Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Two eggs in one

Today marked a new record in my coop: an egg of such massive proportions, it had me wondering whether an emu had broken into the yard for some overnight lodgings. I mean look at it - near enough to a hundred grams, surely that chicken should have needed an emergency cesarean to still be alive - it's got to be the poultry equivalent of giving birth to a toddler.

But all considered, my three birds are still alive, after a long period with only one bird on the lay. Having not been able to spot the bird that's walking funny, I can only assume that this egg is the result of a bird that's been blocked up for a while; mostly because we're back to two eggs a day of late. And lucky for them that they should be, these girls are now well into their third and - being Isa Browns - probably final season before I get in some new talent. Any stop in production at this point will guarantee them a promotion to chicken stock.

Meanwhile, I'm sure the wife is busy looking for a recipe that requires at least two eggs. I have to go figure out how this thing is going to fit nicely in the fridge - because as you can see, this egg carton ain't going to close any more.  




Monday, March 11, 2013

A final salute to the pumpkin vine

At the risk of leading the infrequent reader to believe this is a blog solely about pumpkin, allow me a moment to make one final post about this serial cucurbit for the season. I can make this assurance with certainty; because said pumpkin's dominance of the yard came to an abrupt end yesterday as I pulled its dying vine from the ground.

Inevitably mildew ran its course over a particularly damp February - and most of the plant was taking its final bows, with older leaves browning off and much of the newer growth taking on a cloudy white appearance. Mind you, pulling it out was still quite an effort; as even a dying, established pumpkin vine is something I wouldn't hesitate to grab if I ever found one growing on my way to a lengthy drop to the ground. I found a host of smaller fruit hiding beneath what remained of the foliage as I heaved it from the soil - so I've built a respectable tally (pictured; minus the two that have already made their way into kitchen) - each of the larger ones will easily make a portion of every meal over the good part of a month.

While it pains me to throw out any green waste; to compost these vines will only result in increasing the mildew problem I have - because to kill mildew spores, you'd need a compost heap running at a hot-as-hell setting; as opposed to the recently-used-seat-cushion setting of my own compost bins. So begrudgingly, I stuffed half a cubic meter of rotting pumpkin vine into our green waste bin and hauled it to the curb. Maybe not the most dignified end for the season's most productive plant - but at least it gets one final salute from the garbage truck.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Get this orange tree a cape


Citrus trees are kind of like super-heroes. It doesn't really matter what kind of shit they manage to get themselves into, you can rest assure they'll figure a way out of it before the credits roll. Such traits might make a boring and predictable movie, but by god it makes for a great addition to a veggie garden.

Its been a good six months since I last banged on about this orange tree, which was badly damaged by a marauding band of scale insect. Since then the entire core of the tree dropped its leaves and packed up shop - and so I was forced to cut out a stack of dead branches a few months back. Now, after a late summer growth spurt, green is shooting out all over place, just like you knew it would.