Friday, February 10, 2012

Let's Visit the Backyard, Shall We?!

So, okay, the whole Global Warming thing is really leaving me with mixed feelings. I really selfishly love all the 70 degree days but damn, WE'RE GONNA DIE, PEOPLE! Still, as the ship is sinking, I am using these warm days to be in the backyard. And today I'm here to tell you about all the big changes. 

Pictured above is my new Chicken Coop! Yay! I have been dreaming of a new flock ever since the dogs made short work of the last flock back in 2007. Night of the Living Chicken Dead was one we'll never forget. Tatum took out one chicken, scared two half to death, and mortally wounded a fourth. This last one Warren had to dispatch, which he did using the business end of a shovel. He discovered, in process, that beating a chicken in the head is not optimal slaughter method. We won't soon try that again. And besides, I keep chickens for eggs and LIVE entertainment so the idea is that they won't die, except of old age. Thus I waited until I could afford a dog proof tractor.

This beautiful coop you see was made by Josh at Mobile Chicken Coops. I wrote about Josh a long time ago for Edible Austin. I love his coops and was going to buy one last year but then, thank you drought, massive tree limbs kept crashing down upon my house and yard. Do you have any idea how much it costs to remove massive tree limbs? I'll give you a hint-- I could've taken a European vacation. So everything, including the coop, got put on hold. Then my birthday came, and I got a very nice green gift, which allowed me to live out my Coop Dreams. Josh helped with this by cutting me a huge break-- I promised him I would create an online Flockumentary to track the birds and the chicken tractor so that all you people would come to understand the beauty and importance of keeping your own backyard flock. So you can look forward to those installments soon-- I hope to have birds by next week.

Meanwhile, in other news, my YardFarm Garden continues to grow delightfully out of control. Who'd have guessed a winter garden would be so much more abundant than a summer garden? Well, I guess it's that global warming thing. At least as I am dying of heatstroke, I can go to my grave knowing my body is full of rich nutrients courtesy of plants like this amazing chard:

And how about this dinosaur kale? That's just its nickname but who cares. I'm terrible at keeping track of plant names. I just like to go out and pick it and eat it. I decided to give green smoothies a try, even though the thought sort of gagged me. I figured at best I would learn how to tolerate one or two per year. Imagine my surprise when I found out I LOVE GREEN SMOOTHIES. Granted, I pack mine with orange juice, bananas, peaches and berries so it's not like I'm doing full on raw greens. But still, I am getting all that raw green goodness. Oh, and I put in yogurt, too, which I love to eat all the time anyway, but especially so since I got food poisoning AGAIN (I am done with restaurant eating) so my gut bacteria is all screwed up. Eat your yogurt, people!

Dinosaur Kale

Green Smoothie. This is the same color as my favorite yarn.
I also dig making Kale Chips, which my smart food friend Sue turned me onto. SUPER easy. A bunch of kale, a spritz of olive oil, a dash of coarse salt and, voila, a good alternative to potato chips. In the example below, please note I piled up my kale too much. You should spread yours out.

How many of you know that great song by Jon Dee Graham that goes, "I'm as happy as a dog in the yard"? I love that song. Dante lives that song:

In beautiful but very sad news, my peach tree is blossoming. Uh, hello? Peach tree? It's FEBRUARY! You need to go back to sleep now. It's still nap time!

And finally... have you been wondering what Neil Armstrong has been up to? Well wonder no more! He's been turning my backyard into the Giant Leap for Mankind Theme Park with this massive piece of Lunar Landing equipment. (Okay, okay, in truth the city was putting in new phone poles and they used my yard to park this, this... THING. I love when the city sends someone out and they say, "We won't get in your way," and then they put a three story piece of equipment in the yard for a month. A few months ago a guy called to say he was going to "trim a couple of trees out back" to get ready for the phone pole guys. I was not home but said, "Sure, trim away." I came home and two trees had been completely cut down, not even stumps left. Well, at least now I can get solar panels since there is not shade left. And it wouldn't have mattered if I'd protested anyway. See "easement rights" for $500-- hint: "easement rights" means you bend over and take it.)

This concludes our backyard tour for today. Thanks for visiting. Please stay tuned for updates on the chickens.

1 comment:

Eric said...

How long? I'd have turned it into some sort of yard art with my welder.