Monday, July 26, 2010
I Would Eat Them in a House
One of our Araucana pullets has started laying. Her eggs are green ;). We believe that the Rhode Island Red pullet has also started laying (brown eggs). That means seven of our eight chickens are now laying age. On a good day, we can expect ten eggs (including the, like clockwork, three duck eggs per day ... every day). It hasn't happened, yet, but it is now possible.
I am so thankful for the six dozen eggs we have right now. Six dozen! That's so incredible to me, and I simply can not convey - without my listener being able to hear my voice and see my facial expressions - the gratitude I feel.
And I went out today to just look around the garden a bit. Pumpkin will be a staple this winter. The hybrid small pumpkin seeds I purchased from Johnny Seed have done exactly as the package proclaims. Very short vine with LOTS of pumpkins. Even in buckets, these little vines are producing two to five pumpkins each. It's incredible.
We have been so blessed with our garden this year, and even with all of the failures (you're not going to hear about ;), it's been an amazing season here on our nanofarm.
If I were still doing the IDC, I'd say that I planted lettuce. The one bed that's not buried under squash vine had bolted, and so I pulled all of the plants (the ducks, chickens and rabbits were very happy) and reseeded the space with more lettuce. I was going to plant broccoli, but I didn't have any more seeds.
I'd also say that I made sauerkraut today. I had two heads of cabbage from the Farmer's Market, which equaled three quart jars. In about four weeks, we'll have sauerkraut. I can hardly wait. Have I mentioned that I really like sauerkraut? I'm planning to harvest all of the beets and use them in sauerkraut, too. I've never had beet sauerkraut, but I have heard of others who've tried it with great success.
I might also mention that we just purchased three wall sconce oil lamps. It was actually kind of fun walking into the store. We couldn't find them anywhere, and so we walked up to one of the employees to ask. As we approached, he said hello and inquired as to how he might help. I said, "We're looking for wall sconce oil lamps." He stuttered and said that he'd been expecting a question like, "where's the bathroom?" It was funny, and unfortunately, we had to order them, because the store didn't carry them.
We're experimenting with using non-petroleum based oil for lighting. So far, the best "lamp" we've used is the one Deus Ex Machina made using a canning jar and some cotton thread from the feed sacks. In fact, it provides as much light as our table-top oil lamp filled with kerosene, AND we even roasted marshmallows for S'Mores over the flame.
My neighbor asked me the other day if we could sustain ourselves on what we grow. I thought for a second, wondering, could we? I think the answer is yes.
Between the pumpkins and the potatoes, the chickens and the rabbits, what grains we have in the pantry, acorns that we harvest and process in the fall, apples that we'll pick, the frozen berries we've already picked, and any berries that we find, the Jerusalem artichokes that are in the ground, and wild foraging, we could probably make it through the winter and not starve. We'd be more hungry that we are now, and our meals would be rather bland, but we wouldn't starve.
And, thanks to all of the experimenting we've been doing with off-grid lighting, we're pretty confident that in a pinch, we won't be sitting in the dark ;).