Archive for June, 2010

The Lesser Galangal

Posted in Edible Rhizomes with tags , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2010 by PickMeYard

Lesser galangal (Alpinia officinarum) is in the ginger family.  The rhizome is the part of the plant that is eaten, but it seems that it is mostly used for medicinal purposes.  Grayson and I harvested a piece of lesser galangal and greater galangal from our yard so we could do a taste test with them. 

That is lesser galangal on the left and greater galangal on the right.

Lesser Galangal.

Greater Galangal.

We chopped off the stem and roots.  Then we washed off the dirt and used a knife to lightly scrape off the outer peeling of the rhizome.  We cut both of the galangals in half and did our taste test.  Grayson’s (8-year-old) opinion is that the lesser galangal is appropriately named and I concur.  It didn’t have a tantalizing smell like most ginger.  It had a strong, medicinal smell and the taste was not appealing.  However, the greater galangal (Alpinia galanga) smelled sumptuous when we cut it open.  It smelled so good we had to taste it.  It’s flavor is sharp, but sweet.  Grayson says it’s spicier than regular ginger (Zingiber officinale).  I agree. 

Peeled and sliced greater galangal.

We added this beautiful piece of greater galangal to a pitcher of water and now it’s Grayson’s new favorite drink.  I promised him we would try our hand at making some “galangal beer”.  We’re going to use a ginger beer recipe but we’ll substitute the ginger with galangal.  My version of the recipe has more sugar and the galangal flavor won’t be overpowering.  I like my ginger beer to tickle my throat, not burn it. 

This is my mature greater galangal. It is approximately 13 feet high and in full bloom.

This is my lesser galangal plant. It is approximately 2 feet high.

In conclusion, we like the way the lesser galangal plant looks in our garden but we probably won’t bother to dig out the rhizomes.  The lesser galangal will always be our “lesser” choice. However, we absolutely adore the way the greater galangal looks in our yard.  This is edible landscaping at its finest.  We love the taste and we are planning many ways to enjoy our greater galangal at our family table. 

Come grow with us! 

The Garden of Forgetting

Posted in Inspiration with tags , , , on June 28, 2010 by PickMeYard

There is a thirsty road that winds

around the mountains waist and ends

in the Garden of Forgetting; there,

yesterday, today and tomorrow grows,

and the night-blooming cereus stays

awake until the day unfolds,

and time passes in a dream of light.

There the bottlebrush sweeps the earth,

its red prickle weeping

to the silence of terraced stone,

the sky with its tongues of flame.

But there is one tree (no one knows its name)

whose uncertain tendrils find

their way through snowy branches

of euphorbia; and now

yesterday, today and tomorrow weeps

in the Garden of Forgetting,

in fading light.

This poem was written by Gwyneth Barber Wood from Kingston, Jamaica.  It was  published in her book of poems, “The Garden of Forgetting”.  Her work used to appear regularly in the literary section of the Jamaican Observer.  In 2001 she was awarded a Fellowship by the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. 

Gwen is a dear friend who is now gone from this world but not forgotten.  I wanted to share this beautiful poem of hers with you in her memory.

That's Gwen looking back at the camera and smiling.

Life is so busy.  Slow down once in awhile and smell the flowers. Life is a gift, enjoy the present.

Come grow with us!

Turmeric… A Food for Everyone

Posted in Edible Rhizomes with tags , , , , , , on June 25, 2010 by PickMeYard

Turmeric is a  food that heals.  It has great medicinal value.  So why isn’t it a part of our everyday cuisine in America? I wish it were.  I have been taking steps to make it a part of our everyday meals. 

Turmeric Rhizome.

Turmeric is the rhizome of the Curcuma longa plant.  It’s in the ginger family and I grew some just like I did with the ginger rhizomes.  I purchased my turmeric rhizomes at a health food store in the produce section (right next to the ginger).  I put the rhizomes in a big pot and lightly covered them with soil.  Then I waited patiently.  It took awhile for them to grow but it was worth the wait.  The plant is absolutely lovely.

This is my turmeric growing in a pot. I think I planted this around March, but I didn't take note of my planting date.

This is turmeric that I planted in the ground two years ago. It goes dormant in the winter and comes back beautifully in the summer.

