Tuesday, December 30, 2008


The two farthest from the camera are the chicks. They are almost as big as mom.
One was just hatched when I purchased the hens The other was hatched here,
about a month later. A little silkie hen just behind the chair. I was surprised to
find almost a dozen eggs in the nest yesterday. The pullets are starting to lay.
I had been only getting about one egg a week until this last week. Lot's of omelets
and egg and bean burrito's now.
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Leroy, the peacock and one of the peahens on the run when I brought out the camera
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Cold December Morn

These mornings are clear and cold. After the rain the chicken pen is wet and cold.
I go out early in my bathrobe to feed the animals and let out the chickens and pea-
cocks so they can get out in the sun. Then I go into the house and sit by the fire and
read. I'm reading, "Animal, Vegitable, Miracle " by Barbara Kingsolver. Can she
write! It's especially along my interests to read both seed catalogs and books about
gardening as I think ahead to the coming season. After the fire died down a bit
I went out on the back porch to sit in the sun. It is actually warmer there than in
the house. There I sat with a blanket over my knees communing with the peacocks
and reading a bit more. Later I got dressed and got busy. I put out some leaves in
great piles that I had picked up from town when I saw a man raking. I created
berms for the rain water to soak in from a runoff area. The rotting leaves will
create a great sponge for the water. I have plans of building a pond just below
the berms. This is in the auxilary horse pasture to the back and side of the house.
I also then dug two holes and planted two trees, also in the auxilary horse pasture.
It concerns me that I am spending so much on animal feed. I'm trying to grow some
of their food and I feel trees that have edible leaves like mesquites and memosa's
will help . I have been also been going out with the hoe and digging small holes
and planting birdseed and millet. I don't know if it will work as the birds follow
up. They dig and scrath where I have planted. Now there are little hollows
where I planted. I have so many birds that are making this their home. Like the
peacocks who like my back porch I have two young thrashers, three young
cactus wrens and four young ring neck doves who stay close to the back porch
where they were hatched. They believe everything I plant is for them.
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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday Morning.

It's been a week of fighting a cold. Boxes of used tissues ready for the fire, staying indoors unless there is a window of warm opportunity. I went out for awhile yesterday and cleaned the chicken yard, hauling the rakings to a spot that would fertilize a section of trees, I also put out a bit of straw mulch here and there. I keep working at that. Then I took the bermuda hay that the mustang and burro had strewn about out into the horse pasture with the hopes that some will grow and create pasture after the rains.

Come evening I went out at dusk to put the little hens in. I had let them out to scratch all afternoon in the corrals and under the fruit trees. What fun chasing them into the chicken house. They like to get snug at night but hate to give up their freedom. After thought I had the last one in and the door closed I turned and there was yet another. So back at it to get the last of the wandering crew in. At last they are all snug in the chicken house for the night. It made me think of my poor little white silkie , cluck, cluck who I found one late morning with her head stuck in a crack of the chicken house. I thought she was dead but when I moved the board she was still alive. I was full of thoughts of what it must have felt like being stuck like that all night. That is what happens to little hens who I have forgotten and don't get in at night. It took her about a day but she is now back to herself . How she managed to get herself into that predicament is hard for me to imagine but there is a lesson for me to make sure they are all in at night before going in.
So it's Sunday morning and I am watching movies on the vcr as my dish has gone out. I am surfing the web and looking for more gardening sites to explore. I found one yesterday. http://www.freedomgardens.org.
It is by the Darvaes who I respect for their self sufficient lifestyle. Lots of gardeners there. It's grey and cold out this morning and my daughter said it may rain. Rain is always welcome.
I got a row of prickly pear planted last week along an outside fence. It will make a good fence row providing fruit for me and the anteloupe squirrels, not to mention the birds. I also planted another fig and almond. I transplanted into pots some fig starts that had roots from under one of my fig trees and some of my peruvian pear cactus. I have lots of lettuces coming up and in the little green house planter from a rotisserie chicken I have more lettuces and cabbages coming to transplant into my frig gardens. My efforts outdoors are piecemeal at best but efforts no less.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Garden Girls Chicken Tractor building project has 6 parts. If you go to Youtube you can watch the other five as they will come up beside the first one. Just click on and you will get to the end where it shows her putting in the chicks. These chicken tractors fit on her raised garden beds so all the droppings go right on the garden soil. If I remember right she rotates her cages every month.

