Beginning the Garden

The weather has been wonderful in Georgia the past few days and we’ve been outside gardening.

We finally have filled up all of our raised beds. John David finished building the beds back in February, we purchased soil last weekend and got a load of manure last Tuesday.

Square Foot Garden Bed

We’re using these slats to mark a grid for planting. (John David made these from old wood found at the back of our property!)

Paxton’s own little garden! This old sink was behind our garage and we couldn’t resist using it as a planter. We filled it with soil and let Paxton plant a few things. The left side contains cherry tomatoes and the right has a green bean plant and peas. We doubt anything will be allowed to grow long enough to fruit, he’ll probably want to just dig around in his dirt!

Front Walk Planter

Another big project John David knocked out this week was tearing out the overgrown, weed filled monkey grass that lined our sidewalk. I just wanted it gone but he thought it’d be a good use of space to line the walk with a raised bed. This long bed has 16 square foot spaces. So far we’ve planted cilantro, onions, peas and cherry tomatoes here.

We want our landscape to be an edible landscape. Flowers and ornamental plants are beautiful and make your landscaping look nice but we think vegetable, herb and fruit plants are pretty too! And, the best part, all the work invested in maintaining those plants is rewarded with yummy food to eat!

Seedlings

On March 8th, I finally started seeds. This is what they looked like a little over a week later, on the 16th. (The only thing that didn’t germinate were the Bell Pepper seeds which didn’t come as a surprise since they didn’t germinate when I did my germination test a few weeks ago.)

All of the cherry tomatoes! These actually ‘failed’ the germination test too but I decided to see if they’d grow anyway! As you can see, I overloaded on seeds and they all grew!

Since it’s been so warm and the forecast says the weather should remain warm, we took some chances and put out some plants early. So far we have squash, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, pumpkin, green beans and cilantro planted. If the weather continues to cooperate and our plants thrive, we should enjoy an early harvest!

We also planted peas and onions which are cooler season vegetables. Of course, the warm weather may negatively effect them but hopefully not!

Backyard Chickens

We also let the girls out to roam and forage in the backyard for the first time this weekend! They really enjoyed being free and searching for bugs. They went back to their home right before the sun set!

I’d love to know how your garden is coming along!

Backyard Chickens

When you’re raised on a farm, you never forget that lifestyle (and the fresh foods!) John David and I were both raised on farms and our dream is owning a sustainable farm. Purchasing even a small farm is out of our budget at this point and John David really loves his job so we’re content on our acre of land.

Having an acre in a fairly rural area gives us the ability and space to have a garden and backyard chickens!

Two months ago we starting talking seriously about getting a few chickens. A few weeks later, John David fixed up a chicken coop and last Tuesday, we purchased 4 Buff Orpington hens!

We found our hens about 30 minutes away. We were so excited when we brought them home and could finally put them in their coop! Paxton really likes the ‘chins.’ He also calls them ‘bock bocks!’

By the time we got all of the hens settled into their new home with food and water, it was dark so Paxton peeped into the coop using daddy’s flashlight.

Buff Orpington Hens

Two of our beautiful girls. We haven’t named them at this point, I’m still trying to decide if we should. Since they all look the same, it’d be hard to tell them apart just at a glance. I also don’t know if it’s wise to name and get attached to a food source!

Hens in Nesting Boxes

The other two girls in their nesting boxes.

Fresh Eggs

Two of the three eggs we’ve gotten so far. We used one of the eggs in our cornbread this weekend and we were amazed at the rich color of the egg yolk.

We’re excited about having fresh, local eggs from chickens in our very own backyard!

I’ll soon share pictures of our chicken coop and the cost of our chickens and supplies. 

Do you have backyard chickens? Do you want a few backyard chickens?