Thursday, December 31, 2009

a beautiful most eggcellent treat

i find a simple homemade cheese omelet and toasted english a most beautiful a.m. site especially when the eggs are from your own chickens and the cheese from that which you made the night before from local milk, real milk. it is a site to behold. as for leftovers, forget it. food this good goes down easy.

fact:
until today - omelets were not a part of my idea of something most beautiful

i have always been an egg sandwich kind of girl. buttered english with egg over easy, lettuce, mater, cheese (usually chevre) and black pepper. no meat please, just eggs, veggies and tangy cheese. bacon, i find overpowers everything else so when it comes to bacon, i stick to the equally amazing bacon, lettuce and mater sammy with a bit of real mayo on the breads. and if not in egg sandwich form, then it's strictly eggs over easy with toast. it's been that way with me for a long time.

lately, i've been thinking that it's time i put on my big girl egg pants and give other forms of egg eating another chance/try.

i adore quiche.
i do not adore scrambled eggs.
i do not adore omelets.

in fact i avoid omelets and scrambled eggs at every turn - i think it's partly a texture thing - maybe it's also been a not as good as my own eggs thing. i find it incredibly hard to order eggs out now but that's a whole other conversation...

i have never been a big scrambled egg fan - the idea of scrambled eggs has always struck me as odd - don't know why - quiche eggs are scrambled - then again, they cook different from scrambled - don't know for sure - i find the runny wet stuff left over from the scrambled is not attractive and the smell of burnt scrambled - eiiii gaddddds! granted i have not made straight out only eggs scrambled eggs from our own eggs. i always mix in this or that, veggies, lots of veggies into the mix. i fear the result otherwise. i fear the way they might look. i have memories of runny unfluffy scrambled eggs. all this aside, i plan on giving scrambled eggs a second chance. this time with our own home raised eggs.

i was to make scrambled eggs this morning but i chickened out. rather, i cooked an omelet. i was ready to fail. to cook it too fast in too hot a pan or too slow and never rid the runnies from the mix which would have led to the last resort of scrambled eggs. to my own surprise, the omelet turned out perfect, and believe me, this proved a genuine surprise.

here's how i made the omelet -
but before i tell you how i made the omelet, read the following...
or not
it's up to you

side notes:
the following is designed more to help my own self remember how i found success with an omelet more than anything else. if it works for you too then great but truly this is a brain often fails resort. this is my own hitchhiker's guide to omelet making if you follow. if not just go on, no need to waste any more time trying to make sense from my clear non-sense.

i save the wee small pullet eggs for home eating while the larger eggs head off to market.

i have an electric top stove
(this makes me a bit sad but it's what i've got and it works just fine)

i always cook my eggs in a cast iron skillet - always

  • i beat three wee small eggs with a tad bit of salt and few good twists of black pepper.
  • i heated a slightly oiled (olive oil) iron skillet to hot hot hot.
  • i then turned down the heat to medium
  • i counted to thirty then poured the eggs into the skillet and covered the skillet
  • one minute later i turn the heat off
  • removed the cover
  • slowly lifted the edges of the omelet from the hold of the skillet
  • i broke up bits of cheese over the center of the egg and gently folded the sides of the omelet over the cheese and covered the skillet once again.
  • i moved the skillet to a cold burner - it was plenty hot and the iron would surely hold enough heat for the next few minutes.
  • i toasted my english, buttered the english and placed them on a plate.
  • i lifted the top off of the skillet and again to my surprise, perfection!
  • i plated the omelet with ease - i love my cast iron skillet
first bite - mmmmmmmmmm eggcellent!

omelet - check plus
scrambled? we will see

additional side notes:
i now believe omelets deserve a much more attractive fancypants spelling - omlette!
this omelet thing is not nearly as cool as omlette.
i vote omlette.
fancypants omlette it is!
argue as you like, it's now omlette for me


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

take notes folks - canada - becoming comfortable with absurdity

CBC News - Canada - Becoming comfortable with absurdity

Time magazine called these first 10 years of the 21st century "the decade from hell." While over at the New York Times, columnist Frank Rich labelled it the "bamboozled" decade.

The Queen, sporting a lovely turquoise dress and a crown of silver hair, was more muted. These are "difficult times," she told us.

Perhaps, with our sturdier banking system and Northern sang-froid, we Canadians are bearing up better. Though as the new, people-oriented CBC News reminds us, we are hurtin' too.

