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The chicken, or the egg?

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Ready for a chicken tale? If you keep chickens yourself, you’ll be nodding your head already…if you’re considering keeping chickens, well, keep positive, they are a great addition to a homestead or backyard and the eggs are delicious. Some days the chickens themselves look pretty damn tasty too…

wpid-20150228_134632.jpgNo, that’s a pineapple, silly. Well, soon to be. Back to the chicken story. Picture Friday morning. I’m half asleep – stayed out too late the night before – dragging my feet as I get ready to leave for work. The chickens are squawking for their breakfast and I can hear them moving their empty water bowl around the coop as they become ever more impatient. If you get chickens, expect never to sleep in again. So I stumble out there – now, I have a routine: corn, feed, water – I focus my half-open eyes on the empty water dish, and in that moment that’s all I care about – they still have feed left from yesterday. Silly silly me. When you have a routine, stick to it! So I’m filling the water bowl, and a hen slips out the door. Not just any hen, one of my smallest, sliest hens. I finish what I’m doing, giving her some time to settle down after her escape, crossing my fingers that Edwin doesn’t start a game of chase-the-chicken. Then, I herd her around the outside of the coop about three times; she stays just out of my grasp, and spooks every time we near the door. Forth time lucky, she’s in! But with one hand behind the escapee and the other reaching for the door…the rooster escapes! With another wily hen in tow. Now, perhaps you’ve got a relationship worked out with your rooster, but I don’t so far. One hen, I can catch. One rooster and eleven hens in under 30min? No way. So, I sadly survey my beautiful beds of baby greens, just 2 days short of first harvest, my bushy mass of sweet stevia, my vigorous chocolate mint…
Chickens are destructive. So very destructive. By the time I got home from work all of my greens, all of my stevia, most of my mint, my just-sprouted onions and cilantro…had all turned into chicken. Plump, satisfied, sleepy chicken. Aarrrggg! Let that be a tale to remember, next time you say “let’s get some chickens, they’re so cute!”.

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Spot the chickens.

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Before the escapade…

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…and after the escapade. Thieves! As an afternote, they also tore apart my entire kitchen, getting on the counter, finding the egg basket, knocking everything else off, removing chimneys from lamps…

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In other news, the baby tortoises have a new pen – a lean-to adjoining the chicken coop.

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More shelves up in the kitchen!

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Making lye from wood ash.

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Making soap from homemade lye, lard, and essential oils.

wpid-20150301_141549.jpg The Nid is nearly ready for her doors, the last coats of paint dry as I write. These doors have been a long time in the making, but they will be well worth the wait, with their carved designs and bright splash of colour. Gradually the interior also comes together, with a shelf here, a wall framed in there, a bit of plaster to fill in a hole…

The cooking gets ever more elaborate – well, you know me by now – with achievements this week including flour tortillas, garlic butter-naan, lemon custard, and fresh pasta. It’s becoming hard to buy anything pre-made, for the freshly made goods are so much tastier! You might say, but that’s the whole idea, isn’t it? Well, yes…but “quick and easy meal” has taking on a rather different meaning these days. Your “taco night” always means fresh, hand-rolled tortillas, right? The fresh pasta remains my favourite, however:wpid-20150228_175007.jpgwpid-20150228_192605.jpgwpid-20150228_192708.jpgWe’re open for orders now through 6pm on Tuesday, with our featured special being an Artisan Focaccia for $10. You may order through our Products page for pickup at Cruzan Gardens or at our Nidulari roadside stand. For C’sted pick up please order through the Prime Produce website. We do have fresh eggs available also, at $4/half dozen, they are delicious and the shells are perfect for Easter crafts! Stop by our roadside stand for fresh greens, treats, and snacks, as well as our full range of preserves.

Don’t forget that next Sunday is our Good Samaritan of Haiti coffee morning fundraiser event! There will be extra cinnamon buns for sale and lots of other goodies, so come by, bring your friends, and have fun!

Hope to see you all on Wednesday or Sunday – cheers!

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