Friday, May 14, 2010

Food waste

As usual in our household, there is no food waste. When you keep a few chickens nothing goes to waste! In fact, we waste so little ourselves that it is often hard to find any treats to give the chickens. Last night we had two couples over and we all had a good shrimp feast. No, there were no left-over shrimp! But there were a lot of shrimp shells and wouldn't you know it, chickens even like shrimp shells! So they were happy to feast on them, the scrapings off of the plates, beet skins and tops, plus a few other things like potato skins, carrot skins, bean ends, banana peels etc. They will reward us with some eggs.
There is very little that chickens won't eat, but one is anything citric, so the compost pile benefitted from the grapefruit skins, orange peels and such like.
When I mow the lawn, a pile of the clippings goes into the chicken run, the rest onto the compost.
Tuesday is recycle day and the recycle bin will go out at the curb, well filled with paper, plastic, glass and metal. Our trash can was emptied last Friday, it will go out again in about two weeks. Yes I put out one trash can about every 3 weeks, and it is usually less than half full - well it seems that almost everything is recyclable now, about the only thing going into our trash can now is the cats litter, debris from our vacuum and a few odds and ends like dirty paper towels. With no food waste, that doesn't go in there, even if we did not have chickens, any food scraps and byproducts (peelings etc) would either go onto the bird table or onto the compost pile.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Geese on The Lake

The Spring Season has arrived and with it the new broods of Cananda Geese. Julia saw the first batch of new babies a few days ago. The second batch showed up just one or two days later, and we have been enjoying them every day since.
Last night at "Bedtime" both of the families left our neighbors lawn and headed across the corner of The Lake to where their nests must be. We have not seen the nests but there is an empty lot or two along that part of The Lake's shoreline and that is where they must be, well hidden no doubt, as they have escaped the fox's attention. We see Mr Fox around here from time to time but somehow he has not bothered them, yet.
Anyway the families set off in single file, father first and then the babies - four in one tribe and five in the other - with the mothers as rearguard. Each clan was in a perfectly straight line. I imagined the mothers talking to their offspring like Marine Sergeant Majors, barking out their orders to keep the line straight, keep up speed, maintain a direction, pull in those wings and stick out that chest.
This morning we looked for their presence next door, but could see no sign of them. Then, at about 8.00am, there they were, ushering the little guys (and girls ) into the water for the short trip to the feeding grounds. Late risers. Our neighbor mows his lawn religiously every few days but with 13 hungry beaks "Mowing" it every day he may be able to slack off a bit now!
Their lawn slopes right down to the water, so it is an easy place for the birds to exit, whereas our waterfront is guarded by a bulkhead that prevents them from accessing our lawn, much to Julia's disappointment.
The weather has been even more unpredictable than usual, we had a temperature of 90 in March and now here we are in May with temperatures some nights in the 40's. Last night it went down to 51. Now, at almost 9.00am, it has only reached 60. I turned the heat off a couple of days ago, as it didn't seem like we would need it again, but here we are back to wearing sweaters and Julia is wrapped in a blanket in the evening while doing her crossword and watching TV. The usual Maryland weather, and the old adage - if you don't like the weather, wait for an hour and it will change, seems once again to reign.