Turmeric  is a warm and humid weather plant.  It goes dormant in the winter in my zone 9b in Southwest Florida.  My turmeric survived an extremely harsh Florida winter this past year, which surpised me.  It is generally harvested on an annual basis after about 9 months of growing.   Extra rhizome is usually saved to continue growing more.  I have turmeric growing in two places in my yard and both are in full sun, but get some shade from other plants.  They are healthy and happy. 

After turmeric is harvested,  it is boiled, dried and ground up into a powder.  When the rhizome is peeled (it has a very thin skin) it has a deep orange color to it.  The main substance in turmeric is Curcumin and this is also what gives it the orange color.

Fresh turmeric.

More fresh sliced turmeric.

When fresh turmeric is sliced open, it will stain your fingers and it’s not easy to remove.  It will also stain your teeth.   I like to slice a small piece off and put it in the blender with milk and honey… my own special turmeric milkshake.  My husband and I both love it this way.   It’s quick, easy, tastes great and doesn’t stain our teeth. 

Turmeric is touted as a powerful anti-inflammatory as well as a powerful antioxidant.  It is also considered a cancer fighting food.  I have heard many times over the years that it doesn’t take much of it to provide extraordinary benefits.  A lunch of curried vegetables would suffice.  Everything in moderation.  To read more about the health benefits of turmeric and it’s side effects, click here.

 The list of health benefits from consuming turmeric is long.  So are the delicious ways to include it in your meals.  Turmeric is good stuff!

Curcuma longa. The leaves can be used to wrap foods in for cooking. (The plant on the bottom left is a frangipani and the bottom right is a hibiscus).

Don’t let your bottle of ground turmeric be forgotten in your spice drawer.  Does yours have dust on the cap?  Blow the dust off and add a couple of pinches to some plain yogurt with a little honey and cinnamon and start enjoying the awesome benefits.  I really enjoy the taste of  fresh turmeric so I like to grow my own.  It feels great to have it whenever I feel for it and all I have to do is stick a knife in the soil and cut a little piece off.  It’s so easy.  I’ve also heard that it deters ants in the garden too. 

Come grow with us!


Posted in Meet our Family with tags , , , on June 22, 2010 by PickMeYard

I try to post a blog at least three days a week, but some weeks are tough.  It is especially difficult when we have new additions to the family that are this adorable.  

This is Chloe... she was born a few days ago.

This is Mary. She's the older of the two... by a week.

We’re taking turns bottle feeding the kids.  We’re using a nipple that we bought from Tractor Supply made for feeding baby goats.  The nipples easily screw onto a Dasani water bottle that we fill with a powdered formula made for kids.  We’re using KidMilk made by MannaPro and mixing it with cow’s milk.  They’re really easy to feed.  We purchased the doelings from the Alva Island Family Farm.

A couple of people have asked me if I feel bad for taking them away from their mothers.  My answer is that they will be much better pets because we’re raising them.  They’ve been eating, sleeping and playing non-stop with my children.  If they had the choice to go back to their mothers, I think they’d choose to stay with us.

They're sleeping in a playpen.

Chloe... a baby Nigerian dwarf dairy goat.


Female Nigerian dwarf goats only reach about 17-19″ in height at maturity.  We don’t have a huge yard, but we have three acres and can certainly accommodate two dwarf dairy goats.  We’re really looking forward to learning all about them.  It’s going to be an awesome journey. 

Come grow with us!

Alva Island Family Farm

Posted in Inspiration with tags , , , , , , , on June 17, 2010 by PickMeYard

It’s not every day that we get to visit a family farm on an island… their very own island.  It was such a treat for us.

They even have their own island taxi.

The Caloosahatchee River in Southwest Florida.

This is the taxi for the other occupants on the island... goats.

The family raises honeybees and goats on the island farm.  They have honey and goats to sell most of the year. 

Southwest Florida honeybees on Alva Island.

This is where we’re getting the latest additions to our family… two baby Nigerian dwarf goats.  Only one has been born and we’re still waiting on the other one. 

The Nigerian dwarf goat is a liliputian dairy goat.  The females (does) only reach 17″-19″ in height and the males (bucks) only reach up to 21″ when they’re fully grown.  That’s only up to our knees.  They do get wide though, especially when pregnant.  This special and rare breed has been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a livestock dairy goat, which makes them eligible for our 4-H projects.  Both my kids want to show their goats in 4-H.  I’m sure my 3-year-old will knock their socks off with her husbandry skills in the pee-wee division.  Nigerian dwarf goats can produce a lot of milk for their size… up to 2 quarts per day.  Their milk is known to be higher in butterfat than other goat breeds and taste sweeter.  These goats are gentle, lovable and playful with the sweetest personalities. 

