“Finches and sparrows build nests in my chimney with remains of the small flightless birds that you failed to protect.”
Andrew Bird – Spare Ohs
Two days after we made this yummy frittata the fox came. He ate all our ducks and one of our chickens. The fox: I feel like I know him. I see him all the time. He prances under streetlights when I go for a run. He sprints across the street, in front of my truck when I’m coming home from work. The fox lives in a burrow under the railroad tracks a block or so from here. He stalks the neighborhood. And he’s taken our birds before. We’ve lost at least three other chickens to the fox. He comes at night and kills birds. Not that I blame him. It’s his nature, we know that and we’re the ones who’ve failed to protect the birds.
Obviously, we didn’t know we were going to lose our ducks when we made this frittata. But, in retrospect, having considered all the special things we could have done with our last ever duck eggs, I’m glad we made this recipe. It was the perfect “bridge” recipe, bringing together the last few seasons on our tiny farm. We used storage onion grown last fall, spinach tended over the winter and fresh duck eggs from this spring. Continue reading Spring Frittata with Storage Onion, Over-Wintered Spinach and Duck Egg
Last week, Adam attended a fundraising dinner held to benefit The Boulder Valley School Food Project. They’re an organization working to improve the quality and nature of food served in local public schools. It’s good and necessary work. If people knew what their kids were served at school there might be an uprising. I imagine Victor Hugo-like barricades in the streets, molotov cocktails and gangs of people marching with torches. (Of course that’s ridiculous. Most folks have way too much going on to worry about school food.) The sugar, fat and salt found in most school food is horrifying. So it’s good to see organizations like the School Food Project working to create change.
Continue reading Scones
Summertime is egg season on our tiny farm. We only keep a few chickens (just 7 right now), but we’re still getting more eggs than we can sanely store or eat. Our fridge is bursting with eggs. Our bellies are bloated with quiche, custard and poachers. Fortunately, the extras are easy to give away. If they weren’t we’d have to build a shed and fill it with junky, used refrigerators. We have to go on the Rocky Balboa diet; jiggers of raw eggs all day, everyday.
Chickens, like all poultry, lay many more eggs in summer than they do any other time of the year. It’s about sunlight. With thirteen or more hours of light the hens lay at maximum capacity (5-7 eggs/wk for most breeds). With less light their laying slacks. By November, most birds will be down to 1-3 eggs per week. Over the winter, many naturally raised chickens stop laying all together. Winter can be a sad time from an egg-centric point of view.
To combat production decline in winter, commercial egg farmers raise thier birds under artificial light. This allows them to produce at maximum all year long. Unfortunatly this takes years off a hens laying life. A hen raised without artificial light might lay for 3-4 years. Under lights, the same hen might stop laying in as little as 12-18 months (then comes the forced molting at conventional farms and we don’t want to talk about that).
Continue reading Farm Eggs and Fresh Pasta