It has been an odd winter here at the yardstead.  We had 14 consecutive nights of freezing weather.  This is really unheard of in our area.  We will not be completely sure how much we lost until spring.  Our turnips, garlic, and onions did survive in the garden.  We were very happy to see that.  Currently we have four chickens in the coop.  I'm really trying to decide if we should get more or stay with 4 this year.  Four hens will produce enough eggs for our family through the spring and summer.  We are so use to having more and having enough eggs to share with our neighbors.  Raising chicks in the spare room is not something I am looking forward to this spring.  Although I've been thinking that I should visit Lowe's and try to get a washer/dryer or refrigerator box.  Then I could raise 4 or 5 chicks without much worry of them getting big enough to fly before the weather turns warm.  We will just have to wait until March to decide!  McMurray Hatchery is now allowing customers to order less than 12 ducks per order.  There is an extra fee but we are happy to pay it in order to get the number of ducks we want.  I have really missed having ducks since ours died unexpectedly this fall. 

As spring approaches, I am trying to curb my spring/garden fever.  Each year I always get too excited and start too early plants from seed.  This year we will put potatoes in buckets at the end of February and I will wait till the first of March to start any seedlings.  We plan to grow most of our potatoes in buckets this year.  We will put about 5 inches of dirt in the bottom of a bucket and lay a potato eye on top.  We will cover it slightly and as the potato plant grows, we will add more and more dirt till the plant rises above the top of the bucket.  We hope to have an easier time harvesting potatos (dumping out buckets) than when they must be dug.  I will post pictures of this new project and update our bucket gardening article as the plants grow.  Wish us luck and happy gardening to you this Spring!