Checkin’ Off the To-Do List

This past weekend we did a few things around the farm:

Put up a  row shade on one garden row… I know it is ghetto but it is a work in process.

Built a chicken house for the free range birds.

Mulched the fig tree with wood chips.

Added deep bedding to the chicken coop.

Planted some cacti that I got from a neighbor.

Pretty productive even though there was alot of laying around being done also- it is all about balance here at Twin Toe.

Last week I planted Beets, bok choi, carrots, broccoli, kale, and arugula. Towards the end of this week I will plant some more. I found some rock wool cubes in the shed that I will plant some starters in and see how it goes.  Currently I am getting green beans, the last of the daikon, lemon cukes, watermelon and a few cucumbers. I have a couple small broccoli coming up from a earlier planting and some bok choi also some beets. I am going to plant some artichokes and Sonoran white wheat on the outside of the garden as an experiment. I have also been messing around with designing a soil blocker. They are easy to make, just trying to use what we have around here without purchasing anything new is the challenge. I made one  out of a pill container and it was to flimsy.

We have 5  chicks right now a week old and one hen sitting on eggs.  We had 10 last month. It’s interesting that the chickens on the outside reproduce in abundance and the ones inside the coop are not reproducing at all. Jasons frankentiny chicken is not getting the job done on the inside. Another observation is that the outsiders are really beautiful, full feathers, shiny, fluffy and generally healthier looking. The ones on the inside aren’t sickly looking they just don’t look as primo.

Hen sitting on eggs- she found a safe spot

Some other projects in the works:

  • Collecting more pallets for our pig barn
  • build a concrete block grill pit
  • build cold smoke house
  • make a chicken cruiser to go over a row in the garden
  • set up a chicken compost area

I need some ideas of what I should do with my small garden space.  It is about 10×12 and is located in our fenced backyard area. See pic below. Currently it is a big weed patch with lots of prairie dog tunnels and mounds. What do you think? I am open for any ideas- it doesn’t have to stay a garden.  Let me know what you would do with this space.

Thanks for any help you can give.

Till next time-

Posted in beets, bok choi, brocolli, chicken tractor, chickens, coop/run, garden, veggies | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

A few pictures

Just some pics from the kitchen and a bike ride me and J took to the bar one evening.

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Buck pickin’ cucumbers.

The cucumbers are ready! They grow very quickly once they get started…there are going to be tons of them. I have already made some refrigerator pickles that are simple and delish. I am working up to actual canning but I know I will be doing it very soon because it is Harvest Time! So happy to see the veggies of my labors, they are just perfect little cucumbers. They taste flavorful, juicy and they are crunchy. Great for pickles or salad or just fresh off the vine. I am cucumber rich biotch!

First harvest of cucumbers

Lemon cukes are coming in too- just a bit slower than the regular cucumbers…they are taking their sweet time.

Lemon cuke


I have a few buttercup squash on the vine and they look good but I think I have a squash bug issue. I see them on the plant, butt to butt or just sitting there all creepy looking. I also saw some egg like dots all in a neat pattern on the underside of some leaves, I just scrape them off. But some of the squash plants themselves seem sluggish and like they are kind of dying on some parts. Also some of the little starts of squash died and did not fully form.

Radish, cucumber, daikon.

Radish are still coming in and I pulled a daikon just to see how they looked..still small and spicy as hell. It was funny,  Buck & I took a bite and chewed a little then we both spit it out because it was sooo spicy. Maybe if I let them go longer they will mellow out a bit? I saw them in the store yesterday and they were MASSIVE like 6x as big as the one in the pic above. I am getting recipes together for daikon- Have any you like? I know people like to pickle it somehow- maybe I will do that.

Buck kneading the freakin’ cute.

I made organic wheat bread from scratch for the first time ever yesterday and it is super delish. We ate a loaf for dinner last night all different ways some with butter, jam, cinnamon & sugar, peanut butter. Then this morning for breakfast I cut circles out of the slices then fried an egg in the hole- I thought that was a super cool breakfast…Buck didn’t think so he did not eat it, I guess it looked weird to him so I ate mine and his.

Really enjoyed my weekend trip to CO to see Joel Salatin, more on that in another post.

Ohhh- I got the scholarship to the Border Food Summit! Really looking forward to it, I feel special in receiving this opportunity to network and learn from local peers in the clean food growing/raising community.

My cute little gate J bird put in for me.

Posted in baking, bread, buttercup squash, cucumber, daikon, garden, harvest, squash bugs, veggies | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Garden and Chicken Explosion

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So much growth has happened here at Twin Toe.  The garden as you can see is beautifully abundant- it is just soaking up all this wonderful rain we have been getting. There is squash, watermelon, bush beans, radish, daikon, sunflowers and cucumbers which are all doing well. It is just beautiful- especially for a desert garden, I am proud and a little amazed at it all.  It just shows what a little work will do, some love and tending, making it a priority and it is flourishing. Getting excited for a wonderful harvest and all the yummy veggies we will have to eat. I also look forward to getting seeds for the fall planting- Tons of greens for sure.

