Friday, April 16, 2010
Urban homesteading day...
Enjoyed the warm weather with some solid hours outdoors today, preparing the garden beds, baking in the wood-fired cob oven, moving the chicken coop, and touring around the yard on a fabulous retro red tricycle with hens in tow.
Garden tasks included establishing new beds - we've taken apart our old raised beds and have widened them with new cedar frames, and woodchip mulch as narrow paths between. Next we want to set up some permaculture-style keyhole beds on the sides and back of the garden, as well as redesign the herb area. I have mint beds on the outskirts of the main garden, also in raised beds, with 8-9 varieties of mint for tea blends. These mints, and other herbs, are starting to come up, as well as the rhubarb and first shoots of asparagus! We had to move a large section of strawberries in order to widen our new beds, so these are now in pots waiting for their new home near our pond. We'd like a carpet of edibles (strawberries and aromatic herbs like thyme or lavender) near the pond sitting area, under one of our apple trees.
Baking in the cob oven - it makes good sense to do this on a gardening day, as tending a fire for a few hours is easy enough while puttering in the garden beds alongside. The end result, 6 loaves of crusty wholegrain sesame-sunflower rye bread, 2 plum-rhubarb pies (using up freezer fruit remains), and a huge batch of maple granola - all baked within an hour in the oven, which is still warm now, hours later.
Moving the chicken coop - this is an annual tast we do, as one method of keeping the pen and run tidy and free from mites or disease. We give it a good cleaning regularily (and may power wash it this week,a s someone generously loaned us her power washer after reading our request earlier in this blog - thank you!!), however, actually moving the entire coop to a new corner of the run is a good idea on an annual basis.
And, happiness is...a new red tricycle - which we found used on kijiji, and, in fact turned out to be from someone who lives only a few blocks away. Perfect!