Sunday, June 24, 2007

Chicken Portraits


I spent part of my day taking "portraits" of the chickens. Now that we are selling eggs at Farmer's Markets, our customers want to see pictures of the actual chickens involved. Above it an arty photo of Napoleon, our first rooster, and a lovely metal sculpture we bought at the Windsor Farmer's market a couple of years ago.

The white chicken is Martha. She is an Ameraucana hen and lays pale green eggs.
The red girl in the middle shot is Ruby. She is a Rhode Island Red and lays brown eggs.
The next one with the wild hair do top notch is Sid (as in Sid and Nancy...yes, we have a Nancy). She is a Barbander and lays very pale brown eggs, sometimes bordering on ivory. More photos and IDs to come!

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Eastside Farm goes to Market!

Farmer Jeff and Chicken Mama took the show on the road and went to Windsor Farmer's Market to sell produce and eggs! We are proud to say we have been certified by the county of Sonoma to sell produce, and can actually sell it anywhere in the state.

Above you can see a picture of Farmer Jeff, along with our newly picked squash (6 varieties), kirby pickling cucumbers, and our farm fresh eggs.

Working at the Farmer's Market was a totally new experience for me. I felt so proud of our little squashes, explaining the different varieties. It is really something to see them go from seeds, to little babies in the basement, to seedlings going into the ground and then, heavens, producing an abundance of SQUASH!!!

We handed out a recipe that used both eggs and squash, Summer Squash Casserole. Give it a try. It is really easy to make and SO GOOD!

Summer Squash C
asserole – A favorite family recipe

1 ¾# ZIN Garden summer squash, whole = 5 c. finely shredded
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup grated cheddar cheese (about 3.5oz)
freshly ground pepper
¼ c. chopped onion
1 clove garlic
¼ c. freshly chopped parsley
½ c. bisquick
4 Eastside Farm eggs – well beaten
1 T. salted butter, melted in microwave in 8x 8 glass baking dish

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Sprinkle shredded zucchini with salt and set aside for 1 hour. Turn into colander and press out liquid.
  • Combine squash, cheese, pepper, onion, garlic, parsley, and bisquick.
  • Stir in well beaten eggs until thoroughly blended.
  • Melt butter in baking pan, distribute all over pan.
  • Pour zucchini mixture into skillet. Bake in preheated oven 350 degrees 35-40 min (or until mix is firm and edges are browning.)


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Friday, June 15, 2007

Too HOT!!!

Goodness Gracious!!! It has just been TOO DARN HOT!!! The girls (and Napoleon, Jericho and Bruce) were having a hard time with the heat this week until Farmer Jeff hooked up their outdoor misters. They are much happier now! I am moving a fan into the coop tonight 'cause there is nothing sadder looking than a hot chicken, beak parted and panting, wings lifted up to allow air to dry their little feathered arm pits. Help is coming, girls!

Farmer Jeff went a got himself a new tool for the garden/farm. A mini rototiller. He is quite tickled to have it. It has been very effective in weed control/destruction. We are getting a handle on the cucumber beetle, but proof of their demise will come when the Swiss Chard can poke its little head out of the purslane, aka miners lettuce. That is our other problem in the garden. Purslane has sprung up EVERYWHERE! We are spending a lot of our time, in the very hot sun, pulling it out. When I remember I feed it to the chickens! They love it! They don't love it quite as much as, say, snails or tomatoes, but hey, it is greens!

To all of you folks that are fathers, or father figures, Happy Father's Day! Don't wait for your kids or loved ones to tell you they love you, instead surprise them with a big THANKS for being in your life!

I love you, Farmer Jeff, Papa and brother Chris. (These are the nurturing men in my life!)
Happy Father's Day!

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Green Eviction of the Polka Dot Menace


Our ARCH nemesis, the cucumber beetle, had better look out! We are waging a heavy duty war on the little critter. Our dear, darling little baby lima beans are being eaten at an alarming rate, as are the baby swiss chard.

Farmer Jeff and I discovered, last year, and rather late in the game, at that, this wonderfully sticky product called, "Tanglefoot". It has to be smeared on something yellow in order to get the little bugs interested, then when they fly over to it...SMACK!!! They are STUCK for the rest of their lives. We found these VERY yellow/goldenrod clear plastic cups at the grocery store and they are perfect for the job!

If you put these sticky cup traps out early in the game (early in the growing season) you will catch all of the mama's and papa's that would be laying lots o'babies.

It is very satisfying to see the cups covered with bugs. I am not against killing them, I just don't want to use poison to do so. This way you can have healthy and hole free produce!

For more information on the spotted cucumber beetle:
http://www.ext.vt.edu/departments/entomology/factsheets/cucbeet.html

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