Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Gladys is such a sweet cow. I took this photo last fall. She likes to follow me all over the pasture. I go out to collect eggs and feed with her right by my side. We bought her from a Amish farm and he had bought her from an auction house south of here. Whoever raised her did a great job and she is as sweet as they come.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
I love sugar cookies. They are so fun to decorate, the girls helped me make these beautiful snowflake cookies last week. It really helped put me in the Christmas spirt. It took us several hours to bake and decorate and about as long to eat by the next day they were all gone. I should of made a double batch .
Saturday, December 6, 2008
My sweet husband built another stanchion in the barn. I have been milking Gladys then I take her out and bring in Mabel. Gladys is a cow that really enjoys her grain and will lick and lick to make certain that she has every last grain. Well this takes her some time and while she is licking away I am left just standing there. I have tried to get her out when I think she is finished and she will have not part of that!! She is small but when it cones to her grain you can't move her. I would get annoyed with her because she would take forever, so my awesome man built another stanchion. I can get Gladys in washed,and milked, Mabel in, washed, and milked I also go collect eggs and feed the chickens. Then finally, she is ready to go out. It saves me from just standing around freezing.
Friday, December 5, 2008
This is Reina. She is the protector of all. When we first moved to the farm and got chickens, the coyotes had a feast and killed more than 200 birds over a few months time. We were frustrated and decided to get a livestock guardian. I did not really want a big dog. I was afraid that the kids would play with her too much and she would not do her job. I worried that she would not stay in the pasture and end up on the highway. All those worries were for nothing. She is awesome!! We got Reina as a puppy and she has lived her life in the pasture with all the animals. She has been great to have and never leaves the pasture. She spends her nights patrolling the pasture keeping predators at bay. She has done a wonderful job and we have managed to keep the chickens off the coyote menu. She is gentle with the children and has really been good. All those worries were for nothing she is awesome!!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
I counted jars back on September 23rd at that time we had 1100 jars. Since that time I have continued to put up a bit so I would guess we have around 1400 jars of yumminess! It doesn't look like much on the shelves I was surprised at how many we had. I am just about out of jars though. I need to get on freecycle and see if I can get some more jars. We have had a good year and I canned everything I could get my hands on. I have been on a "convience" food kick, I canned soup and meat that is ready to eat. Just heat and serve!! I love the idea of having a fast homemade meal without all the creepy stuff in the stuff from the store.
After a slow roast, all veggies and bones are then simmered on the stove for another 8 hours or so. I will strain the stock and cool overnight. In the morning I will skim off the fat and heat the stock back up to a rolling boil. Then it will go in quart jars for later use as a awesome soup base.
13 pounds of pasture raised beautiful meaty beef bones, huge handful of local raised celery, eight homegrown onions, three pounds of carrots, ten heads of garlic, peppercorns and thyme. Roasted in a slow oven for eight hours... YUM!!!
Monday, December 1, 2008
I grew up around horses. I rode everyday for hours as a teenager, all over the place. When we bought this farm we had the desire to have horses. We bought several horses of different breeds and sizes and just couldn't find a good fit. I rode a bit here but it was just not the same. I think that I am getting older and that bouncing about was not what it used to be. I met a gentleman that has farmed with horses all his life. I have always wanted to learn to drive and he agreed to give me lessons. I went every Sunday for about a year. I would arrive at 2pm and start the task of harnessing the horses. We would hitch the team up to various carts and do his farm work with the horses. Some days we would hitch up the spring cart with the fringe and go for a ride around the country block. It is so much fun to drive I really enjoy it.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
This is Rex. He has been here on the farm to help the ladies. He is a real ham and has been so much fun. Every time I go in the pasture I always get a good laugh because he is doing something. For example, he likes to rearrange the round pen or wear a piece of cattle panel for a hat. He has been here for several months and now we have to say goodbye. I hope he was a good sort of guy and the girls are in the "family way". I will miss his antics but am looking forward to just my sweet cows in the pasture.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Summer has passed by without much warning. With the CSA and the farmers markets, the busy schedule let things pass much too quickly. We had a pretty good year for the CSA and the markets were good as well. I want to make some changes for next year but overall things were smooth sailing.
