It is time omg →
Here’s some great advice about planting flowers in the global warming era!
WHAT THE HELL KIND OF MONSTER EGG IS THIS?
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...
NEW GRIST PIECE IS ALL ABOUT BUYING CHICKENS!
Check it out please thank you!
A PEEBOTTLE PANORAMA FOR YOU!
Anonymous asked: 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! Dear Anonymous, I made a “blueprint” and a panorama of the farm because I’m a computer...
DONATE TO FARMERS HURT BY IRENE, OR AT LEAST SHOP...
alittlehoney: Terrible news for our farms, farm markets, foodies, and friends! Irene has devastated farms in upstate NY. And NOW the FDA has issued a blanket ruling that prohibits any produce that was under flood waters from being sold for human consumption. www.justfood.org for more information.
HEY SQUASH: YOU'RE KIND OF AN ASSHOLE
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...
NEW GRIST COLUMN TODAY
Go read my new piece at grist.org about building the chicken coop with Tei and having him hate me!
A WELCOME HOME DINNER FOR FARMER TED
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...
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.
HERE I AM PUTTING CHICKENS IN A DOG CRATE
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]
BATTENING IS MAN'S WORK
I have no idea what I’m doing with these chickens, and Farmer Tei is in stupid Holland working. I boarded up the coop window, screwed the dinky doors shut, and put a few big rocks inside to weight it down, but I’m still considering shoving the hens into Roo’s dog crate in the basement. Visions of a hot pink chicken scramble flying through the air are making me feel guilty in...
HOW IS YOUR GARDEN GROW?
It’s really wrong to make fun of someone for speaking English as a second language, but Tei’s mom, Eiko, once asked me “how is your garden grow?” and now that’s the only way I can ask anyone anything (try it next time you want something more snazzy than “how was your day?”). I’m not making fun of her. She’s just adorable and Japanese. Anyway,...
A GRIST.ORG COLUMN!
If you want to see what it’s like when I try to take all the little episodes that I describe here and make sense of them, please read my new column on Grist! I’ll be writing about Peebottle every other week! Above is my author photo, because I’m mysterious and I love fried things.
TOMATOES ARE EXISTING BECAUSE I'M A FUCKING WIZARD
Early last summer, Tei’s mother, Eiko, came for a visit at my parents’ house, and we all ate some heirloom cherry tomatoes my mom had bought at a farm stand in Upstate New York. They were dark purpley-green and intensely flavorful. We all just raved about them, the way people in a comedy sketch about the absurdity of “foodies” would. Eiko, ever resourceful and an...
1/3 OF THE FLOCK NOW LAYING EGGS, NO MORE EGGS...
Folks, we’ve reached the next level of farmdom. I don’t know if it was the sunlight from the window Carpenter Luke recently installed, or if she just needed a little more time, but a second chicken has joined in on the laying action. I explained (and maybe complained) last week that a second hen had sporadically begun to lay eggs—one runty, yolkless thing and one that got cracked...
Just in case you were wondering what voracious chickens looked like inhaling a bowl of rolled oats, bread chunks, and pickled herring. Because that’s what I gave them and they went crazy, except that one weird girl who’s still poking at the ground off to the left.
I REALLY HATE TO BRAG ABOUT MY ROOFTOP OASIS
Mmkay, oasis might be a strong word, but I’m just glad I didn’t brag about my first attempt at this, when I forgot about the whole thing for several days during the heat wave, because i was too busy napping in between cold showers, and everything turned brown and crunchy. Kids, remember to check out your local farmer’s market or farm stand for happy, natural plants. Best...
PING PONG EGGS AND A NEW WINDOW
I bet you guys have been dying of curiosity about my egg situation—oh!—I mean my chicken egg situation. Well, ever since I got the first one, about two weeks ago, I’ve been collecting one almost every day from the same box. I’m assuming it’s from the same hen lady. They’re getting a little bigger and none since the first have had double yolks. A few eggs have been left on the main floor of the...
Here is a photo essay (?) documenting the life of our sunflower. Yeah, I’m a hippie now, deal with it.
LEARNING ABOUT SQUASH BLOSSOMS THE HARD WAY
Yesterday, after a shit day at work, I was really feeling serene when I snipped some squash blossoms from the garden and collected my one daily egg from the coop. What a life. I can’t figure out a way to refrigerate the flowers without having them wilt within a few hours, so I decided to eat them right away. Upstairs, while I rinsed them, one blossom gave me a sharp vibrating buzz when i...
FACING MY FEAR OF CHICKEN FEET
I haven’t mentioned it yet, because I’m trying to focus on feeling like a grown-up farmer and putting the past behind me, but: I’ve always been afraid of birds. Ever since Herbert the Duck chased me away from his pond angrily when I was a kid, ever since Hitchcock, ever since I went to Venice and saw tourists pour bird-feed onto their daughter’s head so they could take...
