Wednesday, December 16, 2009
We got a bit of snow the other day. I harvested a laundry basket of swiss chard and bok choi, I wanted to harvest the rest for the piggies and chickens but got too tired. I hate to waste anything so I have been giving the piggies the frozen veggies, they don't seem to mind that they are a bit crunchier tham normal. The chickens were offended that I would ever think to offer them such sub-par items. Chickens can be such snobs!!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Lucy and Coco have been moved to the weaning pen finally. They are unhappy to be away from Galdys but they were taking most of the milk and really chewing up poor Gladys. Gladys wasn't too happy about the situation she stood by the pen and cried for days. Gladys is a sweet mama.
Lucy is doing so well. She loves attention and comes running when she sees you.. she can be a bit of a pest. She knocked all the eggs out of my hands yesterday so I would pet her!! I have been working with her and getting her used to being touched all over. I pick up her feet and rub her all over she could care less. Coco on the other hand still hasn't decided that being petted is fun. You can touch the top of her head but if you reach for her chin or something she shys away. She is so much like her mother. I wasn't sure that Coco would be brindle like Mable but with her long winter coat I can see some color changes. I will be anxious for her to shed this spring to see what's hiding under that thick coat.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Trace our ram has been banished to the old chicken run. He is VERY unhappy that his ewes are not with him. He seems to have a dislike for pregnant farmers. Every time I go out to chore he thinks it is his job to knock me off my feet. He usually only does this during breeding and when I am not "heavy with child" I can just move over and he goes right past me but now lets just say snails move faster. I got to where I took a large stick out with me so I could pop him in the nose if he got feisty. He got to be such a pain that we had to do something. It was getting very worry some to me that he might hit me just right and hurt baby#6, so off to solitary confinement he goes. The ewes are bred and we expect lambs in January/ February so really there is no good reason that Trace needs to be out. I feel bad for just a fraction of a second when he gives me that "I'm so sorry mom let me out and I will be good"( see photo 2) look then we have the ears back and "I'M GONNA GET YOU"(see photo 1) look that makes me so happy that there is a fence between us. I hope he calms down once that baby is here and we can let him out until then he stays put!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
It snowed here on the farm last night, not a ton just enough to make everything white and pretty. I love the first snow and really I love snow when I can stay here in the house. We have not really had any bad winter weather yet so I suppose it was time.
I went to the "city" yesterday for my Dr's apt. I thought that I would do a bit of shopping in preparation for the holidays. We live in a small town the shopping is limited to pretty much one store. I usually can get what I need here and don't want for anything else. I thought it would help inspire me for some gift ideas at the larger stores. We are working very hard this year to only get educational items for the children. I am really sick of cheap plastic toys. I was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of "stuff" these stores had. I was incredibly ill and frustrated by the time I left the stores. I was looking for basic things..art supplies...fun cooking things... games... wooden blocks I didn't think that what I wanted was odd. It seems by the look on several workers faces that yes indeed I was a oddball for wanting something like watercolor paper.
I drove the 45 minutes home with gladness in my heart that we live in a small town. I am so happy with our little farm, with the cute one stoplight town and being late to church because we were stuck behind a combine on the highway... Life is good!!
Monday, December 7, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
It seems like it has been years since I have had the time to make a good hard cheese. Summer for us is so crazy and this fall I was recovering form the summer and just did not feel like making cheese. I was really missing cheese making so yesterday I dusted off the cheese pot and got to work. I had to find my cheese stuff... it had been at least a year since I made cheese. I was worried about the rennet not being good but it seemed to work just fine. I found my trusty recipe and by lunchtime I was snacking on warm cheese curd. I got the curd in the press and this morning I was anxious to see how things had gone. The cheese looks great. Now we let it air dry for a day or two. After it is nice and dry I will wax it and put in the cheese fridge to age for three months. I bought a special gadget that keeps a fridge at just the right temperature to ripen cheese perfectly.
