Bring out the crime scene tape…

We lost one of our Silver Laced Wyandotte’s sometime during the night. It’s our first, but probably not last death.   I’d long ago stopped doing a head count when latching our coop as the girls truly put themselves to bed around dusk.  This was after orating on this virtuous trait of the bird yesterday to friends Jay and Anna who are going to be chicken, rabbit and dog sitting so I can leave town and regain some semblance of a sense of humor. A scattering of feathers triggered my peaking over the edge of the planter box and it was a grisly sight.  Naturally I want to share.

Thankfully I’d fortified myself with half a cup of coffee as opposed to fortified coffee before this headless discovery.  And yes, I’m keeping the feet.

Friday the 18th…

The butchering of chickens and other forms of protein happens all of the time, by individual hand and factory.  It’s an ordinariness that never loses its unease.  Picking up your protein from a local butcher does however take the edge off.

What I wonder about is, when it took two urban farmers plus one 5th grade farmhand all day to butcher, prep,  make stew and stock from two hens how anybody had time for the quilting, sewing and woodworking.  Hell, even just splitting wood for a fire seems like it would go by the wayside.

post butchering cleanup

Carrie

remains of the day

Rosemary's Baby

“We all go a little mad sometime.”  Psycho

Preview of coming feathered attractions…

Today is a frightfully annoying stereotypical Monday.  Much started, less finished and suddenly it’s time to pick up the boy from school.  The boy whom with which I had to have a conversation regarding what constitutes a legend.  In other words the difference between legendary and infamous and how that might translate into the short attention span world of 7th grade.  As it turns out he’s being greeted or crowned with the nickname legend.  This is not due to his Lacrosse skills but rather his ability to get five detentions within the span of 15 minutes last Thursday.  Yeah, it’s apparently like that.

My day off from the parenting gig this weekend was Sunday and it was spent helping out (well I plucked feathers from a wet, dead hen) butchering and documenting the transformation of two hens into delicious chicken stock as well as crock potted chicken stew at Garden Girl Farm.  I’m thankful for friends in helping with the restoration of my sense of humor and sanity.  I don’t know where to start so will leave you with this teaser.  One of these images does not fit, or maybe it’s that two don’t.

vintage jewelry advertisement

what's inside your chicken

vintage jewelry advertisement

Sprout this….

Several weeks back I made a run to the Seed Bank.  It’s the Petaluma, housed in a historic bank building West Coast retail locale for Baker Creek Heirloom seeds.  I may have been on a retail high because as I was checking out after I’d already eavesdropped on the Novato gardener’s Tomato growing secrets involving plastic bags the clerk made the observation that I must have a really large garden.  It’s not tiny but really large, not so much.

I’m thinking this is my first Tomato sprout.  I’m going to have to wait a bit because not having Martha’s staff or enough of an organizational bent to motivate I did not label any of my starts.  I’ve got a vague idea, know the Tomato seeds were in the compostable trays versus the plastic seed trays (with seventy-two slots) that I also picked up at the Seed Bank for about $1.50.  In the meantime while I wait I’ve got clay and access to two kilns so I’m going to get creative and come up with some sort of plant signage.  Signage large enough to have a small gnome, at least that’s the plan.

Black Krim, possibly

If you want to go for a more generalized gardening sentiment there’s signage to be had from the Etsy shop Garden Designs in Clay found at,  http://www.etsy.com/shop/GardenDesignsinClay

from Designs in Clay, Etsy

Pass the STRAW please…

I, much to my surprise had a heads up about a school event from Henry, my son.  STRAW or Students and Teachers Restoring a Watershed have been working for the past nine years on the creek behind Miller Creek Middle School.  I tagged along with his science class this past Friday and did a bit of both digging and documenting.  There are strict school rules regarding the posting of pictures of students, every parent has to sign a release so I feel obligated to use images that feature my one and only so I won’t end up in the principal’s office.  But, I can truthfully say that all the kids were busy pulling out non native species, tagging native ones and doing some planting.

one of the restoration specialists explains the concept of a root ball

Henry at work, note to self, this does not happen in our backyard

tools of the trade

more tools of the trade

Here’s a link the The Bay Institute’s website,  http://www.bay.org/ from there click on watershed education.