Hobby-Farm, Garden, Greens, Eggs, And Chicks

From today’s harvest, a box of chicks (no I am not eating the chicks), Cuckoo Maran’s eggs for our omelette, which will include fried collard greens, chives, garlic tops, and oregano . All grown in our backyard and totally organic. The safest way to get organic produce is to grow your own. Added benefit the confidence you feel knowing you can feed yourself through your own efforts.

The greens are from last years collard beds. You don’t have to plant collards every year and mine survived -4 degree farenheit for several weeks. The leaves froze but the stalk stayed valid and started producing leaves late winter. Additionally my carrots, onions, chives, and herbs survived as well.

I clean the brooder twice a day, moving the chicks into a small box whilst I clean. The chicks become familiar with handling with moving from brooder to box and back again. Chicks hatched from our incubator on the 21st of March. I handle them twice a day and they now have imprinted me as their Mom. They climb all over me and calm down when I talk with them.  I will be moving the clutch out to the barn with heat lamp in another week. The heat lamp will stay until they are fully feathered out around 5-6 weeks old. These are some very healthy happy Cuckoo Maran and Buff Brahma chicks! This is my favorite time of the year!


Red Russian Tobacco Seedlings

Just in case the economy collapses tobacco and their seeds will become excellent trade and barter items. If this never happens, I am having a blast growing these beautiful plants. I’m growing 5 varieties besides the Red Russian. Warning, do not grow tobacco near your produce gardens. For some reason tobacco plants limit growth in other plants. I plant mine in a separate area far away from the gardens. I learned this from a blog on growing Native American Tobaccos called Rusticas. I have a few varieties Rusticas and they are very vigorous growers and seed producers.

The seedlings look like all my other tobacco seedlings. Green and tiny. However that will change once this plant flowers. Beautiful red flowers. The plant is a great ornamental as well as a good smoke. Leaves cure up tan to light reddish tan with a mild flavor. I bought mine from Sustainable Seed Co. As soon as seedlings are strong enough I will transplant into paper pots and plant the first of June after all chance of frost is gone.

Red Russian is an unclassified tobacco.

It grows to around 3 feet in height and has very dark green leaves.

It produces a fair amount of tobacco, but its most striking feature is its large magenta red flowers which contrast against the deep green leaves.

A good dual purpose plant

Early Spring Morning in The Oregon Cascades


Waking from Drunkenness on a Spring Day, Li Po (c. 750, trans. Arthur Waley, 1919)

“Life in the World is but a big dream;

I will not spoil it by any labour or care.”

So saying, I was drunk all the day,

Lying helpless at the porch in front of my door.

When I woke up, I blinked at the garden-lawn;

A lonely bird was singing amid the flowers.

I asked myself, had the day been wet or fine?

The Spring wind was telling the mango-bird.

Moved by its song I soon began to sigh,

And as wine was there I filled my own cup.

Wildly singing I waited for the moon to rise;

When my song was over, all my senses had gone.

Back Pain and Convenience Foods.

These last four years I’ve eaten whole organic foods, drinking well water, breathing fresh air and I can tell immediately when I take something into my body that causes inflammation. I figured out this week, I know I am slow at figuring stuff out. When I work out and eat foods that cause inflammation, this combination causes my back spasms. I have an old injury in my lower lumber #5 that flares up once-in-awhile. I injured my back and lost reflex in my right leg and foot back in 2003. I’m completely recovered except my back is tender but only on occasion and I couldn’t figure out why I get flare-up.  This last week I figured out what causes the flare-up and pain. It’s not working in the garden! It’s eating sugar and chemical laden foods. When I eat clean I can work in the garden all day. I still experience soreness but only the normal soreness you get when you workout.  Bending, shoveling, hoeing, twisting, lifting and twisting, pulling, squatting for long periods of time are an intense workout you can’t get in a gym. I used to be a gym rat I know, garden is the best overall workout I’ve experienced.

