Things that happened
This week, we placed & converted the scavenged playhouse, transforming it into the kick ass chicken coop it was always meant to be.
We learned a lot about how to gradually”crib down” large loads in the move, and lots about the joys and pains of working with hardware cloth in the conversion. The results were worth the strain, and we both are in love with the coop – and with the fence that will allow the chickens to roam a good-sized patch of partially wooded outdoors. Especially, perhaps nerdily, excited for the chickens to climb or hang out beneath the ladders we arranged as a chicken roost playground / hawk shelter, and to see them exploring the ferny undergrowth.
They’ve been in their new coop (with the screened porch and ground level) for two nights so far, and we’re pretty sure they’ll return to roost upstairs rather than try to make a home in a tree, now.
Tomorrow morning we’ll let them out for the first time. Pumped.
Let’s see .. we were awakened Tuesday night by a some monkeys screaming from the woods around the trailer – to Gabe’s ears. Kristin was startled from sleep with a dreamy belief that it was owls conspiring to get into the coop and murder our new chickens – by calling in coyote reinforcements.
She was right about the animal though – turned out to be a couple of Barred Owls, making sounds a bit like this – but louder, wilder, and MUCH CLOSER. Pretty neat. The same black bear we saw last week was again sighted down on the far edge of the field – he ran away when he saw a human.
Also: We weeded the beets; 150 feet of hand-picked to beet greens cleanliness. We went to the farmer’s market. The folks that had their tent blown to death last week had not been able to salvage it, and sat out in the direct sunshine all day. There are worse working environments. But we’re grateful for our pop-up canopy.
We treated the potato beetle grubs to a dusting of diatomaceous earth.
Because diatomaceous earth is powdery stuff made of diatom skeletons. They’re tiny and sharp at a scale that bothers nothing but very thin-skinned insects and mites, abrading them between their exo-joints so that they dehydrate to death. Killing nasty potato potato grubs with dead diatoms is both bad ass and organic. It’s also refreshing – to be kill bugs without squishing them individually, by hand. WWOOFer Abe earned the nickname “Choppy” by continual practice with the splitting maul. Kristin and her chainsaw kept him in oak rounds.
Oh, and we went to a real live tractor pull!
It was down at the Wolf Creek Bar, which is close enough that after we got bored watching the tractor division compete and went home to the Farm, we heard the bellows of the truck division, pulling to their mechanical limits, until the sun went down and the whip-poor-wills came out that night.
Inside the Box – “Prime stir fry time is upon us.” – Amy
- Rainbow Chard – We packed it with the kale, both to reduce bag waste and because you can use them together/interchangeably . They’d be perfect together for this recipe that we both enjoy quite a bit.
Also, note that you can totally eat the red, pink, yellow, and white stems.
- Zucchini – young & tender. At this stage, just add them to something else – your stir fry, your breakfast hash, your salad, if you like them raw (we don’t much).
- Peas – We have been eating a lot of peas at home. We really enjoyed them today on the harvest lunch break – sauteed lightly, whole, with some garlic and dill. We’ve loved them them chopped them up in salads. We’ve chopped em up, cooked them briefly in a little oil, cracked fresh eggs over them, covered it, finished the eggs sunny-side up, and then seasoned/herbed them. NOM.We find that this is a great (simple, tasty, variable) way to enjoy almost any vegetable for breakfast.
- Basil (two kinds)
- Kale (Red Russian & Dinosaur varieties) – bundled (& shown) together with the Rainbow Chard. Use them together, perhaps.
- Turnips (purple top & salad varieties)
- Salad mix – red ruby lettuce, oak leaf lettuce, arugula, & some pea tendrils too.
Also – it’s big leaves this week – chop it up with a good sharp knife if you prefer your greens in a more readily-managed format.
some other images from the week
The weather is just about perfect, and the sky is beautiful. Hope you are enjoying it too!