Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Down on the farm today....

Late yesterday I drained the last of the old duck water from the dinghy boat onto my Persian lime, then moved it into the main center bed where most of the Muscovy ducks live. I filled it with the hose and today BOY did I have some happy ducks, especially the females! I shot a video and plan on posting it soon. Just as I'd read before getting Muscovies, they are very inclined to foul their own water, drinking OR swimming. So I placed the dinghy close to where I can bail the nutrient-laden water onto a new Moringa tree and a Dwarf Cavendish banana from Jon and Debbie Butts I will be planting in a buried 55 gallon Water Wise Container Garden.

After weeks of eggs being laid randomly within the large pen the other ducks are confined in (they won't let me catch them to move them into the semi-free range area), one female has at last made an egg-filled nest of her breast feathers inside the large plastic igloo-style dog house I scavenged years ago and built the duck pen around. I have a high ratio of male ducks and since they are starting to clash AND might kill the ducklings when they hatch in a month I really need to "man up" and do my first of several needed male duck slaughters to roast and freeze. I suspect that they will very likely attack the ducklings.

Today out front I began pulling perennial morning glory (Ipomoea acuminata) from the west bed.....which means I am closing in on the finish line of reclaiming my yard from years of drought, and being CONSUMED by the giant rose 'Mermaid'. Once THOSE concrete edgings are exposed, guess who is painting them white?! I was delighted to see that the Wichuraiana Rambler 'Leontine Gervais' had in fact survived that two year hell and was today sending out a nice basal shoot. I am giving that whole west bed a DEEP watering, its first in easily two years, then a deep feeding of home made fish emulsion and chicken poop tea.  I love the color and form of 'Leontine Gervais' but for some reason it affects my roses allergy very quickly and potently, usually minutes after I foolishly take a hit of its delightful perfume.

Oddly, despite the date, I am getting 3-4 eggs daily from 9 hens vs. the usual winter shut down. Today when I got the kitchen scraps from Artifacts Restaurant a few blocks from here, their bartender Kristen told me she LOVED the eggs I gave her, her first ever fresh, free range eggs. She was amazed by the differences.

Anyone who knows me will confirm that my genes lack the "tidy chromosome" that most gay men seem to have...invariably I'd rather create than clean. And it shows! Pretty scary I gather. So....I am taking the advice of folks who've suggested that I barter my classes/eggs/plants for house cleaning with folks who actually enjoy house cleaning. I tend to live in my mind and the projects I joyfully nurture there, so trading my skills with people who take tidiness for granted seems like a cool solution. I can only imagine what a 2 hour cleaning of my gnarly kitchen traded for one of my two hour classes would result in!

If you like wasabi with your sushi, and live in central or south Florida, now is a great time to sow the seeds of what my friends and I call "face blaster" mustards. Eaten raw, they duplicate that food masochism bliss of wasabi when it feels like your sinuses and nose will just fucking explode...then it shuts off with no lingering heat as with hot peppers. 'Green Wave', 'Osaka Purple' and 'Giant Red' are ones I love. Interestingly they lose ALL heat when cooked and become mild in stir fry or soups.


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