Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Its a Start!

I can't say I've been wildly productive this spring to date, but I did manage to make a start.

First things first - I got the tractor back up and running.  This involved an hour or so with a headlamp flashlight and little machinist hammer laying on my back trying to tap a new hydrostat bearing seal into place.  The hardest parts were convincing the chickens I did NOT need their help, and getting my tri-focals, the headlamp, the hammer, and the silver dollar-sized part (the big one, not the Susan B. Anthony version), all pointed at the same place at the same time.  I can state unequivocally that I was FAR too unsympathetic towards my Dad when he complained about the same thing when I was teen.  Once again, what goes around....

The next job was to get the compost pile turned over.  I've not really got the compost thing right yet, but it gets a little better every year.  I've been throwing the chicken manure/pine shaving bedding I mucked out of the coop on top of the pile all winter.  Now that it was thawed (mostly anyway, somewhat to my surprise) It was time to turn it over.

Compost pile with a winters worth of coop cleanings piled on top.
Step one: Roll it all over enough that the cleanings are inside the pile.  Still some frozen bits!

Step 2:  Spread it out a bit so the chickens can do their thing with it.
With that done, it was time to pay some attention to the experimental compost bed in the chicken coop.  At the end of last year we were doing pretty good at putting chicken friendly garden cleanings in the bed, and the chickens were working it pretty hard.  One of the last things we did was add some corn stalks:  That was probably a mistake.

Coop compost bed as it came through the winter

Corn stalks all pulled out.  It looks better already!

After it was all turned over it became very interesting again!
I was hoping to get a clear picture of what was under the surface, but some of the girls got very interested in what I was doing and didn't event wait until I had it all turned over to get back in the bin.  If the weather is not to too bad, I'll get some pics this weekend. 

I'm slowly getting better from a health perspective.  I took a little turn for the worse and saw the specialist doc again two days ago.  I got a shot in the backside the likes of which I haven't had since USMC boot camp, another bottle of antibiotics, and more cough meds.  I've still got a hack like a lifelong smoker, but I actually feel much better.  I felt good enough today that De and I took a drive to an Antique shop we hadn't had the chance to explore.  De got some decorations for the kitchen and I got a small brass abacus to add to my slide rule collection.  I need to get 'back in the saddle'  'cause all the exciting homestead spring tasks are out there waiting!

Coming up:  A deal for a hoop house shed, and granddaughters coming for the weekend!

Col. 1:9-12,



  1. LOL! I LOVED seeing "the girls" out in the garden doing what they do best. Brings back some fine memories from when I kept chickens.
    I don't think there is a person on earth that wouldn't benefit from keeping chickens. The world would certainly be a better place. Good therapy, they are!

    1. We do enjoy our birds! Eggs, fertilizer, compost working, bug control, and entertainment all at the same time. I agree - The world would be a better place if everyone had a few hens in the yard.

  2. We keep a "raised bed" in our chicken yard that looks just like yours (minus the cornstalks!) and it's a favorite gathering spot for the chickens. What good little soil amenders they are!

    As soon as it gets warm enough, or if you have a cozy sheltered spot outside, I'm thinking it would be good for you to get some soothing rays of the sun on that chest (cough, cough) of yours. I do believe the sun, in moderation of course, has a healing quality for our bodies.

    1. I am looking forward to a little sun. I was out enough on Easter afternoon to get a little sunburn, and it did feel good - less the tender spots along my somewhat receding hairline. :-) I agree that time in the sun is good for us and that I haven't gotten enough lately.