Spring has sprung and peeps are popping out of eggs. Somehow I missed the vernal equinox marking the spring date with more or less equal hours of daylight and night., This year, it fell on March 20th which no doubt here in the South was cool and wet. But...the birds and the bees got the message. As did the grass and clover and flowers. Daffodils are almost a memory and azaleas are beginning to bloom. Rosemary bushes are covered in tiny purple flowers attracting honeybees and bumbles alike. Are you ready? Hello spring!
What do we have here?
One of the little free range ducks has "outsmarted" the crows and moved her nest into the leaves on the edge of the woods. I guess today I will be gathering, nest, eggs, and one broody duck to put in a safe place for 26-28 days. Hopefully she will remain dutiful and continue to sit on her eggs, but if not, I have an incubaMother ducks are very vulnerable to raccoons and other nasty critters that go bump in the night.
Tomatillo plants for sale NOW!!
YUM! -- SALSA VERDE
These plants were grown from seed purchased from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed in Missouri. $3.00 per plant and ready to go in the ground.
Limited Availability so get em before they are gone!
In January I ordered 25 Silver Grey Dorkings from Murray McMurray Hatchery in Iowa. Although hesitant to order from a hatchery rather than an individual breeder who has worked to improve their flock and breed to the American Poultry Association (APA) Standard of Perfection (SOP), Dorkings are rather rare and can be difficult to find, so my choices were somewhat limited.
Although early, I opted for the February 11th ship date. The little guys must have gotten a chill in shipping, and sadly, I lost almost ½ of them. I can’t say enough good things about the customer service at McMurray. They promptly refunded my credit card and were very nice about the stress of trying to save babies.
Soooo…..fast forward to the end of March. I have 5 little cockerals and 6 little pullets, happy, healthy, and getting big in a hurry. As soon as they are large enough to not be on the local hawks' menu, they will be turned into the big fenced yard during the day where they can live happy little chicken lives and grow up big and strong. The best will be chosen for the breeder pen, and the rest will be an experiment in growing your own food -- free range, cage free, antibiotic free, chicken -- as it should be raised. Ever heard of Slow Food? That's another post for another day.
Ok, ok…not really me. But our friends at Moose Manor Farms, LLC in Pomfret, MD were recently interviewed by the Washington Examiner for a story on antibiotic resistance from animal production. Not only is it neat to see the famous ducks and geese of Moose Manor as well as head mistress Dana, the article is very informative and well worth 4 minutes 9 seconds of your day. Enjoy!
Antibiotic Resistance from Animal Production
Come play in the dirt
Rocky Top Lettuce Blend
Spring is coming fast in Alabama. How is it already March?? I love having a mixed leaf lettuce garden and MISSED the planting date for our zone. Lettuce is cool season crop, and for a warm climate like Alabama, should be planted no later than February to allow enough growing time before the heat is too much and lettuce "bolts" into seed and not edible any longer.
Not surprising, I found seed potatos at the feed store. Potatoes are a warm season crop and need rich amended soil to grow well. I haven't grown potatoes in many years mainly due to the hard clay soil but couldn't resist since I had the garden space already set aside. Stay tuned....
Next week, we will travel north past the Mason Dixon line and into what could be a late winter snow for the Maryland / Washington DC area. We won't cancel the trip. What could be so important??
A trip long planned to visit the head mistress, Dana, at Moose Manor Farm in Pomfret, MD. and retrieve Miss Korie, a lovely sable version of English Shepherd to come live with us here at Kelley Creek Farms where she will learn the significant responsibility of "farm dog" alongside Moose and Bandit who have already earned the title: farm dog extraordinarie.
Kelley Creek Farms is a small (micro really) hobby farm located in Central Alabama 30 minutes south of Birmingham. We raise heritage and rare waterfowl and poultry along with a myriad of other creatures that give the farm its life. In addition to the birds, we raise heirloom tomatoes and vegetables.
Each day is different and brings a new set of adventures. Some make you laugh and some make you cry. Some are just plain frustrating. But we persevere knowing that tomorrow's set of problems will be completely different than today. Still figuring all this out ....one day at a time and striving for a more sustainable way of life.