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An Update in Pictures (and a few words, because I am still me...)

The busy season is winding down finally.  Of course, once I get everything planted (still need to get peppers, eggplant, and beans planted in the garden and I want to plant a glut of sunflowers, but then I'm DONE, phew!) then I have to weed and mulch and mulch some more, so we'll see if I'm actually less busy...

A lot has happened here in the past few weeks.  I built a new summer-only chicken coop and run and moved the old flock into it.

I moved the Buckeyes and Gold Stars into the old coop and run, so they benefit from the protection of the covering (they're more susceptible to hawk attack) over the run.  And one of them crowed today.  Oy.

And I moved the meat chicks into the small tractor, where the Buckeyes previously were.  Actually today, once I finish this post, I'm moving them out to the big tractor because they are growing like CRAZY.
I started fermenting the feed I'm giving the meaties.  This was in response to another small bout with the same nutritional deficiency I had with the last batch and a lot of research.  It has made a big difference in their health.

A lot of bed prep and planting has happened, even since I took this picture last week.  I have since added cucumbers, tomatoes, and hills of corn, squash, melons, pumpkins, and zucchini (arranged in 3 sisters).  But other than the red tomato mulch it still looks pretty much like this.  Give it a few weeks!

I landscaped the front of the house.  This looked so bad before, I don't have any pictures of it to show a "before."  It was dead grass and dust.  Now there is an herb sprial, a fountain, a rain barrel (there is no gutter to it yet, because this section of roof has no gutter, but a good amount of rain flows off the corner of the roof into the barrel, enough that it was full after the last two rainstorms... eventually we'll add a gutter), a clematis on a beautiful trellis, and lots of other flowers and plants.  The planting is kind of random and not at all thought out (outside of the herb spiral, anyway, the herb spiral was very well thought out), and I can guarantee it will get changed a lot, but it looks a lot better than before.

 Oh, and the fountain?  I made it myself from a $15 pump, some galvanized buckets, and lots of (free) rocks.  I kind of love it.
I've made a ton of violet jelly.  Sadly, I think this hot weather spells the end for the violets:(

We've had two torrential downpours and no rain otherwise.  They call that a drought here.  Whatever it is, I'm not a fan.

I helped my sister start a garden.  It's a bag garden kind of like described here on Mother Earth News.  It doesn't look like much in this picture, but it's grown a lot since we started it, and she's added a lot of plants.  I'll have to have her send me a new picture.

Last, but most excitingly, just today we hatched our very first chick here at Wild Oaks Poultry farm.  We're legit now!  It was hatched by a broody hen, one of my Ameraucanas, out of an Ameraucana egg (crossed with one of my roosters- a mutt Wyandotte or a Buff Orpington).  As of the last time I checked, only one of the three eggs she is sitting on has hatched, BUT it was a day early according to my calculation (calcuation=counting), so maybe the other two will still hatch in the next day or so.  For now mom and baby have food and water in their little nest box, so they should be okay for the time being.

Hopefully I'll be able to post more now that things are slowing down.  I know you're on the edge of your seat:)

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