a box of chicks

After trying to convince me his little project was for our future children, Aaron finally confessed that his “play house” wasn’t for kids, it was for chickens. And he told me if I ever put a child in this coop, whether it was ours or someone else’s, he would probably call Child Protective Services, but that our future chickens would really like it. Since Aaron had a great experience raising hens when he was a kid and we both harbor secret urban homesteading fantasies, we’ve been talking about chickens every spring for four years. They have always been in the long-term plan, and whenever one of us works on anything in our shed Aaron talks about transforming it into a coop. He realized chickens were legal in our city and when he discovered the massive supply of DIY-coop-building plans from other hippy-ish blogs, there was no turning back. We just happened to go to a farm supply store this weekend and… now the rest is history:  We have six little chickens in our laundry room. (This is the year of MAKING IT HAPPEN, after all.)

I do want to say that I didn’t have animals growing up (except a hamster named Pecan, may she rest in peace), so this is pretty new to me. I have firmly indicated that I am not interested in raising any cloven-hoofed animals, but I could probably be convinced to get a horse if resources allowed and we had kids who would manage the riding and caring. I’m pretty sure no one is reading this for my treatise on hobby farming – you just want pictures of the chicks. I will happily oblige.

1) Chicks at the store. We couldn’t leave them there: chicks 12) Transporting them home in a box:
chicks 23) Aaron carefully observing them. He is such an animal-lover that I can’t believe we haven’t had anything serious until now:
chicks 34) The chicks enjoying their temporary box home in the laundry room:
chicks 4…But, wait! There’s more! I TOOK VIDEOS. Indulge yourself as you see fit.

Aren’t they cute!? I’ve heard they might even stay this way for a few days.

a (small) fruited plain (garden 2012)

As in past years, any area of our yard that gets full sun is cultivated for vegetable gardening in the summer. Aaron is a gardening master. And while most people would say that I’m the stereotypical woman with all sorts of nurturing instincts and he’s more of the brute hunter-gatherer, when it comes to plants we are totally opposite. All the gardening successes are his, and we have already enjoyed 2 fresh tomatoes. The first one is pictured here, and Aaron chose not to smile because he wanted everyone to know he takes his agricultural projects very seriously. 

Then over here, I will confess my own gardening disaster. This is the third year in a row that I’ve entirely destroyed a bunch of plants. This isn’t supposed to be that  hard, and I’m determined to get the hang of this before I turn 30.  I started a bunch of pansies and something else from seed in the kitchen this spring, then transplanted them into pots, along with ferns, hostas, and sedum from the back yard. I painted almost all the planters to match each other and selected some stumps to use as plant stands. I give myself an A for artistic vision, a B on decor follow through, and a D on plant-nurturing. I won’t say an F since some of them are still alive. They started off well, which you can see in the big picture, but the two side pictures illustrate what it all looks like now.
 I should also mention that, since I wanted to make salsa this summer, Aaron ordered some onion plants and I carefully followed his directions for planting them in the big garden. They were also a total bust – they barely grew! We pulled them out to give more room for the tomatoes, so I chopped up what I could and threw them in the freezer. This way I can still say at least two of the salsa ingredients came from the garden.