A Reader's Food Tips

A reader shares chicken care advice and a few foods tips.

| November/December 1980

The following scraps of wisdom come from experience. I learned most of these food tips "the hard way", and I hope — by passing them along — I can make life just a little easier for a few other folks.

Chicken Care Tips

First: Never, never clean a chicken house and disinfect it completely. Always leave a few droppings scattered about. Chicken manure, as many of you know, is high in protein . . . in fact, this substance is so protein-rich that it's being pelletized now and fed as a body-building ration to beef cattle. So it naturally follows that each hen — while she scratches and mulls around — will ingest whatever she needs. Should you clean all the droppings away, however, you might find your birds becoming so "meat hungry" that they'll start to peck at each other. And that cannibalism can grow until you end up with a bunch of dead chickens.

Tip two: Don't ever try to set an old biddy hen on a concrete floor, even if you have a six-inch layer of dirt over it. Her eggs — at least most of them — will just lie there and rot.

Preserving and Cooking Green Beans

Another thing I'd like to tell you about is a great way to preserve green beans ... and a yummy recipe for eating them later on.

First off, you should pick the beans after the dew has dried in midmorning, and keep them as clean as possible. Then, when you bring them in, string the pods with a needle and heavy thread. ( Run the needle between the "lumps", so that you won't puncture the beans inside.)

Next, hang the strings in a darkened room (or at least out of direct sunlight) and pin an old worn dishcloth ( or — better yet — cheesecloth) around them to keep the fly specks off while they dry. The legumes will turn a pale yellow or almost white.

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: April 28-29, 2018
Asheville, NC

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!