Sunday, May 18, 2008

Summer is on the Horizon!

We have the privilege of sharing a cottage with our extended family. It is called Hukilau after a name the previous owners found in Hawaii. I know summer is just around the corner when we have our spring workday. This year we had a great turnout and worked, played and most importantly, got re-connected with each other after a long, cold winter.

Phlox Rocks!
Each year we chip away at doing things to improve the place. Wilma is a great flower child, she sticks these little surprises around.

Lydia, the Dutch Cleanser
Even the walls get some TLC! The cottage was built sometime in the 1920's.

Quail Keep Producing
I am getting five or six per day on average. Sometimes I get nine! Sometimes I get three.:(
Ruth successfully bartered some quail eggs for Jerusalem Artichokes, which were very nice in our salad, (along with some very cute and tasty boiled quail eggs). I like having something with which to barter. What will you trade for these?

Growing Up

Buff Cochin
Here is a photo update on three of my chicks. This one is a Buff Cochin, whose origins go back to China. She is one of two Buff Cochins in the flock.

Cuckoo Maran
This is one of the three boys. I understand that the boys are lighter in color, so I assume this is the lighter version as there are three much blacker birds. The hens will lay chocolate brown eggs!

Splash Andalusian
I am 85% sure that this is a Splash Andalusian. I can't find any other light colored chicken with greenish blue feet. The other one is almost pure white, with no other colors. What do you think?

On Deck
(Baseball term for the next hitter, for non-Americans)
My next project is the vegetable garden. I have plans for the usual suspects: green beans, zucchini, tomatoes, yellow, red, green and chocolate bell peppers, cinderella pumpkins, regular pumpkins, white pumpkins, various gourds, carrots, and other as of yet unknown edibles. If you have suggestions, I will plant them and think about you, my friends, as they grow!


Peter said...

Did you name all your chickens yet?

Sandy said...

Don, great reading you today and seeing the pics. I would love a cottage like that. And those eggs in the carton, what a pretty pic...

Enjoyed seeing the progress on all fronts.

Don said...

Peter: I think just four of them have names, any ideas?

Sandy: Life goes on...

Anonymous said...

The Marans picture is interesting. They must be like Barred Rocks in that the males are noticeably lighter. It sure makes it easy to sex them when they get old enough. How do you like their temperament so far?

For the Quail eggs I'll trade you two very ornery Australorp roosters, age 6 weeks. Deal???

Phlox are nice to tuck in here and there and they are so tough. My kinda perennial.

Don said...

The rooster Marans are friendly and come right up to me and eat out of my hand. The females are stand-offish and after a while sneak up and try to quickly "grab and git!" Their chocolate eggs may make up for their shyness.

I already have two roosters too many! I would just give the eggs to you. :)

I agree about the Phlox. (I'm basically pretty lazy)

The Unusually Unusual Farmchick said...

I have horseradish. Would that entice you enough for some of those beautiful eggs? Maybe some spearmint? Lemon balm? Peppermint? Lovage plant?
young (as in small)Thyme plant?
Hmmm...Gotta run and see what else I have...LOL..
Oh wait... were you serious?

Sharon said...

Those are the most beautiful eggs ever and I have nothing to barter except snow, darn it! :(

Loring Wirbel said...

Snow?! We had enough base snow here in Colorado this past winter-spring to keep the resorts open all summer long until October, yet we still had some 80-degree days this weekend. Sharon, you must live in the land of living-disproof-of-global-warming. What could I trade for beautiful eggs? Columbine flowers? They're dazzling right now.

Don said...

Unusually Unusual FC: What do you do with horseradish? We get a horseradish sauce from Germany that is out of this world! I would trade quail eggs for any of those plants.

What is Lovage?

Sharon said...

Loring~ We're a bit north of you in the Bighorns. It's been eighties here too and if it keeps up we should be snow free by Tuesday.....I hope!

Don said...

Sharon: I'll cook them up and you, Ruth and I can sit out in her studio and have a nice conversation and eat mini omelets.

Don said...

Loring: That is a lot of snow! Columbines are beautiful, I'd make that trade.

Heather said...

The quail eggs, in all their speckled glory, are just beautiful. The chickies are looking fat and happy. We had some Cochins when I was a kid. They are so funny because they are so fluffy.

The Unusually Unusual Farmchick said...

