Thursday, October 28, 2010

Greenhouse plastic and a chicken coop planter

greenhouse plastic goes on
We've had a pretty strong, constant wind for about four days, which makes our greenhouse project more interesting, but with the colder temps, it has to be done, sooner rather than later. Richard and I began putting the recently ordered and quickly received real greenhouse plastic on our tiny greenhouse yesterday. In spite of our efforts to cover the few plants inside the structure, last night the freezing temperatures proved too much for our drop cloth and blanket freeze protector, and I'm afraid we lost most of the pepper plants that were hanging on. The leeks may be okay.

Inadequate plant protection

Also working on placing the little chicken coop in some spot in the yard where we can create a guinea and eventual chicken run. The idea here is to build a base for the little house that will become a raised planter in a season or so. We cover the floor of the house (which is really bare earth) with wood shavings and the birds cover it with poop. We continue to refill litter as needed, building a deep litter bed that will compost in place and become next year's garden plot. How about that? And then we move the chicken coop and run to another prepared "bed" and do it again, rotating our birds through the garden, one vegetable bed at a time.

Planter bed chicken coop. The boards at bottom of house form vegetable planter, and the foundation of the coop, which keeps the wooden house out of the snow and rain, prolonging the life of the wood that much longer.

We bought our "chicken barn" from an online retailer and had it shipped. It was pretty pricey. I don't see why a guy, or a gal, couldn't build a simpler model to do the same thing. This way the wastes from the birds become fertilizer for the garden in a few less steps, saving the farmer time and money. I love it. Eco-farming at work.

Unfortunately the first place we built a bed turned out to be constantly in shade, which for the winter and live critters, is a downright bad idea. I was hoping to protect the coop and the yard from the horrid wind we get in the fall, which, nestled in among the junipers, it is indeed hidden from the noxious wind, but without solar gain, I'm afraid my little birds will freeze to death. Tomorrow we are going to get some more boards to build another planter for the coop---in the sun.

Injured guinea is doing well. He has a healthy appetite and is still healing. His buddy is still in the room with him, and his constant chirping and singing to his sick friend makes me smile. Also in the bird infirmary is egg bound hen (who is no longer egg bound), who never transitioned back to the flock well, so I brought her back in. She's not eating enough for me to notice, or be confident with, but I did open my office this afternoon to find she'd dislodged her grill covering and hopped out of her "bed" and was standing under my desk, looking like a chicken who belonged there. What a site. The Red Star chicks are unruly and try to fly out of their playpen every time I change the food and water. Also healthy guinea made a break for it yesterday and ran across the room, looking so proud of himself, but when I herded him back to his kennel, he reluctantly entered, as there was no other place to go. Injured guinea, who is still hanging in the air, just watches in silence at the antics of his roommates and caregiver. Silent Bob.

Life on the farm.

We are still trying to come up with a farm name that fits and will stick; a name that isn't being used in some way by someone else. One Little Farm is being used, although not in Colorado. Thinking of other names, so don't be surprised if the title of this blog changes again. We'd like to happily rest upon a great name and start building our business around it, including a web site.

No comments:

Post a Comment