Monday, October 11, 2010

A day in the life at the tiny farm

I'm jumping on the "Day in the Life" meme bandwagon. Here is Sunday 10/10/10 at the Tiny Farm.

6:30- Changed the chickens' water, checked the automatic (timer) feeder and the treadle feeder, both had food. I gave the hens some leftover cantaloupe rinds and seeds from last night's dinner and a few greens. I have one hen that sleeps on the lip of one of the nest boxes and I've never been able to break her of the habit, so I take the big spackling knife I keep hanging on a nail in the coop and clean the poop out of one nest box.

Our biggest fish are around four inches now

6:40- Feed tilapia. Check on the quail chicks. I sold 25 of them, but still have about 72 in the stock tank. Luckily I just inherited a bigger stock tank, so they fit pretty comfortably in there, and since it's two feet tall, they can't fly out of it yet. :) I change their water, give them food and clean the bedding a bit.

A few 8 day old quail

6:50- Check on duckweed/mosquitofish pond. Feed and water all of the adult quail. I also collect a few eggs that got laid after I collected them Saturday night. For whatever reason, one pen likes to lay just after dusk. I have them in 6 separate hutches right now so all of this takes awhile. I'm looking forward to their aviary being completed!

7:05- The quail hatch before the most recent one had a few wry necked birds in it. I'm pretty sure this was caused by excess humidity during the incubation. I've read that it's genetic, but I've never had another wry-necked bird from my breeders, so that doesn't really make sense to me. Either way I want to be sure that the trait doesn't get passed on, and it's been awhile since we've had quail. I pick out a tuxedo quail for butchering, and after I grab him I realize I don't have my butchering scissors outside so I take the bird with me inside to get them. The whole time he just kept looking up at me in a pitiful way that landed him back in the pen and I ended up processing a much more severely deformed jumbo brown instead. This was a better choice anyway, as the tuxedo's posture is barely off, whereas the jumbo's neck was so crooked that it definitely impacted his quality of life. Butchering always makes me sad and a little queasy.
After processing the bird, I put him in the refrigerator in a pyrex bowl with a very light brine. (1/4 tsp salt and about 2 cups of water).

7:25- Water all of the garden beds. I usually have the automatic drip system on, but we got a huge storm and we have hundreds of gallons in rain barrels, so that means doing it by hand. I fill up watering cans with the rain water and hit all of the beds, most of which have newly planted seeds in them.


One of the rainbarrels

7:40- Pick stuff! My favorite part of the morning. I bring in some passionfruits, my first fall tomato of the year, a few black-eyed peas, some cotton and a lime. There is a lot of eggplant (and mint) still out there, but I have a bunch in the kitchen already and need to use it up!

8:00- Make breakfast. I cook up some chicken and quail eggs on the stove and have them with some cantaloupe and morningstar fake bacon. My husband hasn't eaten pork in at least 10 years so thinks this stuff tastes as good as the real deal. He's waaay wrong, but since I have no desire to butcher any pigs, I don't argue (much).

I have recently become pretty firm that I will no longer work on the weekends. If I don't hold myself to this, I get really stressed out and am an unpleasant person to be around (the word "tyrant" comes up a lot and is about the only PG-13 word that gets used to describe me). It's a nice day and the high is only in the low 90's so we go to the zoo and buy an annual membership with some of my birthday money. One of my favorite part is the goats, chickens, turkeys and peacocks. I just can't get enough of those things and I'm plotting to find some room to put some turkeys at home...

3:00- Back from the zoo, I feed the tilapia again and give the quail chicks more food and water.

5:00- I collect the chicken and quail eggs and seed two beds with peas, lettuces, spinach, golden beets, early wonder beets, thyme and onions.

A few of the chickens just wanted to say hi!

6:00- Start dinner. It's melon and roasted roots with quail. I chop up all the "roots" we have, which this time around are just carrots, potatoes, onions and garlic and add rosemary, salt, pepper and olive oil and put them in a baking dish. In the center goes the quail from this morning stuffed with garlic and a little butter with a few extra pats put underneath the breast skin. Bake at 350 for a little over an hour, turning the quail every 15 or 20 minutes and basting with a small amount of butter.

7:15- Dinner! We saved all of the bones and little cartilage bits to make stock with in the solar oven tomorrow. Even a tiny quail can make a couple of cups of stock.

9:30- Final check on the baby quail, they get more food and water to last them through the night.

2 comments:

chullen said...
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chullen said...

Hi! Nice bog! I've just want to let you know that I'm "blog feeding" your blog from mine. Even we are talking in different mother language but our interest are still the same. Just want to know what's happening in the other side of the world! :)

http://cemperai.blogspot.com/