OUR FIRST EGG HAS DROPPED!
Farmer Tei left for tour Tuesday (with Baryshnikov, who is acting in a crazy Russian play which requires many suitcases full of wires and projectors and bing bongs and noodles)—but enough about Tei, the poor guy just missed a very big day at Peebottle: our first egg. My dopamine spiker went through the roof when I opened the door to the nesting boxes yesterday evening to find a lovely brown egg...
CHICKENS HAVE LANDED AT PEEBOTTLE!
Yesterday, we took a little field trip to Smoke Hollow Farm, in Pittstown, New Jersey, and bought six chickens! We found the beautiful farm and the very laid back, informative farmer, Doreen Weston, on Craigslist, where she had advertized her pullets (young hens, but old enough to lay small eggs). We had decided against starting with chicks, who are very vulnerable and months away from...
THE WORLD'S MOST BEAUTIFUL CHICKEN COOP
Folks, it’s been a long process, from deciding on a plan to organizing our Home Depot trips, and, most challenging: trying to work nicely together even though Tei is a cranky only child and I’m a skill-less and emotionally-sensitive builder. But it’s done. We have a chicken coop. And it’s the best one ever, I’m quite sure. Tei is not very friendly when he’s...
SPENT GRAINS FOR THE DOGS (AND SOON FOR THE BIRDS)
This is Roo. She’s a messy eater. I am a deeply flawed person, but one thing I’m proud of, even if it’s a little compulsive and hoard-y, is that I waste very little food. I always save bones for making broth, duck and chicken fat for sauteeing vegetables, and make weird frittatas and stews and sauces with leftovers. After that, whatever scraps can’t be fed to our dogs,...
Beer-making is one of our many hobbies over here at Peebottle, and we have three new batches started, a dry-hopped Pilsner, a Kölsch, and a dry-hopped IPA, made with ingredients from Austin Homebrew Supply. Here’s our Kölsch getting cooled down in the bathtub before the yeast is added. In a week, we’ll transfer it to the second fermenter and dry-hop it. Whatever that means. ...
CHICKENS TK SOON
Farmer Tei made me very happy when he took it upon himself to clear out this section of the backyard for the chickens we will get soon. I was hesitant about the whole thing momentarily because he will be away for the second half of the summer, but some friends with years of egg-sperience (I’m really sorry about that joke but it’s genetic and I can’t really be held responsible)...
DID YOU KNOW SUNFLOWER SEEDS WERE REALLY COOL...
I did not. We are going to try to grow these too. Or maybe make jewelry out of them?
Last year, we made the rookie mistake of devoting too much real estate to the herbs in our garden. This time around, we’re gonna move them up to the roof for easy access now that we’ve moved into the top floor of Peebottle Estates. (Hey Tei, can you build some planters for the roof? Thanks!) In the ground will be some more substantial veggies, like beets, squash, and eggplant, in...
SPRINGTIME FOR PEEBOTTLE
Hello friends! It’s finally time to dust off this old farm blog and get ready for season two of Peebottle. Now the snow is gone, and we’ve discovered that a few determined plants survived! Great job, sorrel. Sage also hung in there through all that winter bullshit. We’ve got big plans for this season, so stay tuned and tell your friends to get inspired, if only to care for...
Even though we had to combine it with a bunch of turnip greens purchased outside our land. Baby steps.
Tei is in Paris working (tough life, Ted). When he comes back he better be ready to build me a mother-effing chicken coop. Below are a couple of shots of the eggs we bought from a Connecticut farmer who also sold us raw milk. I’m going to visit him again this weekend and I recommend you all get in on this. Cooked milk is so over. Right now is baby cow season, so the milk is mad fatty. So...
Recycled tire planters
Great job, me. Who is gonna mow this shit?
Remind me to tell you about the time I spent an entire day laying 5 rolls of free sod (Thanks Amy and Kendal!) around a random portion of the garden. It’s a real knee-slapper. OK, I’ll tell you now. Let’s leave aside the sheer unbelievability that I was even able to lift these things. It’s a miracle the stuff is surviving. Everything I read about how to root sod warned...
Hey look, I wrote a thing about urban farming! →
Check out my post on Serious Eats about an interesting discussion the other night at the Astor Center. Annie Novak, co-founder of Greenpoint’s Eagle Street rooftop farm was one of the speakers.
Peebottle is more than a garden, and it will eventually be more than a farm. It’s already a communal gathering place—a spot where some city people can feel a little less city. We hope it’s also an inspiration to our neighbors who, until recently, had a view of a big pile of trash, and the kids who have been watching us clean it up. In terms of sheer deliciousness, we’ve got a...
stillhungry asked: i have a question. can you set this up so that people can comment? because i have a lot of valuable comments that i would like to add. also, looking at all these pics makes me realize that i have to bring my children to your farm.