53 7 24 15 7 AM

2 TurkeysHere at the farm it is currently 53 degrees, on the 24th of July at 7 A.M.. That’s really quite astonishing. This summer has been incredibly rainy and cool, broken by brief (thankfully) intervals of heat and very high humidity. My garden is quite barren for this time of year.

The tomatoes are huge, well over my head and loaded with fruit – but will they ever ripen? This may be the year for fried green tomatoes, green salsa and green spaghetti sauce.

My cherry tomato is straggly, I think because it is in a pot and was too often drowned. The peppers are there, they have buds and some peppers forming, but I don’t know if I’ll get much off of them. Then again I never did have the knack for peppers. Even the squash plants have been behind. Middle of July and I just got to eat the first one. A friend who lives in the valley is already giving her excess away! The cucumbers are finally starting to climb their poles and are loaded with buds.

My turkeys have done extraordinarily well. They are HUGE and ready to be butchered. I love these birds. They are very social. They accompany me on walks and search us out when we are working around the property – to the detriment of our projects. It is difficult to work when a turkey keeps poking his head in the way. They recently have had to be penned after visiting my neighbor and leaving a calling card (several calling cards) on his garage floor and patio.

In just the few days they have been penned I can see the difference in my garden beds. Turkeys eat everything. These ravenous teenagers have pecked the leaves off of my rhubarb, dahlias, a rose bush, hostas, marigolds and a squash plant that grows in the front flower garden. If I raise them again they will need to be confined more.

I hate the idea of that because I really love to watch these stately birds as they preen around the yard, strutting slow and proud, like a king in full regalia. They have so many sides to their personality. Most of the time they just wander around pecking at everything that catches their eye in the hopes that it will be something to eat. They eat a lot of grass, seeming to prefer the seed heads of rye grass, and anything in the cabbage family. Then they will run awkwardly across the yard on their gangly legs with their wings spread out and flapping to keep their balance. They lower themselves to the ground like a giant alien space ship slowly settling onto its landing gear.

I let them out in the evening when I get home from work. They roost high and are too large for most predators. This has the added convenience of leaving the coop less crowded and calmer for the ducks and chickens.