3.24.2010

Chicken Butts and Busy Bugs

Lest you think I have a chicken foot fetish, I thought I'd share another view of chickens I enjoy.

what's up chicken butt?

I like chicken butts and I cannot lie. They're just so fluffy and out there.

You know what else I like?

hey ladies!

Catching bugs in the act of making new bugs. Bring it on, ladybugs, though I know one of you isn't really a lady at all. Did you know ladybugs are toxic to some animals? Yes, indeed. My neighbors informed me of this fact last year after a field trip to our local eco-center, and this year we've confirmed it through observation. The chickens give the ladybugs a wide berth. The current ladybug population in our backyard is a very good sign - I expect we'll be swarming with them in a few months. Aphids, beware.

As I was planting peas this morning, using seeds I saved from my garden last year, Aidan asked me, "Mom, are we farmers?"

farmer boy

I'd hardly write it down as my occupation on our tax return, but I'd certainly count it as a hobby. We get to play farm, on a very small scale, for fun. If our seeds don't grow, we won't go hungry. If our chickens don't lay, we won't go belly up. Whether we fail or succeed, we enjoy ourselves, and boy, oh boy do we learn. Our garden is our classroom as well as our sanctuary. We derive immense joy from watching our chickens scratch. We hip-hip-hooray when our perennials come back, when our trees bud and blossom, and when our eight chickens give us eight eggs in one day. Nothing tastes quite so delicious as a snack from the garden. Yesterday I made egg salad with chimichurri sauce, using freshly picked cilantro, thyme and oregano from my front yard. Today I will harvest a handful of snow peas from a volunteer plant to snack on. Tomorrow I will plant a few hundred seeds that arrived in the mail today, including marshmallow, black cumin, bread seed poppy, caraway, dill, licorice, fennel and even henna. I lie awake at night planning where I'll plant what, excited to get up in the morning, take my coffee outside and get my hands dirty. It's just about the best life I could imagine for myself and my family.

35 comments:

  1. I am a little bit jealous that spring has sprung so much more for you all on just the other side of the hill.
    We keep being teased by mother nature and will get super warm one day and snow the next...

    At least our broccoli has decided to come back (andthen some!) and our garlic and onions are taking over. I can hardly wait for the strawberries to start flowering and I think we even have a wee bit of lettuce that has re-seeded itself in the boxes too! I would love chickes, but not sure how it would go over with the dog and the neighbors!

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  2. I love your life :)

    I'm a new reader. I have no idea how I found you, but I'm glad I did.

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  3. I know I am a broken record but would it be a comment from me if I didn't moan about how it is SPRING in your world and WINTER in mine? (Snow today. Just saying...) So jealous.

    You know what?

    Chicken butt.

    : )

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  4. we are on the same wave length today.

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  5. In response to the commenter above mine... You know why? Chicken thigh.
    ahem.
    The "lady"bug photo is so fabulous, wouldn't that be such a great one to frame! It certainly would get a double take : ) I appreciate what you wrote about the garden as your classroom - I feel the same and love this and your last post too.
    I just put in four raised beds and and plotting and planning about flowers veggies and herbs while I sleep : ) Happy gardening Molly!

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  6. I meant the commenter Diane... lol ok and now I have said too much here : )

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  7. It is indeed GOOD to be connected, on even a small scale, to the rhythms of growing things. We laugh at ourselves for being chicken farmers inside the city limits of a decent-sized metrop, but I don't think we could handle the responsibility of a real farm! In the meantime, we have everything in microcosm here on our little green path, much as you do.

    So are your kids too old to get excited about planting marshmallow seed? I know my girls would immediately start sharpening their s'more skewers! ;-)

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  8. the bug picture cracked me up! I had to show it to my husband. chickens are on my list for next spring, I can't wait. I love looking at your pictures of the girls and reading posts about them. I can't wait to get out to the garden. It snowed here again today, i'm afraid I have atleast a month before anything will be planted :(

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  9. The bug-love photo is just too wonderful for words! Thanks for brightening my day :-)

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  10. "Our garden is our classroom as well as our sanctuary"--Molly, you are so very right! I read this wishing that this year I would have a garden, but in good time I will...with chickens, too. Love, love, love- hands down.

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  11. Yes, I love chicken butts too. We have twenty five of them which is honestly overkill because all those butts means so much poop!

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  12. It does sound like a wonderful life. I can't wait till we get out on our land and are able to start getting some serious gardening done. Great photos!

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  13. I can see why you like chicken butts! Neato!

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  14. Chicken butts ARE nice. Until they get something wrong with them. Let's just say it's not all fluffy and out there. I agree with Gardenmama--frame that ladybug shot!
    and I am scheming and waiting for the weather, so I can plant my hundreds of seeds in, too. But growing henna!? I have to know more about this. I wonder if it'll grow in New England? (off to do research of my own!)

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  15. "I love big butts and I cannot lie...." ;)

    Are we farmers?
    Do you have a twitter?
    So many questions!!

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  16. Our Chicken butts are ALWAYS gunky with ...well...crap and egg laying goop...how do you keep yours clean?

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  17. love your photos! our lives are parallel in so many ways, hobby farmers, teaching kids, success/failure doesn't matter as long as everyone enjoys themselves.

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  18. Amen.. It's what I'm praying for. And it's all waiting for me. Just 5 more loooonnnggg years and I can retire to the mountain in WV and live exactly that kind of wonderful life :) You are blessed:

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  19. Gorgeous photos! Love the ladybug one the best. Interesting info all round.
    Thanks for visiting.
    Im a pyjama girl alllll day too. Some times ive even worn them to friends homes.

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  20. this post is full of all kinds of good - i really like that aidan asked you that question because i like your take on things. here's to being excited about gardens and chickens!

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  21. I love a good chicken butt. I cannot wait till our babies/chicks grow to have their own fluffy butts. Right now I get such a kick out of them trying out the new wing feathers.

    Yea for being backyard farmers. It is a good life.

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  22. Honestly, I can't imagine anything nicer!

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  23. Chicken butts and mating lady bugs all in one post? I'm blushing :)

    I wish it would hurry and warm up here so I can join you in planting.

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  24. Molly, you know, I'm a big fan of those fluffy butts too. Remember this? (Scroll down for obvious pic.) Time to put in our peas and potatoes too!

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  25. Butts and sex, how I do love the smut!

    I'm intrigued by growing henna. Do tell...

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  26. Aphids, beware... indeed! With those busy lady's! Great! Great! Shot!
    Lovin' that classroom! Lady sex and chick's butts... that's great learnin'! :)
    Lots of garden dreaming going on here. Won't be planting in the ground until June though!

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  27. Oh sounds just like us...we play backyard farmers too...urban farmers we are.
    Oh and I have countless photo's of chicken butts too! ;)

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  28. I am so envious of all your sunshine and green in your beautiful photos. It's been a cold and wet week here in NH. We're eager to get our garden started, only 2 more months until the last frost date.

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  29. That ladybug photo reminds me of an old song.. not sure who sings it but here's a line: "Birds do it, bees do it, come on let's we do it.." sing it sultry 40s style and you've got it! :o)

    Can I join in on all the chicken butt love? lol me too! I love watching my chickens roam and seeing their little butts in the air.

    Happy Spring to ya!

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  30. Love the chicken butts! lol

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  32. I love the lady bug shot!!! Isn't it the greatest feeling when you get those great shots!!!

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  33. I love chicken butts too. We have twenty five of them which is honestly overkill because all those butts means so much poop!
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