Geese, Gardening, & Guacamole

There is nothing like springtime on a farm.  The grass is green, birds are chirping, critters are running around, and everyone is in a pleasant mood.  Everyone but Jack.  He is downright cranky.  Jack is our male Toulouse goose.  And Jill (his partner in crime) has been busy laying eggs and now has a clutch of 12.  Jack is a very good protector of Jill.  He doesn’t let anyone or anything near her.  He seems to really butt heads with Todd and Nik.  He starts hissing, flapping, and nipping.  He gives us girls a little break.  At least he has manners.  I just wish Jill was doing her job.  She has a nice nest going but hasn’t quite gotten the idea to stay on it yet. Toulous Geese grazing in garden She goes in periodically throughout the day to check on it, but prefers to spend her time in the garden eating the grass.  I think I’m going to mark each of the eggs with a crayon so we can see if she is turning them or if they are being left to rot.  Our Canadian Mama goose in the pond is glued to her nest.  I wonder if we can sneak a few of our eggs under her?  Any ideas on making a goose tend to her eggs?

The boys have been busy getting the garden ready.  They fenced in the area where the garden will be (a 100’ by 60’ area!) Building a fence around the garden and we are letting the ducks and chicken and geese go in there to start clearing out the grass and weeds while at the same time they are fertilizing it.  My husband is a genius – it was all his idea.  This way we don’t need any chemicals to get rid of the weeds and it’s less work for us.  The animals love it too – lots of extra greens and bugs.  We dumped a large pile of compost in there and pretty soon we will till it all up.  Nik has been doing research to figure out what plants we are growing this year.  I would be out there tossing seeds here and there but he is diligent.  Only three types of beans because otherwise they will cross and we won’t be able to save the seeds for future years.  You have to watch planting different squashes together.  Whew!  Who knew gardening was so complicated?!  Needless to say, we will be able to enjoy lots of veggies this summer, preserve what we can for the winter, and save the seeds for next year.

I wish we could grow avocados around here.  We have been going crazy on avocado dip lately.  So simple to make and soooo good for you!  My favorite way to eat it is with black bean chips.  Yummy!  Avocados are fairly inexpensive and a little bit goes a long way.easy avocado dipEasy Avocado Dip

  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 ripe avocados, halved, seeded, and peeled
  • 1 cup fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp shredded lime peel
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt

In food processor, combine all ingredients and process until desired consistency.  Serve as is or chill.  Store avocado pits in the dip to help prevent browning.

The avocado dip is also good as a mini-pizza snack.  I spread the dip on a rice cake and top with sliced olives.  Tadaa!  A quick, healthy, and easy snack that even kids will eat.