Building a chicken run in Illinois

Chickens are on my wishlist for the farm. But part of what’s holding me back from getting them is the coop. I know I need to rebuild the coop and part of that is a secure, covered run for our birds. Sarah in Illinois is nearly a year into chicken farming, and she has recently added a run for her hens. She’s sharing that project today, and also looking ahead to a few more.

As I mentioned a few posts back, I was concerned with keeping my chickens free range. I loved that they could roam the yard, pick all kinds of greens and bugs and worms and have such a healthy diet. However, Blitz was becoming quite a concern for me.

I know very well that it is his natural instinct to chase and catch. I also know that the only way for us to overcome this is for me (and the other members of our family) to work with him constantly, to train him and teach him to leave the chickens alone.

It is still possible for us to achieve this and for Blitz and the chickens to live in peace and harmony, but then Steve and started thinking about how we were going to keep the chickens out of the garden this year and we decided it was time to make a chicken run.

We will not get any awards for our design or our building technique but the chickens are safe from Blitz and our garden is safe from the chickens.

20170409_173010

It wasn’t long after we built our run that I read that Kit over at DIY Diva was building a run for her free range chickens. Unfortunately, she lost a few of her flock before she could get them contained. I am thankful that we only had a very close call with one, and all four are doing well now.

We used part of the existing welded wire fencing to make a run about 8 feet wide and the length of the barn. Then we lined the inside of this fence with chicken wire. To support the roof we used old fence poles that we had laying around. We ran the chicken wire over the top and secured all of our seams by twisting wire ties every few feet.

Like I said, we did not use any advanced carpentry skills. If we ever get a hungry raccoon looking for a meal I don’t think that our fence will do anything but slow him down. I still make sure to close their coop door every night, and I look over the fencing often to make sure there are no signs of something trying to make its way inside.

I don’t recommend our approach for anyone with problems with tougher predators. We did not put anything underground like Kit did. Her approach was much more thorough. It is also possible that we will have to reevaluate everything if we get other predators, but for now it is keeping out one goofy pup.

I also mentioned last time that I was going to set my new goals for my next three months. So here we go. By June 30 I hope to have a few more things accomplished:

1. Light box for my mom.

She has asked me a few times to make her one and has even sent me pins about it, but I haven’t started one yet. So that will be a good project for rainy days or evenings.

A light box is basically a shallow box with a clear or opaque lid. Inside is a light and when you put something that you want to trace on top the light shines through and lets you trace much easier.

My mom loves to sew (mostly quilts) and she could really use one. I have pinned one that I am going to base my design on but I need to talk to mom and make sure these dimensions work for what she needs.

2. Grill lighting

We need to figure out some type of lighting for around our grill on our deck. I say “we” because Steve does most, if not all, of the grilling, so I am going to have him help me decide what will work and look the best. Right now, this is purely just an idea in my head and I have done no research.

3. The Garden

For my third project I am not setting a specific project. I am just going to say “garden.” The list of what needs done is so long that I am going to just group it all together and say that any work that gets done in the garden is on my “to-do” list.

We increased the size of our garden this year to 68 feet by 64 feet. With the rain we have gotten lately, we are behind on getting our potatoes in the ground.

So basically, if I am not working on numbers one and two listed above, I need to be in that garden.

I know what you mean about “garden,” Sarah. I actually think it should be “The Garden.” That’s a huge area you have. Between that, the puppy, the chickens and your other projects, you will definitely be keeping yourself busy. Hopefully the run helps to make at least a couple of things easier. It looks like it should do what you need it to. Good luck with your list.

Projects, painting and progress in Illinois

Sarah in Illinois is here today with an update on how she’s done on her monthly projects.

If you have been keeping track, it’s been three months since I announced that I was setting a goal of one project a month. So how have I done?

Let’s start with Blitz’s house.

