Monday, July 25, 2011

Backyard Harvest

Sometimes I think I don't get much harvest from our small, San Jose backyard.  Well, I have to include the chickens in the side yard, and the front yard which has herbs, citrus, and various other plants that we eat.  Oh, and our new rooftop pots of veggies and our two new beehives.  But when you add it all together, we are getting quite a harvest out of our share of dirt, water, and sunlight.

We just started out with two new bee hives this spring.  They are quite healthy, especially the bees we bought, but hubby doesn't think we'll get honey this year.  He wants to make sure that the little girls have enough food to last the winter.  Hubby used to have about 30 hives when he was a teen in the Midwest, and winters are pretty brutal there.  But maybe our bees will make enough for us to taste just a little.  We'll see.

We have six chickens in the side yard.  That's the max allowed in our city.  One is a few years old and not laying very well, three are two years old and are on the decline, and two are new this year and have just started laying.  I love my chickens.  We used to have more when we lived in the country in Oregon. I didn't think I could have them here at all until we started fostering.  Mr. I was going to a preschool and there were chickens and roosters right next to the parking lot.  I looked it up, and found that I could have chickens in the city, though roosters are off limits.  I wouldn't want a rooster anyway.  We had a couple roosters before.  One was friendly and the kids carried him around, but the other was so mean!  Anyway,  I guess now I am an urban chicken raiser.

I also had a hard time figuring out how to find a new spot for my tomatoes.  It isn't good to plant the same kind of plant in the same place, and I planted them in the same bed in the front yard for two years in a row.  The back yard faces northeast and so it doesn't get enough sun.  I was trying to figure it out, when I realized we could plant them in pots on the flat roofed part of the house.  So now we have four large pots of tomatoes, peppers, squash, and cucumbers.  Watering is a bit of a pain until we get some drip irrigation going, but the plants are thriving!

I don't always realize all that we harvest so I think I'll start to jot them down.  I know I'll miss the berries, oranges, and lemons that the kids pick themselves to eat off the plants, but I can write down what I harvest myself.

So today I got about a pint of blackberries and two eggs.

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