Saturday, March 28, 2009

Variations in Green

Usually Ruth takes all of my photos, but today, I grabbed her camera and started snapping. I am grateful for her help in processing the photos and getting them ready for posting.


Name Me!



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The above photo is of my Black Minorcan hen. She doesn't have a name. If you have a suggestion, please let me know and I will select it from all the entries I receive this week. If I have difficulty deciding, I will let you vote on it next week. This is a really nice hen. She is friendly, let's me pick her up, and best of all, lays a big white egg just about every day. She also has a man-sized comb and red hangy things! (commonly known as wattles, OK, that's not all that common of a word.)

This Week's Theme

I have been challenged to be a much better caretaker of everything around me, from my lovely wife and children, to the things I am accumulating, and to this great planet we live on.

One way I am working on taking care of my share is to produce food right here on our little farm. We have a vegetable garden in the works, and I plan on growing a nice variety of things to eat. If I can keep the wattles out of the raised beds, we should have some measure of success.

Another way is through the raising of hens for eggs, and meat birds for... meat. Earlier in the year I posted about Broody, my Partridge Cochin, and how she hatched out seven chicks in the dead of winter. A few weeks after that, I hatched out 22 "store bought" chicks for a science project at my school. This hatching out of chicks has got me thinking about how I can perpetuate a solid flock that can keep me and my friends in eggs, as well as produce enough meat so I don't ever buy chicken from the store. I wonder if it is possible to manage a flock that will hatch out enough quality chicks to keep the eggs and meat going, without ordering chicks from a hatchery? I am assuming that I will occasionally need to add a rooster to the mix who has good genetic stock to keep my layers of choice "happy." I like the idea that my hens can hatch out their own heirs, and that my flock can take on a life of its own.
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These are the chicks Broody hatched out.
I still can't quite tell the hens from the roos.


"Hey Beverly, can you believe this spa? It's so filthy!"
"I know, sweetie, how can all this dirt make me feel so squeaky clean?"
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This is a photo of Khan, the father of Broody's brood.
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Our lights are going out in a few hours. I hope you all had, or will have, a chance to participate in Earth Hour. The only light I will leave on is the heat lamp for the chicks.

If you are growing vegetables, what are you looking forward to the most? I think I am looking forward to the whole process of gardening. The idea of starting my own seeds, using grow lights, building cold frames, raised beds and mini polytunnels, having a Three Sisters garden and eating veggies that are still warm from the sun are all contributing to me looking forward to spring more than I ever have.

Go Green!

37 comments:

Sharon said...

Maybe Sappho for her ambiguous gender /wattle issues???

Sappho was the Greek poet of the island of Lesbos from which the word lesbian was derived. Then again that might be a hard one to explain to your third graders! :)

Anonymous said...

The minute I saw her, I thought her name should be Ebony. Self explanatory. Barb Cummins

Susan said...

Did you know that there is a famous recipe for Minorcan clam chowder? So, I think you should name her Chowder.

We turned off our lights last evening and played Scrabble by candlelight. I won! Best word: streaker-89 points for a triple word and using all my letters. Yay!

We have our garden started finally. David built 2 4x8 foot raised beds. As soon as we get more wood, he will do a couple more.

Yesterday he planted a pound of onion sets, some kale and English peas. We had to put deer netting around it until we get the fence put up. He's using the wide-row gardening method in The Joy of Gardening by Dick Raymond. He has always planted in single rows like his parents and grandparents always did. I finally convinced him to try it this way.

Hot Belly Mama said...

Name her Skittles! I don't know, but it sticks out.

Also, if you get a chance - check out my blog today. I have questions about soil that I think you might be able to give advice. Thank you!

julie king said...

i so enjoy visiting your blog. it feels like home to me. i think the hen in question should be named ebony rose; it seems to fit her perfectly.

i am enamored with her idea of self-sustainability. i'll be watching from afar as you work thru this experiment.

the only veggie i grow any more is tomatoes.

Stacy said...

My vote for what to name the new hen is: Windy

Then you can sing her theme song whens she walks around: Everyone knows it's windy!

I have a feeling chickens love theme songs.

laura said...

Something about the knowing, haughty and intelligent look in her eye made me think of Edith Wharton. Edith?
Raking today and pulling up all the dead things in my yard--sad but satisfying somehow.
I'm going to add two new raised beds, in addition to the one I grow tomatoes in: one for vegetables and one for a cutting garden.
I'll concentrate my efforts on these and hope I can manage it!

freefalling said...

Aunty Glenys.
(she reminds me of my Aunty Glenys!!)

A Bite of Country Cupcakes said...

