omelette du jour
Busy days on my little city farm. The hens, bless their pointy little beaks, are laying, to the tune of about one egg a day on average. And the eggs are getting a little bigger each day. At least two hens are laying; you can see by their feet (thanks, Linda, for the tip), which go kind of grayish-silvery green in tone. I’ve caught two of the hens in the act, or crowing about it (heh) afterward, so cheers to Violet and Rosie. I’m sure Bluebell isn’t far behind. Poppy, however, is on my $&^#*! list.
Maybe she’s jealous. Maybe she’s horny. Maybe she has a Napoleonic complex. She hasn’t laid any eggs, and she isn’t the biggest, but she’s the boss-hen, and thinks it’s her duty to aggressively come forward and try to peck. However, she also turns around and “presents” to me, asking for some Big Rooster Love. Well, I am unable to offer that kind of commitment at this point, but I do pet her and talk nicely to her. The thanks I get? She attacked me yesterday, biting my arm in two places (drawing blood), flailing at me with her feet a la Ms. Cockfight of Alameda, and telling me what she thinks of me, foul human eggstealer.
I have one word to say to this saucy wench: Crockpot.
In other lil farm news, the veggies keep tumbling in. Here’s a recent handful of squash and cucumbers.
Next to the veg, there’s a big bowl of plums given to Mr. Husband at work (Thanks, Daniel!). We’ve been eating them and I put some in a smoothie yesterday. Tart and tasty! They’ll end up in a tart, in fact, if not a saucepot, soon. Behind that lurks a watermelon, locally grown but not at chez moi. Waiting for a really hot day to crack that baby open.
Meanwhile, back in the yard, the raccoons have come for a visit several nights in a row. One night they very actively dug to get into the chicken coop, and were foiled by our death-camp-style measures for the chickens’ protection. When we put in the coop, we pounded bamboo stakes and wire hangers into the ground, at least a foot. This was designed to keep anyone from tunneling in ( — or out — we’ve seen Chicken Run…). Those measures worked, because though the raccoons tried all the way around, they kept running into wire and bamboo stakes, and could not get through.
However, they had their revenge. We had a Tiki Party Saturday night for high school friends, and a marvelous time was had by all. We put most of the goodies away before retiring; however, we forgot about the peanuts. The raccoons ransacked the tiki bar and found the peanuts, tore open the bag and ate every last one. That was at least 2 pounds of peanuts, and the lawn is littered with shells. The bar and cooler were covered in muddy handprints, and my CSI sense tells me that it was a gang of short, striped hoodlums known to frequent this area by night.
Today’s to-dos include some foraging, sniffing out, ferreting and perhaps a bit of Googling, too. In the near future I will have plums and blackberries to preserve, rose hips to bottle and dry, all the produce from the garden to juggle, and chickens to coddle (if not their eggs).
Off to the salt mines, chaps.
Julia Park Tracey is an award-winning journalist, author, and blogger. She is the author of six books: three novels, one poetry collection, and two women's history. She was the Poet Laureate of Alameda, California, in 2014-17. She's also the conservatrix of The Doris Diaries, the diaries of her great-aunt Doris Bailey Murphy. She has a BA in journalism from San Francisco State University, and MA in Early 20th C. British Literature from Cal State Hayward. Julia's articles have appeared on Salon, Thrillist, Paste, Scary Mommy, Narratively, Yahoo News, Your Tango, and Sweatpants & Coffee. Her articles have also run in Redbook, Woman's Day, Country Living, House Beautiful, Town & Country, the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Magazine, Quill, and MadeLocal. She was the founding editor of weekly Alameda Sun and literary zine Red Hills Review. Her poetry has been in The East Bay Literary review, Postcard Poems, Americus Review, Cicada, Tiferet Review, and many others. Julia has been recognized several times by the San Francisco, East Bay and Peninsula Press Clubs as well as the California Newspaper Association for her blogging since 2003.