The City Girl Farmer


Planning to Grow Medicinal Herbs
April 21, 2010, 5:53 pm
Filed under: Garden, Herbs | Tags: ,

Medicinal herb garden site

Recently, I have become interested in medicinal herbs and decided that as long as I had the rototiller around, I’d dig up the east side of the yard and use that area.  It’s near water and I’ll also be able to see it from the kitchen window.  A lot of the plants have been started indoors already.  I plan on planting some others directly into the soil in the next few days.  Some of the herbs I will be growing include:  borage, calendula, valerian, chamomile, feverfew, lemon balm, elderberry and motherwort.  No cannabis, although there have been several requests.  🙂 I decided I don’t want El Paso County’s riff-raff paying unexpected visits to the farm.

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Growing Our Own Meat
April 21, 2010, 5:26 pm
Filed under: Chickens | Tags: , ,

I decided to raise some chickens for food this year.  This time instead of eating one of our old roosters, I picked a breed designed for meat.  Thomas and I made this portable enclosure for them.  They only live in it for about a month before they are butchered.  At $2.50/bird it is worth it to me to have someone else do the dirty work.  I’ll go drink some coffee and then pick up wrapped birds on ice.  You can tell I’m a City Girl Farmer, can’t you?

Outdoor chicken enclosure



To Till or Not to Till
April 21, 2010, 5:01 pm
Filed under: Garden | Tags: , , , , , ,

Tilled garden with some rows ready for seeds

Last years garden was really begun in the fall of 2008, shortly after we moved.  I came across an article showing how you could use cardboard and manure in layers to build soil quickly.  Anyone who has ever moved typically has an abundance of cardboard and where we live there is also an abundance of manure so it seemed logical to try.  Actually, I was very pleased with the results.  We had enough produce for our family and others and I even sold some to the local store.

This year I decided to till  mostly because the garden had been under about two feet of snow since the end of last October, sometimes a lot more.  The fence Jon built to keep the goats out also functions as a snow fence  and the snow drifts on the leeward side of the fence.  There were a lot of  leftover weeds, too,  signs of waning enthusiasm at the end of the last growing season.

I’m sore and tired from tilling, but it was done in a day.  The no-till way requires patience and planning ahead.  I think it’s a great way to start an area for planting and I think I would do it again for that, but I probably won’t add layers to the garden area I already have.

As I was working along, I found some little surprises that struck me as somewhat miraculous.  Despite our record nasty winter weather, some of the plants came back.  I have a healthy little chive plant, some tarragon and garlic, all volunteers.  😀

Tarragon

Sage

Chives

Garlic



All He Needed Was a Shift Lever
April 21, 2010, 4:09 pm
Filed under: Toys | Tags: , , ,

With a little help from a friend Thomas was able to get his motorcycle running.  The only things he really needed were a shift lever and a seat.  He didn’t even wait to get a seat.  Within minutes of its arrival, the shift lever was installed and he was off and running.  Never even looked back.

Thomas getting ready to ride



Surprise!
April 14, 2010, 12:24 pm
Filed under: Cows | Tags: , ,

Juliana and I got home late from choir practice last night.  I noticed that Jon seemed a little hesitant when he greeted us at the door and as I looked around I noticed there was a calf bottle on the counter.  “We have a cow?”

Junior asleep in the pen

Jon proceeded to tell me the story.  Our neighbor raises beef cattle and this guy’s momma was found dead, stuck in the mud.  All the other cows had isolated and rejected him, so our neighbor who does not have a barn asked to use ours until we decide what we are going to do with him.

There are two options:  take him to the auction or bottle feed him for the next 2 1/2 months and raise him for beef.   Our neighbor is willing to split him with us if we take care of the feedings until he can eat grass.  He wanted to check with his wife first, though, so we’ll see.  In the mean time, he’s with us.

Junior