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June 28, 2008


I've been checking the blackberry thicket every day this week. Today I ate a dozen ripe berries. ~yum~ Well, a couple could have been sweeter if I'd left them on the cane till tomorrow, but they were still good.

Yellow dock

As well as working in the hayfield this week I've been foraging for chicken feed for the winter. The yellow dock has put up a massive harvest of seed heads this year, and I've barely touched the large patch that we have near the pond, not to mention the stalks that can be seen here and there in the pasture and along the roadside. I've also cut the seed heads off of some of the Johnson grass in the hayfield. Soon the wild sunflowers will be blooming and I'll be gathering those seeds as well. I've also read that staghorn sumac and smooth sumac berries can be added to chicken feed. I'll have to figure out which variety is growing wild out there. (Remember to harvest responsibly - don't take all the seeds!)

Another thing I have done in years past is to gather the black walnuts that fall from our two trees, crack them with a hammer, and let the birds fish the nutmeats out of the shells. I long ago decided that it was too much trouble to do for human consumption. We usually go to the park in town to gather pecans that fall from the trees; those are for people and not for birds.

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