Friday, April 23, 2010

Too many roosters

So, every year around September we order a new batch of chicks to add to our flock. Ideally we'd be culling our old hens to make room for the new ones, but we have so far been "chicken" and have just let the old ones die of old age or other chickenly ailments. In each of these batches of chicks the company sneaks in a couple of roosters. So now we have 4, count them 4, roosters! Who in blazes needs 4 roosters?!? Who really needs one? But, lucky us, we have 4 roosters running around our yard crowing at 3am and throughout the day. (the picture of the 4th rooster is on the side bar on this page.) If anyone wants a rooster, or 2, or 3, please let me know and I'll drop them on your doorstep...I may drop them on your doorstep even if you don't ask. Just Kidding...or maybe not.

The starts in the greenhouse are looking pretty nice. I remembered after my last post that I still need to plant some broccoli and cukes as well as red cabbage and golden beets. I'm not really sure how this Miner's lettuce is going to turn out. So far it looks pretty strange for lettuce, but we'll see.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Benefits of Free Range Eggs

I've sent this out to folks before but wanted to "archive" it in my blog so I wouln't have to go look it up every time I wanted the info.

I know from eating eggs from our own "happy backyard chickens" that free range eggs don't taste anything like the bland eggs you get cheap in the grocery store. Our eggs have yolks that are almost orange and have a lot more flavor than factory eggs. I assume that color comes from all of the grass, weeds, bugs, worms and whatever else the chickens find to eat around the yard. According to Mother Earth News, eggs from pastured hens versus factory hens contain:

•1/3 less cholesterol
•1/4 less saturated fat
•2/3 more vitamin A
•Two times more omega-3 fatty acids
•Three times more vitamin E
•Seven times more beta carotene
•3 to 6 times more Vitamin D

So whether you buy your eggs from a farmer's market, a friend or from the grocery store, always try to buy free range eggs rather than eggs from factory raised chickens.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

First Lettuce of the season

For Easter dinner this year along with the Ham and carrots I made in the crock pot, we ate the first lettuce of the season. I started some seed a couple of months ago in the greenhouse and the lettuce is now big enough to nibble. I thinned my lettuce pot and we ate the thinnings. Hopefully the plants left in the pot will continue to grow and become full heads to eat in a couple more months. Everything is growing pretty slowly due to the cold temps outside, but it is all still growing.

I now have starts of Lettuce, spinach, green cabbage (need to start some red cabbage), leeks, scallions, peas, red beets (need to start some golden ones), butternut squash, zucchini, sunflowers and another flower I can't remember. I'll seed the corn, pole beans, soy beans and pumpkins directly in the garden when I get it weeded. What am I forgetting? I've gotten 2 out of 14 rows weeded so far, and will hopefully get a lot more done in the nice weather predicted for this weekend.

This past weekend we went to the Tulip Festival and worked outside cleaning up the rest of the old deck. The new deck is about 95% finished, and now the old deck is 100% removed. We cleared about 150 sq feet of woods behind the chicken coop to stack the spare good lumber and stacked the "bad" lumber behind the compost pile. It'd probably be better just to get a dumpster and throw out the old lumber, but in the back of my mind I keep thinking that there must be something we can make out of it. One section of the old deck is now in our "Secret Trees" where the kids play. They're using as a stage. :)

Now I just need to figure out what to do with about 400 sq ft of empty space off the end of the new deck...Hot Tub?


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