What can I say? It has been over a year since I posted on the Patch. There are many reasons, but the main reason is that I had nothing to post about. Our gardens have been unloved for over a year. No sense looking back to go over why. I don’t feel like getting into it. Let’s just look forward. And there is so much to look forward to…namely the 98 garlic plants that I just put in the ground yesterday. Planting garlic is the coolest. Here’s what you do…

Buy organic bulbs of garlic. Break them up into cloves and plant each of those cloves. Easy, right? Not so fast. This is the DaisyPatch Farm we’re talking about. Actually, let’s be more specific…this is me we’re talking about. Nothing’s easy. The beds were full of weeds and a few of the wood boards that made up one of the raised beds were rotted and needed replacing. Sigh.

We had the boards and screws, but not the supporting brackets, so off to Home Depot. Keith came out to help when I got home. He fixed the bed while I:

  1. pulled weeds
  2. hoed the garden beds
  3. laid down landscape fabric on each bed
  4. arranged the garlic cloves
  5. cut an x in the fabric
  6. shoved the clove in the hole (stop thinking dirty)
  7. arranged soil over

Repeated 97 more times.

Previously, this would have been no sweat, but as I planted, I looked like Tucker on, “There’s Something About Mary”  when he dropped his keys in Mary’s office (you would think there would have been a better link on YouTube – that was admittedly pretty hack!) thanks to the STUPID KNEE that Woodrow-the-beloved-bulldog-who-needs-a-helmet injured whilst we were playing bullfighter in the backyard this past winter.

The mosquitos feasted until after 7pm which is when I finally finished up.

Here’s the thing. A few years ago, I planted 65 garlic. They lasted 3 years. Just saying. So, who’s up for some scampi in, say, April?

 


This was the first year we enjoyed our home-grown asparagus. Pick it, snap off the bottoms, wash and dry. Lightly coat with olive oil, then sprinkle with coarse salt and hit it with your pepper grinder. Pop on the grill and keep turning until slightly bendy with a light char. Deelish. We had aspergrass every night for a week.

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(#14 in the Anger Management letter series)

Dearest Peeve,

You were a cute baby chicken. We thought you were a girl. Then you started to peep a bit louder and for a bit longer than your sisters. We realized you were a boy…and decided to keep you anyway. Now, however, we seem to be on different pages. Perhaps it is adolescence and all the hormones that seem to be raging through you, however, I want to let you know that your recent behavior is unacceptable. Let me list your transgressions.

1. One of the hens has no feathers left on top of her shoulders thanks to you calling her your favorite and humping her any chance you can. She looks like she is in pain.

2. Several of the hens have bloody combs thanks to your BITING their combs during the act. This is not nice.

3. Woodrow has done nothing to you and yet you constantly chase and try to attack him. Tonight was the last straw. As I walked him on the leash, you brought the hens to come visit us. We were nowhere near you when we started out. Then you turned on Woodrow and tried to attack his face. I had no choice but to kick you. Sorry, but his eyes are more valuable than all of you. (Just the facts!)

4. Doodle is limping again. Her leg was healed until recently, thanks to your aggressive raping.

You don’t let us pet you. You don’t eat out of our hands. You hurt the girls and try to hurt our puppy. Bill from next door seems to want to protect the hens and he is a nice boy (for the most part). I think they’ll do just fine without you. So, with all of this said, I let Daddy know that it is time for you to go. I personally don’t care how it happens. You can go where Little Jerry went (a breeding farm where he gets to hump all day). You can go to away to juvie (another word for someone’s freezer). I don’t care, but it is time. Good luck, Peeve. God speed.

Sincerely,

Mommy

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A letter from Jenn to the Chickens (#13 in the Anger Management Series)

Dear Chickens,

I would like to talk to you about a little place you call home. Your coop was not cheap. I clean it and keep the shavings fresh. I sprinkle a special blend of dried herbs in the nesting boxes to make sure they are free of parasites. It is a special place. It is your place. It is your place to eat, to roost and to LAY YOUR GODDAMN EGGS! Do you hear me?!?! The eggs get laid in the coop. Not under the front holly plants. Understood? Call me if you have any problems.

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Love,

Mommy


My last post was October, 2013. I’m not sure if I used, “Work is too busy” as an excuse or subconsciously didn’t want to deal with DaisyPatch Farm because, well, Daisy was dead. Either way, I needed to make a decision.

DaisyPatchFarm.com was expiring and I had to make the crucial decision as to whether I should renew the domain or not. If I let it expire, I was fearful all these posts, meaning many of my memories, would be gone. Oh, I am sure they would have been at some random website extension and not lost forever, but I still worried.