Entrance to Alva Island.

I love hammocks. I dream of them. One of these days I will have to time to get one of my own and actually use it.

A swing on Alva Island.

... and a see-saw,

... and lots of trees to climb,

... and the baby Nigerian Dwarf goats.

She was determined to keep this one.

This one is ours. Do we have time for this? No. Are we going to make time? Oh yeah!

She's a doeling with blue eyes.

The Nigerian dwarf goat nursery on the Alva Island Family Farm.

They have a vegetable garden as well. This is the entrance.

The island still has all of its native Florida landscaping which makes it incredibly beautiful.

Hog plums are all over the island. Click on the picture for information on hog plums.

They have pineapples growing everywhere too.

This is a huge passion fruit vine that went to the top of this tree! There are hundreds of passion fruit all over the ground. The kids were throwing them like baseballs.

Ripe passion fruit are delicious!

If you would like to see how they got their goats onto the island, check out their website at

Come grow with us!

The Lemonade Experience

Posted in Edible Flowers, edible leaves with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 16, 2010 by PickMeYard

We had a blast with our lemonade experience.  Since everybody has different likes and dislikes when it comes to flavors, we wanted to do a little experiment.  Grayson and a group of his friends decided to pick a bunch of different leaves and flowers from our yard and add them to homemade lemonade to see which ones tasted the best.  They gathered lemon verbena, Chinese mint, provence lavender, roses, jasmine, moujean tea leaves (Nashia inaguensis), kaffir lime leaves, lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), rosemary, basil, and stevia. 

We boiled some water with brown sugar to make a sugar syrup to add as our sweetener.  Then we lined up a bunch of glasses of water with freshly juiced lemon or lime.  The kids decided which herbs and flowers to combine.   To get our flavors, we heated a little water in a pot and briefly added the herbs to make an infusion.  (The herbs would usually be left in the pot for 10 minutes with a cover to make an infusion, but we got plenty of flavor by infusing them briefly.)  We then strained the flavored water into our glasses of lemon water and sugar.  

This is a bowl of some of the flowers and leaves we used to make our flavored lemonades.

We sliced open a bourbon vanilla pod and scraped out the seeds to use in some of our homemade recipes.

We used organic brown sugar, lemons and limes in our lemonade/limeade drinks.

The kids picked some meyer lemons from the yard to see if they might make a better tasting lemonade.

Meyer lemons picked from our yard.

Almost all of the concoctions turned out tasting really great and “kid approved”.  The tasting panel consisted of two 8-year-olds,  a 13-year-old, a 10-year old and a toddler.  However, the basil lemonade did not please everybody.  One of them said it was actually “disgusting” and one said it had an unpleasant after-taste.  Grayson said he really liked it.

The moujean tea leaves, vanilla seed and Luzianne tea bag lemonade made an awesome "tea-monade".

All the kid tasters loved the Chinese mint lemonade.  It was extremely refreshing because it seemed to have more menthol than the spearmint I usually use. 

The edible jasmine and rose petals made a really unique and pleasant floral tasting lemonade.

The kids said they didn’t like the jasmine and rose petal lemonade, they loved it.  I made sure they understood that the jasmines are the edible variety (maid of Orleans and Grand Duke of Tuscany Jasminum sambac).  There are many varieties of jasmine that are poisonous.  I also explained to them that most roses are sprayed with a ton of insecticides and fungicides.  I don’t spray my roses with anything, therefore they are edible for us.

The lavender lemonade and the rosemary lemonade were nice.  The kaffir lime leaf limeade was also good. 

Some of the testers.

The lemon balm lemonade was outstanding and was the winner by a landslide.  Not a single one of us had any intestinal distress of any sort and we all slept like babies.  This was a fun time and we all want to do it again… next time with iced-tea.  

Come grow with us!

Passiflora, A fruit with Passion: Part I

Posted in Fruits of our labor, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on June 15, 2010 by PickMeYard

Our passion fruit vine last year.


Our passion fruit vine this year.

Passion fruit is an exquisite fruit.  When the fruit is ripe, I just cut it open and scoop out the seeds and pulp with a spoon and eat it all.  Some people don’t like the seeds and go to great lengths to separate them from the pulp.  We really like the seeds. 

