I am learning to tell stories. It is a good practice to be animated and excited about something I want to share with people. It is also useful to have them listen to me and learn from me. I have been telling what we’re calling the “Chicken Stories” to Susan every so often. Before we are able to discuss plans for the day, I boast with, “Susan! I have a chicken story for you!” She usually stops what she is doing and pays full attention while I share the simple joys of raising hens.
The best one yet is: When I looked out the window, I noticed one of the chickens had lost all its feathers and was very small. Oh no! What happened to her? Something has attacked, she’s sick, all these horrible thoughts raced through my mind. But no, I looked closer and all seven…I mean six were there. Seven? I only have six hens. I walked out the door and I was not imagining a seventh bird at all. It was a male grouse beautifully displaying his tail feathers. He was attempting to attract a female chicken, but they were not the least bit interested. Plus, the hens are twice the size of the little guy. Rejected.
My hens are as good as can be. Roaming around free all day eating bugs, grass, and an occasional strawberry thrown from my porch. They live quite a life. I am getting about five eggs per day, which inspires me to learn new recipes (like quiche…can you believe I had never made a quiche until yesterday?). I also give Susan and co-workers eggs because I can’t possibly eat 35 eggs each week. Craig helped name them last week: Gertrude, Jezebelle, Rita, Buff, Chana…I forget the sixth name. Trying not to get too attached.
Food! Yummy, delicious, fresh garden food! We have planted just about all the garden and are eating greens (spinach, lettuce, arugula, tot soi, mustards, beet greens), bok choy, and herbs.
Half our tomatoes are in the greenhouse and the others are outside under a tent we built last spring to provide extra warmth and wind protection.We set up a carrot water system using a bucket with drip irrigation because as we learned from all the rain last season, carrots love water! Pole beans are planted at the base to climb up the tripod. I planted 25 raspberry plants that are doing really well showing lots of new growth. The corn germination is the best yet so we have to thin and weed it soon. Knee high by the fourth of July, Susan says. The garden is in great shape and I look forward to all it provides.
Working at this farm has many perks. One of which is when we have extra milk, there is the luxury of making raw goat milk feta. We have perfected our feta. It is magnificent, like, how can food taste so good? Oh yeah, salt and fat.
This batch I made all on my own and hung to drip the whey in my kitchen. After about two days of hanging, I cut the curd in one inch chunks, add salt, and it’s ready to sprinkle on salads and stir-fries. The chickens love the to drink the whey and I love to eat the cheese, so nothing goes to waste.
As an appreciation to all my readers, I will share a salad dressing recipe that is being passed around the farm. It gets us to eat salad every day, hence “salad frosting.”
FRENCH DRESSING A LA GLYNIS (A.K.A SALAD FROSTING)
1/2 cup olive oil…the light kind is best
1/2 cup canola oil
½ cup water
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 ½ Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp brown mustard (like for hot dogs, brown is better than the yellow)
1 tsp minced garlic…through the press or VERY finely chopped
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp black pepper
PUT IT ALL IN THE BLENDER
Or if no blender you can whisk it a lot….