They’re here! The first batch of new chicks has been in the brooder for two weeks now, along with with one crazy duckling who somehow came along for the ride.
I had ordered six Buff Orpingtons, but ended up getting seven “just in case.” I’ve never lost a chick, but there’s always a first time, and as it turns out I do have one who doesn’t seem quite as perky as the others. Hopefully she’ll be fine, but it’s good to have a spare.
There are three baby bunnies out back, one pure white and two developing the nose smudge and dark ears their mom has. Even Ben isn’t sure we can eat them, since he’s only ever dressed and eaten wild (brown) rabbit before. To us, white rabbits = pets. Doesn’t help that they’re in that stage of impossible cuteness right now. Every time I go to feed and water them, I catch myself telling them how adorable they are and force myself to add “And you look delicious…” If I’m serious about knowing where my food comes from, I’m going to have to toughen up!
Ben also tilled our garden on Monday. We were going to put in raised beds, but I want to be able to move the chicken tractor into the garden during the winter. There are a lot of big trees around our house, and the only really sunny spot is at the top of a little slope in the backyard, so the garden is, by necessity, long and not very deep front to back. It’s much bigger than anything I’ve tended on my own before, and I’m pretty nervous, but the idea of producing a big chunk of our own food is so exciting!
There are two large raised landscaping beds in front of the house with very little in them (one dogwood each, a few shrubs, and a sprinkling of small hostas), so I planted 25 bare-root strawberries in one a few weeks ago that have already started going crazy.
At about the same time, I started seeds indoors that are now shooting up and really looking forward to getting their roots in that freshly tilled garden — a rainbow mix of heirloom tomatoes and sweet peppers, eggplant, winter squash, and cucumbers. And then there are carrots, pole beans, radishes, and lettuces to be sown. I’ve been saving feed bags for growing potatoes and sweet potatoes in, my perennial herbs out front have come back with a vengeance, and the pears and blueberries are in blossom. Fingers crossed we don’t get a mid-April frost like the one that zapped us a few years ago…