Friday, June 13, 2008

We Have Eggs!!!!!!!!

Our chickies have started laying eggs WHOOP!! We got 2 the first day, 2 the second day and 1 the third day. I tend to find them in the early afternoon. They are small, but so exciting to find!! Josh (the chickens are his thing, I don't know a ton about them) tells me the eggs will gradually get bigger and bigger and the chickens will build up to regular laying over the next 3 months or so. He also says these breeds tend to lay an egg a day at full production, so that means we'd be getting 3 dozen a week!!!
A picture of the eggs:

A glass full of our eggs (the 6 small ones on the right) and some store bought eggs (the 3 big ones on the left). A little hard to tell in pictures, but the store bought eggs have super pale and washed out looking yolks compared to our eggs:

Our egg whites are a lot clearer. From what I've read cloudy egg whites are a sign of freshness because there is carbon dioxide in the egg white that hasn't diffused through the shell. Sounds kinda weird b/c those store bought eggs have a date of June 4 on the container (pic taken June 13) and our eggs were laid june 10-13, doesn't get much fresher than that. Beats me. Since these are the first eggs and we hadn't started them on laying food (higher calcium) yet, the shells are a little thin (they eat grass, bugs, and worms and scraps from the garden, and get some feed thrown in every day too). Maybe our egg whites will be cloudy later? We also just kept these at room temp for 4 days until we ate them instead of refrigerating them, so that probably made a difference? I don't really know, I just pick 'em and cook 'em!

The garden is growing by leaps and bounds and taking a fair amount of time to take care of. We are getting zero rain, which stinks. The water collection barrels are empty and we're having to water every other day for most of the plants and every day for a few. We don't water our lawn or waste a bunch of water with other stuff, but I'm still dreading seeing the water bill this month. I also just don't like taking the time to do it. We have the beds set up so we can set a sprinkler in the middle and leave it for 15 minutes, but there are 5 separate areas to water, so I have to keep going out there (while carrying Sedona) to move the hose/sprinkler around, and walking on the wet ground and then the dirt gets my feet all dirty (I know, poor pitiful me), and 15 minutes times five means this takes over an hour. Okay, when I type it, it doesn't seem bad at all, but me not being a morning person and taking on this duty before breakfast probably contributes to my slight dread of doing it. We're considering dismantling the raised beds and just making a large section of the yard into garden for the fall, but I'm not sure the plants will do as well like that---seems to me like we get more success with the things that are in raised beds.

We are getting lots and lots of tomatoes. Just in time too, I guess. With the whole salmonella thing you can't get fresh tomatoes these days. I guess we should probably be selling ours, but for now, we're just skinning them and putting them in the freezer so we can have a big canning extravaganza one weekend.

Dug up all the potato plants. I think it's safe to say the straw bale method of planting did not work as advertised. Well, more accurately, we probably did something wrong, but, you know, same result. We got lots and lots of potatoes (yummy potatoes!) but they still had to be dug out and there weren't as many as we thought we'd get. I'd say we ended up with about a pound of potatoes per plant?? I had envisioned the potatoes growing in the straw, but that's not what happened--I think because it wasn't super compact around the plant, so there wasn't enough moisture there to make the stem sprout out and start a new potato. The parts where there were potatoes in the straw, it was not clean and easy psuedo-digging because the straw had totally decomposed into yuckiness.

Josh's brother and SIL sent us a subscription to Cook's Country. Two huge thumb's up!!! I have one of the America's Test Kitchen cook books and literally every recipe I've tried out of it has been good. They continue the tradition with this magazine. The kitchen tips are really good too. I also like that the format is big and easy to lay open to a recipe while you're cooking. Sierra made the "Aggression Cookies" from the June/July 2008 issue last night:

Mix 1.5 cups old-fashioned oats (not instant or quick cook), 3/4 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup flour, 3/4 tsp baking powder. Add in 1.5 sticks (12 tablespoons) softened butter. Mash the crud out of it with your hands. We also added a healthy shake of cinnamon (cause she LOVES cinnamon) and a quick pour of vanilla (cause you need vanilla in every baked good). Once it turns into a dough, roll into balls, and cook at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

This was a *great* kid activity. She really loved being able to mash everything with her hands, the ingredients were all things she could measure by herself and everything was completely safe to eat raw, so she could sample as much as she wanted along the way and lick her hands when she was done. Pictures:

And some random pics....

Sedona trying to break into the Sam's size container of animal crackers:

My nephew (who supposedly won't touch worms) was over today digging up worms for the chickies:

My SIL and I picked up these two HUGE cushion/bean bag type things at a garage sale for $15 each:

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...