Sunday, November 27, 2011

We got an egg!


We moved the chicken coop to their winter spot. There's not enough left growing on the ground to be able to leave them in one place for more than a day or so. We've moved their pen to a spot in our back yard where it will stay until spring. We will spread dried leaves and other bedding materials in their yard and they will poop, scratch, and peck it to lovely compost throughout the winter.

As Joe went to move the coop he found an egg! Our very first pullet egg!


A pullet is a chicken that is less than a year old. The first eggs laid by a chicken are smaller than regular eggs.  After a bit they get the hang of it but as someone who appreciates lots of little things, I've always loved the little eggs!

Here's our egg on the left with a store-bought egg on the right. Hooray for our chickens!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Our House in the Storm

I've just about gotten everything ready for our mini-Thanksgiving break and so have time to come up for air and make a post. 

Just about three weeks ago our area of the country was hit by an extra early snow storm - before leaves were even off the trees which caused a fair amount of trees to break and caused quite the rukus. Our street was out of power for a full week with our house just a little bit longer. 

Both my husband and I were out of town (in different directions) for the storm itself but our dearest cousin Ben was able to snap the following picture:

Joe arrived home the following afternoon to no power and a clear front door, 
thanks to the marvelous Ben! 

The night after that I arrived home with some supplies from where I had been ( where they still mostly had power). I started up the charcoal grill and stewed and steamed us up a warm supper. Thank goodness for cast iron pans! 

As I cooked Ben once again came to our rescue and connected the chimney pieces I'd brought home for the woodstove we'd bought and brought home a week or so before the storm. (How is that for providence!) 

With the woodstove and a small generator my mum found for us mid-week we made it through the full week without electricity with very little loss or even hardship. I am so thankful for the preparation we did for the hurricane (that we didn't end up needing then) and for the extra measures preparedness measures we now have. 

Living without electricity for a week definitely simplified life and allowed us to really spend time together. Our routines and life during that week evoked daydreams of frontier living and lent a satisfaction, sense of accomplishment, and hardiness we both crave in our normally-electric lives. While we were relieved when we finally had power again, there was a bit of sadness at the return to the hectic higher-speed life of modern conveniences.

I hope you all made it through the storm even half as well as we did!


Monday, November 14, 2011

Garden Bed Cleanup and Planting Garlic

Due to a week without power (almost two without internet) following a freak pre-haloween snowstorm I'm a bit behind on posting. I've had a couple saved up and here we go!

The week before the storm I finally got around to cleaning up the garden beds - with a little help from the girls!

They take bathing and cleanup rather seriously. I also got a chance to use the new dibble I bought at the Garlic Festival from good friends Hope and Hugh Davis of The Farmstead. Jake chewed my old one and they're so helpful I'm happy to have another.

I'm so excited to try two new varieties of garlic this year (also purchased at the Garlic Festival), Bavarian Purple and Russian Giant as well as planting about a third of our harvested garlic from last year.

We did have a couple little incidents. I called home from school just after class and Joe asked me if I was interested in garlic chicken. One of our buffys (the blond chickens are buff orpingtons) had escaped the pen and had found her way to the as yet un-mulched garlic beds. We'll find out how much she managed to find before she was stopped but Joe said she pretty well reeked of garlic. The following day Jaker got into the bed and had a bit of a snack on the manure I'd worked into the soil but left a shiny clove of garlic.

Now the beds are mulched and even weighted with sticks to prevent any more snacking and we're looking forward to more garlic and scapes next year!