Thursday, May 31, 2012

This week

This week the husband is off on a business trip, and I had a light work week because of the holiday, so I'm all about the taking care of business during the day and the relaxing with wine and knitting at night.
(someone else's photo...somehow, I hadn't taken pictures of mine since they were tiny!) Our Freedom Ranger chickens had gotten huge and one was starting to crow, so they are chilling in the fridge now. They were enormous! This is the first time I have processed meat breed birds, rather than old hens or accidental roosters...hopefully they are tasty. It is going to be a very meaty week, since I had already done up a few chicken breasts and some pork shoulder on the grill. If you haven't done this before, slow-cooking pork shoulder with lots of smoke produces a slab of meat that's like ribs, but better. I use a rub of brown sugar, kosher salt, and chili powder, then smoke it slow with cherry wood from the backyard tree.
On the knitting front, I'm using all my leftovers from years of blue projects to make a random log cabin blankie. It will probably be about 36" square when I decide it is done, and so far, I'm very very pleased with it.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

It's racial, man

My brown-egg layers use one nestbox, and my green-egg layers use the other one....all that time I spent teaching them about justice and equality was a total bust.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


The other night I was out in the yard after dark, feeding pancakes to the chickens (who doesn't like a midnight snack?) when I heard a rustling in the tree and saw a big fat raccoon watching me.
Now, I don't *think* they can get at the chickens anymore, but I sure don't want them getting comfortable in the yard, so I started looking around for something to chuck at him, and I realized that I had the perfect ammunition right at my feet. Avocado pits - our yard is littered with them. The coon beat a retreat and I finished up with the pancakes and went back inside.

Later on I was out in the yard again and heard more rustling in the leaves, so I picked up some more handy pits and began to fire...

...and then I realized that it wasn't the raccoon this time, it was a skunk.
I dropped everything and ran back to the house. Didn't get sprayed, but it was a close one. Next time, no launching of missiles until I can see the whites of their eyes.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Rad Radishes

This year I planted radishes along with the front yard wildflowers. Genius.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


I started my midwifery apprenticeship at the beginning of May, which has been awesome and wonderful, but kind of exhausting, and it leaves me a lot less time for things I used to enjoy, like reading in the bathtub and navelgazing on the internets. I'm so glad I didn't get more chickens or rabbits like I was thinking about a couple of weeks ago!

The animals are getting basic care, no coop upgrades or fancy stuff, and I'm glad that rabbit breeding time is still a month off so I can try to get used to this new schedule first. I mean, I haven't been a total slacker - since I posted here last, I have attended three births, bottled five gallons of beer, canned 20 pounds of loquats, put up a batch of Bärenfang, two quarts of experimental loquat liquer, attended a professional conference, done yoga twice, and rebuilt some more of our deck.

However, there is one project that needs to get done fast, and that is getting automatic water hooked up for the rabbits. They go through a water bottle a day each, so if I'm at a long birth or running late for work, it isn't enough. I'm thinking that with a few tweaks and a few new parts, I can reinvent the chickens' auto-waterer to water them all...because that would be frugal and awesome all at the same time.