Honestly, we haven’t lost our minds. We are just working to grow our homesteading efforts to provide more home grown food for us and our community. That effort includes raising meat birds for the first time.
Two weeks after the arrival of our 24 new layer chicks, we received a shipment of our 60 Husky Red Rangers. I’ll admit that the new arrivals have me a bit overwhelmed. We’ve had some challenges with the new chicks and we’ve had a larger loss than we expected over the weekend. We currently have 40 live chicks here after week one, and 10 of those have pasty butt.
No one tells you that, as a chicken farmer, you’ll possibly have to clean chicken’s butts, but here I am, at least once a day, doing just that. Carefully cleaning hardened chicken poo off of these little guy’s butts to make sure their vents stay clear to try to avoid the loss of more chickens.
It’s been super busy here at Daisy Bee & the Moon Farm. A couple of weeks ago we added 24 new layer chicks to the flock. During this video I’ll be showing you our brooder set up and give you a sneak peak to the new additions.
Many of my friends have asked: what are you going to do with all those eggs? Well, I’m definitely experimenting with different egg based recipes, but a solid one is quiche. Not only can I use the eggs I’m not able to sell, but I can also clean out my fridge of any veggies hanging around. And the best part? I can knock out 10 quiche in a day and freeze them to save for those weeks I’m tired of my protein shake or for when we have visitors.
For my first attempt, I started with Quiche Loraine using pork from the pig we bought which was raised next door. Nothing really special about the recipe, I Googled for the recipe and found one by Betty Crocker and just ran with it. I now have my Mom’s recipe, so I’ll be playing with that down the road.
We had the quiche for breakfast the next day and it didn’t disappoint, but I plan to play with the recipe, including adding different ingredients.
What are other egg-centric recipes you prefer?
Our 60 meat birds arrived this weekend, so I’ll be providing another update hopefully in the next couple of days. Things sure will be busy here with potentially over 90 or so chickens
Well, chicken math got the best of us again. We are adding to our flock and now have 24 chicks in the brooder in our garage. If you’ve been following along with our chicken math, that’s 42 total.
I wasn’t the one who prompted the decision, but after Josh noticed most of our desired breeds at the farm store on Friday, he claimed we needed to make our move.
I was on the phone with my mom when Josh came home, rushing past me spouting phrases like “last week for Black Copper Maran”, “Easter eggers” “need more blue eggs” before disappearing into the garage. About 15 minutes later, loud noises are coming from said garage.
“Mom, I have to let you go. I think we are getting more chickens tonight.”
Stepping into the garage preparing to let my husband down easy about this addition he was planning, I find the whole left side had been neatly cleared out. Feeders, waterers and lights were lined up.
It was obvious he was determined and, you know, errrr, I didn’t want a fight.
And how could I argue?
The man had already cleaned out half of our garage which ticked away at our spring to-do list!
Smiling, I walked over to help him clean out the tub, which we use as a brooder, add pine shavings and set up the light so the space would be warm for our new arrivals. Before I knew it were were at the farm store deciding which chicks and how many were coming home with us.
Whidbey Island is our home and I don’t really get the desire to leave it, however, we all like a little change here and there. Tuesday we took the ferry with our oldest dog Foxy Lady Moonpie as Josh found a patio on the beach for us to enjoy dinner. It was just what we needed.
There are three ways off the island: Clinton Ferry to Mukilteo (Seattle), the Deception Pass Bridge to Anacortes and the Coupeville Ferry to Port Townsend. I prefer to avoid the I-5 or 405 gauntlet toward Seattle as much as possible, so if we are looking for a change in scenery, Port Townsend is just a 30 minute ferry ride away.
Leashed dogs are welcome on the ferry and walk-on passengers with leashed pets are allowed in terminals and to board vessels and are allowed to remain in exterior passenger areas, including shelter decks, promenade decks and/or sun decks on some boats, however, all boats allow walk on passengers with leashed pets to gain access to exterior passenger spaces of the vessel via the interior cabin provided they do not linger in an interior space and use the most direct route when moving to or from the exterior area.
On the way there, I walked Moonpie through the interior to get to the deck so she could walk around and explore. It was such a beautiful day and Mt. Rainier was even showing her beauty, so being on the deck wasn’t a problem. On the return voyage home, we did sit inside with Moonpie as it was quite chilly. We may have been in the wrong place, but as Moonpie is quite the calm, friendly traveler no one seemed to mind.
Josh had to run errands on the Port Townsend side earlier that day, so when he texted me that he found a patio, taking the 6 p.m. ferry to meet him was a no brainer. He found The Pourhouse which is about a 15-20 minute walk from the quaint downtown area. The Pourhouse’s specialty is beer, but they do serve wine for those who shun the hops but still want some Pacific Northwest sunshine on those sunny spring and summer days.
They don’t serve food but boast a nice Take Out menu book where you can order from nearby restaurants. We ordered Pho from Pho Thao across the street and surprisingly our comfort food arrived in large pho bowls with all the trimmings. My Chicken Pho with the Rye Saison was a perfect match for enjoying waterfront views with Josh and Moonpie.
In the winter, the last ferry back to Coupeville is 8:30 p.m. so we didn’t have a lot of time to linger, but it was nice to get away just for a couple of hours.
While spring is near, we’ve been fighting colds on and off no matter how much vitamin C we’ve ingested, so Josh decided that we needed some comfort food by way of a local bean. Rockwell beans are native to our island and primarily grown around Ebey’s Prairie in the preserve and a PNW favorite to many here on the island.
Upon searching Grandma Smith’s Rockwell Bean recipe was the only prep guide I could find which called for cured salt pork, which we didn’t have. Instead we had two meals worth of Rockwell beans stored from our CSAs with Prairie Bottom and Willowood Farms and we had some pigs feet from a half pig purchase from our neighbor’s farm last year. We decided to put the combo together for a little culinary slow food twist of our own.
Nearly everyday we feel so fortunate to live on this island sandwiched between the Sound and two mountain ranges. The juxtaposition of our island definitely lends to the magical energy we experience. That magic isn’t isolated to the geography. This island is a bread basket of farm fresh fare from veggies, meat and seafood.
As March approaches we start looking toward spring activities: hiking, prepping and planting our garden, and discussing potential livestock additions. In all of this, on Whidbey Island we launch these spring preparations with the Penn Cove Musselfest in Coupeville.
We kicked off the weekend with the Mussel Mingle which allowed us to gather with other locals and get early sampling of mussels and a tasty bite of Three Sisters hot dog. The mingle also gives us locals the opportunity to pre-purchase mussel chowder tasting tickets before the big Seattle crowds arrive.
They have this spacious fancy chicken coop and run, they get plenty of free-range time to forage for bugs and worms, they are fed Scratch and Peck Organic Non-GMO feed and they get treats here and there. They have it all, and still, they won’t lay in the nesting box.