Wallabi's Farm: The English Hototogisu Bakery and Farm Blog

Hello, my name is Sara. In 2005 my husband and I bought an old farmhouse in Okayama, borrowed a few fields and set to building ourselves a pleasant rural life. Now, several years on, we have fields a-plenty, what was until the end of 2012 a wheaty bread bakery and is now prepping to be a gluten-free space, and have incorporated our efforts into the Hototogisu Bakery and Farm. Welcome!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Introducing (80) Henrietta(s)

As you may have guessed from the recent photos, the farm family has expanded! Last Saturday we welcomed a flock of 80 laying hens (all, for the time being, to be known as Henrietta). These hens have had a rough time of it over the last six months, and we are glad to have them safe and sound in their new, deluxe chicken coop!

Ta da:
(photo) **okay, yeah, no photos, as my computer has crashed, limiting me to iPod posting - anyone have iPod/iPhone blogger tips to share?**
Happy hens in the hen house

(photo)
The very same hen house from outside

The last batch of visitors were pretty impressed when they thought we had just whipped up the barn over the past (very busy and poor-weather-ful) weeks in anticipation of the chickens` arrival, but in fact, what we have done (hah! we ... I mean, what Shuzo has done, with a teensy bit of help from me) is to convert the old goat house, built in 2006 and quickly over-run with kudzu, into an inhabitable structure. My husband is awesome:

(photos, photos)

And, because I want you all to think that I am awesome, too, here is a photo of me helping to build it back in 2006 (I had a lot more free time back then, and was very tough):

(photo)

But I digress.

Back to the chickens, who here are roosting very happily:

(chicken photo)

and whose origins I want to take a moment to explain. These particular chickens have come to join us because their original home has become uninhabitable. Our new Henriettas were rescued by the good folks at Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue Support (JEARS) after they were left behind by a farmer who had to abandon his farm following the nuclear disaster in Fukushima. Volunteers have been feeding and watering the chickens for the past several months while looking for a new home for them (after all - how many places are equipped to handle a sudden influx of 80 hens and the accompanying 60 or so daily eggs? I am glad one of the volunteers thought of us, because there can`t be that many other places!). The volunteers had the eggs tested for radioactive iodine and cesium, and, upon having them declared safe, began eating them. Report has it they are very tasty! I`d like to say a big, big thank you to the good people who have been taking care of these chickens, as well as many more animals left homeless or family-less by the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster. I understand they are still looking for homes for quite a few (more conventional) pets - if anyone reading is ready to add a dog, cat, puppy or kitten to their family, or to help support the animals in the JEARS` shelters, please visit their website at http://jears.org/.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A taste of freedom - the new Henriettas are beginning their lives as pastures chickens

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Constructioning, constructioning

Chicken house almost ready to welcome 80 laying hens!