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A very good friend of mine told our students that I was talking about my chickens as if they had personalities.  Little does she know about chickens!  Of course, those of us who have chicks absolutely know and experience their personalities on a daily basis.  Check out the chicken personalities Ernest Goh caught on camera,

The serpents are pretty cool as well…

animal feed

We’ve been feeding the chickens fermented grain for the last couple of weeks and they love it!  And we have been feeding the dogs their raw “paleo” diet one day a week for the same amount of time.  The dogs are also very happy with this change!  What dog wouldn’t love raw organ meat, raw fresh eggs, sardines and vegies!

For me, I could do without both of these things… the smell is noxious.  I woke up around 5am this last Saturday, stumbled out of bed and headed to the kitchen. As soon as I rounded the corner between the end of the hallway and the dining room area, my nostrils were met with fermentation sour and sardines.  I stopped dead in my tracks, gagged, and made the fastest u-turn back towards the bedroom that I could make.  Yesterday afternoon, I fell asleep reading.  As soon as the dogs were finished with their paleo dinner, Roxy, one of the Jack Russels, jumped up on the bed and started licking my face.  It was the smell of sardines on her breath that actually woke me up.

What is good for the farm is not always the best for the farmer…

Organ Meat Treats

I forgot to show everyone what we did with the leftover, thawed organ meat…

I sliced it into small pieces and put it into the food dehydrator for dog treats.  The dogs love them and would like to have them cut into larger pieces… ; )

Organ meat treats

Day 3 accomplishment

Well, we had a few hours yesterday 14_0310 Chicken runafternoon to make a little more headway…
The trenching around the bottom edge is complete.  The bottom section of the welded wire is almost complete.  And one end has the corrugated metal attached.
14_0310 Chicken run pier 1


We have a good stretch of time today to finish the rest and move the girls in.
They are so ready to be out of their half-way house and literally spread their wings out!
The next project after this is to build new feeders – Check out these no spill chicken feeders!!

Moving beds…

Today, we shoveled all of the soil mix out of one of our original beds.  It is now sitting on tarps in the middle of our back yard.  Little did we know, we really built the raised beds to last.

Gardening in the back yard is a great way to wear dogs out.  They follow us from one side of the yard to the other, making sure we are safe from all lizards and doves, eat the compost, and supervise the removal and transport of all soil.   This can be quite annoying in the moment, but right now, it is an absolute wonder – all of the dogs are sound asleep!


I found this great tool to figure out the sun angles or “solar dance” in our possible planting places.  It’s an online solar angle tool.  You just type in your address, and the date and time of year you want to know the sun angles for.  It’s connected to Google Maps, so you can see your land in either map format or satellite.  The link is,-112.0527,20/2012.01.11/13:32


Try it for your gardening area!

We’re back!

Well, it’s been a year plus since I last posted anything about our gardens…

Our little seedlings came up beautifully, grew about 3″ tall and then did nothing.  It has taken a couple of different plantings with seeds from different companies, different times of the year, shaded vs. not shaded, to find out that not all compost is equal!

If you look at the last pictures posted, the soil bed has a LOT of wood chips in it.  It turns out that having a lot of wood chips in compost continues the breaking down process which requires a lot of nitrogen.  This process robs the nitrogen form the plants…  boo hoo!  Long and short of it, we have too much organic material and not enough good mineral content (sand, silt or clay).  Not a problem!  We are going to mix a clay dominant soil in our other raised beds into the compost mix and try another planting.  Keep checking back on our process…

Compost is Luscious!

The word on the street is the compost from Singh’s Farm is the BEST.  So, that’s where we headed.  Standing in the middle of Singh’s Farm, you have no idea you are in the middle of the desert and it’s 113 degrees outside!  There are native trees planted throughout the entire farm, creating a wonderful microclimate of cool humid goodness.

Entrance to Singh's Farm

Main walk at Singh's Farm

Working Farm

Plants for sale at Singh's

Mr. Singh accepts food waste from Whole Foods plus plant trimmings from local landscapers.  He turns it into three different grades of wonderful, fertile, luscious smelling compost.  Yes, compost smells luscious!

Singh's compost by the bag or truckload

Medium grade compost

Fine grade compost

We ended up purchasing 2 loads of medium and 1/2 load of fine grade compost.  It filled the trailer!  Although we had the entire load cover with tarps and tied down well, we still drove home slowly so we didn’t lose any of our precious load.