One of the pleasures of the BORP fundraising ride, quite separate from participating in such a wonderful event, is the pleasure of being in wine country at harvest time. The air smells of grapes, and we cyclists share the roads with farm trucks.
This year, I could not resist the urge to glean. I picked fallen fruit from the roadways and parking lots.
Our hens just adore grapes, so I brought these windfall fruits home to Oakland. Few things are funnier than watching a chubby chicken leap straight into the air for a grape. Isabella seems to have springs in her chickenlegs, and quite a jumper, when grapes are involved.
The large yellow fruit is a quince, that I shamelessly grabbed out of the gutter as we cycled through Geyserville. Quince (quinces?) are one of those strange seasonal fruit that need special care. Typically they are allowed to "blet" or soften off the tree, much like many varieties of persimmons.
I think I'll poach this fruit, since that's how I obtained it in the first place.
I think I forgot to mention that all of our chickens have reached puberty and are laying eggs. Lydia, or strange little bird was the last to mature. She was the tiniest of our chicks, but the first to feather out. She's such an odd bird. She and Isabella lay lovely green eggs, that are impossible to tell apart. Some days, we get two green eggs, but lately, we've only gotten one. Who was laying was a bit of a mystery.
Harriet, who lays darker brown eggs seems to have stopped laying. She's perfectly spry, so perhaps she's responding to the shortening days. We've searched our tiny yard and have not found any hidden egg caches.
When Robb and I came home from Wine Country, we spent a little extra time with the chickens. We fed them loads of grapes, and chased them out of the vegetable garden, where they were determined to destroy our cabbages.
And for some reason, I thought to check the darkest corner of the hen house, at the base of the nest boxes.
And what did I find?
A lovely little nest, filled with beautiful green eggs. Our peculiar little Lydia, who as a chick sought solace by shoving her face into the corner of her brooder box, must have decided that the nest boxes were not to her liking.
What an odd bird she is.
(If you're interested in reading what other folks are harvesting, check out Daphne's blog.)