com)
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