Food & Drink

Bantam hen finds cull garlic the perfect spot to nest

We have one bantam hen we got with some chickens we bought last summer. We don't even know what kind she is. She does not associate with the other hens and hangs out by herself around the barn.

She decided to go broody and claimed a 3-gallon bucket in the barn half full of cull garlic as her nest. We were starting to wonder if she was even sitting on fertile eggs because she had been sitting in that bucket for more than three weeks.

One day last week, she hatched three chicks. One is yellow, one is red and one is black. Our kids, Ellie and Levi, were thrilled.

That same day, I noticed some wild turkeys in my dad's cattle pasture. Jenifer and I were working around the barn and Ellie and Levi were coming back from gathering eggs.

We decided to go see how close we could get to them and started walking down the lane between the pastures.

We got within 100 yards, close enough to see that all four were toms. Levi started going, “turk, turk, turk” and all four gobbled in unison.

A cow mooed and they all gobbled. Ellie mooed and they gobbled. They even gobbled at a clap of thunder. It was very cool.

Better planting after rainfall

We got 1.6 inches of rain on a recent Saturday. I tilled and prepared the ground on Monday and planted collards, beets, mustard, arugula, turnips and kale the next day.

It was the first time since May that I felt confident that I was sowing seeds in soil with adequate moisture. Planting in powdery dust and then irrigating to try and get the seeds to germinate this summer has been hit or miss. Mostly miss.