It’s painted, and that was my goal. I really thought that I would have the roof shingled too, but that didn’t get done. For the paint, I used some concrete floor latex epoxy that we had sitting around. It would not have been my first choice if I went to the store and picked it out, but I think it will work very well. And the epoxy will help protect it from the weather.

My second project is by far my favorite and the one I am most proud of. I told you that we had sneakily taken my grandma’s St. Francis statue from her yard.

It was starting to crack and the paint was faded and flaking. When I last posted about it I showed a little progress.

And now:

Yes, that really is the same statue.

I want to maybe touch up his facial features a little, but I can say that I am very happy with the outcome, and I can’t wait to give it back to my grandma.

And since I love a good before and after:

For my final project from my list I was supposed to prime and paint our hallway. I will call it about 75% complete.

It is primed, and I did start painting, but I really thought I had more paint left. If I have more, I sure as heck can’t find it. So I will take what little info I remember about it (it is semigloss and the color is called Toll Booth), and I will go back to where I got it and hope they can mix me up some more. I am frustrated because the color runs throughout our house and if for some reason I can’t find a match I am going to have quite a problem.

So there you have it, not completely done, but I have made some headway. I love having this goal out here in the public because it made me focus on my three projects and not get distracted like I so often do.

To keep motivated I will set my next three months goals in my next post. You can be assured that they will be garden related.

Good job, Sarah. That statue looks amazing. Your grandmother will be so surprised. That’s really special. I’ve done the paint colour match thing before, and it’s worked out fairly well. Just to be safe, I suggest trying to make the “break” at a corner or other dividing point. 

Garden plans in Illinois

Like me, Sarah in Illinois is also planning and dreaming of her garden. She’s making her list and checking it twice–and then checking it a third time thanks to some help from the family. 

Like Julia, I am planning my garden this year. I wrote this post, and then when Julia mentioned taking a week off I thought that I might have a few things to add.

Well, it turns out I have lots to add.

I have received several plant and seed catalogs. I usually buy many of my plants at a local farm store, but I want to place an order for some of the things that are not found around here.

I made a small list and asked Steve if there was anything he wanted to add to it. My list included a few seeds that we always plant, and I added a few new things to try. Namely, blueberries, tomatillos, pepperoncini peppers and Black Krim tomatoes.

Steve couldn’t think of anything he wanted to add, so I set it aside and went out to clean the chicken coop. I came back in and Steve and his daughter had all of my catalogs out and were making a list. And I mean, they were making a LIST. Many items were new varieties of vegetables that we have grown before but there are new plans for the garden and surrounding yard this year.

We will be adding 2 cherry trees, 3 blueberry bushes and 4 grape vines. We also threw in 50 new strawberry plants and 2 holly trees for the yard. This wasn’t completely a shock to me since Steve and I have wanted to add a fruit arbor to our yard for a while. I just did not know that it was going to be this year.

At our house I am the planner, thinker and researcher. Steve is more likely to throw things together and see how it works out. It is a good combination for us. But that means I am frantically researching how, when and where to plant these trees and vines and bushes before they arrive and Steve is likely to just start digging when they show up. Hopefully, I will have a rough sketch of where we will put them soon.

Another way that Steve is helping to prepare for the garden is that he tuned up our tiller. He also fixed a couple things that have never worked for us on it. It is a hand-me-down piece of equipment and it has worked as-is, but it is nice that he has fixed a couple of the features on it. All we are waiting for is for the temperatures to rise a little and the garden to dry up a little.

Last weekend I planted some lettuce inside. I just felt I needed to start something growing around here. And in a short time I should have some lettuce to add to our salads!

My next post I will be updating how I did on my “one project a month” goal. I have made some progress as I mentioned. But I have also had setbacks.

I came home to this mess.

Blitz had knocked the little pot of brown paint (for my Grandma’s statue) off the workbench and all over him and the floor. Thankfully it was paint and not stain like I had originally thought. That would have been a nightmare to clean off of him and the floor.

Are you planning to plant anything new this year? Do you have any advice for growing any of the new items we ordered? Have you had any help from your pet on a project?

