Posts Tagged With: Chickens

Three Cheers for Volunteers!

Last week we went out to the garden and found THIS!  Volunteer spinach!  Hooray!

We decided to take advantage of the nice weather by getting a bit of garden prep done and putting a few seeds into the ground.  Rick also helped the neighbor get more ready on his garden by digging out three tree stumps and getting some major tilling and composting into the beds.

Our neighbor is cracking me up.  When he first wanted to do the garden he gave me free license for garden design as long as it included corn and potatoes.  Now he’s got definite ideas about what he wants and doesn’t want, so we are modifying the plans I made all winter a bit.  I’m actually really glad, since it tells me he’s a lot more excited about his space than he is letting on.  We’re adding carrots and onions.  He’s from Indiana and missed the corn fields, so we are planting four long rows for him to walk through.  I talked him into beans with the corn, though he thinks he “won’t like how it looks,” he’s willing to let me try it since I keep telling him the beans will help feed the corn.  But corn and beans are still a few month off.  This is what we actually planted this weekend:

Plant something – spinach, lettuce (four kinds), radishes, and peas.

Harvest something – eggs, compost and a leaf or two of that volunteer spinach.

Preserve something – Ah – TAMALES!  My friend, Jen, came over on Saturday and while Rick and the boys kept busy digging out tree stumps, we made a triple batch of corn and poblano tamales.  We ended up with 90!  Jen took about 30 of them home and let me keep the rest.  She was super generous and I’m very grateful!  We put away enough for five meals in the freezer, and kept out enough for Saturday’s dinner and lunch on Sunday.  And – OH were they delicious.

We also learned about making lard – we rendered pork fat both last year and this year.  But we learned a bit more this time around.  We ended up coming up short, so we added bacon grease.  I knew I was keeping that around for something!

Waste Not – compost and recycling

Want Not – Sunday we bought a few new baby chicks.  I really want a hen that will go broody so we can have her raise future chicken generations, so we’re hoping the Buff Orpington will provide on that front.  We added another Araucana, because I really love getting colored eggs,  and I’ve been thinking of actually, finally, selling some eggs, just to recover the cost of the feed, so we added a third – a Black Star.  Wouldn’t it be great if one of them liked to lay double-yolked eggs?  We had one pullet in the last batch that laid them nearly every day like a champ, but she was killed by a fox attack.

Build Community Food Systems – Well – already mentioned the tamales and the neighbor’s garden.  That’s it for this week.

Eat the Food – lots of items from the pantry.  Nothing special.

Categories: Chickens, Food, Garden, Independence Days, Recipes, Urban Homesteading | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Happy Chickens Lay the Best Eggs

LOOK what we got this week!

Plant something – not yet… this weekend if it doesn’t snow though!

Harvest something – eggs! Even old Mayzie girl laid eggs and she’s four this year!  We’re so happy to be back in eggs from out own girls.

Preserve something – two quiches and a bag of soup went into the freezer – I’m trying to get some meals frozen for when the baby comes.

Waste Not – compost and recycling, scraps to chickens, etc.  And I’m seven weeks straight on planning meals!

Want Not – We scored some twin beds for the boys from craigslist.  They are a really nice set that can be bunked or not.  We’ve already set up H’s and he LOVES it.  We’ll be saving his other bed for the new baby when they are older.

Build Community Food Systems – shared some frozen green chiles and grape jam with my sis & bro-in-law.

Eat the Food – Duck was on the menu this week.  I usually have a harder time using our game birds than the elk or venison, but I am making a point to do it.  And I LOVE duck!  Served up two zucchini-green chile quiches using veggies from the freezer at brunch.

This is my favorite duck recipe: Doug’s Grilled Duck Breasts from Field and Stream Magazine.  So yum!

Categories: Chickens, Garden, Independence Days, Recipes | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Still Working Towards Independence

So I know it’s been a while since you’ve seen an Independence Days update.  Since October I think.  Well we’ve still been working, just nothing consistent over the winter, and no planting since that last post either.

My friend Annie has been keeping track through the winter and I am so impressed by her.  I thought I’d finally update what we’ve had in the last two weeks or so.  Also – I’ve totally lost count of the weeks (somewhere in the 40’s, I’m sure).  So going forward no more counting… just updates as they come.

Plant something – nothing yet.

