Friday, August 21, 2009

A Teeny-Tiny Surprise

Actually, it was four teeny-tiny surprises. Roy went out to do afternoon chores in the poultry yard and it wasn't but a couple of minutes before he stuck his head in the back door calling me to bring my camera and come see something.

This is a mama bantam hen with four little chicks that can't be more than a day or so old. They are seriously about two inches high. And the puzzling thing is we have no idea where this hen was when she sat on the eggs for three weeks! We know she wasn't in the hen house so we're thinking she must have made a nest in the nearby woods. This is the third batch of chicks our hens have hatched out themselves this year. Way to go, girls!

We did a little wood splitting this morning and stacked more wood in the shed. I put some time in on some much needed clean-up in the garden. Pulled the last of the pea vines and checked the beans. My yellow Rocdors will be ready for a first picking tomorrow but the green E-Z Picks are about three or four days behind.

We had fresh broccoli from the garden last night . . . well, Roy did. I found a small, green worm in mine and that was the end of it for me. (Shudder.) We struggle year after year to grow worm-free broccoli, but most years fall sadly short of the goal. Back to the drawing boards. Again.

Harvested a few more cherry tomatoes. Very tasty they are, but the skins are tough. They haven't been able to grow fast enough because of cool temps.

When I pulled the 4 x 8' bed of beets a couple of weeks ago, I left a few scragglers that were very small thinking I'd clean the bed and throw them to the poultry later. Seems I never got around to doing that and today I noticed that those little guys have sized up quite a bit! There are enough of them to store a bag full in the refrig and eat up fresh.

The sweet peppers are getting nice size on them. Now if we can just keep them warm enough so they have a chance to turn red, I'll have a nice bunch for stuffed peppers for the freezer. (We both really prefer the taste of the peppers after they turn red.)

Found another slicing cuc to have with dinner tonight. When I think of the tons of them I had last year, this year's harvest has been paltry indeed. But so it goes . . . we just didn't get enough warmth this summer.

Darn good thing I didn't plant those ten acres of corn this year, eh? (Don't take me seriously. I can't grow corn up here . . . and don't have a ten acre field to do it in.)


Erin said...

A big thumbs up for the chicken butt! Very cute indeed. You know, when you made that comment about the corn it really made me think about how this season has affected farmers who do this as their only source of income...

Mama JJ said...

Worms, schmerms! Our broccoli always gets tons of worms and I have to pick through it and then I stand over it with a spoon as it blanches, and as they float to the top, I scoop out all the tiny worms that I missed. And then I force myself to forget that worms were ever on the broccoli and we chow down with gusto. If you get a worm (no one ever has, that we know of) it will just be extra protein. And the extra-EXTRA-wormy broccoli I turn into broccoli soup, just to be on the safe side.

Disgustingly practical, no?

Mama Pea said...

Erin - You are so right. Every time I find myself whining about something not doing well in my garden, I do think of the farmer and what he faces year after year after year. A good reason to diversify . . . but it still means loss of part of his income when a crop fails. For me as a home gardener, it just means we're a little short on one veggie or another. Farmers (like stay at home moms) have never gotten their due credit.

Mama Pea said...

Mama JJ - You're a better (wo)man than I am, Gunga Din. ;o)

My husband says I must have had a bad experience in a previous life. Give me any kind of a bug and I can handle it without blinking. Heck, I'll even EAT it! But worms . . . (hear curdling scream and sound of feet running).

Jody M said...

When it comes to wormy broccoli, we have really good luck with 1) planting earlier than we should in the spring, so we miss the worm season entirely, and 2) covering the late summer/fall plants with floating row cover.

Mama Pea said...

Jody - Yeah, I think we're gonna try the floating row cover route next. I don't think I could get them in any earlier than I normally do up here. (They don't like being planted in snow!)

RuthieJ said...

Those little chicks are so cute!
I finally have about 4 ripe tomatoes--they're going into tacos for tonight's supper.
My peppers look about the same as yours and I'm hoping they'll get a chance to turn red yet this year too.

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Ruthie - I wish I could get some close-up shots of those little wind-up chicks(!) but mama hen is so very protective of them

I'm surprised your tomatoes aren't coming along faster than they are. And here I thought you lived in the warm part of the state!