I made a prototype (square) wheel of Taleggio cheese, a traditional Italian "stinky" washed rind variety. A Boss Mouse customer asked me to give it a try, so we'll see how it comes out. Taleggio molds are flat and square (creating a large surface area) and have a textured rind to capture all the smelly, moldy goodness.
Appropriately, Blackie's chicks hatched on Mother's Day. There are 9 so far (one is off to the side in this pic) and if you look closely, one has cracked the shell and is on his way out - I could hear the
tap-tap-tap of his pecking when I checked on them this evening. Blackie is keeping them warm and they all look bright and healthy.
More than anything I do on this farm, I am a disciple of nature and the indescribable beauty and awe of life.
The other day I discovered broody Blackie not only sitting atop the dozen fertilized eggs I gave her, but at least a dozen more eggs. The other chickens have been laying eggs on top of her. Though she has a million other places to lay her egg, today I found the other Blackie hen squeezed into the nesting box to lay an egg right on top of Blackie and her eggs. Crazy birds.
So how do you tell which eggs are Blackie's chicks and which ones are non-fertile? Egg "candling". If you hold an egg very close to the light of a flashlight at the right angle, you can see it's contents. I inspected each egg and determined about a dozen to be edible, whereas the other half were completely opaque - which means they held a baby chick. There is another week or so to go before they hatch, but I hope removing the plain eggs will make her a little more comfortable. Nature is so weird.
One of the farmer's market vendors always wants to trade his foraged mushrooms for cheese. I love his mushrooms, but have so many already, so this time he traded me a *drawing* of mushrooms instead. Wow.
Red died peacefully of natural causes Wednesday, May 8th, 2013. A beautiful Rhode Island Red hen, she was one of the original 15 hens I got when I first moved to the farm, and the mean, bawdy matriarch of the flock.
This is my friend David from Verdant Farm in Copemish, Michigan - he is an interesting young man. He made the buckskin coat he is wearing himself, from a buck he hunted and processed himself. He makes charcuterie (cured meats), sells organic raw honey and bee products at the market, and yes, that is a woollen placket as a headband. Viva David!