First the flops.
Corn - I planted a LOT of our Painted Mountain Corn. It was a huge failure this year. The stalks got knocked down a couple of times by wind storms. The ears were small and very under-developed. The chickens loved them. Sigh.
Red Kuri Squash - My favorite Red Kuri squash was the only winter squash I planted this year. Not one of them matured. Not one. A complete bust. No squash in our house this winter.
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Now for the crops grown for the chickens.
Mangels - I planted and successfully grew a big crop of mangels which are touted to be great livestock food. Our chickens are not crazy about them. First we tried them chopped up raw. No go. Now we cook them overnight on the wood stove in the garage and serve them warm to the chickens in the morning. They are eating about half of the portion offered. Maybe we need to add a little butter and salt and pepper. Or buy some cattle to eat all the mangels we have in the root cellar.
Kale and Swiss Chard - I dried kale and Swiss chard to have as a green for feeding the poultry this winter. Them seem to love it. Maybe they think it's green grass that they haven't seen for the past few months because it's been under about three feet of snow. This coming season I'll also dry boatloads of comfrey for them as we have an abundant supply of that.
Dried Hay/Grass - During the summer, Papa Pea cut, dried and stored in burlap bags cuttings from our small hay field. This is fed out to the chickens all winter. It must be this along with the greens I dehydrated that has kept the orange color in the egg yolks over winter. Or I should say in the piddly small number of eggs we are getting right now.
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That's a run-down of garden harvests from 2013. Next on the gardening list is to check my seed supply and start pouring over all those seed catalogs that have been making a teetering pile on the corner of my desk. A fun thing to do, but by the time the cost of the necessities and would-love-to-haves is totaled, it may be time for a reality check!