All Things Bright and Beautiful,All Creatures Great and Small,All Things Wild and Wonderful,The Lord God Made Them All. ~ Cecil Francis Alexander

This month has been a busy one! A few weeks ago we received the babybantam chicks through the mail and they neededconstant care and looking after.

Now,two weeks later, they are sprouting wings and feathers.The baby chicks are truly fascinating to watch as they develop personalities and act out their natural instincts.

Already they know how to scratch for food,take a dust bath, hunt for worms and bugs. They love eating aphids! They are going to be great natural pest controllers for our garden–not to mention fertilizers,too! Some are just now learning to perch and try to fly.

Naming them is going to be quite fun and we have some names already picked out. We don’t quite know yet forsure which ones are male or female. Although, byo bserving them, we think we have figured out which ones are which. In three weeks more or so, we can be absolutely sure of their sexes.

The heirloom tomatoes are growing well, some are already over 2 feet high. These past couple of weeks have kept us busy transplanting, re-potting, re-doing beds, etc. We are using newspaper pots and soil blocks for planting our seeds. This method reduces the use of containers and makes it easy to transplant in the yard without any unnecessaryshock to the root system.

Also,we were invited to participate in our local community college’s Earth Festival. Getting a display and brochure ready have taken up a lot our our time. For the display, we made a pizza box solar oven, which works quite well!

The weather still continues to be weird. One week is overcast and cool, the next hot and sunny. Poor plants–they probably don’t know what season it is–wesure don’t!

With all the wonderful smelling herbs in our yard, this month we tried making a batch of hand-milled soap. Our first try wasn’t so great, but we made a few adjustments and now have made beautiful bars of soap.

Also, with the herbs we have, on nice sunny days we like tomake a batch of sun lemonade. It’s really easy to make. Just use one glass gallon jars, fill almost to thetop with water, then put in some lemon slices, herbs (weuse scented geraniums, mints, pineapple sage, lemonverbena) and add sugar. Please make sure all ingredients are thoroughly washed and haven’t been sprayed or treated with any chemicals. Let the jar sit in the sun for a few hours–makes a refreshing, “earthy”lemonade. (For “pink” lemonade, throw in somered rose petals).

This month Earth Day celebrations are taking place around the world, reminding us that we need to take care of Planet Earth. With some little baby steps, we are trying tomake a difference in our everyday lives. Besides growing our own food, we have purchased energy saving lightbulbs, and, recently, an energy saving refrigerator. All lights and electronics are turned off when not inuse–we never illuminate an unoccupied room. We use an”umbrella” solar dryer for our clothes, andnever use our dryer. Washing only full loads, buying inbulk, cooking from scratch, using the sun to warm up orbake our food, no air conditioning or central heat,using some non-electric appliances (purchased fromLehman’s) etc.,are just a few of the energy conscious things we do. We hope that with each passing day we can make moreadditional changes, maybe some big, but mostly small. Each change is a step along life’s path, that you,too, can take.

Changes take time and effort, but arewell worth it–for yourself and the future and well being of our planet.

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  1. Darcy says:

    A very belated comment, I just found your blog a couple weeks ago and am trying to read your story from the start. I wondered whether your city had any ordinances about keeping chickens, and how you keep them in your yard. Do you have a fenced in area for them, or a fence around the whole property? Your story is incredibly inspiring to me. I keep reading it whenever I need cheering up. Thank you for setting such a wonderful example for the rest of us. I’m trying to adopt similar practices and just put up our first clothesline this week. Actually time to go hang out a load to dry right now! Thanks in advance for more chicken details. 🙂

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