We hatched eggs last year. They were unsexed. We ended up with 19 roosters plus Monsieur … the original roo. We gave away 15. Kept four. It was all going so well, Monsieur ruled the roost. The ladies were fine. Winter came and went and the little roos are now adults. They are attacking each other, attacking Monsieur, and worst of all attacking, wounding, maiming and even killing our ladies. It’s time for action. We must kill them or give them away. This is hard as, despite the havoc they are wreaking, we love them. They are all very different and very interesting. But they must go. The slaughterhouse is full up for months, COVID_19 lockdowns going strong, so we must do this ourselves. Luckily we have YouTube and experienced friends. What we don’t have are the proper tools and equipment. We will improvise.
This leads us to the next issue, chick season is upon us. We thought of ordering some breeds we don’t have. With Covid-9 we dont really want to ship chicks (plus its not so good for the babies). We could get eggs… but we think we will hatch our own, again. This means we have to do it now as the ladies with less roos may not be fertile.
Hatching chicks is quite a bit of work. Killing roos does not thrill me. Especially since I am attached. Do both we will. And we may just get a delicious coq au vin in the process!
The world has changed so much since I last wrote. I will try to keep a record. Here in Maine I feel blessed, and, of course, afraid of what is too come. We are so lucky to have land to walk on, food, cats to snuggle with and lots of chickens and pretty eggs.
Winter is on the way. We expect snow later today. Yesterday I harvested the purple brussel sprouts, the last of the salad, and the final carrots.
I learned that certain plants can take a bunch of frosts and will definitely plant more of them next year. Things like carrots, parsnips, beets, peas (to a certain degree), rutabagas, kale, spinach, salad and cilantro have lasted well despite the cold and some with the help of row covers.
As of yesterday we are left with kale, spinach, parsley, some last salad greens under row cover, and some parsnips I am overwintering.
It has been a great season. At Veggies to Table, our non-profit, we have given away over 4200 pounds of fresh organic produce to our neighbors in need. Exciting times in Maine!
We knew it was coming and we busily harvested all that we could in the days leading up to it. We were able to get all of the squash, onions, tomatoes, and most of the carrots along with tomatillos, peppers and basil. We also picked, what seemed like tons of beans and flowers. There were zinnias, marigolds, dahlias and sunflowers.
Luckily we did this as last night the frost came and wiped out everything that was not frost hardy. Thankfully there is still a lot of lettuce, kale, spinach, radishes, leeks, brussel sprouts, arugula, parsnips, and some carrots growing in the garden.
The tomatoes have been ripening in the house (there are many), the dahlias have continued to bloom despite blackened leaves, there are still a few sunflowers, and the garden persists … for a while. Next year I will know to protect more crops from the first frost as now we have at least two weeks between that first frost and the next one!
It’s a mad dash to the finish line. We are harvesting like crazy as the nights are cool and frost is not far. There are still many tomatoes, peppers, salad, squash, radishes, spinach, kale, corn, tomatillos, and some more carrots, cucumber and zucchini. We also have a ton of zinnias, dahlias, sunflowers, and herbs. We continue to donate to community members in need through our non-profit Veggies to Table and are excited about the many collaborations and friendships we have formed along the way. Stay tuned for more on this once the harvest is finished.