Spring Time in The Desert

Most people think of the desert as a dry lifeless place. Many would be surprised to see blooms. Spring time is the best time to visit the desert. The weather is usually mild and there are a variety of blooms

I particularly like the yellow blooms on the jumping cholla a beautiful plant just don’t touch them. Cholla’s actually have hollow spines. Because they are hollow they can easily attach to whatever they touch with their needle like sharpness. If there is moisture, such as with skin, the tips actually curve once they have made contact, locking their spines in place just underneath the skins top layer. OUCH

You can see the Joshua Trees in the background. I am not sure what the others are called. We enjoy them while they last.

Our turkeys are 2 weeks old.

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Our Cherries are coming along, hope to get some this year before the critters eat them all. Our peaches, apples and Asian Pear trees are also looking good. Did some transplanting on our squash. Our Mexican Bird of Paradise are really starting to bloom!

Baby Turkeys

We got 2 baby turkeys on Thursday. One is a bronze breasted and the other is a Spanish. They are entirely too cute. When I walk up to the box they don’t run and hide they just look at me. You have to keep them very warm. Even in the greenhouse where it was about 80 degrees they were still huddling up to the light the first day I got them.

We have some more fenugreek sprouts coming up. The squash that I planted last week is coming up fast and our Baby Broccoli Plants keep producing.

Still working on shoring up our outside garden area by digging down about 6″ and putting in cement board to hopefully keep the critters out

Dust Bathing Plants Growing

Our greenhouse is really green. Lots of delicious veggies coming up. Just a bit more painting to be done.

Have you ever seen chickens taking a bath. They make bowls and roll around in them. It is a very social activity. But then chickens are social animals

We are building an enclosed garden for the summer… more pics to come. We have these Mexican Bird of Paradise plants that grow everywhere and once they like a spot it is very difficult to get rid of them. I am going to try a non toxic way of ridding them out of our garden. Here is the recipe
2 C Vinegar
1T Liquid Soap
1T Salt
Wish me luck

Homemade Laundry Soap

Part of what I am trying to do is to get back to being and using as natural and staying away from chemicals that are added to most household items that we buy. Today’s task was making my own laundry soap. Apart from being economical, I like using natural essential oils for a fresh scent.

1 cup Borax, 1 cup washing soda, 1 bar fels-naptha,  A few drops of bluing and about 30 drops your choice of essential oil. I use lemon and rose geranium

Melt the fels-naptha on the stove in 4 cups of water, use a 5 gallon bucket fill half way with hot water, once the fels-naptha is completely melted add to the bucket and add the other ingredients. Mix, fill the bucket the rest of the way, mix let cool cover and mix again.

I no longer use dryer sheets, instead I use wool dryer balls. These are fantastic, they dry your laundry about 25% faster. I add a drop or 2 of essential oil and my laundry smells great with very few wrinkles.

Next task is painting the greenhouse, will show finished pictures soon.
Our chickens seem to be liking the California Native which is in bloom. Transplanted some more of our Aloe Vera into pots so we can move it as needed.

Eggs, eggs, and more eggs. We have more eggs than we can eat.

Fresh Eggs for Sale Llano, California

Happy Spring

Last week we had a quick snow storm, it came down heavy for about an hour, but by the end of the day it was gone and it was 65 degrees. It didn’t bother our Bing Cherry Trees or our Asian Pear. Our Old Man Cactus is showing some pretty pink blooms and the strawberries are almost ready to eat.

 

On another note I would like to share with you Mrs. Stewart’s Liquid Bluing. This stuff whitens like nothing else. I have been looking for an alternative to bleach and I have found it. It cost pennies per load and you don’t get any bleach stains.

Spring Has Sprung in the High Desert

It always makes me nervous when we have such warm weather and the trees decide to bloom. I know that are last frost is mid April. Our greenhouse is getting greener by the day with Spinach, Bok Choy, Tomatoes, Peppers, Strawberries, Baby Broccoli and Fenugreek. Outside our Freestone Peach is in full bloom and our Asian Pear is just budding.

Our chicks are laying and we are getting eggs a few times a day. I dug up our Aloe Vera plant as it was damaged from our last cold snap I decided to put it in pots. It was larger than I thought and ended up putting it in a 5 gallon bucket and a few pots. That way when it gets cold I can bring it in the greenhouse. As far as I can see with the weather we have another week of no frost.

 

Fall is Coming

The weather has been great these past few days. I took a few pictures. I love when the clouds come in, you can see for miles and miles.

sunset-joshua joshua-clouds

Sunset in the High Desert Joshua Trees on a cloudy day
supermoon  dust-bath

This is my shot early morning after the eclipse of the supermoon. Did you know that chickens clean themselves by dust bathing. It is a odd sight the first time you see it.

 dust-bathingbutterfly

It almost looks like there is something wrong with the chicken on the far left.

Can you see the Monarch?

polish eggs

Our White Crested Polish Hen. Check out our eggs. It is interesting we only have 2 kinds of chickens. The white egg is the Polish Chick’s one of our hens is laying supersized eggs.

clouds\

Soon there will be snow on the mountains.