Jen Fulkerson

gardener
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since Jul 09, 2019
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My name is Jennifer, I'm married to a wonderful man for 28 years and counting. We have four grown children. Two girls and two boys. Being a mom is my most important and favorite job. I love to garden, paint, crochet, read, go to the movies, upcycle/refinish furniture, and do just about any art or craft project. We have 3 dogs, 5 indoor cats, ? cats that live on our property, and 21 chickens. All but the chickens are strays that just showed up and demanded we love them, so we do.
N. California
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Recent posts by Jen Fulkerson

Thanks everyone.  I need to think about what I need to do. The easy solution is just don't bother with the light.  The problem with that is the west side of the coop has an old shed about 4'  from the coop, and where the shed ends a walnut tree my son has cut down twice is now a 6' bush. A barn on the north side and a giant almond tree in the south.  It's a great location most of the year when every inch of shade is needed.. Just a couple of winter months when they could use the sun.
Maybe I will have the light go out at like 2, maybe find a dim light stay on until maybe 4, and that way there should be a small amount of sun light that will naturally get darker. Something to think about. Thank you.
3 days ago
I'm a strong believer in letting nature take it's course.  So in winter if the hens stop laying, I just buy eggs. I don't like buying eggs, but I want my hens to be healthy.  We have had some good rain this winter. Thank goodness!!! Of course we can use a great deal more. Anyway I put plastic on the sides of my coop because the hole coop was getting wet, and all the feeders filled with water. Once I put the plastic up it was dark and gloomy in the coop.  I put a 50 watt Led shop light in the main part of the coop. I put it on a timer. It turns on about 6:30 am and off about 6:30 pm.  One door is always open, so they can come and go as they please. ( They have an enclosed yard). I did this so they wouldn't be in the dark on those rainy gloomy days.  The thing that makes me wonder if I have made a mistake is, I'm getting more eggs then I was. Not like summer, but  4 to 6 a day. I have 17 hens. 4 are Sapphire gem that are supposed to lay high two hundreds, and 4 are Isa Brown, they are supposed to lay 300 a year. Everyone seems healthy and happy.  I went out tonight just after the light went out. It seems a few were having a hard time finding the perch loosing the light all of a sudden.  It made me wonder what other people do.  Light, or no light?
3 days ago
I was wondering if you could make a little lean to on the side of your coop for your roosters. Maybe two little separate sleep areas for them. Then you don't have to go into the coop. Just a thought. Hope you work it out so you can enjoy your chickens without putting yourself in danger. Good luck.
3 days ago
Jay, I'm so sorry for your loss.  My chickens are pets to me as well. I lost one of my hens a couple of weeks before Christmas. She was buried in a place I intend to plant a fruit tree when the bare root trees are available.  
Condolences Jay
3 days ago
I'm starting seeds, and I love it. Deciding what to grow, finding the seeds in catalogs, or at the store. Soaking, planting, waiting for them to emerge from the soil. It's such a wonderful experience every time.
I'm blessed to live in an amazing climate where I can garden year round. I have a garden full of winter veggies right now, and I love it.  I could probably plant all my seeds in the garden at the right time, and they would grow. I have read Paul and others believe this is the best way to do it.  I understand the reasons, and I do that method for a lot of my veggies.
That being said I enjoy starting a lot of my veggies in January in doors.  I just love getting an early start. Growing way more than I would ever want to grow myself, and giving away the extra to friends and family.  It fills my heart with joy to see my little greenhouse full of baby veggies waiting to grow.
Wine cap mushrooms, comfrey, and cherry trees.  We will start with wine caps that I have tried twice, and not a single mushroom popped up.  
I read how comfrey is so easy to grow. I plant a ton of comfrey roots, several methods, and times of the year. I finally got one common comfrey crown to grow and survive 5? Maybe 6 months now.  
I have planted many fruit trees, and most grow no problem. I'm cursed when it comes to cherry. They do well in my area. But something always happens. The first my father-in-law bought and planted a cherry tree for us. It was doing well for a few months, until my son, maybe 4 or 5 decided to climb it. Snapped that baby in 1/2.  I have planted many over the years, and something always happens.  I told my daughter I'm going to buy and plant 2 cherry trees every year until they grow, or I die whichever comes first.
Failure doesn't make me give up, it makes me more determined.
Happy gardening
Thanks everyone.  I should have been more clear. If I used the cultivator, I would only use it on top, mostly to disturb the weeds, trying not to disturb the soil layer.  But maybe I won't.

