The long-awaited hen house upgrade is underway! The weather has been unseasonably warm, but it sure makes working outside nice. Some of our plants are starting to leaf out already – red flowering currant, red elderberry, honeysuckle, quince. Time to start watching for the return of the hummingbirds.
We’re converting two “squares” of our little barn into an enclosed nesting/sleeping area, and a mostly enclosed screened “lounge” area. The gals will also have an enclosed outdoor run to wreak havoc in.
The past few days have been really warm for January. We topped 60 yesterday, and the bees took advantage of the sunny day. Bees don’t poop in their hive, so in winter they just hold it until it’s warm enough for a potty break. Who knew they would be little manure factories! The shiny blue truck was parked near by, and got speckled with bee pies too. Oh well, at least we know they’re healthy and active.
We had to go to Sunnyside, WA for a funeral last weekend, and paused on the way out of town to survey this feedlot. The whole area is replete with feedlots, and hence redolent with the smell of steer manure. It was feeding time, so most of the steers are ringing the perimeter fence where the troughs are. You can see a giant manure pile in the background, partially covered with tarp & tires. This is just too much critter to be sustainable, but it’s where cheap beef comes from.
We used some Buddy stew meat to make a pot of stifado yesterday. It’s great comfort food, and the kind of meal you can set to simmer while you work, then come inside for a hearty dinner. The last of the Reddale potatoes went into the stew, plus our homegrown tomatoes, onions, garlic, etc.
Here’s one version of the recipe that I like to use. Some recipes call for pounds of pearl onions, but peeling them is a lot of work. I add boiled potatoes to the stew once the meat is tender.