Friday, July 13, 2012
Today, July 13th, our ladies began laying eggs! We had two today. The first was cracked, but usable (and we ate it for breakfast). Unfortunately, the second one took a leap from the run ramp and broke. Hopefully, they will learn to lay on the ground or in the laying boxes - we'll see. They are also now eating big girl chicken feed for laying hens. That should make the shells a little firmer. The gardens have been producing for about 6 days now. We have harvested cucumbers, yellow squash, zucchini, patty pans, kohlrabi, lettuce and, today, beets! We had about 14 or so that were about 3 inches in diameter - best crop ever!!! Stir fry vegies have been on the menu along with really good salads! Also, the blackberries have been pretty good along the road, so tomorrow we'll be making jelly along with yellow squash pickles and pickled beets - YUMMY!!! We've also done cherries, canned as just cherries for pies and cobbler, strawberry jam and peach slices! Tomorrow also should be the beginnings of green bean pickings!! They are getting larger every day and should be ready to pick in the morning. Our corn is chest high now, the tomatoes are forming and growing very well as are the peppers and peas. The sweet potatoes are vining out very nicely and the winter squash vines have gone wild!! We also managed, so far, to save a few branches of peaches from Mr./Ms. Squirrel!! We hope to pick them sometime next week and finish ripening them inside before the wildlife gets them all! So far we have almost 1/2 gallon of blueberries picked and frozen. We may end up with about 3/4 of a gallon. So at least one more year down in Sparta to pick blueberries. (Blueberry buckle, and blueberry muffins rock!) We've had a lot of rain this week after last week's really HOT weather. We went to Charlotte last week and it was 107 degrees when we left but only 92 up here on the mountain. The chickens did really pretty well with the heat, they just need frequent water changes and some ice cold watermelon in the afternoon. It's going to warm up this coming week, so with that and the sunshine we should have vegies rolling in!