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Win two, lose two: 4-18 ‘fahm’ report

Well, although this week we’ve had some truly astonishing and wonderful spring weather at Chez Siberia, all has not been ‘sunshine and daffs’ here.

On the plus side, the chicks are doing great. We had to add a second feeder to their box just to accommodate all the ‘boarding house reach’ going on. On the minus side, it was that realization that we are going to have to move these guys out of the basement sooner than I thought; that brought up a whole lot of moving things around in what we refer to here as ‘the barn’ (but was really the original brooder house for the chicken farm that was once here). We’ll be moving more things to make room in one of the indoor ‘rooms’ (south view, lovely neighborhood) for us to set them up in a larger place of their very own. We’ll have to do an ‘audit’ of the premises, though and make sure that we put up something so that if anything actually gets IN, they have a place to escape TO. I’m thinking something like: 1×1 stock for a big perch and some nesting boxes perhaps — even though these soon-to-be pullets won’t need them right now FOR nesting. One of the ‘facts of life’ of the issue of ‘out in the barn’ are creatures like rats and snakes. The chicks already have feathers on their wings and are flapping around – with a place of their own, they’ll be able to practice their skills and will be able to escape up to a perch if need be.

Also on the plus side, the weather has been cooperating tremendously, as you can see from the photographs of the soil temperatures here. On open ground, we’ve got almost 45 degrees, even next to the rhubarb which is growing nicely there (which only shows you just how hardy this sort of thing actually IS – rhubarb doesn’t need warm temps to get going in the spring). Under the clear plastic, though, WOW..check out that temperature. Except for the fact that I know(courtesy of Accuweather) that next week for us is going to be just brutal in terms of snow, sleet, rain and freezing temperatures, I’d put out those Chinese cabbage plants. As it is, I’ll wait another week and probably put them in next weekend. The other interesting thing, though, is that under the black plastic, the soil has not warmed up nearly as much. Woops. I forgot something I read years ago in Organic Gardening magazine: if you have mulch all over your garden and want it to warm up, you need to pull it away. Although a mulch(in our chase, black plastic) holds the heat IN after the soil has warmed up, it also holds the COLD IN if you put it down after the soil has cooled down. Mistake there. I’ll have to roll that away to get the beds to warm up. “Note to Self” and all that.

On the sad side, however, we lost the bees. Another one of those ‘shoulda known better’ things. We did see bees flying a couple of weeks ago, during the last big warm up. At the time, I considered the thought that there wasn’t anything flowering out there to feed them, but we thought that there was enough honey still left in the hive to sustain them. The DH went out to check this morning because we did not see any bees flying yesterday. Dang. Two hives full of dead bees. (head…meet desk) We’ll be talking to our bee supplier within the next couple of days to ask a) should we have fed them sugar water when we first saw them flying? (the answer to that one is probably yes) and b) Please Sir, can we have some more(bees)?

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One Comment

  1. htwollin says:

    Hmmm, looks clean from here…

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