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Nov 2, 2014

Near Record Rain, Wet Chickens, Eggs & More Winter Coop Prep, Dark Days Challenge Coming!

Near Record Rain-
Cold and blue skies this morning! It absolutely POURED all day yesterday!!! Cold and very wet. We need the rain (being high desert) but it was a lot. I loved watching our new gutters actually work! Our old ones had leaked and rusted, so we bit the bullet and had new no-seam ones installed. Perfect. I had the croupy crud all week, so it was nice to just clean up the house, put away kitchen stuff, winterize the bed. I love snuggling into new flannel sheets, my fave comforter and cover. I bought an Ikea duvet cover a couple years ago that's bright yellow with white flowers on one side, and reverses on the other. In spring I flip it over. Nice and cheery in the winter-

Dave took down most of our outside Halloween stuff (in the covered porch area) yesterday. I think he was bored. Today I'll do the inside. Turkeys will go up next weekend. I like to take a breath in between holidays, etc. I've never been the holidays way in advance kind of person. I'd get tired of looking at the stuff :)  But I do love thanksgiving more than most holidays, as it's much less commercial. And I'm shifting more to Yule celebrations. In the mean time here's a few shots of my fave spooky stuff-

I love my prim raven

the Cheshire-type cat, I love it!

my little thrifted prim cat

entry way

Wet Chickens, Eggs & More Winter Coop Prep-
We do our winter coop prep in stages, since the weather varies so much. The lower window was added a week or so ago, and the screen stored. Today I'll cover the door screen with plastic, and since the upper window opens we can adjust the ventilation easily. We'll add more shavings today, since the first 30 degree temp is supposed to hit tonight. Next weekend we'll add our "sun room" to the far left of the coop. It's a nice dry extra place, mostly glass. We could have really used it yesterday!

Sometimes chickens just aren't the smartest critters, but they're finally laying!!! Two eggs every day! After 2 years I finally have eggs again. I can't figure out if one just isn't laying (we have 3) or they're rotating? Oh well. Yesterday it was pouring and I kept thinking they'd go inside. Nope. Early afternoon I lured them into the coop with treats and closed the door. They were really squawking an hour later, so I let them back out. An hour later I could see they were pretty wet, so I repeated. This time I left them in for the rest of the day. I don't want any cold, wet, sick birds. Since this was their first cold, wet storm maybe they just didn't know to go in? So- I helped them :) They'll love the sun room :)  I'm finally picking the last of the green tomatoes and making pesto, yummy!!!

Dark Days Challenge Coming!
I'll be starting this soon. I started doing this 2 years ago when I read about it at the Urbanhennery, a now (appears to be) defunct blog. It’s a challenge to continue cooking at least one local meal through the leaner days of winter. Your ingredients can come from your freezer, pantry, cold storage or local sources like farmers and other producers. I’m going to make a personal commitment to one meal a week. I’m also going to try to include others in our meals so our extended family can experience the pleasures of local foods, even in the dark days of winter. So here's the guidelines of the challenge, which I borrowed and modified slightly, feel free to do the same-

The challenge runs from December 1st, 2012 – April 15, 2013 or so.

What’s the Challenge?
Try to cook four meals each month (1 per week) focused on sustainable, organic, and local ingredients. Whatever you can find is fine! Write about it on your blog, or here in the comments section when we start. Feel free to link back to me on your blog if you have one!

What does local mean?
Traditionally local food challenges call for a 100 mile radius, but winter is more difficult in many climates. If you’re new to eating locally try 50 miles. Typical exceptions are oils, coffee, chocolate and spices. 

What if I can’t find every ingredient locally?
If you can’t find every ingredient, or even most ingredients, just do what you can. This is just as much about what we learn, the obstacles we find and the decisions as it is about cooking with local ingredients. Do what you can, where you can.

I'll add a button, if if I can remember how to do it, so you can join along :)


Susan said...

Lucky you! None of my hens are laying - I'm going on 13 days with no eggs. But they still inhale the chicken feed! I had forgotten about the dark days challenge - it will fit in perfectly with my quest to use up things in my pantry and freezer.

Nancy po said...


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