Ladybugs, Chickens and Aphids

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Posted by Annie in gardening, Organic on June 17, 2014

Chickens nesting in treeMy house just gets crazier by the day.  About five days ago, I tried to move my chickens.  Well I moved them alright, but not the way I intended. After they went to bed, I just picked up the pen and moved it where I wanted it.  I figured that should be that and I was done.

However, the next night the birds acted like they didn’t know where to go.  So, after some deliberating I moved the little coop back where it was.  Only two of the birds returned, the other four went up a tree and have been there every night since.  It seems they like it so much, every night they climb higher and higher.

Birds in treeI hate to say this but I’m afraid they won’t come back until something gets one of them.  I just try to keep an eye out for them at night, I don’t know what else to do.

Today, I discovered that my Zucchini has aphids really bad.  So, we were off to buy some ladybugs.  Then of course the ladybugs need a house. I sure hope they do the trick.  I have to wait until tonight to put some of them out.  The instructions advise putting out a few at a time.

Tonight, I gave the birds dried meal worms.  They were happy. I had five of them in the pen, I thought I was home free, but then the one chick went up in the tree and the others followed.  Maybe I’ll get them back tomorrow?  I’ll keep you posted.

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Planting Season

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Posted by Annie in gardening, Organic on May 10, 2014

It’s hard to believe the transformation, and harder still to realize it won’t last long.  What am I talking about?  Everything is alive right now.  The grass (or weeds) is growing, it’s actually green! While we certainly didn’t get a Winter, it’s certain we are in full blown Spring.

English: First blueberries of the season.

Blueberries

We’ve got song birds everywhere — more than I’ve ever noticed in the 10 years I’ve been here. When I go outside at 4:00 a.m. there are already birds singing, and we have lots of baby birds. I love sitting and listening to them. It’s just amazing. I think the difference is that about three months ago I started sprouting seeds for the chickens. They don’t eat all it and I’ve had all sorts of birds come to visit to pick up the slack.

Pollen season hasn’t started yet; at least not the green pollen that covers everything for a month. I noticed the pine trees have sprouted little tiny pine cones, so cute.

I still have far more deer and squirrels hanging around tham I’d like.  I chase them off but they come right back. They all want the chicken feed. Who can blame them?

If you didn’t make it to Mountain People Organics (lovingly called the Farmory) for the FoCuS Plant Starts Festival last Saturday, you really missed out.  I got a swell deal on strawberry plants, 12 plants for $10.  I felt like a thief when I left but oh, so grateful.  The plants are already sprouting several strawberries.  I also picked up a blueberry plant that was heavy with blueberries already. When watering it this morning I noticed blueberries had actually fallen off of it. I ate 2 and gave the bird some.  What a treat!

Be sure to get outside and enjoy the sunny weather before it gets too hot.  Now is a perfect time to visit if you like the outdoors.  🙂 If you stop up for a visit, be sure to dress for the random weather. It still gets chilly at night and we never know from day to day what we will get.  Be prepared.

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Good News!

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Posted by Annie in Organic, Twain Harte News on March 27, 2014

We’ve got a long road ahead, but the California Senate passed proposed legislation (SB 1381) by state Sen. Noreen Evans requiring foods containing genetically modified organisms to be labeled.

October 12, 2013Sonora Rally Against GMO’s — Oct. 12, 2013

On Wednesday, March 26, the Senate Committee on Health approved the bill on a 5-2 vote after Evans, D-Santa Rosa, agreed to several amendments, including that the legislation exclude alcohol products and not take effect until Jan. 1. 2016.

“I want to be very clear: This bill doesn’t ban anything,” Evans testified Wednesday. “It simply requires labeling. It’s agnostic on whether GMOs are good, or whether they are bad.”

While, Prop 37 would have banned firms from marketing any ‘processed food’ as ‘natural’ – even if it did not contain any GMOs . SB 1381, by contrast, contains no reference to natural claims, requires plaintiffs to give 60-days of notice before filing any legal action, and would only allow them to collect attorney’s fees and costs, and not damages.

It excludes certified organic foods, food served in restaurants, and meat and dairy from animals fed GE feed.

Several other states are pushing forward. You can read about it here.

GE Labeling Resurrected in California, Petition For Ballot Measure Circulating in Colorado

On a related topic the Twain Harte Market is contacting all their vendors, they are in the process of labeling all the products on their shelves.  They hope to be done sometime in June.  Maybe the rest of the world won’t know what they are eating but here in Twain Harte, we will.  Way to go Twain Harte Market!  Kudos!

You won’t believe this…

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