As for the rest of the planet, it was left to one caller to an American public radio program to remind the gloomy audience that more people were lifted out of poverty in the developing world in this past decade than ever before.

Still, who can deny a certain unsettling melancholia as we press ahead into this uncertain century?

The Queen, thank goodness, spared us the therapeutic language as she urged that people not be deterred from working toward "a better future."

Sometimes, it's comforting to hear a dose of old-fashioned homily.

And yet we laugh

I was mulling all these cascading thoughts while waiting for a friend at a downtown espresso and beer bar. In the end, she did not show up. She was stuck in an editing suite.

No mind, I told her when she called, ordering my second beer. I was enjoying myself listening to the laughter rippling out from the adjacent tables.

It was delightful to watch. All around me, people were laughing and telling stories with an easy conviviality. Climate change hadn't yet iced their veins.

I wondered what could possibly be that funny. So I leaned in with my good ear.

The answer was almost everything: the foibles of their friends, their bosses, their families, their partners.

I detected no bitterness, no anger, no post-millennial angst.

These were among the millions of holiday conversations, improvised and performed by ordinary people every day across this country.

The human landscape

Change the menu from espresso to Tim's and the mirth remains, in the grounds of their brew and the character of the storytellers.

I know there are other kinds of stories being told these days, more unfortunate ones. Stories about people who never return from car trips and foreign wars, or who never recover from illness.

But that's not what I was hearing. The stories that were buzzing in the bar were merry, though also serious and full of detail, the kind of jovial, personal journalism that ordinary people tell.

What interested me most, I realized, weren't the narratives per se. It was the stance of the tellers.

It seemed like these stories were being told from a high perch, as if to say that we humans are a bit like gods, grand surveyors of all that we take in.

And that landscape is hilarious.

The gods' view

In fact, this contemporary scene reminded me of the perspective on human life by the ancient Greek gods, according to an essay I just read by the Irish writer and musician Julian Gough.

We all know that the Greeks wrote tragedies and comedies. Unfortunately, many more tragedies survive.

It is Gough's contention that "the Greeks believed that comedy was superior to tragedy: tragedy was the merely human view of life (we sicken and die). But comedy was the gods' view, from on high."

"Horny Greek gods watched us for their entertainment," he writes.

"And the best of the old Greek comedy tried to give us that relaxed amused perspective on our flawed selves. We became as gods, laughing at our own follies."

Why so grim?

It is Gough's view that modern writers ought to get back to the serious business of making us laugh.

It is a view with which the storytellers at the neighbouring tables at the espresso bar might agree.

Now, Gough's piece is tendentious, certainly, and scholars can quarrel with his main argument. (For starters, tragedy is not just human, but can be also a cosmic, God-given condition.)

Gough is also miffed that today's literary novel is so darn grim, so relentlessly depressing, that only dispiriting works can earn prestigious prizes.

"Why so sad, people?" he quotes the British novelist Zadie Smith as asking.

Dangerous satire

Gough believes the tragic and the mournful are "now a habit," so engrained in our culture to have become the unexamined default position.

Now, Gough knows that comedy and satire can be savage, as in the novels and pamphlets of the Irish writer Jonathan Swift in the 1700s. Rabelais was jailed for his wild comedies, and Voltaire for his satires (but not his early tragedies).

Who knows, we are led to believe, if Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses had been a more serious novel, and not wickedly satiric, perhaps he would have won more prizes and been ignored by the militants who don't read him anyway.

For Gough, it doesn't matter that a British novelist did write about Greek gods cavorting in contemporary London: God's Behaving Badly, by Marie Phillips.

He simply doesn't think comic writers can win the Mann Booker Prize because humour, for all our love for it, is not culturally prestigious.

Enjoy the outrageous

Gough is clearly someone who prefers The Simpsons to Henry James. And who is to disagree?

Is there a more devilish comic character today than the brilliant Stewie, the baby with a British accent in the cartoon series, Family Guy? He's hyper-intelligent, snobbish and effete, a spiteful man-child in suburban America.

He's a little Greek god, rampaging in diapers, on your TV screen.

But comedies can also be potent stuff when they combine realism with absurdity.

I recently watched the Coen brothers' A Serious Man, a retelling of the Job story in 1960s Jewish suburbia, and found myself both laughing and sucking in my breath in alarm. The portraits were funny, touching and mutedly savage.

