Saturday, May 30, 2009

Memorial Weekend Workout

We decided to put the long weekend to good use. We managed to get most of the gardens in: some tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, more herbs, radishes, cucumbers, zucchini, cantaloupe and watermelon. We sowed some pots of mesclun mix and various other salad greens awhile back and they are doing fairly well...Or at least they are when the squirrels leave them alone!

Our strawberries are doing very well and there are quite a few blossoms on them. We can't wait until we can taste some homegrown berries.

The peas are up and we continue to sow more each week to make sure that we have a continuous crop.

The quail are enjoying the backyard in their Quail Jail. Fabricated from old windows, it still needs a paint job. I never manage to remember to check the hardware store for OOPS paint. I'm hoping to find something that will complement the colors of our house. The first batch of quail hens are all laying 4 eggs consistently. This photo only shows the first batch of birds as the Rich Heritage birds have been residing on my screened back porch . The Rich Heritage quail started to lay this week, though I'm still not certain as to the sexes of most of those birds... Only one bird crows! Could we really be so fortunate as to have only one rooster in the hatch? If so, it would bring our total male count to three.

Here is a picture of one of our water barrels. I would love to get another one that is shaped like this. It is currently half full due to some generous rainfall...Now if we could just get some gutters up on the house or carriage house to direct the rain into the barrel...hmmmm...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


These are the first two Martian eggs laid at Mission-2-Mars. They are rather small, even for quail eggs. I'm not too sure which birds actually laid them, but I have my suspicions. Our first batch of quail had 2 males and 4 females, so we should be seeing quite a few eggs in the days to come. The second batch of quail is fast approaching 6 weeks of age, so we will soon be overrun with eggs. I can't wait to try them in an omelet!


CraigsList paid off... We sold 10 of the Rhode Island Red Chicks! It is amazing how much it reduced the workload and the incubator debt. Those little guys were voracious eaters and I had fears that they would eat us out of house and home. Anyway, they went to a very nice family in a nearby suburb. There is a very cute little girl in their household who hand-selected each one and plans to spoil them richly. All of us at Mission-2-Mars wish them well.

Chickens Have Landed On Mars!

Although we'd had two successful hatches of quail in the past couple of months, nothing had prepared me for the chicken chicks that hatched out during the Mother's Day weekend. There were three different breeds: Rhode Island Reds, Ameracaunas and Black Copper Marans.


There were chicks hatching at all hours and I got very little sleep. TheMartianMan can sleep through anything, but not me. I was there to greet most of our new arrivals, even though the hatch started on Friday and continued through Tuesday. The reason for the long hatching period was that we had set some of the eggs a couple of days late. I got so little sleep that I really didn't know how many chicks that we actually had. The final tally was 17 Rhode Island Reds(24 eggs set), 8 Ameracaunas(11 eggs set) and 9 Black Copper Marans (15 eggs set).



The Rhode Island Reds will not be staying at Mission-2-Mars for long...They are already listed on Craigslist. Their sale will help to pay for the incubator expenses.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bad Blogger!

I have been an incredibly bad blogger lately. The good thing is that we've been really good urban homesteaders and have a lot of progress to report. Of course we won't share all of our news in just this one post!

We spent one weekend building 2 new raised beds out of scrap wood and planting the few items that can go in the ground this early. Building more beds had stalled because we'd used most of the wood that we salvaged. Luck was with us and we were able to find a lot of wood out at the curb. Most of the pieces were brand new and still had the price stickers on the ends. More raised beds will be underway during this upcoming weekend.

We managed to plant carrots, red and blue potatoes,radishes, more peas and we decided to try planting beans, though it is still a bit too early. If the weather holds, then we'll have a tasty, early bean crop. If it doesn't, then we'll be replanting in a few weeks!