Saturday, November 10, 2007

Finishing Up the Year

It was gray and damp this morning, so after I took care of Lara, I loaded up the van with the peat moss and manure I bought from Bernie at the Fifield Feed Store and headed out to the field to plant the Westfield-Seek-No-Further apple tree and the two Golden Spice trees that came yesterday from St. Lawrence Nursery. I enjoyed planting the trees and already am wondering how all of the plantings will fare over the winter. I wonder how many new trees or shrubs I will need to buy next spring. I checked all of them while I was out there. I put a larger fence around my Fameuse as that is my biggest tree and the small metal tree guards don't fit it any more. The Bali cherry trees look pretty good. And as it turned out, it was good I went out when I did because it started snowing after I got back to the house, big wet new that quickly covered the trees and ground. It looks quite wintry outside right now.

Yesterday I picked up a couple of dark plastic bins that I will use to start worms in after Lara comes home from the hospital. I think I will get European nightcrawlers. I hope I don't kill them. That is why I will not order very many. If I manage to keep them alive, I should have worms next spring to sell for fishing and for putting in the garden to build soil fertility.

Talking about soil -- when I went out to the field today there was a flock of tiny white birds eating my winter wheat. I don't know what sort of birds they were, but they were very pretty. They were all SO white; when they flew into the air they looked like sparkles.

I have updated our starter Web page at for November. On that page I mentioned that I will be selling day-ranged chickens from the farm next year. I am thinking about getting 50 layers to keep for eggs and then hold them over for stew hens the following year, and maybe 200 chicks to sell as broilers. I will get Dominiques for the layers, but I think I will get Delawares to sell as they will pluck cleaner than the Doms because they have white feathers. I need to see if I can rent a plucker -- there is no way I can hand pluck that many birds with my arthritis. I will tell you that we have eaten one of our Dominique stew hens in some chicken and dumplings and I honestly do not recall when I have eaten a chicken with such wonderful flavor.

The Price Direct group will be meeting November 12th at 7 PM in the Concrete Park meeting room (one mile south of Phillips on Highway 13). Please RSVP by calling 715/339-2555 if you are interested in joining Price Direct and would like to help decide the direction of the group now that our grant money is running out. Unfortunately I will be in Marshfield with Lara and unable to attend, but I have forwarded my thoughts to Jane Hansen who will present them to the group for me. She will let me know what happens at the meeting.

I don't know when I'll next be able to check my mail or write here, so have a safe and happy Thanksgiving and I'll talk to you soon. I'd like to wish all veterans a happy Veterans Day, and a warm belated Happy Birthday to Tom's Air Force buddy, Bill. Be safe Everyone!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Ode to Chickens

Farewell good chickens
fine company you have been
these two years so quickly gone.
And now, when from
wintry weather's kiss I seek the friendly fire
Fondly I will remember you --
Chicken Soup,
Chicken and Dumplings, and
Chicken Stew!

Happy Birthday to Me

My birthday was this past Sunday, the 4th, and I decided to fix the leg of lamb I bought from Jump River. I cut slits in the lamb and stuffed the slits with fresh garlic. Then I rubbed salt, pepper, and garlic powder all over the meat like a rub, put it in the roasting pan, and sprinkled rosemary on it. 325F for 2.5 hours and it was great! I fixed bread stuffing and green beans (I wasn't in the mood for extra fancy) and Lara and I really liked it. Tom didn't care for it. I don't think Ed liked it either, but at least the "girls" in this house know what's good. Everybody did agree though that my German Chocolate cake was good. It was so good that when I went to cut a piece of cake to take to my Dad -- there wasn't any! Oh, well. I spent the day listening to meditation music and chilling. It felt SO good just to sit and relax. Did I get any gifts? My Sarah sent me a gift certificate for popcorn -- I bet she was remembering how I used to buy a big can of cheese popcorn at Christmas. So, I think I will save the certificate for Christmas and do just that. Then, I bought myself two pair of support hose from Vermont Country Store and an email subscription to Aquaponics Journal. All in all, it was a very nice birthday!