January 2009

Well, we have four laying hens here at No Worries Farm:  3 Rhode Island Reds and an Orpington. Our newest addition (as of 24 January 2009) is an Americauna rooster.  Take a look! Is he the weirdest bird you’ve ever seen? But, he has a pleasant disposition, since his former owner picked him up and petted him daily as he was growing up.3_under_fig_13jan09_smallred_one_13jan09_smallbarak_portrait_24jan09_smallThe rooster’s new name is Barak, because he’s a gentle, but firm, leader.


Bed7_23jan09_after_weedingHere is a picture of Bed 7 after de-weeding it. This took me several hours on 3 separate days, since the weeds were so thick, I had to pull them by hand in order not to injure the still relatively young onion plants.

Bed7_after_mulching_24jan09Drove to Larsen Feed to purchase rice straw to mulch the onion bed (and for new bedding for the chicken coop, but that’s another story). Take home lesson: ALWAYS MULCH ONIONS!!!

Our “No Worries Mini-Farm” consists of 10 5′ x 20′ growing beds, of which 6 are gopher-proofed. By that, I mean my husband, Michael, excavated each of these down 2 feet, covered the excavated pit with 1/2 inch galvanized “hardware cloth”, sewed the seams together with galvanized wire, stapled these to the redwood 4-inch x 4  inch posts, which, themselves, are attached to redwood beams that rise about 1 foot above the ground. Gophers do not get into these beds!

Bed 7 as of 20 January 2009Here, you see our Bed 7, as of 20 January 2009.  It is currently planted with about 4 or 5 varieties of onions (seedlings obtained from Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, during their Fall Plant Sale), some kale, and broccoli at the far end.  The job now is to de-weed the bed! I’m learning that one *must* mulch around onions to deter weeds. Also, a California poppy is a “weed” in this bed.  The poppy will be transplanted to another portion of the garden (probably near the stately old Granny Smith tree, where there are other poppies already). Stay tuned for the “after” picture of Bed 7.

Invasive Vinca under Flowering QuinceThe front of our 10-bed “mini-farm” in Western Sonoma County, faces the road, behind a beautiful, tangled mess of flowering quince bushes.  Unfortunately, the miniature invasive vinca has invaded. This plant overtakes and chokes out native California plants.  Here is a before and after shot:

After vinca removal