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Monthly Archives: March 2013

My friend Jake told me enough with the chickens, how about the garden.  Well, It’s hard to blog about your garden when you can’t get to it.  I have 2 main gardens, one on the east side of my driveway and one on the west side.  Both still have snow in them.  The west side snow is still 1-2 feet deep, ( the snowblower piles it in this one), the east side is almost snow free.  I did venture into the east garden  yesterday to see how my garlic was doing.

This is my history of garlic.

My heritage is Irish and English, so growing up I never saw garlic in the kitchen or anywhere else.   My wife’s heritage is Italian and Hungarian.  When she moved in with me she asked me where I kept my spices.  I said in the left drawer.  She did not consider salt, pepper, lemon peel and a box of pumpkin pie spice as spices.  She had a large cardboard box  filled with spices.  Some of them I think are lethal, just my opinion.  And she cooks with garlic.

Time goes on and I start using garlic in moderation.  I’m open-minded.  She wants to know if I would like to go to a “Garlic Festival” with her.  I’m not that open-minded.  But I did go.  And I had a good time.  And I went to a talk on growing garlic.  I like to grow things.  I bought a starter garlic growing kit, well it was 4 different garlic bulbs and planting instructions. Four years later and I am still growing garlic.   I have lost track of the 4 different types, I save 4 of the largest bulbs from the fall harvest to plant in October or November for the next season.

Even if I didn’t use the garlic, I would still plant it.  Why???  Because it is the first sign of life in the garden after the winter.  Spring is coming, another gardening season is starting, the garlic is up.

Garlic  3/29/13

Garlic 3/29/13

Now if the snow will melt in my blueberry patch, I’ll be able to finish pruning them.

Blueberry Patch

Blueberry Patch

Ed

 

Mini, our smallest chicken, is at the bottom of the pecking order. Miny especially likes to go after her.  It has gotten to the point when they go into the coop at night that Miny chases Mini out of the coop. I wasn’t home one night when they put themselves to bed and when I closed the coop/run door and checked in on the ladies ( and Jack), it was dark and hard to see, so when I counted 5 chickens, I just recounted and still came up with 5.  Walking around the run there is Mini asleep in the bridge between the coop and run.  I opened the door and gently pushed her into the coop for the night.

How do I fix this??

I look at problems and try to find a mechanical fix, something I can build to solve the problem.  Separate rooms sounded like a bit much, but perhaps a divider on the roost so Mini has a chance to  roost in peace and not be pecked by Miny. This is what we did with a scrap piece of plexi-glass (never throw out anything, you may need it someday).

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I’m pleased to report that this is working rather well.

Ed

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Jasmine yells, “Everychicken into the coop for a group meeting – I got a response to our letter!”

As the chickens all gathered around, Jamine began to read the response…

Dear Ini, Mini, Miny and Jack & Jasmine”.

What about me?”, asked Mo indignantly.

They are retired. I am sure it was just an oversight.”

(“or because you’re Stinky…”), said Miny under her breath.

Hey, THAT wasn’t ME!” said Mo even more indignant.

Jasmine continued, “We would be delighted to have you join us in North Carolina.”

There was an eruption of cheers and crows from the group.

Shh – there’s more.” as Jasmine turned the page.

P.S. Don’t these recipes look delicious??!

What’s a recipe?”, asked Mo.

I think it has to do with these pictures. I recognize the greens and the grains and I think that is fruit…but what’s THAT?”, wondered Jasmine.

Oh wait, there’s a caption. Hmm, “Basil, Peach Chi…Chi (gulp)…Chicken Breast’ and – oh my, ‘Buttermilk-Brined Grilled Chicken’.”

There was an audible gasp among the group as they realized an unthinkable thought.

Do you mean to say our Chicken Sitters who are moving to North Carolina EAT Chickens?”, asked Mo as her eyes almost popped out of her head.

They seemed like such a nice couple”, said Ini, shaking her head.

Jack chimed in, “Maybe it’s not so bad here after all. Maybe we should stay”

Yeah, we have survived 4 snow storms and I am sure there won’t be any more.”, chirped Mini.