The pulp and seeds are so yummy when they're blended into a milkshake.

There are many different varieties of the passion vine (Passiflora).  The variety in the above picture is called “bounty” because it gives a bounty of fruit.  We could barely contain our excitement when we finally had a ripe fruit to taste off our vine.  It was deliciously tart with a hint of a floral flavor. 

This bud will open into a passion flower.

This passion flower will close and a fruit will form. The flower has a lovely smell.


The passion flower closes and the fruit will soon form.


This is my husband's big hand holding a passion fruit. I'm just sayin'... that's a big passion fruit.


This fruit is in a much smaller hand.


When the passion fruit is ripe, it will turn purplish and will wrinkle up.


It's delicious!


There is so much to learn about the gorgeous Passiflora.  It comes in so many varieties.  We’re growing many different kinds of our own and can’t wait to see what they turn into.  

Did you know that the passion fruit acts like a sedative?  We always sleep well after we scoop it onto our vanilla ice cream before bed.  We’ve got lots more to share with you on this amazing plant.  Check back with us for part II on the Passiflora

Come grow with us! 

The Extension System

Posted in Solutions with tags , , , , , , , on June 12, 2010 by PickMeYard

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Cooperative Extension System is a reliable place to get information about plants and soil for your local area.  The “extension” is a partnership between State, federal and county governments to provide scientific knowledge and know-how to the public.

Grayson and I spend quite a lot of time at our local extension agency because this is where we attend our local  beekeeping meetings.  We recently joined the Caloosa Rare Fruit Exchange Club   which also has their meetings at the agency.  We are delighted when we run into our favorite extension agent  (Roy Beckford) because his sense of humor always makes us smile… and he always finds the answers to our questions.

This is Grayson at our local cooperative extension agency, UF/IFAS. Grayson is standing in their fabulous butterfly garden.

Our local extension agency is called the University of Florida IFAS Extension.   IFAS stands for Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.  They have a ton of programs geared toward teaching individuals and families.  They offer classes,  seminars,  workshops, field days and tons of other stuff.  I’ve been trying to get into their “small farm day” tour where they all ride around in a comfy bus and visit great little farms.  It’s always full before I can secure a spot.   IFAS has a great website for small farmers at

Grayson and I are going to attend the “Goat Production and Health Seminar” at the UF/IFAS Extension Office this weekend.  There is always something happening there.  Check out their calender of events.

We love the UF/IFAS butterfly garden. We always check to see what is new.

Grayson is checking out their "Butterflies of Lee County" sign.

Kids can get involved with the Florida 4-H Youth Development Program with the UF/IFAS extension.   This program is designed to teach children (ages 5-18) life skills with hands-on projects.  They learn with the guidance of trained volunteers.  Grayson is hoping to show a goat in 4-H this year.  Each county offers different clubs that children can join inside the 4-H program.  Our county even offered a sewing and game playing group last year. 

The UF/IFAS office provides programs to teach a wide array of topics.  They offer resources and solutions for everything from selecting the right crop for your area to money management.   UF/IFAS can be found at Solutions For Your  Their website has an incredible amount of information.  Each of Florida’s sixty-seven counties has an IFAS office.    This is also where the Master Gardener Program  is offered. 

Grayson is sitting on the bench at our local UF/IFAS office with his notebook. He's taking some notes on the butterfly plants.

No matter where you’re located in the United States, a local Extension Agency  is probably nearby.   They are a valuable resource… use them.

Come grow with us!

How you feeeeling… hot, hot, hot!

Posted in Gardening Experiments with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 9, 2010 by PickMeYard

Most of the United States planted all their vegetable crops in the spring.  We’re different in Florida.  We do most of our cool weather vegetable planting in late September or October.  I don’t even look at the “suggested planting times” on the back of seed packets anymore.  I have just learned what to grown in Florida and when.  It’s definitely not an exact science. 

In late September I usually plant carrots, onions, turnips, strawberries, tomatoes, brussel sprouts, cabbage, corn, collards and lettuce.  Most of these won’t grow well in the heat of a Florida summer… except the collards.  Collard greens do grow in the summer but they taste much better when they’re grown in the winter and the frost makes them taste even better.  Carrots will grow, but the heat makes them taste horribly bitter and yucky.  Tomatoes will grow too, but the heat prevents the fruit from setting.  Cherry tomatoes are an exception and can sometimes take the heat.  Lettuce is a cool weather crop that will bolt in the heat.  “Bolting” is when the lettuce sends out a shoot that goes to seed.  When a plant “bolts” it usually makes the leaves unpalatable.

