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Crazy Chickens

September 25th, 2013

Our broiler flock is CRAZY. This coming week we’ll be butchering all the roosters (we’ve already butchered a few). There are five lucky ladies that will be integrated into our laying flock, a few of them are already laying eggs.
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These chickens decided long ago that roosting in the old apple tree was much more fun than roosting in the portable coop we built them, go figure. I don’t worry much because they’re surrounded by an electric fence to keep them safe from predators. They love roosting in the tree so much, that the other day I found an egg perched perfectly on one of the branches.
egg on tree branch 2
egg on tree branch
Chickens are crazy animals, but entertaining as well. Hopefully when the ladies are moved to our new flock they’ll decide roosting in the coop is much nicer, we shall see. At least our main laying flock coops up nicely every night.

Do your pets every do anything crazy?

The New Chiots

September 24th, 2013

If you listen to Cultivate Simple, you know that we’ve been talking about getting a new dog.  We have been talking to a breeder of Anatolian Shepherds in Ohio who feeds raw and follows natural protocols for her animals.   The plan was to get a puppy from her, but she contacted us a few months ago about a four year old dog that was looking for a new place.
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Tara 4
This is Tara, the new resident chiots (don’t worry, Lucy is still around and kicking, but she’s retired to a life of rest). Tara has had a few rough patches in her life.  She was purchased by some people in Canada and wasn’t treated very well. They claimed she was aggressive and were going to put her down when she wasn’t very old, the breeder knew she wasn’t and fought to get her back. When she finally got Tara back, she was placed with an animal behavioral specialist for a while to make sure she didn’t have aggression issues. After being given the all clear, she moved to a farm in SE Nebraska where she had goats, chickens and ducks to watch over.
Tara 3
They decided to downsize and didn’t really need Tara anymore, so they wanted to find a good home for her where she could have a job to do and animals to protect.  The breeder thought we might be interested and after much conversation with the current owner we decided she’d be a good fit for our little place.  Transport was going to be an issue, but luckily, the breeder had a network of people willing to help.  After asking, she found a very generous guy that was moving from California to Connecticut and was willing to pick her up on his with through.
Tara 6
Tara 5
Last Friday, he met Tara’s parents in a parking lot at 3 am in Nebraska.  At 7 am on Saturday morning, he arrived in Connecticut (his brother was traveling with him and they took shifts and drove straight through).  I left Maine not long after she arrived in CT and picked her up at 1 pm.  She made the trip to her final home. This was a photo of her when I picked her up in CT.
Tara 1
So far she’s been great, very sweet and gentle. No doubt her personality will start to show more and more as she becomes comfortable. She will probably also start testing her limits as well as dogs are prone to do, particularly dominant dogs.
Tara 7
She’s settling in, getting to know us and the animals that live here and our workflow.  So far she’s contained to a leash or a chain until we’re comfortable that she views Chiot’s Run as her new home.  We’re working with her daily on perimeter training so she learns the boundaries.  Hopefully she’ll be a big help with our predator problems.

Do you have any working dogs at your place or have you seen working dogs in action somewhere else? 

Cultivate Simple 46: Common Liberty Dog

September 23rd, 2013

On this week’s episode we discuss the Appleseed Project, our impressions of the Common Ground Fair, and our new LGD Tara, a beautiful Anatolian Shepherd.

Appleseed Project

Go back and listen to our On The Hunt episode to hear one reason why I value marksmanship so highly.

Take the Rifleman’s Challenge

Learn More about the Appleseed Project

Common Ground Fair

Information about The Fair

Checkout the Fair Schedule. Click ‘show expired’.

What’s for Dinner

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Books of the Week

Quote of the Day: Jessica Prentice

September 22nd, 2013

When you don’t grow up with a memory of something tasting wonderful, you sometimes have to work a little bit to learn to love it. There’s always a chance that you’ll never learn to like a thing, but you don’t know that until you really try.

Jessica Prentice – Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection

This is such a great quote, it rings true in my life.  Thankfully I grew up with a very broad palate of things I tasted.  Mostly do to the fact that I grew up in another country.  We learned to eat thing like beef tongue, liver, yucca and all sorts of things many people would consider unpalatable.
breakfast soup small
As a result, I’m very adventurous when it comes to trying new things.  In general, I have like almost everything I’ve ever tried, there are very few things that I don’t really like.  Well, except for frosting (aka icing).  Crazy, I know, someone who doesn’t like frosting.  Even as a kid, I’d scape my icing off my cake and give it to my brother, who loved it.
mustard greens 1
Cooked greens used to be the one thing that I had trouble eating.  I kept making them, we kept eating them, and eventually we learned to love them.  They went from being not very appetizing to being enjoyed.  Sometimes it takes trying things multiple times, cooked in different ways to find a place on your plate.

Do you have any foods that you want to learn to love? 

I’m Beat

September 21st, 2013

Yesterday, Mr Chiots and I went to the Common Ground Country Fair. We were up early to beat the traffic. Our neighbors showed up a little later and we walked around with them for half of the day. When it was about time for the kids to take naps, they headed home and we continued to walk around.
Common Ground Fair 2
Common Ground Fair 3
Common Ground Fair 4
Common Ground Fair 5
Common Ground Fair 1
Common Ground Fair 6
Common Ground Fair 7
Of course, I’m now completely bushed, tired, beat. Too tired to write much of a blog post, too tired to do much of anything.  Mr Chiots is headed back tomorrow, he’s volunteering in one of the parking lots. We’ve also got a few big things going on this weekend, stay tuned to see what we’re up to.

Anything exciting going on in your world?

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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 moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.