All in favor of staying?”, asked Jasmine.

Six wings immediately shot up.

Meanwhile, on the big house TV…

Ch.5 meteorologist here. It’s gonna be another snow storm tonight! Hunker down. Don’t let the calendar fool you. It may say “spring starts Wednesday” but we are in the 4-8” belt…”

Jasmine took a quick look out back from her perch on the deck and whispered to Mo ” sssh, quiet now, follow me into the house while Jack and our sisters keep Mom and Dad occupied.”

“How are we going to get into the house?” asked Mo.

“Dad was the last one out and Mom says he never closes any door, ever.” replied Jasmine, ” See, the door isn’t latched. Now we go upstairs to the computer-room.”

“How do you know it’s upstairs?” asked Mo.

Jasmine sighs and says “when Mom comes home she goes on the computer and the second floor left window light comes on.  That has got to be the computer-room.”

Mo nods and asks “what’s a computer?”

Jasmine rolls her eyes and under her breath says (“what a bird brain”)

“I heard that” says Mo.

The pair waddle into the computer-room, Jasmine jumps up onto the desk and pecks the computer on button.  Moving the mouse with her right foot, she starts using the old fashioned “Hunt and Peck ” method of typing.

dear john and nancy,

our dearest neighbors and favorite chicken sitters, we hear you are moving to north carolina and were wondering if you could please take us with you.  The weather here is for the birds, it’s too cold, we don’t like the snow and that storm, the one they called a blizzard was the last straw.

we promise not to poop in your car as long as we can get potty breaks every 15 minutes or so,   ( mo really has a control problem) . we will be good chickies, you won’t even know we are in the back seat.

yours in feathers

ini, mini, miny, mo, jack and jasmine

Mo just looks amazed as she watches her sister at the computer. “How did you learn this stuff?” she asks.

“I found a “Computers for dummies” book in the recycling bin.  I think it was too advanced for Dad, he now has a copy of the “Idiot’s guide to computers” and doesn’t seem to be progressing very quickly through it.” replies Jasmine.

“Right, whats a book?”

(“what a bird brain”)

“I heard that”

“All done” says Jasmine “turn on the printer.”

“Right, whats a printer??”

“Just peck that top button on that gray box in front of you” screams Jasmine. (“why did I pick Mo?”)

“I heard that”

Jasmine sniffing the air asks “What is that smell?  Mo, you didn’t?”

Mo stammers “well, I didn’t go before we went into the house.  It matches the rug, they won’t notice.”

(“what a bird brain and stinky too”)

“I heard that.”

Jasmine sighs again and says “lets go, you join the others and lead them out back.  I’l cross the road to get to John and Nancy’s mailbox.  Then we wait.

The 4 to 8 inches of snow turned into 17 INCHES OF HEAVY WET AND VERY STICKY SNOW.  It started snowing Wednesday afternoon and stopped late Friday afternoon.  “Red”, my snow-blower, had trouble going thru  this Friday.  The snow stuck to the auger blades and it was like trying to push a rolling pin thru the snow.  I quit, after fighting the machine against the snow, I was tired.  Did get most of the driveway cleared.

Saturday morning, “Red” worked beautifully, spitting that snow out like a watermelon-eating champion.  I think it was the slightly colder temperature making the snow much less sticky that did the trick.  9:00 am I’m done.

The sky was blue, the sun was strong and the melting had started with temperatures that soared. Felt like spring, didn’t look like it.  I let the ladies and Jack out, well, I opened the run door.  They didn’t exactly sprint out, more like scared chickens looking out at all that white stuff. Finally 3 of them did venture down the path.  They don’t like change and they really don’t like snow.  I’d like to tell them this is the last snow but mother nature has a sense of humor, so I dare not mention it.

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animal tracks in the snow

animal tracks in the snow

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Son, David, and three of my Grand-kids came over, so we had a snowball fight.  I lost.  Well, it was a tie.  It was fun.

Gabe, Grayson and Guen

Gabe, Grayson and Guen

So, I’m still looking for spring, this snow may delay it a bit.

Ed

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