13 April 2012


Hello all, dropping by to say hi, and that, yes, we do still exist. It has been a very busy season for us, I have a few projects that I would like to get up very soon as things should be slowing down a bit around here. Here is an update on our lives for those that may be curious.

 We have been doing a lot of work preparing beds, starting seeds, cleaning the chicken coop, and "clean up" through the woods on our property as well. My have we got a huge burn pile!

The kids are very happy to be getting their hands back into the soil, as am I. It feels good to be turning the earth, and nestling our little seeds in. They are planted with such love and tenderness, and carry with them so many hopes.

The children got to dye Easter eggs for the first time this year, which was very exciting for them. (For those that do not know, we have been vegan, and still adhere to a vegan diet with the exception now of eggs from our own backyard flock of free-ranging, organic-fed chickies.) I was not sure how well our brown and cream eggs would take the colour, but they came out beautiful. It was fun to see the different colours the eggs came out when they were put into the same dye bath, but started as different shades of brown. I hope next year to use natural dyes, but, oh! Things have just been so busy, I actually picked up your standard nasty store bought dyes. Chalk one up against me. The next morning, while admiring our colourful eggs, Kaia told me, "You know, Mom, we didn't dye our eggs." I replied that, gosh, I thought we had, to which she responded, "No, my chickens lay rainbow eggs." Ha!

We are putting in one nice, big plot for our veggies this year. Up until now, we have been growing them in many small beds all around the house. I am very excited to be getting them all in one, big, easily rotatable, more protectable bed! Winning that bed from the dune grass, though... not as exciting. This is where it is going, in this picture I have started laying down sheets of old cardboard and plywood to smother the dune grass, I will post another picture when I get all the layers down. We are trying a "lasagna" style garden, so it will have many layers, which it is going to need since this is all sand under the dune grass.

I put down a layer of our "hot" compost first, and that is going to have a layer of mulch over it. Then some greens, then straw, then our not-so-hot compost, and finally, topsoil. The long strip of cardboard pictured was once Kaia's boat, I think this is a good final resting place for it.

I have also been busy with six new chicks. First I built a "tractor" for them, (which is basically a chicken coop and run that you can move around.) I didn't get quite finished painting it before it was time to pick up the chicks, but they have not complained yet. I also had to put up a quarantine fence to keep them separate from our older chickens, and that was a lot more work than I thought it would be!

Here they are in the box we brought them home in. They are all very sweet, and quite cute, and they all became ill. Not so "yay". I am very glad that we did quarantine them, so the risk to our older birds is as minimal as we can make it. Now I just have to jab a swab down a few of their throats and overnight it to the lab to find out what ails them, which I am so totally looking forward to. Fingers crossed that it is an innocent infection and inconsequential. (Oh, pleaaassee!)

Here is Katalin holding one of the little Leghorns when we picked them up, the girls are both overjoyed with them. The two Leghorns were all Kaia's idea, she sees white eggs everywhere, but the only eggs she has ever had are ours, so she thinks white eggs are really rare and special, hehe. So these two will add some white eggs to our baskets. The two brown stripey chicks are Araucanas, and will lay blue, green, or pink eggs, as will the little black Easter Egger. The speckled black one is a mutt of some sort, and we will just have to wait and see what she becomes. Unless, of course, they are hes. It is fun to wait and wonder! Our big (chicken) girls have also been enjoying the warmer weather, and the grass, and other greens and availability of bugs to scratch up.

We have managed to nab some free time amidst all the work and bustle, and have been enjoying hikes, picnics, and generalized exploration of the world, as well. We've even done a handful of crafts, I swear. I just haven't yet had the time to share them, which I will be trying to get to this week.

Thank you for stopping by, my next post will be more along the normal lines of crafting with children, in the meantime, be well!

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