Sunday, April 29, 2012

Garden Fresh Pizza


What you need:
Fridge Dough ( or other sourdough type fresh dough)
Fresh Arugula
Fresh Basil
Fresh Summer Squash
a couple sun dried tomatoes
3 strips of bacon
2 handfuls of sharp cheddar cheese
2 handfuls of mozzarella cheese
Homemade Pizza Sauce

What you do:

Grease your baking ban, then flour it
Roll out your dough and form your pizza shape
Prick with a fork and let sit for 20 minutes
Spread your homemade pizza sauce, add your sun dried tomatoes
Sprinkle cheddar cheese then mozzarella cheese
Chop your summer squash into small cubes and throw on top
Chop you bacon into small pieces and sprinkle on top
Chop your basil into little pieces and sprinkle on top
Bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes (your looking for a golden crust and bubbling cheese)
once out let cool for 5 minutes then top with fresh arugula

ENJOY!

Pizza before topping with fresh arugula


Ready to eat!!!!

Making "car" sun dried tomatoes

So with my many tomatoes I decided to make sun dried tomatoes!!!

*The stuff you get in the store is not actually sun dried and costs a arm and leg*

I cut 3 tomatoes into thin slices laying them out on a cake drying rack setting that over a glass cooking dish and covering with a second glass cooking dish, I set this outside on my black SUV's hood early this morning, by 6 o'clock they were a gummy dry which means to get a perfect sun dried tomato you are looking at a 2 day process. Thats fine with me!!!

Im excited about this project!

Tonight I am taking the driest pieces and making a pizza...

Homemade fresh dough turned into pizza crust, homemade pizza sauce, and fresh sun dried tomatoes.. i think I may cut up some fresh squash to roast and throw on top, maybe some chicken, garlic from the garden, fresh arugula from the garden.... Mmmmmmmm

Now I am hungry but am still gunna Barn Hop!!


Friday, April 27, 2012

International Permaculture Event~ Tampa FL

On May 6th (Sunday) the first ever International Permaculture Day is being celebrated all over the world with events.
On this day Brittany Aukett will be hosting a potluck event at her house in Tampa with 10 speakers.
This event is free (donations are gladly accepted to help with our urban farm needs, and work that went into planning) & a great way to get to know other members of the community that share your same values and ideas.

Please join us and share this wonderful event!!!

Address: 9509 N Dartmouth Ave Tampa FL 33612

Time: 10am-3pm

Sitting will be mostly on the ground, some chairs and hay bales will be available ~ IF YOU HAVE CHAIRS PLEASE BRING~

PLEASE carpool, then park along the street in our driveway (park vertical vs horizontal to create more space).. I will also be trying to get a local parking lot open but its not for sure.

Schedule:

~ 10am: Brian Ritter- Transition from Stagnation to Inspiration

~ 10:30am: Eric Stewart- Permablitz

~ 11am: John Starnes- Alternative Summer Crops

~ 11:30am: Tricia Gaitan Medina- Making Issues into Assets: Going Zero Waste in the Backyard Farm

~ 12 (noon): Tom Carroll- The Shift to Permaculture: Returning to Holistic

~ 12:30pm: Mary Davis- Care of the People & Sharing the Surplus

~ 1pm: Ara Mcleod- The Underground Movement: Anarchism, Gardening, & Food Security

~ 1:30pm: Lynda Mink- Community Gardens

~ 2pm: Emmanuel Roux- DEMO- Storing Water Underground @ Location: Self watering & Hugelkulture

~ 2:30PM: Ryan Iacovacci- Radical Community Engagement & the Hope of Urban Agriculture

Online Radio~ May 3rd @ 10:30am

I may blog and have a smartphone but im not that tech savvy.. did you know they had internet radio where you can host your own show???

I had no idea but was approached by a lady who wants to interview me about the upcoming Permaculture event here at my place on May 6th!!

I am excited and hope you can tune in Thursday May 3rd at 10:30 AM..

