Sometimes the most eye opening experiences are also the simplest. If you live in St. Louis, you should know Lona’s Lil Eats. If you don’t know, then read on and prepared to have your mind blown. We had the pleasure of hosting Lona, Pierce and their family at the farm for a special experience. Lona wanted the opportunity to slaughter and butcher chickens and hogs like she did back in her tiny hill tribe village in southern China. When she said that all she needed was the animals and hot water we were intrigued to say the least. So on Monday afternoon, we got her all set up and we ended up learning all about her culture and her tribe’s butchering methods. And we learned just how much of a badass Lona really is. Our minds were blown.
Man, just when we had March figured out, it turns around and throws us for a loop. It’s brought us 75 degree days and 30 degree days all in one week. It’s brought us life and death, great opportunities and horrible mistakes. Basically, March just doesn’t give a fuck. Have you ever had one of those days or weekends where you look back on it and you have no idea what happened or what you did? Even though you actually were productive with your time? But for the life of you, you can’t recall what really happened? That’s what the entire month of March has been like. In addition to all of March’s shenanigans, our schedule has been incredibly hectic. Dave and the boys have been going up to Iowa, we have lots of construction/projects going on, and I have a house that is in the perpetual state of what seems to be a tornado disaster zone. Plus, we’re running low on our overwintered savings so money is real tight. So basically… Goodbye March! It’s been real weird. We’re ready for April.
By now you’ve selected your hatching eggs, you’ve set your eggs in your incubator, started picking out baby chick names (naming them all flowers would be really cute) and now comes the best part. Today we’re talking about the very last three days of incubation (called lockdown) and hatching. The actual hatching part. Also known as THE BEST PART!
Alright friends, this is part two in our guide to incubating and hatching out your own eggs. Earlier we talked about collecting eggs for hatching and choosing your incubator. Now that you have your hatching eggs patiently waiting on standby, and your incubator cleaned and ready to go.. just sitting there, watching you. Whispering to you as you walk by. Taunting you. Begging to be plugged in, allowing you to bask in the soft glow of a dimly lit lightbulb. It’s time, kemosabe. Time to warm up that incubator and anxiously wait three weeks for a tiny crack in an egg. Part two in our beginner’s guide to incubating and hatching eggs is all about setting up your incubator, setting the eggs and things to do to help you pass the time so you don’t drive yourself crazy staring at a glowing styrofoam box.
There comes a time in every farmer/homesteader’s lives where you fall victim to peer pressure and you break down and buy an incubator so that you can hatch your own chickens. It’s ok, you made the right decision. Hatching out your own eggs is the funnest! Hatching out your own eggs and watching that first baby chick pip through the shell is truly a farming/homesteading miracle. The first time can be intimidating, but don’t be nervous! I’m here to hold your hand through it. We’ll get through it together, and then you’ll be hooked. Here’s the first installment of our beginner’s guide to incubating eggs and hatching out your own baby chicks!
When you raise chickens you get the joys of collecting fresh eggs daily, the joys of watching “the chicken channel,” the little peeps of baby chicks, the sweet sound of the egg laying song the proud (and sometimes awkward) robust crows of the rooster… and also the pleasure of watching them completely tear your yard down to dust. Two years ago our chicken yard was a beautiful, lush pasture. Now half of it is just a barren, dust pit full of feathers and poop. Not very glamorous if you ask me! Not like raising chickens is a very glamorous thing in the first place. Unless you’re Zsa Zsa Gabor or the Queen of freaking England. But I digress. We prefer for our chickens to forage for food, bugs and things and supplement with chicken feed so we needed to do something about our pasture. But re-seeding the chicken pasture while they’re in there can be really tricky. But we figured out a way with our moveable “salad bar.”
It’s the beginning of January but the middle of cold and flu season. And there’s a crap ton of snow heading our way. We have a lot of friends that are sick, so we didn’t want to risk one of us getting sick then being snowed in together. Passing the nasty flu virus back and forth between the two of us. Forever. To prevent such catastrophe, I decided to whip up some super homemade chicken noodle soup. With our own pasture-raised, free range chicken, homemade broth and homemade egg noodles. I’m pretty sure this recipe has some sort of curative gypsy curse voodoo powers. And even if it doesn’t, and we still end up with bodily fluids flying out of every orifice of our bodies and 12″ of snow outside; at least we have this soup. With one pot, you can make your own homemade chicken noodle soup, homemade chicken broth or homemade chicken stock. It’s magic.
About a month ago we started on an exciting (albeit stressful) endeavor. We started growing wheatgrass in our greenhouse, filling every square inch top to bottom with trays, soil, seed and bright green blades of grass. Why does one need 100+ trays of wheatgrass? What is that stuff anyway? Why do crunchy-granola health junkies go nutzo over wheatgrass? Who decided that juicing lawn clippings was a great source of vitamins and nutrients? That last question I can’t answer but for real, let’s talk about some wheatgrass shall we?
There’s no place that I would rather be than at the farm during fall. The air is cold and crisp and it almost reminds me of ocean air. It’s a fresh, rejuvenating air scented with baked pumpkins, cinnamon coffee and freshly cut firewood. The leaves are changing and creating a beautiful contrast with the overcast clouds. While Dave and I were working in the greenhouse one day, we noticed the looming clouds coming from west and the sun hanging in the clouds to the east. I quickly grabbed my camera to capture the moments and some other shots of the farm during fall.
So we’ve been really quiet on the blogosphere lately… shame on us! See, what had happened was that we got hella busy you know… farming. But that’s no excuse! But we’re going to make it up to you, I promise. Here’s a rundown of what we’ve been up to and where we’ve been lately: