Thursday, December 23, 2010

2010--The year of the chickens...

 Yes, we put light on the coop this year... I think it looks pretty festive and I'm sure the chicks are appreciative!

I've started thinking about my New Year's goals/resolutions-gardening related-for 2011... At least things that I want to get accomplished before spring-because once it's warm outside then that's where I'll be--outside!

*Plot my gardens:  I have all the plant markers from previous purchased annuals, perennials....  I need to sort through them and either make some kind of a scrap book or an online plot of my gardens...  I would like to be able to link the plants within the blueprint to photos I have taken and info on the plant..and I don't want to pay for any program to do this..  Any ideas are welcomed!

*Volunteer to host my gardens for the spring Master Gardener member tour.  I used to be intimidated by the thought of much more experienced gardeners critiquing my simple set-up, but after attending a couple of the tours I realized that most gardeners do not hire someone else to do the dirty work.  We would rather do it ourselves...Most members have gardens where they planted every seed or start, shoveled out every bed, construced every raised bed and they're proud of their accomplishments.  I know that I would rather tour a homemade garden than one that is perfect and professionally landscaped.  Agreeing to host my gardens will also jump start my motivation to get all the spring cleaning, planting, mulching, sprucing-up that needs to be done!

* Incorporate a kitchen garden theme into my vegetable garden, either by a potager design or just adding more flowers or perennials within the vegetables. I want to add more structure--maybe a trellis or arbor and more color throughout the season--either with flowers or ornamentals.

*Start a booth at the Farmer's Market to sell the living roof birdhouses/feeders and living wreaths that we started making last season.  I devoted a large bed to a variety of sedums and succulents so I should have plenty of starts for this project. I am a little concerned about how much time out of my schedule this will take--I work full time, I'm a mom, etc...  My oldest will be starting college and Grace, my youngest, would be the perfect sales-girl!

* Continue to volunteer at Master Gardener Xeriscape and to begin volunteering at the Dr. Bill Roston Native Butterfly House in Springfield.

*Give the chickens some jobs!  I think a portable chicken tractor is next on the husbands construction list.. Then I would be able to allow the chicks to have a little free range time with the added benefit of eating weeds, bugs--giving me free fertilizer at the same time!  I also want to add a few more hens to the flock.  I should have started out with more, but I had no idea how easy and enjoyable raising chickens would be!

*Honey Bees! Jeff has hinted that he wants to pursue bee keeping and I'm trying to contain my enthusiasm for this venture. I am thrilled--I would love to give honey as Christmas gifts next year!  If I act too excited over this prospect though, he might be concerned that I'll make 2011--The year of the bees!

Merry Christmas and have a Blessed New Year!

View my chicken-blog at


  1. I drew out the plans for our garden this year. I don't have a program for it. It would be nice. I like the idea of New Year's resolutions for the garden. They might be easier to keep instead of losing weight or exercising more! Have a Merry Christmas!

  2. Hey Rebecca --

    Would you be so kind as to email me at hwill at Grit dot com, please? I would like to discuss an article idea with you.

    Oscar H. Will III
    GRIT Editor
    1503 SW 42nd St.
    Topeka, KS 66609

  3. Cute roof idea but would not work here in AZ, all would scorch unless it was a cactus garden- LOL But the Christmas lights are an idea I may use next year.

  4. Your lighted coop is so adorable! I love all your resolutions, especially the beekeeping one (I'm a beekeeper as well). I'm glad you're going for joining the MG tour, your chickens alone would be worth the visit!

  5. I like the lights also!--I know I have to take them down soon, but I'm going to drag my feet for a while..
    Wonky Girl--I think the roof would work in AZ, it's planted with sedums and succulents and requires no watering. I "planted" it at the end of the season this year--I can't wait to see how it does in the spring!

  6. Love your blog it is a great to see all you've been able to do and make it so attractive. I do have a question about protecting the chicken yard area inside the enclosure. Did you bury hardware cloth under the whole enclosure or just bury cloth down some around the edges.

  7. Thanks! I attached a "skirt" of hardware cloth extending about two feet on the outside of the run. It's partially buried, I figured it would have to be a pretty determined predator to start digging a hole that far back... So far we haven't had a problem!

  8. Sounds like you will be very busy in 2011! My daughter and I have been making living succulent wreaths, too, as gifts this past season - they are very time consuming, not just to construct but to care for until they root! It's no wonder they are quite expensive to buy. But, they're so beautiful. Would love to hear if you have success selling them at market!



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