Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Moving Over

While we may return to this space in the future, for now we're keeping up with our gardening/urban homesteading at our family blog: www.LifeasaSchoolhouse.com

We've handed the the reigns of the land over to Drew's folks and they have lots of big plans for what we call 'the land'--officially 'Plan Bee'. You can follow their progress here: www.WildThingsInaBox.blogspot.com

We appreciate your feedback on all our endeavors! 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What to do with green tomatoes

We finally gave in the other day and took down the tomato plants and got the garden beds ready for winter here at the city homestead. The plants still had tons of green tomatoes on them that were just not ripening. Given the time of year they were probably not going to ripen before the frost gets them. So we picked all of them because we knew we could do something with them.
Turns out that you can make chutney with apples which I think i will try making with the second bucket full. With the first bucket full i made this green tomato relish. With one bucket full we were able to make eight pints and one quart. That is a lot of relish not sure what we are going to do with all of that, but its better than wasting the tomatoes.

Out at the liberty farmstead, we got a load of horse manure which we are going to mix with layers of hay and mushroom compost to get beds ready for the spring. 

If anyone wants to come help with making garden beds let us know.

More to come soon.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Our newest addition is the garlic bed. After this year success with garlic we wanted to try a few different kinds, so I got a variety pack that has a little over two pounds of garlic in it. I made a bed of mushroom compost and wheat straw mixed with the tilled dirt for the bed and after we plant it all we will give them a little top coating of more compost to feed on through the winter.

The outhouse is almost done just needs one more coat of paint on the outside.

More photos to come...

Monday, September 20, 2010

The 'toilet' room.

Our outhouse is officially underway. So far the sub-floor is in place & 2 walls have been constructed (though still not in place). We're hoping to have it ready this week for 'christening'. 

Here are a few shots:
pieces are built & then assembled at the site because power tools work faster.

truing the sub-floor. no wobbly potties, please!
one wall.
the not-builders enjoying some r&r in a new hammock donated by sweet Grammy.
& potty training on the prairie. not really. she is not trained & it's not the prairie. but, it's cute & someday probably embarrassing.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Chicken Weeders

The backyard garden has gotten out of control. this year we were hit with a really bad case of Bermuda grass. It started out in just one little bed but it slowly has taken over the entire garden. There is no eradicating it that I know of. If you pull it out, the next time you go outside it has doubled in size. If you till it the next day your entire garden is filled with it. I tried organic pestiside, which was just like spraying fertilizer on it. I tried a blow torch which kind of worked for a day or two. I also tried vinegar and boiling water. The boiling water sort of worked, the vinegar not at all.
Post Bermuda Grass Invasion

So my next effort on killing it has been my best grass killers, the chickens. Here is the idea. If you leave the chicken tractor in one place for about a week, by the end of the week it is nothing but dirt. You can add to the destruction by pouring the feed in the same spot too and then they scratch that down even faster. I have penned them into one row of garden, which in theory in a few weeks should be weed free. Then after that I am going to cover it in black plastic. We might still go for a fall garden but its kind of late so I might just leave the plastic on all winter.

We have completed one row to my satisfaction here are the before and after pictures.
Launch of The Chicken Counter Attack

First row completed, there are still some weeds around the edge but for the most part it is just dirt.

Row two is being setup to be invaded by the chickens

Stay Tuned for the next step, somehow i am going to beat this grass with out using Roundup.