Finally it is Planting Season in Western Washington

I haven’t written in this blog for a few weeks now.

It’s been wet!

End of story!

Seriously, I was getting tired of writing about the weather. I was beginning to sound obsessed, which I think most of us in Olympia were…obsessed…depressed…waterlogged!

But the Winter of Wet, evidently, has ended.  All manner of records were broken, all manner of cuss words were spoken, but now the sun is out and our first seventy degree day has arrived.

And with it newfound hope on our urban farm!

FARMERS MARKET SEASON

We just filled in last Saturday for Bev’s son and his wife, doing the Puyallup Farmers Market.  This week we begin our two-a-weeks….Tuesday I’ll be doing the West Olympia Farmers Market, and on Wednesdays I’ll be helping out at the Tumwater Farmers Market, the one Bev manages.  It’s that time of year, solid markets until October.  Last year all we sold was quail eggs. This year it will be eggs and my coloring books.  Hopefully it will be a great season!

QUAIL LAYING

Finally our ladies are laying eggs.  It’s a bit late and I suspect the weather had something to do with the tardiness, but we are starting to see eggs daily. At full production we should see seven to eight dozen eggs per day, and that should happen within a week to ten days.

CHICKS TO PULLETS

As I mentioned earlier, we have been raising forty chicks to pullet age, and they are just about ready to be sold.  We had pre-orders for almost all of them, so the quick math is:  forty chicks at $3 each…sell them at $20 each….decent profit after the cost of food.  It will be nice to have them out of here.  Then I’ll turn the aviaries into greenhouses for our next project .  .  . and I’ll tell you more about that after I finalize my planning phase.

GARDEN

The ground was totally saturated, but it’s finally ready to sow seeds.  I’ll be doing that this week as time allows.  We did start some seeds in a mini-greenhouse, and they are doing fine, but it will be nice to get seeds in the ground and get this growing season officially started.

REFLECTIONS ABOUT CHICKENS

They really are entertaining birds.  After three years of raising them, I really can’t imagine not having them.

Did I mention the independent eye thing? I think I did, but just in case….chicken eyes are independent of each other. One eye scans the ground for bugs. The other eye scans the area for predators.  I just find that fascinating.

I was working in the yard the other day, and there was a hawk circling overhead. That bird must have been a good 300 feet in the air, turning slow circles, looking for prey down below…the hawk wasn’t making any noise.  If I didn’t happen to look up I wouldn’t have known it was there…but the chickens knew. They all went silent and immediately went undercover…in fact, they are the reason I looked up. Again, nature is fascinating!  How those chickens knew there was a hawk high up is a mystery to me, but they knew…and consider the fact that these birds have never had interaction with a hawk. It is a natural predator, but how do they know it?  Because it’s in their genes, from birth, and again, I find that fascinating.

If you aren’t raising chickens yet, consider it.  They will not disappoint.

NATURAL PESTICIDE

Take a clove of garlic, a couple hot peppers, and a ¼ cup of water and put it in the food processor.  When you finish, take the mash and boil it for twenty minutes.  Then let it sit and cool.  Stain the mixture and you have a nice liquid natural pesticide.  Aphids do not like garlic!

THAT’S ALL I’VE GOT FOR YA

Seriously, I have to run. Way too many things to do.  I hope you all are well.  If you ever have questions about urban farming, fire away in the comment section.

Bill

Advertisements