Oh, no, they can't do that, I'd say to myself while watching some of the darker (and hilarious) antics on screen.

But, oh yes, they can. That's what comedy does: it makes the outrageous evident.

The good people in the nearby tables in the bar I visited were not being that outrageous when they related their holiday stories.

But they seemed very comfortable with absurdity. In fact, they had domesticated it.

In a sense, they were carrying on the great life-giving tradition of comedy as they regaled each other with their tales.

Happy New Year to all who tell funny stories at the beginning of this century's new decade. Lord knows, we need these tales.


sounds good to me!

a storytelling i go... to see the original post, click on the below link

CBC News - Canada - Becoming comfortable with absurdity


Monday, December 21, 2009

dark days weeks 5

oh my i am posting late late late!
i missed the sunday date date date!

i made a soup of carrot and mushroom, leek, onion and giblets and chicken parts.
i have not taken a photo
i know this is a no no

carrots from the garden
onion from the garden
leek from the garden

mushrooms from kitchen pride mushrooms a central texas fungiii grower

giblets and parts raised here

most of the stuffs raised just outside the door door door

i promise next week...
the entry will be noted on time time time
photos will follow


i must admit
fingers might be crossed behind my back
but i'll try


xoxo dark day folk!

cheery holly-days to all

Monday, December 14, 2009

the a.m. wander

up early
play with kitten
catch a cup of coffee

head out to the chickeny universe
water and feed all chickens
collect eggs
check in on wabbits

wander the garden
wander the yard
feed opera kitty and give him a few hearty scratches behind the ears and on his bummy bum bum
chat with chickens
catch up on the morning's goings ons

meat sauce

set a pot on the stove
crack open two quarts of stewed maters
crack open one pint of mater sauce
pull out one cup of sun dried maters
grind the sun dried maters down in the coffee grinder
place the one pound of grass fed ground beef in the pot
add herbs, spices, a slosh of olive oil and three chopped green peppers
brown slowly
once half browned add in maters stewed, sauced and dried
mix it up good
swap heat to low, cover the top of the pot, slow cook several hours
keep your fingers and spoon out of the pot

collect mail
books arrived
handmade home by amanda blake soule
sewing green by betz white
hive and the honey bee by l.l. langstroth

look through old clothes for possible fabric options
cut buttons off
save in a jar

play with kitten
coffee two
share time with family on the phone
wander the garden while with family
family, creatures, home, nature
those most important to me

birthday coming up
42 this month
aging feels natural
creeks and cricks added this year
soul more full than ever
home shaping in a way most beautiful
family closer than ever
friendships blooming
bits of earth, bits of sweetness enter each and every day
happy honestly happy

mind wanders
time for stirring the sauce and maybe a small taste

been making gifts for family
no photos yet - not until the gift has been given
sweet soft things for tender hearts
opening a creative side unpracticed

homemade goods run roots deep
homegrown and homeraised too



Sunday, December 13, 2009

dark days week 4 - fresh pasta hippychick style

dark days week four
* * * * * * *
i think it's time for a personal favorite
fresh home crafted pasta a'la chickeny chica eggs from out back

let's head back to a time when everyone made their own pasta
fresh
with fresh eggs
made to be eaten the day you make it
feel your ancestors calling...

ingredients
  • eggs from the ladies out back
  • semolina flour or white or whole wheat flour
  • salt and pepper
*i'm adding in some ground home grown and dried ancho pepper for color and flavor

here we've got the pasta dough well rested and cut into two pieces, ready for rolling. i roll each piece with a pin to a 4" x 12" sized piece at about 1/4" thick before the first feed into the pasta machine.

here we've got the pasta dough making it's way slowly toward the proper thickness for pappardelle. i wish you could smell the fragrance of the dough. it's lovely, sunny and fresh as can be. the dough is slowly rolled from setting to setting until one's desired thickness is achieved. once thickness is achieved, the shape of cut can be made. *note- this is all possible by hand too. do not let anything hold you back from giving fresh pasta a go.

beautiful pasta makes it's way through the cutter. i slowly catch the pasta as passes through. then off to my homemade pasta dryer which consists of a cardboard tube hung with sisal string. this is a great re-use of your christmas wrapping tubes.

