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Dual Duty

April 26th, 2016

This time of year one of the only weeds growing in the gardens are dandelions. Now they’re not technically weeds, I let them grow everywhere but in the cultivated areas of the gardens. I go around during the spring and dig out a bucket full each day.
dandelions 2
I love this chore because not only does it clear the garden of perennial weeds, it feeds the chickens as well. Part of my flock is in a woodland area and they don’t have access to much greenery. They go crazy when I give them a bucketful of dandelions each day.
dandelions 1
Dandelions are particularly good for them, essentially they’re vitamin capsules (as most vegetables are). The chickens find them especially delectable. I like to eat them as well, but I like eggs every more than I like dandelions greens. It’s also nice knowing that a garden chores is making the chicken happier and healthier, as well as making their eggs more nutritious for me and my egg customers.

Do you eat dandelion greens?

Hello Tom

April 20th, 2016

Tom has been dancing for all the turkey hens, he’s quite a handsome fellow. Of course the ladies pretty much ignore him all the time. That doesn’t deter him, he still spends all day dancing and puffing his feathers to show them how handsome he is. I’m quite happy with him, he’s a real gentleman. He’s never shown even a hint of aggression towards me. This year I’ll be letting my muscovy hen hatch out ducklings, but I’m not sure if I’ll be letting any of the turkeys set, we shall see. I am selling fertile hatching eggs though, I’m happy to provide these for other locals who want to raise turkeys and don’t have toms or hens.
Bourbon Bronze Turkey (1)
Of course it’s mating season with all the wild birds as well. I enjoy hearing and seeing them all flitting about the garden and starting the process of bringing up the next generation of pest control for my garden. We have a pair of nesting crows and they’ve been madly building their nest in the pine grove below the house. They are a joy to watch!

Have you been noticing bird courting in your garden?

Turkey Eggs

March 30th, 2016

Someone asked on Monday whether or not the turkeys are laying – YES!!! I’m actually drowning in turkey eggs, which isn’t bad because they’re delicious!
turkey eggs 1
Turkey eggs are beautiful, large, slightly pinkish, and speckled. The yolks are huge, they pretty much taste like chicken eggs.
turkey eggs 2
I’m planning on using these beauties for ice cream, when we have a flush of eggs I make semifreddo, because it’s so much easier than ice cream. This recipe from Food 52 I usually use as a starting point.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy extra eggs?

Hello Sunshine

March 29th, 2016

Mama Duck started laying again, she’s a Muscovy, so she lays like a goose, only in spring and summer. She started laying two weeks ago and I’ve been saving her eggs. I will let her sit this year and raise up a clutch, but we just separated out the other breed of duck, so I need to collect her eggs for 30 days.
Muscovyyolk
Lucky me, this means beautiful muscovy eggs. These eggs are AMAZING, the yolks are HUGE. I wait for these egs all year long and always hoard these beauties to make custard, the first batch was made last night.

What food item do you look forward to all year long?

Hey Guys

March 16th, 2016

Yesterday I looked out the back window and saw four wild turkey toms huffing and gobbling away trying to impress our turkey hens. They were out there for a couple of hours, the ladies ignored them all the entire time.
Turkeys
This always makes me laugh, turkeys are funny birds, such a joy to have around! It’s been great watching our flock interact and learning about their nature. The ladies just started laying eggs last week, I’m trying to decide if I want to let them hatch any out this spring.

What wildlife are you seeing in your garden?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.

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