Sunday, February 28, 2010

eating one's greens

here at the homestead, we've been fortunate enough to experience in recent days - a varied and plentiful bevvy of winter gardeny greens. in fact, we've got them coming out of our ears.

in the mix grows
  • ruby red beet greens
  • kale of three varieties
  • chinese cabbages
  • chards of a varied color - red, yellow, orange and green
  • spinach - super yummy personal favorite
  • salad greens - now we're talking nearly 15 different types
  • argula
  • bok choi
  • mustard both green and red
  • collards
  • sprouting broccoli greens
long story short
we're not hurting for greens
so i've been mixing and matching and eating them fresh and steaming and tomorrow night placing them in the hand of a friend to see what he can do with the good stuffs. it should be fun.

the chickeny and wabbitty wabbit creatures are taking part in the bevvy party too. wabbit prefers the chinese cabbage with a side of flat leafed parsley. the chickeny girls on the other hand are willing to give all the greens a shot.

soon the season will warm to temperatures beyond that of which most of the greens prefer. then poof most everything will send up a stock and go to seed. most years i've pulled the goods out of the soil at the top of this process for either creature eats or composting. not this year. this is the year of seed saving so most everything needs to set put for a while in order to develop proper seeds.

the up side for the waiting
the bees have been going nutso for the flowering that has already begun, which alone would be worth the wait. in the mean time, while we still have good green weather i celebrate, daily, sometimes several times in a single day even.
that's a lot of greens
eat your greens peeps

no turning back now

poor poor daddy - poor daddy poor daddy - ooooooh poor daddy
this one - she's a heartbreaker
cheeky eyes the already inquistive brow
poor daddy look out

Thursday, February 25, 2010

traveling too outer setting sphere

there are times when it is good
to simply set with a beer
and to set and to set and to set

there are times when it is good
to simply set with a beer
and to stare and to stare

no where
in particular

there are times when it is good
to simply set with a beer
while the creatures step about you
setting near

there are times when it is good
to simply set with a beer
pondering wondering blahndering
what? rather maybe then who?

there are times when it is good
to simply set with a beer
set with a beer
or two

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

love of my life

who's that lovepea?
hazely-z is she is she

niece of my dreams

ahhhh the smirk
i know that smirk

have smirk will cause trouble
or should that be travel
nah nah
trouble it is!
go go girl - i love ya
big smooch your face till your lips and cheeks are in scrunches bunches

auntie m

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

why not - soaking sprouting seeds for garden planting

every gardener in every region runs up against seasonal challenges - the serious gardeners a.k.a. stubborn mule gardeners never allow such challenges to quell one's excitement toward success a.k.a. victorious conquer. (no offense mule lovers, i like mules too - in fact if ever blessed with the space i hope for both a jack and a jenny roaming about)

for me, carrots, beets and fava beans have been a challenge. mostly with the nailing down of the proper planting time in our hot, cold, crazy climate. plant to early and they'll not sprout. plant too late and heat kills the later growth cycle. and then there is the "i thought i was doing everything right but still no sign of growth" plantings". it's been hit or miss so i've spent a great deal of time studying carrots and beets from late summer to fall through our current winter's season. so far, this blessed season has nutured each. (note - all bets are open until harvest - so far being the key phrase)

fava beans on the other hand are new to the hippychick universe. for a while now i thought, favas were simply an impossibility. then one day, i figured why not try? why not? so i did and i must say that i am most proud of the fact that my coveted dried favas have successfully sprouted in the garden with a great and powerfilled might.

so today i soak a second round of favas for planting in a few days forward. in turn i'm soaking a good handful of my coveted mixed sprouting seeds which include, mung bean, peanut, lentil (green, red and black), and chick peas. i'll toss them in the soil for a come what may. they may prove fruitful, they may prove positive for bee and/or bird and/or soil microbe building. no expectations - simply a test - if something takes off, proves strong and produces well, i may consider a full planting for next season.

