Saturday, July 25, 2009

Of Cackle Fruit and Seeds

Sorry it's been a while since I posted, but things have been hectic around here what with preparing for my seed saving presentation tomorrow at the Northwest Wisconsin Sustainable Living Fair over in Ladysmith at the Rusk County Fairgrounds (I speak at 2:00 p.m. in Building 2), trying to keep up with hoeing weeds between rain (I'm grateful for it!), butchering chickens, meeting with other parents of special needs children to get our new Park Falls Wisconsin Special Olympics Chapter off the ground (I'm going to be in charge of medical records), housecleaning, . . . I'm sure you get the idea. I haven't been feeling very well either -- don't feel really sick, but just don't feel like myself. Getting old, I guess -- either that or the latest ALTA report from the time monks over at Half Past Human freaked me out more than I think it did.

Anyway, we have cackle fruit! The hens started laying about a week ago. I'm so excited! I already have over a dozen eggs. They are small, but are generally similar sized and light brown in color. I expect them to get bigger as time goes on. The hens laying is probably the best thing that's happened around the farm this year; at least I will have eggs to sell. After the seed saving presentation tomorrow, I will be able to concentrate on working in the garden and getting the chickens butchered. I've butchered six, but we ate one to check out the flavor. (Yuuummmmmm.) I hope to have something to contribute to the Local Foods Farm to Chef event planned for August 8 at the Phillips Farmers Market. With the way the weather's been, who knows! But I must say that the recent rain we've been getting can only help. Come on veggies!

I am very proud of myself -- I figured out how to reformat my little 2GB thumb drive (I incorrectly removed it from the computer when I first used it and it wouldn't work) and was able to save my seed saving presentation to it so I will have both the thumb drive and a CD back up to take with me. This high tech stuff is confusing to use, but it sure is fun to mess around with. I'm sure my Sarah would think nothing of reformatting a drive; these kids today live and breathe electronics -- and that's wonderful! Sometimes I feel like a Stone Age relic because I can remember life before microwaves and ball point pens.

In between the rain today I planted Wong Bok Chinese Cabbage, Provider bush beans, and Detroit Red Beets in the former garlic box. I planted in the boxes last year about this time was able to get enough to sell at the farmers market, so if I can keep the chickens out of the boxes, I may yet do all right. I am waiting for my spinach, Cos, and sorrel to finish producing seed, so I don't think I'll be able to plant anything in their places for a Fall garden, but I will plant seed for next Spring using Eliot Coleman's Winter Harvest Manual as a guide. The sorrel is a perennial so that will stay put. I love the sorrel; I really hope to have a nice bed of it for next year as it sold so well with the lettuces last year.

Well, that's it for now. I'll let you know how the talk goes tomorrow!

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