Friday, October 23, 2015

Surviving plants, and chicken thoughts.

We have a big surprise coming out of some days in the teens. We though the Kale was done, and were going to cut and blanch the leaves. Before we had a chance to, turns out the Kale is just fine. Some of the weaker leaves aren't doing as well, but overall now that we're back up into the 50s and 60s during the day the kale has fully bounced back.
Some of it is a little worse for the wear of the Critter exploring the texture and general feel of the leaves. These things happen, frankly given how much kale is produced how easily, the Critter tearing some of it up isn't exactly a big deal to me. Either way, we're going to have Kale for a bit longer which is a nice thing. It isn't the only thing that survived the frost, though the other survivor isn't exactly unexpected either.

Swiss Chard is also frost hearty, though not really as freeze hearty as the Kale. As you can see one of them bounced back fairly thoroughly, and the other has not. It's still going though. I'm considering if we want to save seeds from this since we don't have any other chard or beets growing. If we do, are we going to see if we can mulch over the chard and leave it out, or try to keep it in the freezer and re plant in the spring. I'm inclined to see if it survives the winter, and harvest seeds if it does. Given that one of our big goals in seed saving is to gather heartier varieties of plant, letting things try to survive the winter seems reasonable enough given that we can get more seed, or seedlings if we want to in the future.
Still working on getting really good photos of the new chickens since they're still cooped up. I got only one good shot of the girls, and only really a good shot of one of them. If you look closely, or open the photo individually you'll see the beak looks a bit odd. We're wondering since at least a few of the hens were gotten from a farm, if maybe some of them were beak clipped.
Compare the rounded beak Above with the very sharply pointed beak Right it is a very noticeable difference. It's one of the reasons I'm intending to quarantine these chickens for at least 6 weeks. I don't want to find out the hard way that the beak issue isn't clipping, and instead is sickness. I don't think it is, and I haven't read about any sickness that causes something like that, but since I'm not an expert on chickens or veterinary science, I'm going to wait and watch for the time being.

The other thing I want to bring up is that I really appreciate those who are supporting us again. Right now, especially going into winter it's hard for us to stick with this. The thanks and recognition we've received from folks who read and friends for inspiring them is really motivating. Also vital to us is the people who've come and given us a hand in person, or gifts, or shared their bounty with us. Thank all of you that are part of our community. Remember, in homesteading, or day to day life taking a small moment to help someone can make a huge difference, be it thank you, or holding a door.


  1. Yeah, kale does well in the cold.

    This is most greens:

    This is kale: