Why We NEED More Chickens

I’ve been busy doing vegetable research. Looking at the new things like ORANGE cauliflower or Tiger melons. Interesting stuff. (I’ve tasted purple carrots and they were bitter, so I’m not really too excited about the new stuff).

My main excitement is over BEANS. There are more than 42 different types of dry soup ‘shelling’ beans! That's not all of them, but that's all I've looked at so far.

So much diversity and possibility.
There are a few that are colored like little pinto ponies: black and white, purple and white (more like an appaloosa), brown and yellow, caramel and white...and more. All of those are my favorites!

The calypso / yin yang / orca bean is almost round, and very cute like a round-tummied pinto pony!

The trout / Jacob's cattle / forellen  bean – a magenta and white, so pretty and none with the same pattern. You could string a necklace of them... There are quite a few beans like that!

Depending upon where they are used, they gain different names- one might be called:
“pigeon pea, goongoo pea, gunga pea/ gungo pea, congo pea/ congo bean, no-eyed pea or gandules”.
I’m just guessing, but that sounds Latino-ish, and romantic ... gahn-DU-laze ...hmm.

They have ‘cool names’ too- there is the: “rattlesnake”, “tongues of fire”, “yellow Indian woman”,  “Christmas lima”, “European soldier”, or “eye of the goat” bean.

You’ve no doubt heard  of the Mortgage Lifter tomato or the Mortgage Lifter hog? There’s also a Mortgage Lifter bean. It’s a large white one. 
I suppose they saved someone at some time...there’d be a story behind that. You have to wonder where they got their names. 
But mainly, I LOVE foods with names that conjure up a vision of something else!
I used to name our dishes – I don’t remember many of them, but I do still have the recipes (somewhere). You know what I’m talking about, like “Millionaire Pie / Millionaire spaghetti”.

Or something that evokes mystery and tantalizes, just by it’s name: “Chocolate Mayan Jungle Chicken” or “Chicken of the Gods”. How about “Better-Than-Sex” cake? Now we’re talking - right?! LOL

Mostly the research is boring, collecting price and seed source information, some growing tips, and some photos. (So that when it comes time, I might have better luck convincing HB that we NEED at least a dozen different types of dry soup beans...)

Trying not to get too stuck on beans. There are lots of things to consider. First, you can’t just grow a bunch of different types of beans all close together!

When the twins were 3 I planted about ¼ acre of beans (and corn and tomatoes). I grew a package of 7-bean soup mix! REALLY! I just decided that was a bunch of seeds in one place and nabbed them. 
You know, I used to shop once every 2 weeks just because it was so hard, awfully hard, to shop with 4 arms sticking out of the cart every direction-and you’re pushing 2 carts, one for just the kids. You grab and go as quickly as you can, and you don’t make extra trips to a special garden section.

Anyway, I watered a LOT is all I remember of that. It took sooo long- but I got a great tan! (Sadly the last year I had a great tan). The little ones scampered about getting into the tomatoes, the apricot tree, the angora rabbits and the fuzzy lion ants. Lots of fun.

Then at the end of summer, I had a million beans!

And after I gathered them- some were completely different than anything I’d ever seen before! There were more types of beans that I’d planted, that’s for sure I didn’t know what to do with them. There was no internet, and a prolific harvest of mystery beans, and I was overwhelmed.  I think I gave up after shelling and jarring up a few quarts of them. I’m sure I just tossed them! I had not only beans but corn and tomatoes and apricots to dehydrate. On top of doing laundry by hand with toddler twins. Ah yes, those were the days!

I would kill to have the energy that I had then...

But here we are. Now without all that energy but with just as great a need.

I’ve done too much reading about things with scary titles to connect the dots on what’s REALLY going on: learning all about the latest Congressional Budget report, the latest testimony of Bernanke (of the Fed), on Greece/Portugal/Brussels – the BRICS and the PIIGS nations et al, the meanings of a dozen acronyms (the latest on shadow rehypothecation, and shadow housing, and peak cheap oil (as opposed to peak oil), about which war ships are making their way to the Straits of Hormuz and the half-dozen theories aroudn that, the growing threats of EMP’s and CME’s, and rising inflation, and all the records being broken in the financial sectors as well as the weather (globally again)...I even read a book by a well-credited economy analyst-  well you get the gist of what I mean – watching the world slide into the abyss... or facing several unknown crisis’ at a time. 
This comes from the same people that couldn't predict the 2008 financial crisis, even while it stared at them from point-blank range.

Oh yeah- guess I should explain:
BRICS nations: Brazil, Russia, India, China and So. Africa
PIIGS nations: Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Spain
 (I believe they are not keen on that acronym, but it is kind of a funny pun! If were weren’t in somewhat of the same boat, I’d say it was fitting! But I am not that arrogant!)

The facts are that the Eurocrisis has been front and center for too long, (during which time the economic and financial fundamentals have continued to deteriorate thanks to leaders who apparently DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO). The recent trend of policy ‘globalization’ is still going strong –and I find that a bit creepy.
“Unprecedented Alignment of Monetary Policy Across Countries':
What we found is strong evidence that the financial crisis prompted a synchronization of monetary policy that is unprecedented at the global level.”
Yep, it’s a little too obvious for my comfort.