Way to go, Sarah. Your plans (and Steve’s) sound great. Perhaps we can share grape tips. I’m also curious to hear how your holly does. I love the idea of holly, but have been pretty much unsuccessful with two different plans at two different houses (including this one where I killed an established bush).

Progress, not perfection

Sarah is making progress on her projects in Illinois. Today, she’s sharing some of that progress, as well as the lesson that it’s okay to strive for progress over perfection.

“Progress, not Perfection.”

I am not sure who said it first. A quick internet search shows many people using this phrase. My cousin is a personal trainer, and she uses it for her clients. It is a great reminder when you are trying to be healthier, but I think it pertains to so much in life.

That is what I am going to use for my personal home goals too. I did not finish any of my first three projects yet, but I did make progress.

If you look back to my earlier post one of my goals is to paint Blitz’s dog house. I still haven’t decided what color I want to paint it but that doesn’t stop me from going ahead and priming it.

Of course I had help. Because when you have a 6 month old puppy, you really can’t do anything without him being under your feet.

Or close enough to what you are painting that he gets white paint on his head and ears.

So there has been progress.

In other news, while I was out in the yard today I noticed new growth at the base of my mums.

You probably remember my massive mums from previous posts. My dad wants a few starts from it, so when the weather warms up quite a bit I will split it up again like I did last year.

When we went over to visit my parents today, my mom showed me her plans and shopping list for her garden for this year. Seeing the starts of the mums and seeing my mom’s plans made me realize, I am already behind on my garden planning this year.

I need to just keep making progress.

Thanks for the reminder, Sarah. It’s great to see the progress that you–and Blitz–are making. I love the paint in his fur. Such a helpful guy. I hope you’re able to continue making progress.

How to encourage egg laying in the winter

Back in December, Sarah in Illinois shared some of the lessons she’s learned since adding laying chickens to her farm. In the post, she mentioned mentioned that their egg production had declined as winter set in. She had a few ideas to encourage more laying, and today she’s back to share what happened.

If you remember my post a couple months ago, I gave an update on the chickens and mentioned that their egg production had declined.

I thought that it was either from lack of daylight or cooler temperatures. I was willing to try to add some artificial daylight, but that I was not going to risk a barn fire by adding heat.

I am happy to report adding some light did the trick.

I went to the local home improvement store and purchased a light socket with metal shade. All you do is add a bulb and plug it in.

I took it a few steps further.

First, I chose an LED bulb. I am serious when I say that a barn fire is one of my worst fears, and I was going to take no chances in using a bulb that would get hot.

An LED did the trick. It produces almost no heat at all. I can rest my hand on the metal shield while it is on and there is no chance of me, or the chickens, getting burned.

As you can imagine with a traditional bulb there is no way I would be able to touch the shield, it would burn me instantly.

The second thing I did was to secure the fixture.

It came with a clamp to attach it where you need light. There is a good chance that it wouldn’t move, but I wanted to make sure it did not fall and rest in the straw in the bottom of the coop. So I ran a screw into the clamp after I had it where I wanted it.

No crazy chicken antics will cause the lamp to fall.

My final step was to add a timer. I have it set to come on every morning from 6 to 7 am and again from 4 to 8 pm.

After I had all of this in place I waited.

After about a week I found 2 eggs in the box.

And then a few days later I started getting 3 eggs a day.

I even had a bonus day yesterday where all 4 chickens laid an egg.

I can say that this project was a complete success, and I have no fear of burning our barn down.

I also have progress to report on my project goals that I listed in my last post.

One of my projects is to make over my Grandma’s Saint Francis statue.

I started by scraping off all loose paint. I did not intend to remove all the paint, only the paint that was loose and came off easily.

For the most part the concrete is in good shape but it has broken off of the base.

I am sure there are products meant for this type of project, but I chose to use what we had sitting around. We had a partial bag of thin-set mortar that we had used to install tile in our house. It sets up extremely hard, so I thought that once it is painted, it may work just fine.

