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happy new year 2019


Happy New Year everybody! It's been a crazy year for me, but in a good way. I'm getting ready to start seeds for the garden probably sometime next month. I'm going to do a combination of greenhouse flats in the basement and a technique called Winter Sowing outside. But first, let's catch up on what's been going on around the farm.

 If you've been following this blog since summer, I had planned to grow out chickens to sell as well as to have meat for myself. Except with live creatures, especially in the country, there too many variables to take into account to plan for every possibility. 

smiling fat dog clipartI have had no trouble raising and keeping egg chickens in the pens that I built three years ago, but that was before Meeka the dog came to live here. She's a Houdini of sorts and if she can squeeze through the smallest crack anywhere, she will. The other animals on the farm aren't that smart. But because of that, I was forced to forgo my meat chicken plans as she most likely was why they disappeared...over night...without a trace. But my brother's dogs have suspiciously guilty faces and fat bellies, so the truth may be something different altogether. Anyway I saved about 25 the last batch to finish growing out in the chickpen inside the shed for extra protection. They had plenty of food, water, heat and space but they never grew as big as they should have. They hatched on the 16th of September and should have been full grown by the 1st of November at the latest, but that never happened. I butchered them yesterday and today and sent them to " freezer camp". I did not take pictures this time. You're welcome. The largest was only about 1.5 pounds, but I am not feeding a family, so small is better than nothing. I boiled the smallest one in a 3 quart pot and made a wonderful soup last night.

I spent a few hours last week cleaning up the basement to prepare to start seeds soon. I have a seed starting mat that will hold up to 5 seed flats and I have some lights rigged overhead. I also have leftover nursery pots of all sizes so, when it comes time to pot up, I'm ready. I will take pictures of all this when I do it in the next few weeks. And the other thing that I'm going to do is called Winter Sowing.  Winter sowing graphicI discovered it about two years ago and tried it for myself last year. This technique sounds really strange but it works like a charm! It involves planting seeds in containers and setting them outside in full sun for the entire winter. It doesn't seem like it would work but it does, because the seeds know what they are doing. Again, I will take pictures of the process but in the meantime, you can go online and check it out for yourself. It's really cool! The reason I'm doing both techniques is that sometimes, there are some failures in the winter sowing arena, so I don't want to put all my eggs in the same basket, so to speak.

So that's all for now, but my next post should be more colorful and informative. I know we still have many weeks of winter left, but spring is just around the corner, it always is, and it will be again this year. In the meantime grab a hot drink and snuggle down under blanket and dream of warmer days to come. I will do the same and share my experiences as we go.

TTFN! Ta Ta For Now!


Jill Barlow


Future articles will include information about gardening, meat birds, egg birds, photos and lots of project ideas.

For further information, to ask a questions or to suggest a program topic, contact Jill Barlow at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..