Monday, June 29, 2009

We're waiting for "USPS" to deliver

USPS is a beautiful Black Star pullet that arrived from McMurray Hatchery June 17th with great thanks to Carmine our postal delivery man. Our fowl girls are co-habitating, at least. It was touch and go for a while as Uno wasn't so sure she wanted to share her kingdom with anyone else. There was much chasing and hen pecking which has now mostly stopped. I expect USPS will be a dynamite layer, but she still has some growing up to do.
Meanwhile, the garden is thriving due to all the rain in June. I put together some bamboo teepees, as always, to support and corral the growth of the indeterminate tomatoes. The "body bags" on the roof of the shed seem to be doing well. Already in are snap peas, cucumbers, zucchini and yellow squash and the first of the pole beans should be ready by the end of the week.
Last week I added the second medium to my hive on the roof as the girlz are going like gang busters. Our source revealed to me he sold us "super bees" and that while the rain tends to slow the growth of the hive, you can never make generalizations when it comes to bees. The good news is: we will have honey this year. The bad news is: we will have honey this year. How and when we will extract it is yet to be determined.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Urban Gardener

As urban gardeners the biggest challenge one faces is space. This year I figured out a few ways to increase crop diversity and yield (see the previous blog entry). Last summer I found it possible to grow more cucumbers vertically than one family could possibly need/want, pickling not withstanding. And, my zucchini and yellow squash took over an entire walkway in the garden. I realized they all needed more horizontal space than actual root space. By trellising and what I refer to as my "body bags" on the roof I could add pole beans in pots against the back of the house and sugar baby water melons on the roof of the shed. Doing this left more room in raised beds for tomatoes, eggplant, etc. and a constant planting of lettuce throughout the summer.