I have a confession to make. Guilty as charged: yes, we let our dogs sleep in our bed. We used to have a strict 'no dogs in the bed' rule when we had our first shepherd Sadie, but after we lost her, somewhere along the way, we softened up and loosened the regulations and now we have dogs in our bed. Often during the day Bella, our German Shepherd, will sneak in to curl up and take a nap on the bed, but Winston, our corgi, has somehow claimed his nightly spot at the foot of the bed.
Staying cool in the oppressive Southern summer heat and humidity is what it's all about this time of year for us - and this summer I've also been 'mothering' a tub full of tadpoles (who are doing just great). Being indoors more, hibernating in our air conditioned house, does afford me more time to cook, which I enjoy, and homemade mayonnaise, pesto and ice cream were all on the menu this week along with some other delicious food using our fresh eggs, vegetables and herbs from the garden. Egg production has been down a bit because of the heat, but our
slackers girls have been enjoying lots of chilled and frozen treats to keep them cool. Enjoy!
Plantain is a perennial herb (considered a weed by many!) found nearly worldwide in lawns, fields and the woods. Edible for humans and animals alike, it can be eaten fresh/raw, used in salads or cooked much the same as spinach. It's high in calcium and iron, as well as Vitamin B1 and riboflavin. Our chickens and ducks love it, picked fresh from the woods or yard. In fact, I have a hard time finding some leaves that haven't already been nibbled on!
Summer has arrived with a vengeance here in Virginia. Hot, steamy humid mornings followed by violent thunderstorms by mid-afternoon. We're all keeping cool with lots of cool water, shade and chilled watermelon though. Egg production is down a bit, which is normal as everyone conserves their energy.
The highlight of our week was discovering the first frog to hatch in our tadpole puddle I've been keeping safe from the ducks clutches...and some weird mushrooms we found. Yup, it's an exciting life we lead out here in the country! Come take a peek!
Chickens and ducks are attracted to shiny things they find on the ground like spare change, nails, screws, hooks, aluminum foil, earrings, bits of wire, pieces of glass, staples and the like. This is extremely dangerous and can lead to serious health problems and even death as the heavy metals break down, enter the blood stream and slowly poison the bird - or sharp edges perforate the intestine, leading to infection. It can take days or weeks for symptoms to emerge, and by that time it's generally too late. Ducks, especially, are prone to Hardware Disease (or Heavy Metal Poisoning), which is very hard to treat, but easily preventable.
This week we all just hung out enjoyed the lazy days of summer. We found two turtles wandering around our farm and discovered a mud puddle full of tadpoles. The chickens and ducks enjoyed chilled watermelon to help them stay cool and our dogs and cat spent their days lounging around in the house where it was cooler. Enjoy this peek at our week!
Flies are a nuisance, but worse than that, they carry disease. Commercial chemical fly sprays aren't safe to use around your chicken coop, barn or animals, and those sticky fly strips - while effective - aren't the most attractive things, so I decided to make a cute natural fly catcher bunting for our chicken coop.
Happy Fourth of July everyone! Today's the day we celebrate our independence and the rights that most of us enjoy to raise animals and crops and support our family in a sustainable, self-reliant manner. This week marked our first garlic crop, our first batch of homemade mayonnaise of the summer and all kinds of great photo opportunities! I even managed to sneak some knitting in! Enjoy and Happy 4th!