Monday, June 24, 2013

Jam Session

With all that goes on here at the farm I still have some time to play around in the kitchen.  When I first started learning how to preserve food, jam was lesson one.  I love the ability to custom make jams to fit my taste and combine unusual flavors.  We have been making jam to sell at the farmers market and have been received well, I have been surprised that my jams have done so well.  I love all of them but what I like I am not sure others will like.. we did samples of our Rosemary Rhubarb jam this past Saturday and sold every jar!  In the three weeks we have been at market we have sold seventy two jars of jam, wow that is a lot of jam.  I will be busy making cherry jams this week.  I ordered three cases of lovely black cherries totaling a whopping 76lbs, that should make quite a few jars of jam and plenty to snack on as well.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Eggs everywhere!!

We have around 260 laying hens. That many hens scattered around our farm doesn't seem too overwhelming in fact I love to see them running about chasing bugs and scratching in the dirt.  One of the many problems with truly free range laying hens is sometimes they lay their eggs wherever the need arises. Most of the hens go in to the coop and lay in the nesting boxes which makes collecting eggs a breeze, they stay nice and clean and are easy to get to.  Some of the younger hens have decided to lay their eggs in various places on the the bushes,under the trampoline, by the water trough... well you get the picture.  Once the ladies get a bit older they go and lay in the boxes but for now we have to hunt for all the pullet eggs.  The kids think this is great fun, I get rather annoyed when I find them someplace unexpected like on the front porch flower pots!

Friday, June 14, 2013

New Farm Baby

We have a sweet new calf!  Florence finally blessed us with a strong healthy heifer calf last week.  After weeks of worrying she had her calf with no problems.  Florence came to us from a grass dairy and seems to be doing well,  we have been milking for a week and she is producing well on very little feed.  We are transitioning to a full fodder feed system and I really think she will be our star producer.  Now to name this little one!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Finding my pot of gold...

If you look closely you can see a very faint rainbow in this photo.  Farming can be a bit like this at times, you really have to look for the beauty.  We have had our fair share of ups and downs in our journey.  With this life you never really know what the day will bring, I have gone in the pasture to find the blessing of new life and on the flip side I have left the pasture devastated from loss.  I always knew that this would be difficult, you always hear about how much work farming is, but someone forgot to tell me how heart wrenching it can be.   Since our arrival here we have lost 100's of chickens, lambs, a butcher steer and the hardest was when we had to put Gladys( the best milk cow in the  whole world) down.  I am faced with muddy lots, manure covered clothes, hay in my hair and dirt under my nails.  Even after all of this I am really the happiest farmer I could be, being able to be HERE to be blessed by my friendship with these animals is priceless.  I get to teach my children good animal husbandry techniques and see them really mature and appreciate those animals that they serve.  My children have a great respect for our animals and with that they teach  other children to see these animals for more than a furry thing to pet.  I love our lifestyle even when I really have to look for that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Miss Florence

We bought this sweet cow from a grass dairy, she really seems to be quite calm and gets along well with the other cows.  Albert (the mini horse) pesters her to no end.  I am not sure why he picks on her so much but he loves to nibble on her ears when she is lying down and then when she gets up he nibbles on her belly.  He leaves the other cows alone but is always by Florence's side.  They are a odd site together to be sure!  I wonder how she will be when her calf comes, we should see in a few weeks.