Friday, January 7, 2011

updates from the stormfront

It's snowing pretty steady out there, the farm is gently buckling under the new weight. I came home from work thrilled at the forecast and my plans, which tonight meant firing up the wood stove, feeding everything that clucks, honks, barks oinks, and bleats and then retiring in for an evening the way only people in the middle of nowhere with Hoof-n-Heel in their cabinets can. I am telling you there is a different kind of peace of mind for the people who tend animals in a winter storm. You come inside from the cold and shed your layers, get a hot cup of tea, and sit down with movie or book knowing that the ones under your care are sheltered, fed, and calm. It infuses you, takes a regular snow squall and turns it into a nostalgia you drink in the present.

The peas in the kitchen are shooting up a good inch, and the goose is now sitting on seven eggs. The hens however have stopped laying save for one Rhode Island Red and one Leghorn, and I am lucky if I can find their egg in the dark barn at night. No signs of bunnies yet, but the Palomino doe is making a fur nest. I'll add more fresh hay tonight just in case. Pig is getting fat in new ways, growing even bigger jowls on her head, which is now the size of a basketball. In preparation for the big day I bought a chest freezer off Craigslist (used but in great shape) and look forward to filling all 6.9 cubic feet up in a few weeks. It gets delivered tomorrow from the guy who plows snow in Cambridge.

I ordered 84 chickens tonight off Murray McMurray. Just a few layers and ten meat birds for myself and the rest are for the Chicken 101 workshops (only four spots left, three in meat birds) and coworkers who added their orders onto mine. I decided to get Orpingtons, Rhode Island Reds, and Ameraucanas for the workshop since those are the birds featured in Chick Days and I thought it would be a fine treat to have a perfect comparison for the new hen mothers (and fathers).

And I have a bit of news for you, The Splendid Table will be interviewing me about backyard chickens for their weekly radio show, and I am thrilled. This is one of the three radio shows I can't miss on the weekends: and to be on it is almost surreal. I need to drive to a radio station in Manchester Vermont to record the half-hour conversation but how fantastic to get the word out about homegrown backyard eggs. Who knows, it might even inspire a random weekend listener to check out the blog or start looking up coop plans online. All the power to them. Chickens are a pleasant addiction.


Blogger T said...

WOW! HOW EXCITING - I love Lynn Casper's show and listen as often as I can - please let us know what the air date is so we can all listen in! Congrats!

January 7, 2011 at 8:46 PM  
Blogger Justine said...

It sure is nice to curl up with a book or a movie after a long hard day. You deserve it! I got both of your books today in the mail and I am starting made from scratch tonight! I am super excited.

January 7, 2011 at 8:48 PM  
Blogger JizzleK said...

*jealous* and waay to far to come for chicken 101.

Could you do a post on your rabbits? With pictures of their accommodations? Also have you thought about using tags or a search feature to help people find older posts?

January 7, 2011 at 9:04 PM  
Blogger Mare said...

We are getting snow here to Jenna...stay nice and warm inside! It is exciting to know that your rabbit is getting ready to have her wee ones....I'd love to see pictures.

January 7, 2011 at 9:10 PM  
Blogger Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

Winter settles us down and encourages introspection on cold nights in front of the warmth.

January 7, 2011 at 9:39 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

Can't you get The Splendid Table off your computer? That would be a lot easier than driving to Manchester even though it is a nice drive.

January 7, 2011 at 10:09 PM  
Blogger WestE said...

Hey Jenna just so you know Murray McMurray does not carry purebred stock. We bought a bunch of breeding birds from them when my parents first got started and when we took them to a show we got told that the second generation had production vs purebred qualities. So if you want to do any breeding for heirloom qualities I would recommend finding a breeder. That said I still am jealous that you are going to have all those sweet peepers to watch, my new hubby and I aren't at that point yet and I sure do miss the farm!

January 7, 2011 at 10:56 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

Do you still have a spot left for your chicken seminar? I have kept chickens for almost 8 year now but would like to be a part of it and get another perspective on chicken upkeep.

January 7, 2011 at 11:08 PM  
Blogger Gelfling said...

All very exciting news. I love listening to the Splendid Table on WHYY, it airs on Saturdays down here, looking forward to hearing you!

January 7, 2011 at 11:40 PM  
Blogger Joleen said...

I'm excited to hear your interview on The Splendid Table. I listen to it EVERY Sunday here in Salt Lake City while I do my weekly ironing.

January 7, 2011 at 11:50 PM  
Blogger Kitchen Mama said...

How exciting! My Ameraucana is still laying almost every day--big beautiful blue-green eggs. I have to admit, though, for all the eggs I'm still getting (Barred Rock, silver red wyandotte, and Rhode Island Red), your snowstorm, tea, and cozy house with book sound infinitely better than the gloomy grey days we're getting here in the Pacific Northwest. Have a lovely weekend!

January 7, 2011 at 11:55 PM  
Blogger Dahlia ChanTang said...

That's so amazing about the Splendid Table! I'll make sure to catch it!

January 8, 2011 at 2:29 AM  
Blogger The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

That's really great about the Splendid Table. I've been listening to Lynn for years - she has the most interesting guests. I'm sure you'll have fun recording with her.
Can't wait to hear it.

January 8, 2011 at 6:37 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

We should be getting more snow in the next day or three and even freezing rain this time so it may get rough. I really enjoy reading your blog and getting an idea of what it's like living on a farm and knowing you have everything under control. Congratulations on the radio program. I also would like to know more about your rabbits. My dad used to raise them when I was a boy. Have a wonderful weekend.

January 8, 2011 at 7:40 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

I love listening to the splendid table. Congratulations! I look forward to hearing you soon!

January 8, 2011 at 11:06 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

I don't even cook and I love The Splendid Table. It's on during the week here. I'll be watching for an air date update.

January 8, 2011 at 6:23 PM  

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