Saturday, July 25, 2015

It's hot outside!

The last week and the upcoming week have been and will be HOT! It's been rough but we'll make it.

I've been updating my chicken page each week with new photos of the chick - here's a link to that if you want to check it out, or you can just click on it at the top on the menu bar. CHICKENS

I've been looking on craigslist for turkey poults and finally found a few that seemed worth getting. They are Bourbon Reds (a heritage breed). I'm not sure of the sexes yet but we have 3 so I'm hoping they'll be opposite sexes. We'll see! The previous owner was not sure how old they are ... they just noticed them following around a hen one day.

The garden is quite full of weeds but producing well. Brianna has been selling produce and I've been dehydrating it. My goal this year was the dehydrate more and it's been going well so far (it seems anyway?). I have learned that about 25-30 POUNDS of tomatoes can fit into one quart jar. ONE. How many jars would that take if I were to can them? I'll do a blog post on it some day but for now I'll just share my method. I slice them 1/4" thick with my nifty Borner V-Slicer Mandoline (love it!), dehydrate them at 135*, grind them into powder with my coffee grinder (seems to work a little better than the vitamix but it might just be because it condenses it down so small), and then vacuum seal them into a mason-jar. I purchased a few oxygen absorbers that I'll use when I'm ready to do several at once. To use, just simply add water until it's the desired consistency. Easy! I'm excited about this method because it takes me much less time and energy, it does not heat up the house, and it really saves on space and jars. We'll see what I think about it after the year is up and I've used the dehydrated food a while.

Ok, time to go.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Chicken update, All about eggs

I've uploaded a few chicken videos on youtube ... if you'd like to see them, here's the link to the 'Chicken' playlist: CHICKENS.
A few are videos of our new chicks and the other is a video showing how we take care of our eggs - including how we chart the amount gathered each day, to clean or not to clean (not!), what we do with the eggshells, and more. If you are not able to watch videos but still would like to know what we do with the eggs, please let me know and I'll just do a blog post :)

The chicks are doing well but are in need of a bigger 'brooder' ... so we'll probably move Sadie's whelping box into the living room. Soon they will be able to live outside and that will be a lot better!! But for now we are enjoying them in the house, learning who is who, and trying to figure out names. So far, sadly, we only have one name besides the three given by our old lady friend. I'll share about that in my next weekly "new laying flock" update, coming in a day or two, Lord willing.

Ok, I must get back to work. Have a great day!

Monday, July 6, 2015

My new peeps

Last Thursday we received our new layers in the mail :) We got a variety this time and I eventually plan to make a post for each one as they grow ... but for now, here they all are. There were 25 (we ordered 23) but one died ... it came sick; I did my absolute best to nurse it back to health but it was a hopeless cause. Corban had to snip her little head off, which is the "most humane way" to dispose of a baby chick.

Our 'old girls' are about 3 1/2 years old. They are still laying an average of 4 eggs per day and there are eight hens. Their eggs are super healthy and yummy! But production is slowing down and it's all downhill from here. This new batch will replace the old, however I think we'll keep the old around as pets unless money will not allow it ... then we'll have crock-pot chicken stew or something of the sort.

Without further ado, here are our new chicks. 5 Welsummers, 5 Black Copper Marans (2 males, 3 females), 5 Barred Rocks (like what we have now), 6 Easter Eggers and 3 Buff Orpintons ... the one that died was a Buff. Just like our old girls, we plan to handle these as much as possible so they are tame and like us. One male is kind of snobbish ... I hope he changes his ways!

Friday, July 3, 2015

"What About Moose?" Book Review

A disclaimer first: this was written by my sister-in-law Rebecca Gomez ... even still, I'd like it anyway. Though she's had many things published in popular children's magazines, she's been working hard for years to get a book published and this was just released June 9th. I'm very happy for her!

The whole story is in rhyme, it's filled with valuable lessons and the pictures are cute and fitting. As a former homeschooling family (children are all older now) I can just imagine using this book to help get conversation going about several character traits that are good and bad. Love it!

We've shared this book now with several people, from the very young to the very old (95!) and all agree it's an excellent book. So ... if you're in the mood or the market for a nice children's book, pick this one up at your local book store or online: What About Moose?