Thursday, June 16, 2016

Sledd's Sunflower Maze & Quails

There is a local u-pick farm close to where we pick blueberries that I have always wanted to try out. This year they made a 4 acre sunflower maze and I finally made it happen. When we first got there we heard someone mention that it takes an hour to get through, so we started to get nervous about it, but it actually only took us about 15 minutes.

The last time we went to a corn maze, James was in charge of deciding which way to turn at each fork, so he insisted that it was still his job to lead the way.

Isn't it beautiful!

After making it through the maze, we had time to go over to the garden and pick some veggies and some blackberries. It is a huge field of produce and you can just wander around and pick anything you want. It felt like a treasure hunt because some of the plants we had no idea what they were until we got really close to them.

Rett always starts sweating immediately when we go anywhere. Poor kid. It doesn't stop him though! I usually ask multiple times if he wants me to carry him and he almost always says, "I walk!"

So I had no idea that this existed, but they had quite a few rows of red okra. It was so delicious!! The skin seemed thinner and less tough than green okra and not as slimy. I am adding it to our list for our fall garden! We were going to save some of the seeds from it to plant, but I forgot and ate it all. Seriously so good.

James saw me eating the okra off the plant and he wanted to try it too (!). He took a bite of the top part and said it was pretty good.

Then he hit the seeds and decided he didn't like the texture. He said that it tasted good but he didn't like the seeds. You might have to live in our house or have an extremely picky eater yourself to fully appreciate how huge it is that he was willing to even try it. So exciting!

James was all about using the box cutter to cut the okra off the stalk. He kept going up to more plants and asking if I needed him to cut some for him.

We wandered over to a patch of unfamiliar looking plants only to discover brussel sprouts! Did you know that they grow like this? Not that I had ever really thought about how they grow, but it was such a fun discovery. Anthony is a champion brussel sprout maker, I love it when he cooks them so we had to get some. Rett was trying so hard to pull some off, so Anthony helped him.


We also got to pick some blackberries and Rett really got into it. He was so excited to find the black ones (the red are the unripe ones) and put them in the basket. He didn't like them so he wasn't eating them. James, however, was eating them like crazy. Every time we asked him if he was going to put some in the basket, he would say, "I'm keeping them in this basket (while pointing to his belly)".

While visiting one of the farms in Tennessee we talked to the farmer about their quails and checked out their quail set-up. Quails are small and they don't need a lot of space, so you can keep them in a small rabbit hutch. You can use them for eggs or meat and they are really quiet, even the roosters. Some people even keep them in their dorm rooms! We thought it would be a fun adventure to try to have some quail just to see how we like keeping farm birds and if we want to have chickens some day when we have more land.

There isn't a local place to buy quail chicks, so we had to order fertilized eggs online. Anthony had fun building a homemade incubator for them and we were so excited when they finally arrived! Aren't they cool looking? We don't know how many are going to be hens and how many are going to be roosters, it is all just chance.

After Anthony came home from work, it was finally time to put the eggs in the incubator! Rett decided that this was the time to get all the blankets out of his crib and roll around on the floor screaming, "I a turtle! I a turtle!". He has been taking Attention-Seeking 101 from James.

James wanted to count the eggs to make sure we had all 24. We aren't sure how many eggs are actually going to hatch, it all depends on how well the incubator works at regulating the temperature and humidity. We will have to wait and see! They are supposed to start hatching at around day 17 after you put them in, so we still have a little over a week until we know how many we will have.

While they are incubating you need to turn the eggs 5 times a day so that the embryos don't stick to one side of the egg shell. Most people just manually pick up each egg and turn it over, or buy an egg turner. Not Anthony! He made his own egg turner out of wire and pvc pipe. So instead of turning 24 eggs, I just have to reach in and turn the entire tray to the opposite side.

Anthony put in a viewing window with an old picture frame cover so that we can check on the temperature and humidity without taking the lid off. Hopefully we will get to take great pictures and video of hatching chicks through it too!

No comments: