Portland raised bed garden and baby chicks

Gardeners in the Pacific Northwest eagerly take advantage of every nice day during the spring.  Last weekend was absolutely beautiful — warm and sunny — and I missed the whole thing! Well, I didn’t exactly miss it, but I wasn’t at home to enjoy the nice weather in my own garden.  On Saturday we left for a family road trip to visit the kids’ grandparents in Oregon.  We stopped first in Portland to visit their paternal grandparents and then headed to Medford to visit my parents.  By the time we arrived in Medford on Sunday, it felt positively like a summer day.  In fact, it was so warm the kids started complaining that they were too hot.  Growing up in Seattle, they just aren’t used to it.

Raised bed garden in Beaverton, OR

Raised bed garden in Cedar Mill, OR

My husband’s parents are avid gardeners and I wanted to share this picture of their vegetable garden.  They have a serious vegetable garden with many raised beds. According to Derek, they’ve been using this space (approximately 1/5 acre) as a garden for 35+ years although it has changed dramatically over the years.  While they are just getting started with their spring planting, by summer the garden will be bursting with a variety of fresh vegetables, berries, and fruits.  One thing you might notice in the photo is the long poles surrounding the perimeter of this set of raised beds.  Even though they live in Cedar Mill, just outside of Portland, OR, they have trouble with deer.  So they erected a tall deer-proof fence.  We live in a much more wooded and rural area than they do and we’ve never really had much of a deer problem, but I saw for the very first time last week two does in our yard.  This caused me to think about doing some deer proofing myself, as the raised beds outside of the greenhouse will likely become targets for the deer.  Not sure what I’ll do yet, but I do think something will be required or some of my plants will likely become ungulate munchies.

We came back from our road trip last night and the kids had one thing on their minds this morning:  baby chicks!  I promised them they could get three baby chicks once we returned so it was off to the feed store first thing in the morning to pick the new girls up.  We picked out three Golden Sex Link chicks, which are apparently a cross between a Rhode Island Red and a Rhode Island White. The nice thing about sex link chicks is that male and female chicks are different colors when they hatch, making it easy to tell potential hens from potential roosters.  We’ve got the new chicks all set up in a cardboard box brooder, with a heat lamp light, chick feed and water.  The biggest challenge with them right now is getting the kids to leave them alone for a few minutes. They are just so excited to have the baby chicks.  My Pet Chicken has a useful baby chick “how to” page that is helping us get them off to a good start. Here’s a quick video of the new babies:

And a question. I just noticed that I have harvester ants crawling on my peach trees. They are in the blossoms, and I mean literally in the blossoms. Are they helping to pollinate or will they ruin the potential peaches before they even start? Does anyone have any idea?

I hope everyone has enjoyed the nice gardening weather.  I’m looking forward to getting back into the garden, even if the weather isn’t as nice this coming weekend as it was last.  Happy gardening!


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9 Responses to Portland raised bed garden and baby chicks

  1. DoubleD says:

    Chicks are adorable – no idea about the harvester ants!

    Your husband’s parents place is beautiful. I would be quite happy gardening at their homestead.

  2. Nancy says:

    What cute chickies! We got new chicks in February and they are almost big enough to join the older girls…This will be the first time I have added chicks that weren’t raised in the original batch…The 3 new girls seem a bit more aggressive than the first Chichi Sisters which may turn our to be a good thing…time will tell…

  3. Dan says:

    Wow the grandparents garden is awesome. I wish I had space like that. I have thought about fencing too. I have been seeing this huge rabbit jumping around and get fear stricken every time I see it.

    Not sure about the ants but I would imagine they are just going for the nectar and will probably aid in pollination. I do know ants on peonies don’t cause any problems and actually help the flower open.

  4. Mom says:

    That’s my guess, too: the ants are probably after the nectar in the blossoms.

  5. sinfonian2 says:

    Great chicks, and wow, what a spread the folks have. Very nice! Very GardenGirlish, hehe.

    I understand that ants are beneficial to plants in almost every case (at least here anyway). Of course, keep an eye out for leaf damage, but otherwise, let them be and see if they help.

    Good luck with chick integration! Beautiful additions. Happy Easter!

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