Sunday, October 30, 2011

2011 Chicken Tales

You may remember our try at raising chickens last year.  We saw three chicks grow, lay eggs, and die all within a few months.  This year our luck has been better, only one chicken died, and he was illegal in the city anyway!

I don't have any pics of them as chicks because, well, we were hatching our own chick at the time.

Here's the ladies hangin' out on the back patio.  One day the most beautiful one started crowing, and unfortunately got sent to my grandfather's farm to later be killed by their dog.
That's the life of a chicken farmer.

The door to the coop blew shut before bedtime...so they went to bed on the roof!

Often when chickens start laying, the eggs are odd shaped, have more than one yolk, or have other abnormalities as they figure out what they are doing.  Not our chickens, they laid nicely sized beautiful eggs from the beginning.  Here is one way we used the eggs, an omelet with fresh local tomatoes!  

And this is what we found last night.  I'm including it in the chicken post because I'm pretty sure that's what he was after.  Thanks to my cell phone alarm going off every evening ("Time to put the chicken's to bed") we haven't forgotten to close the coop this year...so this guy won't be as lucky as last year's possum.

As the days have shortened, so has the size of the eggs.  We're not the kind of people to hang a light up in the coop, or let them come inside, so we'll see how much longer they lay.  Until the next season, we'll find somewhere else to buy brightly colored eggs.  

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The pictures say it all!

If you are a regular follower, you may have noticed I haven't posted since August 23rd, oh my!  I will not drone on and on about why - bloggers who do that drive me nuts!  Instead, I will post some of the pictures of our local foods fun from the summer.  Enjoy and be encouraged in your own local food endeavors.

Fresh asparagus from the Food For Thought Spring Fling.


Our cucumber purchase at the Old Town Farmers' Market.


Picking grapes at the KMUW Grape Harvest Gathering at Grace Hill Winery.  A full post to come soon, but for now, here's a visual taste of the local foods fun.


Enjoying fresh watermelon from Great Grandpa's garden - who says kids don't eat fruits and veggies?


The days are shorter, the weather cooler, and the eggs are coming less frequently (yes, we tried again with three hens this year).  I hope your fresh local foods season has been as excellent as ours!  More to come soon...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"The alcohol will kill it."

Last year's harvest became Apricot Brandy and Apple Brandy

Last year I blogged about our first attempt at apple brandy.  Sunday I had a scratchy throat, so Chris offered me some of his completed apple brandy, telling me the alcohol would kill whatever was ailing me.  I must say, it is good.  We tried it after the recommended amount of time (included in the instructions in the original post), and were disappointed with the flavor.  But, time and patience have paid off, and it's mighty tasty now.  Tasty, but not healing, a 101.7 degree temperature arrived the next day.  Oh well, we'll just enjoy the brandy, healthy or not!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Building Family Connections - The local foods way!

Our little family, shucking peas together.

Previously I've written that local eating builds community.  It also builds family.  While Chris was on vacation early this summer we harvested peas for dinner.  Then we spent time together as a family, with baby Clara, shucking the peas.  I have fond memories of sharing this same activity with my grandmother at her kitchen table while I was growing up.  A task some see as tedious, but one she enjoyed.  Together we'd sit and talk and unintentionally build our relationship, one that caused me to name our daughter after her.  No TV, not even the radio, just our own voices for entertainment.

It's about time to plant a fall garden, which will hopefully survive better than our summer garden, considering the days shouldn't continually be in the 100's.  Use this excellent planting guide to know when and what to plant for fall harvest, and then share the harvest with your family (they don't have to be blood, or live with you, to be considered family!)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Beautiful New Local Producer Category!

Fresh flowers from Chisholm Creek Flowers.

This blog and website are about loving local food, and since some flowers are edible, I'm adding a new category to the Wichita Area Local Producers List - Flowers!  I took this beautiful picture at the Old Town Farmers' Market, and told the grower that I am sure he has the most beautiful farm around.  Can you imagine, a flower farm?  

While flowers are edible, the ones that aren't are also a great way to build into our local economy, just as local food purchases do.  You can ask what types of growing aids were used (chemicals) if you're interested, and know the history of the flower.  Try doing that at your local floral department.  Here's to sharing birthday's, anniversaries, mother's day, valentine's day and many other special days with locally grown beauties!

And remember...the Wichita Area Local Producers List is a community created list.  If you know of other local flower producers, let me know and I'll add their contact info to the list.

Monday, July 18, 2011

"The Blueberry Years" - Plans for Thursday anyone?



I love reading memoirs and learning from real life experiences.  Last year I blogged about what I learned and the passion invoked in me upon reading the story of a Texas lavender farm.  I'm hoping I have just as great of a time reading this book chronicling the life of a couple who started one of the first mid-Atlantic pick-your-own organic blueberry farms.  The really neat thing is that Watermark Books will have James Minick, the author of "The Blueberry Years," signing books at their store on Thursday at 7 p.m.  Plans for Thursday anyone?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011