July snapshots

A few random photographic updates…

I built a playpen for the new ducklings (a.k.a. ninja floofs) so they could nibble some grass and enjoy the sunshine on these warm afternoons.

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At first they were unsure, and just huddled together in a little pile….

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…but once they discovered some treats (lettuce) and water, it was game on.

These little buddies are already a week old, so in another week or two we’ll move them out to a confined area of the indoor duck coop so they can start to interact with the “big kids” (through fencing at first).

Speaking of the big kids, they are on the naughty list because they “harvested” an entire romaine lettuce plant from the quackuaponics system. I thought Brandon may have pulled it out, until I looked more closely at the (chewed-upon) remains of the zucchini plant nearby…

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DUCKS! You’re supposed to let the plant start producing before you chomp it all down, lol! I am still not sure how they got up there… I’m imagining a teamwork situation where one stood on another’s shoulders… but that’s probably not really what happened.

Luckily for us, the plants slated for human consumption are safe in the garden. I need to get more photos out there, but things are looking good! I planted all three hugels with different varieties of dry beans, and interestingly, some are happier than others. The cannelini beans in particular don’t look so great, while the kidney and pinto beans are just taking off. BEHOLD, BEAN MOUNTAIN:

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The “rock bed,” which I mainly use for herbs, greens, and pollinator-friendly flowers, is looking really lovely at this point.

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Just beyond the rock bed are the two raised beds, which are mostly full of tomatoes this year. I’m really pleased because we started all of them from seed this year, and they’re already flowering and starting to produce fruit. I haven’t gotten them tied up yet, though, because I’ve been wanting to try something different from my standard tomato-cage approach. I had the idea of using 16′ cattle panels to create an arch between the two raised beds. Then we could tie the tomatoes up to them (as well as grow beans, zukes, and other climbers) and hopefully eventually end up with a “plant tunnel” to walk through and harvest food. It’s super neat in my mind–let’s see if it turns out that way in reality. After a little creative truck usage, we got two of the cattle panels home today, so hopefully more on that project soon!

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