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Now that is a face not even a mother could love. Although, who knows…maybe when I’m a mother I’ll love a few more faces than I do now! After the initial loss of one 2 week old turkey, then the scare of a turkey with a broken leg, and then the loss of our biggest tom turkey about 2 weeks ago who was killed by the neighbor’s dog, we were a bit concerned that we wouldn’t have any turkeys left for Thanksgiving. But as you can see, Igor (the turkey with the broken leg) is doing fine:

The other 3 perfectly healthy turkeys are probably a good 10 pounds by now, and are continuing to grow very well. They’re just now losing the last of their baby feathers, and have many of their large “bronze” feathers already! They haven’t tried to really fly yet, which is good, because I’m pretty sure they could get over the fence by now. We’ll have to start clipping flight feathers soon, to ensure that we don’t have to coax any turkeys out of our big tree, or find one run over in the road.


Interestingly enough, they also love the camera! They must have felt like movie stars. The Araucanas are also doing well. We still have all 4 of them, and they are all so pretty! One was being shy, so she’s not in any pictures, but the other three were slightly more cooperative.


Overall, the birds are happy and healthy, the big chickens are laying eggs, the little chickens will be laying eggs in a few months, and we will have turkey dinner in about 15 more weeks! I can’t wait to post a free-range home-grown heritage turkey recipe this Thanksgiving!

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My my how the spaghetti squash has grown!  It has overtaken the poor strawberries and eggplants, shadowing them from the sun and latching on to their stems with its twisting, curling, reaching fingers; but at least it is also blooming profusely!  I’ll expect to see some budding squash any day now.

It’s actually been raining very frequently, and heavily, this month.  The rain is good for our water bill, but there hasn’t been quite as much sunshine as the plants have needed in order to start letting their buds blossom and fruit ripen.  We still have a lot of warm weather yet to come in Southwest Ohio though, so I am still hopeful that there will be a bountiful crop this year.

Beside the spaghetti squash, we’ve also got many of the other seeds sprouting, including the pumpkin, green beans, brussels sprouts, mesclun mix, carrots, and onions!  The tomato plants are nearly as tall as I am, and are covered in pale green unripe tomatoes already.

Instead of caging all of the tomato plants like we did last year, we decided to try “stringing them up” as I’ll call it.  It’s an experiment, we’ll see how it goes.  The nice bright tomato in the middle of the photo is an heirloom tomato, though I don’t know what kind (it came as part of an heirloom plant mix), so I’m excited to see how it looks and tastes when it ripens!

In addition to our garden, the turkey poults and Araucana chicks are growing like weeds (or should I say spaghetti squash?)!  They’ve got flight feathers coming in, and are testing them constantly.  They are also learning to scratch, which is okay outside, but not so great when they’re flinging their feed all over the basement floor while they’re inside their kennel.

The Araucana chicks below have been getting some serious air too, with those impressive three-week old wings!  The chick on the left was quite sick, and we were afraid we were going to lose her.  Adam cleaned her up, we kept her separate from the other birds for a week, and she finally got to reunite with the other chicks this past week.  It’s amazing to see how much the other chicks grew while she was sick, as you can clearly see what the toll of having to heal rather than getting to grow took on the little girl.

Hopefully we’ve gotten past the most difficult part of the chicks’ development, and we won’t be in as great a danger of losing any others.

Overall, we are having a much more successful summer this year than last, but only time will tell how the harvest will turn out!

Apparently, chickens are a gateway drug to more hard-core microfarming adventures. Can you guess what these little puff balls are?

They’re turkeys! They hatched just 8 hours ago, and are still stumbling around in their box. One little guy (or gal, I don’t know how to tell yet) even flipped over onto his back and started peeping up a storm, and needed a gentle hand to tip him back over. I guess this means we’ll be having to check on them every hour or so to make sure they don’t flip over and dehydrate themselves.

There are six turkey poults, all Mamouth Bronze Turkeys. Think of the turkeys you see portrayed at the Pilgrim’s and Indian’s first Thanksgiving…they will look something like that. They will not be pets, although I’ve read that they enjoy human company a great deal. I’m sure that we will enjoy their company too…until Thanksgiving, when we will enjoy their drumsticks.