hangin' out
the pasta hangs in waiting for it's destiny of a salty hot water bath and a sauce. that which is not cooked today will hang a bit longer to dry before being stored in a sealed and refrigerated container.

here it is!
fresh egg pasta paired with garden greens

i thought that i would whip up a meat sauce today but that's not really possible when the grass fed ground beef is still rock hard solid in the freezer. oh well - not a problem. i ended up going with a simple but equally tasty mix of olive oil, butter, garlic and black pepper.

the greens are fresh from the garden. i made a dressing of home grown lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, vinegar and varied spices.

yummy!
and
there's plenty left for a proper meat sauce later in the week
pasta and greens
equals
happy me

* make some pasta for a happy you *


Friday, December 11, 2009

hippychick’s smokedy chipotle aged cheese

hippychick’s

smokedy
chipotle
aged
cheese

rich, smokey flavor

russet in color


a homestead recipe of my own



ingredients
  • 1 1/2 gallons of raw milk (if available)
  • ta61 thermophilic starter – 1/8 teaspoon
  • organic vegetable rennet - just short of a 1/4 teaspoon (diluted in 1/8 cup chlorine free water)
  • lipase - just short of 1/4 teaspoon (diluted in 1/8 cup chlorine free water)
  • home grown, smoked and dried chipotle peppers - ground to a fine powder
  • smoked sea salt
process
  • in a clean cup mix 1/4 cup of chlorine free water with 1/4 teaspoon of lipase - mix and set aside. lipase takes a good 15-20 minutes to dissolve in water
  • in a clean cup mix 1/4 cup of chlorine free water with 4 drops liquid rennet or 1/2 tablet of rennet - mix and set aside
  • in a container larger enough to hold your pressed cheese, add 1 cup of smoked sea salt to 2 cups of water. stir until salt is fully dissolved and set aside. this is your finishing salt bath.
  • line a colander with high quality cheese cloth (note store bought cheese cloth is too loose a weave).
  • place the colander over a larger sized pot or a large sized bowl. the bowl will catch the whey when straining the curds. a good note is to use a bowl or container that can catch as much liquid as you use milk - 1 gallon, 2 gallon, etc.
  • prepare a hot water bath set up – set a smaller pot (*1 gallon sized) in a larger pot (*2 gallon sized) – place water in the large pot – place milk in the small pot.
*use pots sized to those that you have on hand
  • heat milk to 90˚f - use a cheese or candy thermometer to measure
  • turn heat off and remove pot from heat
  • add 1/8 teaspoon of ta61 thermophilic starter
  • stir in starter for 2 minutes using a non-reactive spoon
  • cover and let set for 30 minutes
  • stir in lipase/water solution for 1 minute
  • cover and let set for 5 minutes
  • stir in rennet for 3 minutes (If using store bought milk you need stir only 2 minutes)
  • stir in 1 tablespoon of fine ground *chipotle pepper - modify amount for your own taste.
*i grow, smoke and dry my own. you can purchase dried chipotle peppers at a local market and grind them down in a coffee grinder. Remove the stem and seeds from the dried peppers. Break the peppers up into penny sized pieces. Set your coffee grinder to the espresso/fine setting, then grind them up.

ps. i am saving my seeds for next year's peppers


  • cover and let set for 35 - 45 minutes or until the curd gives a clean break
  • with a clean knife, cut the curd to 1/4 inch sized cubes.
  • heat the curds to 100˚f slowly increasing the temperature by 2˚ every 5 minutes. slowly stir your curds throughout this process. this is a good time to think or to relax quietly or ponder something deep.
  • when the curds reach 100˚f, remove from heat but keep stirring for another 30 minutes to maintain temperature and to keep curds from matting.
  • set the curds aside for 15 minutes to rest.
  • drain curds from whey
  • once the curds are fully drained gently mix in the pepper bits to the curds - gently gently
  • line a cheese press with fresh cloth and load curds into press
  • press curds at 10lbs pressure for 10 minutes
  • remove cheese from press, flip it over, reload cloth and cheese into press
  • press curds at 10lbs pressure for 10 minutes
  • remove cheese from press, flip it over, reload cloth and cheese into press
  • press curds at 40lbs pressure for 12 hours
  • remove cheese from the mold
  • remove cheese cloth
  • place cheese into smoke sea salt bath and set aside for 24 hours - flip the cheese every 4 hours or flip the sealed container every four hours - whichever works for your set up
  • remove cheese from sea salt bath and set aside to air dry for 3-5 days flipping the cheese each day.*
*wrap loosely in a cloth if you have kiddos, pets or counter investigating creatures about. best to place cheese on a wood cutting board. the wood absorbs moisture.
  • once the cheese has formed a rind, wax cheese
  • allow the cheese to age for 3-6 months
  • enjoy
waterbath set up - note the large post hosting the smaller pot - the larger pot is filled with enough water so as to surround the smaller pot but not so much as to over flow. the smaller post hosts the milk.

