Backyard Chickens. Now, More Than Ever!

California’s 2014 Proposition 2 carries a potential 40% price increase in eggs.

Back in November I and many other Californians voted YES to Proposition 2 which requires calves raised for veal, egg-laying hens and pregnant pigs be confined only in ways that would allow these animals to lie down, stand up, fully extend their limbs and turn around freely. Beginning January 1, 2015, farmers will have had to make needed changes or face fines and/or imprisonment for up to 180 days.

Chickens huddle together in their egg-processing plant at the Dwight Bell Farm in Atwater, California in 2008. Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press. Via

The proposition was supported by the Humane Society of the United States, The California Medical Association, Consumer Federation of America, The Center for Food Safety, 63.4% of Californians (or 8,009,556 hip voters), and me. Yours truly. James Arthur Gielow, Deputy Director/CEO/COO/DMD of Mind Your Dirt Inc. Ltd LLC etc. In other words, 5 out of 5 James Gielows’ agree; being cool with animals is pretty neat!
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Mini Monarch Munching Mercilessly on Milkweed

On my morning rounds today I discovered eight more monarch caterpillars on the milkweed. At this rate, the plant will never grow! The eat faster than the leaves can sprout. I did plant it for them so I can’t get too upset about it. I just hope they don’t eat themselves out of house and home over here.


The Pineapple Express: how to grow and propagate a pineapple, over and over again

As promised, I’m going to share the results of my feeble pineapple efforts. I ordered the small plant online as an add on to my Ficus Religiousa, or Bodi Tree (which was really hard to find by the way). The shipping was free to add it on, so I figured why not. I am fortunate to be living in a zone 10, so I can grow these babies as they only grow in zone 10 to zone 11 outdoors. You can grow them indoors, but they’ll be small so don’t get too disappointed and don’t invite friends over for the “big harvest”. I potted mine in a 4″ pot and gave it what love I could muster in hopes of one day eating my own homegrown pineapple.

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