moral of the story - try something impossible, you never know, you never ever know

Monday, February 22, 2010

and down she goes cool chill she blows

there's a bit of a chill in the aire. the sky slate blue on horizon runs milky white to the edge of heaven's ledge. the breeze takes on a dampened windy bite and one's skin shivers when she blows.

i knew she was coming. the she chill is in the aire. she wakes one with a pleasant surprise inspiring quick flitted movement, brisk chipper steps and a bit of haste with the making of one's morning chores. she calls for gloves as hands freeze quickly when splashed with water when sure thoroughly wet. a thick fleeced pocket would prove most welcome on a day of such day as today.

hot tea she is steaming, she is scolding scalding my hand as my steps lose their grace lose their footing. the steam rises like music floating upward off of the page and i strain for the tune she sings. in gulps i do drink her and i suffer the burn on the tongue for the heat she provides my insides with.

now back in the home where my fingers , my toes, my feets and my face flush warm.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

dark days week 14 - breaking fast with green and yellow

a warm hello to the dark days folks. it's been a few weeks out of town, burried in snow, away from the connection of local farms, away from the home farm.

it's good to be back with creatures familiar. it's good to be sharing pints with friends, enjoying once again the early morning walk about and eating goods grown and raised right outside the back door.

this morning i break fast with green and yellow

once finished with the morning chores, i broke off a good few handfuls of fresh green spinach. the springy spinach leaves held a good crunch upon the tongue. i had to test it before heading inside of course. i cracked a few eggs gifted from the girls into a hot buttered iron skillet. i topped the eggs with shavings of my own homemade cheddar - now properly aged and sharp as ever. the spinach was then set atop the eggs and the cheese and the lot then covered with a top to steam into a homegrown trio.

it's a long full day ahead.
pullets to be delivered
coops, yard and garage barn need a good tidying up
there may be more chore than day available but we'll get as far as we are able

Friday, February 19, 2010

worth the wait

home home again and it feels so good
peas are popping up through the soil
birds are singing - believe it or not i've got an apple tree blooming - chickenychicas are laying laying laying oh boy are they laying
spring my dear is soon to round the bend

hippychick's first favas have sprouted good and strong
could it be the most excellent hippychick chicken and wabbit wabbit compost giving them a boost? i think so yes!

my forever faithful opera joins me for the morning's walkabout
opera is my primary caretaker when i'm off on trips
opera - protector of the hippychick universe
i love this boy

here we've got garlic, mustard, parsley and poppies in progress - again bathed in oh so yummy home grown compost - not only is the compost good for feeding but it has helped the plants survive the 20˚ evening weather dips sans rowcover - pretty amazing in my book

baltimore is lovely, the folks there are lovely
but truth be told
it's good to be home.

the garden has presented the meal plan for the next few weeks
greens, greens and more greens
daikon radish
herbal teas
wee little beets

there are eggs a plenty to enjoy
in quiche
egg noodles
maybe a custard
or fried over steamed veggies

there are the home made cheeses now ready for tasting as time required for maturing has now passed - just this morning i tapped into my black pepper honey cheese, a hard cheese with a slightly tart sweet finish, a cheese that would combine well with figs and apricots.

and yogurt - i've got homemade yogurt which i enjoy regularly with my home canned peaches

and this does not even enter the world of the deep freeze
we want for little round here
and we eat well
it's all in the planning and in the efforts put forward
patience too plays a part
the pay off
happiness, health and goodness
it is more than worth the effort
i am continually surprised at the results - i consider myself lucky - i also consider myself a hard workin' urbany farmgirl - either way - the path to happiness is one i hope to forever explore

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

minato sushi bar - baltimore - good freakin' eats!!!

i love love love sushi
and last night i sat my solo self down at the minato sushi bar.

here is the report
yummy yummy
oh sooooooo yummy!