cut curds now floating in whey - notice the pepper bits mixed into the curds - i am a fan of the golden whey

drained curds now ready for the press

the humble cheese press
the big finish
cotswald on the left and the smokedly chipotle cheese on the right

up next
cotswald herb-ed cheese!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

it's not about you

anyone who has ever birthed, cared for, or raised another a creature or the land - be that creature human, in tree form or otherwise knows ever so well that there will be a day, if not many, where the day, week, year, years are not about you. it's about those in your care. it's a choice we make when we take on the responsibility of another.

there is joy
there is sacrifice
there is hard work
there is thoughtfulness
there is constant effort
and there is love

yesterday was a hippychick day for creatures
the cold chill is here and though i believe the weather may quickly warm up for the week i also have a deep feeling that we have some serious cold on the way. i don't ignore these intuitive senses. they may not be right on. they may not time out as thought but they are important reminders of the tasks necessary to get all creatures through the winter months.

so i prepared & completed the following tasks
  • wrap bee hives with double layer of tyvec - leaving the hive entry free and clear
  • insulated the new meatie brooder with layers of burlap and old sheets
  • insulated and blocked cool air from entering in and under the garagebarn door
  • insulated the east side of the crazy coop caper from blowing wind with further stacked bails of hay
  • set out a 8" layer of fresh dry leaves in the outer run
  • set out a 8" layer of hay in the inner roosting area
  • set up a cozier sleeping space for opera in the garagebarn - a spot he willingly slept comforted away from last night's chilly 24˚ temp
  • covered the gardens with a thermal layer of rowcover for some, heavy plastic for others
  • set out scratch for the chickeny creatures so they might eat, enjoy and warm up their insides
  • fluffed up the hay in the wabbity homes for burrowing
and
  • mixed up a very big batch of fresh suet for birds and creatures which i just set out and about this cool morning
  • made a batch of spicy chicken soup with okra and green peppers for the humans
it was a good day
  • i want to do more for the wabbits. i'm thinking wool bedding in their sleeping quarters. if you raise sheep, have a small pillowcase full of raw wool available and are in smalltown bastrop or near smalltown bastrop throw me a line. i'm looking for you.

cheers!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

sweet girly geek farming dreams

tonight presents another round of freezing temps.

we are at the cusp of winter time conditions here in smalltowntexas.

freezing temps may be no big news for some folk in the upper part the of the states but around here, it's news. some folk love the news of an oncoming chill like myself and others of which i believe there are more others in these parts than the like me folk, prefer the milder, no need for snow, ice, sleet or any related frozen condition thank you very much kind of days. these no thank you folk often freak out when there is or even could be a chance of snow or ice.

i look at it as a chance to wear a favored winter sweater or to pull out the winter running gear. i head out in the morning, steaming coffee in hand to set watch over the heaping compost piles, steaming as well - farm geek that i am. damn proud farm geek too. this morning, upon the looking into the steam, i recalled...

i had a dream last night.

i was walking about another house recently purchased outright - i think from an estate auction which meant that anything on the land was also included in the purchase price. odd though, i remember that i was not able to look around the entire place until after the auction was over.

when looking about i learned that i was the new owner of a creamy milk paint white old style tractor with pale pink and pale blue curly line work and little flowers -
borage and forget me nots painted on her nose. oh my gosh! i cried, she's beautiful! i was beside myself happy. i loved the pink, blue and milky white colors (boy am i proving more girly as the days go by).

i woke before having a chance to fire her up but the gift of a tractor surely put a smile on my face. she had an old open style seat that sat high enough for short girl farmer to see over the top. the wheels were hard, the frame sturdy and the
axles clean not rusted.

