Earlier this year, my family and I traveled to Hawaii. One of the highlights of our trip was a visit to the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens. This Hawaiian tropical garden was a hidden gem, that we discovered on the Big Island of Hawaii. I had no idea what to expect, nor did my family. My family indulged me a bit as we purchased our tickets. From the outside entrance, it seems as though we would only be exploring for a few moments. Three hours later, we had to pull ourselves from the beauty and awe. In the gardens alone, we took over 200 photos. From the landscape, grounds, orchids, unique tropical plantings and the crashing ocean, we were in awe. I am so thrilled to be able to share this experience with you.
Social media is a wonderful thing when it has the ability to connect people that live so close to one another that never would have met if it weren’t for the power of the internet. One such person is Susan from Itzy Bitzy Farm. Susan is one very talented horticulturalist who moved up North from the South only two years ago. She is an amazing gardener who can grow and teach you about anything that grows in the dirt. The other afternoon I had a chance to swap chicken advice for gardening inspiration and plants. It was a wonderful day. We started off touring her garden. First stop was the greenhouse. As she rolled up the door, the warm steamy smell of fresh mulch filled the air. Love that! Susan also shared an amazing tip. She keeps an oscillating fan on low blowing across her seedlings. This helps to make their stems strong and sturdy against the wind.
|Tiny asparagus ferns|
|New peas emerge from the warm soil.|
On the enclosed porch sits a lovely brooder that Susan built with her son for her newest family members; eight little ones altogether in assorted breeds- Buff Orpingtons, Delawares, Silver Laced Wyandottes and Speckled Sussex. Susan picked them up from a feed store 30 minutes from her home. She also was able to purchase a coop for her girls there too, but they are still too young. They are only one week old. For now they must remain in their brooder. Susan and her son created the brooder using plywood and hardware cloth. Inside, 12 inch tall corrugated cardboard surrounds the outer walls preventing drafts from entering. A heat lamp hangs from above. One chick feeder contains feed, while the other is filled with water and marbles fill the water tray to prevent accidental drownings.
As soon as Susan opened the brooder door, her little ones came to cautiously say hello. Her Buff Orpingtons are the most curious. Soon enough, one hopped up onto her leg to examine a treat.
It is so clear to me how much Susan has already bonded with these adorable one week old babies!
Susan has done her research and it has paid off. She has even found a wonderful feed store that makes its own feed locally.
I am thankful for the role that social media plays in the world of chicken keeping. In fact, I wish that lived closer to so many of you. Oh, how I wish we could shrink this big wide world we live in. To me, there is something to be said for meeting in person. Those are the connections that bring things full circle for me. Of course, there is something to be said for the chick fever that sets in when I meet them in person too! How can you resist coming face with this?
Susan is new to blogging but has so much to share. Please take a moment to stop on by her blog and leave her a word or two of encouragement, for a new blogger they mean so much. Also, don’t forget you have just a day or so left to enter the coop giveaway! Click here to enter.
Photo Credits: Tilly’s Nest