Spa Day for Piper

Silkies are arguably the cutest and friendliest chickens around. Unlike most chickens, their feathers are so soft and fluffy that they resemble Muppets more than chickens. Throw in some extra toes, black skin, and electric blue earlobes and you’re starting to get the picture.

Thing is, all that floof attracts tons of dirt and worse. Worse meaning poop hanging off their backside in a most unattractive fashion. A good healthy diet helps keep pasty butt at bay, but every so often you gotta get in there and do the ugly side of animal husbandry. A nice soak in warm water really helps break that poop up as well as keep the chickens calm and cozy.

After a good soak and lather you have your self an ugly looking drowned rat kinda chicken. A soaked silkie means a cold silkie once the sun sets. Many can get sick this way, so it’s important to either do this in the morning so they have time to dry or give them a little spa treatment with a blow dryer. Just be careful they don’t get over-heated when doing so!

I wanted to share this little video with you all so you can see how much Piper adores the spa days here at the Mind Your Dirt Luxury Spa Treatment Super Center and Poof Emporium. So here it is…

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The Poor Man’s Potato Tower

File this under: What Not To Do. A rather fat file in the Mind Your Dirt Corporate Offices of Information and Enlightenment File Management Room…

Where all the MYD mistakes are stored.

I’ve gone ahead and accidentally and massively over-planted the tiniest of my tiny garden plots.

I did it with a sense of deliberate defiance too. Reaping what I’ve sown has quite literally left me bush-whacked and frantic the moment once forgotten seeds began pushing sprout.

I basically planted some old ass potato spuds that I found in a box whilst cleaning out my garage. For nearly a year they withered away their prime months in the hot and dry SoCal un-ventilated garage. Amazed by their tenacity, I just slapped them into the ground in jubilant and ceremonial awe and fervor.

The only problem is I had also planted several heirloom pumpkin seeds the month before in the same bed. Oops. When the long atrophied synapses in my brain began firing again, I realized that this situation was only going to get worse. Steps Jerry! Steps will need to be taken.

Whoops!

So here’s what my caveman brain came up with as a solution. If growing outward isn’t a viable option, then perhaps upward is the only way to grow. I’ve seen potato towers in action before, but have never tried one. I also didn’t want to spend any paper money for lumber or fabric bag towers so I noodle scratched for a spell. Then it hit me, What about that collection of cheap 5 gallon pots I have stashed in the backyard?! A bit smaller than a standard tower, but the total cost is zero of dollars so, what’s to lose?

The potato tower is claimed by many to be able to increase yield while decreasing square footage in your garden plot. I don’t believe that the former is true at all and there’s no real evidence that yield is increased at all. As this is my first experiment, I’ll gladly share my findings, but I don’t have a control so it’s not a true experiment. I just had a sudden risk of crowding and thought this was my best shot without pulling plants out. Having said that, Mind Your Dirt is NOT claiming any additional benefits from using potato towers apart from space saving. I’m just testing the waters and turning a potentially bad situation into an interesting one. Maybe. Read this for further info.

-Mind Your Dirt Corporate Law team (aka me).

Apart from the above video, here’s some more detail shots of the steps. I’m really not sure if this is a good idea or not but so far the plant is growing like gangbusters so I’m sharing it anyhoo.

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The Giving Tree

Since we humans have pulled our lumbering and flipper-legged mass out of the primordial ooze we have been hard-wired to fear the darkness. The setting sun would have us scurrying under rock, climbing into canopy or slithering into backs of caves. Huddled and shaking we clung to each other waiting for the warmth and relative safety of the morning light. For in the darkness lies danger. Danger known and danger barely perceived. For it was a night such as this that brings me to your internet doorsteps today.

In the darkness outside of my (slightly more modern) cave a great terror arose from over the Pacific Ocean. The great storm. Dark and terrible it rained down it’s icy droplets and howled through my village (of San Diego) with apparently powerful winds. All of which I slept through without stirring a titch. I didn’t even wake up when my beloved coastal coral tree was split in three and came crashing down on my roof, my fence, and the street respectively.

All my regular readers will know that this tree was my absolute favorite tree of all. I have written about it so often. The way I propagated it from a measly branch cutting, how it magically grew faster and bigger than any other plant I’ve ever planted, and how I prune it so thoughtfully and thoroughly.

The last link there being one I should have revisited last winter. The winter I decided to not do my annual pruning because I was “too busy” to tend to it. Too busy to remove the great mass of branches and leaves that is likely the very reason why she couldn’t withstand the night terror of a storm that did her in. Mostly.

Friday morning found me doing the normal routine. Butt scratching, a shower, bask my glorious facial hair in the sun of a hundred gods, and then walk the dog. I left the house and began the walk when I realized there was a giant mass blocking our path. In my morning haze, it took a few ticks before I realized what had occurred. This was what I walked right into…

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