Monday, July 25, 2011

Chicken Coop Problem

When we first built our chicken coop, we envisioned the chickens grazing on a fresh patch of grass every day.  For the first few months last summer, the chickens really did eat fresh grass every day because we moved the coop every day.

But this year is different....

The coop is a two person job when it comes to moving it. Eric and I have varied work schedules and don't always see eachother every day...which means the coops stays in the same place for a few days at a time. Our varied work schedules is fine with us, but not fine for the chickens.  The seven of them can plow through a grass patch in a day.  The second day the chickens start to kill the grass.  And the third day there is nothing but dirt. So slowly our wonderful backyard lawn is shrinking. 

We thought about just leaving the chicken coop in the same spot and opening the coop door when we are home (our fence allows us to do so now). The chickens need to be supervised when they free range because of the garden. But this idea isn't working right now too. Sometimes the chickens can't free range for a few days. The chicken poop stays in the dirt under the coop and the smell is aweful on a windy day.

Do you have any ideas? How can we let our chickens graze, but let our yard stay green?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Homestead's Weekly Meal Plan

The intense summer heat ruins my appetite and motivation to cook. But seeing my CSA box was enough of an excitement to make me look at recipes for this week.

Weekly Meal Plan
Kohlrabi and Radish Salad (for potluck dinner)
Burgers and Root Vegetable Sticks with Roast Garlic Dip
Zucchini Patties and Kale Chips
Grilled Steak with Swiss Chard
Spinach Omelets
Vegetable Pizza
Pasta Primevera (we loved it so much last week!)
Lunches: Sandwiches, stir-fries, and leftovers

Silver Swiss Chard

Friday, July 15, 2011

Homestead Weekly Meal Plan

I thought that having a CSA basket on top of our huge garden would be too much.  But everything is working out great.  The farm has green houses and we are getting vegetables earlier than our garden. Right now we are getting lots of squash from the farm, but our garden hasn't even produced blossoms. Some plants we will get all season long due to both sources.  Yes!

Oregon Shelling Peas
Last week, I didn't get a chance to make all the recipes on the meal plan due to varied work schedules. Those recipes will be added to this week's meal.

Weekly Meal Plan
Baked Zucchini Cakes
Pasta Primavera
Stuffed Patty Pan Squash
Lettuce Salad (We can't get enough!) with Grilled Wild Turkey Breast
Marinated Venison and Summer Squash Casserole
Bean and Kale Salad

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer Love

This is why we love summer!

Backyard garden

Borage: Offers edible flowers

Calendula: Another edible flower

Peas, radishes, and carrots

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Summer is Here!

After a long, cold spring, summer is finally warming up.  Eric and I went on vacation just as things were getting crazy in the garden.  The project list never ends and the projects were still there when we got back from New York.  Before we even unpacked our CSA boxes, we checked the growing garden and CSA box.  I love surprises!

Everything took off in the garden, including peas, onions, tomatoes and yes...weeds!

Weekly Meal Plan
Roast Chicken with a side of Zucchini Parmesan
Egg Drop Soup with Spring Greens
Bean and Kale Salad
Marinated Venison with a Summer Squash Casserole
Vegetable Pizza
Leftover chicken with Spicy BBQ Mayo Sauce
Raspberry and Rhubarb Pie/Crisp