Garden Notes and an Eggciting Development!
September 13, 2013
Right now, my kitchen counters are covered with boxes and bowls and plates full of beautiful tomatoes of different colors, shapes and sizes. Most are destined for the freezer, whole & peeled, but this year I'll be freezing large quantities of homemade roasted tomato, onion, and garlic soup too. We eat soup a lot. Like, a whole lot. So it's awesome to have frozen soup to thaw anytime I don't feel like cooking, which is often lately.
We've still got a few bean, zucchini, and cucumber plants producing, but they're starting to dwindle. What I'm looking forward to most are the potatoes (some of which I've already dug up), and the winter squash. Acorn squash are my favorite, so I've planted two varieties here at home. Unfortunately, none of my squash, winter or summer, has done well this year, so I'm not sure what kind of yield we'll end up with.
That's the thing I'm learning with gardening. Each year, some vegetables produce like crazy, while others don't. And it's not the same plants that do well every year, either. I've only dabbled in vegetable gardening for the past five years or so, and in three different locations, so my experience is limited, but it'll be interesting to see how things change now that our garden location remains the same. I'm taking detailed notes.
In other news, I found something very eggciting yesterday afternoon! My first layer, Amelia Pond, was due for another egg, so I was outside snooping around the chicken area when I spotted this brownish-pinkish egg laying on the floor in the middle of the coop. What?!
At first, I thought this must be Seven of Nine's egg. She's been squatting a lot lately, so I thought for sure she would be the next to start laying. Only, this egg is a pinkish-tan, which is typically the color of Buff Orpington eggs. So, this afternoon I decided to hang outside with the girls to observe the situation.
It didn't take long to realize that the egg-laying culprit was not Seven of Nine as I originally thought, but Starbuck! This blew my mind, honestly, because her comb and waddles are still quite small and pink compared to the others, plus everything I've read tells me that Buff Orpingtons are slow to mature, but it was definitely a happy surprise.
I watched her run around for at least two hours, hobbling awkwardly from place to place in search of a suitable nest for her egg. Eventually she chose a small area back behind our food and water dispensers, and scratched and dug for awhile while I harvested potatoes. At some point, I looked over and noticed she wasn't moving at all, so I came over to inspect. That's when I took the photo you see above.
I was a little confused at first. Why was she resting? Where was my egg?! It took me awhile to realize that she was sitting on it.
So there you have it! We have two egg layers now, soon to be three, and the eggs are beautiful. In these pictures I've got them lined up from left to right to indicate the order in which they were lain (top = Amelia Pond - Easter Egger, bottom = Starbuck - Buff Orpington), and in the photo with the egg carton, the bottom row of eggs is of the store bought variety. I think it's kinda neat to compare them in size and color, and to see how they look versus what we consider the standard. Cool, yes?
Anyway, have an eggcellent weekend, and happy Friday the 13th!