Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Over the Counter #339
First up is Happy Hens and Fresh Eggs: Keeping Chickens in the Kitchen Garden, with 100 Recipes by Signe Langford.
From the publisher, Douglas and McIntyre:
"Today’s renaissance of the backyard flock is driven by a growing desire for healthy organic ingredients, food security and animal welfare—and while hunger might be “the best sauce,” a dash of self-sufficiency is remarkably satisfying too. As communities from Victoria to St. John’s amend urban bylaws to allow backyard flocks, more and more Canadians are enjoying the pleasures and rewards of keeping hens in the garden.
In addition to tending her family’s flock as a child, Signe Langford has kept chickens in her urban Toronto yard for almost a decade. Her book is stuffed full of practical advice on keeping the garden both gorgeous and productive and hens happy and healthy. In addition to answering questions about coop construction, year-round egg production and whether or not a rooster is really needed, she covers the best breeds for backyards—from the Canadian winter-tough Chantecler to peewee bantams to blue-egg producing Ameraucana.
A self-admitted “biomass addict,” Langford explains how hens are the happiest garden helpers anyone could ever have. Give them kitchen scraps and let them visit the compost pile: they’ll enrich and aerate the soil, all while eating as many bugs as they can get their beaks on. Langford also shares what plants should be scratched and what to sow to support the flock—from edible flowers and foliage to a hens’ herbal healing bed.
From Egg Yolk Won Ton Soup to Vanilla Coeur a la Crème with Blueberry Compote, Langford includes dozens of simple and elegant recipes from her own kitchen, as well as from celebrated contributors such as Vikram Vij, Laura Calder, Ted Reader, Roger Mooking and John Higgins.
Illustrated with beautiful photographs, illustrations and garden plans, Happy Hens & Fresh Eggs is sure to become a favourite of avid and aspiring backyard farmers alike."
Gardening with Chickens: Plants and Plans for You and Your Hens by Lisa Steele.
From the publisher, Voyageur Press:
"Welcome to a world where chickens and gardens coexist!
Join Lisa Steele, chicken-keeper extraordinaire and founder of Fresh Eggs Daily, on a unique journey through the garden. Start by planning your garden and learning strategies and tips for keeping your plants safe while they grow. Plant with purpose, choosing from a dozen plans for theme gardens such as Orange Egg Yolks or Nesting Box Herbs. Or choose a design that's filled with edibles - sharing the bounty with your family and your feathered friends. Then comes the fun part: enjoy the harvest, even let the chickens graze!
Lisa's friendly writing, together with inspirational photos and illustrations, will have you rolling up your sleeves and reaching for your gardening tools. Lisa also covers a range of topics just for chicken-keepers, including:
Chickens and composting. Using chickens to aerate and till. Coop window boxes. Plants to avoid when you have chickens. Lists of the most valuable crops and herbs. Advice on how to harvest and use many of the plants. And much more!
Whether you're an experienced chicken keeper, master gardener, or just getting into these two wonderful hobbies, Gardening with Chickens is an indispensable guide for a harmonious homestead."
(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But... I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)