Thursday, February 20th
Green Flamingo Organics
Oak Hill, FL
The main chicken coop door had been left open overnight; the electric fence was back online, so there was no harm to no fowl. However, today was the day we were to pull down the fence and move it to a new area for the hens to forage in.
This meant that all the chickens had to get back inside their coop so we could work. Heh.
(The previous week, Dawn and Erykah had learned how hard it is to get them all inside, when they’d attempted to round them all up to close the coop for nighttime. They were new to chickens and chicken-duty, and no one had told them that you could simply wait until the sun was going down, and the chickens would all go inside on their own … so they spent an hour running, grabbing, falling, laughing, and cursing before finally giving up on the last half dozen or so that evaded the pre-dusk round-up.)
We had more people this time, but the chickens were just out for the morning, and had zero interest in going inside. Meredith baited a large group of them in by putting their morning feed in the coop, but at least a third remained outside, avoiding us warily.
We were going to have to chase them down, and get them into the coop door – without letting any of the ones already inside escape.
This was a recipe for hilarity and hijinks.
So I ran and grabbed Kristin’s phone (which got internet service), cranked the volume up to the max, and quickly went to YouTube for the best thing ever in these circumstances:
This is the song that comes into my head every single time I see a person chasing a chicken for some reason, and it always makes me laugh … so this scene and soundtrack was a highlight of the trip.
It played on repeat as we dashed after the chickens, caught them, lost them, stuck them in the door, grabbed at the ones that would escape … I think it went through on repeat three times before we finally captured the final fowl.
The new roof hadn’t kept the Greenhouse Cardinal from his routine of sneaking in somehow during the evening, lured by the trays of sunflower sprouts, and then needing to be let out the door in the morning – flying around frantically apparently unable to locate or exit through whatever his entrance hole was.
Then it was harvest time.
Kristin and I had been doing a lot of arugula, so we got to work on the total 8 white crates necessary for the day – there had been a lot of demand for arugula lately between the salad mix, restaurant orders, and CSA needs, so the rows had been getting pretty picked over.
It took attention, skill, and patience to get 8 pounds of decent leaves from the various patches throughout the garden, but we were getting pretty good at it.
For lunch we all ate the rump roast we’d gotten from the wild pig, shot by the landowner and cleaned and dressed by Liz and Gary. We accompanied it with rice, carrot and beet salad, and sauteed beet greens. It was delicious, easily the tastiest lunch any of us had at the GFO.
After lunch, we tore down a garden of old okra stalks so Liz could run the tractor tiller over the patch and prepare it for new planting.
The first batch of marmalade had turned out a bit overly thick and chewy – we made a second batch with refined recipe and techniques.
This batch came out perfect – delicious orange candy spread, sweet and bitter in perfect proportion.
The warm nights had the local nocturnal wildlife much more active – there were frogs making crazy, scary choruses in the woods all night long (at first we thought they were raccoons), and the two Trailer Frogs started coming out of the closet, hopping around the interior walls and windows – where they seemed to like to lay in wait for bugs, which worked great for us.
They stayed out of the bed – unlike the little green lizard that tickled my thigh and sent me yelping out of the sheets with visions of a giant spider …