Gee Khans a good looking lad!
Now onto name the chook???
Hmmmm...We have just finished naming 14.
How about...Noir??
Very exotic.

goatgirl said...

She looks like a Ruth.

Anne Marie said...

Genevive


:)

Country Girl said...

I like Ebony as Barb said. We just got another batch of broilers, we kept 40 for ourselves. Not enough meat on the layers.
I am looking forward to the taste of a fresh garden cuke right off the vine peeling and all!

mandie said...

Barbara!! I don't know, that is what came to mind, hehe.

I am looking forward to fresh veggies! That is what I am excited about. We have planted lettuce for the first time this year. I can't wait to eat it. I am NOT looking forward to weading the garden, YUCKKKYYY!!!

Paige said...

We like the name:

Hedy Lamarr

:) Great Picture! She really is a gorgeous blue-black chook.

Loring Wirbel said...

Hedy Lamarr has all the mysterious connotations of her work on spread-spectrum communications, her secret trysts with the avant-gardist George Antheil, her lipstick on the windshield....so I would strongly second Paige's suggestion for Hedy Lamarr. That hen looks mysterious.

Anna Colleen said...

She is a lovely example of the Mediteranean Class of chickens. Normally having much larger lovelier combs and wattles than the other common classes, though this makes them less hardy in the cold. They are the least likely to set eggs, and are flightier than the other classes. Basically what we call "career" hens around Vicktory Farms and Gardens. She definitely needs a name that signifies she is no fluffy broody hen! Jessica means woman of wealth, Almeta means ambitious, Eldora spanish for gilded.

Hope you find a good name for her, it is a bummer to not have a name to go up in lights when you're such an astounding form of poultry.

ChristyACB said...

I was thinking of Orlando, after the character who always appeared androgynous.

A big part of my garden is in and I'm just drooling for some nice fresh crunchy veggies of all kinds, all flavored with herbs from the same garden.

As it is right now, I'm circling the strawberry plants like a hawk waiting for them to produce!

Hot Belly Mama said...

If not Skittles, then Bossy.

Loring Wirbel said...

Skittles over Bossy. Skittles is the alternative currency of many nations and of people who have run out of Sour Patch Kids. Skittles Rule! But so does Hedy Lamarr.

RHCarpenter said...

But just look at all those blue feathers - are they blue and purple or is that your photoshopping? I'd name her Blue and I'd play the blues for her - if she wanted me to, that is. She might just be preferential to other genres...
---Rhonda

Anonymous said...

I think her name should be Squaw because of her head dress...Vera
veralauterbach@ebby.com...I also raise fancy chickens...

nathan said...

Since she is a minor can. Name her after one of my favorite movies, "Tincup." A tin cup is sort of a minor can.
Nathan in Missouri

Farm Chick Paula said...

She's a beautiful hen even with the large comb, Don... how about Miss Black? Simple I know, but no frills!

Bob Johnson said...

Great shots Don, I love how you give your chicks personalities.

We participated in Earth Hour big time, had everything turned off, since both of us were out,lol. Me at the mall celebrating Earth Hour and The International Year of Astronomy together and my wife in Ottawa on a conference.

Chicken J said...

Name the hen ,i like it, the first thing that came into my head was cornflake. bye for now chicken J out.... come the revolution .

carl h. sr. said...

Thanks Don,for sharing your optimistic and encouraging outlook on life.
I miss my old garden.

Ginnie said...

I think you're doing my share, too, Don, come to think of it! I know I'm helping but I really really like what you're doing on/for this Good Earth!

Stiggy said...

Hi Don, long time no see - thought I'd pop in today to see you.

I've been really busy with houses and plumbing and various 'stuff', so not had time to sit down and blog as usual.

Nice to see all is well, love to Ruth and the family,

Stiggy

Sincerely, Emily said...

I may be late in the name comments - how about Cinder. have a great day. Emily

Garden Girl said...

Whatever happened to the 'following in their footsteps' post? Mysterious...

I loved the suggestion of Sappho... no reason, just a good sounding name for a chicken.

Or a variation of Hedy Lamarr: Henny Lamarr?

me said...

I think her comb makes her look like a Caribou... so that is what I would name her... Caribou... she is a beauty!

Mindy said...

Oh, gosh! She's Beatrice, of course!! I don't know why, but she looks like Beatrice to me.

Carolina Trekker said...

Feather is a sweet name

Don said...

Thank you everyone for your wonderful input for the name of my Black Minorcan hen.

And the name is...

I think I'll post about it!

john said...

She's Spike. That's the first name that came to me when I saw her!

Myra

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