Front yard and back yard

Hot & Dry

The weather has turned warm once again – not good sign so early in the season. The earth is still parched and we are praying for rain.  As one of our readers commented (thanks for the comment, btw) the weather pattern is “ominous” which means we are in for a long, hot summer. There’s still a slight chance of hope, we have until June before our rainy season ends. Here’s praying for March, April & May showers.

Around the Urban Homestead

Did you miss our updates? As you can tell from a lack of postings,we have been busy as bees here on the urban homestead.    There’s been the sideshow of  interviews and filming; however, it seems to be finally slowing down.

The d’uccle eggs were a week old yesterday so it was time we did somecandling to cull out any bad or infertile eggs. We rigged up a small table lamp with a cardboard box on top which we cut a hole. Worked pretty well. Some of the eggs you could clearly see the start of a baby chick and others we weren’t too sure of and they were marked accordingly so we can keep track.   On Friday, the black cochin eggs will be a week old and we’ll candle that bunch.   In another week or so we’ll candle again, because as the time nears for hatching you want to cull the bad eggs to keep them from contaminating the good ones if they explode.

After a week, we’ve gotten down the egg turning routine. The eggs have to be turned three times a day so on one side they are marked with an “O” and the other an “X.”   We are constantly checking to see if there’s any flux in temperature and humidity and have two thermometers and one hydrometer to monitor the incubator conditions.

On Sunday, the goats needed their monthly pedicure. In fact, Jordanne is getting to be a pretty efficient goat pedicurists. Blackberry doesn’t seem to mind she sits still on Jordanne’s lap; however, Fairlight still gets a bit agitated but she is getting better at being still for this trim job.

In between the daily urban homestead life we are helping two of our friends move. And you know what that means? More second hand stuff!  Not that we need more stuff, but garden tools and other useful items do come in handy.

With such warm and sunny days means we are using the solar ovens more to cook simple meals.

The garden is slowly coming back after the historic deep freeze. As I stood in line at our neighborhood nursery I overheard a woman comment that her garden looks like a morgue. It was comforting to know that we urban farmers are not alone as many gardens throughout the southland were hit hard.   This has been an extremely trying setback as we try to get the garden in order for spring and summer.   The lack of rain doesn’t help the situation much either.

Over the weekend, we planted hundreds ofsoil blocks with tomatoes, peppers, basil, beans, eggplant and more. Next week we’ll start on the winter and summer squashes and possibly a token crop of corn.

In the backyard where a patch of 30′ x 30′ foot concrete once was there’s now a neat grid of raised beds – the garden has taken on a whole new look and feel. There are still a few “problem” areas that we are hoping to tackle in the next few months.

A local artisan friend is wielding a few of his “upscale fan” trellises to place along a block wall – should really look lush in summer!

The yard is an ever changing organism – always adjustments to be made.  

Second Life

It was time we dusted off our sewing machine (which was a second hand store score, btw) and go through our pile fabric scraps (also second hand).

We’ve always had a hankering for aprons and here on the urban homestead aprons would come in handy — shoo chickens, collect tomatoes, save on water by doing less laundry.
I picked a lovely apricot fabric that used to be a bed sheet and found some flowery patterned piece to make pockets. Jordanne is also making her apron from a cotton bed sheet, it’s pretty white with lovely green floral pattern.

Springing Forward

As if this hasn’t been a strange and unpredictable year already daylight savings will be 3 weeks early this year!


‘Fast clothes’ versus ‘green clothes’ {IHT}

…Consumers spend more than $1 trillion a year on clothing and textiles, an estimated one-third of that in Western Europe, another third in North America, and about a quarter in Asia. …Britons on average discard about 65 pounds, or 30 kilograms, of clothing and textiles a year. Only an eighth of that goes to charities for reuse.“In a wealthy society, clothing and textiles are bought as much for fashion as for function,” [a Cambridge University report, entitled, “Well Dressed?”] says, and that means that clothes are replaced “before the end of their natural life.”
read full article

And on This Farm She Found a Future {Newsweek}

…Someone once asked me, “Why would you want to go into agriculture? It’s a dying field that’s not going anywhere.” I told that person that despite cultural, religious, political and economic differences worldwide, people in every country have one thing in common: we eat. It is a dirty job, but somebody has got to help feed them.
read full article

No Comments

  1. Anna says:

    I think you gals would enjoy the following blog:


  2. Claire says:

    The re-worked front yard looks great. Please post more photos of it soon!

  3. Steven says:

    what is your take on the aqus system?

  4. Clare says:

    Love the yard and garden pics, yes more please, and a bigger size!
    What type of aprons do you girls like. I make aprons… yes from reclaimed fabric. I would be happy to share with you! Let me know.

  5. Maggie says:

    The yards are stunning!

  6. Anais says:

    Thanks everyone for the comments! Always enjoy hearing from our readers.

    Steven will get to your question soon – thanks for your patience.

    Anna, great blog source. Right up our alley too!

    Clare, we like the full “farm girl” aprons (like the ones found here
    http://www.maryjanesfarm.org/pfoshop/product.asp?dept_id=183&ProductID=62040022 ) We’d love to share, let’s be in touch!