Thursday, August 6, 2009


Our chicken experience has been a fun one! We have 5 very entertaining chickens--one rooster in the bunch (that we've discovered so far, at least...) and 4 hens. Each one of them has their own very distinct personality! Tom welded together a fantastic frame for our chicken pen and we covered it in chicken wire. We still have a bit of time before the hens start laying, so he's just begun to put together some nesting boxes. Can't wait for some fresh, homegrown eggs! These two are Romeo and Juliet, and the remaining 2 chickies that we hatched ourselves. They are the most inquisitive, funny things. We usually let the chickens roam around the backyard in the mornings and evenings when we're home and they follow us around like little, lost puppies.
The three other chickens we have are bantams, although I have figured out what kind yet. I bought them from a local feed store when they were hatchlings (to supplement our sad little flock when tragedy struck!) They have been dubbed Oreo, Coco and the littlest roo ever (but with a newly found mighty voice!) Clementine!

The girls love spend hours chasing them around and vice versa!

Falling behind

These summer months have kept us so busy and I've fallen behind in updating you all to the happenings of Hartland! I was surprised that my last post was still in June--where on earth did July go? I wanted to concentrate on the garden for this post, at least. The days have been HOT and dry but our garden has persevered! These are some of my San Marzano tomatoes--my garden pride and joy this year! This was my first experience with this variety and I'll definitely be saving seeds for next year. San Marzano's have an extra meaty flesh that is great for saucing. Whenever we harvest these I just bag them into the freezer. At the end of the tomato season, I'll make (hopefully) a winter's worth of yummy sauces and salsa!
Here's a snap of some of the gorgeous red peppers we have growing--they love our hot, sunny weather!

Carrots! This was the first year that we've had a nice looking carrot crop. I have no idea what I did differently this time around, but they are so tasty and beautiful--and we have a bumper crop of them! These carrots are probably the girl's favorite as a grab and go snack from the garden when we're working or playing outside. And most of the time, I can get Camryn to wash the dirt off of them (oh well, dirt has nutrients, right?)

A side shot of a row of our tomatoes and Zoey's sunflower.

The sunflower that Zoey planted from seed and has diligently taken care of! The birds have started eating the seeds produced from it and she likes the idea of taking care of them.

One of my heirloom Cherokee Purple tomato plants--another experiment for me this year. They're not quite as prolific as I'd hoped, but they sure are pretty!

Some climbing cucumbers and Tromboncino squash. We've trained the squash to climb the fencing of our dog run.

The Tromboncino squash has been really fun to watch grow. It has big, bright green leaves and giant yellow flowers. The fruit itself is a winter squash that has a long, narrow neck. My longest one so far is 29 inches! I'll have to get some better pictures for the full effect.

Can you tell that we love sunflowers here in Hartland? Here's another addition to brighten up our backyard.

Well, it's not really a garden picture, but I had to share my Cams checking on her chickies!