Monday, April 16, 2012

Garden, Part 2

Well, the garden is coming along quite nicely!  We've spent the last couple of weekends working on it, and have made some really good progress.

Here's a friendly tip; at the Placer County dump a truckload of composted soil is only fifteen dollars, and they even load it all up for you!  My Dad and I were able to fill all three beds with three truckloads of soil, which was a great deal.  

Last week, Melissa and the kids even got some plants put in.  The garden is creating quite the buzz with the neighbors, whenever we're working on it we have people interested in what exactly we're doing.

I think this is having a good impact on the kids as well.  They are very eager to help whenever we are working outside, and hopefully they will feel a sense of satisfaction as we begin to get veggies and eat them.

By the way, any suggestions on how to keep cats out of the garden?  One in particular seems to be excited about his new litter box...  

Friday, March 30, 2012

Chickens, Part 1

Well, we have a coop!
After a few days of hemming and hawing about the merits of building versus buying a coop, we found a pretty good deal on this little guy.  Honestly I'm a pretty handy guy, but limited carpentry skills combined with our lack of garage would have made this project about a nine hour one, in my estimation.

The builder of this coop advertised that it was build out of "reclaimed redwood."  I'm pretty sure he's a fencer that uses torn down fences to make these and sell on Craigslist.  It is a pretty nice little unit, though, with a hinged roof for cleaning and an access door by the nesting area to grab out the eggs.  Now we just have to fill it with some hens!

My plan is to build a small frame enclosed with chicken wire around the front of the coop, so the hens can hang out outside.  That's something I can make relatively easy.  We are really excited to learn the ins and outs of chicken care and the kids are super anxious to get some chickens, they already have names picked out!

We'd love to hear your suggestions on breeds of hens that are good with kids and, of course, pump out the eggs!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Garden, Part 1

Well, let me start by sharing the plan and purpose of out garden.  Melissa has always had an interest in gardening, so starting a vegetable garden has been one of our priorities since moving.  We had a potted garden last year that was rather unsuccessful, so this year we want to make sure we do it right.

Another thing that's very important to us is reaching out to our neighborhood, and building relationships with the people around us.  We are hoping that the garden will help in that process.  The plan is to make our front yard a community garden of sorts, where the ripe veggies will be in a basket for the neighbors to enjoy.

We're modeling the raised beds after my parent's, which are made of cinder blocks.  This will provide us with a nice raised bed that will last a long time.  The addition of a capstone on top really makes the beds look nice and complete.

I am also in the process of running the irrigation for the garden.  After hand watering gardens over the years, we really think that a watering system with a timer will help with the health of our garden, thereby increasing the yield.  This requires me to run lines under the sidewalk, though, which is turning out to be a bit of a chore.  It's definitely doable, it just requires some time and a little elbow grease.

Hopefully this summer we will be able to enjoy the fruits of our labor, and so will our neighbors!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

We're back!

Well, after a pretty long hiatus, here we are again! The last year has been a huge season of change for us, including the move, but now we really feel like we are hitting our stride and are ready to start blogging again.

It has been quite a busy year that included moving, getting the kids in a new school, and leaving a church which we had attended for over a decade. All of these things were hard on all of us, but have ultimately drawn us closer together as a family. We really had to trust and rely on each other with so much change going on.

So, now we are finally feeling a little more stable, and ready to really work on some projects at the mobile home. We are planning on sharing those with you, and hope you enjoy hearing a little about us as we get them going.

The first major project is our garden! This is something we have been working really hard on, and will be uploading and posting on it as we continue the process. The ultimate goal is to produce vegetables to share with our community and bless the people around us.

Next, we will have chickens! The coop should arrive today, and we'll definitely be writing about our little cluckers as we raise them in the back yard. We really think the kids are going to love raising chickens, and enjoy the fresh eggs.

Both of these projects are a huge part of our goal to be active in our community, and live a more sustainable life. We are finding that living simply is a great way to bring a family together, and hopefully we can share some of that process with you.

The Babasins