Thursday, April 24, 2008

Butchering Day

We butchered our big rooster yesterday and I didn't take one picture. I guess my hands were a bit messy and James didn't think about it either.
It went well. All I can say is that I hope the eviscerating gets easier with each chicken. He's nice and big and will be tasty Sunday afternoon.
It also makes me even more leery of commercially raised chicken as most of them are processed mechanically and I cannot imagine a machine doing what I did yesterday with any accuracy at all. And from what I read...they don't. So I think from now on we'll stick to our home grown variety.
We have one more to butcher but he is smaller and gentler and it is 5:45AM and I have yet to hear him which I find interesting.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

So Busy

It is Holy Week for us Eastern Orthodox Christians and so therefore besides the every day farm duties of busy spring, we are busy with Church. This is why I will not be around much this week except to maybe update egg count, which certainly is awesome as of late.

We begin the Feast of Feasts Sunday, and in honor of this St. Brigid Farm will be butchering the roosters and setting them in the crockpot for a good 10-12 hours. This will make for amazingly juicy and tender meat that is making my mouth water just writing about it. Butchering day is tomorrow (we'll have pictures later) and I hope I can catch that cotton-pickin' rooster!

My tomato plants are huge...maybe a foot tall. I'm worried though as some of them are yellowing and the tallest of them seem to look weepy, like wilting. But they have plenty of water and and I have "fed" them fish emulsion from time to time. The only thing I can think of is that they have outgrown their pots again. If so I'll need to get them out side in big buckets. My dad suggested making a tent for them, another on the list of 100 things to do NOW. But I really want LOTS of tomatoes this year so I better do all I can do for them. Do you have any suggestions?

I'm getting ready to move chickens around. I will start butchering soon and thought I'd put the small, older flock into the smaller coop until they are all gone. So we are moving fence and clearing out coops and disinfecting them. I hope to accomplish this today and tomorrow.

Firefly has only a little over 2 weeks to go until kidding and they say to be ready a week ahead. As big as she is I really think it would be fun if she had triplets. And I wouldn't be surprised if she is a bit early.

We'll update as time allows!!

Have a great week.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


A couple of days ago, APRIL 17th to be exact, we got a special weather statement warning us about freezing weather moving in. "Cover your veggie starts and your flowering shrubs." It is suppose to be cold from Friday the 18th to Thursday the 24th, with lows around 30, give or take a few degrees. This is unseasonably cold. And the funny thing is, last weekend (while I was enduring 95-100 in AZ) our thermometer on the back porch registered 77 and the kids wanted to play in the sprinkler! I laughed and giggled about this, I couldn't believe it. I told James, "We used to say to this type of thing while I was growing up, 'Only in Minneeesooota', because it happened a lot."
OK, well it gets better!!!!!
Yesterday right after dinner we see this white stuff falling from the sky!!!!
It snowed!
And snowed!
We only ('s APRIL 18th for petes sake) got an inch or 2 BUT here are the snow totals for around the Seattle area...mostly north of Seattle...
Clearview: 10.2" Woodinville: 6.5" Mill Creek: 6.2" Edmonds: 3.5" Shoreline: 3.5" Mukilteo: 2"

My friend, Liz, emailed last night that she had 3.5" of snow on her back deck as of about 9pm. She lives in Bothell where we used to live not long ago.

So as spring is well under way here in the Pacific Northwest with tulips beginning to bloom, my spinich WAS planted, my red flowering currant (picture below) covered and hummingbird fodder....we have snow!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Firefly (and another pilgrimage)

Here is a picture of Firefly. You can see how big she is getting from her pregnancy. If she doesn't have twins or triplets I'll be shocked. She is getting really uncomfortable and makes all kinds of grunting and groaning noises when moving around. I had to call her previous owner to find out if this was normal because I was worried she was going into labor. I'd come up to the barn and could here her grunting and groaning. She told me it was normal...Firefly has always been very vocal about her large belly discomforts.

Butter is just starting to "show" a little and she is starting to form an udder.

I'll be headed on a plane today for the desert of AZ and a visit to 2 Orthodox Monasteries. I talk about it a tiny bit here.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Egg count is up!! On Sunday we had 32! I just ordered more cartons for selling eggs but in the meantime we are out of cartons. If you read this and have an St. Brigid Farm egg cartons laying around please send them on home.
;) We are selling lots of eggs now. Soon I hope we will be on the profit side of the spectrum where the farm is concerned. I need to get my excel file transferred onto this 'puter to make the updates.

I've decided to start butchering next week to stock the freezer. I also plan on eating my roosters for Pascha! I think they will make a very tasty return to good meat eating. I just don't think they are worth keeping and the other day as I was headed in to fill their feeder the big rooster came tearing after me from across the yard! Stupid bird! I stayed behind the fence until he was done jumping up at me through the fence. Yeah, he'll be much better in my crockpot. It isn't worth it just to hatch my own eggs.

Firefly is really protruding on the sides, full of kids! It appears as if Butter is starting to fill out as well but it is still hard to tell. I'm busy preparing for the kidding season!

More to come!