When we first started milking I would make cheese every week I learned a ton and made some really great cheese and some that lets say should be in a 1950's horror movie called "THE CHEESE THAT WENT BAD". I can just see women running with baby buggies screaming from a giant blob of stinky moldy cheese. I hope that my return to cheese making is rewarded with a beautiful creamy yummy Gouda.. only time will tell!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Well it finally happened.. my camera has taken a turn for the worse. It all started with a overnight on the air conditioner outside in the rain...( thanks to hunky husband and the addition photos) then a drop on to a gravel road during the trail ride and now finally the creative juices of a 6 year old are just too much. I was quite happy with my camera and now am quite sad. With holidays and baby coming I guess I am going to have to go camera shopping.. I never know what to get there are too many choices and well as you can imagine I don't want to spend a ton of money. The last camera went MIA at the downtown Halloween fest several years ago, we seem to have a hard time keeping a hold of a camera!! What kind of camera do you use??
Saturday, November 14, 2009
We have or should I say I have had a stomach bug. It has made for a LONG hard week. It has been such a long time since I have been ill like that. I had forgotten how much having a temp can slow one down. I am thrilled however it was only a stomach bug, with all the creepy flu's that are out there I'll take the stomach one. I am not up to eating much yet but feel so much better. I sure am glad to be out of bed!!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Here are the soakers for baby#6. I made them with old wool sweaters, I choose the softest wool I could find. Both are a merino/cashmere blend and they are super soft. I wish that I could find pink or white but this will work out just fine. I used another free pattern and they look big to me. I have wool left over so I think I will cut it down a bit and make another one. I like using the old sweaters. The ones we have been using for various things have come mostly from our little thrift shop in town. I got 6 lovely sweaters for 1.00 gotta love that!! This is a good way for me to get the soakers I need.. you see I am yarn impaired... I LOVE the look of knitted things and have tried on several occasions to knit or even crochet, but alas I end up frustrated. I just don't seem to get it, so for now we are having a blast with old sweaters. I have great plans in the works and have stared a bit on that rug. I am thrilled so far with my progress. I hope to get it done before the really cold weather sets in. Wood floors are awesome but a bit cold on the feet in the morning.....
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I have been busy sewing for baby #6. I have just about finished the newborn diapers, I have 21 done minus the touch tape. I had to order the touch tape and it has yet to come. I have two more to sew but I am out of fleece. I hope to go the the city later this week and get some more supplies.
I am very happy with how the diapers are turning out.. I had to buy some fleece and the touch tape the rest I had on hand. I made the inner absorbent layer from some old microfiber towels that my sister had. I did buy some waterproofing spray for the outer layer...but I also made some wool soakers just in case. I have never used that spray so I am not sure how well it works. I need to get going on some bigger ones these are tiny tiny for a newborn. I got a pattern free off the net and it is adjustable. I found some of the waterproof knit and I am anxious to try it out on the bigger ones. I am not too sure how many to make...It has been 6 years since we had to diaper around here and I am a bit rusty! I figured for the new born that I would change every 2 hours or so....but once they get a bit bigger they wet more but less often. I want to have enough to not have to wash every day.. I do laundry every day I just don't want to HAVE to do laundry every day.. you know what I mean???? I think about 30 of the larger ones will be ok. I like sewing again I cut out everything and then sit down and sew assembly line style and it goes really quick. I got 10 done in a little less than two hours so not too time consuming. I think that these diapers are so cute it will make diaper duty almost FUN!!
Monday, October 26, 2009
I was able to hit a thrift store on my big city trip. I got a stack of sweaters to work with, I have found so many fun things to do with them that I am not sure that all of this will go for soakers. I washed them in hot water and tossed in the dryer for two cycles. They all look wonderful!!
I love the thought of using these old sweaters. I am itching to got to work on something...I did do two pair of "longies" for baby #6 so now I think I will do something fun....
Thursday, October 22, 2009
This milkmaid is off to the big city today. Dr's appts and thrift stores are my destination. I am working on lots of lovely things for baby #6 and I am needing more old wool sweaters. I used the two I had and have found inspiration for more woolly coziness. Thrift stores are such awesome places. I hope I find what I am looking for!! Wish me luck!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I come from a long line of wonderful women who sew, not just ordinary sewing I mean AWESOME sewing. These women can make anything... from nothing, no pattern... no help just some fabric and a sewing machine. My mother has made things that should be in museums. She made the most incredible blessing dress for my girls. It is a lovely french hand sewn heirloom. It blows anything I have ever seen in a shop out of the water.
