Tuesday, December 28, 2010

An unceremonious start


Well, after months of contemplating blog post #1, today seems as good a day as any to finally just get down to it and write something. It's just after Christmas mayhem, I'm sitting on my sofa in sweats with a cold, and don't have a clue where to begin. What does liquor and poultry have to do with anything? Who knows...I enjoy them both and that's all that matters really.
Instead of rambling about who I am or what the point of all of this is (ask me again later), I think I will simply begin by listing some of the big changes and accomplishments that have been made here on the tiny farmette this year. Being that the New Year is less than a week away, it seems fitting.

1. In addition to two bumbling dogs and a not so farmish fish, we now have chickens! This spring (ok, it was more like summer) we added a flock of 15! It almost feels like a real homestead! Since I am incapable of making up my mind (restaurant menus are hell for me), I have a mix of quite a few different breeds, some of which I ordered from the awesome My Pet Chicken, while others I picked up locally. Breeds include: Buff Orpington, Easter Egger, Barnevelder, Wyandotte, Blue Copper Marans, Barred Rock, Salmon Faverolle, and Welsummer.

2. We killed roosters! Like I mentioned, I picked some chicks up locally and since it's very difficult to sex them that young, we had roosters. Lots of roosters. Six crowing in unison every morning was a bit much. So in September we "harvested" a few, or 5. The handsome cockerel pictured up top was the lucky one who was spared. Of course I have no pictures of the big day, I will work on this photo documenting thing. But I plan to blog all about it soon.

3. I brewed my first batch of cider! Hard pear cider to be exact. Actually Perry to be more exact. The backyard is home to 2 huge heirloom trees that grace the yard with truckloads of stinking rotting pears every year (yellow jackets love them). And even after all of the canning, and pickling, and the pear butter, and pies and tarts are made, it barely makes a dent. So this year I tried something new and brewed a slightly larger dent into cider. I will be posting more in depth about it after the new year, as that is when I will be having my first glass. Wish me luck!

4. A mini orchard was added. Even with the pear killing fields in the backyard, I still managed to plant 2 apple trees, 2 peach trees, and 2 fig trees. While I didn't get around to getting a decent garden in this year, I did get 7 lovely peaches from my tree. More to be added in Spring!

Georgia Belle Peaches

 5. Eggs! Finally! After what seemed like a small eternity, those chickens are finally paying rent laying! Even though they have started laying during winter, I have been getting on average about 4-5 eggs a day. Every day is Easter now, esp. when the eggs are stunning hues of brown, green, and pink!

Happy Easter! wait...

 6. I joined a local CSA. For those of you who are not familiar with a CSA (which stands for Community Supported Agriculture), it is a fantastic way to get fresh produce from a local farm every week while supporting that farm for the season in advance when farms really need it. You pay a share up front which helps the farm get off to a good start early in the growing season and also helps them plan how much they need to grow, and you get a weekly (or biweekly) box of farm fresh produce and get the chance to meet your farmers and see where your food comes from. Sounded like a cool concept to me, and it was. Some of the items I received I had never heard of using or had not used before, i.e.: onion flowers, sunchokes, perpetual spinach, and kohlrabi. My CSA was with Serenbe Farms, Paige and all of the interns were awesome!

7. Oh, and I started this thing after almost a full 12 months of procrastination!

Those are the major events of the year. Goals for the next? Add on to the orchard, plant/not kill a garden, add a beehive and rabbits, brew beer, make an aged cheese, and slaughter more chickens!

Happy New Year!