Thursday, April 11, 2013

Signs of spring

My mom recently asked me to be on the lookout for signs of spring to share with my nephew. Here are a few that Neal and I have seen. What have you noticed in your area besides April showers, showers, showers?

April 5: orange yolk now that the chickens are back to foraging
April 6: sap basically done flowing. Mullein growing
April 7:mullein rosettes
April 8: first dandelion leaves and yarrow fronds. Spring peepers or chorus frogs heard for the first time.
April 12: grass is green in some spots again instead of just yellow and brown
April 16: chickweed growing... Yum!
April 19: two pheasants next to the lodge... See below for a picture

We are just finishing up the last of our maple syruping project. We expect a total of around 58 cups or about 3.5 gallons of syrup. It helped us that when the sap froze, we were able to throw out the ice that was mostly water. We kept the unfrozen sap that was left with an even higher sugar content. Let us know if you want to do breakfast with sourdough pancakes and homemade syrup.

We finally got around to cleaning out the chicken coop bedding... Back breaking work that I'm hoping will help us both build up our muscles... Who needs a gym membership when you have work like this? It did motivate us to start planning out a portable chicken coop that will get the hens out to different parts of the property so we have less bedding to scoop out. We are looking into getting 8 more hens for the flock now that the birds are foraging again. Our hope is to cut back on feed once we know they have a nice diet of greens, bugs, food scraps, etc.

Below are a few pictures from dinner tonight: grass fed beef, sweet potatoes, carrots, and greens on homemade corn tortillas... Thanks to Neal for making and for using the tortilla maker I got in Costa Rica. This meal is on our list of favorites now along with shepherd's pie.

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