Betsy Farmer Designs

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Winter Garden

Farmer LifeBetsy FarmerComment
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The sun finally came out today, after being foggy all morning. I knew it was hiding up there and waiting for the perfect time to shine. Once it did, the chickens were scratching to get out of their coop and join me in some weeding fun.

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There is something magical about digging in the garden during the off season. The girls get to scratch, peck, and dig to their hearts content without me worrying about tender sprouts being ruined. They collect fresh worms and get their beaks dirty in the cool soil.

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Pretty soon I’ll get my little garden journal out and plan what to plant in these beds, the anticipation of what to grow bringing a sense of giddiness. Every year, we have potatoes sprout from areas where we always seem to miss a few baby ones the year before. Always fun to have them grow and even more fun to dig them up.

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These sunny days are few and far between here in the Pacific Northwest, so the plan is to take advantage of them as much as possible. Kids will be running around outside all weekend, we have dinner plans with friends we haven’t seen in way too long, and maybe these garden beds will all get weeded so they’re ready for early spring veggies.

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Enjoy your weekend friends!

xo,

B

p.s. Huge thanks to my mom for sewing me a pair of Burnside Bibs last year!! They’re the perfect addition to my gardening wardrobe! ;)

Chicken Fun Run

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My husband rocks. Seriously, he's the best.  Just sayin'.  

He puts up with my crazy ideas, my nightly knitting, and the little projects I'll throw his way from time to time.  Like this one...a chicken fun run!

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Isn't it great?!?   My idea was something extremely simple.  Something to keep them contained so they wouldn't go running off or sneak under the deck or roost on the BBQ (yes, I know the irony there.  Believe me, I find it hard to roast a chicken on the grill while my girls are 2 feet away).  

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I showed him some ideas that I liked and we tweeked a couple things.  I wanted it to be light weight, portable, and simply keep them contained and deter predators a little bit.  Yes, I know this is not predator proof, but it's not intended for that.  This is just for while I'm out there with them or have to run in the house for a little bit.  Plus, it will fit in my raised beds, which is perfect for when I'm not growing anything in them and they can aerate, poop, and dig for worms as much as they want.  

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Here are some details, in case you're dying to build one too.  We used 8' 1x2s for the long horizontal bars and then 4' boards for the others.  Kreg-jigged the corners, stapled heavy duty plastic netting (to keep the weight down instead of using metal wire) around the frames, and secured the corners with metal corner things - yes, I don't know what they're called.  LOL!  4 hinges on top allow for easy folding and storage.  Plus, he stained it for me because well, it looks better that way.  HA!  

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As for getting them in here, we simply lifted it up on one end, threw down some meal worms and in they went.  Easy peasy....except the one who wouldn't come out of the regular coop.   There's one in every crowd, right?  

And that my friends, is our chicken fun run! 

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Fall is on the way

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Fall is definitely in the air.  There's a cold bite to the morning and evening air that has been missing the past few months and it's something to be truly grateful for.  Everyone is posting pumpkin this and pumpkin that and all I can post is a pumpkin colored hat and a little garden space.

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This garden has been one of my most productive years, literally made me giddy every time I went to harvest.  It produced over 23 pounds of potatoes, 25 pounds of green beans, 20 pounds of zucchini (and uhm...more that literally just went to the chickens because how can one family possible eat that much zucchini?!?!), couple pounds of onions, just a handful of raspberries, 12 pounds of blueberries, and a nice assortment of kale, cabbage, tomatoes, and cucumbers.  

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Now it's time to clean up.  Time to put the girls to work alongside me while we put the beds to rest for the winter.  Weekly goals include finishing tilling up the garden, laying down some mulch, letting the girls tackle the weeds and aerate the space for me. I think I see a cup of coffee and some knitting taking place while I watch them work.

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Happy Fall Y'all!

Xo,

Betsy