Resisting spring chickens is futile

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.

Continue reading Resisting spring chickens is futile

PNW Kitchen: Island fave, local Rockwell Beans for the breakfast win

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.

Continue reading PNW Kitchen: Island fave, local Rockwell Beans for the breakfast win

Hobby farm doesn’t wait for winter

While we have some big hopes for getting in some prime trail wandering this year, we also have plans to slowly expand our hobby farm. Add some rows to the garden, gates to the yard and chicken coop, and you know add some more chickens (with better rooster karma)? Maybe ducks by the fall?

Trying to balance our love of the trails with our love of growing a small farm can become difficult to maneuver. Trails can wait but planting and harvesting has to be carefully timed. I believe we can do both as long summer days give us expanded daylight hours to get it all done. Maybe.

Continue reading Hobby farm doesn’t wait for winter

Eating, learning on local seasonal fare with a winter CSA

While we still have some beets, carrots and chard in our own garden, I joined Farmer Georgie’s CSA at Willowood Farm. By supporting this farmer’s fare, I figured not only would we be well supplied in local veggies for the rest of the year but perhaps I could learn more about what grows well here. I want to learn how I can better rotate our own garden, so this winter CSA is just a little education, and a tasty one.

Continue reading Eating, learning on local seasonal fare with a winter CSA

Chickens in the garden

Fall has arrived with its rainy vengeance and I’m beginning to pull a regular harvest of what remains in the garden.

This week I focused on the beets and carrots. Well, with the amount we planted, I’ll be focusing on them every week, but I’m not complaining.

What, you mean I have to eat rainbow carrots and beets from my garden each week? Yes please.

Continue reading Chickens in the garden

Falling in love with sheep cheese

The Whidbey Island Chapter for Slow Food offers a variety of activities from jam workshops, to farm tours and potluck dinners. Since we are a foodie at heart in love with eating slow food, it seemed like a good fit and a way to meet like minded people.

My favorite Slow Food Whidbey event so far is the tour of Glendale Shepherd Farm. I had seen the folks at Glendale Shepherd at the Bayview Farmer’s Market and even purchased some of their cheese, but the tour, which included a wine and cheese tasting made me a sheep cheese fan girl. Walking their farm up and down toward the high cliff coastline looking over to the mainland was beautiful. Their 60 milking sheep have space to roam and graze on land with fantastic water views. Happy sheep make for happy cheese is what I learned.

While the Island Brebis is the cheese that has given them a claim to fame winning awards in the past, but the Tallulah is my favorite.  Tallulah is a mild cheese with a creamy center and on the outside boasts a nutty rind.

There was mention that the sheep were soon coming to the end of their milking time, which means Tallulah is coming to the end of the season. I will definitely be heading to the Bayview Farmer’s Market each Saturday to make sure I have the opportunity for another taste.

In just a couple of months, winter will arrive and the markets will close until May. It seems so far away, the end of October, but I know it will be here before we know it. And then, all my favorite things will be gone until spring.

 

 

The anniversary dinner

Six years ago, followed by friends and family, my husband and I came to the island to get married. Most Texans don’t choose Puget Sound for a destination wedding, but we did.

A few days before our guests arrived, we met Josh’s parents at The Oystercatcher for dinner in Coupeville. This weekend, we returned to celebrate our anniversary and pinch ourselves that we now live here.

I’m not going to compose prose to tell you about our meal. I’m just going to leave this nice little gallery of images for you to peruse. I just hope you aren’t hungry.