The Good and the Bad

Reader Contribution by Angela Pomponio
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Our second order of chicks arrived.  Complete with a free exotic heritage breed chick, thanks Murray McMurray!  The healthy chick count is high with an excellent survival rate.  The original chicks, at almost 3 weeks old are growing fat in a couple of huge plastic dog houses on the deck.  They have heat lamps at night, fresh air always and a great view during the day.  A couple managed to wriggle under my hardware cloth door screen in the night and were a fluffy reminder to close that barrier up tight.

Fish the rabbit is now grazing in the open of the poultry yard daily, seems to have settled in nicely.  No ducklings for Jerry yet, she is two days past the 28 day incubation mark and pretty immature herself.  I figure give in to her mothering instincts another week to be safe and then clean out her nest and let her begin again.  

After getting some beans on to simmer for refried burrito filling, rolling some raw veggie n sprout (High Mowing Seeds sprout mixes are the seed bomb!) and getting all the morning feeding done-kiddo included, I went to water my seedlings.  It is never pleasant to be faced with your shortcomings.  No one likes a surprise photo from the rear or brick like bread, I speak from personal experience people!

My carefully tended, lit and misted repurposed egg cartons and trays look mostly like dirt.  A few weak  spindly struggling little troopers attempting to stand.  I read directions, tend daily, and read homesteading references galore.  Like my alarmingly sturdy loaves, these seeds are a mirror into what I lack.  Apparently a green thumb is also useful for kneading…

So I looked through my seed packets to figure out a direct seeding plan, and ordered organic starts from Azure Standard in Dufur, Oregon through the Orofino 7th Day Adventist Church.  They ought to come with our organic produce, field fencing, organic chicken chow and fertilizer order towards the end of the month.  My history with little plants is decent.  I rely on heritage breeds and plants, compost, good intentions and strong fencing for my heretofore gardening success.  The starts look beautiful online and sometimes for the sake of time, sanity and food to eat one must concede.  

Maybe its the soft background music of miraculous chicken fluff, or the glow of a 4 year old rediscovering the soft air of outdoor spring, or just my age; I am choosing my hill to die on and it’s not going to be the mounds of freshly planted potatoes.