Monday, June 9, 2014

Happenings around the Home

Spring gave way to a myriad of projects, new chicks, new coop, new pen, new garden, rebuilding and moving planter boxes, new bees, cleaning out irrigation ditches, building a grapevine arbor, weeding, planting, getting new chicks to replace the chicks that Bentley killed... you know, all in a days work.

Back in April we went to my brother's house for Easter Dinner. I put the month old chicks in a make-shift pen so they could get used to being outside. I figured a few hours they'd be just fine. When we came home we discovered they had been killed. By Bentley. Who had apparently snuck out while Ryan was loading tables and chairs into the back of the car - unbeknownst to us. Needless to say we spent Easter evening cleaning up chicken entrails from the grass. Bentley got the chewing out of a lifetime. Kids were wailing and crying. It was definitely a night to remember but not for the right reasons. 

So, on Easter Sunday we said goodby to Kimchi Cocoa Puff, Marzipan Sr., Honey, and Katsu.

The next night we went out and got 4 new easter egger chicks. These are when they were newbies.

Forgive them, they're now in the awkward teenage months. Meet Marzi Jr., Schnitzel, Rudy (Root Beer) and Buffy our resident wookie (in order from L to R).

But don't get too attached to Schnitzel. We are 99% sure that Schnitzel is a 'he' and therefore will be finding a new home soon. I don't want a rooster and I am sure my neighbors don't want us to have one either. But he sure is cute and has tons of personality.

Ryan built me this awesome coop using scrap wood and lumber. Total cost was under $20. Pretty happy about that. This will be the coop for the new hens.

Garden is all planted and so close to bearing fruit. I built a grapevine arbor to keep the vine from growing into my lilac bushes and peony bushes which it does every year. Usually I just cut the vines all back, but I want all the grapes I can get this year so I can bottle the juice it in the fall. Pretty happy with my efforts and the fact that it was an inexpensive DIY ($15) that I could do all by myself.

And these purty girls just keep on laying their pretty blue and green eggs. They love it when they get to free-range the yard.

The flower garden was lovely this year. So many tulips and peonies. Wish I could figure out a way to get them to last longer.

This year we have two beehives again. For some reason our established hive and our new hive from last year didn't survive the winter. We don't think they died, because there weren't dead bodies inside. We think they swarmed and left and moved on to greener pastures. Our neighbor, who owned the previous bees is getting out of the hobby however Ryan and I wanted to keep going. So Ryan is now the master beekeeper in this house with our neighbor teaching him what to do. Ryan loves it. 

So far both hives are doing well. Ryan has already had to add boxes on top since they were producing so much comb & honey. The easter bunny even brought him a beekeeping jacket. So he's pretty legit.

And that's what's been happening around our little abode these days.

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