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Posts Tagged ‘eggs’

Dude.  I just found out that Bee Balm (a fantastic pollinator attractant) has an aroma very similar to Bergamot, and can be used to flavor Earl Grey tea, one of my favorites.  That’s exciting.

Also, I realized that we can make egg noodles with our extra eggs.  Whole wheat egg noodles. With fresh-ground whole wheat from David’s grain grinder.

And, yesterday we bought some common vetch and winter rye seeds from City People’s to try out as cover crops this winter.  The vetch is a viney legume that fixes nitrogen, and the rye is planted with it for support.  I’m hoping that the chickens will like to eat both, and that neither will grow stems too tough to decompose quickly in the compost bin.  Now… if only i could keep Cornelia out of the chicken patch long enough to let the cover crops grow…  she’s so tricksy!  People say chickens aren’t very smart- but she’s clever- and therefore a pain in the ass.

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Tomato-splosion!

It’s 8:30 in the morning and several of the chickens must have just laid eggs- they’re cackling like a bunch of proud, frantic Jokers.  We’ve been delivering little half-cartons of eggs to the neighbors every once in a while to make up for the noise… but jeezus.  I did not know that chickens would be this loud.  I knew that they would crow a little egg song after they laid an egg, but i did not know that they also have an “I’m about to lay an egg!” song, and a “Oh wait, i was wrong before, but now i’m REALLY going to lay an egg!” song, and an embarrassingly early morning “Hey!  Let us out of the run so we can go tear up your grass!” song, which is more an incessant squawk than a song.

The neighbors on either side of us say that the chickens don’t wake them up- so they either get up way earlier than i do, or they sleep like rocks, or they have amazingly insulated windows.  In any case, it’s a good thing we have extra eggs to give away.  It is also a good thing that our tomato plants are literally exploding with ripe tomatoes.  (I do actually mean literally- some burst open when i attempt to pick them.)  Last weekend we picked a humongous basket full of them, gave quart yogurt containers full of them to 6 neighbors and friends, and were still able to fill up all the fruit bowls in the kitchen.   Yesterday (3 days later) i picked another huge basketful and gave another 5 tubs away to coworkers who have been helping me with my experiments, and there remains a large pile of tomatoes on the kitchen counter in addition to a bowlful from last harvest that we haven’t finished yet.  Good grief.

I think this means that i need more indeterminant plants (grow and produce fruit all summer) and fewer determinant plants (produce most of their fruit in a small harvest period).  And then i need to start them earlier, so that they will actually be ripe before August.  I’ve found that, if you are going to start your tomatoes from seed indoors under a grow light without bottom heat (they’ll grow more slowly, but will be heartier), and you’re going to protect them with a cloche or wall-o-waters when you transplant them, you can and should start them way earlier than most regional gardening calendars suggest.  From a combination of NW garden books, i have on my calendar to sow tomato seeds in the last half of February, but i will definitely start them earlier next year.  Hopefully that will get the harvest started earlier so that we are not inundated by tomatoes for a couple weeks surrounded on either side by severe tomato shortages.

Anyways, i’m going to go eat some cherry tomatoes for breakfast.

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Yeggs!

Our chickens started laying eggs about three weeks ago. I had almost forgotten that’s what they were for, they’re so fun to have around just eating garden scraps and making manure compost. Chicken TV is highly entertaining. First there were some leathery turtle-esque eggs that we found broken on the coop floor. Then one day there was a solid, smooth, real egg, medium brown and almost as big as a store bought egg. Then David discovered Cornelia in the hay outside the run, nesting down, and he attempted to bring her to the egg laying box in the coop to teach her where to lay her eggs. But, as with a small puppy, things often come out too early, and the egg plopped out onto David’s leg mid-transport and landed safely in the run.  It worked though- the eggs all show up in the egg boxes now.  We ate those two eggs for breakfast… or whatever meal it was right after we found them. In the next couple of days, there came a tiny pale creamy brown egg, and a tiny light brown egg.  Hilariously small. With shells that were difficult to break.

                          

Over the weeks the eggs have gotten bigger- the biggest are now equivalent to large store bought eggs, and the smaller are… still adorably small, but getting there. We can’t tell whose egg is whose, but we know that the golden and black star (Cornelia and Agnes), the Plymouth barred rock (Amelia), and the buff orpington (pearl) are all laying.  In the last 3 days a blueish-greenish-greyish egg has appeared, most likely from Mabel, the golden brown ameraucana.  They go into this funny mating pose when we reach for them now, instead of squawking and running away. I’ll have to get a picture of it one of these days.

Because there are many hours of sunlight during the summer, we’re getting 4 or 5 eggs every day now, which is crazy! We’ve given some to our closest neighbors (who have to deal with the most egg songs (loud cackling pre- and post-egg laying)), took some to a brunch at which everyone got one small fried egg, and have a list of people we’d like to give more to.  I’m also hoping to trade some for fresh berries or fruit or homemade jam from other people’s backyards.  I might send an email to my work bulletin board about that… “Have fresh eggs from backyard chickens.  Will trade for backyard fruit, esp. raspberries, peaches, and figs.” I’ve apparently already earned myself a reputation for being eco-friendly hippie nature girl with my notebooks made of one-sided paper, dirt constantly under my fingernails despite the millions of times i wash my hands in lab, and my eclectic bike commuting outfits from the thrift store.

Point being, we have eggs now, and many of them.  Whoo hoo!

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