Month: April 2015

Money Pit

I have been enamored with sunsets for most of my life. I’d like to think it’s because of the innate symbolism of the end of something, with the hope of what’s to come on the flip side. More realistically, I guess I just think they’re darn pretty. The first time we looked at the farm, we stayed so long that we got to see a magnificent sunset as we did our final walk around the property. I had a mind boner all the way home. It’s been ironic and a little frustrating that, just as the weather is warming up and we can begin to enjoy the twilight hours on the farm, we have been spending every evening for the past week potting up seedlings in our windowless basement. We planted many seeds of our own in channel trays to maximize space under the grow lights. These can only stay in the trays for a short time, so we’ve been trying to pot them all up to 72 plug trays, with mixed success. This week …


This weekend Chris and I went to his New Illinois Fruit and Vegetable Farmers class.  It was a gorgeous day filled with sunshine and a picnic lunch at U of I.  It was also a whirlwind, but it sparked a lot of ideas and hope for our farm this year. In our basement, we also began transplanting our tiny seed starts.  We are behind where we should be, but we feel we’re starting seeds better this year than any other year before. We’re also learning how to do things on a larger scale.  For example, we have 350 zinnia plants that will roughly produce thousands of zinnias. And that doesn’t even include what we’ll direct seed into the ground. Our chickens have left the adorable newborn stage and are now entering the awkward teenage stage. They’re about four weeks old.  

Chickens, I Declare!

I have fantasized about getting a small backyard flock of chickens for years now. I’m not alone. Like beekeeping, having a cute little chicken coop and super fresh eggs seems to be the cool thing to do these days. Major cities even have companies popping up where you lease everything, including the chickens, just in case you change your mind and can’t handle the responsibility any more, and all you lose is your massive deposit. They’re probably making a killing… We couldn’t have chickens when we lived in Bloomington, but that didn’t stop me from researching the notion and then subsequently mourning the gaping hole in my life that only a small flock of chickens could fill. So, needless to say, once we moved to the country, starting a coop was one of the first things on my to-do list. Audra has resisted the idea for years now. And honestly, she seemed hesitant until just a week or so ago. It if hadn’t been for a timely and well-written article on keeping chickens in the …