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/talkupy/2012/05/03/talkupy-show-2--brittany-aukett

Blueberries and Tomatoes

So I took off Tuesday and Wednesday to celebrate my daughters birthday. Just us family. I didn't really have plans but 1 thing i knew was that we should go blueberry picking.
I called all the places and sent emails days in advance looking for open you picks with the best prices.
I finally found one in plant city on Heathcoe Rd. (All about blueberry farms~ www.upickfl.com).

We drove a little over a half hour down long roads that had on both sides fields of crops like tomatoes, cantaloupe, and squash. I watched as fields were sprayed by large tractors strapped down with tubs of liquid. We turned down a road where I saw blueberries, small ones, large ones, HUGE ones... down the road we pulled up to a house, no u pick signs or anything, I wasnt sure if we were in the right place. As i drove up I saw people under a shade roof sorting blueberries, they were laughing and joking in Spanish their hands quickly combing through flats of blueberries.
I called the number to the u-pick placing asking if I was in the right spot, a gentlemen on the other side assured me I was and said he would be right out. A few minutes later from the fields came a tallish man with a large floppy hat on, tanned, and hands that showed work. He shook our hands greeting us and welcoming us to his land, he wished my daughter a happy birthday (I had told him over the phone) and gave her a big smile. He handed us 2 buckets and directed us to the best spots to pick. We headed to the fields as he told us that one bucket equals 7 pounds and costs $20 that comes to less then $3 a pound. We picked and picked and picked walking up and down rows. Coming to the fence line I saw bee hives on the other side of the fence... every 10 ft was a box bee hive swarming with lovely bees, now that's good pollination practices!! We picked those little berries for 2 hours to fill 2 buckets staining my fingertips purple in the process. Only 1 mishap happened where Brooke stepped into a fire ant pile and they swarmed her legs biting her all over. When we came back up I asked some questions: What do you spray? Nothing.. Nothing?.. NOTHING!
Yes ~ they use organic methods, planting in pine bark, fertilizing with potash and organic nitrogen, using direct irrigation to water. Its a family farm and the only time they employ out is picking season. This made me very happy to hear! My day was well spent.


We came home and made blueberry syrup (no corn syrup used so its thin), blueberry fruit butter, we froze a bunch of blueberries, and I have a cup left to make blueberry wine jelly.. this is all in addition to my daughter eating fistfuls of blueberries!!

I came home and posted on a canning group I am apart of about my blueberries, and skimming through posts I had missed.. 1 post jumped right outta the screen at me... TOMATOES 5 GALLON BUCKET FULL FOR $1 (that's about 25 pounds) HOLY CRAP!

I debated it back and forth, then bounced it off of Ronnie he of course said heck yes! We went to my grandmothers to drop off her 7 pounds of blueberries and told her, she help pitch in for gas and jars in trade for a shopping bag of fresh tomatoes and a couple jars of canned tomato goods. It was a 60 mile trip on way but when we got there it became apparent that it was well worth it. They have a max of 5 containers per person (kids count) so we had a max of 15.. we had only brought 8 containers (oh well next time).
We drove out to the picking field with other families and pulled up next to rows as far as the eye could see of tomatoes

we got out and started picking...

after about a hour we had all 8 containers filled (1 large bag, 1 "green" shopping bag, 3 5 gallon buckets, 2 produce baskets, and a picking basket my grandma had given me)

Yes they were less then 5 gallons but its all we had (again note for next time bring brown bags or more buckets), we drove back and checked out grabbing some other produce at checkout (jalapenos, and onions for salsa) it all came to $11. I got home and weighed it out somewhere around 200+ pounds were picked and since that was half a 3 person family can go out and pick about 400 pounds of tomatoes. Now we are canning, and canning, and canning some more. In fact for the last 2 nights I have been up till at least 1am canning, Now i have come down with a cold but CANT STOP CANNING....

We still have about 125 pounds to put up, YIKES.

So far I have canned:
~ 4 quarts tomato sauces
~ 5 pint pizza sauces
~ 6 quarts crushed tomatoes

Even with figuring in gas (about $40 worth for the whole trip) it came to less the 0.25 cents a pound.. find that at the grocery store!!!


