On Food Security, Good Friends and Turkey Eggs

It’s been blazing hot here the past few days, with gale force winds.
So I’m a little slow.
We’re all a little slow.
The heat weighs you down, and then the wind strips all moisture out of your body almost instantly.
Lots and lots of liquids going in the past few days, I tell ya!

Working on getting seeds into the garden before the rains come.
Always chasing the waterers for the animals, making sure they have enough to drink.
And trying to stay on top of the “what’s for dinner?” moments.
I’m tired.

But, it’s a good tired and I’m not complaining.

Last week I had chance to connect with a friend who’s working on her own family’s food security.
This is something that comes up a lot around here (in case no one’s noticed) because I’m pretty darn passionate about good foods, well raised foods, and not being beholden to any govt for getting access to that food.
So in this conversation, we talked about the space they have for growing food animals, compared to ours.
We’re not doing pigs this year.
Might be a year or 2 more before we consider it.
She and her partner have access to low cost culls, and have space to grow them out.
We have many, many, many birds.
So. Many. Fucking. Birds.
And so we thought that bartering pork for birds was something to consider.
As always, I worry about making sure that all parties are happy.
I never, ever want to be in a barter situation where someone feels shorted…especially not with a friend.
But I think if we can come to a mutually beneficial agreement (and I do believe we will 🙂 )then I love the idea of bartering.
It builds community (and Lady Bless us all, we so need that in society right now!) and it gets more well raised foods into more homes. Done well it’s an excellent thing!

And then she says to me…I have 12 heritage sweetgrass turkey hatching eggs…are you interested?

Last night another friend dropped them off here…and her and I discussed how her daughter’s new home had so many rhubarb plants that could become wine to share amongst us all.
Yup, bartering for food/wine is a damn fine thing.

Tonight the eggs will go into the incubator.
And whatever comes out in after 28 days will be split between two Farms.
I, uh, might be a little bit addicted to hatching turkeys.

Oooooh, and just because it’s amazing, and finally happened:

That my friends, is our very first laid right here on Midnight Calico Farm Narragansett turkey egg!!
And yup, it’s going into the incubator with the sweetgrass turkey eggs.
My excitement was (still is) over the moon last night.

We were putting birds to bed, and when I got to the turkey yard, my Kid says “I have a present for you” and puts this egg in my hand…
Oh there is no mistaking turkey eggs.
None whatsoever.
They are unique (among my birds at least) and so very beautiful.
I may have cooed over it like Gollum cooed over the One Ring.
It should be fertile…I’ve been watching the boys do their jobs for the past few weeks…hell, when we were working on the plastic around the garden, I was cheering Oscar on as he made the rounds with every hen in the yard.
Horny teenager turkey.
If these birds start producing a lot of eggs, I’ll be looking at a 3rd incubator just for turkeys…and another brooder.
But y’know, we’ll eat really well.

And in duck news…
There are many, many duck eggs lying around.
Many of ’em.
And I’m willing to bet even more we cannot see.
Muscovies are notorious for hiding eggs and coming out just about a month later with a whole bunch of littles behind them.
Based on the chirruping and berating we’re getting from some hens, there’s quite a few of our 21 girls thinking about hatching eggs.
So we’ll cross our fingers to start seeing bebes in the next couple of months.
For the record, I’ve tried incubating duck eggs and have had no luck at all.
Followed all the directions and still had quitters.
So I’d rather let the hens to the job.
Means 1 less incubator I have to buy, because muscovies are a 35(ish) day hatch, where chickens are 21 and turkeys are 28. 35 days is a long time to tie up an incubator for no return. 😦

But if we have an abundance of hens hatching, that will give us some ducks to barter as well.
And steak birds is good eating.

Playing With Fire…Photography

We are a few miles from the nearest town. As such, we don’t see trick or treaters out here on Hallowe’en. Well, except for the 1 young man last year, and we were wholly unprepared, so Hubby gave him cash. lol!

This year, we celebrated Hallowe’en with a bonfire. Friends, family, a few wobbly pops and fire. Which, in my world, means camera time!

Playing with Fire1

Playing with Fire2

Playing with Fire3

Same image as above, with the colour inverted

Same image as above, with the colour inverted.

