Monday, March 02, 2009


We're back in the chicken business! The "chickipoos" came this morning. Most survived the snow storm in Ohio and -25F temps here. I did lose two New Hampshires, two Arucanas, and seven Orpingtons. But, gee whiz, those babies were COLD when I opened the box. I was so glad I had turned the brooder lamps on to heat up the brooding area before I left for the Post Office. As it was, I really thought I would lose a lot more when I got back home and opened up the boxes. It took quite a bit of individual warming to get a lot of them to stop shivering. Most are doing fine now. There are maybe three that look a bit "pukely" (pronounced "POO-kly" -- one of our family's "made up" words), but I have to say I am very satisfied with the hatchery -- I used Mt. Healthy in Ohio this time ( Now that the chicks have warmed up and porked out they are peeping contentedly and exploring the brooder. The hatchery sent me Buff Orpingtons for the meat birds, and the 25 free chicks are Arucanas -- and of those, I think four are hens. Those Arucanas are the cutest chicks. They look like little chipmunks! The Orpingtons are golden yellow, and the New Hampshires are red-gold. I am SO happy! Bernie from the feed store called and he can't get me the chick starter, so I'll have to try and find some from somewhere else; I really don't want to continue to give the chicks just the game bird starter. By the way, Bernie gave me permission to put his business card on the blog, so if you are looking for a good feed store, give Bernie a call! (Unfortunately when I tried to scan his business card, the color and print isn't very readable, so here is his phone number: 715-762-2667. Seed N Feed is located right on Highway 13 in Fifield, next door to Wheelway Auto.

Here are a couple of pics of our Ed and a New Hampshire chick:

I listened to the NOAA weather radio this morning. It will be -20F tonight and tomorrow night, but the day temps will be between 30-40F for the rest of the week. That'll be good for sap run. It also means I need to get out and cut the mushroom logs! I have two trees picked out to use for the mushrooms. I bought the mushroom spawn from Mushroom People (). That should be coming before you know it.

On the Local Food Atlas front, I am waiting for the info from Miriam Grunes. She sent me an email telling me that she is behind with some deadlines and that she has not forgotten me. Soooo, I will go ahead with my news article and send that out. Yesterday I had a bit of luck here because one of the locals (Dave Minisan) is running for Town Board Supervisor in April, and he just happens to be involved with the Mercer Food Pantry and Mercer Lions Farmers Market -- both of which I didn't know existed, so I will definitely be contacting him regarding listing in the Atlas.

Well, tomorrow, I'm off to hunt for chick starter, and while I'm at it I'll look for some ag lime, bone meal, and peat moss for making my seed starter mix (I already have the Perlite from Harris Seeds -- did you know that Harris has organic seed?) The chatter on the list servs is indicating a marked increase in the demand for seedling veggies and herbs. I think I may get some extra seeds started.

Thanks to GeorgeW from the HGG (Heirloom Growers Garden) list serv for sending me the apple tree scions and seaberry seeds! George found an unknown old apple tree on an abandoned farm that was being demolished, and he cut scions from the tree and offered to send them to interested persons on the list. He had eaten apples from the tree and said they were quite good. So I thought I'd take a chance and get some. He graciously sent me six scions, and I miraculously was able to get some Antonovka rootstocks from Fedco. I am keeping the scions in the refrigerator till the rootstocks come probably the middle of next month. I hope the grafts take; I've never tried grafting before though I've watched it being done and the two sites I've visited regarding how to do it conflict with respect to scion care. It doesn't look too hard.

Happy Birthday to our Yellow Lab chicken guard, Sandy! She is five years old today.

I have lots to do so I'll leave off for now!

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