Tag Archives: Heritage Livestock

Knight of the Realm

Buff Orpington“Chickens bond with each other, just as people do.”

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While feeding the chickens, I enter a separate pen to check on the baby cockerels. They’re big boys, now—not babies. Each day I study them closely, mentally measuring their bulk against the openings in the chain-link of the main chicken coop.

I grab the closest guy. “Are you too big to slip through the mesh? I’d hate to lose you.”

We exit the small pen together, and the gate closes behind me. Then I put him on the ground inside the main coop.

The cockerel immediately tries to get back into the enclosure with his brothers, pacing back and forth testing the wire fence. His siblings do the same dance on the other side, trying to get to him. They want to be together. Continue reading Knight of the Realm

“Look…baby chicks!”

Mother and chicksI must have talked to about 800 children today at a fair at Garden Lakes Elementary School in Avondale. All of their faces beamed with joy at the fluffy bundles in the cage.

I told them the story, “A mother hen laid one egg each day until the nest was full. Then she just sat on them for three weeks. The weather was very cold, but she didn’t move. Finally the babies hatched! But the nights were still cold. So the hen gathered them under her feathered arms and snuggled them all night.”

“Where is the mom?” they wanted to know. Continue reading “Look…baby chicks!”

I was enchanted! Can you tell?

Donna with Jim and TiffanyDonna Hamill pictured with husband Jim and daughter Tiffany.

 

The awesome speaker (not pictured) was Dr. Gary Paul Nabhan.

The internationally-renown author spoke on January 12 to a group of beginning farmers about the challenges and opportunities for producers growing for local markets. The mixer was presented in association with the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Maricopa County, Master Farmers Program.

I was pleasantly surprised when the world-famous Gary Paul sat at our table briefly to sign my books (three of my least-tattered copies). I will treasure that moment forever! Continue reading I was enchanted! Can you tell?

Gnome’s Heirloom Garden enters a new year with some surprises!

Harvested with stemsBeing a brand-new website, I expected the readership of GHG to be almost exclusively local. What a wonderful surprise this morning when I receive the 2014 site summary from WordPress.com documenting the countries of origin for the site’s audience.

That’s 48 countries in all!
Most visitors came from The United States. Brazil & Italy were not far behind.

Wow! Thank you all for joining my family (and Gnome) in our humble Arizona garden. Of course, the real star is our rare onion friend, the Tohono O’odham I’itoi. It is he who drew the most visitors-and that’s exactly how it should be.

Read more about Tohono O’odham I’itoi multiplying onions.

ANNOUNCING! Baskets for Butterflies in Kindle edition!

Can a garden gnome really come to life to help me?
Can a garden gnome really come to life to help me?

Buy Baskets for Butterflies,
Kindle edition ($3.99)
http://amzn.com/B00OSER3PO

(Paperback coming in several weeks.)

And I have a wonderful surprise! My book is a contestant for a local literary award called ONEBOOKAZ. Winners will be revealed in March.

Coordinated by the Arizona State Library, the goals of ONEBOOKAZ is to “celebrate literature, foster a sense of community, support Arizona authors, and enhance digital literacy skills.” They do this by selecting one book in each age category and encouraging readers across the state to read the same book at the same time. Baskets for Butterflies competes in the ‘adult’ category along with some other great literature. Please cross your fingers because winning this award could educate Arizonans about heirloom seeds—to help keep these treasures from slipping into the ‘Darkness’ that my little garden gnome and I both fear. (http://www.onebookaz.org)

I want to thank Ken Johnson (www.YourEbookBuilder.com) who did so much more than program electronic files. He worked like the dickens to meet a tight submission deadline for ONEBOOKAZ. He acted as mentor, educating me regarding self-publishing activities, including the marketing complexities of ‘keywords.’ (Thank you.)

I also want to thank the wonderful person who provided my first review. As an author, the most meaningful encouragement I can receive is to hear that someone ‘got what I was trying to say.’ As you folks read the book, please remember to leave a review. (Thank you.)

This is so exciting!