Herbs usually have a hard time surviving the heat in a Florida summer.  If they’re grown in pots they can be moved into the shade. I keep my pelargoniums alive in the summer by moving them into the shade.  Rosemary doesn’t mind the heat.  Lemon balm, lemongrass and  cuban oregano thrive.  I was glad to see my thyme made it through last summer without a problem.  My new favorite is provence lavender.  I have finally found a lavender that thrives in humidity.  I’m going to plants lots more of this.

Provence lavender in a Florida summer (June).

Provence lavender flowers that thrive in humidity and tolerate heat.

The African basil is thriving in the heat and the bees love it.

Lemongrass. I had cut it way back in March and it's full again.

Our summer herb bed.

Summer herbs in pots.

In the summer time in Florida  we need to grow crops that can survive  the heat and humidity.  The problem with summer is the army of insects that usually arrive.  We’ve learned to tolerate them and we always figure out new ways to fight back without using pesticides.  Our favorite summertime crops are callaloo, peppers, eggplants, okra, black-eyed peas, sweet potatoes, ginger, turmeric, chives, collards, cucumbers, watermelons, sugar cane, water chestnuts, sunflowers, malabar spinach and passion fruit.  There are so many different varieties of these.  We love the white eggplants and all the interesting kinds of peppers and watermelons.  This summer we’re also growing cassava, malanga, different kinds of peppers, tomatillos  and pigeon peas. 

A young callaloo plant.

A large vegetable amaranth.

A cassava plant.

Bitter melon growing in a pot.

Dried black-eyed peas on the bush.

The top one is a fresh black-eyed pea "snap" and the bottom ones are dried black-eyed peas. Both make a delicious meal!

Young pigeon pea plant in a pot.

Large pigeon pea plant in a pot.

Flowering pigeon peas.

A scotch bonnet plant with a flower. Scotch bonnet is a very flavorful and hot pepper. I cut off just a sliver and cook it with my food. It adds delicious flavor and just enough heat.

We’ve let the chickens loose around the yard for the summer and they are enjoying themselves immensely.  They’re helping with the bug population and are able to find cool places to wait out the afternoon heat.  They’re also taking a break from the egg laying which is necessary for them.  

This is our little bantam hen. Her name is "Sweet Pea" and she is hard at work foraging in the peas.

One of our floofy-headed chickens is chillin' under the rosemary bush.

My dad set up a hydroponic garden inside his screened-in lanai last summer.  It gets full sun but the screen provides some protection.   The bees can’t reach his plants but he still got some gorgeous vegetables in the middle of summer.  He also has a hydroponic garden set up outside the lanai.  His garden changes constantly just like ours.  It looks  completely different every time we see it.

My father's hydroponic garden inside his screeened-in porch.

More of his inside hydroponic garden.

His newly planted hydroponic garden outside of his screened-in area.

When the gardening experts tell me it can’t be done, I usually try anyway.  Sometimes I’m successful and sometimes I’m not.  Since I’m a backyard gardener and not a commercial grower, I have little risk in losing a crop or two. 

The beauty of Florida is that we can grow food all year round. 

Come grow with us!

A Secret Outback

Posted in Inspiration with tags , , , , , , on June 7, 2010 by PickMeYard

Every child deserves their very own fort in the woods, but not every child is so fortunate.  However, we know two little sisters that are very fortunate to have such a fort…  in a small paradise in their backyard.  The girls have a beautiful little forest of Australian pines (Casuarina equisetifolia) that they have turned into their own private space.  They proudly refer to it as their “Australia”.

Australian pines "out back" in a Florida yard.

The entrance to "Australia". It has lots of paths throughout.

This is the view when you look up. These trees reach up to 80 feet... maybe higher.

These woods may look a little spooky, but they are very friendly.

Lots of friendly faces.

There is something magical and fun in every nook and cranny in these woods.

I think every child dreams of having a secret place like this.

This is the children's arts & crafts area.

Supplies for making things.

I love this. They glued pieces of mirror onto wooden blocks and hung them from twine. When the light hits them, they leave dancing prisms of light all over the woods.