Farm life is wonderful. The cows are doing great. We had a bull here for a visit and are hoping that the girls are settled.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Well it seems when you are least expecting it things all fall in to place. I went to a farm auction a few weeks ago to bid on a old family milk cow to keep Mable company and to insure a constant milk supply. The cow at the farm was a very old cow that was crossed with a beef cow... not the best for what we wanted but would do. I checked the sale barn prices for similar cows and had a good idea of what she was worth. I got my number and waited most of the day till they finally came to this cow. The bidding began and it got higher and higher until finally I backed down. That silly cow went for double what it should have! After the sale, a older Amish man came to me asking if I wanted to look at a cow. It was a 6-year-old Jersey! Wahoo! I went right over and was greeted by a lovely petite gem. I am so impressed by this cow. She is as gentle as a huge dog, comes when I call her to milk, and when we milk we just tether her to the fence and she stands there like it's the thing to do. She is such a sweetheart! I am so thrilled.
Monday, May 5, 2008
The greenhouse is getting cramped. It is hard to make sure everything is getting watered. The tomatoes are happy and we have tiny baby tomatoes! The plant area is a bit cramped. Today we are setting some of the plants in the garden, so it will help in the greenhouse. The weather has been odd... unseasonably cold and wet. Usually we can get things planted before now. The local farmers are worried that any corn that has been planted has rotted in the fields. Now they are trying to re-plant. I guess corn prices will continue to rise.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
All of the fruit trees in the orchard are in full bloom. The weather this year has so far been good and the trees are doing great. The past few years we have had a late freeze and all the blossoms froze. We have several trees that should produce a small crop this year. I am excited to finally sink my teeth into a home-grown, farm-fresh peach!!!!
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
Lola has been here on our farm for over two years and I have to say I am quite attached to her. We were excited that she was expecting a beautiful calf any day now. I had been worried about her for the past few weeks. She just did not have the motherly appearance she should have had for a healthy pregnancy. We had her artificially inseminated back in July which would make her due right about now. We had her pregnancy checked by a vet last fall and all was well. Today after no signs if impending labor I had her checked again and we found her to not be pregnant. She must have lost the calf at some point. This is truly sad news. We tried five times before we were able to get her bred and have waited 9 months for nothing. She has had twins before and the man that checked her thinks that she possibly has some internal damage that won't let her carry a pregnancy to term. We are heart broken. She will go to the sale barn tomorrow. I feel sick at the thought but have no other option. I pray that she will be treated with kindness and respect. She is a wonderful loving cow and our farm will never be the same without her.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
We really need to mow the grass. The weather has been wet and just right for the grass to really go crazy. This time of the year I love our yard. It is full of these beautiful violets. They just pop out to remind us it is spring and when it gets hot they die back. I hate to mow them down so our yard is beginning to look like a jungle. I tied Stewy out to "mow" the front so at least it looks like I am managing my yard. I had several cars stop and tell me my cow was out I guess they didn't see the lead rope.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
The pond is full for the first time since we have owned this farm. We even have had some ducks checking things out. Just before we moved here the previous owner had someone come and turn two small ponds in to one decent size one. Since then it leaks out the back to make the lower pasture a swamp. We were told to just wait things out that it should repair on it's own. Finally it is holding some water but not completely. It still leaks, so we will see how long it stays full.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
We have about 50 tomato cages from the last few years. This year with the increase in production we need about 80 more. I love the concrete reinforcement wire cages. They are tall enough and hold up well. I just hate making them!!
Monday, April 21, 2008
Danielle has been avoiding labor and is tired of me checking in on her every couple of hours. She has been on labor watch now for several days. We just bought her two weeks ago and the man said he wasn't sure when she was due so it is a guess. Her bag is full and she really waddles when she walks. I expect kids soon. I'll keep ya posted
Friday, April 18, 2008
When we started our small farm dairy I was making cheese like crazy. I love making cheese and most of all I love eating it. When we lived in Puerto Rico we ate a beautiful sheeps-milk cheese at every chance. I thought it would be fun to try to make my own version of that beautiful cheese so I bought sheep. East Friesian are one of the milkier breeds but they tend to be fragile from what I have read so I opted for a cross. We purchased a wonderful East-Friesian ram and then began the search for a few girlfriends. I did a bit of research and decided on Katahdin hair sheep. They tend to be very hardy and great mothers. Five months later we were blessed with beautiful lambs. The only problem.... they were all RAMS!!! Sometimes I have to learn patience the hard way. At least we like lamb, so my freezer will be full this winter
Thursday, April 17, 2008
The tomatoes are having a growing spurt in the greenhouse. I have been pleased with the new growth. They are just about ready to go outside. I think the early ones like German Johnson and the Early girl will go out later this week. We have been getting lots of rain and I am behind on the tilling. We have most of the early root crops and such in but haven't gotten the rows ready for the tomatoes. The chickens decided to do a bit of tilling in the peas. I looked yesterday and I had a hard time finding any seed. I will have to re-plant. Darn chickens!