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All three of these items played a part in how I spent my Saturday.  As I mentioned in previous posts, I spent Saturday over at Double S Farms which was one of the stops featured in the second annual Tour de Coops, which is a tour of chicken coops along with some vegetable gardens.

Okay, for the first item on my list – blue booties.  As you drove up to Double S Farms, you were greeted by the following sign…..

All visitors had to put on blue booties and clean their hands before entering.  This was because it is easy to accidentally carry diseases from one farm to the other.

As you can see, there were quite a few booties ready for visitors to put on.

There were so many visitors that day.  Well over 100 people came throughout the day.  Most were considering raising chickens and asked my sister, Chicken Farmer, many questions.

Some visitors already had chickens but were interested in seeing how others raised theirs.  I was so impressed about how much my sister knew about raising chickens in such a short amount of time.  It was just this past February that her chicks arrived in the mail.

**The pine cones were left there by some little visitors.

I don’t think that the chickens were too excited about all of the extra attention though.

 

Flo took longer than usual to lay her egg because people kept looking in at her.

The other chickens came up to visit us on the patio where we were sitting.



Lucy was looking around for some crumbs to eat while Effie was interested in the camera on the table…..

Both Lucy and Effie are ‘Easter-Eggers’ which means that they lay light blue eggs.  Flo lays brown eggs.  Effie was not looking her best that day because she was molting.

As the day went on, the second item in my list came into play – Hot Wheels.  While my sister and brother-in-law were kept busy answering questions about raising chickens, I had fun playing with my nephews.  

Little Farmer absolutely LOVES playing with his Hot Wheels cars.  He carries some of them around in a plastic toolbox.  He was kind enough to lend me some so that I could play with both him and Littlest Farmer…..

**By the way….a great Christmas gift for the little boy on your list would be an inexpensive plastic toolbox with some Hot Wheels inside 🙂

**Note to self…..do not leave your knitting out around a darling two-old…..they like to pull out your knitting needles 😉

I had a great time playing with the boys but I did have the chance to answer some questions about the vegetable garden….

 

The garden is covered in bird netting to help keep the chickens out – they love vegetables.  The garden is full of all different types of lettuce right now.

**Notice Little Farmer is holding a piece of wood he found on the ground?  Why is it that boys love to find bits of wood and carry them around?  It doesn’t really matter what the reason is, I was just wondering 🙂

Among the lettuce and young broccoli plants were Marigolds which drew quite a bit of attention from the visitors.  I explained that the flowers were not planted for looks, but actually help to keep harmful insects away from the vegetables.

So far, we were all having a great day, except for Soda….



She was not allowed outside to visit.  I’m sure she would have loved to and was thinking that she could persuade some of the visitors to throw her a ball.

 Some smaller people came over to visit the chickens as well along with their parents…..



My mother, Pastor Farmer, had fun showing these boys the chickens inside of the coop.  The boys were dying to collect some eggs and so she sent them each home with an egg.

The boys also spent a little time playing with my nephews…..



You know what?  There is just something so cute about a little boy in a cowboy hat and blue booties.

 Some of the neighbors were also interested in what was going on….





The chickens were a bit shy at times being the center of attention, choosing to hide behind the Texas Sage shrubs…..

 
 
I had a wonderful time on Saturday and after I left, I spent some time finishing decorating my house for Christmas.  Which leads me to the last item:
Have you finished decorating your house for Christmas?
 
 
The chickens have…..
I hope you all have a wonderful week and hopefully you have finished your decorating for the holidays 🙂

I imagine that many of you are busy this week with the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.  My kids love that they only have to go to school for three days this week.  As I mentioned before, I am hosting Thanksgiving this year at our house for my in-laws and my brother and sister-in-law and their two new baby boys.

Do you know someone who loves to entertain?  Or maybe you are that someone?  As for me, I like the ‘idea’ of entertaining but not necessarily the work.  I tend to get a bit distracted as I plan out the details.  So, this post may appear a bit disjointed, which is how my brain works most of the time….so please bear with me 😉

Out in my garden, there are definite signs that winter will be here in just one month.

I always celebrate the first blooms of my Firecracker Penstemon (Penstemon eatonii), which will soon be a favorite destination for the hummingbirds.
 If you don’t already have one of these in your garden….rush to your local nursery and GET one.  My Valentine shrub (Eremophila maculata ‘Valentine’) is one of most favorite plants.  Soon it will be covered in red, trumpet shaped flowers that will last through spring.
The yellow blossoms of my Cascalote tree look so beautiful against the blue sky, don’t you think?
Although I do try to include plants in my garden that will bloom through the fall and winter seasons, there is an area that is not particularly colorful…..

Not too impressive….is it?
This is what my Bermuda grass lawn looks like once night time temperatures dip into the 50’s.  Although it looks more brown then green, it is not dead – just dormant.  Once the spring temperatures arrive it will green up very quickly.
Now if you love green grass and your husband loves to have to mow the lawn 12 months out of the year (mine doesn’t), you can overseed your grass with perennial rye grass seed in early fall.  I have done this from time to time, but not for the past couple of years.
The other day as I was up our driveway, I saw that one of my plants had a surprise for me….

My Agave desmettiana is beginning to grow it’s flowering stalk.
It grows at an extremely fast rate and you can actually measure the growth daily.
You know, I have seen hundreds of flowering agave, but it never gets old.  It is particularly special when it occurs in your own garden.
A common myth is that agave flower after being in the ground 100 years, hence the name ‘Century Plant’.  However, and the length of time that it takes an agave to flower is largely dependent on the species.  Some take longer to flower and others do not.

For example, my Agave desmettiana, above is actually the offspring of my previous agave that flowered and then died.  My agave above is only 5 years old.

**You may notice agave that have had their flowering stalk cut off in hopes that this will keep the agave from dying.  This will not work and robs the landscape of months of beauty that the flowering stalk adds.
Before I go, there is an upcoming event in our area that I would love to tell you about.  It is called Tour de Coops and one of the stops on the tour will be Double S Farms!
For those of you who may be newer readers, Double S Farms is the residence of my mother (Pastor Farmer), my sister (Chicken Farmer) and her family.  

My son Kai loves hanging out with the chickens.
You might have guessed that the tour involves chicken coops.  Actually it is “a self-guided tour of the coolest chicken set-ups” in the Phoenix metro area.

This year’s event occurs on December 4th and you can find more information and ticket information at Tour de Coops.
I plan on being at Double S Farms on that day to help and hopefully be able to meet some of you 🙂

Well, that is about it for now.  I need to work on my grocery list for Thursday.  I have a 21 lb turkey thawing out in my refrigerator, but need just a couple more items including heavy cream for my baked corn dish 🙂

I hope you are having a great week so far!