Same image again, desaturated.

Same image again, desaturated.

A few folks standing 'round the fire.

A few folks standing ’round the fire.

Coloured flames

Coloured flames

It was a good time to be had by all. 🙂

Catching Up

Well now, I fell off the face of the planet again didn’t I? At least, here on the blog, I did! It’s been a busy time since I last posted. Much picture-taking/editing and processing. Learned a new technique in processing and had to play with that…it also brought to mind so many ideas I want to photograph!

So, where did we go that I took so many pictures?
Why, to the rodeo!! The Arborg Fair and Rodeo, to be precise.
So many pictures. So much work to do afterwards. So worth it!
Almost a week worth of work, and now, I’m ready for the next rodeo we’re attending in August.
Here’s some samples…

The cowboy meeting before it all got started

The cowboy meeting before it all got started

Here's a sample of that new technique I learned.

Here’s a sample of that new technique I learned.

This is one of 2 flag bearers who rode around the arena flying the flag while the national anthem was playing.
I was hesitant to take pictures during that time, but Hubby-who is one of the most patriotic people I have ever met!-assured me, that taking pictures was fine. Thank goodness, because this is, as far as I’m concerned, one of my best shots ever. 🙂

Saddle bronc

Saddle bronc

Saddle bronc, sans rider

Saddle bronc, sans rider

This silly boy...*sigh* decided he wanted to turn in the chute. Thankfully, he didn't hurt himself, he just turned around and settled back down.

This silly boy…*sigh* He decided he wanted to turn in the chute. Thankfully, he didn’t hurt himself, he just turned around and settled back down.

I love this horse...just have to say.

I love this horse…just have to say.

This lady was trying to get her horse into the arena for the barrel race...horse was having none of it!

This lady was trying to get her horse into the arena for the barrel race…horse was having none of it!

Bull riding...

Bull riding…

Bull Rider9^^^This bull was something else.
He layed down in the chute before the ride even started, and then, after the ride, he didn’t want to leave the arena. He had to be roped and encouraged to the exit, but before they could get him to leave, he threw himself down on the ground.

"You can't make me leave, puny humans!"

“You can’t make me leave, puny humans!”

"Pfft! Try to move me now!"

“Pfft! Try to move me now!”

"I spit in the face of you puny humans...hey! Grain!"

“I spit in the face of you puny humans…hey! Grain!”

And away out the exit he went. 😉

One of the Team Roping cowboys...

One of the Team Roping cowboys…

After the parade, we were going over to the Fair Grounds, and driving through town, we saw this…

Yard Giraffe

Yard Giraffe!

My Hubby, ever the patient man, turned around when asked to, so friend Shaila and I could take pictures of the giraffe.
Her rodeo shots can be seen here…
Arborg Fair & Rodeo


Sunday saw us back in the city, visiting with friends, and delivering some Equi~Gems.

Paul was the winner of our contest.

Paul was the winner of our contest.

We were finally able to get his prize to him, and he is now the proud owner of a Midnight Meteorite Equi~Gem. 🙂
His lovely wife Toosh, was one of our 6 finalists, so she received one as well…

Yay for horsey prizes!

Yay for horsey prizes!

I’m low on Midnight Meteorite pieces, so she had the opportunity to choose from the others as well. After much deliberation, she settled on a Rubidium piece. 🙂

While we visited them, I took a whole bunch of pictures in their Backyard Jungle. Oh, it’s a beautiful space! So many flowers, so much wildlife (bees, bunnies, butterflies), and so calm and relaxing.
I’m working on those images, and will share them when I’m done.


And then…there was the mead.
Checking on the gallon jugs, to find that the Joe’s Ancient Orange is clearing…



It’s still bubbling, but it’s working nicely. The claim is, with this recipe, that once the fruit settles on the bottom it’s ready to drink. Others say it’s even better after bottling and aging for a few months.
Well, Ima try both. 😉
I figure, taste it while it’s young, to see if the underlying flavor is good, put one bottle up for aging, and see if we like that better. And, once bottled, start another batch…assuming we like the taste of it. I may even start a 5 gallon batch.
I might be enjoying this a little too much…