Monday, September 26, 2011


We've noticed in the last couple of days our hens haven't been laying as many eggs; they slowed down to about four per day instead of their usual six. We read that our henny pennys need about 14 hours of daylight and we are only getting twelve. So today we bought a timer for our lighting. Tomorrow the light inside the coop should come on at around 5 a.m. and then at night it will get dark naturally. If you turn out their light abruptly when it's dark outside they might panic and not know how to get back to their roost. We spent about six dollars on our timer, but we know we will earn that money back from the additional eggs they lay. 

Monday, September 19, 2011


Last night when we got home, we went out to the coop and closed the chickens in and checked on them.
Only ten chickens were in the coop! Poppy, the chicken who always flew out, was missing! We grabbed our flashlights and looked in all the trees, thinking she would be roosting somewhere. This morning we hoped she would be happily clucking around the yard, but she was nowhere to be seen. We looked and looked for Poppy. Later we found lots of feathers scattered around the yard. We think Poppy was eaten by either an owl, a fox, or a hawk. We are very sad. :(

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Yesterday we went out to our garden and we noticed a lot of our tomato leaves and about a dozen young tomatoes were eaten. We found tons of these worms, called hornworms on our plants. They were up to 5 inches long!  We grabbed our scissors and chopped all the worms in half (gross, but effective!) We killed about 30 yesterday and only about six today. They also eat potatoes, so if you have a garden beware of these beasts! Even though they have a very scary-looking horn, they are completely harmless to you (not your tomatoes though!) These creatures turn into hawk moths. The moths are very large and they sort of act like hummingbirds.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Wing Clipping

Today we had to clip Poppy's wings. Poppy is a California White. California Whites are a lighter breed so it is easier for them to fly. Poppy would fly up onto the six foot fence and get into our yard. When she is in our yard she is at the risk of being lunch to our dogs or cats. To clip wings you just clip the flight feathers on one of her wings so she is off balance and can't fly.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Delicious Homemade Tomato Sauce

This is our Pizza Garden. It has tomatoes, oregano, basil, parsley and chives. Here is our recipe for a yummy homemade tomato sauce.

10 very ripe tomatoes
2 T olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
¼ c chopped fresh basil
¼ t Italian seasoning
¼ c red wine


1.     Cut the stem out of each tomato and cut an X on the bottom. Put the tomatoes in boiling water until their skin starts to peel.  Plunge tomatoes into bowl of ice water until cool enough to touch.  Remove skins and squeeze tomatoes to remove seeds. (Caution! Do not wear a white shirt during this operation!)  Blend tomatoes until smooth.

2.  In a large Dutch oven, sauté garlic and onion in olive oil.  Pour in blended tomatoes. Add basil, Italian seasoning and wine.  Bring to a boil, then turn to low, simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes or until thick. Serve with pasta or as pizza sauce.  

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Life on the farm

Our coop

Poppy and her first egg
We have eleven chickens. Six big hens, four little ones and a rooster. Yesterday we got our first egg from a smaller chicken. We also got new nesting boxes; a little upgrade from the cardboard boxes! We harvested a wagon load of huge zucchinis. We cut off the tops of two and hollowed them out and stuck our arms inside them. We also made some delicious zucchini brownies and bread.