Saturday, July 2, 2016

Hindered by love,Chicken business, community building, shaded garden, too many passengers

Its been so long since I wrote you  that I had to reread  the last  couple of blogs to remember  what I said.   I will try to pick up where I left off.
On chicken business...The feeder  is doing well.  I'm not as close to a million dollars as I thought I would be by now  but its  at least paying for the chicken feed. So, mission priority accomplished.  Turns out  it is also a good community builder.  It helped that one of the broody hens hatched a chick.  (out of nine eggs she only managed to get one chick) .  The first day  mamma hen brought the baby out created a spontaneous happening.   Once they were sighted together it didn't take long for a group to  form  that was  leaning on the fence sighing and cooing quietly. Charlotte  is a p.r.  dream.  She has no problem with being petted and will eat gently from any hand  full of treats.  I still worry about her. She has a permanent limp  and is still very small.   After hashtag I said I wouldn't get  attached to any single bird again , but she chips away at my resolve daily. She visits  the house on a regular basis. If I'm not  outside she knocks on the door until I answer.  She doesn't have the respect or fear of  'the big coop" like the other  chickens do. If the door is open she just limps right in for a visit.   She has developed an even  more worrisome habit. She recognizes  the sound of the car now.   Instead of running away from it like the other birds, she runs towards it.  So does the dog.   Our ingress and egress from the property is hindered by love.   I suppose I could take the time to pen  them both up and then park the car,  but its  just faster and less complicated to put them in the car and drive the last twenty feet  with a chicken on my lap and  a dog on the passenger seat.   I had to smile a couple of days ago when Jimmy got home from work. I looked out the window  in time to see him  drive in with Charlotte on his lap. The neighbors must think we're nuts!  They're probably right.
Gardening lesson.  We had one of the warmest Aprils on record  so  we planted early this year.  I'm not going to do that again. Yes it was warm and sunny but for vegetables  the light wasn't  right. It wasn't the right kind of light at the right angle. The cabbages  and a few other things got 'leggy' and I had to replant. I just have to admit that we live to far north  for early planting.  We have a different kind of light up here in the Pacific Northwest than  folks in the southern region. I've had a few other light issues  with my garden as well. The first couple of years we were here  the garden location was ok.  Did anyone here know that trees grow?... a lot?  One of the willows   has grown to enormous proportions since we've been here and  is providing  a lovely shade...for my garden.   A few days ago I  traded off a couple of jars of jam for someone to  trim it enough to get some light on  the snow peas this year. Next year I am probably just going to move the beds. I like having the garden just outside the kitchen  door. .  But I would have to cut down three trees  to keep it there.   I cant do that to the willow. The thing is turning into a monument  to all things PNW.  I did keep the branches though. I'm going to  strip the bark and dry it   and try to make a willow bark salve for aches and pains.
Raspberries. They came in early this year and went out early. I  have about 20 pounds of raspberries in the freezer just waiting for baby Sis ' visit in July. I don't think I'm going to let little Sis bully me into making 82 jars of jelly in one day this year.  I think this year I will hold her hostage for a weekend and we will spread it out over two days.    It shouldn't be too painful for her though. I turned the blackberries she gave me last year into   three gallons of wine. I'll just keep her glass full and she will never even notice  where the time went! If she does catch on I will  subdue her with  some of the raspberry vinegar I started last week. 
In the meantime...I am waiting for the pullets to begin laying ...any MINUTE now.....ok Would be a good time....are we laying yet?.... ok NOW!  

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