Monday, April 7, 2014

Quilts, and chicks, and mushrooms - oh my!

I was doing so well there in February, and then off the bandwagon I fell!

The first part of March I was spending all my spare time working on this:



It's a baby quilt for a friend. The pattern is a version of Disappearing 9-Patch and the quilting stitch pattern is called Sticky Buns. I had a friend quilt it for me - goodness I love having my quilts done on machine now!



C. loved the quilt, so that was a success!

About a week after that, we got new chicks!

video

The last batch is now about two and a half years old. Jeremy thought it was time to replace them. I don't think they're slowing down laying all that much, though maybe a little, but we are still working on the elusive flock that will be the perfect balance of meat and egg birds and winter hardy. Especially after this winter we had. Yikes!  So this new batch includes Americauna, Dominique, Light Brahma, and Delaware. We're trying out roosters again so we'll see what happens this time. 



In the video and picture they're a day old or so. Now they're just under two weeks old and they're so much bigger!  They've got wing and shoulder feathers and some of them have tail feathers coming in. We've already had to double their brooder size.
Some day soon we'll have to take care of the adult hens.  They'll be going in the freezer to make room for the new batch coming in. The five that were hatched last year and year before will be getting a new home with my sister-in-law.  Those chickens still have some good laying time left!

Ah, and here are the big girls last Friday, very unimpressed with our big snow day.



Now, the other thing I spent a lot of time working on in March was helping Jeremy get ready for his Kickstarter campaign.  This was a good time to do it so crammed to do a lot of planning and organizing and prepping.  The campaign went live on April 1st. Jeremy had a little launch party for it and I made some Reishi mushroom chocolate brownies for the affair.



That's a piece of dried reishi in front. Jeremy borrowed a food mill from a neighbor to grind the reishi up into powder and I mixed it into the brownie batter.  They were pretty good - though I didn't think they tasted any different from the regular kind. =)

So the Kickstarter campaign is what I'll be spending the rest of my month on.  Jeremy is trying to raise money to build a hoop house for fruiting mushrooms. This will help him expand his farm and grow way more mushrooms than he has been able to.

I'm trying to pace myself on posting about it. I don't want to get too obnoxious. But I think I might start a crazy blitz of posting soon. Pledges aren't coming in as much as I had thought (and I think far less than Jeremy had thought). We still have three weeks left, but my optimism is starting to waver a bit.

In any case, I haven't posted as much about Jeremy's mushroom farm recently because he has his own website and blog (and Facebook page!). But that all continues on and often feels like a big focus of what's going on.  You can check out his Kickstarter page to see video of him and the farm, learn about the project, and all sorts of stuff, here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/617128968/locafy-our-fungi-with-the-cthm-shiitake-fruiting-h. Please consider chipping in and/or telling everyone you know about this!

In other news, we still have the dog. Jeremy likes her a lot; I can't wait for someone to adopt her.  I suppose partly it's because she's a puppy and this is the way they are, but she just has WAY too much energy for me.
And last, but not least, our bees made it through the winter! Yay!  Hopefully I'll get some pictures or video sometime soon to prove it.  I'm so impressed with them.  I mean, this winter was ridiculously cold. I can't believe they survived.  I guess we did things right, and they were just hardy.  I'm looking forward to maybe getting some honey this year!