This year we really started thinking about raising chickens. It fits well with my husband's love of disaster preparedness and I'm always up for new pets. I researched coops day and night but kept coming back to what I refer to as the "easy button" of chicken coops. I've always been a fan of stylish and somewhat yuppie versions of things and this is really quite ingenious.
Building the Eglu Go
My husband and I moved to the mountains nearly seven years ago. Initially we liked sitting out back and looking at the stars. Eventually we walked a few local trails. Then the bug started creeping up on us. We craved adventures in the dirt. Sweat was no longer reserved for the air conditioned gym. Heck, our house doesn't even have a/c. We adapted. We visited REI and decked ourselves out in hiking gear. We got back to our teenage years and began to appreciate the outdoors all over again.
Elglu Go with run
This year we decided to make our yard work for us. We wanted vegetables. We were thinking compost and then, we were thinking chickens. The plan has spiraled from there. Soon our yard will, with any luck, become our own personal produce section. We've ordered our designer coop and we're going to try at this. Wish us luck. I'm sure we'll need it.
For years I've said I wanted a vegetable garden. I have memories of a childhood visit to a rural part of Alaska. We stayed in a home with no running water, but which had one of the best vegetable gardens I have ever seen. My friend and I would wander the garden in the evening breaking off a piece of this or a piece of that, tasting all the wonderful flavors of organic gardening even before organic gardening was the trend.
I've realized there is no time like the present to get started on my own garden. In addition to raising chickens this spring we are getting our hands dirty with some seeds. Here is what I have learned...
1. Pick up some seeds at a local nursery or hardware store. Aim for seeds that say they can be started indoors. We opted for tomatoes, butternut squash, sweet peppers and bell peppers. Try to pick plants that help you save money. With the crop problems in Mexico tomatoes and bell peppers are good choices.
2. Pick starter pots, a plastic tray or even an old cardboard egg carton. Fills the cups with a good quality soil (I used Miracle Grow Potting Soil). I've learned if you use garden soil you may bring in pests.
3. Fill the pots with soil and sew the seeds at the depth marked on the package. We placed our pots on an inexpensive plastic liner tray. You can use an old baking tray or plastic storage container too. You just want something that won't leak since plants will be inside.
4. Water with warm water and continue to water with warm water every few days keeping the soil moist. To trap in moisture we covered our tray in seran wrap. I've marked our seed cups with different color toothpicks found in our kitchen. Be creative with plant markers.
5. Place your starter seed tray in a well lit room that keeps a good temperature. I chose my upstairs office since it's sunny up there and warmer than our downstairs.
We are off an running. I have no idea is these babies will sprout but glasses up in a toast to our first attempt. In the next few weeks we'll work on a simple raised planter bed so check back to see how the project comes along. If you have questions about materials feel free to post them. I'll do my best to answer. I purchased everything you see here at Ace Hardware.
Spring is coming, even if currently we have fresh fallen snow. With spring this year we'll have chickens and a new coop. My husband and I have long been talking about joining the backyard chicken movement and after a quick check of local zoning laws we are good to go. This week has been filled with drives to feed stores, reading up on chicken rearing and coop research.
Somewhere in that time we've managed to brighten up the house with a few new houseplants, filled our "new" antique armoire with board games and blankets and picked out a few trees we'd like to add to the yard. You can see our new armoire and a new house plant at right. That's my "ready to go antiquing outfit." Skirt, antique jewelry, comfy shirt and sweater.
Today we drove to Tehachapi, a neighboring mountain town. It was a glorious snowy day. The picture at right was taken along our drive. Tehachapi is a great little town to visit. Along with adorable antique shops and great restaurants the people are reason enough to go. We picked up some gardening tips, learned a little about the local history and found a couple good resources for the new chicken hobby.
I'm very excited about the goodies I'll be listing on Monday. These are all items I had purchased for myself and have been hoarding away over the past five years. I'm ready to share some of my favorite finds. I have a 1950's embroidered state quilt with so much detail, a 1920's etched glass lamp that still works that is just lovely, some vintage table linens and many exciting smalls. I hope you will all come check out the shop and find a treasure!
I've had this vase for a very long time, having been found all dusty and unloved at a flea market about ten years ago. Today I pulled it out from the back of my curio cabinet and did a little research. There are an infinite amount of new websites that have come about in the past ten years to help me determine what this piece is.
I discovered my little two part glass vase was made pre- 1900. It is silverplate and quite rare. Another similar to it, also Victorian, recently sold at auction for $500 though it had a green glass insert. So, I have listed mine on Etsy at what I believe to be a very fair price. I love to pass along my good finds at a more competitive price. Plus, this vase deserves to be used and loved. I hope you'll find it to be as special as I do.