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broccoli

Well, the farm is going to be growing (haha) quite a bit. I approached the church behind our house about using some of their empty flower beds and empty lot to grow vegetables in. The beds have been grassed over for years, the empty lot is just that, empty. This morning, they had a vote and decided to allow us to till and plant the flower beds to show them what we can do. The Round Rock Funny Farm is adding 400+sqft to it’s growing space! I’ve got to get it tilled, fed and mulched pretty quickly so it will be ready for a fall garden. The idea behind the potential use of the larger lot (4400+sqft!) would be to plant native plants and flowers as well as have a vegetable garden and donate 25% of the produce to the church members or a food bank of their choice.
Here’s a snapshot of the plan I’ve laid out for the initial fall garden. (I’ll tell everyone more about  the “Tenth Acre Farms” part another time)

I’ve also put together the layout for most of our backyard. It’s crazy just how much we have going on back here. The front yard is growing a lot of tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, corn, squash and eggplants. Eventually, we’ll also have artichokes, olive trees and more fruit trees.

If you’re visiting the the Funny Farm’s website at RoundRockFunnyFarm.blogspot.com you’ll notice a bold, new look. Some colors were adjusted, content added and a new layout was built for the farm blog. A few more changes are in order, but things should be looking good enough now for the world to see.

There has been a lot changing on the farm as well. The pumpkins have been growing like crazy in the cooler, sunny weather. More cherry tomatoes are growing and being harvested everyday. Bees have been extremely active in the mid-day keeping everything pollinated. We sure appreciate their help!

The next posting will have pictures of the new chicken pen. It’s nearing completion with only 1 section of fence left to finish. They’ll be happier in their new 8×12 pen. It will have a small coop, a hanging feeder and a new float watering system. All of these changes should make things a lot easier for us.

The mixed up patch.
A growing pumpkin!
Strawberries still growing.
Bees snacking on a pumpkin flower.
The artichoke sprouts.
Cherry tomatoes!

We were super busy in the gardens today. The chicken pen is now 2 feet taller. The clucking ladies are enjoying the extra room to roost. It was hectic rounding them all back up today.

We also planted a lot more veggies! Kale, Chard, more Arugula, more Sunflowers, Sesame, Dill, Sacred Basil, 3 types of radishes, a mixed greens galore and Cucumbers. The current patches are full now. Next step will be prepping a new section for corn and wheat. We’ve purchased wheat berries from a local farmer that has a nice strain of wheat for the area.

We’ll also start preparing an area for broccoli, cabbage and mustard greens. If we can continue to successfully expand our gardens, we’ll be growing at least 50% of our own food by this fall.

Missed the afternoon shot. 😦

All of the weeding in the gardens is finished! It only took us about 6 man hours, which is 5 or 6 less than I thought it would take to catch up. The gardens are doing great. Tomorrow’s time will be spent tying up tomato vines and moving the chicken pen.

We just had an excellent thunderstorm. It looked severe on the radar but we just got the good rainy parts. Our gardens are loving it!

The first pic in the pic-a-day series for the Round Rock Funny Farm. I’m looking around for the pics of what was a regular old Texas yard with not much growing. Now it’s green, lush and beautiful. More and more veggies and fruits are growing. Eventually we’ll expand into the front yard as well. We’re only worried about poachers out there.

The farm has been doing amazing so far this spring. The addition of chickens has really improved our compost pile -we’re making soil! They’ve been really friendly and recognize that we’re the “feeders”.
Pest control requires a little more work when you’re doing things organically. I found these leaf-footed bugs planning their early morning offensive today.
We have some amazing artichokes! For some reason, the plant that was chewed by the dog, twice, and half-eaten by ants is actually blooming! Normally, artichokes won’t bloom this young. They’re not even a year old and one has 2 flowers growing. The plant is humongous!
We have some flowers that are doing awesome as well. The mammoth sunflowers out back are very hardy. We’re growing them in front of the compost bin for cover. We hope to harvest the seeds as well for making sunflower-butter. The rose bush in the front garden has been blooming like crazy. I caught them on a still morning and was able to take a nice picture. I wish the broccoli was still around but the aphids took over and got most of them, the flowers were beautiful.
The ducks aren’t ours… We’re sticking with chickens for now. The ducks are from a park in Burnet, TX where we stopped to play at a park.