I ate some candy and processed grain products with my Grandson this last week and my back started to go into spasms. I have scarring around my lower spine, I figured there is not a lot of room around my injury for the flow of nutrients and proper movement. When I eat or drink something that causes inflammation what little room I have around my injury is gone. The flow of nutrients is cut off and nerves are pinched. It’s  pretty easy to figure out what causes inflammation, tons of data on the net. Just do a search on food/drinks and inflammation.  What is difficult is cutting out food I love, especially sugar and grain. Being pain free and moving like I’m  30 years old instead of my mid-fifties is worth the sacrifice.

Young Men Leaving Home and The Women Are Learning to Hunt With Eagles

Young Men Leaving Home and The Women Are Learning to Hunt With Eagles

Click on Photo for article.

Living in the Mongolian mountains young girls are taking up the roles their brothers would of filled if they stayed home to carry on the family traditions. I’ve always wanted to learn how to hunt with falcons.

Ashol’s father, Han Gohadok, explained that his eldest son was due to take over the hunting duties but, as he had been drafted to the army, it was unlikely her would return to resume them. Sadly Societies are in flux and what will come from this no one knows.

I so want to paint this girl and her Eagle and own my own hunting Eagle! Amazing story tinged with sadness.

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty-Movie

I loved the music in this movie. I love daydreaming too. If you like lonely daydreamers and adventures, quirky love stories, odd people, awkward moments, good laughs, family, good music, awesome scenery, you will enjoy this movie. The longboarding scene and the accompanying soundtrack in Iceland was a scream.

Director: Ben Stiller
Writers: Steve Conrad (screenplay), Steve Conrad (screen story by),
Stars: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Jon Daly

Life is about courage, and going into the unknown~

1. Step Out | Jose Gonzalez | Composers : Theodore Shapiro; Craig Wedren

Heritage Backyard Chicks-Second Incubator Batch

Cuckoo Marans and Buff Brahma Chicks. Both heritage dual purpose Chickens. Dual purpose means chickens produce large muscle mass and lay fewer eggs. Chickens that have been bred for only egg laying give up muscle mass to focus on egg production. Heritage means these chickens have been with us for hundreds of years. Selective breeding has made them unique as a breed. Both breeds are hardy, they can forage on their own and make it through a hard winter with a little help from us. We give them protection from predators, some food when feed is hard to find and they give us eggs and meat. It’s a symbiotic relationship that we have respected for thousands of years. Now with factory farms we have broken this relationship. Millions of people across the world are fighting to maintain this wonderful relationship with our heritage livestock. Hopefully we will win over the factory farms which is driving small farms and our heritage livestock into extinction.

Buff Brahma Chick

Next hatching I will be incubating 30 more  Buff Brahma eggs.  This little guy will be the only Buff Brahma in a bunch of Cuckoo Maran chicks. Cuckoo Marans are barred grays with gray-pink legs and feet. Buff Brahmas are tan and black with feathered feet. Buff Brahmas are mild mannered feather footed puff balls, absolutely one of the prettiest heavy body chickens I’ve seen so far. A heritage bird from China known more for their meat production and not their egg laying abilities. They are slow growing as well and on the endangered livestock list. If you can’t pack on the muscle in 6-8 weeks you are no good for industrial farm livestock. Most of our heritage livestock is endangered. I wonder why animal activist haven’t gotten all up in arms about this?  Thousands of years of selective breeding and hundreds of heritage livestock have already gone extinct because of factory farming practices and small farmers no longer able to make a living.

Grandson and Mina Tug-a-War

Time to eat after playing hard all day. Rice noodles with fresh organic veggies, home grown canned chicken with stock and oyster sauce.  He is a picky eater like his Dad my son. I feel like I won every time he eats something new and likes it.


Mina Won!

Dust In The Wind-Kansas

One of my favorite songs as a teenager. I was seventeen when this song came out and made my heart ache, my eyes tear up. I would dance by the river to this tune with the Westerly winds blowing my hair around like it was alive..the whole world danced with me back then. It still does sometimes. I must remember to dance with the dust in the wind.
I close my eyes, only for a moment, and the moment’s gone
All my dreams, pass before my eyes, a curiosity
Dust in the wind, all they are is dust in the wind
Same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do, crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see

Dust in the wind, All we are is dust in the wind

Don’t hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky
It slips away, all your money won’t another minute buy

Dust in the wind, All we are is dust in the wind

Grandson’s First Hatching Cuckoo Marans Chick

Chick pecks away around the egg and flexes it's shoulders and bust out. Takes a few hours depending on chick to get to this point. The chick needs to struggle for its over all well-being.  If you help it out it will be weak because certain physical processes haven't been activated by the struggle to hatch.
Chick pecks away around the egg and flexes it’s shoulders and bust out. Takes a few hours depending on chick to get to this point. The chick needs to struggle for its over all well-being. If you help it out it will be weak because certain physical processes haven’t been activated by the struggle to hatch.

