Sunday, 3 June 2012

Chickens and lettuces

After the airy fairy work of trying to get published, and with a period of waiting forecast, which may or may not be productive, it's time to get back to earth. The rain is falling, which means the weeds are springing out of the ground far faster than the beleaguered vegetables, and we have new hens. Nature and the cycle of life...well, chicken keeping anyway. There's something very grounding about pulling up tiny chickweed plants, tossing them to greedy hens, scraping up chicken poo for the compost, turning and watering and nurturing said compost then spreading it over raised beds...to grow more lettuces/beans/tomatoes. The other day all I had to harvest was a big handful of fresh sorrel leaves and a crumble's worth of rhubarb, but it's incredibly satisfying to pick. This morning one of the juvenile chickens produced a perfect, miniature egg in warm cream - probably the Light Sussex hen. Like this one. 


There's just something lovely about growing your own food, even if it's just a few herbs and a bit of salad. The raspberries are growing like mad, too, and that's something we can't afford as a family unless we grow them.


One of the hens is a brown leghorn, a very pretty little hen but the bigger birds aren't making life easy for her, she's getting chased away from all the treats. She will grow up to look like this one: 
I'm inclined to write chickens into the next chapter of the current WIP. Meanwhile, I'm enjoying a few days off, the kids are home, the husband's off work, the book is out of reach, and I've got time to make bread and possibly some pots of jam from all that rhubarb. My rhubarb and lemon jam, though I say it myself, is very good on toast, and I think we still have a big bag of berries from last year's crop in the freezer somewhere for blackberry and raspberry jelly...it might make the unseasonably wet weather more bearable! Meanwhile, on an animal theme, if I sit at the computer too long, the cat politely pats my leg, then sits heavily on my arm, and finally does THIS:
Time between pat and THIS was about forty seconds, Harry Wooggo gets less patient with age. If that fails she knocks the jar of cat biscuits into the bin and my tea onto the keyboard. I usually have to give in. 

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