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Meet the Flock: Part 2

Welcome to the second in a three-part series featuring the members of our flock! If you missed Part 1, you can read it by clicking here . Little Red A good egg layer, Little Red is a Rhode Island Red hen who produces healthy brown eggs nearly every day of the year. She has an inquisitive nature and loves to forage. When she is cuddled up on the roost at night, you can pat her on the back and she will make cooing noises in rhythm with each pat you give her. Foghorn Leghorn Foghorn Leghorn hatched from an egg one of our other hens laid back when we had a rooster. The hen who laid on the nest for her is Cheech, a kind mother hen who gets broody every year. Foghorn’s father was Captain, the meanest rooster on this side of the Rockies. Captain lost a battle with a bald eagle that swooped into the chicken run a few years back, which has since saved us from being kicked with his wicked spurs every day. Simon & Garfunkel These two black-and-white speckled hens were purchased from Airpor
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Meet the Flock: Part 1

In this first of a three-part series, we introduce several hens in our flock. Our entire flock includes nine mature chickens, six young chickens, and four ducks.  Miss Prissy Fuzzy Bottom May I introduce to you Miss Prissy Fuzzy Bottom, a very special Wyandotte hen with a deformed crop and crooked toe. But don't you worry about Miss Prissy, as these issues don’t slow her down! She is the first to arrive when there are treats. Her crop swings like a pendulum when she runs, almost knocking her over. We find her enthusiasm for life absolutely delightful. She no longer lays eggs, but that's okay. Tony Soprano This beautiful Maran hen’s feathers are super silky, and she even has feathers on her feet. She’s rather timid, so is hard to catch if you want to pet her. She lays dark brown eggs that have a pattern on them. As she is one of the newer members of our flock, we are still getting to know her. Amy A Rhode Island Red, Amy is a good egg layer of brown eggs nearly all year long. Sh

Homemade Ginger Ale From a Ginger Bug

 I've been experimenting with fermenting again, this time making a ginger bug so that I can make various kinds of ginger ale. In addition to making basic ginger ale (ginger beer) with it, I plan to make cranberry ginger ale during the holidays, as well as strawberry-rhubarb ginger ale and turmeric ginger ale. There are so many possibilities! It took about 10 days to get the ginger bug going. Once that step was done, I was on to making ginger ale. The ginger ale recipe I'm using only makes a small batch each time. To make the ginger ale, you scoop out a bit of the ginger bug (the "mother") from the jar and put it into a bigger container. Then, and to it some water, sugar, grated ginger root, and lemon juice. Cover it with a cloth and rubberband, and let it ferment for a while. Last, you strain it into bottles with swing-top, gasketed lids. The bottles sit a couple of days until they are delightfully fizzy. Once a day, though, you have to open the lid so the air can esc

Summer Happenings

It seems like time flies by faster and faster. Our daughter graduated from both high school and community college in June. We are so proud of her! June was filled with graduation-related activities and celebrations to recognize her hard work.  Very soon after, we took a week-long family vacation in nearby Discover Bay. Since the resort was situated right on the bay, we brought our boat along and went crabbing. Our daughter even drove the boat for a while.  Below is the crab we caught in the first trap we pulled in. The crab were fairly large and most of the ones we caught we were able to keep. The bottom shelf of the freezer is now filled with fresh Red Rock and Dungeness crab. We like to live back the crab while still on the boat and then when we get home we clean it and freeze it raw (see my previous post about how to live back crabs ). Below are a couple photos from a night at the resort eating some of the crabs. Since we were dipping the crab in butter (vegan butter for me and my d

Our New Garden Fence

Paul put up a new fence around our garden over the winter. This one is much sturdier than the previous fence and will surely not tip over or allow any deer inside. We also built several raised beds for the garden and installed cattle panel arches over which peas, beans, and squash can grow during the summer. Lastly, we are putting landscape cloth on the pathways and wood mulch to keep the weeds down. The wood mulch will cover the entire garden to help retain moisture and build the soil. As you can see, we're only partway done with the mulch.  I've been recycling milk jugs to use as miniature greenhouses over young, tender garden plants. Green bean seedlings are growing under those jugs. Previously, earlier in the spring, the jugs helped my peas get established. The garden is about 5,000 square feet, making it hard to get a good photo of the whole thing. There is still much to do. Paul built two sets of gates, one at each end. The one below is mainly for if we need to get the tr

Meet Loki the Rescue Kitten

Loki, the rescue kitten, has joined us here at Vintage Home and Farm. He's the sweetest little guy, very curious, and into everything. At night and in the early morning, he tears around the house, bouncing off the walls and trying to coax our other cats, Grey Guy and Tipper, to play with him. Then in the middle of the day, he disappears, and we find him fast asleep on one of our beds. Below are a few photos of him snuggled up today in our daughter's bed.

February Nature Walk

We went for a nature walk the other day, one that we've taken many times. It takes us past our neighbor's cow field, up over the old railroad bridge, along Morse Creek, and out to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. While it was a cold, cloudy day, it had finally stopped raining and the crisp air felt wonderful after being cooped up in the house. We stopped to admire a small waterfall that tumbles down the saturated hillside and follows our path. I loved the bubbling sound of the water trickling downhill. If you look closely, you can see signs that spring isn't too far away. We stopped to take note that the osoberry trees (also known as Indian plum) were forming leaf buds along their stems. The vibrant green ferns stood out in an otherwise drab winter landscape.  I found myself admiring the forms of the barren alder, maple, cottonwood, and oaks that grow in this area. Some grow closely together, while others lean over, stretching their limbs at odd angles, perhaps reaching toward t