Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snowy Snowy Day!

Chickens in the snow, snow in the backyard and geese heading wherever it is they head to this time of year.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Organic Farm CSA in Need of Help

You have probably figured out that I am a big fan of local produce and sustainable agriculture, and therefore, probably are not surprised to know I get the majority of my food from my garden, our local farmer's markets, a CSA and a CSA program called Philadelphia Winter Harvest. Last week I heard through my friend Susan Gibbs that Pete's Greens, an organic farm in Vermont suffered a massive barn fire in which there was about $250,000.00 of damage, The farm has an active CSA program including not only fresh organic vegetables, but also free-range beef and pork and pastured chicken. As most farms are, it was under insured. Though Pete's farm is not a CSA I would participate in I want to help in support of the CSA movement as a whole. Susan Gibbs at Juniper Moon Fiber farm with her wealth of readers, is hosting a massive fund-raising event to help cover part of the re-building costs. In basically a huge giveaway, many artisans large and small have donated items ranging from a set of hand-made soaps, to autographed books, hand-spun yarn even a full share in Susie’s farm. To donate, or to read more about the project head on over to her blog at Juniper Moon Fiber Farm.

I have donated a hand-knit sweater which I SWEAR will be done by the time the prizes are announced! The top is my hand-spun yarn, a correidale wool, the body is cormo/mohair blend from Juniper Moon. The chest measures about 40 inches around, and it is almost of done! Really!

UPDATED - finished the body:

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Kittens!

What is better than 2 new kittens? Not much! Meet Albert and Ernest aka "parcel" (because he luuuurves to be held) and "nuisance" (because he is one!)

Ernest sleeping on my laptop


Bertie in a basket


Snuggles

Ernest aka "The Nuisance"

Albert


Sleepy

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Chickens in Winter

I have had many many people ask how the ladies are doing over the winter. Rest assured, other than complaining loudly and frequently about the snow, they are fine! Both the Buff Orpington (the fluffy caramel basket-ball chickens) and the Barred Rock (the smaller speckeled hens) are both geared to northern climates. The Ameraucanas are not as well feathered, so I am giving them additional protection. Ethel and Aggie, the Ameraucanas have not laid any eggs for a couple three weeks now, but should start up again as the daylight increases and it warms up a bit. The Betty's (Orps) are still laying, they are down to a bit less than one egg a day between the two of them on average, the same with the Rocks (Mavis, Mini and Lulu). I am getting 1-3 eggs a day, with an occasional 4th.
The coop and run have had some winterizing:




First, we are using a heater base for thier water so it will not freeze, then we wrapped the wire part of the run in plastic to cut the wind. I tossed in another 2 inches of pine bedding on the floof of the coop and we added a "sun room" to the run by installing some clear corrugated plastic roofing over the front left side of the run in front of the coop, which nearly doubles the amount of dry area for the girls. In addition, I try and toss a head of lettuce, cabbage, a handful of green beans or some other veggie into the coop for them to peck at. They are missing greens.

They are not at all thrilled with the snow, though they still adore getting outside for a brisk walk, they tend to stay on the path or under the big pine tree.



Stayin' on the path...