Monday, March 5, 2012

Ducks vs Chickens Update

     I have contracted out the job of incubating a clutch of duck eggs to the older Veatch children.  I've had the incubator running for about 5 days and it seems to be doing a fair job of keeping close to the requisite 102 degrees Fahrenheit required to do duck eggs in a still air incubator.  I'll be taking the incubator and the duck eggs over to the Veatch home Wednesday evening.   As of this morning,  the score is  Ducks 54  Chickens 0. The chickens are being smoked like the proverbial cheap cigar.

    I have started  a number of seeds indoors and am trying to get my cold frame finished so I can move them outside soon.  It gives me great joy to see the little seedlings emerging from the soil. I'm trying out some "Earth Pots" which I saw at the Seattle Flower and Garden Show.  So far I'm favorably impressed.  It looks like it is much easier for the plant roots to penetrate the pots than it is with the old standard peat pots.

     I'm doing another winter squash trial this year.  I'm planting Golden Globe and Lakota winter squash seeds that I was given by my good friend Terry Johnson.  I'm also trying Golden Hubbard.   Terry strongly recommended both of the squash varieties he gave me as doing well in our marginal winter squash climate. Terry says they have been successful when other varieties have not.  I'm planting the Golden Hubbard as a point of reference.  If they all do well, I'll be looking to see if the Golden Globe and Lakota matured earlier than the Golden Hubbard.  I'll really be impressed if the Golden Hubbard doesn't make a crop but the other two varieties are successful.  I'm starting them early in the cold frame so if we even have an average summer I hope to get a harvest from all three.

     I looked up Lakota on the internet and found some pictures and a little history in the Burpee catalog.  Lakota is an heirloom variety supposedly obtained from the Sioux Indians.  It has a Hubbard shape and appearance but has some really pretty striping rather than just one color.  It looks like it could be the inspiration for some indian blanket designs.

     I've also started basil and tomatillos.  Terry Johnson said he planted tomatillos about ten years ago and they have volunteered every year since.  As evidence of their success Terry gave me a three gallon bucket full of tomatillos last year. I made them into salsa verde.  I've about given up on tomatoes in our cool maritime summers.  At least with tomatillos I should get salsa verde every year.  Among my goals today is to get at least some of my onion sets planted.

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