Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fox 10 News Live From Our Coop

This morning we have some excitement on our little urban farm! The Fox 10 morning show came and broadcast live from our chicken coop.  Of course, last night there was a freeze advisory...so I was running around the backyard like a little chicken, in the dark pulling off all the frost cloth before they came this morning!  What a great time!  We are excited for the upcoming Tour de Coop that is this Saturday, Dec.4th from 7:30am to 4:30pm.  You can still get tickets at http://www.tourdecoops.org/.  It is going to be a great day!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Remembered...

In September of 1620, 102 travelers left the port of Plymouth, England, bound for the promise of a new beginning in a new world...

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

"recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:" 
 President George Washington's 1789 Congressional Proclamation
  How blessed we are to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave...

May you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!  Let's sing the doxology!

My Morning Walk Thru the Garden

This morning I took my camera around with me as I went out to take care of the animals and tend to the plants. 

Here is some of what is growing out there today...

 Here is our Kadota Fig, they are almost ripe...they will be on a cheese tray by Christmas!
The birds like them too...or maybe roof rats...but I like to think they are birds!

Two eggs from Cinnamon and Charlotte
The Washington Navels are almost ready
The last of my eggplants

The last of the Mexican Limes...I just leave then on the tree till I am ready to use them for our beer or guacamole.

First of my lemons...even though they are still light green, they are ready...the ones in the grocery store are picked while they are green and gassed to turn them yellow..yuck!

My root veggie garden is finally coming along...I will be thinning them out this weekend.
Here is what is planted from bottom to top; Royal Chantenay carrots, Early Wonder beets, French Breakfast radishes, Chioggia beets, purple top rutabaga, garlic, purple top turnips, and shallots.  I have companion planted these--hence the special order.
Here is the last of my summer tomatoes...all the other tomato plants I ripped out because they weren't performing!  This plant is by my chilies and basil.  And of course, I have them covered with my beloved construction mesh so I can put frost cloth over them tomorrow night when we have a freeze advisory.
And right next to the pepper and tomatoes is another frost sensitive beauty..Hibicus sabdariffa..otherwise known as Mexican hibiscus.  My friend Jim Dennis gave me the seeds for this in the spring.  My lawn guys are amazed I have this plant, they are always asking me in Spanish, "where did I get it?".  When my mother in law gets back from Oaxaca we are going to harvest the flowers and make Te de Jamaica.  It is Red Zinger tea -this is the plant they use, it's the zing and color.
And finally!!  The Sweet Peas I seeded are finally taking off!  Notice the mesh...

And here are some suger snap peas that I seeded a month ago finally taking off too!

Thanks for joining me on my morning walk!  Have a wonderful day!

Here is my little urban farmer out on his garden walk too.

Monday, November 22, 2010

What Is In A Name?

I keep getting asked the question, "Where did the name Boho Farm come from?"

The answer is....

I was reading a book called The Sweet Life In Paris, by David Lebovitz and in this book he was talking about the Bohemian Bourgeois and I was thinking to myself..."who are they"...so I googled the name and found out that the term was coined in 2000 by David Brooks  in his book Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There (2000) ISBN 0-684-85377-9.  In the book, Brooks describes the 1990's decendants of the yuppies, and for them it is not about the money, it is about doing what you love.  The more I read, the more I identified and not always in a good way.

Brooks states that the "Bougeoisies were the square, practical ones, defending tradition and middle class morality. Worked for corporations and lived in the suburbs and went to church."    He further states that "Bohemians were the city dwellers, free spirits, they were artists and intellectuals--the hippies and the beatnecks."

And this is my world somewhere between the two...

bour•geois  \  bu̇rzh-ˌwä  \  n.
: the broad spectrum between nobility and serfs

bo•he•mi•an  \  bō hē′mē ən  \  adj.
: informal and unconventional
This is where I get the name Boho Farm and Home, it comes from the out growth of my life journey so far.

Hope this answers your question!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Henny Penny is Molting...

So my big Buff Orpington Henny Penny is starting to molt.  I have noticed some of her feathers on the ground recently but this week there where tons!  Of course, my first reaction is "oh no...  the Tour de Coop is just weeks away and my chicken looks awful!" but now on some reflection, I realize this is a good thing...this is real life in chicken keeping. Chickens molt!  The people coming need to see what really happens when you raise chicken...it is not just eggs!  My oldest girl Charlotte went through her molt last spring and she looked like she had been sleeping in a dumpster.  It was actually hard to look at her because she looked naked and she is by far my most beautiful girl, but now her new feathers are in and she looks like her old self.  As gorgeous as always!  Here are some pictures on my sweet Henny Penny...

And After:
Right now she is just a shadow of her former glory but in the not to distant future she will be my big beautiful girl again! 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's The Most Wonderful Time of The Year...

