We are currently involved in art shows and music gigs and a burgeoning garden--life is a bit too busy to blog regulary these days. But here is a brief synopsis of a few things going on lately at Squash Blossom Farm:
We had a couple of delightful couch surfers stay with us last week. Sujai and Kristi were traveling from Californina to New York before Sujai moves to France to start a little farm on land her mother owns. Both women are professional chefs--and made us a wonderful breakfast before they resumed their cross-country road trip. Our chickens provided the eggs and our garden the herbs.
After slaughtering a dozen or so chickens ourselves, we took the next 40 to a poultry processor. We delivered chickens to Utica (about 3 mile east)at 7 a,m. and picked them up, finished, at 4 p.m., bagged, USDA inspected, weighed on a certified scale and labeled. Yeah, we agreed it is worth the cost. Most of the chickens the processor gets are the white, slow-moving, fast-growing Cornish Rock breed. When the owner saw our lively, colorful heritage breed roosters he said "These chickens are so beautiful! Are you sure you want to kill them?" I answered yes, we have 150 more at home (that's way too many roosters!) but I admit I had tears in my eyes. I have to remember that they lived a longer-than-usual and very idyllic life for a chicken.
When we got home, the younger batch of roosters had moved into the previously older rooster territory and were acting much more cocky.
Cadence's fancy corn crop was seriously diminished by our free-range chickens, but the plants that did survive are now tasseling. This is the Oaxacan Green corn.
Ed Hayes, a tree specialist, climbed up the huge silver maple growing in the middle of the old silo foundation. This is the tree that lost a huge branch in a big windstorm which landed precariously on our barn roof and had to be removed with a crane. Because the tree is now a bit lopsided after removing the limb,the arborist recommended bracing the remaining branch so if it comes down in a wind, damage will be mitigated. Ed shimmied up the tree and attached a 9,000 lb. test rope between branches. It's a lot higher up than it looks!
Almost every morning I have to power-wash the patio because that is where the geese prefer to sleep at night and geese, well, they are so messy! In my daily power washing I have discovered that a nice big toad is living on the patio in the corner by the steps. I suspect he ventures out at night to feast on insects attracted by the yard light. On another note, today Cadence found a huge garter snake in the veggie garden - about 3 feet long and two inches in diameter. I appreciate that the snake is probably keeping the rabbits at bay, but I am glad to know he is there so I am not startled when I meet him in the tomatoes.