I have tried in the past to do a bit of sewing it's gotta be in my blood somewhere, only to get frustrated and shove the whole lot back in the bottom of the closet. The problem arises however is I LOVE vintage fabric and styles. I have come by some dresses and such at tag sales and thrift shops but nothing ever seems to fit well. I get out the machine and try again... somethings have been a success. My biggest frustration has been a lack of a good machine. The last one had a computer issue and would decide that sewing backwards was the only way to go. That was a real pain in the tush!! I had pretty much given up on the sewing thing......
We used cloth diapers with some of the children and I decided that baby #6 would be a cloth baby also. I had given away my stash of cloth diapers long ago so was on the hunt for the latest and greatest diaper. I found that diapers had changed a ton since I was using them last. The new diapers are really fun and cute. I was hooked. I could just see our little girl scooting about in a lovely little bubble butt. I got down to business and started looking for the best diaper. Geesh!! Cloth diapers, well the cute ones, are expensive!!! Like $15-20 EACH.. OK I need at least 20 diapers that puts me washing every other day, OK 15 x 20 is a whopping $300.
My lands what are those diapers made of??? I found a great store that sells beautiful used cloth diapers I bought 6 newborn ones. They are nice I like them BUT after looking at them there just isn't much to them..You can see where this is going.... I decided after a few internet searches that yep I think I can make those!! I break out the machine and scissors and set to work. I found a great pattern (with a online tutorial) and went through my fabric stash. I cut out 15... that seems like a lot... I got worried. I sat down and sewed one.. Hey it was REALLY cute and not too hard.. I mad another and another now I have a stack of 10 done!! YAHOO!!! I am really excited they are so cute.
The ones I am making have to have a cover on them.. Drat now what??? I got searching and wanted to use a wool soaker over the diaper.. I don't knit or crochet.... well after a bit of fun computer time I found out that you can re-purpose a old wool sweater in to a diaper soaker. I had a few sweaters that were a lovely soft wool that I didn't wear any longer. I washed them in hot and dried them twice and took the scissors to them. They turned out pretty good!!
With a small bit of sewing success I am itching to do more. I love this blog http://sewingdork.blogspot.com/ because she used old things to make new things.. and they are very CUTE!! I also love http://creativechicksatplay.blogspot.com/ because they can actually read a pattern and make such cute things. These are so inspiring... I'm gonna go sew!!!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I have been away for a bit. It has taken me a few weeks to recover from the CSA's. I am glad we are finished for the year, it has been a difficult year for me with the pregnancy.
I am busy preparing for the arrival of a bouncing baby girl.
We are so excited to welcome a new little person in to our home. It had been 6 years since we have had a little one!! I can't believe it has been that long, can it really be? I am working on cloth diapers and other things for the baby. I brushed the dust off my sewing machine and have been hard at work. It seems like forever since I have sewn anything, luckily baby things are small.
The farm is slowing down, we have had a few cold nights and the gardens are ready to be put to sleep till next summer. I have a quite a bit of clean up out there, I like to do a little at a time during the last of summer but this year I didn't get anything done. We are still harvesting some things, lettuce, beets, turnips,Swiss chard, carrots and some herbs. I am tired of the garden... I know, I know....
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Well after the great summer chicken massacre I am preparing to butcher some chickens. They have been in the chicken tractor and have been safe. I tried to get a weight on one but a squirming chicken and a electric scale just don't mesh. The one I weighed several times varied by two pounds from 6 to 8 so I am not really sure how big they are. They are big enough to make wonderful roasters so to the butcher they go. We have a wonderful lady that butchers for us and is so worth the few dollars it cost. I am ready for some chicken and dumplin's!!
Monday, September 14, 2009
Well I am finally feeling like doing something. The first order of business was to get the canned goods organized. My sweet husband was patient at putting some new shelves together just for jars and canning "stuff". I spent two days hunting and organizing. I had stashed can goods all over the house we did not have enough shelf space for the 1500 jars of goodness from last year. I put them under the bed, in every nook and cranny. It was frustrating for me to cook because I was always hunting for that spacial jar of something. I am pleased with the new shelf it holds what was left form last year but I am already stashing this years stuff. I will be very happy when we get the addition done and I have a whole room for canned goods!! Just the thought makes me giddy!! Now to get the closets cleaned out!! Yes that is a HUGE can of hot fudge sauce..... a girl has needs!!!!
