Tuesday, August 29, 2006

There's always a silver lining...

This morning I found my broad-breasted white turkey hen outside the chicken coop on the edge of the woods. She wasn't moving, except of slightly flapping her wing and calling softly to the other turkeys who were milling around my feet and generally getting in the way of my morning feeding (which is what they do best). I went to get her. She had been outside all night. She couldn't put weight on her left leg. I tried to put her with the other birds, but he toms just kept climbing on top of her - poor thing. She let me pick her up again and put her in with the goat girls with food and water close.

I called Charlie on my way to school and told him he would most likely have an unwanted and un-asked-for task when he got home (I had meetings and wouldn't be home until after dark). He found her as I had left her and um, did the deed. It wasn't as we had planned. I hope she didn't suffer too much during the day, and I feel terrible that I had to let her suffer at all. I came home and there was turkey chilling in the sink. Charlie was decompressing with a bottle of wine.

The silver lining is that we now have a 20.2 dressed turkey hen in the fridge and our One Local Summer meal will be turkey on Saturday. That was one big bird.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

One Local Summer #9

Farm life requires a hearty breakfast. For the second week in a row we've gone local and upped our protein load to the maximum advised by law. Here's this week's One Local Summer submission. Is it #9? I think so.

Burgers Country Ham - bought in Missouri, 20 miles from my hometown, when I was visiting my parents.

Warren Wilson Pork Sausage - Warren Wilson College pig, 3 miles away.

Eggs - the chicken house, 0 miles.

Blue Hill Farm Grits, 25 miles away - flavored with local bleu cheese.

Mmmm, my heart hurts.

And as KW mentioned, pullet eggs are a photo op! Here are two - one from an Ameraucana, one from a Minorca, next to the big girls eggs. They are so cute. Monkey had the green one and was dissapointed that only the outside was green. She so wanted green eggs and ham.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Where in the world is Maggie???

Um, I'm here. I've just been overwhelmed with work. As a teacher I often rolled my eyes at administrators. I never will again (I'm not promising anything, mind you). I have been up to my armpits in work. Who knew that getting licensure for preschool children could be so difficult. I can help you get a Ph.D., but in the eyes of the health department of the State of North Carolina, I'm not qualified to do snack time with 3 and 4 year olds. If you're 5, you're safe with me... If you are in elementary, secondary or college - I'm the woman for you (that didn't sound quite right, sorry) So, it looks like I'm going back to school for 2 classes on early childhood administration. Can I get a "hell yeah!"?

So, while the school is now thriving my garden is looking sorry, the chicken house is in desperate need of cleaning and the yard needs mowing. Jamie wrote a wonderful summary of August gardening. I knew exactly how she felt. Charlie has been traveling 3 out of 7 days a week to Virginia. I think I need to hire myself a yard boy.

While the chickens may be living in a dirty house (so am I at the moment...), they are thriving. I've been letting them free range most days. The little hens are starting to lay. Today I left them in the chicken yard all day and I came home to 11 eggs. ELEVEN! Some are small "pullet" eggs. One was blue. One was green. My ameraucanas are laying. I think some of the hens have been laying them in other locations, so for the next several days I'm going to keep them in the run until I get home from school. That way they'll use the lovely nest boxes I built and not go hide the eggs in a leaf pile somewhere.

The goats are fat and happy and I really need to find a boy for his "services" so we can have milk next year. I'm trying not to stress on it too much as I have lots of new things to stress about...

I'm expecting my life will slow down and get back to semi-normal in the next week or two. I'll be able to write and read again. I may even clean the house and mow the yard. I even forgot to post last weeks One Local Challenge for Liz. Since it was Sunday's breakfast, I suppose I could post it for this week, which I may - so stay tuned.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

One Local Summer #7

A cool front and a break in the weather had us thinking of fall... Charlie made dinner this week. And while roast beef is not our normal summer fare, the weather was in the 60's and we couldn't help ourselves!

Beef from Bath County, VA (Charlie's home away from home) - about 10 miles from his office.

Green Mountain Potatoes from the garden - 0 miles

Amarillo Yellow and Cosmic Purple Carrots from the garden - 0 miles

Walla Walla Onions, Shallots and Rosemary from the garden - 0 miles

For some reason, Blogger is not uploading my photo. It's here.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Assault with a Deadly Turkey Wing

A word of advice~
Never try to carry a broad-breasted bronze tom turkey weighing close to 40 pounds (even if you think it is for his own good).

One crazy flapping wing can lead to what feels like a slightly broken nose and a light black eye or two.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Greetings From the Show Me State

The monkey and I have been spending the last week at my parent's house in Missouri. Our main reason was to see my new nephew and I will tell you that he's pretty darn cute. We've had fun getting together with the cousins and checking out spots of interest.

Like Burgers Smokehouse in California, MO, home to (and there is no home-grown girl pride involved when I say this...) the best cured ham in all of North America. I bought a whole Ozark Cured Ham to take home at Charlie's request. He was too busy with work to come out for this visit.

Yesterday we went to the Missouri State Capital Building in my home town of Jefferson City. We spent a few cool hours running around the marbled halls and checking out all the spots I remembered as a kid. I almost grew up in that building. It didn't seem as big as it once did... I tried to convince the Monkey and my neices that the "M"s all over the place stood for Maggie, but they weren't buying it.

Tuesday my mother and I went to the Cole County Farmers' Market. I picked up various things to create my One Local Summer meal. Last night I made dinner and I can honestly say, there were no left-overs.

One Local Summer Meal #6
(I think it's #6)

Chicken and Vegetables in a Mediterranean Style

Chicken from a farm in Russelville, MO - 15 miles

Tomatoes, Green Peppers, Sweet Onions and Green Beans - all less than 20 miles

Burgers Bacon - 22 miles

Brown Rice - not local

The beer was local, although not up to my general taste: Budweiser! - St. Louis, Mo, 120ish miles.

Tomorrow we start the drive back to North Carolina. I'm looking forward to cooler temperatures. I miss my goats (Oh, and Charlie too...)!