Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Country Update

I can't believe it has been so long since I have posted. Summertime is a busy time. Alot has been going on and I need to update on my "country living".

I couldn't hold out.....I've been picking the green tomatoes. But, OOOH they are so yummy fried up and smothered with melted velveeta. However, I did wait until I picked my first red tomato. I figured that was my "go". We've been getting a steady supply of ripe ones and by next week I should have plenty to share with family and friends. The cucumbers are in nice supply also, and the zucchini, well any of you that has ever grown zucchini know that you are not in want of it when it starts producing. Our beans came on nicely and are about done producing. This year I canned with a pressure cooker for the first time! My mom was there to walk me through it and it was a cinch! All these years I have been terrifed of pressure cookers. I thought they were a time bomb getting ready to explode. Mom always made us kids leave the room when she canned. It was alot easier than what I expected and I am now hooked. We are already planning on planting more beans for next year! My corn is looking great. Another couple weeks and I expect we will be having corn out of our ears! (pun intended)

The chickens are getting big. Not quite full grown yet but getting close. One thing that has me concerned is the fact that we have TWO roosters. One of our hens was not a hen after all. I talked to a friend that raises chickens and she said it may not matter, to just wait and see. As long as they get along and a pecking order is established it might be okay. But truth be told, I am concerned. I wanted 1 rooster and 4 hens, not 2 roosters and 3 hens. The two roosters are constantly challenging each other and I just want peace in my chicken yard. lol But, for now we will wait....

My duck news is the saddest of all. We lost are female. A raccoon got her. It was so upsetting. I felt like a horrible crime had been committed. I was not prepared for the site we saw the morning we found her. The kids gave her a nice funeral and then we began our pursuit for justice. It took 3 days but we finally caught the little rascal. The first and second night he stole all the food and didn't even throw the trap, the third night we set 3 traps and ran a security camera out there so we could see where we were going wrong. We watched the little booger steal all the food from one trap, but finally we had sweet victory, he was caught. Since then I have put a radio in the chicken house, which is right next to the ducks. I have also learned that raccoons hate dogs and if you put dog hair around they will stay away. Well, we have 2 poodles and when I groom them it is like sheering sheep. So the hair now goes around the duck and chicken house! So far no more signs of racoons.

I have to talk a little bit about Fred our only remaing duck. When we first got the ducks they were not very tame. They would not let us get close despite all of our efforts. Since Ethel died Fred is a new duck. I have spent alot of time with him. Just sitting and singing. When I go to feed or water I sing, when I let him out to free range I sing. I wanted him to get used to my voice. For my voice to be comforting to him. My kids think this is crazy, but it has worked. He now follows me around like a puppy dog. When he backs off I just start singing and he picks up his speed until he is right by my side. He comes up to the garden with me everyday. I even moved his swimming pool up there so he has something to do while I work in the garden. As silly as it sounds, I have fallen in love with this duck. He has stolen my heart.

Before the female duck died we were saving some eggs to incubate. We had nine all together but only 7 of them were fertile. My son wanted an incubator for his birthday so it has been his project, but one that we have all enjoyed. They are set to hatch next weekend and we can't wait. I'm sure there will be a blog post devoted especially for them!!