Sunday, November 25, 2012

Chickens for Thanksgiving

No, it is not what you think.  I didn't butcher any of my beloved hens for Thanksgiving.  On the contrary.  Today my chickens had their Thanksgiving dinner - or rather, I should say, the remainder of mine.

I am on a low carb diet.  I was cheating again and again - just one more little slice of pie, a bit of dressing with my turkey, how about some gravy over all?  This morning, after having a bit of pie for breakfast, I got out a stock pot and emptied the fridge of all leftovers.  If it was high carbohydrate, it went into the stock pot.  All that was left when I was done was some sauerkraut with bacon and the turkey.

As soon as the sun was up, I went out to let the chickens out of the Moop.  I sprinkled the ground with mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, dressing, pumpkin pie, Kool Whip (yes, my son insists on Kool Whip every Thanksgiving), rolls, scalloped corn and - be still, my heart - oatmeal braided bread with honey and walnuts. 

Those chickens went nuts!!  They are ALWAYS talkative.  They chatter while they eat, while they walk, even while they are in their nests laying eggs.  This morning, there was silence.  They just ate.  When I went out a couple of hours later for my first egg pickup, there was nary a drop of Thanksgiving leftovers on the ground.  All of that eating should make for some wonderful eggs, hey?

They were talking again this afternoon.  They told me they are looking forward to the next Thanksgiving meal.  As I said, it is Chickens for Thanksgiving.  ;-)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Raising heirloom lettuce this winter

The new restaurant in LaPorte that I have been supplying with garden produce has been a good thing for me here at the farm.   After I took care of my CSA customers, they took just about everything I produced. 

Steve, who puts in a little time around here every now and then, said he could rig the greenhouse so that I could raise lettuce all winter without having to use the furnace.  Okay, I thought I would give it a try. 
Trusting that this was going to work out and could perhaps provide enough income that I could move to town and keep the farm too, I approached a restaurant in LaPorte to sell them winter heirloom lettuce.  He put in an order!  The restaurant

I took the greenhouse catalog from last year and told him to pick what he wanted us to grow next season.  He said he felt like a kid in a candy store and gave us a list of about 30 items that he would like.  But right now, I have to get going with the lettuce.  I started about 3,000 seeds in seedling trays.  Today the first of the germinated lettuces were big enough to pot up into a big growing tray. 

Here are some pictures of what is happening in the greenhouse.

Barrels of water to control heat

More barrels

Planting first tray of cutting lettuce

Finished tray of cutting lettuce in water bath

Gravel around foundation to discourage mice

Organic potting soil - 58 bags!

Seedling trays on heating mats