Hen House #4

  • Post published:12/16/2010
  • Post comments:2 Comments

Local chicken lovers have tended to make good use of extra lumber, roofing, and even old shower doors, but Sheila's hen house has a long history. While a young Sheila was still living at home with her parents her father gathered up the lumber from a bridge that was being dismantled to make a shed. When Sheila and her husband moved to Heath something more than 30 years ago they dismantled that shed to build a goat shed.…

Hen House #3

  • Post published:12/14/2010
  • Post comments:4 Comments

My friend Bob is a jack of all trades, and most irritatingly, a master of most. His building skills are very useful here in the country and since he is always building something, here - or there - he has lots of left over materials. He used those leftover materials, lumber, metal roofing, door and windows, to make his hen house. I was most fascinated by his use of a shower door to make a large frosted window…

Hen House #1

  • Post published:12/02/2010
  • Post comments:3 Comments

With so many people interested in keeping a backyard flockof chickens for eggs, and maybe even for meat, I've been visiting local henhouses, partly to be able to assure potential hen farmers that a henhouse doesn't have to be a Palais de Poulet, and to show you some of the clever designs hen farmers have come up with to make their own work as easy as possible. Emma is the youngest hen farmer I know. She is an…

We Sow, We Harvest . . . We Celebrate!

  • Post published:09/11/2010
  • Post comments:5 Comments

Lots of sowing was done in the last two years to bring about the harvest of a strong renovated Roundhouse at our wonderful Franklin County Fair. I was glad to be present for the re-dedication - during which many people were thanked, too many to list here, but I was glad that one of my colleagues at The Recoder, Irmarie Jones was thanked for all her help promoting the renovation and fundraising.  While the Fair is 162 years…

Livia’s Prophetic Chickens

  • Post published:09/03/2010
  • Post comments:2 Comments

The wonderful thing about gardens is that a stroll down the garden path is apt to  take you down paths of literature, science, and history as well. One person who knows this very well is  Arcady, Garden History Girl. She has a great blog that touches on more subjects than you might imagine. I was enjoying her story of  the Roman matron Livia's cool garden room with its beautiful wall paintings - never dreaming I would end up learning…

Happy Birthday Chicks!

  • Post published:07/02/2010
  • Post comments:7 Comments

Today the chicks are one month old!  We celebrated by moving  half of them down to their new home in The Dell with Sheila. She rebuilt their chicken house to make it snug and safe.  Three strong women, Sheila, her daughter Katelynn, and I squeezed into our henhouse to separate out the Buff Orpingtons, New Hampshire Reds, Silver Laced Wyandottes and Black Stars from the Barred Rocks, Dominiques and Araucanas.  Sheila lost count as Katelynn handed them off…

The Chicks Have Arrived!

  • Post published:06/02/2010
  • Post comments:5 Comments

The post office called at 7:30 am to say the chicks are in!  When I arrived I could hear such a chick racket I thought there must be a number of people whose chick delivery had arrived. But, no. The racket was caused by 43 chicks alone. Chicks can travel through the mail because they do not need food or water for 48 hours after they hatch. We expected the chicks this week so we prepared over the…


  • Post published:06/01/2010
  • Post comments:4 Comments

And I beg your pardon by Wendell Berry The first mosquito: come here,and I will kill thee, holy though thou art. If the Harrison's yellow is blooming the mosquitoes will not be far behind. In the meantime I am making do with deer flies that have bitten and bitten. They are not as easy to swat and kill as mosquitoes that land and take their time to suck blood. Wendell Berry is a wonderful writer - and poet.…

Fantasy – And Reality

  • Post published:05/31/2010
  • Post comments:2 Comments

Saturday I went into Greenfield to buy plants at the Greenfield Garden Club Plant sale, but also stopped at the Greenfield Farmers Market to buy beautiful lettuce from The Kitchen Garden for Gourmet Club, and I bought a pot of beautiful double white petunias from LaSalles. The Farmers Market was full of vegetable starts, flats of annual seedlings, as well as the first greens of the season and huge bouquets of peonies from Hadley where spring has sprung…

Plants – and Chickens – on the Table

  • Post published:03/18/2010
  • Post comments:8 Comments

Interior designer Charlotte Moss, writing in today's New York Times, says she "eschews matching dishes and serving pieces."  I'm right with her.  White dishes are a basic and table settings can be changed delightfully with linens and accessories, but my daughter bought me these befruited dishes for summer meals.  And I always think if a chicken or two can be added to the table so much the better.  Although it is hard to see the pretty glasses are…