Another part of me, however, wrestled with letting it go. DaisyMae is gone. This site reminds me of her. The little picture of her sniffing the daisies makes me weepy.

For 18 bucks, I decided to keep it. And put up a post. I hope to have many posts this year considering the Winter of 2014/2015 has created many homestead-improving opportunities including:

  • Our front garden fenceposts and fence are completely broken.
  • The greenhouse caved in
  • My beautiful Japanese Maple is completely buggered – it is split down the middle starting at the top (i.e. DEAD!) As it hold a place of prominence in the front garden, you know what that means…I am completely re-doing the front yard.
  • The white rose of sharon (Whitey the cat’s memorial plant) is demolished. (Also in the front yard)
  • We’re getting a new front porch (dammit, WE ARE GETTING A NEW FRONT PORCH IF IT IS THE LAST THING I DO!) which will have space for planter beds (Seems I’m into curb appeal this year)
  • I have discovered Pinterest, which led me to learn all sorts of DIY things including how to spray-paint outdoor pots
  • I changed our front door paint color last year to a cross between avocado and lime (Pinterest!). I loved it for about 1 month. Now, I realize I really don’t like green and it has to go.
  • I broke the shed door trying to open it whilst there was 5 feet of snow on the ground. Note to self – a door can’t move 5 feet of snow, you have to shovel. That sucked.
  • Lastly – we have to put up a fence around the property, separating the chickens from a dog area. With the addition of 2 new bullies to the family (Penelope and Woodrow), they just want to run and they like to chase the chickens, so that has to be dealt with. (Daisy was so awesome with that, she didn’t care about the chickens.)
  • Sigh…I want more veggies from the garden and I want to grow more corn this year
  • Siiiigh…I want more flowers. Many, many more flowers

So, there it is. Looks like I am blogging again. It feels good. Best $18 bucks I’ve spent in a while.


2 years ago, we tried a Golden Nugget pumpkin. We found it at McKinnon’s. It was delicious. Last year, we tried growing them. Every one was chewed by a backyard critter and inedible. This year, we decided we couldn’t wait any longer to build a fence around the backyard garden. It seems to be working – the proof is in the pictures.

To prepare:
Wash the pumpkin, cut in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds.

Sprinkle each cavity with a pinch salt, a pinch cinnamon, a sprinkle of brown sugar, and a pat of unsalted butter.

Arrange in a baking dish. Pour boiling water to a depth of 1 inch. Bake, covered, at 400°F for 45 minutes, or until tender.

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No one prepared me for the coop phenomenon that is, “Soft eggs.” Basically, the egg was laid before the shell hardened. The first time I found one, I was extremely grossed out. The second time, I found one, I was extremely grossed out. Actually, each time I found one, I was extremely grossed out.

Let me explain. It is like a little breast implant.

Let me explain that too. It is like a little breast implant, if I were to imagine what a breast implant would feel like. Kind of squishy but with a soft casing…Ok, you know what? Let’s stop there. Anyway, where were we before going to Dirty Town? Oh right. Soft eggs and grossed out.

Apparently, this phenomena can occur when the chicken is ill, doesn’t get enough calcium, or if you scare it.

Yes, you read that right. If you scare the shit out of the chicken, you might just scare the egg out of the chicken. That happened to me twice. I would open the nesting box after coming home later than expected and the chickens have gone to roost. I would see a movement. That would be the egg dropping from the roosted hen onto the coop floor. I put enough shavings down that both times, it has landed without breaking. Both times, in the light of the flashlight, I didn’t realize what happened. I just would see an egg and grab it to bring inside. And both times I was extremely grossed out. The first time, I put my fingers right through the shell. Cuz it is soft. Like a b…Nevermind. Anyway, ewww. The second time I picked it up intact and then had to make a decision about what to do with it.

I had done some research when I found the first one. Apparently, you can still eat it. So, I stood there, outside the coop holding the second munchkin implant, and had a small debate with myself.

Me: “Would I really eat this?”
Me: “It’s pretty skeevy.”
Me: “But it’s just an egg.”
Me: “I know, but, how? How would I eat it?”
Me: “I don’t know, I guess scramble it or something.”
Me: “Ok. Give it a try.”

I threw it as far in the woods as I could, gathered the rest of the eggs and went inside. (Yes. I called my own bluff.)

Side note:

We have been baking the scrap egg shells that are left over after cooking and grinding them into tiny bits with a mortar and pestle and putting them in a dish outside for the chickens. The calcium is supposed to help the chickens create stronger shells. They devour it ( which I think is totally weird) and we haven’t seen a soft egg recently, which is good, however, I do find myself pointing out women to Keith on a more frequent basis and asking, “Think those are real?”