Sunday, April 26, 2009


So here in central VA we have managed to go, again (SIGH), directly from early spring to mid summer. Wednesday there was a frost warning, and yesterday, today and tomorrow are all in the 90 degree neighborhood and now it is thundering like we'll get a summer boomer. It went from too cold to put the summer stuff out, to too warm to transplant anything. I am betting/hoping late week and weekend may be more reasonable for such things. I hope so as I bought a flat of impatiens at the market.

I dashed out in the cool of the morning and planted a couple types of cukes, some watermelons and zucchini and summer squash. The seeds will probably love the heat. I was then obliged to go out mid day in full bee regalia and put the honey super on the hive. It was probably a little over kill for the job, but last time I went out I got stung so I was being overly cautious. Of course, when I got stung I was being underly cautious so it served me right. So now the bees have someplace to put all the honey that is theoretically flowing right now (end of April to Mid June in this area).

ETA for the ducklings is the first Wednesday in May. But they won't say for sure. I guess we have to wait for them to be hatched and there is some lee way in all that. Below are some names I am tossing around. Feel free to chime in with votes or additions. I need 10 names so don't be shy.... The rule is that they can't be named after anyone in particular....

Jackson Carlisle (the one boy) or Levon Devonshire
Rosaleigh Bates
Iona McKaulsky
Maria Helena Garcia Fuentes
Honey-Jane Purslane
Anabell Klein
Josaphine McFadden

You see I need some help....

Sunday, April 12, 2009


What I learned/remembered on Easter Sunday 2009. A list! Because I know SHG loves them and I haven't heard from her in a while....

1. The SB is right. Easter is when the violets REALLY start blooming.
2. It is great to have a neighbor who collects you from your yard work for a mid day supper of lamb, potatoes and spinach in the company of smart women and mimosas.
3. I am not sure that transplanting beet seedlings is really the way to go.
4. A floor jack is effing heavy.
5. I am clever enough to get a floor jack from the basement to the trunk of my car without actually having to lift it.
6. Although I didn't actually have to lift the jack, I think I will be feeling the strain tomorrow. Since I am feeling it now. Oi.
7. You cannot ever ever ever appreciate your friends enough.
8. I never get through my list of things to do on any given weekend.
9. Home made chicken stock rocks.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Step Closer

The SB was home last weekend to work on the duck house. The building extended through Tuesday. We are well on our way, but still not done. Here is a pic. We did get a roof on but without covering (can't decide if we want shingles, cedar shake or metal). Still need to add batons to the board and baton.... And of course the covered run. Which will mean more post hole digging... Which isn't as bad as I thought, as long as you take it super slowly....

EDDA (Estimated Date of Duck Arrival) is May 5-8. There are definitely issues to be worked out. Food. Intermediate housing. Bedding. Water containers. The list grows... I was recently reading an article about ducks for egg production. The Indian Runners are egg producers rather than meat ducks. They aren't really large enough to merit all that plucking. The article said that a well bred duck could produce 250-300 eggs per year. Um, multiply that by 9 duck hens...... OK, I am not panicking, but if you have a little time, you might want to clear a corner out of your fridge before, oh, say the end of summer when the ducks start laying. In reality, I don't think mine are coming from champion laying stock, nor do I expect all of my ducks to make it to production age. I am sure there is much about fencing that will have to be learned the hard way.

I planted out some more beet and chard seedlings this morning. I have bunch of other seedlings that will go in a week or so. These are the warm weather things. Tomatoes, peppers, etc. They won't do so well until the nights are warm, so there isn't much point in putting them out too early. I can keep them under the lights and on the heat mats and probably get better progress....

Friday, April 3, 2009

Check It Out

You probably heard about the organic garden at the White House. But did you hear about this? Hip hip hooray for the support from the top.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The News

I don't know how the rest of March got away from me... Other than I have been recuperating from illness. I was better a long time ago, but finally feel like I am hitting my stride again. Sheesh... This recovery thing takes a lot longer when you are, um, a certain age.

The most excellent news is that the ducklings have been ordered. Yup. Ten baby runner ducks will be on their way to me the first week in May. Don't know what a runner duck looks like? Check 'em out below via YouTube. And did I mention I will have 10? That would be Ten.... And yes, we will have a champagne reception for them. You bring the champaign because all my cash is going to fencing and duck crumbles.

The SB is coming home for the weekend to work on the duck house. And the Market opens this weekend. THANK GOD.

The bees seem to be well and get the next hive body on tomorrow if it is warm enough. The cat found the first snake in the yard (yes, I was able to save it, but I didn't get a good look at it). I have decided that the day the cat finds the first snake in the yard is the REAL first day of spring. After that (it was Sunday) we are highly unlikely to get an additional serious frost. Of course, I am making this all up, but that is par for the weather course, I think.

The chard I planted in front of the house has started to look like it is growing and there are blossoms on the peach trees. My my. Real spring indeed.