• Dig Dig for Victory

    Fat Bottom Hens Make the Bawking World Go Round

    As I became a hen fancier, I discovered that most of my favorite breeds had certain qualities in common. Calm, personable, even temperament certainly, but more specifically I came to discover that I prefer hens that are fluffy and British. The sort of chickens that are reminiscent of Dame Judi Dench in Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown or Julie Walters as Molly Weasley. With six girls, whom hatchery catalogs and poultry books dub “heavy,” Fowlsom Prison has proven potentially inadequate. The yard will be enough, but the coop and roost spaces are limited. When we built Fowlsom Prison there were no Orpingtons to speak of yet; they weren’t even being considered.…

  • Dig Dig for Victory

    Seed Starting Success Stories (Finally)

    I started taking records of my garden this year on a spreadsheet. It allows me to keep track of what kinds of plants, how many, production/yield. It also allows me to take notes about what grows and what doesn’t. Of the tomatoes I started in mid May, which was many, I only have a handful remaining and that is a generous estimation. I knew there had to be user error, since since SO MANY of my plants were dying to damping off. Damping off is this obnoxious illness where you will see your tiny little sprouts, they will be trucking along, and then…droop. The droop turns to shrivel and poof;…

  • Dig Dig for Victory

    Happenings around the Urban Homestead-99 Problems, but the Chicks Ain’t One.

    The month began with three new arrivals on the Leyshaw Homestead. We’ve been eating a lot of eggs since sheltering at home became the norm. The plan was to get another hen; ONE point of lay hen. There were a few problems with this plan. Problem 1: We decided early on that if we got one hen, we would need to get her a hen friend to keep her company during her quarantine before we introduced her to the Sussex girls. To keep a hen by herself for an extended period of time seemed cruel. So one hen became TWO hens pretty early in the plan. This quickly revealed the…