Saturday, July 3, 2010

Farm and Garden Weekly - week of June 27

Beginning with this week's bulletin, I'm going to note how many eggs the chickens lay each week. This week's count: 44.

Tom brings them in to his school, and they fly off the shelves. He charges $2 per dozen. These are definitely free-range chickens; very healthy birds who eat bugs as well as their feed - layer pellets. The Dominiques are a long-lived breed and at Windy Poplars Farm, over time they die their own natural deaths.

However, the feed is not organic. We tried some, even though it was twice the price. But the hens didn't lay nearly as many eggs. Tom talked to the folks at the feed store and they have heard the same complaint from other chicken owners. That is so very strange to both of us. I wonder if the feed is lacking some essential mineral? Who knows? We really should look into this further, and I'll report on any results.

I keep forgetting to mention our dear, dear brown rabbit who appears each evening. If you've read Watership Down, you know this evening feeding time is called 'silflay.' The rabbit never comes into the vegetable garden, nor do any other of the wildlife around here. Must be the big black dogs! Oh, how I love rabbits, ever since reading the book back in the mid-seventies.

For my warm-weather friends who may have been amazed at lighting the woodstove in the early days of June, I lit it again on the evening of June 30. The temp in the house was in the low-60s, and there was quite a breeze outdoors with the temp just about the same as indoors.

I saw the solitary male bluebird on the wire this week. We just can't figure out what's going on.

I've meant to note that the snakes have been back for a while. Their numbers are definitely decreased from a few years ago.

The stars of the early July garden are most definitely the orange daylilies.

And the first of the 'non-orange' daylilies opened today!

Last week I mentioned the milkweed, and I just wanted to say today that to me, there is just something so old-fashioned about having it in the garden.

There is such beauty everywhere I look these days. Even the gone-by lupines are pretty in their own way.

And I love the delightful little daisies that just appear! Christmas gifts in July.

Just as I was finishing this edition of the Farm and Garden Weekly, Tom popped in to say the raspberries are beginning to ripen !


  1. I love the daisies. So cheerful and the butterfly is gorgeous. We are about to wash away down here. Hurricane Alex has altered our weather all week. Very cloudy, very wet, very, very, very humid. Ah, hurricane season in Texas. Have a good weekend!

  2. Cheerful is such a good word for them, Kay! They are in a big mass that moves so gently in a breeze. And we almost always have a breeze - hence Windy Poplars. :<) My gosh, we live in different weather worlds, don't we? I would guess your weather now is conducive to reading, like our winter is.

  3. Yes, I, too, love the daisies! Nice garden, Nan.

  4. It is a good thing you have an outlet for your eggs. 44 whew that is a lot of eggs. Too bad you couldn't freeze them for winter when they don't lay. What wonderful weather you are having. I think it sounds cozy having a fire this time of year. Not here. WE are lucky if it get down to 60 at night. Have a great weekend.

  5. Lovely photos and your header is gorgeous.

  6. Those day lilies are lovely ! And I'm very jealous of your raspberries .
    Your hens are doing really well , and I'm not at all surprised they sell so fast . So much better than anything a supermarket carries .

  7. Such wonderful floral photography, Nan. The header photo especially. I've been draw myself to the rare colors I'm finding here. I'm not a gardener - so whatever I find is random growth. I leave it to my suburban neighbors to construct their careful landscapes.

    We have a brown rabbit of our own in the neighborhood. So out of place which makes it so noticeable. Shows up with the morning papers, wanders from house to house, good-morning-how-dya-do, then off to the next. Don't see him again until the next day.

    I so love this time of year...

    - Jeff

  8. The butterfly and daisy photos are stunning!! ♥

  9. $2 a dozen is a great price for eggs from bug-fed hens. This morning at our farmers market I paid twice that, but of course I got a wonderful variety of sizes and colors in my carton.
    Love your bookish lists on the sidebar!

  10. The flowers are lovely--the snakes--NOT! However, they look harmless. A young friend here [our first season in KY] just phoned to say that she encountered a copperhead while walking a woods trail.
    J.has met up with several large [non-poisonous] snakes, one in the back yard, one in the upper barn and another in the hayfield. I walk warily.

