Chickens -n- cherries.
Not together.

May 21, 2012 · 7 comments

Big news at the Carter house: we’re getting chickens.

Isn’t that just so femivore of me?

All we need is the coop. Which usually runs a few hundred bucks, even if you’re building it yourself.

But thankfully, my husband is a cheap and resourceful man (really sexy traits — and I’m not even joking — when we started dating a dozen years ago). He found out that BigCar, a local arts collective, is unloading quantities of industrial shelving from an old auto-parts store that’s now the Service Center for Contemporary Culture to people who have a specific project in mind for up-cycling. He figured it would make great framing for our chicken coop, and hey, it’s free.

So here’s a shot of the beginning stages of our coop (via an Instagram from last week):

The top part will end up with plywood and siding, and the whole thing will be wrapped in chicken wire (bottom too, as predators like to dig under coops to get to the chickens), and they’ll have an enclosed run that’ll extend about 15 feet. My favorite part is the ladder they’ll walk to get into their house, which is ready-made from a steel auto-parts shelf.

His prediction is that the whole project will cost him about $70. That man, I tell you. Be still my beating heart. More pics of the progress will come.

……………………………………

In other news, it’s cherry season! Only about 3 weeks early!

I had my first-ever experience of cherry-picking a couple years ago, when my friend Shannon discovered a sour cherry tree in her new yard. We picked like mad, probably after the cherries were a little over-ripe, fighting against birds and worms and gravity to get the largest harvest we could. Last year the tree was dormant and produced no fruit — so we were eager last month when fruit began to appear. Because of the crazy-mild spring in Indiana, the cherries are very early, and I was shocked to get the call last week that they’d likely be ready within days. I picked this afternoon, with Shannon, her girls, and Emily:

Don’t we look gloriously happy to be picking cherries? I think it looks like an ad for some sort of pharmaceutical that has nothing to do with cherries. In reality, one of us had undoubtedly said something unbearably funny, since we are just those kind of girls who say unbearably funny things with every exhale.

And if I’m smiling, then what you can’t see is the fear in my eyes: that rung was as high as I was willing to go on the ladder. And every so often I’d look down and wonder what it would feel like to not just fall, but fall through the limbs of a cherry tree, scraping  exposed skin along the way, to the hard ground below. The smile was all a nervous facade.

There is a reason someone invented a cherry picker. A person-sized bucket with sides & hydraulics sounds like the way to go.

But all that living-dangerously did paid off with a quart & a half of cherries. And don’t think I won’t be out there again in coming days — dropping necessary activities for more opportunities to take my chances on a ladder in a (relatively short) tree.

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{ 6 comments }

Barbara | Creative Culinary May 21, 2012 at 11:33 am

I would love both…the chickens and the cherries. Seems my HOA does not approve of the first so I will just have to double my cherries! I can’t wait to make maraschino cherries using fresh cherries; the ones I made using canned ones were good; fresh will be SO much better!

katy May 22, 2012 at 9:20 am

Barbara, I kind of feel like we dodged a miraculous bullet in the fact that our HOA lets us have chickens. While our home isn’t protected, our neighborhood is partially listed on the Nat’l Register of Historic Places — i.e., huge fancy mansions just blocks away. But lots of ppl in our ‘hood already have them, good to know we won’t be alone in the venture.

Maraschinos… mmmm….

Sonja May 21, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Cherries? I’m so jealous!!! And, so excited for you guys with the chickens! Can’t wait to meet them — let us know if you need any help christening them :)

katy May 22, 2012 at 9:21 am

Wanna be our chicken sitters when we go out of town? Payment in all the eggs they lay? ; )

Rachel (Hounds in the Kitchen) May 22, 2012 at 9:50 am

Two of my favorite things!

Your coop looks ingenious and I can’t wait to see the finished version.

katy May 22, 2012 at 9:57 am

thanks Rachel! Me too ; )

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