Friday, April 24, 2020

Farm Check In

One of the simplest things we could do on the Genuine Faux Farm blog would be to just take a few pictures each day and write about them.  So, why don't we do that?  Well, first off, we're not always in the mood to write about everything that is going on at the farm.  And, second, we aren't always walking around with camera in hand.  Even so, the writing IS much easier. 

Still how many times do you want to hear about..

Chicks on the Farm?
I am sure you are all tired of seeing pictures of cute, fluffy chicks aren't you?    Yep, just terrible, viewing those peeping, bright-eyed birds.  I am sorry to have to subject you to this.

The hen chicks are doing fairly well at this point.  We are past the initial 'loss-point' and they should be fine for a time.  We typically have a couple of points in time where we lose some of the birds as they grow.  The first period is from days 2 to 4.  We usually lose five of them or so.  It's just what happens.  We take care of them all as best we can, but some just aren't able to survive.

The first two flocks of day old chicks for our broilers arrived today.  While the hens look cute for quite some time, the broilers are only cute for the first week or so.  They then go through a 'mutant' phase, an 'ugly' phase and then they enter the 'that looks like it could be tasty' phase.

Kale - less
Or first batch of kale due for Valhalla was looking very good.  Ready to transplant in fact. Until the woodchuck found it could force its way into Casa Verde, where the seedlings were residing.  We have two plants left for that batch.  So, much for early kale.

 We've already planted more seeds, but it can be pretty demoralizing when your work is so thoroughly destroyed.  But, this is not new to us.  We've weathered this story in the past and we'll deal with it now.

Getting the Seedlings to "Pop"
We like to put our brassica (broccoli, cauliflower, etc) seedlings on heat mats and under grow lights to get them to germinate or, as we like to say, get them to pop.  Once they are up, we like to move the brassica seedlings off of the heat mats - assuming we have a place where woodchucks can't get to them.

Pasque Flowers Make An Appearance

 Now, the first trick to this blog is that I am using pictures from prior years to represent things we have been seeing the past couple of days.  Oh, wait.  I am not supposed to tell you that.  But, it IS true.  The pasque flowers are blooming.  And, it's too dark right now for me to go take pictures of them.

Uh. Ooooooh.  Now I've Gone and Crossed a Line.

Bree's going to let me have it now.  The good news?  It's sleepy time and she's ready to go to the kitchen and find her sleepy chair.  So, all will be well.


  1. Sorry to hear about your kale! Those groundhogs are the worst.

  2. i like your grow chamber. i need to look into making something like this, as my big window sill, is limited and hard to control the temp in. Any more details/picture of this? Also i have one extra groundhog if you think yours is lonely.

  3. A mylar survival blanket around the back and sides of the grow chamber works nicely to reflect light and heat back a the seedlings. Here in Florida we have gnats that like to get into the potting soil spreading disease among seedlings; the reflective material helps deter them too.

  4. Ai & Kenneth - well, this loss was better than the thousands of plants we lost last year. ONly about 100 this year. It's a matter of perspective, I guess. It also adds a project for the weekend while we shore up Casa Verde...

    Unknown - we really don't need any more woodchucks, but thank you for thinking of us. The construction is simple 2x4's. 8 foot tall with a shelf at about each 2 feet. We built it this way so it can also handle taller plants that still need protection (like tomato/pepper starts). The grow lights are on chains that can be lengthened/shortened as needed. Each seed tray is 1'x2', so we made sure to build each shelf to hold exactly four of these. You can choose what you want for the shelf surface, but if you use heat mats, as we do, you want something that allows them to lay flat so you can avoid hotspots as much as possible. We had a whole bunch of bubble wrap at the point we built this one, so we surrounded three sides in bubble wrap. The front side is often covered by an old window to keep heat in on cold days.

    Garden Lady has a good idea as well. Actually, if I were to build everything new, I would build a germination chamber and these would be our shelves for growing things out. But, this works well enough for what we need right now.


Thank you for your input! We appreciate hearing what you have to say.