  11. Lovely as usual, Nan. Summer makes me yearn for northern flowers of all kinds. It's rainy and gloomy here in Florida, too, so things are lush. But the flowers don't compare.

  12. Your pictures make me feel less homesick. Thanks for sharing! ^-^

  13. I love all the pictures except the snakes! I am deathly afraid.

  14. Found a first edition of Watership Down in the library book sale for 50 cents! Love this book and love our little brown rabbits with their fluffy white cotton tails and huge ears. But, most especially I love your photographs! What a lovely way to start my day here in the high desert of California to look at your beautiful Windy Poplars!

  15. Thanks, Gigi. Some years they come, and others they don't. Same with the brown-eyed Susans.

    Lisa, in the winter we usually don't sell any. We get just enough for ourselves - for eating and baking. Only once in a very great while have we had to buy a dozen eggs. From what I hear we are in for some hot weather. I'll be moving from fan to fan!

    Cait, thanks so much!

    Smitonius and Sonata, what a wonderful name! Thanks for coming by to visit, and please come again! People have told us that fresh eggs are a whole different food from store eggs.

    Jeff, I'll tell ya, this is no carefully constructed landscape. :<) More a wild country garden. No real spaces of soil between plants; plants popping up wherever they do; and mostly just a few varieties of plants - ones that will grow on this cold hill with ease, like iris, daylilies, etc. Tom and I both so love the story of your rabbit. Can you get pics? Do a posting on your blog?

    Erin, thank you!

    Kerry, thanks for coming by and please do come back to visit! Those colorful eggs are really beautiful.

    Morning's Minion, they are just garter snakes, also known as garden snakes. Yes, harmless! Oh, my a copperhead?? I would walk warily, too, or not at all. :<)

    J.G., but you have such gorgeous tropical plants! And isn't your flower season a bit earlier than now??

    Miss Mouse, I'm glad. Thanks for coming by, and please come again.

    Sherri, these are harmless and they run away if we get too close.

    Jill, what a very, very nice thing to say. Thank you so much.

  16. I loved all your picture and musings.. except the snakes.
    No,snakes and I don't get along....I know I know my 6 ft black snake creeping around my property is harmless.. still I don't like it.
    Glad you are cool there.. here in central VA 100 in the shade.. craziness.

  17. How I love your farm and garden weekly!
    It is a pleasure to read and I so appreciate all that you have included.
    I thrive on details:)!!!
    Thanks for the report...stay tuned to my farm report tomorrow:)

  18. I love those daisies!!! They always bring a smile to my face. Not so much the snakes, though. :)

    I wish I lived closer. I'd buy eggs from you!

    We had hot, hot weather most of last week, but yesterday was cool and rainy. We got over 2" of rain! Unusual for the 4th of July.

  19. Mim, you've touched on the two reasons I live in the north! I couldn't bear seeing a six-foot snake, even if it wasn't dangerous. These little snakes of ours are just garter snakes, the longest being two feet, and they slither away from us if we approach. And I've very, very rarely seen three digits on my thermometer. :<) So good to hear from you, Mim!

    Joanne, I love details, too! I'll be over to read yours. There is another woman who does a weekly report called the Monday Record. You'll enjoy it, I'm sure.

    Les, if you lived closer, your eggs would be free!! Our weather is in the 80s now, but I have a fan in each room so I'm happy!

  20. Beautiful snakes! I love garter snakes. So good for pest control in the garden, too! There's something about seeing a snake (or snakes!) lounging on a warm rock in the summer sun that seems so restful to me. That stone looks so toasty and smooth and comfortable...

    I realize I am almost certainly in the minority, finding basking snakes restful to watch!

  21. Kiirstin, I like them too. Last year I got a little freaked out when some black ring-necks appeared. Apparently also harmless but for some reason I found them creepy. Not these garter snakes, though. I know just what you mean. We've found quite a few skins this year, too.


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