Archive for April 18th, 2011

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A Weekend of Celebrations, Pullets, and Gardening

April 18, 2011

It was a busy weekend filled with outdoor activities and a couple of celebrations. Ralphie turned two years old last Friday, on the day of my wedding anniversary. He enjoyed a new doggie treat, and my husband, Joe, and I had a good meal out, a gift from a high school friend. Thanks Irene.

Saturday, I volunteered at the Amador Master Gardeners’ first spring workshop. Several MGs (master gardeners) shared tips on a variety of topics from how to make different tomato cages to growing “not your ordinary vegetables,” to eatable lilies and recipes for an impending bounty. Afterwards, I joined fellow MG’s Barbara Dahlberg, Kathy Freeman, and Glen Johnson at the demo garden. This year’s major projects are building a tool shed and deer fence. Saturday, we focused on the fence. Glen used some sort of hydraulic post driver and within an hour, he completed the job. A few dozen T-posts stood vertical without the aid of human hands.

Sunday, I planted cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, and melons, painted vegetable signs, mulched a flowerbed, and worked in the perennial garden. Joe finished grouting the tile in my garden house,  then got busy with outdoor chores with Ralphie by his side. Mid-day, Joe and I decided to buy a few pullets (chicks). Usually, we get new pullets every other year. But we’ve learned in order to keep a steady flow of eggs, we need to add to the flock each spring. After a short drive to Lees’ Lockeford Hay Station, we made our selections. We now have two Silkie Bantams (these are for fun as they are a petite breed and produce tiny eggs), two Black Australorp, and three Buttercups in a small cow trough here in the garage. They are safe and warm under a heat lamp with feed and fresh water to nourish them along. When they’re old enough, I’ll house them in the coop (separate from the layers) and later in the running pen. The goal is to eventually let them free range, when they’re bigger and have common sense to return to the coop at night.

As Sunday wound down, the power went out. Forced to stop activities, Joe and I had to find our way in a dark house for flashlights, matches, and candles. We brought the pullets inside where warm logs were burning in the fireplace. Once the pullets were calm, we snacked by candlelight on sandwiches, applesauce, and chips. Our home was filled with the sounds of little chirps, crackling logs, and a barking dog. The weekend was active, even into the twilight. I was tired, after working at a gardening workshop, fence building, tucking seeds and seedlings into the earth, sign painting, tending to perennial plants, adopting pullets and celebrations honored. But it was a tired that felt good. That’s how productive, long sunny days are in and around the garden. Copyright © 2011 Dianne Marie Andre

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