Thursday, 30 June 2011

What's Good for the Garden.....

Went to Middle Cove Beach last night with my PEI visitors, but it was just about dark, and the capelin had gone back out. Still pretty exciting for our friends who are used to red sandy beaches. My friend suggested I get some capelin for the garden as fertilizer.  I would have, had I not tried something similar a few years back when we lived in Portugal Cove.

Back then, the circus had come to town in Mount Pearl. I happened to drive by one day and noticed one of the elephants in the midst of a huge poop!  A lightbulb went off in my head and I thought, "Now there's a lot of fertilizer in one shot." Never gave a thought to what that poor elephant's diet might have been, all I thought was manure + garden = rich soil.  I don't pretend to be an expert in gardening, and I am no agriculturist, but I thought that was a good idea.

I rushed home, borrowed a friend's pick-up, then proceeded to return to Mount Pearl to collect the goods.  I did, indeed, get a pick-up load of elephant's manure and was very pleased with myself.  I stopped at a yard sale on the way home on Waterford Bridge Road and got a few complaints about the smell.

When I arrived home, I began to unload the poop in the wheelbarrow, then remembered reading somewhere that some gardeners steep manure to make tea to spread on gardens. I may have gotten the story mixed up, but in my own mind, I thought of the tea I drink, from tea leaves wrapped in a tea bag, soaked in boiling water. I then filled a 5-gallon bucket with water, got an old pillow case from the house, and filled it with a few shovelsful of elephant manure.  I let it sit in the sun out in back for about 3 weeks, trying to ignore it but curious as to what the outcome will be. Finally, I couldn't wait any longer and poured the liquid from the bucket into my watering can. The smell was horrid, not that pleasant, fresh manure smell that comes from the dairy farm next door. This was awful.  However, I walked around my yard with the watering can and spread that tea all over my lawn. In a few days, I thought, I will have the greenest lawn around.

When I awoke the next morning, the house was covered in black spots which looked like an engine had exploded and blew black oil all over the yard and house.  Those black spots were those big fat flies!  You know, those ones that land on cow patties, what I always knew as house flies or S H - - flies!!!  It was like a swarm.

We had to spray the house down with the hose, spray the lawn down and dilute the tea as much as possible with water. About a month later, we were clear! Incidentally, the lawn did not turn the lovely green I had anticipated, but the manure burnt it up and I had the worst-looking lawn around.

Anway, that is my experience with spreading "things" on my garden or lawn.  Getting back to the capelin, I didn't want to go down that road again. I will rely on my compost and scrapings of the henhouse.  I'll keep the capelin for the frying pan.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011


Yes, the sun graced us with its presence today!  So did my friends from PEI!  Simon couldn't believe we could actually grow things in our soil!  PEI soil is so red, rich, and rockless.  I wish I could have the green rolling hills and brown straight drills the PE Islanders enjoy.

Had the chicks out today to bask in the sun. One was out of its box so they are starting to fly.  Still don't know if all or either of them are roosters.

Photos to come later today.  Gotta go sight-seeing with Laura Lee and Simon.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Too Dark to Mow

I had to come in out of it and only got the back mowed.  All the plants are looking desperate, but the grass doesn't look too bad.  I think the seeds and flowers I planted had too much to drink, like John Lester said of his strawberries.

And what's with them there chickens! One egg today!! Boy oh boy!  I threw out a handful of flax seed this evening so maybe that will give them a boost.  One egg! out of 7 layers!!!  What's a girl to do?  I smell chicken cooking........!  No b'y, I wouldn't do that to the poor chickens..........not yet, anyway.

Got a tiny egg yesterday about the size of a large marble. I get probably one of them every two weeks.  We used to call them lucky eggs when Johnny and Minnie stokes had chickens, but they really are not lucky at all because there is not a fully-formed egg inside.  What I have been doing is poking pinholes in each end, blowing out the contents, and collecting them in a bowl.  I'll find something to do with them.

Going to sleep with the sweet smell of freshly-cut grass in my nose. Gotta tackle the front lawn tomorrow.  I need two or three of me.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Warmer Weather

Well, we finally get some warm weather, but the flies would carry ya away!  Them little black ones are the worst. My sister has gotten a few nasty bites the past few days that swell up instantly.  The ones she received at the corners of her eyes, she does not mind, because she says they lessen the wrinkles there.  Newfie Botox!

Anyway, I am going to try to post a few photos of things that are finally beginning to grow.  I planted everything the same week, earlier than advised by a friend who has connections to farmers that have farmed for over 100 years.  However, if  I waited any longer to plant, the seeds would never get in the ground.  Survival of the fittest.

I also obtained the new chicks about two weeks ago and they are growing fast.  Still under the heat lamp until they get their big-girl feathers. That is, if they are girls!  The girl at the Farmers Co-op said they were not sexed and cannot tell if they are male or female!  There will be some racket in the hen house if I have four roosters, in addition to the one I already have!  Time will tell.

Let me see if I can post the photos.

Strawberry patch, that needs some major weeding!
A few potatoes have poked their noses out of the ground.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Rain, rain, go away!!

My goodness, even my shade-loving plants are starting to wilt!! Enough is enough - the seeds have all germinated and things are starting to grow, but we need some sun.  Hopefully things will change this week.

Let's Begin

This is my third attempt at creating a blog.  Hope this time is lucky! I would love to hear from people about raising chickens, gardening, plants, etc.