Just a thought....
Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

A fowl food rant

I don’t like gooseberries. Really! Ok, I like gooseberries, but the ingrates grow on thorny bushes that defy my attempts to keep them alive. There I was, picking off sawfly larvae and getting repeatedly stabbed by a nest of thorns. Right. Keep your durned larvae. See if I care. I’ll eat the raspberries and blackberries instead. So there!

I think there’s a food conspiracy out today. It started with chicken food. Or duck food… whichever way you prefer to look at it. Frank suggested the chickens may benefit and even like some duckweed from the longponds. I met Sayo and promised her an adventure that may or may not involve swimming. She cautiously agreed… what a good sport she is!

View of the longponds from my bedroom

I must point out at this stage, that Sayo is petit and does everything with Japanese efficiency. I am probably the direct opposite. Leaning over the water, noting that the local hare has dug a cave system near the edge - at least, I assume it’s him - I saved myself from going for the promised swim in the chilly morning air by doing a sort of dive-roll off to the side. I looked at my pitiful collection of duckweed and Sayo’s full bucket and decided that the chickens weren’t all that hungry anyway.

And no, I took no photos - for those who have the temerity to even suggest it. Hmph!

The chickens greeted us with the usual friendly, gentle “crrrrrck…. crrrrrrck” when they saw the buckets. See, they’re used to bread and cake treats in the mornings. The stroppy little silkie rooster just squawked and crowed and flapped and flustered as he always does. We tossed the duckweed to them. They rushed over, looked at it, looked at us and… “What is this?? Where’s our bread? Our cake? You expect us to eat vegetables??”  There’s nothing like a flock of chickens standing at the fence with heads cocked, looking at you as though you’ve deprived them of their very sustenance. Keep in mind that they do have regular chicken food, so they’re not starving. All the animals here are very spoiled. I caved. I sprinkled some cake over the ‘vegetables’ and they demolished it. Spoilt brats!

The rest of my day was the usual… totally different from any previous day. Cleared mud off the electric fences in the pig pen - we have determined pigs. Jurgis went chasing Lisa and her piglets twice - she’s become quite the escape artist. He also fixed up a nice brush cutter for us for the walled garden. That’ll help in our war against the thistle and nettle. I spent a fair time cleaning the soil off our drying garlic, then harvested some calendula flowers for drying. That will make a nice salve once I’ve sourced some beeswax. I need to have a chat with our bee-keeper on the subject.


Now back to fowl food. What is with this world that they sell ready-trussed chickens that still need to be plucked? If I wanted to pluck my own chicken, I wouldn’t buy it from the supermarket! The thing had so much feather, it about flew out of the fridge! Either way, I plucked (grrr!) the chicken, then spatchcocked it and roasted it in wine with freshly-picked tarragon and our own garlic. Very tasty! All in all, not a bad day and no, I’m not going to blog the fact that I was carrying my dinner to the table and managed to drop the plate-full of food on the carpet. Can we say emergency cleanup?


  1. I loved reading this! It makes me smile to see you live a green and pleasant life. The easiest way to clean garlic is to harvest it with some extra covering leaves, and pull the outermost ones off right in the patch, revealing clean wrapper leaves. I was too tired to do it this year so soon I will have to do what you have been doing, :) Chickens are the neatest people. I hope to have them again next year.

  2. It would be wonderful if you could visit, Ien. You'd love it here! The garlic got too much rain and burst into 'flowers' instead of heads, so keeping an extra covering of leaves wasn't going to happen anyway. I hope to always have chickens. You'll have your chickens next year :)

  3. Wouldn't that be nice! I will be in the neighborhood sometime soon, but never have enough time or money for side trips beyond seeing the family. I do hope to meet up with Shers....

  4. I know what you mean. I have friends in England and Ireland that I just haven't had the time or money to visit. A pity, really, but there it is :)


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