Here’s some great advice about planting flowers in the global warming era!
It’s really important to get the chicken coop live cam installed ASAP so I can figure out which chicken pooped out this shockingly huge egg. And then I’ll have to decide whether to high-five her or buy her a hemorrhoid pillow.
Below are the various ways I photographed a giant egg to convey its giantness. I have not cracked this egg open yet because I am afraid. It’s in its own container in the fridge because I cannot close the carton with it inside.
The eggs range in size, and sometimes the biggest ones have two yolks inside. I can usually guess from the size and shape (they tend to be longer/taller). I think this egg might have four or five yolks inside, which is disgusting, but I’m not sure exactly why.
What’s the layout of your farm? Would you mind drawing up a little “blueprint” sort of deal showing where plots are, where chickens are, and so on, plus the reasons why you put things where you put them? Would be interesting to read. Thanks!
I made a “blueprint” and a panorama of the farm because I’m a computer scientist and it was a lot more fun than what I was supposed to be doing today!
For the most part, the decisions about where things would go in the yard were made for us. A big mulberry tree shades a large area, and someone had laid down a brick patio a long time ago, which we discovered when we shoveled away the foot of dirt that had buried it. So we put the garden on the other side, where it’s sunny. (This summer, Carpenter Luke helped me prune back some of the mulberry branches, which were creeping in and shading the garden.)
Long-time readers will remember that, for a few brief months, Peebottle Farms was twice as big as it is today. We cleaned up the entire backyard, which spans our building and the one next door, and once we did the hard labor, its beauty was so appealing that it was snatched away from us. Originally, we imagined the chickens living on that side, and away from the building, so they wouldn’t be so close to our neighbors’ windows. We are really thankful that the family whose windows are right by the coop doesn’t mind. In fact, they seem to like it (they’re Mexican, which might help make it seem less strange). There are three little kids who sit in the window watching them often, and of course, we’ve given them some eggs in gratitude.
Squash is one of those gardener ass-pains that everyone knows about, like mint. Except of course I didn’t know. So when Steve, possibly my favorite person ever, gave me a Christmas bouquet fortified with home-grown organic marijuana and two kinds of squash seeds, I was psyched.
In the spring, I asked him what kinds of squash they were and he said: “The littler seeds make smaller squash and the bigger ones make bigger squash.” Alrighty. So I started many seeds. When an amount is not specified, I generally put a lot of whatever I’m putting in whatever I’m making. A lot of black pepper in the sauce, a lot of seeds in the dirt. What if some of them don’t start?
Well, they started. Especially the big ones. (The big green leaves climbing the fence in the photo above are squash.) They started and did not stop. Their thick, strong vines grow about a foot a day in every direction, shooting out giant flat leaves that soak up the sun and shade everything beneath them. They sprawl out and send out corkscrew tentacles that strangle everything in their path like some kind of cartoon devil plant.
At one point, I tried to redirect the vines that had made a B-line through our neighbor’s yard, but the squash found its way back and has bisected their weed-and-rubble collection. Of course, our only sizable fruit so far is on that side of the border.
Apparently these guys are good for pies. I don’t even like pumpkin pie.
Go read my new piece at grist.org about building the chicken coop with Tei and having him hate me!
Tei is home for just a few days before heading to Paris for two more weeks working a lot of computers and projectors and sound things I don’t understand for "In Paris—A Play,” the crazy Russian play he is touring with Baryshnikov.
To welcome him home after a very eventful six weeks at Peebottle, I fed him some home-grown things. First, Shishito peppers, blistered on the stove and then drizzled with sesame oil and soy sauce (on a plate I made myself, FYI). A couple of them were hotter than they should be, which means I should have snipped them earlier, but they were delish. Then we had a chicken leg Thai curry with lots of basil from the garden and “eggy rice,” with our own eggs.
Readers, take note: at the bottom of this blog is a button marked “ASK A QUESTION”. Please use it to ask questions or give advice. Also, within each post you can comment freely. Let’s talk about chicken butts or something.
So, I decided to destroy Roo’s dog crate by putting six chickens in it to poop all night long during the storm. Yes, I wore latex gloves and freaked out the whole time.
The chickens are in the basement now, with food and water and the crate is elevated about a foot off the ground. They feel weird but what you gonna do?
[photos by lauren katzman <3]