Garden: Late in 2012, I pulled out the strongest tomato, eggplant, and pepper plants and stuck them in pots. During the few weeks that it got chilly, I brought them indoors to a fully appointed atrium with ceramic tile, drain, and its own water source. Did I mention I love this house?
As the days started getting shorter, I noticed the potted plants were looking poorly. Still green, but not as robust as they were a few weeks earlier. Greg installed a grow light over them and they started getting bushy again. The eggplants and tomatoes even flowered.
But then horrors. I discovered aphids on my eggplants. I never use poison on plants that grow food, so I sprayed them with a mild dish washing soap solution. It seems to be working.
Sometime in March, when I'm certain the temperatures have stabilized, I'll put these plants outside and then compare them with new, younger transplants. The tomatoes seem to be more leggy than bushy but that could be because they're not getting enough light. I'm curious to see how much sooner they'll produce since they're already mature plants.
|All my pretties. Notice the grow light above.|
Comfrey: I have been wanting to get this plant for ages, but the price always made me swallow my tongue. Finally, I surrendered to my plant lust and bought a dozen cuttings. Comfrey is a hardy herb well loved by goats and chickens. It's also an old herbal remedy for broken bones, thus the name knitbone. The allantoin in comfrey is believed to promote cell growth.
I'm hoping it'll be as aggressive a spreader as they say because I want to use it as stock feed. I'll post a picture of it next month because it's just a little sprig of green right now. Not much to look at.
Chickens: Back in November, I mentioned the chickens were taking some time off as the days got shorter. Well, almost as soon as December 21st passed, they started laying again with gusto. I'm getting a dozen eggs a day. And a few of the younger chickens are starting too, including a new layer who is taking after her mama and laying green eggs.
The good news: Several people are interested in buying my eggs.
The bad news: As usual, my buyers live far away so it'll be a case of when I can transport the most amount of eggs at one time.
The guys below haven't been sorted. There are three roosters who have yet to meet the Maker. And I need to band the others by age and breed.
|Too early to let them free range. Without the cover of trees and shrubs, hawks and coyotes can pick them off.|
Dogs: Over the holidays we rechristened the old labrador who adopted us last year. Not expecting her to stay we kept calling her Mama, but the name didn't fit.
Mama is now renamed Maggie. It didn't take her long to respond to that name. She still follows me around like a shadow. They all do. I don't know why I deserve so much attention. I must smell like liver.
Tank's condition has improved. His lumps are far less noticeable and he has more energy. My relief at his turnaround cannot be measured.
Iko is starting to throw his weight around. He's always been content to be second to Tank, but Maggie's introduction has made him more assertive. He doesn't want to be third. LOL. Thank goodness he doesn't realize how powerful he is. He thinks he's still puppy-size.
I'm curious how he'll behave once Tank is gone. Iko has always looked up to him. As long as his big brother was there, all was right with the world.
We're still looking for our fourth baby. We keep coming across so many other dogs that need us, but I'm trying to hold out for a girl who can help me herd goats.
|One of the few times I could get them all in one picture.|
What plans do you have for the spring (or winter) for you down under?