WE DID IT!!! Tampa chickens follow up!

In a overwhelming moment the city council voted to change the laws in favor of backyard chickens!
WE DID IT FRIENDS!!!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Growing Blueberries~ EASY!!!

Since its blueberry season I have been talking to blueberry growers all around and have learned some great things about growing them...

Most important PINE BARK!!!!

~ Blueberries dont need or like soil to grow... stick them in a LARGE tub fill with pine mulch and water them well

FERTILIZE!!!

~ Use organic potash, and organic nitrogen

WATER WELL!!!

DONT SPRAY CHEMICALS ON IT!!!

Blueberries are very durable, and will grow well if you follow the easy steps above.


This is how I plan to grow them...

Cinder blocks...

2 or 3 blocks stacked on top of each other and painted fun designs, for visual appeal. First fill with pine nuggets then sprinkle with potash and organic nitrogen, then do that with the second blocks, put in the plant, and fill all around with more pine nuggets until its filled to the top, give it a good soaking and let GROW!!!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day Harvest (4-22-12)

2.05 pounds of white scallop squash


0.69 pounds of jap. long eggplant


Total Harvest of: 2.82 pounds





Take a look around at other peoples blogs!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Central Florida ~ You Pick

~~~~~Please note that all pricing and hours are from last season and to be used as a reference. Please please please call ahead and ask for current hours and prices!~~~~~~

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY


**All About The Blueberry Farm - blueberries**

3903 Heathcoe Road, Plant City, FL 33567. Phone: 813-523-7505. Website: www.upickfl.com Email: Friends@UPickFL.com. Open: Generally open weekends after 9 am and weekdays (please call ahead). The 2012 Season is here! We've got some of the sweetest Blueberries ever; Call before you come to make certain that we're open; Hope to see you soon!. Payment: Cash, only. Enjoy time with your Family picking Blueberries at our Family Farm. We lend you a bucket and let you fill it up, which gets you about 7 pounds of sweet Blueberries. We charge $20 for each bucket and accept cash only.

^Sweet people, nice LARGE farm, large sweet berries, decent price!!! I really enjoyed going to this farm!


**Alpha Growers - blueberries, U-pick and already picked, porta-potties**

5615 W.O. Griffin Road, Plant City, FL 33567. Phone: 813-245-6818. Fax: 813-737-1560. Email: alphablueberries@aol.com. Directions: Interstate 4 to exit 17. Go south on Forbes Road to Jerry Smith. Turn left and go about 1 mile to W. O. Griffin Road. Turn left and we are about 200 yards on the right. Look for the blue barrels. Payment: Cash, only. Our Special this season: We will pick you a 5 pound bag of blueberries for $20.00. If you buy 4 bags we will give you the 5th bag for FREE!.


**Artesian Farms - Tomatoes**

2910 East College Avenue, Ruskin, FL 33570. Phone: 813-645-3211. Open: during the months of November and May, 7 days a week, from 8 am to 5 pm. Call for U-Pick locations.


**Barventa Farms - Uses natural growing practices, blueberries**

6633 Simmons Loop, Riverview, FL 33578. Phone: 813-672-1371. Email: Bfarms@barventafarms.net. Open: During season hours will be Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm; Weekend hours will be 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Directions: Take I-75 to the Apollo Beach Blvd exit, turn east onto Big Bend Rd, then right onto US highway 301 South. Simmons Loop will be first right - construction ongoing on US highway 301, so you will have to cross over it to get to our street - follow signs. Pick Your Own Blueberry Season is usually April through May Our produce stand with fresh vegetables will be open at the same time. We use natural practices, but are not yet certified Organic. Payment: Cash, only. We do not use ANY chemical pesticides on our blueberries or vegetables.