The pines make a soft noise that sound like somebody is whispering around you. These bells blend into the background and add even more magic.

This old Ford pickup is scenic. The cab is used for dry storage.

There is also a bathtub with a plumbed-in drain. The bottom is painted gold and the girls are going to decorate it with all sorts of sparkly things.

There's a table and bench behind the tub.

There are "screens" of hanging moss everywhere. It breaks the forest up into rooms.

How great is this?

There is so much for kids to do in this secret land.  They have a dry erase board hanging on a tree where they keep track of their snacks.  There are several adorable wooden benches and shelving all over.  If you look up, you see all kinds of clever things.  My favorite is a plastic bat that hangs from a fishing line over a hammock chair.  It definitely made me look twice.  There is a wooden bucket that hangs from a long piece of twine and is looped over several branches so that it can be raised and lowered.  It is tied to a tree to keep it steady when it’s not in use.  Their goal is to keep the forest looking like a forest and they want everything they add to look like it belongs.  If something stands out too much, it probably won’t stay in there for long.  It would take many visits to notice everything.

One of the exits... if you ever want to leave.

This wonderful setting reminds me how much children love to have a secret place to call their own.  I still remember mine.  I am really inspired to help my kids build one for themselves.  I have a feeling Grayson will go for a treehouse with edible landscaping at the bottom and probably a passion vine or two trailing up.

Come grow with us!

A Stinky Situation

Posted in Chickens, Solutions with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 3, 2010 by PickMeYard

We have been adding and removing plants from our garden every week.  The sunflowers grow tall and then need to be pulled and thrown into the compost pile… along with the old flowers and herbs.  Florida summers are hard on some plants and new plantings usually take the place of the old ones.  This summer we’ve mostly planted black-eyed peas, okra and callaloo.  They grow well in our hot Florida summers and we enjoy them on our dinner plates. 

A row of black-eyed peas. I've planted them all over the garden. They fix the nitrogen in the soil and are a great plant for Florida's extreme summer.

Black-eyed peas.

Giant sunflowers.

We painted the chicken tractor the same color as our house. The kids had a blast painting it...for about 30 minutes. A little help is better than none at all.

The stinky situation is not our compost pile though.  It’s the brown marmonated stink bugs that have shown up.  I kept noticing them on our young watermelon, squash and cucumber plants.  I sprayed them with a poison which made Grayson frown at me.  I used the insecticide against my better judgement, but I wanted to see these bugs disappear off my young plants.  The bugs just laughed at me and increased their numbers.

We decided we needed to figure out a better way to rid our garden of these pests.  Grayson put a specimen in a jar for us to study.  Our conclusion is that it is indeed the brown marmonated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) that has come over to the U.S. from Asia.  It is an invasive pest that was discovered to have made its way into the U.S. in 2001 and is spreading throughout the states.  It sucks the life out of many trees, fruits, and vegetables and is extremely difficult to eradicate. 
We are taking our specimen to our local Florida County Cooperative Extension Service Office  for a positive identification.  I am really hoping that I have it confused with another bug.   I’ll update you on the results.
Grayson and I recently bought twelve little chicks from a friend.  Nine of the birds are Cuckoo Maran chickens that lay dark chocolate eggs.  Three of the chicks are guinea fowl (babies are called “keets”).  We added the three little guinea fowl to the mix but did not tell my husband.  Nine of the chicks are black and white and three of the chicks (guineas) look remarkably different with stripes all over them.

Baby Cuckoo Maran chicken and guinea fowl.

My husband kept commenting that he couldn’t believe how different in color three of the chicks were.  Grayson and I couldn’t keep the secret and eventually told him that we secretly slid 3 guinea fowl in the box.  He said we were crafty and that they would never work out because they’re loud, boisterous and like to fly.  I said they will work out because they’re vocal, entertaining and I want them.  So there. 

Guinea Fowl. I think they're adorable...and they have yummy eggs with a very hard shell.

A great website with information about guineas is   Did you know that guineas can completely rid a yard of ticks? That means there is a much lower risk of getting lyme disease.  They also eat fleas, lice, cutworms, spiders, roaches, termites, grubs, snails, mosquitos and… stink bugs!  They eats thousands of insects in a day.  They might just be our solution.  They also enjoy eating bees, but I’ll figure that one out later.  For now, I am most inclined to get rid of all the bad bugs.
Come grow with us!