Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Me and my Shadow


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.
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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Merry Christmas!!


From all of us at the farm to all of you, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
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Monday, December 8, 2008

Pretty cookies


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 .
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Finished beef stock


Finally done!! It is so YUMMY, now I want to make soup.
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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Gladys has a new stanchion!


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.
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Friday, December 5, 2008

Heroine of the pasture


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!!
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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

More canning


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.
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My cupboards are getting full!!

Beef stock continued....


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.
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Beef stock to be.........


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!!!
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Monday, December 1, 2008

Driving around the country block


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.
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