Wednesday, August 21, 2013

New girls

The two new girls, Super and Marsala are all grown up! 
The day they came home to Bluestocking Farm!

We got them where all of our girls came from, Dare 2 Dream Farms.  We actually went up to the farm and picked them out, they were about 17 or 18 weeks old when they came home. They came to Bluestocking Farm in May as pullets and in the last couple of weeks, their combs have come in and they're running with the big girls. Super started laying gorgeous pinkish-brown eggs last week, which is a good thing because Potpie had a little illness this summer and hasn't laid for the last 4 weeks or so. Marsala should start laying before Fall.
This is Super (front) and Marsala (back) yesterday.

Last week was the first time I was able to get Marsala and Super back into the coop without having to chase them down, which, trust me, is an amusing sight and great exercise!  I've now trained all of the girls to follow me into the coop.

How? When the first four were little (and I didn't know better) I bought a bag of very overpriced treats in a very shiny bag. They recognize the bag now (really!) and I've been since filling it up with homemade treats but I only give them the treats in the coop. So they know to march their fuzzy butts inside in order to get treats. Today was the first time Super and Marsala followed the rest of the gang back to the coop. They're like my little chicken army!


Guess what?

Monday, August 12, 2013

August San Fernando Valley Food Swap

Due to the large quantities of loquats harvested and canned this season, I was super excited to be doing the San Fernando Valley Food Swap this weekend.  This is the first time it's was not at my house and while it is pretty darn easy, I was glad to not be hosting it this time around.

Diane hosted in her lovely Sherman Oaks home and among her chickens and her fruit trees she set up beautiful tables where 20 people came and displayed their wares!

There were fresh grapefruit, massive patty pan squash, figs, cucumbers, relish, eggs, jams of every stripe, peppers, BACON MARMALADE, gluten free pasta, granola, fresh herbs, dried herbs, LOQUAT BRANDY, honey caramels, creme fraiche, lavender sugar, candied watermelon rind and so much more!  Someone even brought wine. From their vineyard. Yes.
 It was a beautiful day and everyone who came was fabulous, friendly and left with an armful.
I came home with grapefruit, mint jelly, port wine jelly, figs, bay leaves, fennel seeds, brandy, and a ton of other yummies.  I somehow missed out on trading for the bacon marmalade, which Michael would have loved, but I might try to make that in the future.

I had never before tried watermelon rind.  I was anxious to try it as I had always heard good things.  I am super happy to report that from now on, watermelon rind in my house will not be fed to the chickens nearly as often (they really like it too!) as I will be finding that recipe and making some of my own!

I am such a huge fan of figs, I cannot wait to dig into them.  I really need to plant a fig tree soon.

So the swap was only the first four hours of my weekend and it was a super busy one!  More tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

12 weeks 'til Hallowe'en :)

Yes, I am back again for a number of reasons:

  1. I just got back a ton of time at work because I finally hired someone and she started and she's great and I'm not doing 2 jobs anymore!!!  Yay!!!
  2. So much has happened.
  3. I feel like writing again.
  4. Hallowe'en is 12 weeks away and I'm planning on participating in CryptKeeper 2013 and if I don't get started writing now, I'll never build up to writing again on October 1.  

So here I am!!!

Catching up:
  • Last September my in-laws moved into our house for 3 months. It was a difficult time. Let's leave it there. They moved out on New Year's Eve. 
  • 2013 started very well and all has been going along swimmingly. About the first thing we did was get a dog. Her name is Mitzi Francesca Landsman, but I tend to call her Schmookieface. Michael calls her Mitzidoodle, the Wonder Poodle. She's AWESOME! I don't know how we found such a special dog, but I think she might be the best dog I've ever met.  Ever.
  • I grew a billion cucumbers, tons of lettuce, a million tomatoes and 4 watermelons. I killed a ton of garlic and I have killed the dill again. I planted artichoke and while it produced chokes, I thought I'd give the plants some time to toughen up so I cut them off so the plants could grow. We'll see if that works. Also, I bought a fejoia tree and it is producing!!!
  • I canned 200 pounds of loquats into every form I could think of.  Next year I'm going to ask for help. Also, I'm probably going to make some kind of liquor next year, because it seems everyone wanted loquat liquor. 
  • I got two new chickens!!! Michael named one Marsala and my sister, Shannon, named one Super,
    after the cartoon.  I kept trying to tell her that SuperChicken was a rooster, but she didn't care.
  • We went to Alaska for the last week in July and had a fabulous time. I went snorkeling. In Alaska. No, Michael didn't join me snorkeling because he's bok, bok, chicken!!! He stayed on the ship and napped. Wev.
I'm attending the Scare L.A. Hallowe'en Convention this weekend, August 10 and 11. I'll be spending a ton of time working the Southern California Valley Haunters booth, which I recently joined and LOVE. I can't believe I get to dress up for Hallowe'en in August.  I plan to take a billion photos.

BY THE WAY....Did you know that cameras can become obsolete because the batteries are no longer made and buying the special batteries online costs about 1/2 as much as a new camera?  Well, it's true.  And it sucks. So I need a new camera. Before Sunday...Grrrr.

So there it is folks.  My update for the past 10 months. Whew.