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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?

Sidekicks

December 22nd, 2014

This is what we see from our kitchen window every morning:
Turkeys (1)
These two turkeys of ours have become my sidekicks. They wait for me to come outside every day and follow me around while I work.  They sing their sweet little songs and are highly entertaining! Turkeys are definitely birds that we love having around.
Turkeys (2)
We’re fairly sure that we ended up with two hens, so I’ll be looking for a tom with hopes of having a breeding trio next year.  Or maybe one of them will go broody and I can put some fertile eggs under her. I’d love to end up with a small flock of Wishard Bronze turkeys that can raise their own young each year. This is one of the best parts of having a little bit of land, experimenting with new birds has been a lot of fun!

If had space for lots of animals what would you have on your farm?

Growing Up

September 4th, 2014

You might remember the dozen turkey hatching eggs I purchased from a local farmer earlier this spring.  My neighbor hatched the eggs, only three of them hatched.  One kicked the bucket one day when it was about 6 weeks old, the remaining two are doing well.  It looks like we will have a pair, which is perfect because I was hoping to let them hatch and raise their own young next spring.
turkeys 1
These are ‘Wishard Bronze’ turkeys, a heritage breed. Originally we were hoping to raise enough this year to have them for Thanksgiving dinner and keep a pair, but the turkey eggs we got didn’t hatch very well. We had eggs for Narragansett and none of them hatched, guess the tom just wasn’t up to the task.
turkey poults 3
turkeys 2
They’re even starting to make their adult turkey calls. Mr Chiots is going to get his turkey call out to see if he can chat with them. These birds have been our favorite fowl to date, they are friendly and inquisitive. They follow me around and are very tame. I guess we’ll be ordering our turkey from Martha’s Farm once again for our Thanksgiving meal.

Have you found a local farm to get your Thanksgiving turkey from yet?

That Turkey

May 17th, 2014

Mr Chiots is a hunter and it’s spring turkey season here in Maine. He’s been out a few times without any luck.  Of course this past Sunday morning there was a BIG tom turkey right below the house trying to impress our guinea hens with his display.
turkey
Needless to say, they were less than impressed and went about their business of eating bugs and grass completely ignoring him. Lucky for him, it was Sunday morning, no hunting allowed. Otherwise he’d be in our fridge.

What wildlife have you spotted in your garden this week?

My Turkey from Martha’s Farm

November 22nd, 2011

A few weeks ago I ordered my turkey from Martha’s Farm while I was at the Local Roots Market in Wooster, OH. Martha is Ecuadorian, and she has a small farm in Ashland, OH. I love buying eggs, chickens, and vegetables from her because she tends her farm using the old methods she learned while growing up in Ecuador. She was telling me that whenever she has a pest problem or one of her animals is sick, she calls her mom in Ecuador and gets a natural herbal remedy for the problem. Last Friday I was supposed to go to Martha’s Farm to pick up my turkey, but since I was sick my dad went. Sadly I have no photos of that part of the Thanksgiving day meal preparation, but I’m planning on heading over in the spring to see it.

This is one of the reasons I love eating locally. I really appreciate that Martha takes the time to raise happy turkeys that we can enjoy for our Thanksgiving feast. I also love knowing that my dollars are being spent to strengthen my community. Is there a better way to show your Thanksfulness than by sourcing your meal from your garden or local farmers? The funny thing is that I don’t really even like turkey; everyone else in the family does so it’s worth it for them to enjoy it!

If you didn’t eat turkey for Thanksgiving what would you choose instead?

Reading & Watching
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About

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.

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