Rain

Chickens in the brush

Chickens in the brush

There’s really not much more to say than that. We get a nice day, then overcast, then rain for a few days, followed by maybe half day overcast, nice day, overcast, rain… been this way for a little while now. So, here’s some nice news from the nice day we had.

We fenced in one of the other raised garden beds and made a very unelegant but functional path from where the girls are living to this other unused garden bed. And they love it! LOTS of green stuff. So we’ll have one more garden cleared and fertilized by the chickens. And there’s no milkweed there so I think the girls will take care of all of it.

We also have this year’s garden almost finished. Got most of the planting completed, although I do need the rototiller for the corn. It’s been so rainy we haven’t had a chance to take care of that. But the tomatoes, peas, carrots, potatoes, beets, and cucumbers are in. I added more to the asparagus beds so I should be able to harvest next year. Last items, besides the corn, are tomatillos, and some late sprouting gourds and pumpkins.  With a little luck, we’ll finish this weekend. Otherwise, I’m concerned it will be too late in the season.

Airing out the coop

Airing out the coop

I’m also seriously attempting companion planting for the first time this year. (I’ve tentatively tried it in the past.) Tomatoes and carrots are supposed to do well together. So I put the carrots in some of the tomato beds. When the corn goes in, I’ll add climber beans and pumpkins. I’m curious to see if it will help reduce the pest problem.

There were interesting critters in the yard this  weekend. I almost stepped on two different garden snakes! Sadly, they move so fast I was unable to take pictures. I did post photos of the toad and the bright red bird on the new “Backyard Critters” page. I’ll be adding photos of critters I see on that page over time.

Enjoying the new yard

Enjoying the new yard

Queen of the Roost

New queen of the roost!

In keeping with the environmental theme I started with my GMO comments, below is a couple of links about the Keystone XL (XL stands for extra large!) tar sands pipeline they want to build in the U.S. In my ever so humble opinion, we should not do this. I realize the goal of energy independence is crucial to the nation, however, had we not abandoned renewable energy research after Jimmy Carter left the White House, I daresay all this fuss about oil, tar sands, and fracking would be moot (and say what you will about President Carter — you may be right — but he did recognize true energy independence began with renewables and all the wonderful initiatives he started were abandoned by Reagan).

First, a video featuring Van Jones clips. I completely agree with the statements. My thoughts?

1) Van Jones is right. If President Obama believes so much in this pipeline, then he should name it after himself, or at the very least, have a big ceremony when it’s online. I mean, if it’s that critical, surely it warrants the attention and hoopla.

2) Of course Canada doesn’t want this in their backyard and are more than happy to move it through the U.S.!

Beulah

Beulah doesn’t want icky tar spoiling the corn fields!

3) And this is what gets me every time, dating back to the “drill baby drill” days. The oil, gas, tar, whatever, that is pulled out the ground in North America does not belong to us, either the U.S. citizens, or in the case of Keystone, the Canadians. It belongs to the companies that pull it out of the ground who then sell it on the worldwide open market.

This next link is to an explanation of what is in “tar sand.” It’s not pretty and why would we ever want that crap going through our farmlands? (Special thrill: Adam Sarvana from “Big Bang Theory” is the lab assistant in the video that is part of the article in the above link.)

So that’s my soapbox for this week. Enjoy!

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