It’s winter in Northern California, but the weather has been sunny, warm and magical. I was inspired to write this post since visiting Delta’s Farmers Market yesterday. They have a HUGE selection of beer. If you like beer, I highly recommend you check this place out in Rio Vista. They sell fresh produce, (not as good as Andy’s Orchard) fancy jams and local honey, wine, ciders, fancy caramel chocolates, pies, chocolate dipped coconut macaroons, my favorite and much much more. I learned they have live concerts on Friday nights. Whohoo!
Besides stopping at farmers markets, my sister and I went bird watching at Cosumnes River Preserve. We had a great time. We saw sandhill cranes from afar which are only around from October until March. We learned how to identify waterfowl and ducks from other visitors. We saw blue-winged teal ducks and several cinnamon teal species. It was a gorgeous sunny day to be relaxing out in nature.
In my last post, I promised my next blog would be about my chickens. I’ve been having fun feeding and taking care of nine chickens since October 2020. They are about 12 weeks old now. I have five varieties: 2 Red Stars (brown eggs), 2 Ameraucanas (blue eggs), 2 Anconas (white eggs), and 2 whiting True Blue’s and they sent one extra chicken for free. McMurray’s Hatchery in Iowa helped me decide which breeds to order and sent them as baby chicks. I was so excited to find them on my front porch delivered by my postman. According to Concord Feed where I get my chicken feed, the girls should start laying eggs in April.
It has been wonderful to have the chickens to look after. Since March of 2020 there have been lots of deaths from the Covid 19 pandemic, and anxiety around constant news cycle of President Trump’s drama, the presidential election, and the recent insurgence on Jan 6th 2021 on our state capitol. It has been a tumultuous time in America. But, not for long.
Last Wednesday January 20th, Joe Biden became our new President. Kamala Harris is the very first female African American and Asian American Vice President elected official to hold office. Many of us can breathe a sigh of relief now with this new administration. And happy birthday to my oldest son Curtis, who turned 36 this week.
The chickens have been my therapy. We have named them! I have Bertha (named by my niece Michelle), Mabel (named by my sister Sue and after Ken’s Aunt), Babe (named by my Mom), Arthur (named by my niece Keri-who by the way hasn’t met her yet), Dolly (named by my niece Laura)or Snowy (named by Terra), Mary Kate (named by my husband Ken), Caramel Corn (named by my niece’s daughter Tamra), Scooby (named by my son Curtis), and Bee Bee (named by my son Andrew). Each chicken has her own unique personality. Some are friendlier than others.
Every day, I have been making a mush for them and adding their chicken feed to it to keep them healthy. I have a Mockmill which grinds the grain up into flour. I purchased it when there was a flour shortage because being a baker, I cannot be without flour.
Some of the ingredients I add to their mush are: Malted barley (from a friend who brews his own beer), pearled barley (given by my son’s girlfriend Shannon for Christmas), chia seeds, quinoa, oatmeal, farina, brown rice, Korean rice, millet, sorghum, lentils, black beans, green peas, buckwheat, and much more that I can’t recall.
The girls love greens. I give them Napa cabbage from Windmill Farms, cilantro, parsley, dandelion greens, kale, beet tops, carrot tops, leftovers, chicken bones, broken up egg shells, weeds, grass, and kitchen scraps. They love blueberries, cranberries, pumpkin (which I grew myself), and so much more. They will really eat practically anything except onions and citrus.
I need to get up the hill and feed them now, and put them in their coop before dark. Hope to share many more stories with you in the near future. 2021 looks a little brighter. I am filled with hope for peace and I know America will come together in the days to come. Hoping for another road trip in the near future. It is fun to find special farmers markets along country roads.
I promise to write up my coconut macaroon recipe in the coming days. They are yummy and make wintertime magical on #Smythfamilyfarm.
Thanks for reading my blog. Please follow me and subscribe or leave a comment below. Have you ever had chickens? Did you grow up on a farm? Should I get a goat some day? Have a good weekend.
Ohh. And I mentioned my girlfriend Tamara and her Jewelry. Here is the link in case you want to check it out.