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I checked the winter squash and found a explosion of squash bugs. They are by far the biggest problem here on the farm. We did fairly well with the summer squash by planting with lots of stinky herbs. When we planted the winter squash I just did not think to plant the herbs also. I have tried to keep these in check but the rainy days kept me inside and they really blossomed. There is not much we can do to to kill these guys so I will pick what I can and then burn the field. I really hate squash bugs!
Friday, August 21, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Good heavens I am so shocked when I look at the calendar and see it is AUGUST!!?? The kids go back to school Thursday, six more weeks of CSA and Coco (above) is 6 weeks old. Did you catch the Coco thing?? I bet you are wondering about HER??? Well you guessed it Mable had a GIRL!! Yahoo doin the happy farmer dance!! I am so happy that we had two girls. The girls are both doing great and growing like little weeds. We had their horns removed last week and they were a bit upset with me but seem to have made a full recovery. The farm is busy... a ton had happened. We have some new additions and we had some sad losses.
Reina our beautiful Maremma livestock dog passed away. She had horrid hips and got to the point that she could not walk. I was quite attached to her and am saddened by her leaving us. With her gone the wildlife found the all you can eat chicken buffet and have killed all but one of the chickens(we had 97) killed all the ducks,all the turkeys and got my geese as well. In all we have lost over 150 birds in a matter of weeks. I have some chickens in a tractor that are three months old so we are with out eggs. I am sick of finding dead chickens all over. I suppose with only one lonely hen I won't find many more.
Meatloaf our steer was struck by lightning. He was 30 days from butchering. We were not able to save any of the meat. That was our beef for the next year. I refuse to buy store beef so we are trying to get ribeye to gain quickly but we are careful with what we feed and weight gain is slow. He weighs about 700 lbs. I like to butcher at about 1000lbs. We will see he might have to go in sooner than that. Such a disappointment.
Good news we were blessed to find a new livestock dog and I think she will do well. We have only had her for three days. She is 15 months old and needs some manners but is a sweet girl.
Gardens are OK the weather has been so odd... it really didn't get hot and we have had quite a bit of rain. The tomatoes have suffered, this wet weather has them split and not so pretty. At least they taste good. We have been canning the worst and I have made some awesome pasta sauce. I haven't canned as much this year. I haven't felt like standing at the stove for hours at a time... wanna know why?? OK big drum roll..... we are expecting baby #6 in January!!
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
OK I know I have been neglecting things here. Things are so BUSY I am running at full speed and still not getting everything done. The gardens are looking great and producing like mad. We have been going to the Saturday market and sold out every week. It is nice not to have to pack all that back in the van.
Gladys and Lucy are perfect!! Mable is gonna explode I gotta get a picture of her udder it is HUGE!!! Poor gal.
Everything else is the same...I'm just here weedin away...
Monday, June 15, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
We pulled the garlic today it looks good. The bulbs will cure in the garage for a few weeks and then be included in the CSA shares. The smaller bulbs will be saved for planting in the fall. Homegrown garlic has a wonderful flavor I love to use it in my cooking it really adds so much. I think we will plant more next year we got about 200 heads from a 30 foot row. I would like to dry some and use some for the cattle. I have some spring garlic I am anxious to see how those bulbs look I think they will be ready in a few weeks.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Well it FINALLY happened. I went out Thursday morning to check Gladys and was greeted by a bouncing beautiful jersey calf. I was thinking that poor Gladys was gonna burst I have never seen a cow look so uncomfortable, she couldn't even lay down Wednesday. I was really getting worried and began to wonder if the calf was OK. I had a farmer friend come and see Gladys to get his opinion, he said " Yep she's gonna have a calf soon!" I should of known!! The old farmers around here laugh at my spoiled cows... they tell me I have a cow resort going on here.. Well you know what they say about happy cows.
OK now I know you are really reading this to find out what the baby was OK ready......... A GIRL WAHOO!!!!! I am doing the happy farmer dance. We maned her Lucy and she is a doll. I am in total heifer love. Now if Mable will have a girl our prayers will be answered!!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
After the mouse in the greenhouse incident I went a bit overboard with the basil. We have in the garden:
Regular Italian basil
Lettuce leaf basil
Red Rubin basil
Purple ruffles basil
I love basil and it is so fun to see all the different kinds in the garden. They smell so good and boy are they pretty. I love to use fresh basil it adds so much flavor. I LOVE pesto in the summer. That is my favorite meal when I am hot and tired, it gives me the energy I need to get back out there and finish the job!