Growing peas: staking options

piccyfix_1302838368_img_0408

It’s the beginning of March, which means that growing season has started !!!
A crop that does really well in early spring is pea. Sugar peas, snap peas, whatever is your favorite, will probably do well even if it snows again.
Last year, we used staking poles. It worked well, but you need to have a lot of them.
We didn’t buy enough of them last year, so this year we used some old chicken wire remaining from the chicken coop.

piccyfix_1302838083_img_0406

I’ll blog on the results at the end of the season !

Riwan; or, the Sandy Track – Ken Bugul

Ken Bugul has entered my list of favorite authors.

I’ve read this book years ago, in French, when I took a class about Sub-Saharan francophone literature, and of all of the books we’ve read, this one really moved me.

In short, very short, it is a fiction novel but has a lot of auto-biographical elements. In the book, the narrator/main character is in her thirties, and after studying in Europe and living a western life, she is back to Senegal. She then proceeds to marry a Serigne, a spiritual leader. She becomes the 28th wife of the Serigne.

Polygamy is a complicated subject, and this book depicts the conflict the main character has with it. “I wanted to become a women loaded with diplomas… my education pushed me in that direction … At school I was taught that men of my village were savages who did not know good manners, made love with brutality, did not respect women.” (p.39) She grew up with colonialist ideals, trying to reject the traditionalist view of marriage.

In real life, Ken Bugul has been in a polygamist marriage too, the 20th wife of a Serigne. Many American feminists have been criticizing Ken Bugul for this marriage.

This is a must-read for everyone that wants to understand the impact of colonization on women in Senegal today.

Raising Chickens

img_03601

If you are serious about making the most out of your land, chickens are a good way to introduce animals into your urban paradise. A lot of cities across the US allows citizens to have chickens in their backyard.

A while back, when we were contemplating the idea of having animals on our small land (.15 acres total), chickens seemed like a good idea. But was our backyard big enough ? Would it take a lot of our time ?

Pros:

– they require very little time per week. Around 1 hour total (for 6 chickens).

– they are good “composter”: they poop, they scratch (just move them on your gardening patch once harvesting season is over), they eat almost anything.

– they take almost no space.

– they are docile creature, thus making them perfect if you have kids around.

– they provide eggs and meat. And eggs… and eggs… lots of them.

img_0337

– Did I mention eggs ?

Cons:

– during winter, you’ll need to change the water daily. Same thing during the hot days of summer.

– you’ll chase them a few time across your garden (and in the street if you aren’t lucky) until you found all those little places where they can fly over or crawl under. It took us a while to catch them in the act of jumping on the apple tree, then jumping on the fence to go and see what the neighborhood looked like. We thought they were crawling under the fence…

– you’ll get attach to them, and have a harder time eating meat than before.  Is that a con ?