Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Easy on the Peas

So I planted two kinds of peas this year: Oregon Sugar Pod II and Tall Telephones. I couldn’t remember which was which, but I thought that one was a garden pea and the other was a snow pea, meaning one for shelling and one for eating shell and all. So the peas are growing, growing, and frankly, we’re just eating all of them when we’re out there working and suddenly it occurs to me that neither of these are looking like a shelling pea. So I email the people I got my seeds from and asked whether maybe I had accidentally planted two kinds of snow peas, and the hilarious lady on the other end of the email was basically like, “Umm, chances are that you are eating your peas before they have a chance to plump up.” And what do you know? We laid off the Tall Telephone ladies, and sure enough, they are getting right fat. Lesson learned. But just for the record, they tasted just fine, shell and all. I am thinking about making this, although I don’t really like pasta dishes without a lot of stuff in them. Hmm. Anyway.

In further weekend excitement: the rain barrels had the moves put on them by Mister B, and we are full steam ahead on the water collection project. I fully confess that I was inside baking a birthday cake while he did loud difficult sounding parts like cutting a six inch hole in the metal lid (loud here people, very loud). B is not a strident, swearing sort of man, but I daresay that Rain Barrel Number One very nearly made him grumpy. But Rain Barrel Number Two, with the addition of a different sized circular drill bit thingy, was over in a hot minute. Up they went, one in front and one in back, and then as luck would have it, we got some rain that very night! Oh my good lord, we were in and out of the house every five minutes to see if any rain was going into the barrels yet. Which at first it was not. I think it takes a while to build up or something (plus B said that our gutters had a lot of leaves in them, but not anymore as of yesterday, thank you very much). So we were all Very Concerned for a while, but then after a while we heard a plonk, plunk, plonk sound and sure enough: water in the barrels! A note: B said that most of the how-to information out there is about plastic rain barrels. So if anyone out there is having a go at this with a metal barrel and wants some help, give a shout.

And just for the record, he even removed the labels. Because he is the man of my dreams and is annoyed by peeling labels as much as I am.

So chickens again. Here are the three other contenders for Head Chicken: Reepicheep (she’s not so snuggly these days), Big Dot, and Little Dot. Reeps is a Buff Orpington, and the Dots are both Silver Laced Wyandottes. They are the big girls of the flock. The Dots somehow manage to be kind of in charge without ever trying. I think they might be really cool or something. For example, every night they all fight about how they are going to line up on the roosting pole; everyone wants to be in the middle where it’s warm and safe. And some of the girls kind of freak out about it, attempting to hop up on one end and then walk over other chickens and squish in between. This sort of coup rarely works, usually there is a lot of peeping/squawking and someone(s) fall off, etc. and then it starts all over. Anyway, the Dots don’t play around. They just get up there, get tucked in, and let the dust settle around them. And somehow they are always in the middle. Reepicheep doesn’t play it quite as cool as the Dots, and we think she might have lost a lot of street cred on the first night that we put the chicks outside because she was the biggest baby about being afraid of the dark (seriously hilarious and heartbreaking, just running around like crazy peeping like mad until we’d turn the flashlight on again). But she’s big and smart so she’s still in the running for now.


Alan said...

Great peas! Wish mine were that big!
Glad the chicks are still fun. We don't name ours (when you get more than 50 they start to become more difficult to distinguish.

Rain barrels! Cool! Quick question (from personal experience) What happens to the excess water when the barrel is full and it is still raining? One inch of rain over a 20'x30' roof will fill a 375 gallon barrel. We've been 'blessed' with over three inches in the last four days. That would be over 1800 gallons. It has to go somewhere.

Anyway, something to think about.

Heather said...

Hey Alan! So, you can't really see it in either of those pictures very well, but there is an overflow hose close to the top on each of the barrels. You could run the hose out to some trees or something that could handle a lot of water, but we just stuck the hose down the drainpipe we had just chopped into. Pretty amazing what can come off of a small roof!!!

dig this chick said...

Hilarious. I love chicken personalities. My girls don't roost...I wonder if I need to move the poles or something. I pick them up and try to make them sit on the pole but they only hang for like four seconds before flying down and moving to the back corner where they like to cuddle.

Do I have bunk hens?