Thursday, June 23, 2011

there's a rooster in the hen house...

So I was hanging my sheets out on the fence the other day (yes, I have a redneck/ghetto clothesline...but a real one is on the honey-do list) and from the chicken coop I heard this awful din that sounded something like a cross between a wound up jack-in-the-box, a dying animal and....a rooster's crow.

I had suspected for a while that there may be some dastardly roosters among the lady fowl *insert horrified gasp here*

Three of the five chickens have much more prominent combs and wattles than the other two, but I had chalked these features up to either age or breeding differences.  My suspicions were confirmed by the particularly noisy one in question when he started acting like he had a lot more testosterone than the others, charging at me and trying to peck my toes when I would go out to feed.

(I need to mention here that I have a bit of a phobia of chickens pecking me to death...which did not bode well for said rooster.)

Now we had to figure out what to do with the offender. My husband suggested dropping him off in the desert to fend for himself, but I vetoed.  We thought about eating him, but he wasn't big enough, and we couldn't keep him around to fatten him up because of all the racket he was making.  I made several calls to friends who either had chickens or lived out in the country, and finally found a kind soul who said that her family would take him off our hands.

So off he went to his new we're just watching the other two to see if they cross over to the dark side.

jen g.

Monday, June 6, 2011

think outside the box

These little chicks were a week old when we received them for our Easter gifts from Grandma Bobbi~ 

It is certainly time for them to move from my kitchen to their new home. The pictures tell the story of the great release. :) 

the chick palace

Architect, engineer, builder, friend, lover, farmer. . . that is my Mr. T. He has unleashed his skills and talent on this little farm. We are all so happy he has. . . especially our chickens here on the East Side. . . all these chicks need are a few rhinestones and a chandelier for their new chick palace! 

It is worth noting that all the materials used for this little coop were re-purposed from trash! Crates from behind Gerties Brick Oven Pizzeria, doors from the Salvation Army, salvaged wood from our old fence, hinges and wire from my father-in-law's garage. . .
jen t.

love affair with hoop houses

Living across the street from one another has its advantages and is very fun for two families who have similar interests. It also fosters the obsession with Mr. T and Mr.G's new love affair with low-tech, inexpensive, backyard homestead videos on YouTube. That is how we learned the skill of building a hoop house ~

This great accomplishment was really the first project started and completed for our 5th Avenue Farm. Currently it houses the chicken food and our dumpster diving score of about 500 pots for planting. It will hopefully house growing seedlings soon. Nice work Mr. T. 
jen t. 

dirt, grandma's beets and new skill sets

My mom recently told me about her "back to the land" experience in the 1970's when hippies were homesteading and gas and energy prices were sky high and people were beginning to learn to "live off the land" (again.) She said that she had enough of the hardship and dirt after several years in the mountains of New Mexico.
My kids are teenagers now and as a young mom, I never really had time to learn the domestic arts of gardening or canning or cooking or really housecleaning!! :) DIRT was for losing teaspoons while digging in the backyard and rinsing out of the tub after a long play-day at the park. But, last year I helped my 84 year old grandmother harvest and pickle beets for her husband's birthday. She planted seeds in her well-groomed dirt and viola! Beets!  I was so proud of our accomplishments that I decided that backyard farming was for for us!

This 5th Avenue Farming adventure is our own sustainable living journey that, for me, finds its purpose in a melting pot of reasons. . . the season of life that allows me to do more by myself, learning a new skill-set, being more independent, connecting to where my food comes from, understanding the processes of growth and life and death, teaching my children, and loving to play in the DIRT!!

 I come by the LOVE OF DIRT naturally. . . my grandma was a farm girl in Michigan and my mom was a farm girl in California. . . I, however, am no farm girl, so this should be quite a journey.
~jen t.