After putting the finishing touches on the “chicken chateau” this past week, our fully-feathered chicks were transitioned from the brooder to their new home on Thursday. The chateau is equipped with roosting bars, lots of shade, and a run for our growing chicks to stretch their legs and maybe even their wings. Three of our chicks seem very interested in human interaction while the rest don’t show as much interest. They are all very playful and curious and love to use their wings at any opportunity they get. Now that they are several weeks old we are able to see more of their individual personalities as well as their established pecking order.
Thanks to the abundant sunshine this past week, the fields dried out enough to allow us to continue with our summer planting. The remainder of our flat beds next to the cucumbers will be planted out with okra and sweet potatoes. The okra will be direct seeded while our sweet potatoes will be planted in the form of “slips”. Unlike most veggies, sweet potatoes are started from shoots grown on mature potatoes rather than from seed. These shoots (or slips) are then removed carefully from the potato and placed into a shallow container of water in order to set roots. Once the roots are at least an inch long, they’re ready to plant! Luckily we’re able to order slips that are field-ready so we can focus on getting them in the ground faster.
As for our summer crops that are already in the ground, I think it’s safe to say they are rather abundant! Our cucumbers are already producing and will give us our first harvest this weekend. Cucumbers are pretty fast growers taking around ten days to go from pollinated flower to harvestable fruit. They will most certainly keep us on our toes the next few weeks as we try to keep up with the harvest. Just in time for the 4th of July we’re spotting our first ripe watermelons. Sugar baby watermelons are considered an “ice box” melon meaning they are small enough to be stored easily in your refrigerator. But we like to think that once you taste one you won’t have to worry about it taking up space in your fridge for too long.