It’s true. She AIN’T what she used to be. I’m mad at myself for not getting my rear on here and blogging. Irritated that I’m too lazy/tired to upload you some pics. But it’s spring, and on the farm, that’s super busy time. Please accept my apologies!
Well, life on the farm is back to its usual hectic pace. We bought 15 broiler chickens after the junior livestock show, and butchered and processed nine of them. Please be assured that it is the best tasting chicken EVER. And, they probably lived out the best week of their life here. If you are ever interested in processing your own birds, I highly suggest watching videos on Youtube by Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms. I did a mini refresher course before this batch of birds just so I didn’t forget anything.
I bought eight Broad Breasted White turkeys for butchering later this year. I plan to grind the breast and leg meat. I just bought 3 Narragansett turkey poults for breeding purposes. They are a ‘heritage’ breed of turkey, and can breed normally (broad breasted birds need AI to get the job done), and supposedly have a better flavor than the BB turkeys. Earlier this year, I was given a Showgirl rooster whom we named Ernie. Ernie is, without a doubt, the funniest chicken I have ever seen…he even ‘one ups’ the famed Wayward Jones. I knew he was gonna be a really special one when I gave him a bath with no chicken complaints and….he loves the blow dryer. Don’t ask me how these critters find me, but they do. Now I have 17 baby Silkies, hopefully at least some of which are females, who are destined to be Ernie’s ‘lady friends’. Yes, I want to make more of these odd looking chickens. On purpose.
Then, the other day, I was at a feed store when I saw the ugliest chick I’d ever seen. And so, ‘Poindexter’ came home with us for a whopping $1.79. He/she is a Naked Neck, and bless it’s heart, it’s not even normal. Its wings are deformed and it will never be able to fly. See…they find me, I swear it.
A few weeks ago, we bought a 250 pound (or so) Hampshire pig and had him sent off to the processor’s. We got back 145 pounds of meat. Fifty seven pounds of breakfast sausage, a ton of chops, 2 racks of ribs, soup bones, 2 roasts, and about 8 ham steaks. I can honestly tell you that the sausage is the best sausage EVER. Also, I know that this pig was raised in a pasture and not in a cramped, filthy cage somewhere a la Smithfield! (Take that, Paula Deen) It makes it taste that much better.
In gardening news, I am trying a trellis method for my tomatoes this year. Thus far, it looks great. I am happy with it. I hate tomato cages! I also am experimenting with mulching right now. I am using newspaper and cardboard over the ground, then covering it with mulch on my new beds/garden plots. I HATE BERMUDA GRASS. I hope every piece of it dies in my yard, seriously. It is the bane of my existence!!! So, I am hoping that my lazy-man’s method of weed killing will work. So far, it seems to be doing well. We added 3 new ‘gardens’ to the front yard this year. I have planted a coupld of apple trees along our garden wire fence to try and create some espalier trees. We shall see. I noticed last week some huge inflorescence on my Champanel grape vine that I really whacked back in February. I am trying to train it along the fence, as well. I still have a ‘Carlos’ bronze muscadine to plant on the other side of the fence.
I ripped out the cabbages and (completely non-productive) Brussels sprouts today. Amazing how every year I discover a new insect that’s trying to eat what I want to eat. This year, the calico bugs were covering the cabbages and sprouts along with the dang cabbage worms. Sigh. Every year, I think: Are you freakin’ kidding me? Another cabbage pest??? I’ve already had it out with cabbage maggots, cabbage loopers, cabbage webworms, and now calico bugs? I’m surprised that cabbage isn’t worth its weight in gold. And, this year, for whatever reason, the cutworms were HORRIBLE. I lost more onions and tater plants to cutworms than ever. Ernie, however, was more than happy to provide the intruders with the famed “Death By Chicken” sentence handed down from me.
So, now to wrap up this boring update. Out to the greenhouse I go to water the plants again.