Don~lovage is like celery in taste and smell. Its hollow so can be used as a straw for drinks. You can dry the lovage or use it fresh in soups, salds..What ever you use celery in, it can be used instead.
Horseradish is grated up and mixed with vinegar to make a horseradish sauce. The Captain LOVES horseradish so it was goal that this year I put some in.
Don, please send me an email through my profile email link. I would LOVE LOVE to trade.
Looking forward to your response.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Do I love these little teenage chicks.. brings back so many memories... I just love them...

the cottage too, looks so welcoming and huge...
the eggs like leopardskin or picture jasper.. they are inspiring me to make a pair of earrings using these stones... don't you just wish you could save these beautiful color combinations undisturbed...

so beautiful the gifts of nature...

Ginnie said...

This hobby of yours, Don, is just WONDERFUL! Because it is just really captivates me. So YOU! Oh, and thanks for throwing in the cottage. I hate it when we miss those times of reconnecting with the family!!! :(

Farm Chick Paula said...

Wow- the cochin is beautiful, Don.. I've never seen one of the Buffs before. Cochins are my favorites.
I can't wait to hear more about your garden... when do you usually put your pumpkins out?

Carole said...

I really like the Cochin. As I expand my flock I will definitely have to have some of those.

Thanks for sharing your newest members of the flocks and the beautiful cottage you are in.

Ruth said...

Gwen reminds me I want to blow out some eggs to keep them around the house, they are so beautiful. Don's brother's wife did it with a small baster Mother's Day, and it worked great, took a while though.

Don said...

Heather: I love the Cochins too. When they walk, I think they look like little raptors from Jurassic Park.

Unusually Unusual: I sent you an email. I think it would be fun to create a trade system. I want to try some of your mead! Thanks for the info on the Lovage.

Gwen: I can pack up some of the quail eggs and send them to The Bay! I just received a passle 'O bubble wrap. You could make some interesting things with them. Really, I'll send them.

Ginnie: I am beginning to get comfortable with being a pseudo-farmer. I am looking forward to seeing plans unfold.

Farm Cick Paula: I like the name of all the chickens that have BUFF in them. I want to get some Buff Orpingtons one of these days. I think that is the coolest sounding name.

I usually wait until Memorial Weekend to plant stuff. We just had a big frost last Wednesday AM and the temps are expected to get into the thirties this week at night. I am basically pretty lazy, and to plant things twice is more than I can handle!

Carole: I like the Cochins too. I have two Buff Cochins and four Partridge Cochins. They are really beautiful! Good choice. I need to go to your site to see what kinds of chickens you have now.

Ruth: They would look cool in the nest I brought in tonight! I think you need a new baster.

laura said...

What a wonderful cottage--and help with the spring cleaning!
How about planting some radishes? I love radish sandwiches (and onion sandwiches too!). Fresh peas--which I never had until I was 25--can not be beat!!
I wonder how old I will be before I have a fresh quail egg?!

Don said...

Laura: I offered to send some to Gwen, and I can send you some too! If you are interested, email me by using the "email me" button on my Profile Page! They last for weeks at room temperature and I would ship them the day they are layed.

Bob Johnson said...

Don I love the pics of your chics, My fav veggie is swiss chard, hands down with butter it is remarkable.

Don said...

bob: I have heard others say the same. I will put some in and give it a try. Thanks!

Stiggy said...

Well done Ruth for the great photos.

Do you have a market for the Quail eggs? Aren't they sought after by anyone?

I love the Cochin Don, you may not have any Silkies - but the feathered feet of the Cochin should make up for it! LOL!

I can't wait until we move in the new place - I'll have more time to change the run, coops and get some different chickens...

... we love the Buff Orpingtons... they are a great breed, very gentle and friendly... and BIG!

I DO envey your barn though.


lesleyanne said...

what is a chocolate bell pepper? i must know.

the babies are growing so fast! i'm glad they are still somewhat small, so i can feel like i didn't miss out on much of their younger years.

i like the new look of your page too papa! love you.

Don said...

Stiggy: You're tight, the cochins are like having big, half silkies.

I haven't really explored marketing the quail eggs, I don't think I'll have enough to make it worth doing anything but give them to friends.

I think I'll get some Buff Orpingtons next year. I like the English influence in my flock!

Freefalling said...

Not Jerusalem ones.
Globe artichokes.

The chooks are getting to me.
I'm starting to crumble.
I see a chook shed coming to Ararat in the very near future!

Oh, and I think you should name a chook - Letitia.
Letitia is a very good chook name!

Don said...

freefalling: I think you need a cute shed and put a few chooks into it. They will definitely grow on you! My two grown children are spending several days here and can't get enough of them!
Hmmmm, Letitia, I wonder if I need to pick a sassy one?, a calm one, or an exotic?