We started a new bunch of chicks a few months ago (they came May 25th) and I realized that I never made a post to remember when they came and what types of chickens they are.
The Parents: The roos in the pen have blue genes (Easter Egger, cream legbar, or isbar) and the hens were several colors of Maran. We should get olive eggers and some mixes of Easter Egger, Olive Egger, Cream Legbar, and Isbar.
When the chicks arrived, they were 4 weeks old so that means they should be about 3 months now.
Lughnasadh, on August 1st, is a festival celebrating the beginning of a fruitful harvest. Lughnasadh is also a time for bread-making and corn-dollies – wheat decorations made with the first of the wheat harvest that hold the spirit of the grain until the next planting when they are planted along with the next crop.
Today, I harvested some blackberries and figs, made a batch of sourdough rolls, put up a batch of Early Gravenstein applesauce and another of blackberry ginger jelly. Then I wove my first corn (wheat) dolly. It’s not perfect, but I think I started figuring it out toward the end and the next one should be better.
The last day of July and we spent the day at the Sunday Market in Milwaukie, trying to pick up milk at the farm, canning and cleaning. The milk pick up was a bust, the gal that owns the cow is out of town and her boy isn’t separating the calf from the cow so he won’t need to milk her.
From the Market
7 pints of beans
The market was great. We picked up some beets, onions, green beans, kale, cantaloupe, and parsley. The apple folks had a few new varieties this week – Early Gravenstein, Akane and Strawberry Apples. I’m going to make some single variety applesauce with each – maybe just 2-3 pints of each.
The green beans were on special so we picked up four bags – some for supper and the rest were for canning. I decided to cold-pack them, added hot water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pressure canned them for 20 minutes.
The boys are off deconstructing a fort they found. DH found an ad for it – no charge so we are getting it to repurpose in to the new henhouse. I didn’t think I’d be much help getting the roof off, so I stayed home to make a batch of Ginger Beer. I also had a little time while I was waiting for the Ginger Beer to boil to run out to the back hedgerow and pick a basket of blackberries. I boiled them with a little water and ginger for another batch of jelly. The boys do like blackberry jelly.
A recipe adapted from The Family Save-All (1861)
White sugar – 20 pounds (2 pounds = 907 g)
Lemon Juice – 18 oz (1.8 oz)
Ginger – 22 oz (2.2oz) peeled, sliced and bruised
Water – 18 gallons (1.8 gallons)
Honey – 1 pound (0.1 lb = 45 g)
egg white – 1 (Hmmmmmm????)
essence of lemon – .5 oz (lemon zest 1.5g)
yeast (this was not in the original recipe)
Boil the bruised ginger in three gallons (1/2 gallon) of water for half an hour; then add the sugar, the juice and the honey, then the fifteen gallons of water reserved (1 1/2 gallon)
Boil and strain.
When cold add the white of an egg, and half an ounce of essence of lemons.
Allow it to ferment in the usual way. Then in about four days bottle it, and it will keep for months.
This morning I put up six jars of seedless blackberry jelly and six more jars of peach jam. We picked the berries from the hedgerow over a couple of days, cooked them down with a little water and strained them. I collected this until I had enough blackberry juice to make a couple of batches of jam. The peaches came from the little peach tree in the kailyaird. The tree is young and broke last summer under the weight of the peaches and during a summer storm so we pruned it very severely this winter. We weren’t sure we we going to have anything to harvest but we had six peaches so I decided to use them for jam.