Monday, April 4, 2016

4 new Ameraucana chicks in the coop!

These adorable baby chicks grew in 2.5 months to be fat and feathered pullets. I really like this breed, the Ameraucana's. They are South American chickens that will lay blue or green eggs. The eggs are the same as other eggs, but people enjoy the novelty of the colored eggs. They are sweet and smart birds, too.

I was baking a pumpkin pie the day I got them, so I named them "Clove, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Allspice". Funny thing is....when they grew, they became orange/rust colored. They are my Pumpkin Spice Girls!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

On Saving Seeds....

We are having a warm spell which probably won't last long but gets me excited about my hibernating garden again. I've been saving seeds: beans, corn (Baker's Creek TESTED non-gmo seeds), pumpkin, radish, etc. Here's a picture of my last year's baby chicks all grown up! Great blog for, well, everything is: I took Janine's canning class, then I canned applesauce and I'm eating it now. Delicious!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Bittersweet Moment....

When I recently took down my 8' tall corn plants to chop them up to fill the compost bins, I realized how sad it is to destroy the garden every Fall. But I think every gardener also feels a sense of relief and a welcoming to the rest that Winter brings.
Compost Tips: Here in a dry climate, it's not so easy to compost but this system works really well.
1. I made for a double compost bin out of free wooden pallets with chicken wire inside (to prevent the straw from falling through the slats). On the front side it has 2 doors that swing out. It's easy to fill and easy to empty. 
2. I got red worms from my friend Sam at the Farmer's Market. This has been extremely helpful as I no longer have to turn the compost over AND the worms like lots of straw. Once I got my chickens, having the compost bins gave me a good place to put the dirty straw from the hen house.
3. In the Fall, I layer the dead zucchini, tomato, corn, etc. plants with apple peelings, or whatever and lots of the chicken manure straw.
4. I soak each layer with water. Cover with straw and let the worms do the work of creating rich compost. Every Spring, I am amazed at the rich soil they have made from garbage!

Monday, February 17, 2014

    One day old babies...
                                    Chicks at an Art Opening, everyone's a critic!

Three new one-day old baby chicks, so adorable!! My older chickens are now 3 years old. Production places would "cull" the flock but I've nurtured my chickens since they were a day old and I just cannot kill them. Not sensible farming, but what the heck. So, I'm adding to the flock. I now have 8 different types of chickens, 10 total.

 The first night when the one-day old baby chicks were in their box with everything they needed: heat lamp, water, soft rag, food, they wouldn't stop peeping. And they got very loud and insistent.  So, to be a good mother hen, I wrapped them in an old soft dishcloth, went back to bed and tucked them under my chin. They instantly fell asleep, very content chickies. I put them in the box later and they just fell back asleep.  

I do this every day both in the am & pm. It's too funny...they immediately close their eyes, their little heads start nodding and then they out sound asleep. It's very, very peaceful for all of us. Even the 2 dogs sleeping on my bed seem to like it! 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Just planting seeds at this time. Used flattened cardboard boxes on the paths for free weed control. Planted: swiss chard, corn, 3 types of beans, cucumbers, winter squash, herbs, tomatoes, radishes, turnips, pumpkin, summer squash, sunflowers.
I was worried that I wouldn't have a garden at all this year due to the severe drought and the hungry animals eating everyone's gardens. I felt sorry for the rabbits, mice and squirrels so I put out water and bird seed for them. Turns out - they didn't eat my garden! Have a gopher, tried the usual gopher sound sticks, repellants. Nothing really worked.  I couldn't bring myself to kill the gopher. My philosophy is one of cooperation and harmony with nature, like So when "Gophie" pulls down a plant (and it's really not that often), I make sure the whole plant gets down into it's tunnel for it. In other words, I'm feeding the gopher, too. Gophie and I work as a team: I over-plant and Gophie thins out the plants. Call me crazy.....but I'm one of the few people who has a great garden this year!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Incubation of Possiblility

This painting is part of my new series "Elemental Forces". The nest is made of dried corn silk from my organic vegetable garden. My friends nicknamed this painting "Chicken Mama" because I had just gotten my beautiful 10 "Gypsy Chicks".  I have 6 different breeds of chickens and I just love them all. And I have lots of eager buyers for their organic eggs....
Big Announcement: this painting has been selected to be in Nancy Reyner's newest art how-to book!! ( Nancy is a best selling author and her new book, "Acrylic Illuminations" demonstrates techniques with examples of artists work. In this painting, if you walk from side to side, the skirt will change color and will shift from white to an iridescent violet. I used Golden's violet interference paint and it's pure Magic! I also used gold leaf and iridescent bronze, gold and silver paint. Very exciting to be part of Nancy's newest book1

Monday, December 17, 2012

My Beloved Dog Sage

My beloved best friend, my dog Sage, age 15.5 years old passed away on Dec. 14, 2012. Sage was loved by all. He took great care of me and my other dogs, cats and my son and his dogs, too. He was a big gentle Godfather kinda dog with a smiley friendly attitude we all loved.

My son Keith helped me bury him on my farm on a snowy overcast day. The sun broke through the clouds right after we finished the burial. Keith gave a beautiful speech about how much Sage meant to all of us. It was a comforting ceremony on a lovely site and I visit his grave every day.

Sage and I spent years camping every week up at lake near Colorado. My world always felt safe, full and warm with his loving being around here. I miss him unbearably and will always remember him.