Thursday, July 30, 2009

We have HEN FRUIT!!!

Came home from work tonight, checked on the chickens to find our first ever egg!
Properly laid in one of their new nest boxes...!
Here's the first pullet egg next to a "Large" egg that we just bought on our way home tonight. 
The pullet that laid this egg will be 18 weeks old tomorrow. This is about 2 weeks ahead of my best expectations. I suspect that it came from Rocket, our single Black Australorp, as she seemed to mature a few weeks ahead of the Barred Rocks. Will eat this for breakfast tomorrow, over easy. 
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Sunday, July 26, 2009


Today we cleaned out the coop d'etat...

I have been amazed at the behaviour of our chickens, particularly our young rooster, Alby. He is firmly in control of his ladies. When he spots a hawk, he has all of his ladies runing for the coop with a single call.

The hens enjoy the roosts.

This stuff is worth it's weight in gold in the garden. I am sure it is responsible for our good crop of pumpkins! Note the potato plants - no matter what state the compost pile is in, there are always potatoes growing in it!
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Before and after.

JoAnna's has OCD, obsessive canning disorder!
We made the Dinosaur BBQ pickle recipe with jalapenos and garlic. They are fantastic! 

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Scenes from the garden II

Calico beans. 

 I break most of the carrots when I try to pull the out by hand. 
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Scenes from the garden.

Rather than focus on what is dying (most of the tomatoes, some of the potatoes), let's taka look at what is thriving in the garden this year. We have a bumper crop of pumpkins and cucumbers, the beans are doing quite well, though the Japanese beetles are attacking the foliage now.  Corn is doing well but the birda and raccoons are hitting the sweet corn pretty hard, and it isn't even ready yet. 




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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Nom, nom. Yum.

We have gobs of jam and are making more. Besides toast, homemade jam is ridiculously good in plain yogurt. This breakfast contains 5 ingredients - milk, fruit, sugar, pectin and lemon juice. And it is damn good.

Neither of these socks has a mate yet, but I love them both. They are Cookie A socks and she is wonderful. The orange yarn is Creatively Dyed, which I got at Hoosier Hills Fiber Arts Festival. It is brilliant and I know I'll be spending a good portion of my Rhinebeck budget at her booth. Yum.



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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I think that we have a problem...


I don't know if it was all the rain that we had earlier in the springtime or what, but we seem to have a fungus moving through our garden. Started with the peas, hit the snap peas harder than the snow peas. Moved on to the beans, and now it is attacking the tomatoes. I just pulled out 4 plants. That makes me sad.

Contributing factor: heirloom plants? Last year the heirloom tomatoes were so much tastier than the hybrids that we planted, so I only planted heirlooms this year. I fear that this might have been a bad idea....

Much of the garden remains OK - so far no sign of trouble on the squash, pumpkins, watermelons, muskmelons, cucumbers, pole beans, potatoes, onions, lettuce, or corn... but the success of the garden is judged by the tomato crop in my mind. Keeping my fingers crossed. Any suggestions?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Slow progress vs. binging

Tonight we canned one batch of blueberry jam and stacked a little bit of wood. We are experimenting with a different sort of progress - incremental successes instead of all day binges.

A few weeks ago we had an all-day canning effort which resulted in 40 delicious jars of fruity yumminess. Tonight, our half hour of jamming produced 6.5 jars. Instead of felling, cutting and stacking an entire tree, we've been devoting 20 minutes a night to splitting and stacking a tree we dropped this weekend. It is a different sort of work for us. I'm not exhausted, but I do feel a little less accomplished.

I don't have pictures of either of those projects, but I do have some recently accomplished sock knitting to show off. Bill is calling these his Chocolate Peanut Butter socks:

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