Fall Florida Garden

Fall Florida Garden

One of the great benefits of living in the sub-tropical climate of central Florida is that we can garden almost all year-round (with the exception of the dead heat of summer … at that point all that will grow for me are hot peppers, which I don’t love!)

Autumn is such a great time of year here. While everyone else is starting to bundle up, we’re just now starting to turn off the air conditioning for a few hours in the morning and enjoy our outdoor spaces. And part of that for me is amping up my garden for the cool (but mild) fall and winter months. Continue reading

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Chicken Christmas Wish List

Chicken Christmas Wish List

My girls gave me their Christmas wish list yesterday. Besides the typical “more carrot peel treats” and “longer free range hours in the yard,” they had an item on there that seems rather outlandish for 3 simple backyard hens:

Yep, it’s the Neiman-Marcus Heritage Hen House.

For only $100,000 (not including delivery), you get a posh, French-style chicken condo, inspired by the Versailles Palace, complete with a library full of books, a chandelier and a custom-built garden.

Poor Starr, Honey and Dorie have to make do with these simple digs in their Florida backyard:

Oh well. Even chickens have dreams of Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous, I guess.

Keep dreaming, girls!!

Harvesting Sweet Potatoes

Harvesting Sweet Potatoes

I planted sweet potatoes for the first time ever this year. Put them directly into the ground … which I don’t do with many of my edibles, since the Florida dirt is so sandy where I live. But I read that sweet potatoes thrive in poor soil and don’t need fertilizer. So I planted them (I did mix a bit of my chicken poop compost into the dirt first), mulched them, watered them lightly approximately every other day (unless it rained, which it does a lot this time of year here), and that’s it.

Continue reading

Seeds of Life

Seeds of Life

Grandpa Watts on the farm in Minnesota, 1940s

Our pioneer ancestors depended on seeds to survive and earn a living. For my farmer grandfather, and many generations of farmer ancestors before him, seeds were central to their survival. Without seeds, there would be no crops, no income, no food, no livestock, no future as a farmer.   Continue reading

WE GOT EGGS!!

WE GOT EGGS!!

This is so exciting! Not sure who’s more thrilled … the 5-year-old or me!

Starr, Dorie & Honey

Our girls are 4 months old. I knew they were close by the “squatting” when we get close and the extra squawking. They’ve been super-friendly — wanting to be near us when they’re out of the coop rather than celebrate their indepen- dence and flutter away.

So as I checked their coop yesterday around noon, there were two beauties someone had left for us:   Continue reading

Victory Gardens

Victory Gardens

This has been my best year yet for my container veggie-and-herb garden. At least it started out great.

Container garden in the spring.

Here in Florida, the soil is super-sandy. Hard to grow anything in it and hard to improve it. I tried for three years, then gave up and went almost 100% to containers. Continue reading

We Bought A Zoo!

We Bought A Zoo!

Well, not really. Although we did love the movie!

But we did buy chickens. Tiny, fuzzy, cute, peeping little baby chickens. Three of them. That was about four months ago.

Left to right: Honey, Starr, Dorie

Now they are somewhat moody, broody, squawking, anxious pooping machines who are (I think!) getting ready to start laying eggs. Continue reading