We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.
Chickens on the farm
Having chickens around the farm is second nature for me. I was talking to my Mom, who will be 94 this month, on Sunday and she said ”Oh, Norman, you have more chickens now than I ever had.” We always had around 200 laying hens and I have a few more than that right now.
I have, for the most part, fond memories of raising chickens at our farm in Iowa: grinding feed once a month, spreading oats on the ground as scratch grain, getting some of them drunk off of Kessler’s whiskey and gathering the eggs. Most vivid are the spring cleanings from beneath the roost and the ‘culling’ process in the fall by a local expert nicknamed Boner. I remember washing the eggs in the basement of the old house, stacking them in flats that made up a case which would be sold for a pittance for some extra grocery money. To my recollection there is 36 eggs in a flat and 2 stacks of 10 each in a case. We ate lots of them too, mainly for breakfast and as a late night snack after a ball game.
I began here with 25 Rhode Island Red and have been adding more each year to keep up with my increasing produce shares. It seems like I never had enough eggs to meet the demand. This year I went from ordering 75 in 2012 to 200 this spring. I had to build a new coop inside of our old dairy barn to facilitate the increase. They run helter skelter around the farm and pastures, scratching and picking constantly. I feed them organic layer ration from HyView Feeds in Mabel and some of my own small grains. They are curious creatures, wary and skittish. Sometimes they follow me around like a pet, and the next minute they are running and screeching like I was going to kill them. I talk to them while I am among them – they seem to like that. It takes vigilance to keep predators away and constant care to keep them watered, fed and the eggs gathered daily.
My 200 chicks from the spring are now egg laying hens. I collect about 8 dozen each day, so I hope my ‘egg wait list’ becomes obsolete. Although the chickens let up a bit on their laying as the days shorten, I should have plenty of eggs throughout the winter. Please let me know if you have any interest in receiving these during the non-csa season.
- This is week 17, next Thursday is the final summer share delivery
- Lots of muddy washing of root vegetables this week
- We have received some light frosts – 1st freeze coming this weekend
- Butternut squash gets sweeter with storage, will keep for several months
- Carrots, radishes and kohlrabi love the cooler temps
- ***Bok Choy would not fit in the box. Please find it next to the boxes in a plastic bag
- Turnips were not harvested this week due to lack of space in the box
- Anyone wanting to pick free pumpkins from the farm please help yourself
- Make some pies this week – apple and pumpkin
- Wash all of the produce please
Link to: Produce list-notes-recipes