I really don’t know about the longevity for this use, but I decided that it was worth a shot. I mixed some water and made it thick enough that I could apply it with a putty knife.

I knew that I wanted to add a couple layers instead of one thick layer so I purposely left the first layer bumpy instead of smooth so that the second layer will have something to attach to. I waited for it to dry and hoped that it would work.

24 hours after I added the thin-set to the statue, I started thinking that it is not going to work. I think the thin-set is too crumbly and will not hold up long term.

But that’s okay. I tried it, and I will try something else and report back how it goes.

Way to give things a try, Sarah. I’m glad that the chickens’ light worked so well. It’s great that you’re able to get fresh eggs again. I would miss those! Hopefully you’re able to find something that works for your Grandma’s statue too. 

Building a garage in a barn

Have I mentioned how much I want a garage? So far this week we’ve started the days with heavy frost that took forever to scrape off the windshield and freezing rain that coated everything in ice. More rain is forecast this week, which means I will get wet coming and going from my car to the house.

Sarah in Illinois recently built a garage with a bit of help from family. She is here today to share the process and an extra special feature that makes it even more useful.

About a year ago, on a Friday night, Steve and I were laying underneath my SUV in our freezing cold garage. A few days earlier my transmission had went out, and since Steve has some experience as a mechanic and has no fear of tearing things apart and putting them back together, we decided to save some money by removing it and reinstalling a used transmission by ourselves.

Except things weren’t going well.

We were tired, sore, cold and frustrated. I drew the line when I laid my head down in a puddle of transmission fluid. Steve and I looked at each other, and he said, “I will own a car lift.” At the time I agreed but knew that lifts were really expensive, and we really didn’t have a good place to install one.

A couple months went by and a customer ordered a new car lift from the shop where I work. It is not often that we sell one, and I got to talking to him about his old lift. He said that it still worked. It just wasn’t working for him anymore. I grabbed my phone and called Steve and gave him the customer’s phone number. Two days later we owned a used car lift.

Now for the important part. Where the heck were we going to put it?

We have a large pole barn on our property, but it has a dirt and gravel floor. In one corner the previous owner had built a woodshop with a small concrete pad. We decided to extend this pad and basically make a garage inside a small part of the pole barn.

This picture is showing the woodshop inside the pole barn with two walls removed.

For several weeks we spent evenings and weekends tearing out two of the old walls of the woodshop and framing up for a concrete pad. When we had the framing ready Steve, my Dad and brother took a day off work and poured and finished the pad.

I am so thankful that my family is so helpful and knowledgeable with projects like that. They ended up saving us quite a bit of money.

Once the pad was cured, it was time to build the new walls.

We borrowed some scaffolding to help with the new tall walls and to install some insulation board on the ceiling.

Steve and I believe that having good insulation is very important in any building project. What we have chosen to put on the ceiling is not ideal, but we have limited options with a tin roof. We seriously considered spray-on foam insulation, and honestly it’s probably what we should have done. But right now we are settling with what we have.

To install the vertical supports of the lift, Steve and my dad used concrete anchor bolts. They drilled holes using a hammer drill then inserted the sleeve and bolt into the hole. When the bolt was tightened it expanded to hold tight to the concrete.

One of the final steps was to install an overhead door. The pole barn has huge sliding doors on two sides, but this wasn’t handy for the new garage. So once again family came in very useful. My dad is known for not throwing things away in case he needs it someday. Well, it worked out for us. He had all of the parts and pieces for an overhead door.

We had to frame in a smaller opening, and then Steve, my Dad and my stepson took some of the tin off of the sliding door and covered the new smaller opening.

This week Steve has been insulating the walls. We still want to add another overhead door and of course he has to fill it with all of his tools and supplies. But basically we are going to call this project done.

And I have one happy hubby!

Great job, Sarah and family. I love that you did this all yourselves. Your family sounds very helpful and very handy. How great that your Dad had the door already! It looks like a great space for you and Steve. That lift is pretty cool.