The worst thing is hearing people who SHOULD know, say things like:

In his newest testimony, Bernanke basically endorses the "U.S.-could-be-Greece" idea.
Not only does he postulate that the prospect of unsustainable deficits has costs beyond a growing debt limit that include an increased possibility of a sudden fiscal crisis, so does the Congressional Budget report.

– from the Congressional Budgetary Committee:
 “...it’s clear that under these policy assumptions, the amounts the federal Gov’t would be required to borrow would be unsustainable... the recovery to date has had unusual features that have been hard to predict and the path of the economy in the coming years is also likely to be surprising in various ways... ”
They go on to explain that Europe could make all the difference in our future outcomes.

George Soros and the Cheif of the IMF (international Money Fund)  speak even more ominously.

Some of the comments after the articles I finished, read like this:

Are you kidding me?! NO PLAN to plan B for in case that happens??? 
Again, why? 
Because they don’t know what they are doing any more than any one of us knows. They don’t know anything. They are just hoping without any logical reason to.

Yeah, maybe China will bail out Europe. That’s the latest idea.

'Unprecedented Alignment of Monetary Policy Across Countries'.
Also called "Circling the wagons".  
Which is what you do when you're "F"ed.

We are standing at the cliff edge and have one foot in the air.
Like Thelma and Louise, drive off the cliff together.
I really think economic RED ALERT is starting to flash.  We'll see.

To hear the state of things via mainstream media you'd think we were really coming up out of the recession they said was over years ago!
No. We are standing at the cliff edge and have one foot in the air...

Will we get pushed off, will the weight of all the debt drag us over, will we jump? Or will we hang here on the edge, not going anywhere at all? Will the Force be with us and pull us back again? (There is no going back to the way things were).

THIS is why I despair of hope of things getting better. I hope I’m wrong- and I pray that God steps in and stops them from doing wrong because it looks like nothing less will stop the momentum of the fall. But he hasn’t so far, so I think we’re on our own.

It’s been hard reading (the past year) because I’m one of those people that gets nauseous around numbers, and can get three different totals inputting the same set of numbers into a calculator. (That really happened!) I am the daughter of a Baptist minister, and if you didn’t know- they generally have way too little to do with money.

And I probably wouldn’t have been paying ANY attention if we hadn’t had such a lousy time living in Limbo trying to save our house.
(Read about that here and here and here if you’re interested in details of that journey).
 (view out the back)

But right now, things are good. I have SO MUCH to be grateful for- we did manage to hold onto the house, but it’s going to be a long haul thing. Nothing is secure, even if it’s going well right now. 
It's best to CONCENTRATE on what's good.

And so, yeah, we need more chickens!

It snowed almost all day long, snowed for hours and hours. We got about ½ inch. That was great! (Not really, but I can’t help it. Snow makes everything that much harder, even when it's beautiful).

I kept having to get back out to the coop to try to save any eggs that were laid. At this rate they are costing me $5 apiece! 
Unfortunately today was a “no eggs at all” day. (This is getting old.)

Only 3 of 7 hens is now laying (or a 4th one lays every 2 days?) Basically every 3rd or 4th day we get NO eggs at all. Anyway, I'm losing an avg. of 2 out of 3 eggs being laid. Because 3 hens think they taste good fresh and raw...

(The MATH on this makes my head spin).

The bad news is that I have caught a 3rd hen eating the eggs (alongside my favorite darkest gray hen yesterday!) I was only 2 feet away from them, waiting for the 2nd of 2 hens to get off the nest, but I wasn't LOOKING, I was busy taking a few pictures and then I turn around and - GRR!

I was so mad, I swatted them away and yelled at them, “NO, no no!”
I would've taken on Roo at that point –and I was ready for him, I was so sure he'd come to their defense, and jump at me. With those 3” spurs...
Look at the size of those claws (talons!) - and that spur!

But he was like:
 "I saw nothing, nothing I tell you ... and I think I'll just walk over THERE..."

At least one of the non-layers is making herself useful!  My dear little hen is still setting!
Every OTHER day she desperately rejoins the flock and eats ravenously (clucking a LOT) and then after an hour it’s back on the nest, all flattened out across the top of all 7 eggs. She’s so good!
I know, it’s only instinct. But I think she’s really sweet. And my favorite. And you know it’s funny too, she’s kinda, technically, UGLY. They all have that red comb and wattle that’s not all cuddly-cutesy. 

... but if you look at her from just the right angle,  it looks like she has on a little French maids’ cap - a little prairie schooner/Laura-Ingalls bonnet, with the ties in front!   
Dont'cha think?


MarmePurl said...

Many thanks for you wonderful comments. I just love your chicken stories. So nice to meet new folks in bloggerland.

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

Loving on your Cochins. They are such beautiful chickens -- too bad they are cannibals. Hmmm. Not sure why that is happening.

Always love seeing a hen on her nest of future babies. Great photos and commentary!