**Blues Berry Farm LLC - blueberries, U-pick and already picked**

1201 Holloway Rd, Plant City, FL 33567. Phone: 813-597-4019. Email: jrwoodchuck@tampabay.rr.com. Open: Daily, 8am to 5 pm from 4/30/2011 through 5/8/2011. Directions: 1 mile north of Highway 60 on Highway 39 to Holloway Road, Turn West 3/4 mile to Farm on south side of road. Look for red barn behind white house. Click here for a map and directions. Payment: Cash, Check. $3 pound U-Pick or $15 U-Pick Bucket Special (7 lbs +/-) $4 pound We-Pick.


**Blueyouth Berries - blackberries, blueberries**

8201 Cosme Road, Odessa, FL 33556. Phone: 813-215-2237. Email: blueyouthberries@gmail.com. Open: Blueberry season is late March to early June, blackberry season is late May to early July; Directions: Click here for a map and directions. Payment: Cash, only.


**DK Blueberry U-Pick Farm - blueberries**

1615 U.s. highway 92 East, Seffner, FL 33584. Phone: 813-802-0406. Open: March 25, 2012 to May 15, 2012; Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 9am to 5pm. Directions: Corner of highway 92 East and Brackwood Road 1 1/2 miles off I-4 East,(exit 14), South on McIntosh Rd, Right on US 92. (1 Mile West of McIntosh Road on South side of road) Corner of highway 92 East and Brackwood Road. 7 varieties to choose from: Princess, Prima Don Saturday, Emerald, Sharpe, Sapphire, Jewels and Golf Coast; Best to CALL ahead for variety availability; Varieties are not all ripe at the same time..U-pick $6.00 per pound We-pick & pack $8.00 per pound.
^Been here and picked some awesome blueberries!!!

**Fort Lonesome - No pesticides are used, beans, broad beans, broccoli, cucumbers, eggplant, flowers, grapes, grapefruit, herbs/spices, lavender, lemons, muscadine grapes, onions, oranges, other citrus, peas, peaches, peppers, plums, summer squash, tangerines, winter squash, tomatoes, other vegetables, Other fruit or veg, Fresh eggs, U-pick and already picked, gift shop, concessions / refreshment stand, restrooms, picnic area, farm animals, school tours**

15433 Cr 39 South, Lithia, FL 33547. Phone: 813 699-2058. Email: fortlonesomefarm@yahoo.com. Open: Every weekend and Holiday, 10 am until 6 pm, YES, we will be open. We do not use pesticides on the crops. Payment: Cash, only. Please do not call to see if we are OPEN. We are OPEN, Every Weekend and Holiday (Even Christmas), This will eliminate 90% of my calls, Thank You. This Farm is slowly being built for our customers and the kids! Tell me what you want and it will happen, you want to feed chicks, tell me, you want low line grapes, tell me, you want a veggie cooking class or a little farmer class, TELL ME! This place is my hobby and my fun, lets do it together and have some fun, come out, lets talk!.


**Hollow Creek - blueberries, U-pick and already picked**

1204 Holloway Road, Plant City, FL 33567. Phone: 813-376-4185. Alternate Phone: 813-478-1253. Directions: From I-4, get off at Forbes Road exit go south about 3 miles to Trapnell road turn east on Trapnell Road go about 3 miles to Mudlake road turn right heading south about 1 mile to stop sign at Holloway road turn left onto Holloway road about half mile on left , north side of Holloway road with wood fence around field. Payment: Cash, only. we have buckets for picking in the field but you will ned to bring your own containers to take them home in.


**Proctor Family Farm..... 2012 Blueberry Season - blueberries**

7105 Kinard Rd, Plant City, FL 33565. Phone: 813-323-8822. Email: blueberries@proctorfamilyfarm.com. Open: 2012 season starts approximately at the end of April to end of May , Monday to Sunday , 9am to 5 pm. Directions: Directions: I-4 to MacIntosh Road exit (Exit 14) in Plant City, head north on Macintosh Road to first stop sign and turn right on Thonotosassa Rd, head east on Thonotosassa Road to first stop sign and turn left on Gallagher Rd, head north on Gallagher Road to Kinard Road (not Kinard Cove) and turn right. Head east to first sharp curve look for signs on the right before the second sharp curve. Click here for a map and directions. Payment: Cash, only.