of course upon waking, i learned the she tractor exists only inside the universe of hippychick dreamland but she exists and she is beautiful and she is girly and useful and just the right size. the old style pick up has not yet shown herself but i do believe that once she does, she may need a paint job just like the tractor.

and that is one decision solved. i have always wondered what color, if ever i did invest in an old style pick up, what color she would be - now i know. thank you dreamy land.


at present, we have no need for a tractor on our wee little 1/4 acre but maybe someday our beloved 1/4 acre will grow to a 5 or 10 acre universe... the good news is that i know where to find her. visiting hours always open in dreamy dreamland space and what a nice space to visit.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

dark days 3 around the hippychick homestead

i was up early this morning. i just woke up. the day was yet indeed dark. there was rain pattering upon the roof above. i checked on the thawing cornish bird in the sink - she was ready for the roast pan. first to the garden, i put a sweater on over my pj top, slipped on my rubber boots and set out to remove the row covers from the garden beds around the place. i wanted to make sure the gardens were open to the refreshing rain.

upon the unveiling of the beds i noted those plants taken in the oddly timed hard freeze we experienced earlier this week. the tomatoes, peppers, basil and eggplant were all hit. rowcovers are helpful but they are not able to solve all.

i made effort to harvest the green peppers - a full 1/2 bushel of the beauties. i collected the green maters - enough for a quart jar pickled. the basils were inspected in hopes of digging a few up to grow inside through the winter - we'll see. the morning's eggs were then collected and bunnies visited with gifts of greens for happy munching.

as i worked i pondered...

it is yet again that month where funds go as far as they are able to but inevitably fall short of the whole of the month. it is never a surprise. i can see when a month may run longer than the funds. regardless of the outlook, i make a habit of paying out all bills first, i then purchase the month's worth of kitty, chicken and rabbit feed and any necessary creature goods. that way if cash runs short i know it's simply a matter of scrimping through the rest of the month. i also know that scrimping does not equal unhappiness or a lack of quality lifestyle for the put up garden goods, butchered birds and basic staple stores here at the hippychick universe are good and fine. and scrimping often leads to creative solutions one might not have considered given a different situation.

where did the cash money all go? i imagine it goes different places for varied folk as varied folk live varied lives. for this folk, this month required a renewal of car insurance which was paid in full so as to be done with it. then there are funds reserved for traveling and hollyday visiting of family folk as well as hollydays gifts and treats. there are other bits too but long story short, we at the hippychick universe are at that place of dry funds.
we're not worried - i think we'll be more than fine - in fact i'm sure we'll be fine

maybe you're thinking?
charge it!
or
maybe you're thinking like me, like many
not a chance!

i have vowed to myself not to charge anything unless in absolute dire straits. the plan in these parts is to pay off and we are sticking to it, making it habit and feeling good about it. the motivation to continue such a habit arrives each month when the sum due grows slimmer and slimmer.

once back in from the garden, from the morning chores, i got busy with the preparation of sunday's dinner. the goods are 99% organic homegrown with the other 1% from outside sources - water, olive oil, salt and pepper.

funny how good it feels to know you were a growing part of nearly every bit of the dinner.

- on the menu -
home raised dark cornish chicken seasoned with garlic, salt, pepper and garden grown herbs, rosemary, thyme and sage finished with a peach, mint glaze (put up earlier this summer)
-- sides of turban squash and home grown sweet taters --

i layered the sweet taters and squash directly beneath the chicken. there they gather flavor from the roasted juices of the herb crusted bird. i set the pan in the oven while i prepped up a batch of whole wheat biscuits.

hours later - walaaa!
a fine meal of homegrown goods
nothing better.

sound like thanksgiving?
well maybe but considering i did not cook a thanksgiving dinner at home this year, i figured it was fine.

what have you got in your freezer?
what is there fresh about your place?
take a look around - think creatively - think on a simple comfort level - make something up - most of all, enjoy that which you have. seek the positive.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

hippychick is officially at market

hippychick's super-d-lovely eggs are now officially at market.
- crowd goes wild -

it is true, it is true

you can now pick up your own super-d-lovelies
at
the bastrop producers market
any
tuesday through friday 11:ooam - 6:oopm

saturday 9:ooam - 6:oopm
sunday 1:oopm - 6:oopm

the bastrop producer's market
is located at


977 highway 71 / bastrop, texas
between fm 2o and highway 21
512.3o8.9989


hippychick’s super-d-lovely eggs
hippychick's gardens is a small quarter acre urban homestead located in historic bastrop, texas. from this lovely urban garden, we sell seasonal specialty greens, fresh kombucha, kombucha mothers and hippychick's super-d-lovely eggs.

