Wow it’s really hard to tell if it’s still winter or spring. The weather has been really crazy here. Yesterday it snowed and today by 9 am it’s in the 50’s. It sure makes it hard to grow anything in weather like this. A few of our plants have frost damage from a couple days ago but hopefully they’ll recover. It’s a guessing game at this point as to when the last frost day will be until then we are happy to have a greenhouse to protect the plants we have in there.
We had the farmers market in Seligman, AZ today so we didn’t have to opportunity to check on all the plants. Unfortunately the freezing temperatures damaged a few plants but hopefully they’ll recover. It’s been rough trying to keep everything alive since we first started seeds in February. This time of the year the weather is unpredictable so until the last frost is over most plants will stay in the greenhouse.
Depending on my work schedule also depends on how long the chickens & ducks get to roam the yard. They aren’t let out unless someone is around to keep an eye on them because of the predators in our area. We had coyotes and wondering dogs come in the yard at different times of the day or night.
They are so much happier and lay great eggs when they can roam free not to mention they keep the bugs and goat head plants at bay.
Meet Bonnie one of our ducks- she used to be more black and molted now she has a lot more white on her. She’s not only beautiful but she’s also a good layer.
Also in the pictured is Laurel and Chewy
Wow! You never know what your going to see in the garden. I was out watering this morning and saw something strange in one of our raised beds. I used a stick to uncover what was the biggest mushroom I’ve ever seen in my life. Our chickens had been eating some of it or at least what they could reach. I had to take a picture and share. Mushrooms are not something we normally see growing here in Northern Arizona.
We love this time of year when there is a lot of green in the yard. Sadly it won’t last very long with the temperature heats up but for now we are enjoying it. The wild flowers are so pretty both yellow and purple have popped up. Each year they are different depending on how much moisture we get. Happy Spring Everyone!
Part of our transition from the online thrift store to our micro farm is adding to our name-it’s now Truly Thrifty/ Leverone Family Farm. We have been raising chickens and ducks for 6 years and recently added more growing area for produce. Eventually we would like to open a farm stand but for now we will be selling at AZ RT 66 Farmers Market in Ash Fork and Seligman AZ this summer. This is a family effort and I’m so blessed to have my families support.
Have a great day everyone!
Our house is quite noisy these days with all the babies around. We have puppies and chicks a sure sign of spring.
It’s the first time having puppies here and we have 9- oh my. They are too young yet to find homes for now so we enjoy playing with them. They all are so sweet, soft and cuddly.
Chicks are a normal part of Spring for us because we always get a few each year that way we have different ages and a few are always laying eggs. Our oldest is over 6 years and the youngest besides the chicks are around 5 months. The baby chick in the picture below is a week old. Raising chickens and ducks has been one of the most amazing and sad parts of rural living. Its sad when we lose one it’s hard not to get attached even though we don’t name them.
Happy Spring Everyone!
Yesterday was a productive and fun family day out in the garden we were able to get quite a bit done. The extra hands to get the plastic up for a green house was great.
The area has definitely improved from what it was and our goals are to regenerate not only that area but eventually to whole yard. The ground is clay with lots of volcanic rocks but with the rain/snow we had over the winter has help to bring up some green already (evern if they are weeds). Weeds are beneficial because they help with erosion, some are edible and the flowers help feed the bees/insects.
We have a way to go regenerating our property so setting small goals has helped along the way. Don’t worry about doing everything at once that is so overwhelming. One plant in a pot is a start anyone can do that. Thankfully I have my family to help.
In previous posts we shared our challenges growing produce here in Northern Arizona but we love fresh vegetables, herbs & flowers so we keep trying and at this point it’s more like a science experiment. We compost everything we can to use in our gardens, the chickens & ducks provide manure (composted or aged first) and any natural materials we can use from our yard. Keeping the input costs down is important so we try not to purchase amendments unless needed. We hope you enjoy the slideshow pictures of the past year.
Gardening in Arizona has been a challenge for us. Each year we try something different to see if it helps grow more bounty. We have been blessed with great neighbors with animals that give us all the horse manure we can use. That in itself has improved our soil in our garden. Our soil is clay that is on the alkaline side with lots of rocks & weeds and needs lot of amendments so when have opted for above ground and/or raised beds. We also grow in containers too.
In the Ash Fork area where we live we have to haul water or have it delivered which is a challenge in itself but when it comes to gardening are water usage doubles in the growing season or until monsoons arrive.
Starting plants from seeds seem to do well for us but keeping the plant alive through the hottest days of summer is another challenge.
Final challenge is the wild life and free ranging cows-cows are much easier to deal with we just have to keep our gate shut but the wild life so frustrating! Last year a gray squirrel kept digging in my raised beds and eating some of my vegetables.
The photos below are from previous years.
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Thrifty for more than 30 years.