Saturday, August 24, 2013

Building the Winter (Permanent) Chicken Coop

Dad's retirement is benefitting me greatly.

Just as we copied the plans for the chicken tractor from the book, Self-Sufficiency for the 21st Century, Dad found a Maine website, Downeast Thunder Farm, with detailed plans for a coop.

It has been hot and we need rain. I think Dad is looking for signs of rain clouds here.

Once again, Dad has been doing all the design and more than his share of the work. (Is it pathetic that the power drill makes my piano-playing forearm shake all evening? Don't answer that.) And again, there have been some key alterations.

One ridiculously awesome alteration: since we recently replaced the windows in our house, Dad has repurposed our old kitchen and laundry room windows for the coop.


This narrow structure will have windows on either side. 

The view the chickens will have of the pond.

In the dead of winter, the chickens will be getting southern exposure, which is nice.

The siding will be metal found in our back woods, leftover from the barn. I'm trying to convince Dad the chickens need a solar hot-water heater. (I don't want to spend too much on electricity, do I? No, I will not go out there several times a day in the freezing cold to change their water.)

To recoup our investment (re-coop?) we would have to charge maybe $10 per dozen eggs for years to come. But my father is out of control! What can be done?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Indiana Produce for a Santa Fe Feast

August in Indiana. The days are shorter already, and we've had a couple cold snaps. I start to feel a twinge of melancholy, like the whole year is already over. But something absolutely magical works as a countervailing force: the harvest.

Bountiful, Indiana harvest! I am joyful.

Today, I woke up and picked food for lunch and dinner. Lunch will be Italian--Caprese--an easy way to consume our basil and tomatoes raw (we'll only eat my five black tomato favorites: Black from Tula, Brandywine Black, Black Krim, Japanese Trifele, and Nyagous).

Dinner, though, will be chile rellenos made with our Anaheim and Poblano peppers, with salsa verde from our tomatillos, and tomatoes on the side.

Other days, we cook the black beans for a couple hours to make a black bean and corn salsa/salad.

We will try this year to make blue corn tortillas--we have no idea what we're doing, but that's part of the fun.

Yum. Yum. Yum.

James's salsa verde:

(Tomorrow: Margarita Pizza, using sweet, pink Mortgage Lifter tomatoes.)