Eric I still want to try again to grow wine cap.  Like I said we are actually getting rain. I need to trim some of my trees, I was thinking I could use my little chipper, and have some fresh wood chips. Maybe starting earlier, fresh chips, and more moisture and maybe I will succeed this time.  I finally got a comfrey to grow, and survive about 6 months now, so anything can happen.

Thanks again everyone.
1 week ago
I have this area between my garage, and apricot trees. I call it my want to be food forest. I have planted a few perennials to go in that direction, but the gophers were very bad, and not much is still alive.  I covered the ground with about 8" to 12" of wood chips two or three years ago.  
We have gotten more rain than the last few years, which is great, but the weeds are so thick you can't even see the wood chips.  I don't till any of my gardens, but I was thinking maybe I should use my little cultivator to till the weeds into the broken down wood chips, then the, put cardboard down, and add new chips. Or should I just put the cardboard on top of the weeds and add wood chips.  I don't have the time or energy to pull all the weeds. I don't want to just add wood chips because the weeds some how manage to grow through the wood chips.  
I just want to get the weeds under control. I like to plant melons, and all my extra veggies in this area.  Would love to hear thoughts, and or suggestions. Thanks
1 week ago
I'm going to be the odd ball on permies. Weed cloth is very un-permies, and most here don't like it. I like it for walk ways.  The trick is to use a good quality weed cloth.  I like the cloth I get at Sam's club.  I have tried many variations to keep my walk ways free of Bermuda grass, and other weeds.  Nothing is 100%.  For me the best has been the lay weed cloth, then cardboard, then 6 or more inches of wood chips.  This seems to last the longest. I think the cardboard helps protect the weed cloth from getting holes which allows weeds to pop through.
I have tried plastic, and it didn't last any longer than the weed cloth, and it doesn't allow water to go through.
On the other hand if you don't mind mowing, like that look, that is a solution as well.  I think as long as you keep an eye on the runners, you should be able to keep it out of your garden.
Good luck with what ever you choose. Bermuda is the bain of my existence as well.
1 week ago
I'm definitely not an expert.  I know when I received my worms it recommended giving the worms corn meal, to give them a boost after shipping.  I continue to give it to them now and then.  It would be awesome if I soil expert would answer your question. Until that happens, I will share my thoughts.  With just about everything what goes in comes out. So if you eat home grown organic food, you are giving yourself a great chance to be healthy, if you live on fastfood, not so much.  I use this philosophy with all my animals, including my worm.  They get a variety of my best food scraps.  It just seems like the better quality food scraps would make better quality casting.  The variety is because different foods have different nutrients, so it seems to me I will get a more well rounded balanced casting this way.

In all honesty I have chosen quantity over quality when it comes to the bedding.  I started out using wood chips. In my mind I felt this would give me a more natural quality casting.  Maybe it did, who knows, I didn't have it tested.  But, yes you knew it was coming. It took 8 or 9 months to get usable worm castings.  I would have to have many bins to get enough worm castings that way.  So I have gone to the dark side so to speak. I shred cardboard and use it as the primary bedding.  I do add Coco Core, and some rough compost.  I know there's a lot of controversy about cardboard, and the glue used, and I wish it wasn't so. We have an abundance of cardboard, and the worms brake it down pretty fast. 6 to 8 weeks instead of months.  So for us getting rid of cardboard, and faster results wins over what in my mind would be the "better, more natural" choice.  
Basically in my mind the better quality you give, the better quality you get.  Good luck.
1 month ago