Craig Wisner

Homesteadin’ December

Need to get some pictures up but the camera is down…

I finished building the chicken coop/run over my last break.  Built of 100% salvaged and recycled wood (read: pulling shitloads of nails and re-squaring on the table saw), I only had to purchase the wire and corrugate for the roof.  Pretty proud of a near 100% salvage job, even had plenty of leftover paint to trick it out.  The ladies will live in style.   We were out looking for chickens today; one supplier, Wes’s in El Monte, is out of stock (winter being a bad time), another, Azteca pets in East Los Angeles, didn’ t have any good laying breeds, most being bantams and roosters.  Wes’s is getting a delivery of chicks and pullets sometime this week, so we’re looking to get in on that.  My picks thus far are a Black Orpington, an Ameraucana, a Rhode Island Red, and a b/w Barred Rock hen.  We’ll see what he has; I know I can easily get the RIRs, Barred Rocks, and Ameraucanas, not sure about the Orpington.

As for the garden, I’ve just put in another ~30 square foot planter box in the back.  I think our planter totals are now ~250 square feet, still with plenty room to expand.  I’m amazed at how productive they are, it seems we’ve got really good soil at this house.  Even in summer, it retains good moisture.  I attribute most of this to being so close to the mountains; we’re pretty much living on an old alluvial fan, there has to be a good deal of underground water movement here.Winter crops are in; spinach, 3 variety of lettuce, bok choy, carrot, radish, onions, cabbage, more herbs.  Crazy thing is, we still have plenty of summer crops producing.  I pulled easily 10 pounds of tomatoes (mainly yellow pear and sweet 100s) just yesterday.  The Swiss Chard is still going strong, as are peppers.  Eggplant is done and needs to come out.

Another project: rounding up enough scrap to build the compost bin.  Our pile is getting out of control.

Pictures soon to follow.

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2 responses

  1. neighbor

    pallet racks are perfect salvage for compost bins. use em as is, or cut one down for easier access to the pile while turning. remember to gather your brown material from the neighborhood’s fall/winter leaf drop. and ask a local mow n blower for the grass trimmings; they’ll heat up the pile faster than a jack rabbit in spring.

    January 25, 2011 at 8:39 pm

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