i enjoyed the following treats
  • ankimo - monkfish liver pate' - smooth, tender and mild - i could have gone for two portions it was so good
  • treasure roll - lobster, eel and avacado - yes it is as good as it sounds - it is good to be visiting the eastern coastal area
  • uni - sea urchin fresh from maine - amazingly sweet - a personal favorite
  • radish sprout sushi - literally radish sprout over rice w/a seaweed ribbon - a great cleansing finish to a wonderful meal
- the moral to this story -

if you are in baltimore
if you enjoy sushi
you must venture to
minato sushi bar
you will not be sorry

minato sushi bar
1o13 north charles street
baltimore maryland

i will be visiting minato again this eve
i hope to see you there!
i'll be the female in the blue hooded cardigan sweater with an expression of pure bliss upon my face


Monday, February 15, 2010

austin funky coop tour - its FREEEEEEEEE!

backyard chicken enthusiasts will open their backyards to the public for this FREE self-guided tour.

you'll be able to
visit a variety of chicken coops. see how a successful poultry project can be managed in the city, and learn about the breeds that do well in our central texas climate.

find out just about anything you might need to know
about keeping chickens in your own backyard.

the funky chicken coop tour is sure to be fun for
everyone, we hope to see you there!

april 3, 2o1o

1o:oo am
to 4:oo pm
rain or shine

visit the funky chicken coop tour site here!

visit the keep it green page on the site and discover ways to enjoy the tour via bike, bus, foot or via groupoo carpooliooo!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

my favorite

little miss sweet young thing

after her

lighting designer

auntie's heart

Friday, February 5, 2010

local baltimore slow baltimore seasonal baltimore

i'm spending the next few weeks working in baltimore proper. i've been searching out local foods, local eats and local farm connections in my spare time. thanks to the new rise in interest in the local and slow lifestyle the search quest is proving quite easy.
we are about to be hit with a big big storm but i'm hoping that i'll be able to get out and about in order to support and enjoy local seasonal goods.
  • are you a local producer?
  • are you a local farmer?
  • got a local meeting and/or gathering in the next few weeks?
  • got a baltimore link?
help me find you - leave a comment -

*any farmers/cheese makers out there willing to give me a look see around your place? please please please pretty pretty please - give me a holler!

cheers local baltimore
slow baltimore
cheers seasonal baltimore

Monday, February 1, 2010

new girls in town - making one's way into the flock

interesting... hmm, this is not good.
wow truly wow
ok solution time...

the kiddos are getting big - quarters are growing tighter
time for action. no time for wasting.

option 1
pull from the population of young girls and re-home into larger living quarters

this means mixing into my two established flocks. mixing flocks can be tricky. i'll have to be on watch as often as i'm able. i'm suppose to be prepping for a trip - uggghhhhhh

ok - pull two groups of five from population working towards increased success with buddy protection system. cross fingers - hope for easy mixing

first day result

group 1
not so easy mixing - in fact one girl gets literally picked on so hard that i remove her from the flock. she is now inside the house house in her own quarters resting up. my incredible neighbors will watch her progress eventually placing her back with her original flock.

there are some bossy bosses in this flock - i hope the bosses chill out and welcome the new girls into the community sooner than later. i have made efforts to distract the elder ladies with treats of greens, cabbages. i fluffed up the bedding with my boots in hopes of placing attention on excavation exercises - digging and scratching rather than the exercise of bossing around the new girls.

group 2
better - they are sticking together which helps a great deal. i think they will be accepted into their flock in good time. I placed new leafy bedding in the inner coop and making use of the cabbage and greens distraction device. fingers crossed.

group 3
the younger flock minus ten has space enough and is now more comfortable in their living quarters. they are well. they will need more space soon - for now, all is well.

this is business folks - sometimes chicken buying folks are not able to follow through - you as chickenmama have to be ready to do what's best for the flock. we're doin'.

more to come...