In addition to the turkey poults, Adam threw in four Araucana chickens as well! They seem to be fiesty little creatures, already running and jumping just 8 hours after hatching. The little chick on the right of the picture is the Araucana, the turkey is on the left. The reason I wanted these little gems so badly is because they lay green/blue eggs! We’ll have the prettiest egg boxes on the block once those little ladies start laying.

To sum up my microfarming adventure tour, I also had one of the first strawberries of the season, and the first salad from our lettuces this past weekend. Both were wonderful, especially since they grew right in our backyard!

I will enjoy dragging you along our turkey adventure, from farm to table as they say!

As I mentioned in my previous chicken post, we get seven eggs per day. Every day. If we don’t eat eggs every day (which we don’t always, just a lot of days) they build up!

I like to save about two dozen to let them age a few weeks, that way they can be hard boiled and will be easier to peel (extremely fresh eggs are very difficult to peel, see edinformatics.com to find out why). If we still have more eggs than we can eat, I sell a few dozen and earn enough money to buy more chicken food!

Besides all that, one great way to use a dozen eggs for breakfast or dinner is to make a frittata. Frittatas also reheat really well, making them a great choice for batch cooking (there I go again!).

My basic recipe, which can be modified in more ways than I can even imagine, starts out as such:

12 fresh eggs (get them from the best source you can find, it’s worth it!)
6 cloves garlic, chopped or pressed
1/2 cup diced vidalia onion
approximately 10oz mushrooms, coarsly chopped
1 jalapeno pepper (seeds and ribs removed if you want it milder, left in if you want it spicy)
1 large bell pepper (your favorite color)
1 pound pork sausage
1 tablespoon bacon grease
Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
2. Heat the bacon grease (or whatever fat you’d like to use, just make sure it’s not margarine or canola oil) in a large skillet, then add the mushrooms, garlic, onion, jalapeno, and bell pepper and sautee for about 5 minutes.
3. Add in the pork sausage, and cook through.
4. While the pork is cooking, break your eggs into a 9×13 glass baking dish, grind salt & pepper over the eggs to your liking, then whisk the eggs with a fork.
5. Pour your pork/vegetable mixture into the eggs, distribute the mixture evenly, and bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until the eggs are set.

*Your favorite salsa would make an awesome topping with this frittata.
**Oh, and if you consume dairy, some good raw milk cheddar tops this dish off perfectly.
***Also, try adding your favorite spices, or other seasonal vegetables. I have really enjoyed adding eggplant, smokey paprika, and thyme (my favorite spice) on different occassions.

Again, this makes a great breakfast to reheat quickly when you don’t have time for much else. What would you rather have anyway, a “cereal” bar, or eggs with sausage and mushrooms and deliciousness baked right in? I hope you like it as much as I do!

We have chickens. Seven of them in fact, all hens, all Golden Comets.

Chickens in their coop

We got them at one day old. Adam brought them home in a cardboard box, where they lived under a heat lamp for the next 14 weeks (they lived in a large dog kennel when they outgrew their box). Now, they live in the backyard in their fantastically appointed, husband made chicken coop!

Inside the coop

They do get regular “chicken feed” for now, but as the spring turns into summer, they will be out in the yard much more often, hopefully getting more of their food eating grass and bugs (and the occasional garter snake I suppose). They love being out in the yard, though the dogs aren’t crazy about being stuck inside while the chickens wander around finding worms. The light in the picture above is gone now as well, since it’s no longer 10-15 degrees a night.

Free ranging chicken

In these pictures they are nearly eight months old, and are laying every day. One hen, who lays very light brown eggs (the lightest of the bunch), sometimes skips a day here and there, but for the most part we have seven eggs per day. The eggs are very similar to what we were paying $4 per carton for previously, nice dark orange yolks with tons of flavor, and whites that whip up to beautiful peaks!

We have a good-sized backyard which makes it easy enough to keep chickens, and from everything we could read/find/talk to other people about there are no ordinances against having chickens (or goats or sheep or geese…) within city limits here. As long as your animals are not a nuisance to your neighbors, you’re fine. And if they don’t like it at first, just buy them off by giving them a dozen delicious eggs every so often…

Obviously it’s not that way everywhere, but you’ll never know if you can keep chickens until you research it! They are low maintenance animals that provide a complete food with egg-celent nutritional value (so sorry, I couldn’t help it), for very little cost once you’ve got your coop built. That, and it’s pretty funny to watch them chase each other around the yard fighting over worms.