Welcome to the journey,the tale and the saga of our

Thursday, March 19, 2015


Towards the end of February the weather turned towards what was really seeming like an early false Spring,warmer and sunnier weather that had me a bit puzzled so I chose to sit on my hands when it came to gardening. But the weather has held and I was noticing that the really nice gardens in town were looking like they were being worked on. Following the lead of those gardens Chance and I got busy.
 Since our new garden area is way bigger than our whole back yard was in Beaverton we made the choice to rent a rototiller for around $40,Best.Money.Ever.Spent! It took Chance about an hour and half start to finish.While he tilled I followed behind picking up rocks,black plastic ( ick,dislike that stuff so much.) and whatever else popped up.When we were finished Chance said to me, "An hour and half was much better than 8 hours of digging."  My reply was, "Ummmm wait don't you mean 8 days of digging? I mean come on think it through."

The next day while I was at work Chance went and picked up a load of Llama manure for free.There is a local farm that is more than happy to share. I guess the lady farmer was very nice and told Chance if we need more just to call and we are welcome to come get it even if she isn't home.
There was plenty so Chance spread it out over the garden and the flower beds in the front yard with some to spare.

I am curious to see how the garden does with the Llama manure,AKA Llama Beans because it looks like little beans. I tried to find a good link to share without much luck,most of them were farms selling their beans. But from what I understand it's some of the best manure out there,right up there with rabbit manure. Since it is not a hot cooking manure you can use it to top dress at any time without burning your plants. One idea I want to try is making some manure tea with it. Growing up my parents used rabbit manure tea with really good results so I will be looking into this project soon.

I have done some early planting,sweet peas,a few gifted flower plants and hops. According to the OSU Master Gardener site we are still too early to get much in the ground directly. Their website shows that the growing season here is only a couple of weeks off from the season in the Willamette Valley.

There are also several plants like squashes and cucumbers that we will have to have starts for instead of directly sowing like we used to. Luckily we do have the green house here which is Chance's temporary shop but I can use one end to get some seedlings started. Another new project for us. In Beaverton we just did not have a good window to do seedlings in so we never bothered. We have been saving toilet paper tubes to use for our seedlings.

 Yesterday as Chance and I were heading into Bend to do our weekly grocery run Chance asked if I would like to stop at the feed store to look around (he takes me to the best places.). I am always willing to stop at a feed store so of course I said yes. Well..that fellow of mine he's a sweet man who knows me best knew that the feed store had chicks in. He also knew that although we have tried to get chicks from local farmers with ads online we kept striking out. And we need new chicks if we are going to have eggs ever again. So of course when I spied they actually had Ameracuna's  aka Easter Egger's, 6 of them came home with us. I still want a few more chicks or ducklings,we are still on the hunt for them.

Which brings me to this morning. Our little dog Sparrow is small yet mighty,knows that protecting the coop and hen's is her job and it's serious business of hers. This morning Sparrow is patiently sitting near the tub where the chicks are,watching over them like the good dog she is. The only fuss she is making is she can't see over the high sides of the tub to check on the chicks if they are fussing.How  is a girl to do her job with such high tub walls?

This is where Win comes in. Win is afraid of the hens,he has been told sternly they are not for him to play with,those are Mama's hens and it's Sparrows job to care for them. But Win follows Sparrows lead whenever there is something new he does not understand. He has been laying farther from the chicks than Sparrow but dutifully watching and learning. Win realized the issue with the tub sides.So Win has been very slowly and quietly creeping over to peek in the tub when the chicks and Sparrow are fussing.He then gives Sparrow a look that says " I think they are ok".  Then everyone settles back into watching.

It's a funny little story of two dogs I know but I am pretty happy to see this.It shows that Win is starting to understand his place in our pack,that Sparrow is above him in order and maybe a bond is forming between the two.

I am feeling like our little home is bursting full of life again. The energy of a younger dog has been a really good thing for all of us. For now a tub full of chicks in a corner of the kitchen is so sweet.I know I will change my mind on that one once the chicks are almost too big to be in a tub but for now it is a good sweetness. It's a good thing that at least for now the weather is good so we can spill some of that energy outside into the sunshine.

Part of me is hopeful this early Spring will stick around and make it until Summer is here.But part of me knows it will make for a dry summer leading to higher fire dangers and the need to worry about our well drying up.

The last thing to share from house and home is this not great photo. All over the property are this large patches of little tiny bright yellow flowers. I love coming across them,when the sun shines on them they are like these moments of summer,cheerful and bright after the colorless winter months. I wish I could have captured their glow when the sun is on them.

Anyone else getting their gardens going? Have any exciting plans for new things to try this growing season?

Best regards until next time


  1. Yay! Thank you for the update!
    I refused to even LOOK at the yards/garden until March rolled around. Then I started cautiously assessing 1) what we need to do differently this year, 2) weed threat-level (new, known, etc), and 3) which invasive shrub gets the axe this year. Meanwhile, Dave has already pruned the roses, turned the garden, and planted some early greens & onions.
    Pretty sure I'm still hibernating & tired of people trying to pull me out of my burrow.

  2. So exciting to hear about your new baby chickens, and how the two dogs are working it out... I have actually planted seeds in my salad table which has been and intention of mine to have and use for years now, and now I will find out if it works. We transplanted the puny rhubarb out to the parking strip, in a planter with a lot of compost and worm castings, so If I water it, it should be happier and then eventually grow. I am looking for somewhere to grow some sugar peas, and I just bought some cilantro seeds... I may have some actual homegrown stuff this year!!