Usually when I sit down to write, I have something in mind already. I might have to do some research on it, or talk with Sue about it before – during – and – after, but – in general – I have a good idea what’s going to go on the page. Photos often help to shape any given post, as well. There are very few times when I stare at the blinking cursor and say, “I got nuthin’.” Today is one of those days.  Not because things haven’t been happening. Not because I don’t have some neat or informative  photos to share. Rather, I just don’t have an over arching theme. I’ve got nothing to tie everything together. What’s up with that? So, what we’ll do today is this: I’m just going to upload a photo and tell you the activity or thought that it represents – they won’t be connected in any way, just snapshots of what’s been going on so far this week. Ready? Here we go……..

leaf surround More leaves! Sue has found an excellent source of leaves from Cochise County grounds workers. She often goes a few times a week and picks up a truckload of bagged leaves. She had been putting them in the leaf pond for the little Banties to root around in – and they love it, but they are starting to disappear into deep holes they’re excavating in the pile. The leaves need to be crunched down and composted for a bit before we add many more, so Sue began a large leaf compost pile out in the field.  This was the photo from Tuesday after she added the 9 or so bags of leaves from the county, today she picked up even more, so it is more full now! After it’s composted, it will supply great additives to the soil!

IMG_1228 Our other compost piles – those we’ve been adding horse manure and things from the kitchen that we can’t give the chickens – are also making great soil additives. Whenever I up-pot plants or stick something in the ground, I mix in compost taken from one of these three piles. The other day, when I was up-potting the trees in the nursery, I got half a wheel-barrow full of compost and half a wheel-barrow full of dirt, from the donated dirt pile, and began mixing them together. As I turned it over with the shovel, I came across this MONSTER grub, along with a normal sized grub.  Showed Sue, just so I’d have a witness. She laughed so hard and said – “Let’s take a picture!” So – here you go… held in my hand; one monster grub compared to a normal grub. We sure grow them big here in our compost piles. Lovely! They make great chicken snacks.

IMG_1229 These will be the last two photos for this part of the post (there will be others in the report section). This week we did something that I think is simply fantastic. We made our main dish with ingredients we raised. So, we roasted a chicken – in a stone-ware covered baker. It was a chicken that we raised and butchered. Cooked with herbs from the garden and lemons from my tree! I just find this such a satisfying thing. Truly fruits of our labor. The more chicken bakewe do, more we plant, more we raise, process, and harvest – the closer we come to being self sufficient. We are eating healthier, feeling better, doing so in a sustainable manner and – hopefully – contributing to our family, friends, and the community.  To me, its a great way to live. I’m just kind of a nerd about it 🙂 . Here are the prep and cooked photos, just so you can see. Smelled delicious for a few hours after we ate.
Just as a side note: this late spring/early summer we will be processing around 30 meat chickens, over a couple of different weekends. We are currently taking some reserve orders on a first come, first served basis.  You’ll hear more about this as the time approaches. Until then, as always~
Thanks for reading!

IMG_2276Today’s Weather: Is it rude if I just post a photo of the weather station?  No rain in the forecast. It was a beautiful day. Sunset isn’t until 5:42 today, Sunrise is at 7:19.

Egg Report: Yesterday we had 8 chicken eggs, zero duck. Today we had 8 chicken (plus one that was eaten) and 1 duck.

roadrunner 1Cool Sighting: Here’s the cool sighting for this week.  We have the resident road runner back in the yard. Forgive me if I’ve already shared this, but I don’t actually recall. Plus, he’s so cool, we’ll just show him again. The day I took this, he was following me around as I did the watering.  He’s not at all afraid of us, which can be a bad thing with the dogs around, but he stays a “safe” distance away.  Sue said that he was on the porch this afternoon. I like having him – or it could be a her – around.  Does anyone know how to tell the difference?