Monthly Archives: May 2014

Duckweed – Desert for Chickens

The chickens are having a party. I hauled out a pile of duckweed from the pond. The chickens won’t dive into a pond to gobble up the duckweed like ducks do. But scoop it out for them, and they will … Continue reading

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Farming Is About Patterns

You can’t step outdoors and not see interesting patterns. And no two days are the same. Some days the sun’s light touches everything. Other days the clouds roll thick across the sky. Someone has moved the wheelbarrow. A bale of … Continue reading

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Up You Go

There’s always something new for the chicks to learn. Today it’s about roosting. Their mother has hopped to the top of a roost and three of her little ones are mimicking her behavior. The fourth one is off doing her … Continue reading

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Bees Need Undisturbed Landscapes

Few things have impacted the lives of bees, butterflies, and other wildlife more than modern agriculture. In the European Union, more than €41 billion has been spent since 1994 to improve the landscape for wildlife. But there have been few … Continue reading

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Beauty Surrounds Us

Beauty surrounds us throughout the day. Today I found a robin’s egg in a nest, was handed a bouquet of peonies from the kind driver delivering planting soil, enjoyed watching a hen with her chicks as she rested with her … Continue reading

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Mother for a Month

A month ago she was looking out for eight tiny chicks. Now the eight chicks are a month old and getting more independent by the day. By now, they are too big to all fit under her when they sleep … Continue reading

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What a Happy Chicken Looks Like

Hmm, so what does a happy chicken look like? What does a happy chicken do? One thing chickens love doing is being outdoors. They love to meander through thick brush. And they’re not afraid to do it on their own. … Continue reading

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The Beauty of Food Growing

Whether it be sprouting mustard greens, developing cherries, or stately garlic stalks, food that is beautiful. When you are lucky enough to see the whole process, from tiny seed or bulb to fully developed plant, cut and on your cutting … Continue reading

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Bees Feed Us

A patch of arugula is in full bloom. The wild bees are buzzing all afternoon, finding plenty of food to gather as they buzz from flower to flower. Luckily for me, this means I will have plenty of arugula seeds … Continue reading

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Raw Egg on Rice

After working hard outdoors, few things are as satisfying as a raw egg on warm rice with a dab of pickled plum and wakame (Undaria pinnatifida). The yolks of the eggs at a man and his hoe® are so buttery, … Continue reading

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Great Chicken Wall of 2014 part 2

Work on the Great Chicken Wall of 2014 continues. Today I’m hanging the wire fencing on the posts, but before I do that I need to dig a trench so the bottom of the wire can be underground. Digging the … Continue reading

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It’s a Jungle Out There

Everything is wet after steady rains through the night and morning. Behind the chicken yard, it’s a jungle of comfrey, burdock and tall grass. It’s a perfect place for a mother hen to scratch for food with her chicks. They … Continue reading

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Building the Great Chicken Wall of 2014

It’s time to build the Great Chicken Wall of 2014. There’s nothing like a dog to help with the digging. No one licks the sweat off your brow better than a dog. The first fence post is in. Six more … Continue reading

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27 Days and Getting Big

The eight chicks which hatched on April 28 are now 27 days old. They are too big now to all fit under their mother at once. They are probably halfway on their way to being independent. Their mother is a … Continue reading

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On the Board Today – May 24, 2014

It’s lunch time and on the board today are onion scapes, asparagus and garlic stalks, fresh kale, lettuce and mustard leaves. All refuse from an hour of weeding and thinning. The nice thing about cleaning out vegetable beds is that … Continue reading

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Cancer Strikes and Now I Miss the Cows

Nearly every day, I bicycle past this farm and enjoy looking at the peaceful Simmental cattle foraging on the idyllic pasture. Every year there are new calves and I get to watch their mothers raise them. I’ve been enjoying them … Continue reading

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Beauty in the Grass

Biking home from the post office yesterday, I was climbing up Bow Hill, when I noticed some bright purple vines snaking through the grassy hillside. The color of the purple vines was so intense, I had to stop and admire … Continue reading

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Everything Moves, Everything Changes

While at the post office yesterday, I noticed that the line of concrete curb blocks there was helter-skelter. I’m pretty sure that when these curb blocks were first placed, they made a straight line. The workers who placed them may … Continue reading

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Why Is Mayonnaise White?

When I see mayonnaise in the store, I always wonder why it is so white. The typical recipe for mayonnaise starts with egg yolks, adds vinegar or lemon juice, salt, pepper, mustard (I prefer to use ground mustard seeds). After … Continue reading

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Never Shower Again? Using Bacteria to Keep Us Clean

Julia Scott wrote an interesting article in the New York Times today about her My No-Soap, No-Shampoo, Bacteria-Rich Hygiene Experiment. She took part in an experiment done by AOBiome, a biotech start-up in Cambridge, MA. The firm is developing a … Continue reading

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