Which means for me, Panetone and Eggnog!  As soon as these tasty treats come out in early November, I start stocking up! I know that it is not even Thanksgiving yet, but the season for these two holiday jewels is too short in my book...
I love to get cozy with a fire in the morning, do a little reading, have a slice of Panetone and drink my coffee with a splash of eggnog in it.  Let the Holidays begin!  This is what I had this morning before anyone was up. 
What a TREAT!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Salsa with Boiled Chilies

My Mother in Law is from Oaxaca, Mexico and this is a recipe she taught me.  She loves to come over and pick fresh items out of our garden and then come inside and prepare something delicious with them.  This is one of those recipes...

First you go out to the garden and pick fresh chilies...

Serrano's, Jalapenos, Anaheim's...the Habaneros are from my neighbor Jason that he brought over the other day.

                                                  Anaheim Chile's in my garden

                                                       Jalapenos in my garden

Now we assemble the ingredients:

Take all the chilies and place them in a sauce pan with water and let them boil for 30 minutes and then sit to cool with the lid still on.

Then strain them in a strain.  They should look like this...a little dull in color.
Then de-vein and de-seed the chilies but make SURE you wear gloves! Seriously!  You will only de-vein and de-seed this many chilies once without gloves and then you will be in so much pain with your fingers burning for HOURS, that you will never do that again.  I know from experience!

these latex gloves come in handy and are a good thing to have around on your urban farm.  You never know when your hen might be egg bound and you need to oil her vent...but that is another story.

Now put all those chilies in a blender with onion, garlic, tomatoes, salt and cilantro and blend away!

And here is the final product...

We like to serve it over fresh egg from our girls.  It is really amazing that it is not hot using all those chilies!  The boiling does something to them, the de-seeding and de-vein help a lot too.  This salsa is so complex with flavor you will never want Pace Picante sauce again.

Here are the details...

Pick a bowl full of chilies
1 whole onion--cut up
3 cloves of garlic
4 Large tomatoes--add more if you don't want as much chili flavor
cilantro to taste
sea salt

If it comes out like "The chef is angry" as my Mother in Law says.  Then just keep adding more tomatoes.  My chili plants are 3 years old and they keep getting spicier and spicier.  I have to do this all the time. A can of roasted tomatoes can always be used in a pinch and I always keep a couple of cans in my pantry.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Garden Tip and My Growing Love Affair with Construction Mesh

I love construction mesh, it is so cheap ($7 each panel) and it is so versatile...it can look good in any application from a Zen to a French Country garden.  That fact makes me love it all the more! 

It is really easy to find...You can get it at Lowes or Home Depot.

Here is some pictures of how I use it in my garden....

Here I use it to keep the kids, chickens, dog and farm cat out of the newly seeded garden...

Here I use it to cover my peppers and tomatoes when we have a freeze advisory.
not the best picture but you get the idea...

Once again it is used to keep  my menagerie out!..in this picture you can see my coop in the distance.  I call this garden my Chicken Garden.

This is my favorite application...You wire it together and use it vertically for growing sweet peas or sugar snap pea...I am growing both on vertical construction mesh trellises and I LOVE it!!

I am also going to get some more to use as trellises against my painted block wall for my bougainvilleas.  I will show you pictures of that once I get it up.  I have it on my list of things to do before the Tour de Coops on Dec.4!
Hope you now love construction mesh too and want to find a spot in your garden too! 
Have a beautiful Monday!

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Dirty Dozen…

I have kept this article from Martha Stewart Living Magazine about the 12 fruits and vegetables with the most pesticide residue.  These are the varieties where it is WORTH buying organic—or better yet, growing in your own backyard!
Bell Peppers
We have all these planted in our little urban farm, except for the cherry trees, which I have ordered from the Phoenix Permiculture Guild and will plant this January.

Chicken Story #1

I have decided that I am going to keep track of all my crazy chicken stories and if you know me there are goofy chicken stories all the time.  I have the egg bound chicken story, the bathing and blow drying … So today I go out there and one of the girls has decide to start laying her eggs on the floor, that is right…the floor…what in the world.  How does a two year old hen suddenly stop laying in the laying box and start laying on the floor in filth? (Just a disclaimer* my coop in not filthy to the outside world, just filthy to me, I am a little OCD on these things.) 

Exhibit A…The wrong way

Exibit B…The right way

So now I have to pick them up off the floor and put them in the nesting boxes.  I put an egg in the box too just to remind them of what those little boxes are for! Because once one of them starts doing something like this, then all the others follow…they are not the smartest creatures on the planet, but they are led by a flock…I could go into a parenting analogy right now about what we can learn from chickens but I won’t…I already had to do that this morning.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Come join me on the journey of the road less travelled…

I am just going to jump off the high dive into this unknown cyber land and it’s kinda scary!

I long for a simpler life!  I love the city, good design, food, wine, tilling the earth and nurturing things to grow.  We live in the city of Phoenix; from our home we are walking distance from great restaurants, stores and gelato…but at my little urban farm I have a veggie garden that supplies enough organic produce not only for our family but for our friends and family too.  We have 6 laying hens that provide us with safe, fresh, organic, truly free-range eggs, an urban orchard with over 30 fruit trees that gives us pesticide-free fruit all year long.

Come join me and my family to live a simplified life…

Basically, we want to live like Hobbits!  There will be more talk about that later…

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