Humble Garden

ReSkilling for future food independence

Archive for September, 2008

Some of our crazy chickens – Old English Game Fowl

Posted by Nika On September - 16 - 2008

Humble Garden: Olde English Game Hens and Rooster

Meet one of our Old English Game roosters (we have two) and one of the hens (other types of chickens shown = Rhode Island Red and a Minorca). We adopted these chickens from a teenager my oldest daughter met on a chicken board. He had bred and incubated these chickens himself but the town he lived in caught on to his chicken hobby and so he had to get rid of them. Its been interesting watching them grow because we were not sure what this kid had bred!

Turned out looking pretty good.

Humble Garden: Olde English Game Rooster

This is another one, a Bantam Old English Spangled Game Hen, we call her Quailie (you may have seen her in a previous post)

Qualie: Chicken or, what?

Chickens and chicken breeding is fun stuff!

Old English Game Bantam Club of America

Meet Flax

Posted by Nika On September - 14 - 2008

Humble Garden: Meet Flax - our new boy

Meet Flax, our new boy LaMancha goat and the new sire to our future kid goats. He looks a bit odd because he was shorn, shampoo’d, trimmed, powdered, and I am not sure what else!

He is a really sweet little boy and is in his own area right now as all the girls sniff him through the fence. He has a big job ahead of him!

Humble Garden: Meet Flax - our new boy

Arriving

Humble Garden: Inspecting the chicken

Sharon Astyk over at Casaubon’s Book wrote a really cute post about being potentially perceived as a “Sustainable Martha Stewart”

I hope that she NEVER has the nightmare interview that she parodies.

She refers to being called a “Sustainable Martha” – that is too darn funny. Martha actually does a lot to grow food on her property and she seems to love to blog about her efforts (tho she has an army of people who help do it and administer it so she too isn’t the perfect “Sustainable Martha”)

I have 3 kids and woe is the person who gives me a look askance about their numeracy. We figure we are just a tiny drop in the karmic balance bucket against the Duggars of Arkansas (who have bred up to 19 as of last count, are not done breeding, and who are teaching their kids to go “full quiver”)

My oldest complains at times about her goat milking, chicken tending, and egg collecting duties. I smile and try to be sympathetic while encouraging her to hop to it. Things will be more difficult when its -20 F this winter, then we will be going out to give her moral support.

We will also be arranging for a mechanical milking machine and warmer surrounds.

Besides, she doesn’t get ALL the tough jobs, she will not be the primary midwife this next early spring tho I intend to train her along with myself when the 8 goats go into labor. I try not to be terrified, most days it works.

I never assumed that Sharon would have a perfect house! Anyone with 4 kids and all the rest (including writing a book) would have to be twisted to be perfect in the cleaning department too.

My house – well – it does make me weep on occasion. I admit to dreaming about becoming a monkess at a zen monastery where NOTHING but cushions hit the floor. And the quiet. I can dream. Then I awake to watch my sleeping kids as I get ready for my commute and work.

My real dream is to be able to stay at home and get a more complete situational mastery of the homestead but its been more difficult than it seemed in past times when I worked full time out of the home.

Only way THIS is happening is if I win the lottery.

Starting to let the avian folk in the garden

Posted by Nika On September - 1 - 2008

Humble Garden: chickens in the garden

If you do a bit of reading on permaculture you will see that integrating animals into the garden is very beneficial. You do have to be careful about allowing them access to tender delicious plants.

The nitrogen from the chickens, goats, and llama, all goes into the compost. The chickens convert weeds, bugs, MICE, other unknown things, into eggs. We have seen our chickens attack live running mice and eat them almost whole. Before this batch of chickens, I had no idea they were such hunters.

They do a great job of scratching up bugs in the underbrush and doing a bit of airing out of the compost heap.

Humble Garden: Inspecting the chicken

KD inspects one of the broiler chickens who is obviously getting rather large!

Humble Garden: chickens in the garden

Barred rocks scratching between raised beds.

Humble Garden: chickens in the garden

(Avian Revenge)

In the photo above, look at the upper right hand corner. You will see a blurred image of our cat Fuzzy. She is running for her life because aggressive little roosters are chasing her. Our cats (we have 5) mostly just watch the chicken antics.

Humble Garden: KD and cabbage

I had something like 12 cabbages growing and have been letting them grow and grow. Lately, two have simply burst (from the extensive rains?) so I have picked them. My oldest child who we thought was allergic to cabbage tried some (stir-fried with tumeric, nutmeg, sauted mustard seeds) and loved it!

So, this is a great metric for garden success – child now BEGS for cabbage!

Humble Garden: duck and chickens in the garden

Share how you use animals in your garden!

About Me

We are a family of 5, including Nika, Ed, Q (14), KD (7), and Baby Oh (4). We garden 1024 square feet of raised beds plus assorted permacultural plantings. We also have 13 LaMancha dairy goats, 40 chickens, and one guard llama.

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