An Acre And A Half
My little corner of the world

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Chickens have nipples

Yes, that's right folks, and remember - you heard it here first. Chickens DO have nipples. Ours do, anyway, and I can prove it.

Drum roll please......

This, my friends, is indeed a chicken nipple. It's not very big, as you can see.
But this little thing has revolutionized our little chicken coop. You see, the chickens had been drinking from an ordinary poultry waterer, but they were forever knocking it over, spilling all of it out on the ground, making a mucky mess and leaving them very thirsty. Or if they didn't knock it over, they managed to make the water filthy with their scratching and pooping. So I went online searching for a solution and found these amazing chicken nipples.

I took a 2-gallon plastic bucket (the kind that icing comes in and you can get for free from your local bakery), drilled two holes in the bottom, and screwed in the nipples. Then I put water in the bucket, put the lid on, and hung it in the coop. Literally within minutes, those smart chickies were pecking at those nipples and enjoying their fresh clean water. No more mess! Can you tell I am ecstatic?

Here's what the new waterer looks like:
Isn't that cool? I bought the nipples and a drill bit that's exactly the right size to make the holes for the nipples from Avian Aqua Miser. There are lots of different set-ups you can use to customize your poultry waterer that you can learn about at their website. Go get some right now! No more poopy water! No more spills! YAY!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Simply the best

Seems to me that the foods I enjoy eating the most are those that are prepared very simply, like this salad I fixed for myself today:
It's just arugula, freshly picked from my garden, drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice, then sprinkled with salt. Simply delicious!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Hope of better days ahead

Our dogwood trees are starting to give me hope that my favorite season is just around the corner. Their leaves have the faintest tinges of orange, and their berries are turning bright red. So beautiful!

Fall is coming - keep your chin up!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Exquisite eggs

Not only are our homegrown eggs fresh and delicious, they are beautiful to behold. Our chickens lay brown, tan, and blue/green eggs. White eggs from the store look funny to me now.

I found this cute egg basket on eBay and I love how it looks on my kitchen counter. I also found a set of gorgeous prints of chickens for 98 cents on eBay which I will frame and hang on the kitchen wall as soon as I can get to IKEA to buy some frames. Finally, after 18 years in this house, I have some kind of theme for decorating my kitchen!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Chicken love

Yes, it's true. I'm in love with my chickens. All seven of them. There used to be eight, but the neighbor's dog got one of them when we weren't looking. So sad.

Why do I love my chickens? Well, who wouldn't love such gorgeous creatures? I mean, just look at those beautiful feathers -

I love the sounds they make and their quirky personalities. And best of all, I feed them my kitchen scraps, and they give me these -

Fresh natural free range eggs, right outside my back door. I love my chickens. And they love me. See how they just can't wait to see me when I open the door of their coop? -

You don't suppose that has anything to do with the fact that I'm the one with the food, do you?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Oven roasted Ratatouille

We have so many wonderful veggies growing in our garden. Along with corn-on-the-cob that I picked this afternoon, for supper I served a delicious melange of eggplant, yellow bush scallop squash, red and yellow bell peppers, Roma tomatoes, torn basil leaves, onions, and garlic, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt, pepper, and coriander...

then roasted in the oven.

And that's how I made oven-roasted Ratatouille. Oh, my, was it fantastic! And all the vegetables except for the onion came from my own backyard!

Sweet corn: It's what's for dinner

Went out and picked this year's first batch of sweet corn from the garden today -

Worms got into it a little bit. That's to be expected when you grow organically, I guess. But it's not so bad - as I was shucking, I was tossing the worms to the chickens and they gobbled them right up. Extra protein! It's a win-win situation!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Broccoli from seeds

This year I decided to start my broccoli from seeds instead of buying the plants. It's much less expensive that way. I started the seeds in peat pots and kept them under the grow light in the basement for about three weeks. I moved them outdoors just yesterday, to get them used to being outside. Once the plants get their first set of true leaves, you have to repot them in a larger pot if it's not quite time to move them to their permanent home in the garden. Bury them in dirt up to the cotyledons to keep them from flopping over. I had to learn the hard way.

In a couple of months we'll be enjoying tasty organic broccoli, straight from our backyard. Can't wait!

Welcome to my world

I swore I'd never start another blog.

I lied.

This one's going to be about me and my life here on this little one and a half acre sorta suburban homestead in the Piedmont of North Carolina, where I live with my husband and kids (well, four out of five of them), my chickens, and my cat. I want to talk about stuff I'm growing and cooking and canning and other things that I'm learning and how I manage my little piece of heaven on earth. My world is pretty much centered on this little plot of land, and I love it. Welcome to my acre and a half.