Monthly Archives: March 2009

Marriage, chickens, and my brother.

My brother, Chris, and his partner, Megan, got hitched this weekend in a flurry of fun, family, and festivities.  Here’s to them, and their egg-laying future of owning chickens!!!

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A good day, if I do say so myself.

yehuda-moon-324[via Yehuda Moon cartoon]

The White House will have a garden.

Oh yes.  It will.  The New York Times is reporting that Michael Pollan’s dream will come true, as a 1,100 square foot patch of [useless] White House lawn will be dug up and replaced with 55 varieties of vegetables and fruits.  While in the end I am guessing this will mostly be symbolic, I think it is a pretty cool symbol.  I mean, if you’re into that sort of thing.

If only all of us a garden for fresh veggies and fruits to chow down on whenver we pleased…(and a whole staff to take care of them and cook for us too…).  In any case, home gardens are all the recession rage these days, as are chickens and local farmers’ markets, which is of course good news for food, farmers, and the people who eat them.  Here are some of my favorite quotes from the NY Times article:

“First of all,” Mrs. Obama said, “there’s nothing really cooler than coming to the White House and harvesting some of the vegetables and being in the kitchen with Cris and Sam and Bill, and cutting and cooking and actually experiencing the joys of your work.”

AND

“A real delicious heirloom tomato is one of the sweetest things that you’ll ever eat,” she said. “And my children know the difference, and that’s how I’ve been able to get them to try different things.

There have never been truer words.  Heirloom Tomatoes are gifts from the gods even if they generally sell for the ungodly price $5+/lb, which means they only for elitists of course (or just that they are the best thing on this planet).  Next project: chickens roaming the lawns.  Anyways, garden on y’all. [New York Times]

Sleeping Frog Farm

Some friends of ours are renting a beautiful piece of land a bit north of town and growing some DElicious veggies, raising hens, a couple guinea fowls, and generally just being good to the land they have.  [Jealousy sets in.] They are called the Sleeping Frog Farm, and are now pretty much the hottest thing to hit the local Tucson Farmers’ Markets, and their vegetable goodness comes highly recommended from this chicken and veggie aficionado.  You can find their goods on Sunday mornings at St. Philip’s Plaza from 9am-1pm, and at the Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market on Thursday afternoons from 3-6pm.  Do it.  Your taste buds will thank you.

Your Spring backyard chicken montage.

The Inside Coop: Coyotes, chickens, and Spring veggies.

As promised, here is your long-awaited update of life in our backyard paradise of west Tucson.  Lots has happened with the onslaught of Spring here in the desert, at least in the 1/5 of an acre that I inhabit.  Most notably, I have had an overwhelming obsession with gardening and digging and compost and seeding plants.  It is so intense that it has almost become a problem at work, in that it has been really difficult to think about anything else but the next project, or if the seedlings have popped up yet, or when I will get to Sprinkler World with my brother to purchase irrigation supplies that I have long needed and will finally be sufficiently organized to have.  I have framed one existing and one new garden bed with wood edges in order to lessen erosion and in order to further define the beds themselves.  My brother and I also went all the way up to north of Tucson to visit our beloved Aribico Organics for a whole pickup load of sweet smelling warm compost made from maggot poop and pine shavings (all true), which we split, and I have promptly used nearly all of my share for the enriching of my newly framed garden beds and for a potting soil mix for seeding eventual transplants of mostly tomatoes, basil, and peppers, with the occasional eggplant, watermelon, and herb.  During one of my potting extravaganzas one Saturday in the middle of the afternoon I was visited by a coyote at the back fence, presumably in search of rabbits, field mice, and ground squirrels, though he did spend a good half minute staring through the fence at the chicken palace that holds eight very plump and well-nurished hens that would make a coyote quite happy and me quite devastated.  Though really, I think the potential danger is quite low given all that the coyote would have to go through to make off with one [fingers crossed].  Amid all this flurry of activity, both human, vegetable, and carnivorous, all eight of my hens are officially laying and on Monday, March 9, the chicken stars aligned and the bird gods conspired that all eight would lay an egg on the same day.  Nice.

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Coyote visiting.

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Coyote close-up.

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Vegetables in training.

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What eight (dirty) eggs in one day looks like.  (In the handmade chicken basket that my cousin gave me for my christmas this year.  Yay Andrea!!)

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This is the never-been-used-and-newly-framed-in-garden-bed-with-plants-I-didn’t-seed-but-purchased-and-then-planted-because-I-have-a-problem-with-patience-and-needed-to-see-some-real-life-green-plants-already.

From top to bottom:  (Left row) green bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, (space for future plant), cucumber.  (Middle row) Thai hot pepper, jalepen(y)o pepper, Mrs. Burns’ Lemon Basil, Native Seeds basil.  (Right row) zuccini (x2).

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My circle garden bed with Cherokee Purple tomats (cages), volunteer parlsey (forefront), I’itoi’s Onions (chive-like plants), sunflowers (right), and radishes (where it looks like there is currently nothing).

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