…let’s catch up! I’ve been AWOL, I know; everyone deserves a break now an then. But now we’re back, trying to stick with the regular schedule of blog posts. We’ll catch you up in no time!

property 08122017 color with bwUpdate 1: The property after one year. Saturday we went up to the shrine on the hill above us and took our one year photo. It’s small here because this is as wide as the blog allows, but if you go to our Facebook page, I changed it to be our cover photo, so if you click on it – you can see the full picture. I did it the old fashioned way, using my DSLR with the telephoto and then stitching it together in Photoshop. You can really see that in a couple of places because the light quality changed quite a bit while I was taking the series of shots. These are the four that lined up the best. Everything in color represents the property.  Of course the topography gets smoothed out from above, so you can’t really see the changes in the terrain. About mid photo is where the land drops down to the left and creates the “depression” I talk about. Towards the bottom right of the photo, in the colorized area, the two horizontal darker green belts in the field, are where the bioswales have been placed. Above them are the white dinky house and the brown garage to the right of that. Further right you see the cistern and behind that is the Goat Boys’ house. The main house (for the humans, dogs, and cats) is towards the upper left; the chicken coop is the white building just in front of that. Hope that helps to give you the lay of the land a bit, and that you’ll be able to picture it better when we talk about it.

Update 2: Chicken Moves. Well, I’m sorry to say that we have another chicken with a bum leg. We think it’s more of a hip socket type thing. The roosters have been really rough with the ladies over the last month. We’ve had several injuries. So, now the boys have been separated from the girls. We hoped to give the girls a rest; however, one rooster has already sneaked back over to the other side, so we’ll have to keep a really close eye on him. Many small farms who are just producing eggs to sell, don’t even bother with the boys – they are often just more trouble than they’re worth!

Mottled CochinUpdate 3: Chicks! Yesterday, Sue ordered 15 baby Bantams. Specifically: 5 Mottled Cochin (we think this is what Maeve is), 5 Blue Cochin, and 5 Golden Cochin (plus one free fancy which will be a straight run pick- I think this is how they get rid of their extra roosters!). This breed is supposed to be cold hearty, so we hopefully they will fare better through the winter. They will be here at the end of the month. For some reason, it’s very rare to find sexed Bantams, mostly you have to purchase a straight run. For us that means blue cochinwe’re going to have a few roosters! Happens every time. We miss the gentler nature of the Bantam Rooster. As stated above, thegolden cochin larger roosters have all been rather rough lately, and maybe if we get a good Bantam, we can put him in with everyone else. We’re thinking that we may take all the rest of the bachelor roosters and put them out in the field to eat the bugs. They’ll be our guinea pigs for this “pasturing” phase. This way, if something really bad happens, we won’t have sacrificed the producing chickens! We also wanted to have some smaller chickens to go along with Maeve and Imen. Maeve is so incredibly small, compared to all the others, and she gets picked on quite a bit. When the chicks come this month, we’re thinking that we’ll put Maeve in there with them. She is always drawn towards the little ones and has a habit of going broody. So, we’ll give her her own little chicks to mother for a bit. I think it’ll be a good thing – you just can never be 100% sure of the outcome though.

IMG_1450Fun update: Herb & Flower Garden. Last year we planted an herb garden close to the back patio and well within reach of the kitchen. We utilize the herbs on an almost daily basis; for cooking as well as for additives for the chickens. I’m really happy that the herbs I brought from California, as well as the new ones we’ve added, have settled in rather well. Plus, there’s always the cabbage, whose leaves we’ve been feeding to the chickens periodically. I really like this, and I’m hoping to put another one, similar to this, on the other side of the porch stairs. It would be good to be working on that now since we’re getting regular rain, but I need to finish lining the French Drain first and complete the cement brick back stop for the flower garden by the low end of the porch. Always something that needs doin’.

img_1452.jpgFinal Update: Food Report. Sue and I follow Lisa Steele’s blog and Facebook page “Fresh Eggs Daily”. Every once in a while she’ll post a recipe for something egg related. You may have seen me share the recipe for Duck Egg Pasta… I’m still going to try that, just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Recently, Sue requested that we try a recipe she shared for a Sweet Potato Sausage Frittata with Farm Fresh Eggs. I really wasn’t too keen on this, it didn’t sound all that appetizing to me for some reason, but I said, “OK” because I’m just nice like that. The great thing for us was that it uses a dozen eggs – well, for us it’s a bit more than a dozen because some of are a still a bit wee. Plus, I was able to add a layer of Piccolo (think round zucchini) to get some good use out of the veggies we need to eat. AND… tada! It turned out rather nicely. I enjoyed the salty flavor of the sausage along with the sweet potato. We use a really good non-dairy, no soy cheese for lactose issues- butIi think it works really quite well. I’d make this again. Sue thought it would make a great Christmas morning breakfast dish, and I quite agree. Go ahead and try it, you won’t be disappointed. I know that this aspect of what we’re doing is so important to you (she types with tongue firmly planted in cheek), so when I try the duck egg pasta, I’ll be sure to report about it here. Until then, as always~
Thanks for reading!

FullSizeRender (49)Today’s Weather: Today’s weather is just amazing. Right now it’s a very refreshing 68°. We’ve just had a nice couple of down pours and the evening is now clearing and shaping up to be absolutely gorgeous!  You know – if you were thinking about wanting to visit, this really is the best time of year to come. Everything is so green right now, and the weather – though rainy – is wonderful. They say here, “If you don’t like the weather, wait 10 minutes and it’ll change.” It is so very true, especially during the monsoons. Sue took this photo of a rainbow across the street, that rain was over us just a few minutes prior. Some of the systems move really quickly. And from our place, we have the greatest view to track them!

Egg Report: We are having amazing production days. Saturday 17, Sunday 20, Today 14. This count includes two duck eggs that usually materialize by morning. We’ve been selling some eggs and will soon have two customers with a standing order. If I come to California at the end of the month, I’ll take your order for eggs. You might have to pick them up at church on Sunday though. 🙂

fullsizerender-50-e1502757995772.jpgCool Sighting from Last Week: We’ve been taking care of the neighbors dog the last couple of weeks. It’s been great to be out in the evening, on foot, and seeing some amazing skies, beautiful birds, and this little guy out for an evening stroll. Come on- don’t be squeamish, it’s just a little tarantella. We like them – well, at least I do, Sue handed the phone to me to take his photo (not sure what that says about where she stands— I guess way far away!).