July 20, 2013

Saturday in the Garden – Apple moves to a “real” farm, growing lots of weeds, are my onions ready?


On Wednesday, after returning from a 10-day trip and flying all night, we fell into a deep sleep around 7:30 a.m. and literally woke up to this at 10 a.m.

(You’ll need to turn the volume up. If the video doesn’t display for you, click here.)

Our sweet Apple had found her his voice. We had debated whether Apple was a rooster for weeks – with my first post as early as April. Many of you said that Apple was going to be a rooster and I just was holding out hope that she had manly features. Ha! Not so much, our Apple has been a boy all along and he just now figured out how to tell us.

So what to do when you find out your hen is actually a him? Well if we lived in an area without close neighbors, it would be no problem, and although we live in the county (not city limits), we still do live in a neighborhood with bylaws and convenants. I didn’t want to risk the whole coop because of a rooster ruffling the feathers of our neighbors, so we made the hard decision to give Apple to my friend who has big ole farm, not too far from here.

I know Apple will be happier with more room to run and more hens to chase. And to make the transition as easy as possible, we had two of our other chickens (Marmalade and Chena) go with Apple to her new home – the two chickens who seemed to be Apples cohorts. Reports from the farm have been good – Apple and the two other chickens are doing awesome (like the three Amigos) and we of course get visitation rights.

Our flock seems to have settled way down without the aggressiveness of the rooster and I think overall this was the best choice, even though I do miss Apple. And in case you’re wondering – this sort of “oops, we have a rooster business” happens a lot because it can be hard to tell when they are baby chicks. See older photos of Apple here.

Now to the garden. . .yes our yard and garden is a big ole mess. When you don’t weed or mow for a couple weeks it sort of gets out of control. I spent an hour or so weeding yesterday and feel like I barely made a dent. We don’t use any sort of weed killer because of our kids and chickens – so our mainline of defense is a trowel and some elbow grease. I’m okay with that, but need to find sometime this weekend to get caught up.


My Walla Walla Sweet Onions have changed a lot in the last couple weeks. they have fully formed bulbs at the base and they are starting to emerge from the ground. The tops are getting limp – does this mean they are ready to harvest?


They look like this close up. Don’t mind the weed that it’s cuddling with. If this is ready to harvest – I can’t believe I grew onions! What’s the best way to keep these? 


I have a few heads of lettuce ready to harvest. I’ll probably snip this off tonight and we’ll have grilled chicken salads.


So I’ve seen random carrot tuffs in my garden beds. I thought I’d just let the rogue carrots grow. But when I pull them up – they are all white and not appealing at all. What’s up with this? I thought they might have been “volunteer” carrots – but why are they white and spindly instead of the friendly carrots you’d hope to see? Anyone know?


I have two tomato plants. But because I’ve done a horrible job pruning and cleaning up the plants, I have a HUGE tomato bush that looks like a big ole mess. Even still, the tomatoes are growing and even some turning red. I should do some trimming this weekend so the energy can go into making the current tomatoes red.


I did harvest this gem this morning. It’s perfect and it tasted amazing.

Although the yard, garden and the chickens are a lot of work – I am so grateful for the blessings of the eggs and the bounty of the raised beds.

So that’s what’s happening in my backyard. Humor me and tell me what’s happening in yours. . . . 


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  1. Celia Husmann says:

    We love Apple and are happy to have him! 🙂

  2. Yup, onions are about ready. Mine are doing the same. Falling over.
    Stop watering them, once the tops start withering, you can lift them, then put them somewhere out of the sun to cure:)

  3. Kristie says:

    Aack!! Yep, that’s Poison Hemlock. DON’T EAT IT!!!! Every part of that plant is poisonous, so get rid of it…it’s really toxic even if you cut it; a woman in Tacoma thought it looked good to eat and died from it (not to come off like it’s doomsday, I just REALLY don’t want your family or any family hurt!!). Do some research on how to properly dispose of it and you’ll be fine! Also, as a gardening rule of thumb, If you didn’t plant it, don’t eat it:D Especially here in the Northwest, we have all sorts of ‘tricky’ weeds that pop up looking like food. On a happier note….I love your site and everything you do!!! Thanks for all the hard work:D

  4. Kristina says:

    Poison hemlock can be confused with wild carrot. I’m not sure what the root looks but the tops have feathery leaves like carrot but the stalk has purple dots on it. I would google it just to make sure… you don’t want it in the yard.

  5. I can’t see the leaves, so I can’t be sure, but the roots of you “rogue carrots” look like Queen Anne’s Lace, which is related to carrots.

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