The Pantry Gardener

A new gardener with aspirations of growing a family organically on a tiny patch of suburbia. It's all new and so far its mostly been fun!

Making Compost Bins February 15, 2013

We made one compost bin today. I plan on making 3 total. I used 2×4 welded wire. Put in alternating layers of green and brown stuff at a ratio of 1 green 2 brown, and covered it up to make sure no critters get in. I used straw and dried leaves for the brown layers and kitchen scraps and alfalfa pellets for the green layers. In 4 days I will mix it up and see what’s what. We should have some awesome compost in about a month and a half.

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We also started a worm bin. We used an old compost tumbler that my mom purchased at Costco a couple years ago. It never really worked, but it makes a really nice worm bin.

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Thanks to my friend, KC, who brought me some worms from her worm bin, its off to a great start. I alternated the brown and green just like in the compost bin. The only difference is to add in the worms between layers. Its kinda gross, but DH said he would take care of it.


The Chicks Have Arrived!

Today we got 2 of our 5 chicks. They are adorable! We brought home one of each. Next week we get the other 2.

Speckled Sussex


Golden Laced Wyandotte


New Hampshire Red

I put together a brooder out of cardboard boxes. It turned out great. Its Shangri La for chicks.


As you can see, the box on top is the one our DVR came in from Direct TV. The larger box is one that came from Super sturdy and it works well for the chicks. The piece of wood that the heat lamp is hanging from can be raised or lowered by moving the box flaps if I need to adjust the temperature. So far its working great. I added some polka dot Duck tape to cover the edges and to secure the two boxes together and Voila!


Groundhog Day and the backside of Old Man Winter February 2, 2013

Today was Groundhog Day. The little guy didn’t see his shadow here, so I am hoping to see the backside of Old Man Winter very soon. With that in mind my garden plans are in full swing. I have mapped out my space, decided what style of garden to have, I have even put up a high tunnel in order to try and have 4 seasons of growing.  It still needs the poly cover which I plan on getting to this week.

What I have planned so far is a Colonial style Four Square Garden. I am hoping to get 9 planting beds in my approximately 1000 square feet of growing space. Added to the 9 beds is an 11×24 high tunnel (also referred to as a hoop house or cold house). I plan on putting all my heat loving veggies in their like tomatoes and peppers and to use it as a winter garden for carrots, lettuce, spinach, etc.

Phew! That’s already a daunting task, but I haven’t even mentioned the best part. We decided to get chickens! That’s right. My own little flock of happy egg layers and fertilizer makers. The chicks will be available at the local Grange co-op on the 15th and the 22nd of February. I can’t wait! I have ordered 4 chicks. I did tons of research online and decided on 4 different breeds to make my flock interesting and diverse. I chose New Hampshire Red, Speckled Sussex, Australorp, and Delaware. All are medium sized (about 6-7 pounds), and have calm and friendly personalities. The most important part being that they are all pretty good egg layers.

So that’s the plan. This week I dig in and start getting things ready. Its going to be a great year!



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