Ducks!

This month we took the big leap into livestock with six Khaki Campbell ducks. (Well—seven Khaki Campbell ducks. We got a bonus duckling from the hatchery. We ordered six females, and I’m sure we have six females, but even if we assume the seventh to be male—which he probably is, because males of laying breeds are not of much value to hatcheries—we have no idea which one he is. So we’ll hold off on naming them until the mystery duck makes himself or herself known.)

The ducks arrived at most two days old; I’ve posted a few early photos below. I am building a section of this site for information about ducks, so look there for more photos when it’s up. By Thanksgiving they will be laying eggs—up to 3 dozen a week among them, so we read, but we’ll see. We’ll keep you posted.

Meanwhile the garden is doing as well as we could hope given the lack of rain. The soaker hoses have gotten a lot of use, but we can’t keep the cabbage and broccoli entirely happy. On the other hand, we’ve gotten more sugar snap peas and turnip greens than ever before—we have figured out how to grow those, at least, and they seem to be happy with the unusually warm spring.

One of the ducklings on her first evening at the Halfway Homestead.

A group photo. The red light is from a heat lamp. (Click the photo for a larger image.)

We have had three meals of sugar snap peas already. More on the way.

Although I am still not happy about having to keep sixteen tomato plants in pots, short of digging up the driveway, it’s the only way to get them enough sunlight. The inverted plastic bottle has a spike on the end that drips water into the pot to keep the soil moist.

The potatoes have been flowering for a few weeks now.

About half of what’s left of the turnip greens. We have cut a section off big enough for dinner each of the last three weeks, leaving the stems, and they have grown back enough to give us one or two additional meals. At this point they are tougher and need to be cooked longer, but they’re still good.

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