Happy chicks

We had 10 chickens! They were all born outside cage free!~Those 2 hens we put out of the cage/coop who got immediately mounted- they gave us 10 little ones! It was like not even that long ago that we put them out. I guess they are happy and found a good nesting spot(under the existing coop outside). So we gathered them up and Jason made a setup for them in the outside shower with a cage and lamp. Cute little buggers aren’t they. Love me a little freshy chick- so dang cute.  So Jason is going to make another coop on the opposite side of the yard and see how it goes with having 2 coops with some in the coop and most out of the coop. The ones inside are so he can control breeding because he wants to breed a tiny chicken, it’s a mission of his. I have realized he is the BUILDER OF ALL STRUCTURES. I appreciate that he is so willing to help however he can, he has great ideas… I’ve got a gooooood man.

Going to A Joyful Noise Farm in Black Forest, Colorado this weekend for a workshop with Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm. I am excited and eager to learn from this man who has much to offer in the ways of sustainable, natural farming and animal husbandry.

I also applied for a scholarship to the Border Food Summit. It is a 2 day workshop about food security and making connections with other local farmers, ranchers and others involved in the food system. I hope I get it.

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Desert Monsoon

The daily rain clouds roll in here around 4 p.m. and wet the dry desert earth. This rain is soaked up and used to nourish the plants and animals who thrive this time of year. My garden is going off! It is thriving and loving these daily wet massages it receives.  I am enjoying watching it grow and tending it. I mulched more around the outside edges of the garden site and also in between the Daikons. I also am putting up some string on the trellis. The only thing that is struggling are the sunflowers…funny because I see wild ones growing all over out here.

We went to the lake for four days and enjoyed it sooo much. The kids had a blast and it was nice and overcast with a cool breeze. Buck danced on the boat and Dalton enjoyed the sway of the boat on water. Jason loves hauling butt on the water and I love us all being together and enjoying the outdoors.

I have sent my camera off to Nikon to get fixed so pics are on hold for awhile. I might borrow one but I’m not sure if that’s a good idea- I don’t want to be responsible for someone’s camera as I don’t have a good track record with them. I was really getting into photography too- I think I was even developing an “eye”.  More to come in the future.

Getting melons, cucumbers & tomato from the little garden.

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Little Veggie Plants in the Desert

Buttercup squash

I have growth! This pic above is of my buttercup squash plants. They are doing the best of everything I have planted, looking super healthy. I also have some Lemon Cukes, Sunflowers and watermelons that have come up. All the radish I planted did not come up, also the bell pepper did not come up- Those were planted in the bed that I did not put an extra layer of manure on so I guess that it was to dense- it looked compacted and did not soak up water very well.  So I am going to put a layer on and replant in those two beds. I also planted Daikon, more watermelon, bush beans and okra in the good beds.


A few days ago I went outside in the morning to work in the garden and I saw a rabbit haul ass out of the garden and it weaseled in between the chain link fence- the part where I did not have the chicken wire up yet… so I completed putting up the chicken wire on the bottom of the fence around the garden- it was a beautiful day with thunder clouds and a soft drizzle so it made for pleasant working conditions. I was able to work by myself and enjoyed every minute of it- I finished up just as it started to rain. The stillness and quiet in this desert just before it rains is awesome and I really appreciate it.

buttercup squash

One of the hens is sitting on eggs so we may have some new chicks soon- we will see. I have been researching and learning all I can about goats. We may get a milking doe but we have to get a pen and manger type setup first. The more I do around here the more I am tied to this land. I have always been a wanderer so this is a big change- it feels like a good fit for me now. Time to get my herd on- babies, veggies, chickens, goats…..

Still getting tomatoes from the small garden


Baby D getting love from his dad

Buck enjoying a homemade veggie/fruit popsicle

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Grand Canyon Trip

Another load of chipped wood.

Last week I got another load of chipped wood- it is still in the trailer.

We went to the Grand Canyon with some family this past weekend. It is so majestic and vast- and quiet. We had a good time. I was worried and nervous about leaving everything for 3 days but it worked out. I set up a hose timer with a sprinkler in both gardens. It worked fine- watered twice a day for 60 minutes. Something did eat all of my cucumber plants. Oh well- I planted some more and also some daikon and bush beans. I will also plant some more watermelon and little radish. My sweet sister Melissa sent me a ton of Seeds of Change seed packets. All different so I now have a great variety of things I can plant- Thanks sis.

Pics and more in depth garden/farm update coming soon.

Here are pics of the vacation:

Dalton taking it all in

The canyon


Hopi dance

Baby in a hat

Posted in family, garden, Grand Canyon, succession planting, vacation, Water | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments