Sunday, January 13, 2013

My, it has been a while since I've updated my blog! The last time I posted, I had created my raised bed garden and dug out my corn plot. Well, sadly, things did not go as well as I anticipated. Squirrels decimated my corn plants before they managed to produce any ears. They were between 1 and 3 feet high when the squirrels in my backyard decided that the plants must be delicious, and they literally tore the plants to shreds. I thought at first a dog, or even a human, had come over and torn the plot apart, but then when I was glancing out of my bedroom window, I noticed squirrels attacking the one or two stalks still standing tall, and at that point, I figured out what had happened. Not sure how I'm going to get around that this summer, because I'm determined I'm going to raise some corn!

As to the raised garden bed, I had set out several varieties of tomatoes, a lettuce plant, and planted carrot seeds. I managed to get a few tomatoes off the vines, but they were small. I definitely need to fertilize that bed much better this year! I have a compost bin that's been, well, composting for nearly a year now, with fresh additions every now and then, so hopefully I'll be able to use that, perhaps along with some commercially-available fertilizers, to get the bed fertile and ready to go! Now, I would actually have gotten a lot more tomatoes off my vines, but those dratted squirrels set their sites on my tomato fruits after the corn stalks, so I lost the rest of the tomatoes too! The lettuce never really did much of anything, and the carrots were tiny and shriveled (another reason for using better fertilizer this year).

So, my first problem is to figure out how to keep the squirrels from destroying my garden! I'm thinking I may look into squirrel traps (live ones) and take the trapped squirrels far, far away to let them loose. As much as I hate the little buggers right now for what they did to my garden, I simply can't kill them. Now, if my dog or cat were to catch some and kill them....well, that's not something I would condemn, lol, but I certainly couldn't bring myself to kill them. And right now, the squirrels are in little to no danger of being caught by my pets, since the cat shows no interest in them, and my dog is always on a leash (especially these days when there is a vicious dog running around the neighborhood). :)

Ferocious-looking, aren't they? (Or maybe that should be "fur-ocious"? LOL) No, I don't think the squirrels are in any danger whatsoever from this dynamic duo! So the topic of squirrel trapping shall be considered and, if deemed appropriate, I'll take those steps to ensure the downfall of the squirrel population in my backyard. Or I may have to consider alternative methods to diminishing the squirrel population, but rest assured, my goal shall be attained!

Now, I also plan to build a chicken coop this year and start raising farm-fresh eggs for myself and friends. I hope to find a design in the following book that I will like, and can afford to build, and get started on it in the early spring:

I don't really need a lot of chickens; I'm thinking 2-4 should be plenty for my needs. Although, once I start eating fresh eggs, I may become addicted to them and include them in more meals! I can remember having fresh eggs as a kid, and I am looking forward to having them again! I also remember enjoying the taste of duck eggs as a kid, although I honestly don't remember exactly HOW they tasted. I just remember we had a duck that laid eggs, and I remember them being delicious! I wouldn't mind adding a duck to my farm to have the occasional fresh duck egg as well.

Other additions I'd like to make to my land this year include completing the inside of the house (I still need to finish renovations on my kitchen, and I need to renovate the living room as well), and I'd like to build a deck and patio outside my back door. I also plan a few more flowerbeds, and I purchased a pink Amaryllis builb today to help enhance my yard. This will be my third spring/summer in my house, and I really want to get my yard looking like I'd like it to look this year. We shall see how it goes!

Well, that's it for now. Hopefully I'll get back to updating this blog on a more regular basis and won't let almost a year pass by between posts again!