Taking stock

I found several packets of outdated seeds  (peas, lettuce, and pumpkins). I’m going to try sprouting them and see what happens. I bought 2 bags of potting soil tonight and I’ve been saving my toilet paper and paper towel rolls and popsicle sticks. The popsicle sticks are to label and stick in the dirt and the toilet paper rolls are to cut into little seed sprouting cups. Hooray for recycling! One things I’ve already learned is that gardening doesn’t have to be expensive.

I redeemed some of my Swagbucks  for e-Bay gift certificates and bought some muscadine seeds from a seller on a farm in Virginia. For those that don’t know, muscadines are big, fat grapes, perfect for jelly and wine. I plan to sprout some vines and grow them up a trellis attached to the privacy fence. Then, some day, I’ll harvest them and make wine.

Mmm, muscadine wine. I remember the first time I had some. I was at a sleepover and my friend’s mom had made some and let us each have a little shot glass of some. The other girls didn’t like it but I did. I waited until they set their glasses aside and then snagged and drank them. It was enough to give little 13 year old me a healthy buzz. I know, I was a terrible child.

Now that I’m older (you know, legal drinking age) I’ve had some bought off the shelf in a store and it is not the same as home made. I can’t wait to try making my own. Of course there are tons of recipes on the interwebz.

Any wine makers here? If so, do you have a great muscadine wine recipe I should try?

Spring will be here soon

Spring isn’t here officially yet, but it feels like it. Everything is budding and trying to bloom so the pollen count is already ridiculous and we’re hitting temps in the 70s (we’re just outside of Atlanta, GA). I’m not going to run out and plant anything yet, because I know better. There has been blizzards in March and April and while I don’t *think* thats happening this year, I’m not going to chance it. Still, the weather is gorgeous. I spent Saturday raking up the back yard and planning what I want to do. It includes additional fencing in a large chunk of the backyard so the ladies have their own space. We’ve had some close calls with people accidentally letting the dogs out when the girls were free ranging. I also want (one or three) more chickens. I’ve read that it is better to have even numbers when you have fewer chickens so that they don’t gang up on one which is what happens now with having three.

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Other than that I’m debating on what I want to plant. I was thinking of peppers (pepperoncini and maybe one other), some sort of tomato, green beans, pumpkins for Halloween, strawberries, and maybe a birdhouse or luffa gourd. Is that too much though? Oh and various herbs in containers. I also want to plant all of this in raised beds that we build in the front yard. I’m thinking the front to keep out the chickens and dogs.

Are you planning your summer garden yet? What are you planting?

Chicken coop plans

One of my fondest wishes is for a flock of backyard chickens. Our area allows up to 8 for our yard size but I only want 3 or 4. First we need somewhere to keep them though.

I’ve been researching chicken coop plans and designs and stumbled across coops made from kid’s plastic playhouses. We just so happen to have a very beat up Little Tikes house at my inlaw’s:countingdays

Isn’t it sad looking? OK, I made it more sad with the filter that I added to the picture. It is missing a couple of shutters and faded but still sturdy. With some hard cloth wire (sturdier than chicken wire) over the windows and a roost and some nesting boxes, I think it will be fine. The plan is to build a platform to put it on so that it won’t be right on the ground, plus we’ll build a little run around it.

Here is the post that gave me the idea: Little Tikes Coops

and a video tour of one:

There are naked neck turkens in her coop in the video which I’d never seen before.

Have you seen all the cool chicken coop tour videos on Youtube? They’re so inspiring. I can’t wait to share our finished project!