Friday, February 14, 2014

Snow, snow, go away! (I've had enough by now, thanks.)


I live in South Carolina, and we don’t usually get snow—and if we do, it stays long enough to enjoy for a day or two, and it disappears.  This is the fourth day with snow on the ground, and snow fell for three days in a row.  We got about 5 inches of snow and ice, not counting all the snow that fell on Tuesday and melted.  If it had stayed, we'd have about 10 inches I would guess.  I am thankful I don’t have to cope with this sort of weather very often, and so are my chickens!

Here's a video of them the first day before I moved some of them up to the big pen pictured below.
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The chickens refused come out of the house.  I put food and water inside.


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Snow falling day three.  Back corner of the garden

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Chicken tractor/yard

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I tried to move all the chickens up to the big pen pictured above so I'd only have one pen to deal with, but I knew I couldn't get Mr. Cuteypants, the pearl guinea, up there unless he decided to go (I don't try to catch him). Dividing them worked well, though, because they had more room to move around in the houses, and I could put food and water inside the house and leave them alone.  Yesterday afternoon my daughter and I moved the last two chickens up to the big pen, and I released Mr. Cuteypants.  He was in distress for a few moments after seeing all his chickens leave, but then, in the most cooperative moments of his entire life,  he flew across the yard towards me and the chicken pen!  I had to move out of the way so that he didn't hit me. Then he obediently walked to the pen and in the door, and was reunited with all of his hens. 



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Back yard looking toward big chicken pen

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The garden under snow

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The garden

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These poor daffodils want to bloom.

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Carolina Jessamine covered in snow and ice

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Our driveway

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The creek with ice at the edge

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

My tour of Crooked Cedar Farm, Blythewood, SC


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Beds of lettuce

I visited Edwina and Selvin Harrell, of Crooked Cedar Farm in Blythewood to purchase my collards for New Year's Day.  They were optimistic about the winter growing season and hoped that the weather would be kind to the garden this spring and summer.  My visit was before the lows on several nights of near 12 degrees F°, torrential rain, and snow.
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View of the garden looking toward the chicken house
I enjoy visiting their farm and seeing the neat beds of vegetables and flowers.  Their enthusiasm for continuing to farm, in spite of adversity, inspires me.  Mrs. Harrell always talks about the baby plants she is caring for, or soon will be caring for when they sprout, and Mr. Harrell discusses his latest construction project or the antics of the chickens. 

Mr. Harrell has verdant patches of greens he feeds the flock of approximately 70 chickens to make sure they get greens in their diet.  When I visited, Mrs. Harrell was slightly exasperated with her chickens, who weren’t laying as many eggs as she would have liked, but when I followed up to ask about both plants and chickens survived the cold, Mrs. Harrell said, “The chickens seemed to like the cold. We are getting almost five dozen eggs a day now.” She said they covered all the plants and most of them survived the weather.

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Spinach
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Brussels Sprouts

This fall, they have had an abundant harvest of collards, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli.  Kale is nearly ready, and I love their perfect beds of baby spinach and lettuce.  They have had some difficulty getting the lettuce to grow this year, possibly due to bad seed, cold weather, or dry weather in the early fall, but they continue planting with the spirit of optimism every farmer must possess to succeed.  The spinach and lettuce should be ready for harvest and customer’s tables soon.

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Kale


Visit Crooked Cedar Farm at the Soda City Farmers Market in downtown Columbia on Saturday mornings, or contact them at their farm at 786-4841 and at 1464 Lawhorn Road in Blythewood.  You may also email them at crookedcedarfarmsc@gmail.com; Mrs. Harrell emails customers about available produce.

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Garlic