we at the hippychick universe practice natural, sustainable gardening and small scale farming methods. we do not use chemicals, pesticides or insecticides on our produce.

hippychick keeps a small flock of naturally raised organically fed laying chickens, many of heritage and rare breeds which provide a beautiful array of colored and tinted eggs. our chickens enjoy fresh grown garden greens, organic feed and any yummy protein rich creatures they can scratch up.

find out more about hippychick’s gardens at local harvest or follow hippychick’s blog at well... right here!

hippychick gardens is a hand to hand sustainable ad-venture.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

chickenybabies first snow on the way

70 percent chance for friday snow
woooohooooooo!

this is very exciting for a chicago transplant who thought she would never see the day!
and and and
it will prove to be chickenybabes first snow
truly special
i wonder...
will they need
eeny weeeny snow shoes
or
eeny weeeny galoshes?

the wee ones are now in the metal shed which is loaded with three heat lamps that will keep them cozy and warm. if we experience a power outage, i will head out and move the creatures back into a brooder pen located in the house.

most all of the garden is tucked in - that which needs it

other bits may prove to do just fine
i will be setting leaves and hay around the goods later today for a bit of protection

the bunnies were gifted with a good bit of hay for burrowing

the outside side of the north side of the crazy coop is protected by stacked and covered bails of hay along with an outdoor curtain cover to protect from blowing wind.

the inside of the north side of the coop is protected by canvas covers.
the area above the roost is also covered with thick canvas protection.
i hung two heat lamps for the cool 20˚ nights we are soon to experience - i do not want the girls to freeze their little combs off. they help prevent frostbite.

the canvas protection wraps around the interior coop with a special moving blanket hung in the south doorway. they have full protection from nasty blowing air and from wet which is most important. i have hay stacked on the east side but have left this side without cover to allow healthy ventilation.

this is the south side of the interior coop. you can see the hay stacked on the right - this is the east side of the coop. the moving blanket in the door is secured only at the top and partially down one side so that chicken keeper me can easily enter the space. it's nice and cozy in there now. the pale canvas allows for light to bleed through so it feels like a cool kid fort.

the run is not insulated. this gives the girls the opportunity for hunkering down or playing about.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

tucking the garden in for a bit of a chill

yeah yeah i can hear you now

a bit of a chill?
in central texas?*(&*$@!
oh boo hoo for you

hey i'm not talking about me, i'm talking about the planting creatures. my veggies, my eats for the winter months, the garden beds all around the place.

those of most concern in the east garden include
  • peppers
  • maters
  • eggyplants
  • other tender babes that might not appreciate the chill so very much
these kiddos are now snug as a bug under a heavy weight row cover - got that set out this morning so no more worries when it comes to the east side beds.

then there are the
  • papaya trees
  • maters in the other garden
  • wee grapefruit tree
  • herbie babes
  • tender plants and flowers about the place

a freeze is a freeze north or south and it's a sorry gardener that does not plan ahead. tomorrow's protection plan includes caring for the trees and outlying garden areas.

i plan to wrap the papaya tree stalk with newspaper then slip some egg cartons around and finish with a burlap wrap. that should keep the kiddos quite cozy.

i will build a hoop house over the maters in the other garden then give them a wrap of plastic sheets and tuffbell rowcover for protection.

the wee grapefruit tree, along with various tender plants and flowers will probably get a feed sack over the top with a wrap of burlap at their base and a good piling of leaves for soil protection. it's a good thing recycling the paper feed sacks. they are usually two-layers of heavy duty paper with a plastic sheet in between which makes them hearty for dry and wet. sometimes i'll place a paper feed sack over the plant first and then place a second poly sack over the top for extra extra extra care.

just remember - if and when the temperatures rise- that you must remove the covers and or lift them off to keep plants from overheating. yeah it might mean some work on your part but hey the pay off is home grown goods and besides it's good exercise.

texas folk - there is a possible freeze - a - coming - don't say i didn't warn ya! and it's a rainy one forecast, so take extra care - a wet frozen sheet - not so good - you might want to pull out some plastic.

cheers!