Sunday, December 18, 2011

Fresh Greens For Everyone!

We try to keep ourselves and our animals, as natural and chemical free as possible.  During the growing season our chickens, goats and Berkshire pigs are all in pastures: free to roam, nibble on fresh food and be what they are.  The chickens scratch the dirt to eat bugs and seedlings, the goats try to climb trees to eat leaves and bark, the pigs eat everything and wallow in mud.  Here in Manitoba now, however, we are now frozen solid with a bit of snow.  More snow will come, of that we're sure.  So how do we keep our animals eating fresh food?  Well, fortunately, they all appreciate a good winter squash.  The chickens love the seeds and like the flesh.  The goats love the skins and the flesh.  Fortunately, we have a root cellar and have a good stash of winter squash.  When we cook one for ourselves, we'll keep the seeds for the chickens.  It's too bad neither type of animal has much use for potatoes, garlic and onions, although a little garlic in the chickens' water is suppose to be good for them!

This is when our sprouter comes in handy!  We've blogged about it before here; we love this thing.  We've got a wide variety of seed mixes for sprouting and everybody loves them.  Farmer Man will have them on his sandwiches, the chickens go nuts for them and even the goats seem to be enjoying them.  We love the idea of everyone get fresh, nutrition-packed food!  As soon as the mania of Christmas is over, we'll start some flats of lettuces, which we'll share with everyone.  The trendy micro greens for salads for us, maybe a flat in the chicken coop for them to peck at -- and then they'll probably have a dust bath is what remains!  A double win for the chickens!  The goats are new to this, but they seemed to enjoy their first encounter with sprouts!  I may try to force some branches for the goats after Christmas to keep them in their favorite: willow leaves!

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