**WD Farm - blueberries, Fresh eggs**

10302 C.R. 579, Thonotosassa, FL 33592. Phone: 813-704-0028. Open: April 14th to June 2nd 2012; Saturday 9am to 2pm; Sunday 9am to 2pm; Other times available by apointment. Directions: Exit I-4 at County Road 579, Go north 3 miles and your there. The driveway is on the West side of County Road 579 between Joe Ebert Road and Skewlee Road. Payment: Cash, only. Our blueberry plants are 4 years old and loaded with very large, very ripe berries. Easy picking. This is our first season and we hope you will like our berries so much you tell others about us and come back next year. Prices are $20 per bucket. Each bucket is approximately 1 gallon and weighs between 6-7 pound.



MANATEE COUNTY:


**Hunsader U-Pick Farms - vegetables, Pumpkins, strawberries**


5500 C.R. 675, Bradenton, Florida. Phone: 941-322-2168. Open Mid- September through mid-June. U-pick hotline (941)331-1212 -Cantaloupes, watermelons, corn, acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, butternut squash. Others: broccoli (December 1-April 1), Cabbage (December 1-April 1), Canteloupes (September 15-December 1, April 15-June 15), Cauliflower (December 1-April 1), Citrus (November 1-April 1), Cucumbers (September 15-December 1, April 15-June 15), FL. Sweet onions (December 1-June 1), Gourds (September 15-November25), Hard squash (September 15-December 1, April 15-June 15), Peppers (October 20-December 10, May 1-June 15), Pumpkins (September 20-November 25), Sweet corn (September 15-December 1, April 15-June 15), Tomatoes (October 20-December 10, May 1-June 15), Watermelons (September 15-December 1, April 15-June 15), Strawberries (December 15-May 1)


**Old Mission Vineyards - Grapes**


19600 SR 64 East, Bradenton, FL 34212. Phone: 941-746-6334. Open Monday thru Saturday, 9:00am to 6:00 pm, Beginning July 24th. 8 miles east of I-75 on south side of SR 64, Nobles and Carlos $1.00/LB, We have grapevines for sale.


**Vintage Organic Acres - Certified Organic, blueberries, U-pick and already picked, porta-potties**

30902 Taylor Grade Rd, Duette, FL 34219. Phone: 941-920-1801. Email: tappanfarm@gmail.com. Open: April 28 to May 29 Monday Tuesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday 9am to 7pm By appointment only; Your appointment assures that you will get the best service possible by our staff; Closed on Wednesday. Directions: From I75 & highway 301 travel north on highway 301 through Ellenton to Parrish. In Parrish turn Right on highway 62 (across from PJ's Sandwich Shop)headed East. Travel 14 miles east on highway 62 to Bunker Hill Road (just passed Oasis Store with big yellow tank) Turn Left on Bunker Hill Rd, travel 1 mile to stop sign, turn Left onto Taylor Grade Road Travel 2 miles see sign on Right for Tappan Nurseries with red posts. Turn right into drive and follow dirt road one mile to blueberry field.




PASCO COUNTY:



**B & S Victory Farms - blueberries**

12445 Fort King Road, Dade City, FL 33525. Phone: 352-567-3431. Email: bsvictory@gmail.com. Open: April 9, 2012; Monday and Friday 4:30 pm to dark; Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 8:00 am to 12:00 pm; Saturday 8:00 am to 2:00 pm; Closed Mother's Day, May 13. Payment: Cash, only. $3.50 per pound.


**The Berry Barn - Minimizes chemical and pesticide use, blueberries, strawberries, Other fruit or veg, already-picked produce, gift shop, picnic area, school tours**


12954 Hudson Avenue, Hudson, FL 34669. Phone: 727-856-2380. Email: berrybarn@tampabay.rr.com. Open: In the fall through Mid - May for Hydroponic Strawberries, April to Mid - May for Blueberries (longer if berries permit). We usually start picking at the beginning of May, but they will be more abundant by the second week of May. All fertilizers are sprayed directly into the root beds of the plants, which makes the berries safe to eat right off the branches...You get to sample what you are buying! We also have Blueberry and Strawberry Cider and All Natural Jams, Jellies and Condiments; Payment: Cash, Check.