New Year plans from Illinois

Sarah in Illinois is back for another year. She’s kicking off 2017 by sharing some of her plans and projects, and how she’s going to make it all happen.

It’s a new year! That means new goals, new projects and a big blank slate.

Last year I said that I was going to choose one word as my goal for the year, and that word was “focus.” That was helpful for a while. I used “focus” to stay on task and get things done.

However, like most resolutions, once the newness wore off I got back to my old habits.

That is what is so great about a new year. It’s a chance to start over.

So I went to oneword.com again to find a word for 2017. It only took a few seconds for a word to catch my eye. My word for this year is “less.”

It can apply to so many areas of my life. I plan to eat less, spend less, worry less and own less clutter.

Hopefully this year I use my one word to make some great changes and improvements.

As for projects around the house, I decided to set a goal of one project a month.

Some months the project may be large and some months may be much smaller, but the idea that at the end of the year I will have 12 completed projects sounds pretty darn great.

So here are my first 3 projects:

1. Steve and I built a dog house for Blitz to have when he is outside. However, it needs painted and needs some type of roofing material, most likely shingles.

2. Months and months ago my mom brought me my grandma’s St. Francis of Assisi statue from her yard. My plan was to patch the cracks and repaint it. So far, I have not done a thing to it, and my grandma doesn’t even know that I have it. I would really like to get it fixed up for her before she looks out in the yard and thinks that someone stole her statue.

3. I really want to finish priming and painting our hallway. I am embarrassed to say how long it has been unfinished, but believe me it is a long long time.

I hope in the next three months I can get these projects done. It will take “focus” and “less” distraction that is for sure.

What are your plans for the new year? Do you make resolutions? What do you do to make sure you stay on task and get things done?

Thanks for sharing your plans, Sarah. I really like your strategy of having a word to guide you throughout the year and a project a month. Good luck with your first three projects. I’m looking forward to seeing the results.

Happy holidays from Illinois

Sarah in Illinois is here today with her final post for 2016. Thanks for being part of the blog for the past year, Sarah. I’ve enjoyed the peak you’ve shared into your life in Illinois.

The year is winding down and since this is my last post until the new year, I thought I would take a minute to thank Julia for letting me guest post and share a little of my rural living. I have really enjoyed being a part of her blog and I am excited to continue on in 2017.

This past year has felt like there were many detours and setbacks. In fact, most of the year I felt like I was changing plans, adjusting to a new normal or just trying to keep some sense of order to what was going on around here.

“You can’t plan life. Because no matter how perfect your plan is, life has a way to rearrange it.” — Mina Deanna

There were definitely some things that went according to (my) plan, like getting chickens and adding Blitz to our family. But it felt, more often than not, we were paddling against a raging river.

So instead of sitting around being grouchy about failed plans, I am going to focus on good things in my life.

I am thankful that our family is healthy and we have a warm house to live in and food for our bellies.

I am thankful for family gatherings like the one we had today where I got to spend time with my 91 year old grandmother.

I am thankful that my family has an annual tradition of collecting and donating baby clothes to families that need them.

I am thankful for my close group of girlfriends who are there for me, always.

I am thankful for the treats that a neighbor left on our doorstep today that remind me that I live in a wonderful neighborhood.

I am thankful that Steve and I have jobs that allow us to buy the things we need. And even some things that we don’t need.

No, this year did not go as planned, but I am thankful that each day is a new day to try again.

Thank you to everyone that read my posts this year and followed along with me. I’ll be back in January to start a new year with new plans!

Thanks for the reminder to focus on the good, Sarah. Merry Christmas to you, Steve, Blitz, the chickens and all the rest of your family.

Lessons learned after 4 months of chicken farming

Sarah in Illinois has had her chickens for about 4 months. Today she’s sharing what she’s learned so far with raising laying chickens.

