Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New things

I have never been big on making new year's resolutions. I think that they are generally setting myself up for failure and I think that I have enough of a head start on that all by myself, thank you. However, as this is the new year, I have been reading other people's resolutions and things they have done over the past year. I have been thinking a lot about my life - where I want it to go, what I want out of it, what I can do... I have been well trained in American consumerism and that has not been a very satisfying life. Over the past several years, I have been trying to pare down. I have been growing a little garden, shopping at Farmer's Markets and make a lot of my own stuff.

Yet, now that I am approaching the end of grad school I am starting to wonder why I just took out so much money in student loans so I can work more and spend less time with my kids. How does all this come together living in California where houses cost a bundle and you are not allowed to grow anything that makes noise?

Speaking of that I do have chickens...illegal chickens. In fact, over the holidays, my mother brought me 4 more chickens. From a neighbor who doesn't want any more chickens but continues to let her hens sit on her eggs? Go figure... I locked them up in the coop for a few days thinking they had the roosting thing down and knew where home was before I let them out in the back yard with the 3 older ones. However, they have decided to start roosting on top of the wall behind the chicken coop. This probably wouldn't be such a big deal except this wall backs up to a very busy 4-lane street and again, they are illegal... So tonight I went out again with a flash light at dusk and put them back in the coop.

And I'm fairly certain the one with the hair is a rooster...

So, on to my garden for the year. We have some fairly ambitious plans for expanding our garden. Ambitious, especially when I think about my thesis and spending any time with my family!

This was what the side yard looked like in it's pretty days:

Behind the little picket fence, I had some raised beds that have variously held carrots, spinach, radishes, tomatoes, peppers, cantaloupe, eggplant and honeydew melon. We added a few new wine barrels outside the fence and planted a fall garden but the chickens decimated it and thought I had planted it just for them! I do have a few broccoli plants left and have planted garlic, yellow and white onions (with extra chicken wire until my new fence is completed!)

This is what my side yard looks like now that I have taken down the table and little patio I built. Hopefully, we can get the soil in some kind of condition to plant soon because I have quite a list!

Garden plans:
Potatoes - Purple Peruvian, fingerlings and Yukon Gold
Summer Squash
Winter Squash

I do have other spaces in my garden that some of this is planned for. By my shed I have a nice sunny patch for the Asparagus. And across the yard a new bed for the melons. Now I have to build a bigger run to keep the chickens in to protect my produce!

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