Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ducks, Drought and Consequences

Previously this year we had 3 different ducks nest and we hoped for a sucessful hatching. Alas, something happened each time. The first 2 ducks were nesting together in a roll of wire we had near a fence. While I was in the hospital something raided the nests and when I got home all the eggs were gone. The next time the nest lasted all the way up until the day of hatching. We left for church and when we came home the hen was standing in front of the EMPTY nest w/this "what happened" look in her eye. That time we think it was a snake. Finally a few hatched out yesterday. As many of you know, we have been trying to build up our duck flock for the encouragement of the endangered Cayuga duck breed by introducing to the public the usage of duck eggs. Duck eggs were in high demand this season after we educated many palates on this subject. Once you quack, You never go back. If you eat the egg of the duck, when offered a choice you never eat from those who cluck. A little tongue in cheek humor there...

Behold this year's Apricots."APRICOTS" you say, "It's too late for apricots!" Apricots are practically the first fruit to bloom in Missouri which is why many times the fruit is lost due to a late frost. That is why I planted my trees next to a building near the house. A kind of protected area if you will. Maybe a little too protected, not enough sun and due to the drought this year they were pretty small and never did blush. Still we got a few buckets full of the finally softening fruit and I made Apricot Marmalade and Apricot Tangerine Spread for pancake, waffles or any toasted spread. Look for it at the market this week.
Due to the lack of rain we have been running out of fenced pasture. Many people already have had to buy hay this year but these hair sheep are excellent foragers. Still they have had to work for it. Recently several days a week we have been taking "The Girls" down to the lake to eat the uncropped grass there. This requires me to really be a shepherd as they do not want to leave his succulent grass behind to go back up the hill and labor for every bite.  The 2 in the middle are this year's lambs Sal-via in the front and Sweet Annie right behind her. They look great for such a hard year!
Not pictured here are all the tomatoes that split when we got the 6 inches of rain last week that we were so grateful for. However we will still have Principes, Sungolds, Black Plums and Chocolate Cherries at Market this week. Look for Lemon cucumbers and refrigerator dills, but be warned, Bill has gone back to Texas. Sigh. Not sure about the salsa yet either. We lost a bunch of tomatoes.
 See you at Tower Grove Farmers Market and Bazaar.
God's Blessings to you and yours.
Sam and Bill


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