Our pretty little Welsummer laid her very first egg today. It is tiny and lovely but weighed in at a surprising 47 grams. Clementine’s first egg was only 41 grams.
It’s only slightly larger than the other two “first eggs” that I’ve kept in the fridge for over a year. The old ones are light and seemingly hollow now. They sound like glass when tapped. I hope I never break one in the house. I’m sure they’re rank.
It was another drizzly day in the garden. My bare root strawberries came in from Park Seed yesterday so after a 12 hour soak, they were ready to hit the dirt.
Park (lovely company that it is) sent 27 roots instead of 25, but holy cow strawberries take up a lot of room! I used up roughly 112 square feet of precious garden space for 20 plants, stuck 5 up by the house, and put 2 in a pot for my mother-in-law. (Evidently I’m still a newbie since I’m surprised by this.)
During the first hour after I gave the area a quick till, I realized that I’m probably not actually yet well enough to be laboring out in 45 degree rain. And the level of soggy muddiness was even a bit disgusting to me. Here I am showing off my mud and misery as well as the patch of potential.
I still have the weird smell of the bare roots in my nose.
I also planted my seeds for root veg today: carrots, beets, and turnips. Moon is a waning crescent in Capricorn, which is an earth sign so a-ok for planting roots and yeah, I’m doing that this year. And here is a shot of how the rest of everything is growing.
By the time I came in, Gordon had a lovely pot of spicy delicious chili ready to eat. Now I’m lounging around sipping some echinacea lemongrass tea, hoping that my body can continue to recover from the bad cold I had last week, even though I abused it somewhat today.
For a moment today my existence was perfect. Here in simplicity and solitude it revealed itself:
It was cold and rainy and I was out in the garden still sick with a virus. I noticed cutworms had tried to kill another seedling. But the victim, a baby collard, survived with two of its main leaves. I took the nearest tool that had been left out leaning against the pecan tree. It was Silas’ tiny yellow hoe. Hacking around the young plant, I happily unearthed the offending cutworm, in all of its dirt-coloredness. I contemplated how best to kill it without inadvertently stomping it back into the muddy soil and without maliciously popping it between my fingers. I decided to toss it to the hens. As I approached the coop with the intent of nourishing our cute fluffy food source with the enemy of another food source, a deep knowing came over me. I was the caretaker; the sower and the reaper, in sync with life and death and able to tip the patterns of existence toward our favor. Confirmation of my belonging among the dirt and plants and creatures and rain.
No, silly not an omelette with chicken in it — An omelette made for the chickens!
I worked late Tuesday and forgot to get any offerings from the girls. So yesterday at least one of the three eggs was clearly a leftover. Whenever that happens (although I know in real life that leftover egg is completely safe and fine), I just cook the batch up for the girls.
Today’s gormet recipe:
3 beaten farm semi-fresh eggs
Strawberry tops leftover from packing Silas’ lunch
Roughly chopped garlic from a bulb that’s been growing on top of the microvave
Mix it all together, add a splash of water, and microvave for 2 and a half minutes, stirring once.
Garnish with Silas’ leftover Cheerios and — *muah* Magnifique!
My body is broken and I’m ready for bed. But this weekend was wholly productive and I’m thrilled about it. Yesterday I got the cool season veg all planted and today we got the chicken coop addition installed.
It really sucked trying to do anything in the coop. I couldn’t stand up and had to work hunched over. I bumped my head frequently and had to crawl in shitty coop dirt to get at anything under the box part. I bitched quite a bit about it so Gordon decided to build something for the coop to sit on. I was skeptical that our starter coop that we bought used on craigslist could handle being lifted like that after rotting in our muddy soil for the last year and a half. But he planned and built it anyway.
The timely addition acted as a halfway house for Marigold after her injury and then a time-out pen for Rosie the bully.
It was quite a pain to dig out all of the chicken flooring in order to rip off the hardware cloth that was stapled to the inside of the bottom 2x4s. But now there’s a load of fantastic compost on a tarp in the garden.
With much effort we were able to put that big heavy decrepit thing on top of the new. Gordon ended up having to cover one board with a new one because it was split, but other than that it went OK. The chickens were annoyingly interested and Clementine kept flying up into the coop while we worked.
The moon is barely a waxing crescent. It was new just two days ago. I recently learned that waxing is for above ground crops, waning for below. Crescents are for leaves and gibbous are for fruits. So I guess I maybe should have waited a week or so for the snow peas but oh well. Also, plant when the moon is in an earth or water sign, never fire or air. The moon will be in Pisces until noon tomorrow when it moves into Aries.
Last year my dad told me to plant by the moon (using the Farmer’s Almanac website). I told him that I didn’t have time for that nonsense, but ended up with a lot of germination trouble. (Sorry, Dad.) With a little planning it really isn’t hard, so I’ve decided to try and plant by the moon this year.
January 20th I started my leafy greens and today, with the help of Tilly (the tiller) and Gordon who spent 2 hours with Tilly earlier this week, the babies went into the ground.
So it doesn’t look like much now, but it’s very well spaced and I think the plants will be huge and lovely soon enough.
I transplanted collards, broccoli, kale, chard, lettuce, mizuna, and arugula. Also planted seeds of green onions and snow peas.
Silas helped me for a little while and gleefully proclaimed, “This is just like 2016 when we spent a lot of time in the garden together!” Five minutes later he started whining that he wanted to do something fun and ditched me to go into the house. (Yes he describes his memories by year and yes it’s weird.)
Tomorrow morning Gordon and I are installing his lovely addition to the chicken coop.
Since my children made it home safely from school today we could enjoy some spring together: Weeds, beautiful weeds.
They sustain the pollinators and make lovely salads for the chickens.
I love North Carolina. It’s a great state full of natural beauty. I just wish our legislators weren’t all owned by the fear mongering greedy pigs at the NRA.
I’m was born and raised Floridian and I’m sick about what keeps happening to the children of our nation. We need Gun Control and Mental Health. What is our Republican controlled Congress doing? Thoughts and Prayers. Our nation was founded on genocide, I guess that’s a tradition to which we cling.