Saturday, March 6, 2010


I've been rather preoccupied lately with just stuff, and I've found it hard to really focus on the things I ought to be focusing on. When I get like that, I tend to go off on tangents about things that, certainly, I feel strongly about, but which aren't really important in the greater scheme of things - like our personal, financial responsibilities and our government's proposed health care plan (ugh! please don't get me started on that, again! But for the record - I think all insurance is a racket, and someone is making a fortune off of our fears. Someday I might talk about our recent experience with changing our life insurance policy - which is a bigger racket than the health insurance ;).

It could be that it's because we're coming to that moment when we flip from winter to spring, and I can feel it ... just ... right ... there, and I'm ready to get out and start planting peas, but when I was working on prepping the bed the other day, I noticed that there was still ice under the mulch.

What's funny, though, is I was pulling some of the dead stalks from around my garden (I leave the seed heads over winter for the birds), and I grabbed one stalk, not thinking about what it was, and it came up, root and all - it was the Jerusalem artichokes I planted last year.

I figured since I pulled them, we might as well eat them. I used them just like I would have cooked potatoes - shredded, mixed with egg and fried. They were delicious. They aren't exactly like potatoes, though - a little sweeter, and a little drier, but very interesting. I'm thinking of roasting them with some sliced Japanese knotweed.

And speaking of eggs. The chickens and ducks are (finally!) earning their keep. We're getting about four eggs per day between the nine birds. We have several hens who are over three years old, and so we don't expect a lot of eggs from them. So, four a day, is pretty good as far as we're concerned.

But because a few of our hens are getting on up in years, we decided to get a few new hens this year. The original plan was to order to hens with our first order of Cornish Cross chicks. We submitted the order form today, when we stopped at the feedstore for layer pellets, and they'd just received a delivery of chicks.

Chicks! A whole brooder full of fluffy peeping little bodies.

We brought home three ;). Two Aracunas and one Rhode Island Red.

I am not a sucker! *grin*

We ordered ten Cornish Cross to be delivered some time in April ;).

We were talking with the owners of our favorite, locally-owned feedstore today. They were looking for a maple syrup producer so that they could sell syrup in their store, but everyone they talked to said something similar to what we discovered - the sap just isn't flowing this year. I hope that it's just a fluke.

For this year, though, if you like maple syrup, you should buy what you can now, because there won't be much of it come this time next year, and it will, likely, be very expensive.

Tomorrow, we'll probably boil down the last of the sap we've collected for this year. I'll check the beds, and maybe turn over the dirt. It's time to plant the peas. In fact, I may be a week too late, and so they need to go in, especially if the growing season is as unforgiving as the sugaring season has been. There's just no time to waste, waiting for a better day.

A few years ago we had a friend whose name was Kiah. Her mother told us it was an African name and meant the moment the seasons change, which, as her first child, was appropriate, because with her birth, her parents' lives changed from couplehood to parenthood. She was, in every since of the word, their Kiah. I thought it was so profound.

With all that will be happening in our house tomorrow, I suppose that this moment, right now, this is our kiah, and today we've flipped from winter to spring ...

... and so begins the season of growing for us.


  1. You are putting peas in the ground already? I am so scared to do anything before Memorial Day. Do you have something to cover them with? Or are they just in raised beds and do fine from here on out?

  2. Heather: It's been my experience that peas like it cold. Lettuce and spinach, too. And so I plant those things early. Things like tomatoes, corn, melons (if I plant them), peppers, eggplant, beans, squashes/pumpkins - just about anything that you'd start indoors under lights, like it warmer, and for those, I wait until the last frost date - usually after Memorial Day up here ;) -, but peas and lettuce, I start early.

  3. Hm, in Alaska, Kiah would translate out to "Breakup." I really miss breakup sometimes.

  4. The sap is really flowing this weekend, but we've been able to have a freeze for the last few nights which has helped to pick up its flow.

    I went out to the garden to see if I could get to the sunchokes but the ground is still frozen hard.

  5. In New England peas are planted on St. Patrick's Day even if you have to shovel snow to do it !!

  6. Peas are going in this week, six new baby chicks are ordered, the tulips and daffodils are about three inches high....Yes, it is spring!!!! (Kiah! - I like this word!)

  7. Wasn't last year a bad year for syrup too? Or am I remembering wrong?

  8. our growing season is upon us too. i'm so excited.