Wednesday, June 30, 2010

the chicks are three months old today

In honor of the girls' birthday today, meet one of the chickens, 
Playboy centerfold profile style

Name: Owl
Favorite activities: Roosting, pooping, taking dust baths
Guilty Pleasures: Midnight spider binges
Ambitions: Lay lots of eggs
Best Concert: Mötley Crüe - I love cock rock!
Favorite Books: Henny Penny
Favorite Movies: Chicken Run
Favorite TV show: Little House on the Prairie
Sports played: a good game of chicken
Pets: Pucci, Bunny Lee
Foods I crave: live crickets, ants, grass
People I admire: Sue
Jobs before modeling: biker chick
Favorite song to sing: Old Macdonald
sexiest city in the world: Kingsley

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

the zen of weeding

If you plant a garden, you have to care for it every day.  Part of this responsibility is weeding.  I actually like weeding. It gives you a chance to really get up on every plant that you planted, check out how it's doing, what is going on with it, see its growth.  I throw the buckets of weeds to the chickens, who love to eat them.  Contrary to many myths, the yellow or orange-ness of egg yolks is determined by how much green the chicken is eating.  I weed for hours on end, up and down the garden aisles.  Your mind goes far away when you weed, to good places.


When Agnes and I visited Poland several years ago, it was fresh fava bean season there, and I found them to be incredibly delicious, especially prepared by Agnes' Aunt Barbara.  I found some local fresh favas today!  Here they are as I bought them

Here they are shelled - it's totally fun to shell them, the bean pods are fuzz-lined

Sautee in some butter, onions, breadcrumbs, thyme, salt and pepper.  This is my best interpretation of Aunt Barbara's preparation.  Early Summer delicious!  If you find any fresh favas, try this simple recipe - you can't make it wrong, and it's fun to shell the beans.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sunday, June 27, 2010

the goldenrod spider

This is the goldenrod spider

We found one this weekend on one of my daisy plants - this picture isn't very clear, but the spider had a fly in her mouth, biting it by it's head.  They are so beautiful and exotic, it's hard to believe they are common garden spiders.

super most fun weekend!

Power friend Raquel came up to the farm this weekend and we had the best time!

All the Mission Peninsula cherry stands are open on the sides of the road 

Beer sampler at the Jolly Pumpkin microbrewery

Kingsley had village wide garage sales - I got an 'I'm a Happy Hooker' hat

The vineyards on the Mission

Raquel + I modeling vintage hats at an antique shop

We played with Bunny Lee on the bed

Goodnight bonfire!

Friday, June 25, 2010

beautiful eggs

Until my own hens start to lay eggs this Fall, I buy mine from a family in Kingsley who sells a dozen of the most delicious farm fresh eggs for $2.00  The blue-green eggs are from Araucana chickens - I have two of these (Owl and her sister, Owl) and though they are different colors, all the eggs taste exactly the same.  

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

have a cupcake

 A friend of mine has been staying at the farm for a few days - last night we made cupcakes

Monday, June 21, 2010

Friday, June 18, 2010

the historic sign on the big barn

The old sign, with broken plastic lettering and mismatched fonts

...and the new sign.  I thought the year alone was self-explanatory, so dropped the 'established'.  I like the curly cue number 7!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

the orchard

I planted a pear tree, peach tree, and two types of apple trees.  Here is Pucci amongst the fruit!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

botanical rabbit wallpaper

Do you think Bunny Lee will like it? 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sky study #1

June 14, 2010


Bunny Lee loves kale

I love local strawberries - these are from a farm up the road from here

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Traverse City Comic Convention

Yes I went, and I had a nerd-tastic time!  Met some awesome artists, took in the hilarious scene and even went for a spooky ride!

This storm trooper's armor was all dirty

Kiddie costume contest (the boy with the black + white face make-up won, 
he was the DC comics villain Two-Face)

I chatted with and bought some goodies from the lovely 
and talented Leslie Gauthier

I bought this amazing print from the talented Jeremy Bastian

And last but not least, I took a spin in the mock burial ride.  You got inside a real coffin that simulated being buried, complete with cockney grave diggers, a bumpy ride in a hearse to the graveyard, dirt being thrown on top of the coffin and finally, the flies and bugs starting to eat your body!  It was all done with sound effects and an air compressor and some kind of bump-making machine, and it was totally fun!  And so Goth!

aged venison

Some dogs take more of an interest in the filth of the world than others:  rolling in things that smell, eating rotten matter, delighting in anything dead.  Pucci is one of those dogs.  Her new country lifestyle has supplied her with endless delicacies of this type, so it was no surprise when she came in yesterday reeking like a fermented corpse from something she had been break dancing in.  I put on my rubber gloves and marched her straight over to the water pump where she got tied up and bathed.  I forgot about it until she did it AGAIN a few hours later.

When it came time to close up the barn and put the chickens and Bunny Lee inside for the night, Pucci and I headed down to start the chores when I noticed she was distracted by something in the grass.  There it was:  a severed deer foot, several days old, tiny maggots weaving their way around the joint.  Where did she get it?  Where was the rest of the deer?  I picked it up (with gloved hand) and threw it as far out in the pasture as I could.

This morning I came out from the barn and saw her way out in the field where I threw the foot, wagging her tail, chewing.

Friday, June 11, 2010

my boring chicken names

I have 15 chickens, two each of six breeds, and three of a seventh.  So there's two of every chicken, and you can't really tell them apart except in a few instances (like Tiny).  The names are based on their breeds, and there is one name per two chickens:

Leghorns (like the model above): WHITEY
Australorps: BLACKIE or SINISTER (they look like vampire chickens)
Buff Orpingtons: BUFFY (the fat girls of the flock)
Golden Laced Wyandotte: GOLDIE
Silver Laced Wyandotte: SILVER, and of course TINY (they have the prettiest feather pattern)
Rhode Island Red: RED (the old school breed)
Araucana: OWL (these ones lay the blue eggs and they look like owls, not chickens)

Ooops, it looks like you've dozed off ...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The muckin' 'o the byre

One of the worst jobs on a farm is cleaning out the animals pens.  On Scottish farms, the byre is the cow barn, and muckin' is the term for cleaning it out.  There is a great old Scottish song about this very subject - it's a jam and I found a video of it, too.  I was muckin' the chicken coop today, which reminded me of this song.

old vegetable pictures

I love these

Herbage + Susie Appleseed

This is the herb garden with lavender, rosemary, oregano, mint, parsley and arugula.  The hops are doing great in the middle.

I planted an apple tree today, too - here's Pucci running by it

Sunday, June 6, 2010

the vegetable garden

Kingsley had perfect planting weather this weekend - sunny days and rainy nights.  I planted all of these beautiful vegetables and also onions, 5 kinds of peppers, green cabbage, another 4 varieties of tomatoes, butter lettuce, and a 3rd type of cucumber.  When you dine at the farm this Summer, this is what we will eat!

Friday, June 4, 2010


The pod I found on my porch railing, 2010 

The pod from Invasion of the Body Snatchers, 1956

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Pimp my barn

Dad and I hung a long rope swing from some timbers in the big barn today.  Here is Mom, the swinger, giving it a test drive.  It is so, incredibly fun.