Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Month of June

June is almost over and with it, hopefully, my blog silence. Despite the rarity of posts, it's been a very busy month. The weather has been, er, difficult. It has rained since June 8. That is 20 consecutive days. Sometimes it rains in the morning, sometimes at night. Sometimes it drizzles, sometimes it hails. Luckily, my little acreage is considered "well drained" so the garden has flourished instead of drowned. Some of my neighbors and friends have not been so lucky.

We are harvesting salad most nights now and can't keep up with the growth. We harvested our first 3 lb head of cabbage and it looks amazing, no rot or bug damage. The tomatoes and tomatillos are in full bloom. The Sweet Ann Sugar peas are about ready, sometime this week. The outdoor cabbage, brussels sprouts, and broccoli are looking like they may produce sometime this fall. The potatoes have been hilled and hilled again and are standing near 3' tall now. The beans are up and climbing up the poles every day.

First cabbage of the year, from the greenhouse.

Not everything turned out as planned. We had a fox steal a hen in broad daylight. We gave chase and he released her, relatively unharmed, but it did prompt me to purchase a .22 rifle. We lost our first batch of cucumbers seedlings and are starting over, but it may be too late. Our strawberries were decimated by our chickens. We placed a net over the plants and that merely slowed the chickens down in their carnage. The greenhouse broccoli got too warm so the heads were stunted. I waited too long to see if they would grow bigger and they ended up flowering. Broccoli produces lovely little yellow flowers. Who knew?

On the chicken front, we've had a definite slow down in egg production. Two hens have gone broody and have to be forcibly removed from the nest. The wee chicklins are not so wee anymore and are getting bigger by the day. We had two wee roosters begin crowing at 10 weeks and were causing mayhem among the rest of the chickens. I decided to butcher them, even though they were small.

Beer can chicken and cabbage fry.

The actual butchering went well. I had expected some pretty horrific things and the whole procedure took 15 minutes per bird and there was no blood, no smell, nothing gross. They dressed to about 2 lb, 3 oz, which is very small. I am expecting better results (near 5 lbs at 12 weeks) from the meaties that arrive in a couple of weeks. One of the roosters was the main course in our first "farm meal" tonight. We ate our rooster, our cabbage, our broccoli, our salad. Of course, butter and salad dressing were from off farm. But I feel like we are making some real progress.

So tonight we raise a glass of wine to the animal gracing our table, and to our vegetables, and to our labor. Cheers!

May you always have a clean shirt, a clear conscience, and enough coins in your pocket to buy a pint!


Andrea said...

HAHAHA okay okay, I can't get over the chicken body just sitting there chillin like he's ready for a beer.

Your egg production slows so you bring ME a bunch of eggs?? Which I am currently eating by the way. MOST DELICIOUS EGGS EVER.

sylvia said...

Nice! Enjoy the fruits of your labor!

dp said...

We have SO MUCH SALAD. I never thought that I would get sick of salad, but oh my gawd. So. Much. Salad.