Phew! What a day!

It started very early… much earlier than a Saturday should ever have to. It required lots of running kids from here to here. There was a trip through the farmer’s market. Then the completing of the chicken run. Then the transition of the little chicks side of the coop. And tilling the garden one more time. As well as getting the tomatoes and peppers in the ground. Then we still had to make dinner. And me, still sporting a healthy case of jet lag! Boy am I bushed!
The weather this morning was truly lovely. Perfect for a trip to the Beaverton Farmer’s Market (http://www.beavertonfarmersmarket.org/) – where we were fortunate enough to find the “tomato guy” we prefer to buy heirloom tomato plants from. We were so relieved to learn that we’d made it just in time – this was his last week to be at the market – and his supply was dwindling before our eyes. We decided on I don’t know how many varieties – but 33 plants in all. Some cherry tomatoes, some plum, some roma, some mid-sized, and a few of the huge type. We’re trying some varieties we’ve not tried in the past – it should be interesting to see how things come out. One thing we’re making a point of doing this year is marking the trellis with the plant identification, rather than the ground. After we got everything composted last year we couldn’t find the identification any more!
One of the things that is painfully obvious about our little girls is that they just are not as socialized as the big girls are. There are several reasons for that. One, the brooder they were in was a 36″ square box – it was nearly impossible for the kids and I to reach in there and actually get a chick to hold! Also, with the big girls – they came home during Spring Break; with the little girls school and myriad activities were in full swing. And also significantly, I was gone for 16 days during their early life – leaving them home alone a lot of the time. We’re working hard on trying to get them more accustomed to being handled and hanging out with humans to some extent.


We realized yesterday, too, that the big girls will begin laying some time around mid-July, if they’re typical. The little girls not until closer to September. That means they’ll be eating different types of food once the big girls start laying. (We’ve learned that they get layer food – a richer in calcium form of feed – once they reach the laying miletone. If you give layer feed too early, they can become egg-bound.) So we decided that we’d just turn the storage portion of the coop into a little chick half of the coop until they’re all old enough (i.e., all laying) to be joined as a complete flock. Above is a peek at the new configuration – having the box out of there and the few storage items elsewhere gives them quite a bit more room. We think they like it!

These are dark pictures – there were threatening clouds hanging overhead and it was getting later – but we had to get pictures of the newly planted tomatoes. I can hardly wait the 52 days until the first ones start to be ready to eat!

We’ve had people ask us many times, “You planted HOW MANY tomato plants?” Yes, thirty-three – I know, it seems like a lot. But for me, I often feel like it’s maybe not enough. You see, I have a lot of food allergies and intolerances. One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that if I eat a tomato that is purchased commercially or is served at a restaurant – I will end up having a blistered mouth. If I pick a ripe tomato from my garden – I can eat them until the cows come home – no reaction whatsoever. So – we plant a LOT of tomatoes and eat lots as well as make tomato sauce, etc. and can up a storm come time to harvest.

Won’t be long until the whole garden is planted. Hooray!

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4 thoughts on “Phew! What a day!

  1. Wow, everything looks great! That’s interesting about the commercially grown tomatoes causing that reaction in you, but not your home grown ones. To what do you attribute that? I bet some doctor out there some where would like to study you! 🙂
    The chickens are looking great!
    I got my feeder top from Kelly the other day – I’m a happy girl now. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Danni,
    I have the same problem with some other produce items as well. I’m convinced that it’s because so little is allowed to ripen on the vine any longer! When I’m in Spain (where virtually all produce is local when you eat out) I never have the problem. We’re also pretty granola here – so it’s completely organic growing – maybe that makes a difference, too!

  3. Hi there – I came over from the pdxchicken group (not sure if that’s the real name). Looking at your garden – beautiful. I see the fence posts – what else are you using to support your tomato plants?

    Last year for the first time we used fence posts with string intertwined around the plants, tying them off at 1-foot intervals. It worked great. I was just wondering if your way is easier!

    ps – I got that idea from one of the vendors at Bvtn Farmer’s market.

  4. Hi homejewel!

    Yes, we love our tomato trellis! We also use the same material for our peas, and also the cucumbers. I don’t know that I’ll ever go back to an alternative method!

    What we’ve used is (yes) the fence posts, and then the 2″ x 4″ garden fence. My husband got it at Home Depot. It comes in the painted green, or steel. We actually have one impromptu length of trellis that we threw together last Saturday when we realized we wanted a little more room between the tomatoes – so three of our rows have the green, the impromptu one is the steel. Not sure if you can see that from the picture. I’ll hope for some dry weather soon so I can take a better picture!

    Don’t you love the Beaverton Farmer’s Market?!

    Blessings,

    dina

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