Tuesday, August 23, 2016

42 jars

No, not of beer on the wall. Of green beans. In the pantry.

That sounds like a lot, but if you figure on using a quart every week (and between the humans and the dogs we could use triple that), we don't quite have a year's worth. Still, it's good. And a whole lot more than last year, when the deer and goats were in the garden.

If we were pretentious or French, we could call them haricot verts, but we're not. Not French, anyway. And haricot verts are technically a skinny variety of green bean. If it was the olden days, we'd call them string beans, but plant breeders have done away (mostly) with the strings. So it's green beans though we grow Rattlesnake, a purple-streaked sort. Anyway, the purple fades in the canner.

The bean vines are having a little lull right now, but we're expecting them to come back and make another 42 jars full.

In other news, the two hens that have been setting on eggs have hatched three little black chicks, and have two more eggs in their nests.

That's LBH with her funny little chick, whose mother (birth mother? egg mother?) is the white banty leghorn. LBH is a sweet-natured little bird. By the time we noticed she was serious about setting we'd stolen all of her own brown eggs and eaten them, so we gathered eggs from our best layers and put them under her. I know it seems wrong. She should get to have some of her own babies. 

Here's Skeeter with one of her chicks. The egg was a little green one, so from Skeet or one of her sisters.
And I did a stupid thing. Skeeter started setting a week (?) or so after LBH. And I freely swapped the eggs back and forth between them any time I saw a missing mama bird. (Well, she might have decided to give up!) No, I didn't mark which ones were under which chicken. So the rest of the eggs should hatch in a week, if the hens don't quit setting on them. Which they might. And if they do hatch, the new little guys will have to struggle to keep up with the older chicks. C. says I should just "leave shit alone," which is probably true.

I am getting to use the lobster pot, though, since there is no way the little guys could survive on the chicken house floor with the rude flock of guineas tromping through. I dragged the pot out of the garden, parked it under the little pine outside our main door and set up two little nest boxes. I still need to add some screen or hardware cloth around the bottom to keep adventurous chicks in.

It's fire season, and there are several wildfires burning to the south and west of us. I believe about 3,000 acres and 15 houses have been burned. Scary stuff. Below, the sky Sunday evening.

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