**Bubba's Blueberry Farm - blueberries, U-pick and already picked, snacks and refreshment stand**

16505 Jayare Road, Spring Hill, FL 34690. Phone: 727-408-3000. Email: greekfam5@yahoo.com. Open: Sunday through Saturday daily from 9am to 4pm (IN SEASON). Payment: Cash, only. You pick blueberries on my 3 and 1/2 acre farm for $4.00 per pound. You may purchase blueberries already picked for $5.00 per pound.


**Gene's Patch - No pesticides are used, blueberries, U-pick and already picked**

6381 Tulip Drive, Wesley Chapel, FL 33544. Phone: 813-527-6324. Email: R_Meredith29@yahoo.com. Open: We are a small farm; YOU MUST call a head of time to insure availability! Starting April 8, 2012 we will be open from daylight to dark - - 7 days a week until the berries are gone; Directions: Call for directions and availability; We use natural practices, but are not seeking organic certification; Payment: Cash, only; We are a small family owned farm; All of our plants are in 55 pm to gallon barrels that have been cut in half; This makes it easy on your back and mine because there is very little bending done on this farm; The barrels are all setting on weed mat, so you always know what you are stepping on. We do not use pesticides on the crops. Payment: Cash, only.


**Owen's Blueberry Farm - blueberries**


12839 Kitten Trail Hudson, FL 34669. Phone: 727-868-7249. Call for u-pick dates. They have restrooms and a sink to wash up in after picking.


**Peaches of Pasco - Certified Pesticide free, peaches, u-pick and prepicked**

12119 Ducklake Canal Rd, Dade City, FL 33525. Phone: 813-714-1112. Email: Peaches of Pasco@AOL.com Open: mid-April thru June Sunday - Friday Hour are 9am to 5pm;. Directions: Between Zephyrhills and Dade City off highway 35A (Old Lakeland Rd.) East on Enterprise 1 mile, then left onto Duck Lake Canal Road just a short ways on Duck Lake till you see all the Peach Trees and the Old 2-story Farm House. Payment: Cash, only. Red, White and Yellow Pie peaches. $20 per 1/2 bushel. Certified Pesticide Free by State of Florida, Dept. of Agriculture



POLK COUNTY


**BMB Farms - blueberries, restrooms**

4277 Old Eagle Lake Road, Bartow, FL 33830. Phone: 863-698-0239. Alternate Phone: 863-412-1556. Email: koulog@yahoo.com. Open: 7 days a week beginning April 14, 2012 from 8:30 am. till 6:30 pm. Directions: Highway 98 S into Bartow. Take Old Bartow/Eagle Lake Road 2.5 miles to Farm (will be marked by signs.) Highway 17 to Spirit Lake Road. Spirit Lake Road 1/4 mile to Old Bartow/Eagle Lake Road. Old Bartow/Eagle Lake Road 1/4 mile to Farm (will be marked by signs.).Payment: Cash, only.


**Berry Bay Farms - strawberries**

5135 Bonita Drive, Wimauma, FL 33598. Phone: 813-642-9866. Fax: 813-936-4880. Email: strawberry@berrybayfarms.com. U-Pick season begins at the end of our commercial season, which is normally in March sometime. (and usually ends by early April). The time frame does vary and is determined by the market. We will send out a postcard and/or e-mail to inform everyone when we are open. If you are not on our mailing list and would like to be, please e-mail us your name and address.


**Black's Berry Farm - blueberries, U-pick and already picked, restrooms**


7548 Black Road, Lake Wales, FL 33898. Phone: 863 398 4763. Alternate Phone: 863 644 3421. Email: dstepanic1@verizon.net. Open: Saturday and Sunday, from 7 am to 5 pm. Directions: Click here for a map and directions. Blueberries: April and May. Payment: Cash, Check.


**Futch Family Farms - blueberries**


12500 Old Grade Road, Polk City, FL 33868. Phone: 863-984-4723. Email: bf@mbjenterprises.com. Open: Monday to Sunday from 9 am to 7 pm, May until fruit is gone. Directions: From Orlando drive West on I4. From Tampa drive East on I4. Take exit 48. Drive North on Old Grade Road approximity 3.3 miles. Look for farm on left. Enter farm using the left side gate. Do not enter the right side drive (Private road). Park under trees and look for attendant. Payment: Cash, only.