I was very nervous when I decided to take this on. You may remember from my earlier posts that I had done a lot of research and read several books and asked lots of questions to fellow “chicken people.”

One piece of advice from my cousin was that I was overthinking it. From what I have experienced so far, she was exactly right.

I really can’t imagine raising chickens being any easier.

Now I need to make sure to point out that I have been lucky and have had no medical issues with any of my chickens, no injuries and no pests like flies or lice. All of those problems could still happen and I will rethink that raising chickens is “easy.”

Everyone who raises chickens has different circumstances so all I could do was try my best and make notes on what to change. So here is what I have learned in my first 4 months.

Coop

The coop seems to be working very well. It had plenty of ventilation this summer and I closed off all but a very little area for ventilation this winter. The temperatures are just starting to drop here, so I am hoping they will stay warm enough.

I have had no issues with any critters trying to get in the coop. We have had several raccoons, foxes and opossum on our property this year, but we have been lucky to find them before they got to the coop.

The only thing that I plan to change in the coop is maybe making them a new door, but that is purely for my own satisfaction, not a necessity.

Pen/Enclosure

I have gone back and forth on what type, if any, enclosure is best for the chickens.

I foolishly thought that they may stay in the fenced area that I already had set up for when Treu was here. That clearly did not work. They have been fully free-range so far. I really liked them being able to have a varied diet, hunt down bugs and just over all be healthier and happier.

But then Blitz came along. Blitz is not happy with them being free-range. I can’t tell you how many times I have run across the yard to grab a chicken out of his mouth.

Lately he has been grabbing them by the tail and dragging them as far away as he can. We are working on discipline, but I think we are fighting a losing battle.

Steve and I are pretty sure we are not far from him grabbing one just right and killing it. So we are going to continue to work with him coexisting with the chickens, but we have also bought a large roll of chicken wire to enclose the chickens and protect them from puppy bites.

Heat/Light

The chickens had been laying eggs very well up to about 2 weeks ago. We still had warm temperatures and enough daylight that I was getting 3-4 eggs a day consistently.

However, as expected, their production has decreased a lot now that we’re getting closer to winter. I am getting 2 eggs one day and nothing the next.

Some people add heat lamps to their coops for them to continue to lay all winter. I will not be adding a heat lamp. I am too nervous and have heard too many horror stories of coops and barns burning down from heat lamp accidents. But I have thought about adding a lightbulb on a timer to simulate longer hours of daylight. It would produce a minimal amount of heat but mostly just give them the feeling of longer days.

Food

Since the chickens have been free range, I have not been worried at all about their food. I always have pellets handy for them, but they eat very little chicken feed when they are free to roam the yard and fields.

I did make them a feeder out of PVC pipe. I found several samples on Pinterest, but the idea is very basic.

I used a piece of 3-inch diameter PVC pipe, a “y” and two caps. I cut about 3 inches of the straight piece of pipe, this was used to connect the bottom cap to the “y.” In the picture below you can see how I stacked a cap, 3-inch section of PVC pipe, “y,” the remaining PVC pipe and a cap on top to keep out dust, dirt and chicken poop.

I fill the feeder approximately every 10 days. I expect to fill it more often as winter sets in and the chickens have less grass and bugs to eat.

Water

Right now their water may freeze over slightly overnight, but it has not been cold enough to freeze to where they can’t get water. I obviously will have to decide what kind of heated water container I am going to use and probably pretty soon.

More chickens

Yes, I plan to add chickens to my flock in the spring. I have known from the beginning that I may add to my flock.

Steve doesn’t like brown eggs. I know that is shocking. I can’t tell you how many conversations I have had where people can’t believe that and swear that brown eggs are richer, taste better and are healthier. But hey, we all have likes and dislikes and his is that he doesn’t like brown eggs. So I just see that as an opportunity to add more chickens!

When we built the coop we planned for it to be big enough to house 10-12 chickens. Now that I know what raising chickens is like, I can comfortably add more and not feel overwhelmed. My plan is to add 2-3 white egg layers (possibly Leghorns) that are 3 to 4 months old.

