10 September 2012

Eggs, tomatoes and kale

We've been having a disappointing performance from the chickens in recent months: ever since we merged the new chicks in with the remainder of our original flock we've only been getting one or two eggs a day. In recent weeks this has gone down to just one egg a day and sometimes none. This means that we've been feeding 31 birds and only one of them has been deigning to return the favour.

About 12 of those birds are males, so I'm not expecting any eggs from them, but it would be nice if the remaining 19 could pull their weight a bit. I was therefore very pleased to find two eggs today, one of them quite small. I hope this means that our new flock have started to lay: with any luck we will soon be overrun with eggs again, instead of portioning them out as though they're made of solid gold.

I had a go at making oven-dried tomatoes this weekend, using some of my crop of cherry tomatoes. It takes quite a while, but it's really worth it: they taste amazing - a really concentrated burst of tomatoey sweetness.

I was away at the end of last week and in my absence the cabbage worms have done a good job of eating nearly every leaf on the young Tuscan kale plants which had been doing very well in the greenhouse. I spent half an hour yesterday morning picking the little blighters off.

On a broccoli plant I found that one of the caterpillars had already matured enough to build itself a cocoon. I know there's not much logic to it, but I left the cocoon in place. It may well hatch out and lay another devouring army of eggs on my plants, but there's something so wondrous about the transformation of caterpillar to butterfly that I can't bring myself to interfere with it.


Kris said...

That cocoon on your broccoli isn't a cabbage loper but the chrysalis of a Monarch butterfly. Lucky you.

Amanda said...

Hi Kris - yes, you're right! It hatched out the other day and I was so glad I'd left it alone.