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Grandson, Chicks, Seedlings, and Green Smoothies

First sign of hatching the chick pokes a breathing hole in the egg. In another couple of hours this chick will break through it's egg into the world.
My Grandson has come to spend the weekend and help with our first hatching. First sign the chick pokes a breathing hole in the egg.
!50 and all the colors have special names. Like brown colors have special names like Fuzzy Wuzzie Brown.
150 crayons and all the colors have special names. So many different colors they have special names like Fuzzy Wuzzie.


Ninja Turtles and So many new crayons. Grandpa likes to color more than his Grandson.
Ninja Turtles coloring book and so many new crayons. Grandpa likes to color more than his Grandson.

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So much easier than using sand to spread small seeds. Seed trays are biodegradable old Pizza pans with clear plastic lids. I line the paper pizza carton with plastic and pour in sterile seedling soil.

My husband loves  Pizza, I can’t eat ready-made pizza because of the chemicals in the crust and toppings they make me really sick. But I can use the pans to grow my garden veggies sprouts!

The lid keeps moisture in and mold out. I will transplant into the paper pots I made when the sprouts are strong enough to be manipulated without breaking the stem.  Seeds sprout faster when kept in a warm environment. Especially peppers, melons, tomatoes, and squash. I can’t plant directly to garden until June up here in the Cascades of Oregon because our nights are so chilly. The dirt doesn’t have time to warm up.

When the transplanted sprouts are a couple of inches high I will move them outside to the greenhouse. I use a heat lamp at night to keep them warm.

Arctic blast coming to Eastern US – likely to be the coldest opening to calendar spring in at least 50 years

I heard Climate Change was hiding in the oceans.

Watts Up With That?

Another massive cold wave headed for Eastern US next week to put temperature 20 degrees below normal

Senior WeatherBell Meteorologist Joe Bastardi commented:

I am 58.. never seen anything close to this for late March.


[The] pattern next week has as much extreme potential for the time of the year as I can find. Coldest opening to calender spring in 50 yrs at least.

Weather forecast models such as the ECMWF and NCEP, both of which have had good track records this year in identifying polar vortex outbreaks in advance, are now forecasting a massive cold blast for the beginning of spring. See maps:

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Garrett Gold Panning Kit

Garrett Gold Kit
Our kit came today. Here in Oregon we have a bit of gold layin about. My Son, our families and cousins will be going camping and gold panning this summer.

I am so excited! I also love rock hunting over in Eastern Oregon. Thunder Eggs are so beautiful. You cut the egg shape rock formed during our volcanic period and you will find crystals, agates, quarts of all sorts of colors and shape. Some are hollow with beautiful crystal forms lining the inside. It’s like opening up a present that’s been waiting for you for millions of years.

Garden Fresh Green Smoothie

Fast Easy Breakfast
Garden Fresh and Organic
1 cup of greens
1 cup of fruit
1/2 gallon of water
Blend fruit and veggies with a couple cups of water until smooth. Add mix to a large jar, add additional water and shake till mixed. Store in fridge. I don’t store my Green Smoothie longer than one day. I like my green smoothies fresh.

Turnip and Collard tops about to flower, first, small spring-tender rhubarb stalks, canned organic local peaches and wild apples.

I use a blender, lots of people have fancy blenders and juicers to make green smoothies smooth and fancy like store bought products. I’m all about making things on the cheap. I use my little Ninja blender that doesn’t blend super smooth but smooth enough so I don’t gag drinking the veggies and fruit.

I drink 1/2 gallon a day and it’s a great way to get my fresh veggies and water in my belly.