Monday, February 12, 2007

Suet & Native Trees

Our homemade suet is a hit with a variety of birds including Ruby-crowned kinglets, Orange-crowned warblers, Pine warblers, Tufted Titmice, Carolina Chickadees and Carolina Wrens. The recipe is simple. Just mix equal parts of the wet ingredients (animal fat (lard) & chunky peanut butter) with the same amount of dry ingredients (oatmeal, cornmeal and flour). For example: mix 2 cups of the wet with 2 cups of the dry mixture. I press it into a pan lined with wax paper & put it in the freezer to harden. Then I cut it into squares that will fit into the wire feeders. I keep the extra squares in a zip lock bag in the freezer.

We recently purchased some native Mayhaw (crataegus aestivalis) and Crabapple (Malus spp.) seedlings from the LA Forestry Department . Most of the seedlings were quite large this year and we were able to plant many of them out in the ground on our 9 acres. The others were planted in pots until next fall so they can grow a little. Both small trees have beautiful spring flowers and edible fruit that makes excellent jelly and that is also food for a variety of birds and mammals.

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