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Wednesday, August 01, 2012


Hi there, Readers!  It is Chickens in the Garden's anniversary!  Six years of every now and then sending out missives to you on chickens, cooking, and gardening, as well as other items of interest that cross my mind.

Once again at this time of year we are slicing up French prune plums and dehydrating them for the year. My husband has taken on much of this task, and we also have a nice, new orchard ladder that is helping with the harvesting.  It is amazing how many wonderful plums are on the tree...

Thursday, July 12, 2012


I've been busy with our Royal Blenheim Apricots. Our tree was incredibly productive this year and I've dried the apricots, made cobblers and tarts, and made jam. The jam has just apricots, sugar, and lemon juice. I'm using my new copper jam pot that has a wide bottom on it and helps make some delicious jams and preserves.  The jam in the jars looks so pretty in the window:

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Early Harvesting

The garden this year has some early vegetables that we've been enjoying.  We've already been eating Sweet 100 tomatoes in our salads, and last night we had our first cucumber--a Suyo Long.  It was sweet and crisp.  The pole beans have been producing like crazy, and the first full sized tomato is red and ripe--an Early Girl.  Still harvesting some purple sprouting broccoli and collards, and digging up red onions and shallots as well as some nice-looking garlic.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Last year I picked up starts of Purple Sprouting Broccoli in early Spring at the Berkeley Farmer's Market.  It turns out that this variety of broccoli usually needs to overwinter before it forms heads.  I had six very tall, leafy plants, and I grew inpatient last summer and fall when no heads formed.  I ended up feeding the chickens four of the six plants, however I left two in the ground through the "winter."  (We've had an incredibly dry and mild winter this year.)

Much to my surprise, the two plants that have overwintered are now forming purple sprouting heads.  This purple broccoli forms many smaller heads all over the plant, as you can see in the following photos:

We picked some of the heads last night and enjoyed them with dinner. The purple heads turn green when they are cooked. The taste was very good!