Sunday, July 27, 2014

Cranky times in the coop and compost bin...

So, in for lunch and I just have to share my delightful repast with you.... Ok, this really is bragging, but I can't help myself.  I guess I am as bad as a new grandma, but...

My salad included lettuce, chinese cabbage, swiss chard, arugula, cucumber, broccoli, zucchini, sugarnap peas, basil, onion, boiled egg, cheese (goat of course), and this season's first tomatoes!  Yes, ripe tomatoes! (Sungold cherry tomatoes)... I cannot tell you how satisfying this is.  Everything except the dressing was produced right here at Ole Lake.  Now if I could just grow olive and lemon trees...

Anyway, here is a slightly out of focus picture.  I am dedicating this photo to my friend Leslie, who likes to photograph her culinary creations, and does a much better job of it:

Today's special:  Ole Lake Salad Supreme!  
Now, about the crankiness alluded to  in the post title up there...

The little chicks and their moms moved yesterday to the big room of the Winter Coop.  They are now big enough to jump over the little fence that held them.  The problem was that Lucy was really mean to the bigger chicks.  Any hen will peck at chicks that are not her own when they come too near, which Mama Red does, but Lucy was nasty and chased them all over.  The solution to this problem was to remove Lucy.  She has moved back to the summer coop.  Mama Blue, by the way, moved out a few days ago.  She let me know she was ready to go by starting to lay eggs again, which amazes me really, because these Austrolorp hens are five years old.
Mama red keeps a watchful eye on the chicks... it is a jungle out there!

It was pretty cool this morning, so after sending the Scoutmaster off to the wilds of Wisconsin for camp and taking care of some house chores, I decided to do a couple of tasks that I have not been getting to.  The first was to clean out the beds in the greenhouse, which didn't take long.  The second was to clean out the compost bin that I am not currently using.  It is overrun with long grass, but under that is some of the good stuff.  And, it turned out, some bad stuff too.  I was pulling out long grass by the fist-fulls thinking this was going pretty well when the buzzing began.  I didn't pay much attention, as there are so many bees around here there is always buzzing when I am in the garden.  Bees do not bother me and I rarely get stung, even when other people are.  I'd like to think it's because they know I like them and mean them no harm, but more likely it is that they just don't mind the smell of me.  Anyway, the yellow-jackets that have taken up residence in the compost took offense to me ripping their home apart (go figure) and let me know in a rather painful way.  I'm  not sure what to do about it at this point. Spraying poison into my compost pile is not an option.  Maybe the Rollie+blowtorch method?

So, time to get busy again.  I will have lots of milk to use this week with Kevin gone, so will be making plenty of yogurt, cheese, and this afternoon, chocolate pudding.  (Of course I will share with you Kori!)

I will leave you with  more chick pictures:
The little chicks have gotten to that "ugly" stage...

This older chick looks to be a cockerel
And this one is a fine looking pullet.  Of the six, it looks like there are four pullets.

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