Harvest something – eggs!  Some of the hens have started up laying again.  Hooray!  Two eggs last week, so far, another eight this week.  Yippee!

Preserve something – turkey stock – that’s all.

Waste Not – compost and recycling, scraps to chickens, etc.  Kept up the meal planning – 6 weeks straight now!  Made some turkey stock from the bones of a turkey and some rather limp veggies from the bottom of the fridge.  Went through the boys’ clothes and toys again.  Also sorted through Rick & my closet.  With a small house I just don’t have room to keep this stuff around.  So some other lucky kids will benefit from the Goodwill donations.  I did pull about 8 jackets and sweatshirts that I’m going to take to the used kids clothing shop to sell.  They usually buy that stuff, and for some reason, this season we ended up with a kajillion jackets for each kiddo.

Want Not – ordered seeds!  Hip hip hooray! – More on this below.  Also we got black-out/thermal drapes for the boys’ room.  They have old wooden single pane windows back there, and although we put up storm windows and the plastic, they were still freezing cold.  We hung up one set of curtains on one window and put a quilt over the other window (we’re waiting to hang the second set until we move their room around when E leaves the crib soon).  But just that little change has made a huge difference in the temperature of their bedroom.

Build Community Food Systems – Our neighbor ordered potato seeds for us to share and we got the corn and beans and carrots he wanted.  Plus we ordered veggies for our space, and based on some hopeful swapping with some friends, even modified what we were going to plant in some areas.  :)

Also blogged about Non-GMO seeds and that sparked a conversation on Facebook with a friend who is working on her first garden at her home.  A little something.

Eat the Food – Turkey from the freezer.  Chiles, corn, jalapeño powder, pickles, frozen tomatoes, peaches, plums, elk, grouse, pheasant, beans and jams all getting used.  We’re really working through the freezer this year.  Our onions, garlic, potatoes, winter squash, strawberries and raspberries are all completely gone already.

Categories: Independence Days | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

Free the Chickens!

As promised, here is the video that we participated in making to help get Denver’s laws changed to allow chickens.  Sadly the editor misspelled our name, but I think the point is still there.  ;)  Please share with your friends to help raise awareness on this issue.

To learn more about how you can help, go to

Categories: Chickens, Community, Food, Simple Living, Sustainability, Urban Homesteading | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 Comments


This weekend was the weekend of fruit.  On Saturday morning we went to Palisade for the second time this summer, and we came home with 319 pounds of peaches.  150 pounds were for friends, and we kept the other half for ourselves.  Then, Sunday morning, before we had even gotten a peach into the freezer, my brother-in-law came by with over 1500 Italian plums.  Thankfully the plums are a bit green, as we didn’t really have much time to mess with the fruit on Sunday.

Monday, we ate some of the plums in a plum coffee cake, and then we went to our friend’s home outside of Allenspark.  Mike grilled and we gathered around the fire pit, and had a nice evening with friends (and peach cobbler), watching the smoke from the fire in Boulder county blow over the horizon.

On the way home we stopped outside of Longmont where we could see the fire above Boulder.  My pictures here don’t do it justice, but it was incredible.

Tuesday is farm day for me, when I go and work at the CSA.  I brought home our share, and had barely pulled into the drive when our friend, Rich drove up with twenty plus pounds of concord grapes!  These grapes are our favorite and they were very generous!

So we have a fruit filled week ahead of us.  I had actually planned to pick strawberries and raspberries this week too, but I am putting that off until next week in hopes that I can get somewhat caught up around here before adding more to it!

Here’s the update:

Plant something – nothing.

Harvest something – eggs, tomatoes, zucchini, peaches

Preserve something – three batches of peach preserves, two and a half boxes (approx. 30 lbs) of peaches sliced and frozen, 3½ pounds green beans frozen, 1 gallon bag of tomatoes frozen, 2 batches of carrot soup in the freezer.

Waste Not – compost and recycling, scraps to chickens, etc.  Lots and lots went to the goodwill over the last couple of weeks.

Want Not – nothing that I can think of right now.

Build Community Food Systems – all the fruit trading!  Yum!

Eat the Food – as mentioned, plum cake and peach cobbler.  Also eating all the yummy farm veggies.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  ;)

Categories: Canning and Food Preservation, Chickens, Food, Garden, Independence Days, Recommended Reading | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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