I am not ready to attempt to keep baby chicks alive, so that is why I want them to be a couple of months old.

Clearly this was the more photogenic of the chickens. She was always in front of the camera!

Another reason to add chickens is that 4 chickens produce enough eggs that I can occasionally take some to my parents or Steve’s mom, but I don’t have enough where I think “what am I going to do with all of these eggs?” So I feel I can add a couple and easily have eggs to provide to our parents and my brother and his girlfriend.

So how do I feel after my first 4 months of being a chicken farmer?

I have nothing but positive things to say about my experience so far. If you are thinking about raising chickens for fresh eggs, do it.

Do your research, ask questions, then go for it! If you have questions for me, ask away. I will answer to the best of my knowledge with my short experience.

Yay, Sarah! I’m glad that your chickens are working out so well for you–despite the challenges with Blitz. I am so looking forward to the day when we have our own farm fresh eggs. I have to say that I’m on team brown… or blue (I love the idea of Ameraucanas) when it comes to eggs. However, I don’t really notice a difference in taste based on shell colour. I notice a difference in taste between farm fresh and store bought. I love the flavourful deep orange yolks!

When life gives you persimmons, make persimmonies

After using a pile of persimmons in her last post to try to predict what kind of winter we’re going to have, Sarah in Illinois is back today to answer the question of what she did with all of that fruit.

Persimmons are a big commodity in Illinois in the fall. A quick search on Facebook shows the going rate for persimmon pulp is $4/pint.

As I talked about in my previous post, I have used persimmons to try to predict the upcoming winter, but I had not used them to make any type of dessert. So this year I decided I should try one.

When you taste a ripe persimmon, it is really sweet and the texture is similar to an overripe peach. But there is a catch. If you taste a persimmon that is not ripe, you will know it.

An unripe persimmon will dry your mouth out in a second. I really have not tasted anything like an unripe persimmon.

So when I picked persimmons I tried to pick mostly from ones that had fallen to the ground. If they have fallen, they are most likely to be ripe.

When I brought them home and removed the skin and the seeds, I put what was left in my Grandmother’s sieve/masher.

It has a wooden pestle that allowed me to push the pulp through the little holes. This step took a lot longer than I was expecting, but when I was done I had 2 cups of pulp.

Now I had to decide what to make.

When you say “persimmon” the first thing that comes to mind is “persimmon pudding.” A quick search on the internet will bring up more recipes than you can imagine. But that is not what I was looking for. Persimmon pudding is similar to a bread pudding, and I don’t care for bread pudding.

So my next search was persimmon cookies. Most cookie recipes call for walnuts and raisins. And I don’t care for either of those in my cookies. So what else could I make? Persimmon bread? Persimmon roll? Persimmon bars? Persimmon smoothie? Persimmon margarita?

I decided on Persimmonies which the author describes as a “cross between a bar cookie and a snacking cake.” It even has the suggestion of adding chocolate chips.

How can you go wrong with adding chocolate?

I followed the recipe exactly. I was surprised that the batter was pretty thick.

I won’t describe each step here, you can click on the website and get it straight from the author, but it was a pretty straight-forward cake like recipe.

I didn’t have chocolate chips on hand so I just used the author’s original recipe.

The results

In my opinion, it tasted like cinnamon bread, which was really, really good. I just didn’t taste much persimmon. Maybe I should have added some more pulp. And next time I will definitely add the chocolate chips, because again… chocolate.

I took the persimmonies to work and brought home an empty pan, so you could say they were a success.

Anyone made anything with persimmons? What recipe would you try? Are persimmons popular in your area?

I’ve not seen persimmons in our area, and I don’t think I’ve ever eaten one–let alone made anything with them. I’m curious now, Sarah, to give them a try. And I agree… chocolate is never a bad idea.

I have to add, a very happy Thanksgiving to Sarah and all of my other American readers.