Farm Fowl: Weathering The Heat

We’ve been suffering the effects of a “heat dome” here for about the past week. Temperatures have been in the 90s during the day (reaching 105F+ with the heat index), and it doesn’t cool off much at night. This makes for dangerously hot weather, for people and animals. We’ve learned some tricks over the years that helps keep our flocks healthy and resilient, and are employing them now.

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Wildcrafted: Making Mugolio (Fermented Pine Cone Syrup)

As we near the official start of summer here in the northern hemisphere, baby birds are fledging, flowers are blooming, and the pine treees are putting forth beautiful cones. I’m always looking for ways to utilize the bounty of the land, so when I discovered a wildcrafted syrup called Mugolio, I knew I’d be making some!

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Haiku: Remnants

Robins, plentiful around here, are hatching. Finding the cast-off shells from the successful hatches (and this one showed the signs of just that: the shell broken in the upper third, the inner membranes and blood vessels dry) is like finding a small, incredibly gorgeous treasure. Yes, a well-known jewelry retailer uses that hue as their “signature” color, but it belongs to the robins…and that beauty belongs to all of us.

Wildcrafted: 2022’s Black Locust Flower Wine

That delighful fragrance wafting in the humid evening breeze is a telltale sign that flowers are blooming on the farm. When I smell that wonderful perfume, I take time to soak it in…and then I start making plans. Last year, I had planned to make Black Locust Flower wine, but missed the bloom. This year, we had a bumper crop of Black Locust blooms!

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Haiku: Turtle’s Tenacity

It’s turtle breeding season here, when the urge to find a mate and/or breeding grounds strikes, there’s no dissuading them. Even if it means that they must make a death-defying trek across a busy roadway to get to their destinations. We always try to give our wild turtle friends a helping hand when it’s possible to safely do so, even if that turtle has incredibly strong jaws and feet with sharp claws.

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In Print: My Newest Article In Mother Earth News

You may already know that I’ve previously written for Mother Earth News, and that I’ve done a podcast with Mother Earth News & Friends. Right, the links are in the “Publications and Podcasts” menu of our website. My latest piece, on raising roosters as a sustainable meat source and a practical means of managing unexpected cockerels, is in the June/July issue that just hit newsstands (and maybe your mailbox already).

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Haiku: Future Fruit

Among the myriad plants that are currently blooming, the unassuming blackberries have also put forth their flowers. Enthusiastically. Seeing those white blossoms means that, in the heat of summer, juicy blackberries will hang heavily from the vines, inviting careful picking (lest the thorns should grab).

Yes, they may not have the glamor of the scarlet peonies, or the ethereal beauty of creamy elderflowers, but these blooms should still be appreciated for what they are: the precursor to one of summer’s most beloved berries.

May the pollinators reach every single bloom and may there be many succulent berries soon!

Around The Farm: Too Warm, A Bit Too Early

A maple tree’s fresh new leaves

It’s a sunny Saturday here on the farm, and it’s been unusually warm. Temperatures yesterday hit 80F and are forecasted to be in the 80s (currently 84F now) for the remainder of the weekend. The combination of high humidity and temperatures makes for some uncomfortable days working outside, a reminder of the real heat and humidity that are just around the corner.

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