When you're ready

Um, hello there. That was a nice break. There's nothing like baked ham, a stack of new books, and my dad's creamy lamb meatballs to reset the clock. 

I'm not much for resolutions, at least not in the yearly sense. I think they mostly happen when you're ready for them, which isn't usually January first. But I do like the idea of tangible yearly goals, and I have a few this year that have to do with our food supply. I'm going to share them, and I hope you'll share yours in reply.

The first one involves a book I got for Christmas: Harvey Ussery's The Small-Scale Poultry Flock. We've been talking about getting chickens for a while now, and reading this is the first step. My sister-in-law lost her whole flock last winter, and she's getting a new batch of chicks this spring. We need to do a lot of research and build a coop, but I'm hoping we'll be ready to order together. 

The second one requires cucumbers, which means it's a summer project. Ever since I tasted fermented pickles, I've been wanting to make my own. I don't know much about the process, though, and I wasn't sure how to get started beyond a book and a crock. Santa brought both!  What a guy. The book is The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz. The few pages I've read talk mainly about growing mold. I'll keep you posted as I learn more.

Finally, my dad and I got Alex all the goods he needs to start brewing beer at home. I did three interviews with a group of Wellfleet homebrewers last winter, and this fall Alex and I brewed in Maine with my dad. We tried our first batch at Christmas—not perfect, but excellent with food and overall pretty good for a beginner's try. We are now the proud owners of a very large brew pot and a carboy, and we're ready for round two. 

That's plenty, I think. If we manage even to get just one or two of these under our belts, I'll be pleased. Ok, now your turn!


elisa said...

Curious how your SIL lost her flock in winter? (It's my first winter with chickens)

Elspeth said...

We think it was a fisher cat. The hole was tiny...make sure your coop is tight!

Anonymous said...

I don't know the story of the lost chickens, or even where they were located, but if the hole in the coop was truly small, the thorough predator was more likely to have been a smaller member of the weasel clan. A fisher can squash itself, like other weasels, but it is about the size of a fox, so needs a fairly large hole to get into a coop. However, the long-tailed weasel, short-tailed weasel (ermine), or mink can get through very small holes....so much so that they seem to be lacking skeletons!
Also, you will probably hear a lot of book recommendations about keeping chickens, but let me add one to the list: "The Joy of Keeping Chickens" by Jennifer Magyesi. She and her husband, Kyle Jones, used to live on Cape Cod, and kept chickens here. They moved to South Royalton VT and are successful farmers there now, including poultry.
Thanks for your always fun and informative blog!
(South Wellfleet)

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