Ah, spring is in full swing. After months of homeostasis, cold days and nights and bare trees we are inundated with weeds and growth and chickens. Fay and Laura are busy over at Sidewalk Ends Farm getting their new beds in place and seeding lots of delicious salad greens and herbs and cooking greens. Front step farm is fighting a holding formation against armies of rhizomes and weeds and invasive neighbors and shitty land owners, but making some wonderful progress towards a sustainable mini farm!
And out shared project on Bowdoin Street! definitely not quite getting the elbow grease we are giving out pet projects, but we are making strides towards a shared urban farm. Bowdoin street was envisioned as a joint project between myself and Laura at the end of last season, after the land went feral for a year. Catherine Mardosa and Matt Tracey created this place with a ton of love, and the infrastructure is there. They moved on to a bigger farm with 40 chickens and mushrooms logs and barns and tractors, so we moved in to steward the land. For me the agreement was great because I needed more land, but also I needed the feedback loop of a work partner to keep me motivated! We are faced with waves of germinating seeds and overgrown garden beds, but are very hopeful and having fun working together.
Laura was offered a paid apprenticeship at City Farm this year and has been really busy out there, so it has become a shared project between Fay and I with occasional sweet guest appearances by Laura and our friend Adam (who is starting a couple urban gardens of his own). We have been thrown into the deep end of working with one another, and I happen to think it is going great. Adam came by and helped us build a trellis last week with an old fishing net I found on the beach during a seaweed collecting trip. We have carrots, garlic, cukes, radishes, spinach and beets up there now, with lots of other stuff planned. Trying to keep each other from working alone, we get a lot done in small windows of time when we can both make it up the hill.
Hoping to move Bowdoin Street towards a perennial garden, we took a great trip to Scratch Farm to dig up their spreading strawberry plants. Jo and Katie are wonderful friends and I feel like I have learned a lot from them. It was awesome to get out of the city and see some real farmers. We should get plenty of strawberries either this season or next.
On the Home Front; Jenna and I got another hen for our backyard flock. A Plymouth Rock. The other hens are pecking the hell out of her, but they seem to be warming to her a little bit. She shure is purty.
One of our RI Reds came down with an illness. She wouldn’t eat of drink or lay eggs for days. Just spent her time sleeping in the corner of the coop, so we took her to the vet (!) after trying to help her ourselves via internet medical advice (always an awful idea in any situation). We massaged her crop thinking she had something stuck in it. We are trying to treat them half way between livestock and a pet, cause there certainly is no warmth in their eyes towards us, so the 80$ vet visit for a 6$ chicken will be called a learning experience. They put her on antibiotics, and after a week she is out of solitary and back in gen pop with the other hens
The hens produce enough eggs for the house, even the dog gets an egg a day. My favorite part is the addition to the compost, we rake out all the straw and leaves and manure and seaweed and I bring it to front step farm on my bike. They are little organic compost machines!