Maybe it's just all the pepper research, but I feel like I want to try a lot more peppers this year than we have had in the past. Largely because I didn't realize that most peppers can be grown in a container, or in a smaller space, and that they really don't often get really big - 2-3 feet is average, with some dwarf plants barely reaching 12-18 inches.
Tony brought home 24 1-gallon planting containers tonight. I plan to use them to transplant sees I will be starting indoors next month (tomatoes and peppers, maybe some eggplant). They should be alright downstairs under the grow lights until it warms up enough to get planted outside.
I ordered some white strawberry seeds from eBay a while back and they came today. I haven't actually opened the silver mylar bag yet, so I can't say if they're truly the correct seeds or not, but I want to give them a try. I know it's not always wise to buy from overseas on eBay, but it was 50-cents, so I figured I'd give it a shot. Worst case scenario, they don't grow, or they're not the right type. I will have lost 50-cents and some soil. Best case scenario, I'll have some white alpine strawberry plants.
I will be trying strawberries indoors this year after several years attempting them in wintersowing jugs and getting nothing but moss. The jugs either dry out or get too wet, but I am tired of wasting my seeds. Indoors this year and see if we can get some sprouts to survive long enough to be transplanted out.
Today we got six eggs from the chickens. One was weirdly deformed with a strange flat divot over almost 1/4 of the egg. Never seen that before! The eggs are still in good condition, so it's not a calcium issue. They're on an egg-layer feed now that we're starting to get some regular egg production.
This year I've decided that the only eggs we will be putting in the incubator will be the darkest of the dark brown eggs and the blue eggs (currently only one hen produces blue eggs). This will give us the best opportunity to increase our flock and offer the egg colors we want to see more of.
My sister, who lives in Georgia, joked that she might send me some Ayam Cemani eggs this summer. She has a friend down that way who has some and gave her eggs to hatch, and I mentioned how jealous I was. There was a technical malfunction in her incubator just before the eggs were supposed to hatch and it ruined the entire clutch. Devastating. I don't know if she's teasing me or if she'd seriously send me insanely rare eggs. I've yet to find anyone selling ayam cemani chicks for less than $100 each. I would happily buy a separate coop just for them to keep the line pure and out of the rest of my flock if I could get a hold of a few. I just can't afford $100 each ($300+ for a trio if you get lucky and get the right genders as chicks and have no losses). Dreaming of pretty black chickens.
The Tiny Tim tomato seeds I put in the aquaponic grow system have one sprout. Yay! They're supposed to stay small enough that it can stay in the aquaponic grow bed without needing to be moved out (it's a small system).
I've been considering putting up the old aquaponic system I had over the turtle tank at the old house, except putting it over the fish tank. If I sanitized everything before reassembling it, it should be good to grow food in. Assuming the cats would leave it alone. They do have access to the fish tank.
And speaking of the fish tank, we've been back down to the same two fish again for a while now. It seems every time I buy fish from the pet store they die. I have a very old weather loach, and one female albino bristle nose pleco. I attempted to buy a second bristle nose but it disappeared immediately, and the molly we bought a few months ago only lasted a few weeks. Tony agreed to bring me to Walmart to pick out a betta. It's pretty sad when Walmart fish have a better survival rate than the pet store fish! It was never like that when I worked at a local pet store. Gosh I miss those days. I could order in any kind of fish I wanted and never had to worry about it. Now I'm at the mercy of what the local chain store wants to carry and how they maintain (or rather don't maintain) their tanks. Anyway, hopefully the betta will last a little longer. If it doesn't then I will definitely need to get the aquaponics set up going to try to naturally clean the water. That's the only thing I can think of that could be causing an issue.