The Vegetable I Wish We Grew

What about this: a tribe of asparagus children, but they’re self- conscious about the way their pee smells.

Asparagus. With Easter around the corner and everyone posting pictures of their crop coming in, I get a little jealous. And a little mad at myself–if only I had started last year!

You see, I love asparagus so much that I will cook it in great big batches and eat half of it out of the pot. I will share with Mike, but begrudgingly. I can have five pounds of the stuff in the fridge and still buy more.

Just looking at pictures of it makes my
mouth water and makes me consider cooking some for a late night snack.

I usually eat it steamed with hollandaise (way too easy now we have homegrown eggs!), but sometimes I just eat it plain. Sometimes grilled. Sometimes roasted with lemon juice, Parmesan cheese and lemon pepper. Sometimes freshly cut in a salad. Usually just hollandaise, though, unless I eat the potful before the hollandaise is done.

But anyway. So this delicious vegetable. I never get sick of it. Ever. I eat it like candy. I will eat it with every meal. Dare I say it? I love it more than pasta. More than cake.

Those are strong words.

People always say if you plant too much you will get sick of it. Impossible. Simply impossible. So then they, and you, tell me to go ahead and grow some.

You see, THAT is the problem. We have a plan; a five-year-plan, give or take. To save up as much as we can to buy a “real” farm, or at least more land. And I fear leaving behind too much.

You see, we already have 13 blueberry plants to leave behind, and that is one of my favorite fruits. And the four apple trees, another favorite. Not to mention the maple trees and the butternut trees and the peach trees and the raspberry canes. And the old magnolia tree I fall in love with every time it blooms.

Some of this has been here long before we got here. Some of it we put in. A lot of it is just going to stay behind. I understand that is how you grow and find new places but it still stings.

I’m not sure I can leave the asparagus behind as well! With our luck, it will start to produce as we’re moving.

Oh yeah, and the slight issue of where it will go.

In the meantime, I’ll be stalking all the local markets to see if anyone will have some for sale, and it’s time to sneak it in from the grocery store into the freezer before Mike catches me.

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Handing the Garden Over

I’m giving in. I have handed the garden over to the chickens.

These past few weeks, I haven’t been giving the garden the attention it needs, or that it deserved. I’ve put at least 1 bushel of tomatoes in the compost, likely more. I’ve let at least another half bushel or bushel go bad on the vine, all because of the simple fact that I got married. Continue reading

20th Post: New Additions!

I have a few posts pending, one especially on hatching eggs, but what’s more appropriate for a 20th “benchmark” post than some pictures of the newest additions?

These are my 9 wheaten/blue wheaten ameraucana chicks. I had 9 out of the 24 eggs I bought hatch, but more on that in my hatching post (later today??). One had pretty severe splayed leg, but after two short stints in a bandaid, he seems to have recovered splendidly and I can just barely pick him out. This was when they were new-new, only just barely fluffed out. These are my July 4 babies. I will only be keeping hens from this batch–so if you’re local to Maryland and will need wheaten/blue wheaten ameraucanas, contact me in a few weeks!

Meet Evie (Evelyn), a Silver Fox doe we picked up on Saturday from Skyview Acres. I will be getting another doe and a buck from them come October, but didn’t want to try and have 3 rabbits (and kits) for someone to take care of after and during the wedding. Picking up one was probably excess, but I love her already. She’s very timid (as rabbits tend to be), but she was the only one I was able to pick up. I tried about 5 other does, some so high-strung I didn’t want to get near them. She’s sweet, calm, but just very afraid. I’ll be getting her pedigree soon, but she is 8-12 weeks old. She will be ready to breed just in time for the wedding to be over when I get the next two rabbits–so it will be perfect timing.

She’s currently being housed in a dog crate elevated in our carport until we put the finishing touches on her permanent home. She was pastured her whole life, and so I’ve been giving her plenty of greens and hay to supplement the feed, and we are starting barley fodder for her and the chickens. We were in a bind Saturday night and put her in with some pine shavings used in the chicken coops, and on Sunday when I raked up some straw/hay to throw in instead, she immediately calmed down–she knows what her element is.

More on Evie and the chicks later!

A Quiet Morning

This was one of the quietest mornings we’ve had in a long time.

We left the windows open. We came back late. We were tired. Huck would move around in his crate. But nothing too loud. Nothing that would wake you and keep you up.

I almost missed it.

I almost hoped one of the Ameraucana roosters would have started crowing right away.

But, no. Still silence on the mini-homestead, and I must say it’s a little lonely. When I opened the coop to let all the birds out, I looked around. I thought to myself, surely that can’t be it! I counted them all to be sure nothing had gotten to them.

20 Ameraucanas, Welsummers, Olive Egger, Anconas, Delawares.

No, nothing had gotten to the rest of my ladies (and four gentleman?), except us yesterday morning.

It’s an odd feeling, but certainly not a bad one.

Birthday Chicken

A year ago today, I was scrambling around my kitchen to finish up potato salad and make cheddar/pepper venison patties for a bonfire that night. I headed out at 12 to go to wine tastings (and wine bottle tastings) with a group of friends. We rode down the road in the Jeep with the top down. I was happy, healthy, and living it up for 25 years of life. We finished up the night with said bonfire, lots of wine and beer straight out of plastic tubs, the Jeep flood lights on for light, fireworks and a styrofoam container of shrimp that the neighbors dropped off halfway through the night.

It was a good time.

This year?

Oh, I will have a great time. It is just so very different from what I did a year ago, though even then I think my mentality was veering off course for what my friends considered “normal.” Tonight will still end with a bonfire, some good food, and likely some wine and beer. I’ll still ride the Jeep to get where I’m going

But my 26th birthday will pan out a little differently. Continue reading

Memorial Day Weekend To-Do List

I’m trying to post and get dressed and get things done all in time to make a cake tasting at 11am.

Not much is getting done, I’ll tell you that.

I want to post about the chickens, and the garden, and the fact that holy crap, I can grow things!

But instead, until later this evening when I can update about the bees (please let there be no swarm cells!), my to-do list for this weekend will have to suffice. And it’s pretty long. List behind the cut. Continue reading