Thursday, September 24, 2009

Chicken Book is Published!

So many of you know that I had been working with Greg Peterson (of the Urban Farm) on a small pocket guide to keeping chickens called Fowl Play. There are several chicken books out there already, including one with a similar title that came out around the same time, but this is a small what-you-really-need-to-know guide. Easy to refer to with clear information. Here's the Amazon link: Fowl Play: Your Guide to Keeping Chickens in the City
It's neat to have an ISBN number.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Still Here! Fall Planting

Like a lot of blog people, I've been on a bit of a summer recess. Both because it's been 115 all summer and not much has been going on and because I've been really busy in my job as a painter getting ready for shows.

Here is a brief summary of what's happened at the Tiny farm this summer: We had a new batch of Coturnix quail, I sold most of them as babies and had about 17 left, of those 11 were males and I kept 1 male and the 6 females. I'm not sure why we had such a high rate of males this batch. It was probably close to 75%. The muscovy ducks, Daphne and Delilah, got more and more territorial and started attacking everything around. It was very stressful for the chickens and eventually for me when they began running to attack me any time they heard me coming. They're strong birds and broke skin a few times. I think they were mad about my constant nest raiding. They went to a nearby home where there are 9 other Muscovies and no chickens. I think they'll be very happy there and since there are males around, they might get to have ducklings some day. We lost one of our old chickens so now we are down to 6. I try not to buy chicks more frequently than once every 2 years to prevent myself from getting overrun with less productive chickens in the future. It's a strange feeling to have so few birds in the pen.

Now on to the more exciting stuff! Today is significant for two reasons-- one, it is my last day in my 20's... two, because it is the first day of fall planting! Today I'll be planting beets, which I've been waiting for all summer. I bought some new heirlooms so amongst the usual Early Wonder, Detroit Dark Red etc. I'll be planting an albino beet, which is a very sweet white sugar beet from Holland and a beet called Crapaudine (They should have had a naming contest if that was the best they could come up with) which is supposedly a variety that's over 1000 years old. It looks more bark-like but I hear it has amazing flavor.

This week I'll also be planting Early Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Danvers Carrots, Nantes Carrots and St. Valery carrots, Gold Princess Onions, Texas Early Grano Onions and several varieties of radish. Peas, Garlic, Lettuce and Parsnips will go in during the beginning of October once the highs get down below 100 consistently. Fall can't get here soon enough!