Monday, February 22, 2021

And Then There Were Three

 I have put off sitting down to write this.  I just don't want to do it.
So this may be briefer than you'd expect.

We lost Luigi on the 11th.  

It was sudden and harsh.

He fell backing out of the chicken coop.  Rick and I tried to get him up but couldn't.  The vet was called and she succeeded, but he went down again.  He was back up and eating when she left.  But he went down shortly after and went horribly downhill overnight.  He had to be authanized the next morning.  

What the hell happened?  We don't know.  I feel certain it had to be some hidden system failure.  The vet reminded me that donkeys are stoics who only let you know something is amiss when there's a big problem.  If Luigi gave me a clue, I missed it.  And for that I will be forever sorry.  Even now 11 days later, I'm tearing up writing this.

Luigi was the light of our little herd.  He is missed every time I go out to feed.

This was taken shortly after the donks settled in - Rick was just finishing the barn.  Luigi on the left, Gabby center and Fran hiding on the right.  Weeg was six in that photo, so 18 this year.  Much much too young for a donkey to die.

In the winter time, Gabby darkens up and there would be times I wouldn't be able to tell the two apart.  Every day I tell her how much she looks like her dad.


I was afraid Sugar and Spice would exclude her, but thankfully that has not been the case.  Almost immediately I observed Gabs with her head draped over Spice's back, just resting there.  And, again the next day.

But my little herd has lost their protector.  The boy who would listen for unusual sounds while the girls were eating, ever watchful.

 I miss you terribly little boy

Monday, February 8, 2021

Food, Glorious Food

 I've been doing some microgreen experimentation, the easy way.  With a Hamama kit.

All you do is soak a seeded quilt mat and sit back and watch.

This was maybe day 3

Only a couple of days later

At this point I'm at day 12-14 (next time I have to keep better track) and I should probably harvest them, but I'm keeping watch to see if the growth continues.

I also have an Aerogarden and have grown two sets of produce.  My favorite is basil, then lettuces.  My tomatoes were a big bust.

The microgreens are so nutrient dense and tasty.  I was able to purchase some last summer at one of the many farmer markets in the area.

Next is a quickie breakfast.
Instead of cooking traditional oatmeal, I prefer to soak my oats.  I've been doing this for a few years.  When I worked, I could start the process, get dressed, and they'd be ready when I came back to the kitchen.   

My normal concoction: pour lots of rice milk on top of the oats with cinnamon, currants, adding walnut pieces at the end.  I used to soak for 20 minutes, but it gets nice and creamy if you wait 30-45 minutes.  I start it before going out for chonkey chores and it's perfect when I return to the house.

This time I added some chopped dates and used organic oat milk.  Oh my gosh, the dates added the perfect sweetness.  In fact I added too many.

What you see is a double batch.  Half for me and half for the chickens.

I'm trying to incorporate dates more in baking and cooking as a sugar replacement.  On this week's list of things-to-do is a cookie recipe using dates and applesauce.  I'll let you know. 

One of our favorite dinner entrees is Penne with Brown Butter, Arugula and Pine Nuts.  And it's so easy to turn it into a vegan option.  Substitute plant based butter and parm.  I also happen to prefer spinach.  My husband always has a smile when he sees it on the dinner table.

* * * * *

I certainly can't leave knowing you're waiting for a chonkey photo.

We have some c-o-l-d weather in southeastern Michigan and donkeys were attired in their winter finery a couple of days ago.

  The beasts haven't wanted to wander into the pasture lately with the addition of a few more inches of  snow so here's a lovely scene of untouched, unblemished snow.

 Happy eating and stay warm.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

The Snow Effect on Chonkeys

 You cannot name one chonkey who is a fan of snow on our teeny tiny farm.  No how, no way.

If white fluffy flakes are dusting the area, just about the only surefire way to lure donkeys out of the barn is hot slop.  As you all know, they adore hot slop and will even brave the elements to dive into a bowl of the stuff.  

Otherwise, little faces peek out of the barn and wait for me to serve up their meal, in the barn.  

So it's a little unusual to see a gathering of white donkeys.

And the hens will not normally paddle around on snow covered ground.  Occasionally a rebel will brave it, but mostly they want to stay on dry ground.
Here only three of 10 hens dared to go out in the porch to get treats, because there was snow on the straw.

Weenies, I've got a bunch of weenies.