Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Broody Hen

Today when I arrived home from work, I had only two chickens in the yard in lieu of our three. I panicked and like a mother, immediately my mind went to The Bad Place: “Did a raccoon get her? Did she hop the fence into the neighbor’s yard with the huge black dogs? Is she dead somewhere?”

I wandered the yard after checking the coop. No chicken, only one blue egg. We hadn’t a brown egg in weeks, so the sole egg was not a surprise. I asked the other neighbors’ kids if they had seen our bird. The kids gamely pointed out the other two hens pecking about the yard, “There’s one!” Not Madeleine, the missing one.

Then, I remembered the other day she had run up the hill to underneath the shed’s stoop. Behind a forgotten can, she had crouched. I had done a cursory look under there, but when I couldn’t find her anywhere else I looked again. And there was the merest silhouette of her beak and crown. I grabbed a long piece of plywood and poked it back to scare her out.


She hollered and crowed for a good fifteen minutes after emerging from her nesting spot. And what a nesting spot at that – I uncovered 7 eggs in her little nest under that stoop.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

in the ground



Today, my garden is renewed. Seeds are nestled in the ground, and transplants are settling in. I succumbed to two impulse buys: a carton of six snapdragon transplants, and three small strawberry plants. The strawberry plants even have tiny green fruits and little white blossoms. This year, I’m trying to coordinate the timing of my planting/harvesting/replanting. The diagram below is what I put in the garden today. For the first time, I’m staggering planting. I have set up room for four different radish and two different turnips rows.





Monday, March 8, 2010

a savory start


This past weekend, we had the great pleasure of celebrating my grandparents’ fiftieth wedding anniversary. At a family brunch in their honor, my aunt made her fantastic Shrimp & Grits. She uses stone-ground grits and simmered them with chicken stock, cream and cheese. And one fortuitous byproduct of the happy event were a lot of leftover grits.

As my grandparents fervently attest, if the grits are packed in a container overnight they become sliceable. My grandparents prefer a glass sprayed with PAM; I used a tupperware completely filled to good success. And with those slices of grits mingling in a hot oiled pan, you can make the most delicious Grit-Cakes. 

Paired with a fresh fried egg and some tomato sauce, you have  savory start to the morning. Add some leftover roasted potatoes and it’s a delectable hash.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Planting Layouts

Today, we tilled and made our rows. We have three rows: two 2’ rows, and one 4’ middle row. Tomorrow, I’ll be planting seeds and transplants. These are my two planting layouts for our 10 x 16’ garden.


For early March planting:

garden layout


For early May planting:

may planting