October 26, 2006

It never ceases to amaze me how much can occur in 20 days. Our greenhouse has been ordered, and shipped, with an estimated delivery date of November 1. Work is proceeding on the base for the structure. The base is being built up and surveyed and compacted by someone with a whole lot more patience than I have.


Our Buckeye chickens have turned into a saga. The poor birds continue to be in quarantine as we try to treat them with antibiotics for a communicable avian illness that they are carrying, but not sick with. It is possible that we will not be able to entirely eliminate it, but it’s worth a try. I made the mistake of not naming them right away, and Ken ended up calling the rooster “Bucky”, which is a big groaner in my opinion…..Bucky the Buckeye, yup, that’s original…..help.


This last weekend we met the delightful family who runs Perkins Peacocks outside of Redding, CA. We brought home 3 white peafowl. I still can’t quite believe that I paid that much for birds, but I’ll get over it. They are absolutely gorgeous. We haven’t spent very much time with them on account of having installed them in their pen at 8pm last Sunday. The shortening days have left us with almost no time in the weekday mornings or evenings to spend with our birds. Hopefully this weekend we can begin the process of subverting them with irresistible treats.


Our ten Delaware chicks are approaching one month old and are starting to get bigger. Sooner or later we will need to get them into a better area since they are rapidly outgrowing their little temporary pen.


The winter garden has had its first seeding be about 90% finished. So far there are over 8 types of heirloom lettuce, cabbage, beets, chard, garlic, Brussels sprouts, several kinds of spinach, snap peas, snow peas, carrots, mache, endive, escarole, raddichio, mustard greens, arugula, several radishes, kohlrabi, kale, fava beans, garbanzo beans, bok choy, and probably about 8 other things I can’t immediately remember. All I can say is, I have spent a very great amount of time stooped over, planting all that. The seeds for most winter crops are TINY and it’s extremely time-consuming to work with them. Some of the seeds have already germinated, but it’s really difficult to keep the soil evenly moist during the days of high winds we’ve had. As usual we have our neighbor to thank for bailing us out; the irrigation has been monitored while we work our “day jobs”. Onion slips will arrive in the supply nursery in a few more weeks.


We were given a mountain of pure black compost  which has already been mostly incorporated into the garden beds for this winter garden. It was offloaded off of a semi truck with a moving floor—a truck in which the floor of the trailer is essentially a conveyor belt. Very nifty to watch!


Two weekends away will be the time we start butchering the turkeys. This is going to be a big production job. The feathers are being sold to artisans, we are borrowing our friend’s whiz-bang turkey plucker that, if I am not mistaken, is a modified washing machine. We will likely do the work alongside our friends from another farm, so as to make one big mess all at once. Besides, all you really need to get this job done is time, sharp knives, hot water, disinfectant, and a whole lot of over-the-counter pain reliever. When the process is over with for the year, we will be evaluating whether or not it was worth it, and if we want to continue promoting meat sales at this time.


So, with all that going on, if you haven’t heard much from us lately at least you know why!! Hope this finds everyone well and a little less busy than we are J

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