Bring plastic bags, such as grocery bags, to put berries in. They will lay out flat in these type of bags keeping the berries from squashing each other. You may bring 1 gallon pails to pick in or use our pails. But if many pickers show up buckets may be limited. Most important: Have Fun. See you there.









Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Todays Harvest: (4-18-12)

1.4 pounds of red Pontiac potatoes
.95 pounds of white scallop squash


Sunday, April 15, 2012

When your hen becomes a rooster

Sexing a chicken at birth is a tricky job that is not always correct so even when buying sexed pullets be aware you might end up with a rooster.

Here is our story!

A couple weeks ago I took a good look at our flock, one of the middle aged chickens (Happy) towered over the older hens... I was confused because she was the same breed but developed at a MUCH faster rate then her sister did. Happy already had a large red comb, stood tall, and developed beautiful black tail feathers that shone blue and green in the sunlight. I picked her up and held her for a while asking her if she was stealing all the food for herself (yes i talk to my chickens, if they start answering then we have to worry). I petted her telling her how beautiful she was and she cooed back.

That night as I lay in bed I was thinking about just how big and different Happy was. I started to worry...

A few days ago I was working in the backyard and heard some scuffles in the chicken area, I looked over to see Happy latched on to the back of her sisters neck, the older hens rushed over and pecked happy till she let go.... I thought it was weird but maybe just another one of their pecking order scuffles... I was still worried..

This morning I woke up early and went to the bathroom.. I heard the neighbors rooster crow.. cock-a-doodle-do... then following a lower pitched doodle-doo... I sat upright.. what was that... then again doodle-doo... it was outside the window.. I rushed outside to the chicken area and stared inside.. 6 chickens stared back at me.. no sounds... I let them out and waited... I sat out their weeding for about a hour before giving up and chalking it up to early morning brain... I was still worried...

I worked outside all day hearing no crows (except from the neighbors rooster)then came sunset.. I was out front planting and mulching.. I heard the crow again... I ran to the side fence that overlooks the chicken area... I didn't see happy, where was she.. There on the other side of the fence with her sister scratching in the garden...I heard the crow again.. and again.. yep it was coming from the her.. My fears had been confirmed Happy the Hen was in fact a rooster. *sigh*


Now to get rid of him... :(

Wanna see whats up with other bloggers? Barnhop!

This man is wonderful

Saturday, April 14, 2012

BluStraBerry Jam

I made up this recipe since it is the end of strawberry season and the start of blueberry season... The name I came up with is a combo of the 2 and pretty awesome if you ask me!!

Ingredients:

~ 7 cups sugar
~ 6 cups strawberries (4 cups mashed)
~ 2 cups blueberries (1 cup mashed)
~ 4 tablespoons lemon juice
~ 1 package powder pectin

**Makes 8~ 8oz jars**

~ Prepare 8 clean 8 oz jars

~ Measure sugar into bowl and set aside

~ Wash berries


~ Crush strawberries and add to large stainless steel pan

~ Crush Blueberries and add to strawberries in pan, Whisk together

~ Add lemon juice and pectin.. stir until ALL dissolved



~ Bring to a rolling boil then add sugar all at once

~ Return to a boil that cannot be stirred down

~ Boil hard for 1 minute

~ Remove from heat and skim off top foam (discard)

~ Fill prepared canning jars one at a time leaving 1/4 inch head space


~ Process for 10 minutes

~ Enjoy


***Caution: This jam is freaking ridiculously yummy and you might fall in love, proceed with caution!***