Garden Girl TV: How to Build a Chicken Tractor 1

chicken tractors

Garden Girl TV: Vertical Gardening One

More good videos from the garden girl

How to build a raised bed.

Another good video by the garden girl

Raised Beds in the City

I just love the system the garden girl uses.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What is Urban Sustainable Living

The Garden Girl Tv videos are very informative. She has a great set up.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Smart Green Infrastructure: How To Grow Sustainable Cities

This is very interesting how cities such as LA can be changed for the better. Less water run off and more water retention.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Save some $$$

This is the beginning of my blog about frugal ways.

Today's economy is looking pretty bleak and it is a good time to write about frugality.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Full moon setting this morning when I went out to feed.
This is my front circle. The trees in front of the house.
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Monday, November 10, 2008

I saw this little door house on Youtube and thought it would be such an easy way to make a green house or a little cabin. French doors could be used or sliding glass doors. The roof could use a recycled sliding glass door as well for a green house. (?) I have a number of old standard doors here too. The slant roof could also be used to catch rain water. If it were being used as a small cabin one or two walls could be solid and a small shower and bathroom with a composting toilet could be built outside the solid door section. Look below.

House of Doors

A Fukuoka Inspired Permaculture Garden

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Breakfast this morning. My new favorite food is cantaloupe with pomegranate
seeds. I'm finding pomegranate seeds on almost anything enhances the flavor
but with cantaloupe it's just delicious. Rest of the plate is steamed brocolli and
carrots with a 2 egg omlet. Nice bright colors and healthy.
I have a few pomegranates this year but I'm hoping in the years ahead I'll
have enough to sell. They are selling in the stores now for $1. -$2.50 each.
They are also getting more popular now due to the fact they are so high
in anti-oxidants.
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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Andrew, pitching.
I have a great camera but I couldn't figure how to make it zoom in and out
so I could get close ups. I said something to my son just as I left and so now
I know. You'll have to click on this picture to get a big shot. Maybe I'll even
be able to get some shots of my birds and burrowing owls now. Good news.
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Off and running.
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Here is my grandson Andrew up to bat at the baseball tournament in Las Vegas.
Click on the picture to get a better view.
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My daughter and I drove to Las Vegas yesterday. It's an 80 mile drive to meet
up with my son and two grandsons for a baseball tournament. This is Andrew
who was in the tournoment with his unimform and equitment. It was a beaut-
iful day as is often the case in the fall. It's always fun to cheer on the team.
Andrew made some good plays and pitched part of the game. They didn't
quite win but played hard.
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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Three pictures of my Moringa Tree. These trees could rival bamboo as for fast
growth. If I could get them to germinate more easily I could easily
have a great screen of Moringas. The first picture was the seedling
this Spring. This picture was taken today. Next to a three year pome-
granate it is stretching up and starting to look down on them.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

I am posting two photo's for comparison of the bamboo planted by the chicken
yard. The bottom picture is this Spring and the top picture is as it is today.
I planted 4 plants last year in the late summer and this is how they have
filled out and grown tall. The bamboo makes wonderful screens. I have not
trimmed out last years growth as you can see the brown. If it is kept prunned
it stays green and beautiful. It is edible, and has many uses. I'm currently
making fireplace bundles of 18" pieces of dried bamboo and wrapping them
in freebee newspapers. I bind them with a small piece of florests wire.
I haven't tried these as yet but I'm hoping that they will give me a bit of
warmth and cheer on cold mornings and evenings this winter and supplement
the other wood I have.

