Monday, May 16, 2011

Mid May Project Weekend: Rain, Ducks, and Seedlings!

Lots of fun activities this mid-May weekend!

It has been raining heavily on and off a lot here, with intermittent beautiful sunshine between. Perfect for the many seedlings sprouting in the Remington and Boone Street gardens!

Lettuce, asparagus, and radishes are coming out of gardens in abundance right now, and carrots, beets, early potatoes and peas are on their way. Now is a great time to put in those warm-weather transplants as well like cucumbers, squash, melons, okra, grains, tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers.

Seedlings about to go into the ground at Boone Street:

From left to right: peppers, basil, watermelon. Back rows: tomatoes and cucumbers.

I took some time to do errands, cook food, hang out with the ducks, and regroup this weekend. I did help out at Boone Street, but Cheryl and our friend Haroline did a lot more! Here they are checking out the community garden bed before we put in some seedlings:

Chicken Man worked on so many amazing projects at our house this weekend as well.

As you can see in the photo above, we finally got to take advantage of all this rain and built a rainbarrel!

Well, Chicken Man built it, which involved drilling an opening for the faucet fitting into the barrel, and opening the top of the bucket so the rain pours in. Mesh netting is tied over the top to prevent mosquitoes and other debris from getting into the water.

He also set up that great gutter system, which is zip-tied onto a very convenient chain link fence. The fence is also hopefully going to be a trellis for the hops, which I thought had died but came back this weekend!

Chicken-Man's other awesome project: a run for the chickens and ducks!

That's right, the little ducks have been let out into the general population. So far everyone has been quite nice, except for one Araucana who keeps terrorizing the mama Orpington and chasing the little ducks. The other White Orpington is still broody and hanging out in the nesting box all the time. Our daily egg count has gone from five to three, but that could also be due to the weather heating up.

Here they are enjoying their new pool that Chicken-Man got for them!

Chicken-Man forwarded some of the duck videos to the woman who gave us the fertilized eggs, and she replied and let us know the breeds!

"The puff head s a Grey Crested Swedish/Rouen mix. The one with the ring around the neck is an Indian runner/Rouen mix. The yellow is a Pekin/Rouen mix and the other I believe is a full blooded Rouen."

Sounds like she has a Rouen male!

The Grey Crested Swedish/Rouen mix is the silly duck with a mohawk who tends to be a crowd favorite. He (or she?) keeps getting into ridiculous predicaments. Like this one where it tried to climb up the fence and got stuck about a foot into the air:

And this one where it escaped the run and ran peeping around the yard:

Best of all though, they got to visit the fish pond in our friend's yard. They were afraid of the water when their chicken mama was nearby, but once they were on their own, they went crazy in the water!

Our friend Carey is a pie baking queen (omg, strawberry rhubarb) who also took some cute photos of the duckies in the pond, which is great because my camera is so terrible at dusk. Thank you Carey!

Soon to come Now posted!: a blog post about the King Arthur flour baking workshop I attended on Saturday!

Special shoutout to foodmaking friends Wei-ting, Helen, and Liz who were also at the King Arthur workshop. I also ran into BaltimoreDIY reader and Baltimore Free Farmer A.G. to whom I gifted many of my zines this past weekend. It was great seeing you all!

Foodmaking fun that took place instead of me gardening at Boone Street: a cream of asparagus recipe from Lucie Snodgrass' stellar cookbook Dishing Up Maryland, and kimchi made from the Boone Street radishes.

Also, the rabbit kits have been born, but we haven't seen them yet since they are still in a nest of hair and hay and we don't want to disturb them. Hopefully we'll see them in a week or tw.

As far as blog development, soon I hope to change the pages on this site a bit, and create a page dedicated to the Boone Street Garden, the animals, and foodmaking so it's easier to track the development of particular projects.

For a bit of BaltimoreDIY nostalia and/or background, check out the May 2010 archived posts!


Angry Asian said...

i really enjoyed the king arthur demo too. it was my 2nd time seeing it, the first being in Dec. i love love love that braided bread she demo'd, it really is easy and tasty!

i am really enjoying your gardening and chicken updates.

AlizaEss said...

Aw, I was looking for you, but it's difficult to pick out friends from the internet in person!

I took photos of the steps to make that braided bread and hope to post them soon. I was so jealous of the raffle winners who got the cookbooks, baked goods, and dough whisks :p

Thanks for reading!

The little but loud one said...

The bread whisk is pretty amazing!

AlizaEss said...

"The little but loud one" - cute name ;)

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