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Planting time, chickens, and more

 Phew, taking a break inside the potato box. Had to put them by hand into bags so they could be loaded into the tuber unit planter. That's a tractor attachment that we bought used, it takes whole potatoes, cuts them into twos and fours, then plants the potatoes. So far we have two varieties in the ground, and more to come.





Had a visit from some younger family members who enjoyed chasing the chickens around.

We have a large outdoor temporary fenced-in area for the chickens. Every once in a while it gets moved around for greener patches then they dig away at it until it looks like the ground here. The fence is more for the chickens protection than anything.

They know when to go inside at night, but unfortunately when they are outside of this enclosure we have foxes, eagles, and other predators that we've already lost several hens to.





Our biggest rooster. He has a nice shine in the light. He and the other rooster do their best to protect the hens.


 We have some corn sprouting inside. Last year the crows got all the corn, hopefully some will survive this year. We need a better scare-crow.




 Getting strawberries ready. These aren't for this year, but next year. We have 4 different varieties. We also have 2 different varieties of raspberries.
 And a couple varieties of blueberries.

 Our personal garden. I planted lettuces, mesclun mix, basil, dill, spinach, bunching onions in these row covers.

This garden has a mix of mussel shells, aged pig manure, and Island soil. Had great success with it last year.
 Some chives ready to bloom soon.
A couple loose chickens are helping cultivate the soil.

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Chive blossom vinegar

To make chive blossom vinegar we trim off the flowers from chives and soak them in vinegar for a couple weeks. The chive flowers infuse the vinegar with a garlicky flavour and a beautiful pink hue. This can be used as a flavoured vinegar for salad dressings, dips, to sprinkle on fish or fries, or for a bowl of cucumber slices.


A ready batch.


Clean jars.


The light shining through the pink vinegar. So pretty.

Here's a recipe for a vinaigrette made with chive blossom vinegar.

Cucumbers!

We have cucumbers. If we get rain this week we will have a lot of cucumbers. Our favourite types of cucumbers are Marketmore and Poona Kheera they are both tasty and make great pickles. Poona Kheera also can be used in stir-fries and chutneys. It is an unusual cucumber it has a white to yellow skin that changes to brownish red as it matures. Eat it as you would any other cucumber. A little grand-daughter of one sharer loves Poona Kheera so much at three years old she would gobble down a whole cucumber. Here is a recipe that we use:

Aunt Anna’s Mustard Pickles
10 cups cucumbers peel, remove the seeds and chop into roughly 1/2 inch chunks (7-9 cucumbers)
1-quart onions diced (6-8 white onions)
1-quart celery and cauliflower diced (2 cups of each)
1 red pepper diced (2 if you want more colour)
4 tablespoons pickling salt
Cover with 4 tablespoons pickling salt and water. Leave overnight. Drain well.
Sauce
4 cups vinegar
6 cups sugar
4 tablespoons dry mustard
1 cup flour
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Strawberries

We're expecting to have extra berries after our CSA sharers have gotten theirs. If you would like a crate or two for making jam, or maybe just a couple boxes for snacking, please give us a call. They are $4.50/box, $54/crate.