Spring has definitely sprung. For the last couple of weeks the weather has been more like San Diego’s than the Ozarks. It was a little chilly last night but no frost.

Yesterday afternoon I here the little chirp of a turkey poult coming from the coop. Sure enough there were three that were already hatched and the best I could tell three more that had pipped their eggs. That is one VERY protective momma. Normally she is quite easy going but she doesn’t want a damn thing near her eggs or poults now.

We have two hens setting on eighteen eggs the best I can tell. Last year they were hatching out in the run and making their way out through the chicken wire to become tasty dog hors d’oeuvres. This year we are better prepared for young poultry security. If there is any need we are ready to pull the young and put them in a stock tank brooder.

The greenhouse is finally back in business. I made several improvements to structure and battens around the perimeter of the trusses to help prevent wear on the plastic. I reused some of the brick from our old patio to pave the walk.

The streak of great weather has translated into a much needed boost in my spring time motivation. The garden has really been getting the largest part of my attention with good results. A friend came by with his tractor and tiller to do the garden in exchange for some perennial starts and strawberry and raspberry plants. I haven’t used a tiller in a couple of years. We have had a good source for round bales of straw until this year, so we had laid cardboard and heavy straw between plantings. I simply pulled the straw back and forked up a spot, adding a bucket of compost and then planted. It was nice for weed control and helping in building our soils but you work with what’s available. I’ll be damned if I’ll pay 4$ a bale for straw.I haven’t planted long rows of anything but sweet corn in years, so this has been a nice change of pace. It reminds me of my Grandpas wonderful gardens. Rows as straight and weed free as they could be. Mine won’t be anywhere close to either of those standards.

The raised beds are almost all planted. I still have four that need to be prepped and planted.

The pigs are all doing well. I’m most pleased with the progress this barrow is making considering he was the smallest we brought home.



  1. Leigh said,

    April 17, 2010 at 1:28 PM

    Your greenhouse and garden are both looking great. Something for the rest of us to aspire to. Interesting that you have so many eggs under your broody hens. Sounds like you have good success raising your chickens the "natural" way. What breed(s) do you have?

  2. Ron said,

    April 17, 2010 at 8:59 PM

    Wow, those turkey chicks are cute. I sure wish our hens would go broody soon… an incubator will be a project for summer if they don't.The greenhouse is looking awesome. So is the garden. I'm in the same boat on mulch… it's great and there are lots of advantages, but when things get bigger it can be hard to procure enough (inexpensively).Ron

  3. Woody said,

    April 17, 2010 at 10:16 PM

    Leigh..Thanks. The broody hens are our turkeys. They can lay quite a few eggs before starting to set. Our chickens are a mixed bag. New Hampshire Reds, Speckled Sussex, Barred Rocks, a Light Brahmas hen, a Seabright…you see where this is going. Our turkeys are Blue Slates.Ron..I have an old incubator you can have. It's an old hospital lab incubator right out of the 50's, complete with bio-hazard sticker.I could swing the 20$ for a round bale of straw. It is roughly equal to 16 square bales. To tell the truth I'm happy not to have the straw ankle deep. I've gotten used to being bare foot for much of the summer. The straw provided excellent cover for too many snakes. I'm not afraid of snakes…unless I step on them. Then I'm doing the jump outta my skin dance.

  4. Robin said,

    April 18, 2010 at 1:18 AM

    Your garden is looking really nice! Spring is definitely here! I love this time of year. Then I'm hating it by summer time with all the garden watering and weeding. lol

  5. Woody said,

    April 18, 2010 at 10:11 AM

    Robin…I can't wait for that first ripe tomato! One of my favorite pastimes is the early morning walk through the garden and pulling that beautiful ripe tomato from the vine and chomping down on that sucker. The garden is worth every minute that's put in it…ten fold!

  6. Ron said,

    April 19, 2010 at 3:42 AM

    Dude… I'd love the biohazard incubator. 🙂 We'll get together sometime, hopefully soon. I'll give you some country ham. My neighbors sometime sell hay, but rarely. Right now, with the vole issues, all mulching has been put on hold. A shame, since I like the mulch so much… maybe after I kill them all I can proceed with mulching my corner of the world. Or abandoning it. :(Ron

  7. Woody said,

    April 19, 2010 at 5:33 AM

    Ron..It's yours.

  8. karl said,

    April 20, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    boy that greenhouse is looking really great. i like the brick work nice job.k-)

  9. Woody said,

    April 21, 2010 at 4:44 AM

    Thanks Karl.

  10. polly's path said,

    May 19, 2010 at 7:43 AM

    Everything looks great!I am not one for straight rows but my husband is very particular about his-he pulls a string from one end to the other…we can't quite plant together. His slow meticulous ways bug the heck out of me, and my get it in the ground at all cost attitude makes him mad.

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