5 Tuxedos – Officially Addicted

This was quite a busy weekend on and away from the Rural Side.  Saturday I worked down at the CSA pulling and hoeing weeds in one of the gardens.  After a few hours of that I went and helped a friend get mulch for around his house.  When I got home I worked around the property before supper and continued for a little bit after.

Sunday morning we went to Troy Swap, an animal swap and flea market in Troy, Ohio.  I have been looking for some rabbits since we figured out we got two bucks and a doe.  There weren’t as many vendors as last year when we went, with most of this year’s vendors selling flea market type stuff instead of animals.  There were a couple pens of rabbits but none that I was interested in for how much they were asking.  We didn’t go home empty handed, though…  The last vendor in the line had some chickens.  They were mostly roosters in cages with some day-old chicks in a pen.  As soon as Heather saw that they had D’uccle chicks she was interested.  At first she found five that she liked, 3 black and white and two lavender.  We put those in the truck and walked around a bit longer and she decided to get two more of the black and white.  So from the swap we ended up with seven chicks.  She decided on the way home she was going to call them her “5 Tuxedo” chicks because of the black and white chicks.

We stopped at Ludlow Falls which is near Troy on the way home.  There is a cool waterfall that Heather had never been to, so I wanted to take her there.  We walked around, went down to the base of the falls, hiked down the stream a bit, relaxed in the sun on a rock, before heading back to the truck to head home.  On the way home we stopped at Rural King to get some chick feed.  Of course they had to have D’uccle chicks in, which they had not had any of every time we went this spring.  They had Mille Fleur and porcelain colors so Heather got two of each, along with two brahma chicks.  We got the food and finally got home with our newest additions to the homestead.  I think we are officially addicted to chickens!

The cornish were still in the brooder because I was waiting until the afternoon when it was warmer to move them out to the coop.  I had made a temporary partition on the remaining side of the coop to keep them for the next month or so until they go to freezer camp.  I moved the cornish out to the coop, we cleaned out the brooder, sanitized it, let it dry, added new bedding and finally put the new chicks in.  The heat lamp had been acting funny and flickering sometimes so I was looking at that when I discovered that the metal end of the bulb was melted and blackened.  Not wanting to continue using that lamp we went to buy a new one quick so the chicks would stay warm.  Here are the new chicks in the brooder and Heather sitting in the brooder playing with them.photo 2 photo 1








After everybody was settled in I started working around the homestead.  I finished moving the railroad ties from by the garden to by the driveway so that someone can easily take them all away whenever I post them on Craigslist.  Some of them are really heavy so it was quite a bit of work flipping nine of them end-over-end about fifty feet.  Taking a break between moving some of those I picked up sticks in the yard, mowed some of the grass, dead-headed flowers, and turned some compost.  My plan is to get rid of a lot of grass, keeping the area around the house and out to the road.  There might be the strips between the rows of grape vines left and a couple rows around the pond, too.  I’d like to mulch the area that will become the orchard and the west and south sides of the pond I would like to let be natural, if I can keep honeysuckle from taking it over.

After eating some dinner and finally relaxing, we had one more little task to take care of for the evening.  One of the tuxedo chicks had a toe that was curled under its foot.  We crafted a splint out of a piece of card-stock, tape and a band-aid.  This will hopefully get the toe to grown out straight, so that there are no issues in the future with the chick.  It even got an Angry Birds band-aid!

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Another weekend in the books.  I’m sitting here watching some Big Bang Theory and thinking about everything that has been going on the past week.  The weather has been up and down.  It rained most of the day yesterday.

Picked up some brick/concrete off Craigslist to start filling in one low spot.  Proceeded to get the truck stuck for a day at the same time.  Today I picked up some free fencing.  Some split rail which we will use somewhere and some privacy fence which I plan to use as siding on the woodshed or chicken coop.

More flowers have bloomed.  Some daylilies have started popping up. Blueberries are starting to get buds.  The grapes which I’m not sure have survived the winter seem to be getting buds as well.  I’ve been cleaning up the garden and around the house.

Need to finish up my laundry.  Bed will follow soon.  Another work week starts tomorrow.

Spring Is Here!!!

Spring officially starts right now!  12:57pm March 20, 2014. The weather has been more spring like lately, which has been a welcome relief from all the snow we had this winter.  The forecast is looking good for being able to get my garden cleaned up and ready to plant.  My seedlings from the first round of planting are continuing to grow with the peppers just starting to sprout.  I planted a second round of seeds this week, including some spinach, lettuce mix, head lettuce, romaine lettuce, and others I can’t think of right now.  I still have a few things that I want to start in the next week or so, with the rest of the seeds being things that will be sown directly in the garden.

I noticed yesterday that I have flowers about to bloom on the West side of the house.  If you needed a sign of spring coming these are it.  Snowdrops and crocuses are both about to open up.  The daylilies around the pond have also started popping up, along with a lot of other things.  I need to draw out my landscape and write where everything is at so that 1- I don’t get rid of anything I want to keep and 2- so that I know what I have coming up at a particular time of year.



Crocus About To Bloom

Crocus About To Bloom

I like to have an array of colors in the ornamental gardens at any time of the year so having things that are in bloom at different times is important.  We had a pretty good assortment last year and I hope to expand on it in the coming years.

Happy Spring!

Chuck From the Rural Side


When I bought the house last April it was still winter and we had snow.  From talking to the previous owner I knew they had done some landscaping around the place, planting flowers, hostas, and grasses.  Not knowing exactly what they had planted and where, I enjoyed all the surprises that popped up throughout the growing season.  Since it is again cold and snowy out I thought I would share some of the different colors of flowers I have seen around here.  Hopefully they will brighten your day and remind us all that spring is only a few short months away!


One of the many types of daylilies


Black-eyed Susan


Anyone know what this one is?  The next picture is of it as well.  The flowers are on a six foot tall stalk and you can see the leaves some.  I would like to get more of these if I can figure out what they are called.




These were late summer blooming lilies.  The flowers were only about the size of a quarter and I really like the color variation on these.