Duckies’ Big Day Out

May 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

A few weeks ago, we drove to the post office to pick up a tiny box  filled with our new babes. We now have eleven thriving Indian Runner ducks. 
They started off inside our house to stay warm and then graduated to a sweet little house Shaun made for them on the back porch. They will be here for another week or so, but in the mean time we need to get them slowly acclimated to their future home {the garden} and our flock of five full grown Blue Swedish ducks. The garden is a bit of a walk from our woodland abode so we decided to load them in the wagon and take a field trip…
Our daughter helped push her ‘duckies’ the whole way. It was quite the effort on her part and she was very determined and attuned to what the duckies where up to. 

When we made it to the garden, we took them out and waited to see what they would do. Being their first time out in the big world, naturally they stuck by each other and didn’t explore much. We sat with them for about an hour and watched them slowly grow curious about their new surroundings and started looking for bugs to eat in the oregano of our herb spiral. 

Here they are a little more relaxed with their ‘papa’ next to them. They’ve really taken to Shaun…they start talking and come to the gate of their house when they can hear his voice and they follow him when they are out. It’s really adorable.

We’ve had our Blue Swedish ducks for about a year, and they aren’t sure about this whole thing. They stayed just on the other side of the herb spiral and were on alert most of the time. We have one duck that is really maternal and we’re curious to see if she’ll adopt the babes.

Our Blue Swedish ducks that we’ve had for about a year aren’t sure about this whole thing. They stayed just on the other side of the herb spiral and were on alert most of the time. We have one duck that is really maternal and we’re curious to see if she’ll adopt the babes.

I’m mean, really? Is there anything cuter? 

After a while, we loaded them back into the wagon and headed home to make supper. We’ll continue to take them to the garden with us for the next week or so. 
We’ve read the Indian Runners are somewhat of herders. Meaning, they’ll follow a flag on a pole and will stay within site of the flag out in the field. We’ve noticed they are really responsive to the color green and we’re bringing some green fabric with us each time we have them out. As they get more comfortable with the process of traveling, we’ll play with making a flag to follow and eventually walk them from the house to the garden without the wagon. 

In ideal permaculture zoning, it would serve us better to be closer to the garden, so we’d spend less time traveling back at forth. But we also need the duckies close to us while they are still young, vulnerable, and needing lots of attention.  So, we are making the best of what we’ve got and making the trip one of our daily chores that our toddler loves to participate in. We’ve loved watching these little duckies grow!

April 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

Here’s my favorite duck egg that we dyed for Easter. {You can click on it to make it bigger.} It looks a lot like mama earth to me and it jump started my desire to learn to dye again. Our intention for Easter was to dye our duck eggs naturally. We spent the morning gathering plants from the woods and garden and boiled them in pots, watching them to see what colors would emerge. After a few hours, nothing was happening and we started to get discouraged. I realized I want to read more about this art of dying with plants. So here’s the book I’m getting myself as a late birthday present. The Handbook of Natural Plant Dyes.

This book will fuel my dying projects in a few ways….

For Christmas I was given money to spend on amazing hand-dyed hemp fabric to make a new wardrobe with. Well, I waited too long to use it and the amazing artist whose fabric I had been drooling over for months, closed her shop. In my search for something similarly inspiring, I haven’t found anything I like. So I think I’ll use the money to buy some un-dyed hemp fabric and create my own colors, and then use the fabric I create to inspire the pieces I will sew.

I also intend to grow as many of the plants as we can. I spent all day yesterday starting flower seeds in our greenhouse. We plant according to a Biodynamic calendar which uses the planetary and star alignments to determine the most ideal times to plant things in four categories; roots, flowers, leaves, and fruits. So as we sow our seeds for food, fiber and fun I’ll share our journey.

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