One evening this week, Mr. Bootsie and I made our evening walk to the garden. I had my gathering baskets and we filled them. Our little garden is feeding us and allowing me to store for winter usage. Our garden is dry and I water as much as I feel safe doing. I have put a lot of mulch in the land and now I am adding sand from the creek. We are doing quite good retaining the moisture in the land.
IN THE KITCHEN
Preserving the harvesting has moved front and center. This week I have put up blackberry syrup, blackberry jelly and Kosher dill pickles. I had one jar of the syrup break in the hot water bath. We are enjoying the harvest of the fresh veggies. I made a jar of Claussen type pickles, Friday the 20th was the day I could open and taste them. I was very pleased I will be making more of these, I can make a quart at a time and that works well for me.
ON THE FARM
Thursday evening, the tree which was damaged in one of the storms a few weeks ago decided to fall at least some of it. Mr. Bootsie spent Saturday working fire wood from this tree, Good hickory means lots of good heat. Saturday night returning from the coop we could see where another part of the tree was falling.
I am growing my own compost greens and Saturday was damp and cool. It was a wonderful day for me to pull the greens. I pull the plants before they set flowers or seeds and I do not have to worry about what is going to come up in the compost. I pulled 14 five gallon buckets of weed and other green material. The compost piles are filled.
IN THE COOP
Wednesday morning I went to the coop to feed and noticed all the chicks standing on one side of the run, not moving at all. My first thought, SNAKE and I went into the coop and there it was. When it saw me it went into one of the nest boxes, I knew this guy had to be evicted. I grabbed a shovel and rattled it about in the box and it came out and went into the straw. Next order of business was to move the straw outside. This seemed to work for the snake was not to be found. The flock settled down and I have collected 2 eggs from the nesting box.
Idgie has been spending more time outside with the flock but she continues to roost in the nesting boxes. I am seeing quite a number of feathers in the yard and coop, two of the girls are not laying, adding all of this up I figured out Feather and Blanche are molting. Necked chickens and no eggs, we will see how many feathers they loose. I really do not have a handle on the sex of the peeps and now others are telling me they may cluck like hens before they start crowing. I have no idea only time will tell.
Friday, Aurora let me know it is time for her to be broody, again. She was in one nesting box Friday night and Idgie was in another. But Saturday night Idgie was on the roosting pole with the other girls. Now if Aurora will forget about being broody it would be wonderful. I have started taking the eggs away from her at night. She was very upset with me for doing this. I would set her again, but I think it is just too hot some days right now. I may look at the long range forecast in a few days if she remains broody.
The egg count this week is 36. I am glad I do not have customers counting on me for eggs. This has been one experience.
IN THE GARDEN
Beetles are public enemy number 1, I have made the Fels- Naptha soap solution and I am spraying the butter beans. I would like to defeat the beetle or get it under control. Daily hand picking continues as I do not think the soap solution helped a lot. Mr. Bootsie continues to pick squash bugs each night and checks for the horned tomato worm.
Dill, the herb garden is usually loaded with huge dills plants and this year I have only one or two. Not large ones, so I planted dill in the vegetable garden hoping to have some for pickles. I would rather use dill heads than dill seed when making pickles.
The garden has a lot of good things coming in, Friday night Greek pizza was made for dinner. The tomatoes, pepper and onion came from the garden. I made pudding this week and we added the blackberry syrup to the pudding. We are creating wonderful things with our fresh veggies. I enjoy coming up with new ways to use the produce from the garden. I do consider it a challenge.
My thoughts are with so many farmers who will be selling of the stock because there is no feed for them. I am growing a small amount of corn which I can use to feed the flock. I will have to crack the corn but we have an old tool which will do that. I do not have enough for the year, I will be purchasing feed for the flock so I may start making them some bread without salt and I make oatmeal for them every morning.
Just going to see a movie has changed the lives of so many. In times like these we so often change the way we live our lives for a few days. I think it is becoming very important to say the things you would say if you knew you would never see someone again. Hug for a second longer, smile from the heart and say how important others are to you. My mind has often drifted to thinking about the families involved and I am so sorry their world has changed. May each and everyone of you be blessed in some special way.
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