Why I Always Get Extra

I’ve had a lot of people look at me funny when I tell them that I have over 100 tomatoes and peppers in the ground and in pots. And then I get to, “Oh, but I have extra–would you like some?”

I could talk to you about how I’ve learned that I can grow things as long as I put a bit of effort into it, but that’s not what this post is about. No, this post is about why when I want 20 chickens I get 30 (count for losses, you know), and why when I want 100 plants, I need to start at least 200.

I’d rather have extra than not enough!

And oh boy is there extra. When I sowed over 200 cells with seeds, I was expecting 85 to maybe show up and survive long enough to be planted. I spread the plantings out over weeks until it came down to my last tray. 49 seeds lovingly sowed a bit late. 5 different tomatoes and one pepper. So small that I never even got a chance to pot them up.

Then the other day they looked so sad. So starved for water, sunlight, and attention.

So I soaked them and tossed them under the Jeep tire for the long weekend. It would provide some shade, but let them get plenty of sun without getting soaked if it rained.

When I checked them yesterday, they looked beautiful. Ready to transplant up, happy.

When I checked them today–

Oh.

That’s right.

They were still under my tire.

That’s right. This morning I was running late and walked right past the car that I could have driven, jumped in the Jeep that was out of gas, and ran right over my precious plants.

I didn’t realize my mistake until long after the damage was done. On my way home I hoped maybe the tire missed. Maybe I moved the plants. Maybe Mike moved the plants.

No such luck, but I did what I could to salvage them–I buried them deep and I buried them 2-4 a pot. They’ll get crowded if they all grow, but I’ll take that risk in hopes they’ll grow at all. These were the Peche, Livingston’s Gold Ball, Ananas Noir and Red Zebra tomato varieties.

Such is life, and such is why I like to overdo it. You never know when blind stupidity or a bad morning will mess up your plans. (In addition to forgetting that I could drive the most fuel efficient of our vehicles today and running over our plants, I left the door wide open, yet locked. Come on in!)

And here, for good measure, a few pictures of the chickens since I say I have them but never post pictures.

I look like a raccoon attacked a hobo

Today did not go according to plan. Things were going great. Corn bed was put together, newspaper down, compost filled. It was windy, so no bees, but we made it to the tasting on time and had time to come home and start potting some of these leftover plants. There are tomatoes hanging in my carport, herbs planted in the garden, and the backyard is mowed (courtesy of Mike). We even went back and got a second load (2 tons) of compost. I even took pictures of everything to document it, which is something I always want to do but never do.

Then one of our neighbors stopped by to say hello. It was about 7pm. Way past the time the dogs should eat. We were talking to our neighbor when I noticed the fur on Huck’s back going up, a growl start in his chest and then–

Him and Dixie were at it again. They used to fight all the time. Huck has bitten my arm when I’ve broken them up (in an attempt to attack Dixie) and Dixie has sunken her teeth into my leg when I lunged between her and Huck once. You know–when you stick yourself in the middle of a dog fight, you’re going to get bit. But things had been quiet for a few months. A few squabbles, but nothing BIG. Huck turned 2 back in November and so we thought–this is it. They’ve sorted themselves out.

The last few weeks, things have been getting worse again. It’s very bad when Dixie hasn’t eaten. You can’t reason with the dog when she’s hungry. But she’s ALWAYS good with people, with kids. If she’s eating, a kid can walk up and dip his hand in her food dish and walk away without a scratch.

Apparently, I can’t. Don’t worry, there are no pictures behind the cut. Continue reading

Memorial Day Weekend To-Do List

I’m trying to post and get dressed and get things done all in time to make a cake tasting at 11am.

Not much is getting done, I’ll tell you that.

I want to post about the chickens, and the garden, and the fact that holy crap, I can grow things!

But instead, until later this evening when I can update about the bees (please let there be no swarm cells!), my to-do list for this weekend will have to suffice. And it’s pretty long. List behind the cut. Continue reading

Chicken Math

Do you know what chicken math is? I wasn’t sure at first, either. How can one kind of math be different than another?

So I went to the trusty thing known at the internet, and it explained it to me: Chicken math is just the natural order of how many chickens a person may originally want, and how many they end up with. What looks like 2 chickens may turn out to be 1, 0, or 15.

Sometimes it’s a disease and sometimes it’s nature. You decide: Continue reading