Thursday, May 27, 2010

More adventures in producing our own food

This week end (finally!) marks the start of summer gardening. I have tomato starts (about 20 of them!), basil, oregano, thyme, stevia, peppers (Bell and jalapeno), two different colors of cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, celery and Brussels sprouts all begging to be planted in the soil. But whether I actually get to put my starts out this week end is debatable. It all depends on the weather. It was a balmy 36 degrees on my front porch this morning. Though I'm sure the cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower will do fine, the tomatoes, squash and other tenders will have to wait. The rule of thumb around here is that you don't plant tenders until after the snow is off Columbia Mountain. The mountain still has quite a bit of snow on it. So we wait.

The one little broody hen continues her quest to hatch eggs. The number has been reduced to three eggs now as I found two broken in the nest yesterday. She has two weeks to go....if she has any eggs left intact by then. I hope she's successful. She's been very faithful.

The other 12 hens have dutifully kept us in eggs laying 8-10 everyday. A couple of days ago I found a HUGE egg in one of the nesting boxes. It didn't even fit in the egg carton and so had to have it's own place in the 'fridge. I don't want to crack it yet to see what's inside. A double yolk? Triple yolked? It will remain a mystery until we decide that we can't stand the suspense any longer and crack that baby open.

The rabbit kits are thriving. Each of the two does have been wonderful mothers and we've had no loses. All 14 are fat and sassy. The one doe that has not delivered remains without babies. If she still has not kindled by the end of this week, I'm going to take the nesting box out of her cage and try to re breed her. She's very large and has a sweet disposition. I would love to have some babies out of her.

We have reordered the chicks to replace the little guys that arrived dead Monday. We should receive the new baby birds sometime early next week, but NOT over the holiday week end. Hopefully, these chicks will be healthy and happy when they arrive and my youngest boy can get on with the raising of his belated birthday present. The six white, turkey chicks from the feed store are thriving (and smelly!) in their prospective rubber tubs; 2 to a tub, in our basement. The tomato starts seem to really like sharing the space with the turkey chicks as the birds heat up the plant room to a warm 73 degrees. So the plants are growing like crazy!

Today has turned off cool and damp. There's a light mist falling over our whole valley and it makes our pastures look positively juicy. (I can't wait until we have a cow or two to take advantage of these fields. I would love to have a sweet Jersey girl of my very own. I'm embarrassed to admit that I even had a name already picked out for her.) I'm not complaining. I do love it when it rains. The wet weather slows down our lives. And I am grateful. We were supposed to have a couple of baseball games tonight, but I don't think that will happen. (Though I haven't received a call informing me that they have been cancelled.) So hopefully, instead of busy-ness, this night will be a quiet one with all the kids at home playing games or reading or listening to music or watching the basketball play-offs.

I can hear the wind moaning through the open windows on the north side of the house. I think I'll go tuck the farm in early and start supper before they come home from school: scalloped ham and potatoes- red potatoes and onions from last years garden and ham from a whole pork we purchased from a local pork grower. I feel rich. I love these days.

Update 8:30 pm: We did play baseball after all. The weather was misaberable. It rained and rained and the wind blew straight out of the east (this is the only place I have ever lived where the wind blows out of the east. Glacier National Park lies east of our town and sometimes the storms come from the Park, hence easterly winds) and the score was tied at 4 to 4 in overtime. My boys played great. I'm going to bed!

No comments:

Post a Comment