Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Awesome videos

1 - BONES: Season 8 Episode 6 was kickass for a number of reasons; heartwrenching murder mystery, stories of 9/11, real character development. My favorite part though was this: intern Arastoo Vaziri (Pej Vahdat) relaying an interesting and awesome speech about separating 9/11 from the Muslim religion as a whole.

2 & 3 - Brave New Voices Slam Poetry: Spoken word amazingness! Call out that racism and shadeism.

White hipsters who care about animals more than other human beings? Fuck that shit.

Shadeism of the light skinned brown folk

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Notes from the garden: chicken raising

Hello, hello! Long time no write. There is much to write about with the garden, so I'm going to split up the posts by topic.

We got 4 chickens at my house in July. They're Isa Brown hybrid breed chickens, bred for egg laying. Each of the chickens had their own personality. The littlest chicken, whom I call Henrietta Lacks after the African American woman whose cancer cells became the first human cells to grow in-vitro, is the most curious and unafraid of people. The two alphas push everyone else out of their way to the food and occasionally like digging up the seedlings that I plant in the garden. The light colored one has the most distinctive personality - her name is Queen and she is by far the pickiest of the lot. She is last to emerge from the coop every morning, walking daintily on the board down while everyone else crashes out in search of food. When she eats sticky food like banana or apple, she'll wipe her beak against the ground or board. And she is always the least tempted by what I give her.

Chickens enjoying some food scraps

Within a week or two of arriving at their new coop, they started laying eggs of a lovely pink shade. It was really great to have fresh free range eggs on hand. Whatever you've heard about free range and organic food, trust me when I say that there's a HUGE difference between free range and non-free range eggs. Free range eggs are much yellower in color and firmer in shape, and when you cook up scrambled eggs, they actually fill you up.

Eggs, eggs, eggs!

Taking care of chickens is like taking care of any other pet. I wake up at 7:00am every morning because the chickens start making hungry noises and demand to be fed RIGHT THIS INSTANT. Sleepy eyed, I drag yourself out of bed to pour feed into their bowls and to watch them peck at their favorite seeds, leaving the ones they don't like at the bottom because of course every chicken has their favorite foods. After I've properly waken up and gotten breakfast, the chickens have finished eating what they will of the feed and start cooing for more food. So I go out to the garden again and start pulling some greens for them. Make sure to grab the broccoli leaves and not the comfrey, even though it's known as chicken fodder, because the ladies have a taste for vegetable leaves.

The chickens had early on associated the appearance of humans with food, so they always without fail run up to the fence and coo excessively anytime one of us returns home. I usually stop to wander through the garden and pull out some weeds to give to them to eat. Chickens also have a love of watermelon, bell pepper seeds, rice, bread, and chopped up garlic. Feeding them is a chore, but it's a fun chore (as opposed to cleaning up the coop, which is less than fun).

Chickens looking very hopefully for a sign of food

I've only had chickens for 5 months, but it's been a great experience to be a chicken farmer. Sadly, we have to give our chickens away because we're about to move house. But I'm looking forward to when I can own some land and start raising chickens again.

Goodbye, Queen! I'll miss you!