I have planted a 100' row of bamboo along the property line where I have
new neighbors and they are building some very large buildings. Hopefully
in a year it will be tall and providing the screen necessary for privacy.
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Monday, October 13, 2008

Tree Economy

We're facing troubled times. People are worrying about finances. Over the past years I have been investing in trees. Food bearing trees and foraging trees for the animals. Recently I was sick with pnuemonia and I found it very hard to water my trees so I had to hire someone to water. I am now investing in soaker hoses to make it easier just in case.

Think about the benefits trees give us, especially the food bearing ones. Yesterday I ate a few almonds from my new almond trees, last week I ate a pomegranite from the bushes I planted two years ago. I'm making fireplace logs from my harvested bamboo and tree trimmings. I've eaten Indian figs, regular figs, plums and apricots this year from my plantings. Each year these plantings will produce more and supply more mulch. I went to my favorite restaurant for a day off, Luchias, there are pictures farther down in my blog, and I gathered mesquite seeds and palo verde seeds that I scattered in the back open desert. Perhaps they will grow and produce a crop of good seeds that are edible. Each day I am now eating a leaf or two of my young Moringa trees. These are high in protein, calcium, vitamin A, Potasium and other vital minerals. Hopefully next year I will have the beans and seeds from these trees.

If you have space for just one or two trees make them food bearing trees. I remember as a child making apricot jam every year from an apricot tree in our backyard and eating the wonderful sweet orange fruits fresh. The leaves went into compost and made a good garden. With the stock market going like crazy, an investment in food bearing trees makes sense to me.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Here is one of the little Moringa trees I planted. They grow fast once they take hold.
I planted the seed this Spring and it is taking shape and looking like a tree.
The seeds are very hard to germinate. I'm trying to germinate more seeds
but not having much success. I'm hoping next year when this tree puts out
seeds I will be able to grow more. I stop and nibble on the highly nutritous
leaves from time to time.
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Saturday, August 30, 2008


This morning I picked the last of the Indian Figs for breakfast. I'll miss their goodness. I'm wondering if the pomegranates are about ready as they are the next fruit about to ripen. I've been steaming brocolli and carrots for breakfast as well. Sounds kind of strange for breakfast but vegies for breakfast are said to be good for you.

I planted lots of mesquite seeds this week in the back area by the wash with hopes that some will start to grow. I'm trying to start some figs from cuttings. Some are in water and others with root hormone are in damp earth. My Moringa tree is looking very much like a young tree. I'm trying to start more seeds but they are very hard to germinate. Maybe next year my little tree will give me some seeds to try to start. Local and fresh they may do better.

I got rid of all my roosters this week. I put them on freecycle and a little gal took them all. I have some coming up for next season I'm sure. In the chicken yard I have peacocks with chicks and new chicks being hatched. Finally I have some hens that got it. Two hens were sitting on the nest. As the chicks hatch they hop on the ground out of the nest and one hen is taking the chicks the other hen is setting on the nest. Now that is smart. Before both hens left the nest leaving the eggs to spoil. By the end of the month I should have some more chicks as right now two hens are setting.

We are having monsoon type weather here today. Not much rain for me this summer. Other parts of the valley have gotten rain. I'm hoping this storm will bring some.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Breakfast this morning. Two nice fat Indian Figs. These taste like ripe pears.
I chew the seeds hoping they will add nutrition. I don't really know the
nutritional content of these fruits but I like them and they are filling.
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Mesquite seeds. We gathered these up by Luchia's Restaurant last week. I've
been planting them out on the sides of the wash and some of these I hope
to grind for flour. I have not eaten the flour yet and want to try it.
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Night Blooming Cerius
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Indian Fig

The Indian Fig is a beautiful showy plant. This one is beside the chicken house.
The heat from the chickens keep it from freezing in the winter months.
If they freeze they don't usually die but take a long time to come back.
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Indian Fig

This is an Indian Fig. I think the names are all wrong. This should be prickly
pear. These taste very much like ripe pears. The fruits are a bit seedy
a bit like seeds in a tomato. I have been eating these the past few days.

The prickly pear fruit tastes more like pomagranate and honeydew melon.
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