Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Harvesting Compost

We'll be needing some compost soon: to pot up plants and mix up some seed starter. Of course, outside, the compost is frozen solid and everything we've dumped in since November has not broken down. So we're getting ready to harvest the worm compost. We've got red wigglers on the go, and they are ready for some new bedding and fresh food. To harvest the existing compost, I move it all to one side in the box and set up the now open side with fresh bedding (newspaper strips, dampened) and fresh food (from the compost pail, the older and moldier the better!). In a couple of weeks, in theory, the worms will have migrated out of the old stuff and into the new stuff. I'll still go through the compost when I remove it and move any worms I find into the new stuff. And we'll have a nice little bucket to get spring planting started!

The Chicks are Growing Up!

The little fluffy chicks we acquired in June have been laying for a couple of months now. The eggs are always small for the first little while. But, The Chicks are coming into their own. The sizes of the eggs are improving, including this monster! Almost three inches long! Way to go, little one!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Dark Days Challenge Meal

There is something wonderful about eating your own garden produce in January, when there's a foot of snow outside and a wind chill not unlike Antarctica! Last night we roasted a ham from our home-grown Berkshire pork. It was great! But, what was truly the surprise of the night was the roasted Delicata squash. The two small ones we cooked had been stored in the house, in our cool back room. Now, we've always noticed the difference between our vine-ripened winter squash and the under-ripe offerings in the grocery store. But this is the first time we'd had enough Delicata left to 'mature' this long. It was divine - the aging process had left it dense but creamy, with complex butterscotch or caramel notes. Delicata is normally eaten when a creamy yellow colour with green stripes; this one was completely pale yellow. There is one small one left; we'll eat it soon! And I can hardly wait to see how the Hubbard and Acorn, still in the root cellar, are developing!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Chicken Pinata!

I posted a picture of our chickens going for the 'toy' we'd put in the coop: a suet feeder stuffed with bread. One comment referred to it as the 'chicken pinata', which we love! Exactly; a party for the hens featuring a pinata! Well, our faithful reader (and my sister) Keltie requested video. So, here you go, Sis: pinata party for the hens!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Hot Fashion Tip!

We're more about practicality then hot fashion here at Aagaard Farms. It's great when the trends intersect with our life, so we can be down-to-earth but stylin'. My new hot fashion item: fingerless gloves. They are so practical for those of us living in frigid climates!! I put them on under my gardening gloves, which I wear to go do chores, like care for chickens. They fill that space between glove and sleeve, add a little extra insulation and I can whip off the glove and have full dexterity when needed. My favourite website for all things hand-made, Etsy, has them hand-knit in a myriad of colours and styles. Mine came from the cheapsie little accessories store in the mall and are highly washable, an important consideration.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Dark Days Challenge Meals

It's been soooo interesting joining the Dark Days Challenge. One thing we've realized is that we've really gotten into a rut about cooking. Yes, we're trying to use only what we grew, and yes, we're in the frozen North without the choices of people in California or the Southern States. But, some of these people are really inventive with their cooking, some are making their own breads and buns on a regular basis, which we've been too lazy to do. So, this week's local food is pretty boring, but we're motivated to try harder! Dinner Wednesday night was our own Berkshire pork chops, seasoned and roasted. Served with our own Roko potatoes and carrots. For breakfast the next morning, Berkshire bacon, a nice thick cut, with fresh eggs right out of the coop! It ain't fancy, it ain't pretty (the food styling thing still needs work, too) but it sure was tasty!

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Laugh to Start the New Year!

Happy New Year to all!! To get the New Year off to a good start I highly recommend reading Bumble Bee Blog's Dec. 28th post: A Memorandum to the Management. The chickens have the SPCA's number and they are not afraid to use it......