Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hen-a-bago II

Tools for the job
We began construction on our second Hen-a-bago!
Completed Hen-a-bago I on pasture
The Hen-a-bago is the roosting home for the chickens at night. It is on wheels in order to provide for ease of transporting the chickens to different areas of the farm for free-ranging, bug eating and fertilizing the soil.
Putting the floor and base together on top of the frame and wheels

The walls went up rather quickly!
Before we knew it, the Hen-a-bago II was nearly complete!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Dew on the Asparagus

Asparagus beds
With a warm day and a cool night recently, the dew hung off the asparagus in the morning as we weeded the beds. With the sun just cresting over the hill, the morning light reflected beautifully in the tiny droplets of water! What a simple pleasure for such a splendid morning!

Name Tags for the Goats

Jan with one of the tagged goats
Last week we rounded up the Nigerian dwarf goats in order to put name tags on them. We figured that since Sofie is our working dog, and the goats are our pets, they needed to have name tags!
Jan trying to coax the goats out of their collars
The biggest trick was rounding up the goats! It was a scramble--cornering the goats in their house, grabbing them, and holding them while they bleated! After a few bleats they calmed down and stopped wiggling. Eventually, Tawny, Simon, and Gabe all had their name tags on and seemed eager to be free to roam again.
Simon. Simon, the youngest, has some growing to do; his tag hangs just above the ground!
Gabe, the blue-eyed one and the oldest

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Okra Greens

We recently thinned out our okra in order to give them more space to grow. In doing so we were left with a large pile of okra greens. Rather than just compost them, or feed them to the chickens, we decided to investigate the cooking properties of okra greens. We found a few recipes and web pages which mentioned using the greens as a thickening agent for stews, soups, and other dishes.

Young okra leaves
However, we could not find anything about cooking the young greens, so we decided to experiment! Here at home, we sauteed them with onions as you would with other greens, and they were delicious! We also sent some greens home with a friend where she made a curried bean and vegetable dish with the greens and put it over rice. Her observations were that while the stem of the young okra greens had a slimy texture when you broke the leaves off, the greens themselves were very much like spinach. One of our hestitations with how much to use and how to use it was a warning we found which read "first to goo and then to glue!" Judging from our experiments, this must be referring to mature okra leaves. The young okra leaves did not act as a thickening agent. They have a pleasant taste, and were a great addition to our meals!

Recipes we found online:
Okra Greens and Corn Saute
Something Akin to Paella
Chickpeas, Eggplant, and Okra Leaves