Saturday, May 31, 2014

{Garden Update}

Things are coming up green! Granted, it's still early, and the usual amount of bugs haven't shown up yet, but the plants are loving life, and shaping up quite nicely! I certainly underestimated the pumpkins, which are taking over at alarming rates, and the leaves are bigger than my hands! The cucumbers are starting to grow,too, and are going to need a trellis soon. The peppers are starting to blossom, and the tomatoes are going crazy! I was looking up the varieties I had to get some information on them, and to research some kind of fungus or rot that set in on a few branches, and apparently they are supposed to get 6-10 feet tall depending on which one we're talking about, which makes me wonder how I'm going to reach something that high! We've already got 16-20 fruit set on the plants, and the smell of the tomato plants is overwhelmingly nostalgic. As if all these weren't enough, the sunflowers Jeff got me are flowering beautifully, and really are the happiest flowers in the world! I've been really enjoying the time outside this spring that I certainly did not spend last year, and am anxiously waiting for that first ripe tomato!
Garden today...
Garden 1 week ago
Where you goin', pumpkin?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

{Mother's Day}

Every year gets a little more nostalgic for the women I would have celebrated today. Mountains among women, talented, strong, opinionated, passionate, endearing, and memorable.  I continue to find moments that radiate the impact they have had on my life in small and profound ways. As we have been working to establish the garden this summer, it has been astounding how much was absorbed in my childhood in the summers spent outside with her in the hearty vegetable gardens watching her, and carrying out tasks that at the time I resented her for. I remember her making me spend hours weeding or picking off caterpillars from the tomatoes. I remember learning about the impressive varieties of things she grew, which without a doubt lead to my easy love of fresh vegetables. I remember when we would tell her we were hungry, we were redirected to the garden, where we could pick a tomato, cucumber, green bean, or any number of other options, rinse them off, and eat them while swinging on the swing set. I remember the years of canning by my mother and my grandmothers side, learning the process and recipes for each thing we preserved. I remember being terrified of getting burned, and watching in amazement as they unflinchingly handled the hot jars and scalding water. 

And although they are no longer here to ask for help and suggestions, their lessons have been deeply imbedded, slipping out when I need them most, and in those moments I am deeply grateful to have had such tremendous women to remember on Mother's Day.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

{Fresh Eggs}

So, perhaps this is a little bit of the cart before the horse, but I've been thinking about this since we started this thing. We're going to have a lot of eggs for two people. A LOT of eggs. like two dozen more than we need a week... at least. So, I thought I'd feel out if anyone would have any interest in getting TRUE cage free, free-range, grass fed, not just hormone free ( because, FDA wouldn't allow any poultry producer to sell something given "hormones", btw) but also anti-biotic ( which is what the industry is actually using to act like hormones)  free eggs, from happy, spoiled-rotten ( the chickens, not the eggs), very funny, and animated chickens.

I'm anticipating things to get cooking around mid to end of June, so I wanted to know of at least a few people who might be interested when the eggs start rolling in. We're looking forward to a colorful assortment of brown and blue-green eggs, that are going to taste better than anything you've bought in a store.

I'm even willing to DELIVER eggs to your door. That's right, full on customer service with smile, by yours truly.

So take a look on the newly minted Facebook Page, see if you're interested, & let me know! In return, I'll keep you in the loop as things start to get real interesting in the next month or so!


Friday, May 2, 2014

{ The Final 8 }

Well, the amount of poultry wondering around our house has fluctuated from 6, to 32, to 12, and finally down to 8, where I think we'll keep it a while. This week we dropped off the last three at a friend's farm including this lady below. She got two of the Silver Laced Wyandottes, and one of the Buff Brahmas. They are going to have more space than they know what to do with there, including horses, donkeys and another set of dogs. We'll miss them, but I think everyone is happier for the less crowded coop. 

So, here are the final 8 ladies remaining, complete with names for everyone! The three golden comets ( the three red girls) were the first to get names almost as soon as we got them, because we always knew they would be sticking around. Ginger, Sunshine, and Freckles as by far our sweetest chickens, and will be the biggest egg producers. I love having them around! 

This is Rosemary (Rosie). She's the only one of the Silver Laced Wyandottes that we kept.  Personally, I think this breed is a lovely one, and when she's full grown she'll have beautiful lacey-looking feathers. However, the three of them together, while the youngest, were the pushiest in the bunch and were picking fights with the older ladies, so I think the other two will be much happier at the top of their pecking order at the farm. 

This is Winifred ( Winnie). She's one of the Easter-eggers, and looks like she's going to be a lovely wheaton color. She's the shyest of the bunch, but is the easiest to pick up and work with. She's a total sweetheart. I'm very eager to see what color her eggs are going to be!  

This is Becky. Her Easter-egger beard/ear tufts crack me up every time I look at her. She's turning out to be quite the runt of the bunch, and quite the spaz, but she's definitely a lovely bird, and doesn't mind being at the bottom of the pecking order. She patiently waits for food, and prefers to snuggle up to the big girls at night. 

Chipmunk has always been one of my spunkier chickens, and is one of the Buff Brahmas that I kept. She's curious, outgoing, and little naughty. You have to keep your eye on this one, or she'll get into something, or peck a ring off your finger! Still, she's pretty cuddly, and will do anything for a treat. 
 Last but not least is miss Bryony. She's  the other Buff Brahma that is going to be sticking around. She's blonder than Chipmunk, but less outgoing. She's usually one of the girls quietly running things from the background, like the chicken godfather, if you will.