Last Friday the Post Office called at 7:00 am with the news we had been waiting for all week: our chicks have arrived! The 115 chicks came nestled in two large cardboard boxes punctuated with holes for air and “LIVE CHICKS” written in bold red letters, though the chorus of peeping gave the contents away in an instant. We dipped their beaks in water and transferred them from the box to their new home, which at the moment is an old galvanized feed tank in the yurt (yes, we do have chicks in the yurt–it’s only place we can easily plug in the heat lamps they need to stay warm enough). So the last few nights have been lively as we fall asleep to peeping chicks and hear them scuttling about from feeder to water before nestling together for the night.
These chicks, called freedom rangers, are our meat birds. Freedom Rangers are heritage birds that forage well and thrive on pasture. When they outgrow their trough, they will move down to the barnyard and then out to pasture, where they will forage and move daily across the field. For now, though, they are happily scurrying about in a warm and cozy home.
The past few days have also brought some welcome rain. We woke this morning to a soaking thunderstorm, and it was so comforting to lay in bed and hear so much water going back into the earth. The day cleared up as it went along, and this evening Edge harvested our first lettuce mix and spinach. I’m not sure I can tell you how excited I was when he came in with two beautiful bowls of greens! Finally, the long wait through winter and early spring has come to an end.
So now it’s time for dinner…no chicken on the plate yet, but a spinach quiche is soon to come out of the oven, and small though it is, we’ll enjoy our first harvest of the season.