Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Chicken's First Coop Guests!

One of the best things about urban farming (other than the amazing food!) is the cool, passionate people you get to meet. Today one of our blog readers, who happened to live on the other side of town, came by to visit the girls. Their baby chicks are coming Tuesday, and we hope that we were able to help them out with some of the lessons we had to learn the hard way!

I have also been very fortunate to find a "bee mentor" who has been invaluable help for the first year of the hive. We meet John at a local gallery's showing of a bee documentary. He has come over to the hive several times to show us how to work the bees and has introduced us to the local bee club. I don't know how we would have gotten the bees through the summer without him.

As so many of us are trying to get back to craft of yesterday within the constraints of our modern, urban setting, it is really awesome when we can all help each other learn something new. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Master Composter

While I have heard of master gardeners, I was surprised to see a program for Master Composters being offered by our local cooperative extension. This sparked my interest, and I quickly signed up before really contemplating how much work this might be! It felt like high school biology and chemistry class rolled into one; it surprised me how much science knowledge was involved. Of course, I should've realized that nine hours of training would go beyond just throw stuff in a pile and let it rot! It was a wonderful course, and I feel so much more prepared to handle issues that have occurred with our compost piles. The class also taught us how to set up a new worm bin so now our basement hosts two worm bins! When I came home from the class, I announced to Jeff who was in the bedroom,"honey come out to the living room to meet the new members of the farm!" After a brief pause, "Dear, what did you bring home now.....?"

Check out this great web site for a ton of resources to help set up your composting game!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Key Lime Tree!

Forever attempting to ignore the fact that we live in Upstate NY, another citrus tree has been added to the homestead-key lime (as a lovely birthday present from Mom.) We did some more research on caring for this tree and wanted share...

Rocks in the bottom for drainage

Here's the interesting part- who knew there was soil formulated for citrus?
I am sure we could've amended a general potting mix but sometimes the lazy way rocks!