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We have chicks! Not sure how many yet because the mamas are very protective. We’re so excited!

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Today, my husband and I celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary! Ten years since this picture was taken. Wow.

Hope you all had a fantastic fourth of July weekend. We had a blast down in Green Bay. We stayed for two nights, went swimming, bounced on bouncy houses, ate at some great restaurants, walked around downtown, visited the HUGE farmer’s market, and had great seats for the fireworks. Now we’re back home, working on the house and garden.

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Those are our nesting boxes. They are usually home to a few eggs and a random hen trying to work an egg out. For the past several days, they have been home to four broody hens who are sitting on way too many eggs each. We have a surplus of eggs in our fridge, so I figured I’d give these girls a chance to try hatching some out. Yes, as the time gets closer I’ll erect a small wall in front so we don’t lose any chicks. If we luck out and get chicks, I’m not sure what we’ll do with them. I’d probably keep any females and slaughter males around 12 weeks. We certainly don’t need any more roosters. But I’d also be willing to sell a few of either sex. If you live locally and are interested, keep an eye on the blog.

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Speaking of roosters. Ours are tasty. They’re a big tough since we slaughtered at a year, but they cook down nicely in the crockpot. Look at the size of those thighs! They’re so large, I was surprised I was able to get the lid on the pot.

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The chicken coop is looking better than ever with some fresh paint and a bit of landscaping. It’s not finished yet, but we’ll get there someday. I love smelling the flowers when I go to collect eggs. Someday I’d like to get three little bird houses up on the three posts holding up the porch roof. I think it’d be neat to hear baby birds peeping and watch our local songbird population grow.

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The garlic in the forefront is nearly read to harvest. I’m excited to see how big the heads are. Some of the stalks are enormous. Most of what I harvest will be planted this fall, but we’ll dry and use some of it. Next to the garlic on the right is one of my herb patches. This one has a few basils, thyme, valerian, mugwort, and hyssop. It smells so good! If you look beyond the rows, you’ll see our work in progress. Raised beds are going up around the corner where the failed kiddie pool rice paddy was. I’ll be taking out the kiddie pool soon and digging a much deeper small pond. My husband ran water and electric out, so now we can have a proper pond with fish. I have lots of plants in pots waiting to go into the raised beds, including a couple hardy kiwis, dahlias, gladioli, and lillies. I’m hoping perennials will take over the bed and offer a great view to go along with the burbling of the pond. We’ll leave enough room for a patio set so we can have meals in the garden next to the pond.

Everything else in the garden is slowly growing upward and outward. Here are some more pictures for your enjoyment.

Beets. When you plant beet seeds, each little spiky ball is actually several seeds stuck together. So they'll need thinning pretty soon. I'll leave one every 3-4" and eat the rest as baby greens in salads.

Beets. When you plant beet seeds, each little spiky ball is actually several seeds stuck together. So they’ll need thinning pretty soon. I’ll leave one every 3-4″ and eat the rest as baby greens in salads.

Cabbage. I said I wasn't going to mess with cabbage again this year because they take up so much space. But I had room. This garden is so big...

Cabbage. I said I wasn’t going to mess with cabbage again this year because they take up so much space. But I had room. This garden is so big…

Zucchini. It keeps trying to put out flowers, but it's not nearly big enough yet to set good fruit, so I keep plucking them off.

Zucchini. It keeps trying to put out flowers, but it’s not nearly big enough yet to set good fruit, so I keep plucking them off.

Pumpkins! The vining has begun. Soon, this entire area will be nothing but pumpkin leaves.

Pumpkins! The vining has begun. Soon, this entire area will be nothing but pumpkin leaves.

Tomatoes. Got them weeded and mulched, but I need to run the tiller down the walking rows to knock down the weeds there.

Tomatoes. Got them weeded and mulched, but I need to run the tiller down the walking rows to knock down the weeds there.

Tomato flower. You know what follows the flower, right? One hundred tomato plants with hundreds of little yellow flowers means hundreds of tomatoes! I can't wait! I hate store-bought tomatoes.

Tomato flower. You know what follows the flower, right? One hundred tomato plants with hundreds of little yellow flowers means hundreds of tomatoes! I can’t wait! I hate store-bought tomatoes.

A new pepper variety given to me by another local grower. I still have to research this kind to see what I can use it for.

A new pepper variety given to me by another local grower. I still have to research this kind to see what I can use it for.

The first nasturtium flower. I planted these, shasta daisies, marigolds, hyssop, and petunias at the ends of many of the rows in the garden. They pull double duty - giving us something pretty to look at, and giving pollinators something to draw them into the garden.

The first nasturtium flower. I planted these, shasta daisies, marigolds, hyssop, and petunias at the ends of many of the rows in the garden. They pull double duty – giving us something pretty to look at, and giving pollinators something to draw them into the garden.

Flowers belong everywhere. Here are some more I put by the chicken coop door. I'm thinking they like it where they are. Look at all of the blossoms!

Flowers belong everywhere. Here are some more I put by the chicken coop door. I’m thinking they like it where they are. Look at all of the blossoms!

A cherry! A few of our several cherry trees are finally starting to bear fruit. We had a plum, too, but it fell off. Someday this orchard is going to produce enough to feed a small army, but for now we are content with a few cherries.

A cherry! A few of our several cherry trees are finally starting to bear fruit. We had a plum, too, but it fell off. Someday this orchard is going to produce enough to feed a small army, but for now we are content with a few cherries.

The orchard is overrun with daisies. Not a terrible thing, I suppose. It makes me sad to see them go every time we mow.

The orchard is overrun with daisies. Not a terrible thing, I suppose. It makes me sad to see them go every time we mow.