Making, Crafting, Creating... aka Whatcha workin' on?

Yep, exactly. It keeps them from eating the whole plant. The area around the feeder in the top picture is what the ground looks like if they have free run. That was lush grass before the chickens came along.

It also allows me to feed them specific plants regularly. Garlic shoots, mint, nasturtiums, and marigolds give the eggs a richer flavor and have antibacterial properties eliminating the need for feed containing supplements.

ETA: I realized that you can see what the grass looked like on the other side of the fence. Greener, as they say.


i have to admit i am confuse.
surely you mean to keep chickens out, right?
if it is as @NukeML asked about them eating the pokie-outie bits, will they walk on the wire mesh? seems they would not find that terribly comfortable, even for a green snack.

i just need ways to keep feral street chickens out of my gardens!

edit: ok. i see you answered while i was typing. thanks for the follow up


They aren’t crazy about walking on the wires, but the plants are very tasty treats. So the put up with it. They’ll group up there and pluck carefully. And eventually you can see what they like and don’t like by what’s left. Sometimes one bird will get lucky and pull off a long chunk and go running away with the prize, chased by the others. It’s somewhat entertaining.

I’ll do another over winter that just has mint varieties. That’s their favorite, and we use it for a lot of things.


we have vastly different relationship with yard birds, you and i…


Ha, I bet. On the other hand one of the young hens just revealed as a “he.” Tuesday morning there was a struggling, gargling call, and Wednesday morning was a full-throated cock-a-doodle-doo. Wednesday night he was in the stewpot with the dumplings. The neighbors’ patience is fairly limited.


See, that’s how you handle misogynists… :wink:


These are great. They remind me of Richard Diebenkorn in particular.


Seasoning is tricky though, given they’re so bitter…


I had enough grapes this year to make an attempt at using my wine press. My grapes are a hodgepodge of all types so I dont know what you’d call this blend. Probably wouldnt call it “good” anyway!

About 18 loose gallons of grapes yielding about four gallons of juice. I have no idea if that’s a good conversion. If it isn’t I “must” have made a mistake :smiley:


heehee! i see what you did there!
long time ago, my stepfather and i drove over to eastern washington (from seattle) to purchase a couple hundred pounds of wine grapes (pinot noir? i think). he borrowed a press like that from the wine club he was in. we crushed 'em up and left it to do the first stage ferment on the skins, for a deeper red.
anyway, we botched it and had many bottles of really bad wine that years of aging did not mellow at all!
may your blend be a fortunate vintage!


I eventuly got six gallons of juice with an OG of 1.062, which would be a really weak wine but in the range for a decent beer, so I’ve decided I’m going to make a grape beer.

I have some belgian yeast and czech saaz hops. The juice is pretty tart so hopefully the final result will come out tasting like a lambic.

I’m boiling it now to kill off anything that might be in there. With the tartness I wont have to add any bittering hops, so the saaz for flavor and aroma should be nice.


tart grape lambic!
that sounds delightful!


Progress! The starter motor works now. But, something’s still amiss.

TIL that Pine-Sol makes a great carb cleaner.


Any chance the crushed remains of those grapes end up as grappa?


We had a year like that with our dandelion wine. We called it our punishment wine. Every time we opened a bottle we would joke, “you deserve this! You know what you did!”
Ah, good times. :joy:


yikes! dandelion wine!
the mum tried to make that once.
i think we used it as paint remover.


We’ve had some really nice batches. That year we thought we knew better and got lazy and said, “do we really need to do all this wracking?”
(Narrator: you do.)

One of the tasting notes I recall was, “shrinks the tongue.”


My “grape beer” is bubbling away merrily. It isn’t terribly frothy in the fermenter but there isn’t any protein in the juice that would allow for head retention so not that surprising. Come to think of it this is gluten free!

Smells good so far. I think this may end up being a refreshing, end of summer drink. We’ll see.


Favorite oddball wines we’ve made are: beet, carob, elderberry california coffee berry port and a not completely awful apricot w/ candy cap mushroom dessert wine. I probably wouldn’t make that last one again, but it was ‘interesting’.
All of the above use frozen grape juice concentrate and or raisins to round out the body.
Never have tried dandelion though. Maybe someday…


Do you sterilize your coffee grounds before adding to the mushroom buckets?