Update on our first incubated chicks!

Thought I would share how the chicks are turning out so far.
From the start I had thought we had 2 roosters and 10 pullets in the mix of 12 chicks that we had hatch. This was based on “feelings” guesses as well as characters and feet size, and really just for fun. The two I had thought to be roosters were the black and white Swedish Flower and the “Splash” Heritage Blue Copper Maran.

As it stands at them being 4 weeks now, I’m pretty confident in the guess that we have 1 rooster and 11 pullets. The rooster being the Blue Copper Maran I believe to have a nice bit of splash in its heritage (it is the only one that seems to have a definite yellowing in the chest).
We had him hatch last… almost a full 12 hours later.

I’ll be sharing some of the photos I was able to capture (those little buggers are fast and camera shy…except for our Olive Egger that I’ve named ‘Clover’). This will show the look that the chicks have as they have aged, and I’ll explain my reasonings for my guesses on their sexes. Truly it is still too early to be telling.
But as before, I am pretty confident in my assumptions thus far.

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Hunting, our big step into self reliance

There is a lot of controversy surrounding hunting.

Some people don’t understand how one can do it, just the same as one cannot understand how a person doesn’t eat meat. No matter what it is, we always have an opinion when it comes to food or lifestyle choices. I suppose that’s just the way we are, always believing what we do to be superior or the “way to be”. Probably because it works so well for ourselves.
Truth of the matter is, we are omnivores, and I think that’s the beauty of who we are as humanity, we can live in a variety of ways. Some wrapped in Culture, some in tradition and even some in modern embraces. We in North America I like to believe embrace all three.

I hold respect for those who consciously decide to not eat meat in some ways. I might not always agree with all the reasons behind the lifestyle choice, as I myself hold my own opinions, but I don’t believe it’s easy when done properly. Neither is hunting from seeing what Tim goes through, and others.

It’s the food in the middle that often times really drives me mad at times. That blatant disregard and disrespect for the food that is sustaining oneself and the fact that life and death was involved to nourish you. The fact that one does not care or doesn’t want to, just astounds me. We all have been guilty at one point or another, I’m sure, of picking up that saran wrapped package of meat or whatever else it is and really not thinking about it beyond that.

Before hunting, we already were starting to become more aware of the fact that a fellow animal or living thing gave its life for us to eat. This I believe started when we first had the desire to grow our own vegetables, to have a garden to help sustain us. This is something that is of utmost importance to retain, the fact that life comes from death and death from life. As you will, the circle of life.

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Farmhouse Spiced Zucchini Loaf

So was the season for copious amounts of zucchini!

Every year it’s the same, we always plant at least 2 zucchini plants as we get better pollination for them. Some years we plant as many as 4, but this year we landed with only 2.

Still, despite there being only 2 plants…they were huge! They had a slow start to producing (they were also planted later than usual), having mostly only female flowers and no males caused a bit of a worry for me, but it was short lived.
There’s really only so much zucchini one can eat anyway…but really who ever gets tired of the tasty, delicious Spiced Zucchini Loaf?

Not I!

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Our first Adventure in Incubating

Well, I found a chicken breeder in our area who does a lovely job of breeding some wonderful rare and pretty birds. Among them are, the swedish flower hens or blommehöns in Sweden.

They really are quite pretty birds, resembling a landscape of wildflowers, hence how they got their name. These were just one of the breeds that caught my attention. There is also Blue Wheaton / Wheaton Ameraucanas, Blue Copper Marans, and Olive Eggers that we incubated to hatch.

All of which I was extremely excited about doing for our first time.

Out of these four breeds we did: 8 eggs of the Swedish Flower Hens, 6 Ameraucanas, 6 eggs of the Blue Copper Marans, and 4 eggs of the Olive Eggers.

I decided to do only 4 of the Olive Eggers just for fun and I did the Blue Copper Marans as just an added bonus for some lovely dark eggs, as our MaranX chickens we have now only one of them lays a darker egg.
The two I’m really excited about are the Swedish Flower and the Ameraucanas…very pretty birds and the blue eggs from the later I really couldn’t resist.

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It sounds so simple…Ecologically so.

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Some days feel like just a murmur. Silent graceful feelings of hope and perfect happiness. It’s funny how these can feel so subtle, and then once again your whisked into our crazy world filled with screaming stresses and world wind emotions.

But in that moment, everything is perfect. You feel better, you think clearer.

Everything comes to light on those days, those precious opportunities to really feel what your soul is trying to tell you.

It was on one of these such days, as I was reading with a sleeping Nathan cuddled in close, that I realized what I wanted and have been striving for, for so long without even knowing. What it was that we had been working towards these past 10 years in our adventures in gardening and now in farming our own land.

I wanted to create an ecological space that benefitted both us and the land that we were using.

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Farmhouse Sourdough Bread

I don’t know about you, but the smell of fresh baked bread – particularly sourdough – is one of the most home comforting there is to me.
Making bread with our little baby boy Nathan was certainly going to be a challenge I thought, but thank goodness for the flexibility of my sourdough recipe! Fresh sourdough is once again on the menu.

I make sandwich style loaves. For everyday home use the sandwich ones last longer and fit our sandwich containers, so I like to do those instead of a round loaf which you can make in a dutch oven or on a baking stone in your oven for a beautiful crusty loaf.

The crust on the sandwich loaf is still decent but I as a Baker / Pastry Chef have a large place in my heart with lovely dark crusty loaves. Perhaps when my wood oven is made (wink, wink) I will once again resume exploring different breads at home. I think it will be sooner than later though, as I have more opportunity being off work for now. Plus, I gotta let those creative juices flow still, right?

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