Friday, February 2, 2018

Long Term Storage

Today I added more goods to our long term storage. I buy in bulk from a co-op and then repackage in smaller quantities. Some items are stored in 5 gallon buckets, like wheat and white flour. Most everything thing else is put into Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers.

I purchased a 10 pound box of dehydrated refried black beans. What I will use in the near future was put into a 1/2 gallon mason jar and the rest were bagged up.
I like the bags with the zip top because once I open it I can still reseal it. A friend showed me a cool trick on sealing the bags with a flat iron. It is so much easier than using a regular iron! Still have 25 pounds of pintos to do!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A Long, Cold Winter

It has been a dreary winter here on the homestead to say the least. The first week of this month brought a deep freeze unlike we have have seen in many, many years. It lasted a week with lows in the single digits and highs in the teens and low 20's. Tending the animals was extremely difficult and unfortunately hubby ended up with the brunt of it since I went down with a nasty bug for almost 2 weeks. Our winter garden was devastated. Not much could survive those temperatures for that extended amount of time. Fortunately we knew this freeze was coming and harvested lots of greens, beets, broccoli and cabbage. It lasted for the month. I am hopeful since the spinach was small it may come back.
Next came the snow. What was supposed to be a dusting turned into 7 inches. 😲 The mud it left behind is so deep it will suck the barn boots right off your feet. The good news is that we are chipping away at the rain deficit. At least that's what I keep telling myself as I go on my daily slog fest!

It is hard to believe but spring is around the corner. Sis has been busy in the greenhouse starting the early spring plants. Broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprout are up. This is always an exciting time of year!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Busy Farm Day

A dear friend arrived this morning to help me get some overdue chores done. We spent the morning cleaning out the barn shed side where I keep feed, the milking stand and the skirting table. Over the summer feed bags had stacked up and garbage cans were full of hay twine. After 1 1/2 hours the truck was loaded and ready to be hauled over the the dumpster hubby keeps on the equipment yard. We stopped and enjoyed a yummy farm fresh salad before unloading.
Once that was done we swept and set up the skirting table so that in the days to come all the fleeces can be finished and readied for shipping to a local mill. We also hauled the milking stand in from under the trees where I have milked over the summer and put it to bed for the winter. The girls have been dried up and kids are expected in March.
Then it was time to separate the sheep. I am doing limited breeding this year with just a few select ewes. I am retiring a couple of old girls, ages  9 &10. They can live their life out on green pasture with no babies to look after! With the purchase of the additional 16 acres we have a lot of work ahead of us and I feel like less will be more next spring. As of right now the girls are with the girls and the boys are with the boys. The rams are extremely pissed with decision as there was a lot of gate bashing this afternoon ;-( !
After my friend left, I had to prune the blackberries, pull up the dead zinnia row in the garden, gather eggs and feed the chickens.
A busy farm day for pics since I have yet to get a new memory card for my camera. That will happen tomorrow after 2 sheep will leave for their new home.
Check out the FB page for pics!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Fall Shearing and Sheep Sales

We are shearing tomorrow. And wouldn't you know when I needed to get pre hair cut pics, my memory card for my camera went kapooy. So for those of you that have been patiently waiting on the sales page to go up, I apologize! I was able to get some decent pictures on my phone and have posted them on the farm facebook page, Maple Lane Homestead. So check it out and if any of these gorgeous boys and girls catch your eye let me know!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Fall Canning

This morning I plugged up the crockpot and started a batch of caramel pecan apple butter. It had to cook all day so while that simmered away I canned jalapenos.The pepper plants are still loaded with peppers of all kinds. Lots of banana peppers are ready too. I'll freeze some of them but that's another day!
At the end of the day 16 jars of jalapenos were canned and 1 large bag was frozen. To freeze them I simply core and drop in a bag. Perfect for adding to salsas and other recipes calling for fresh.

Several jars of apple butter were canned as well. This recipe is SO delicious!! I will definitely be doing another batch before apple season is over.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Fall Garden

Our big garden was in need of some added nutrients so we decided not to plant our fall garden there. Instead we seeded it with rye grain that can be turned in the spring to enrich the soil. The smaller garden by the barn (future home to hoop house) was turned into a beautiful patch of greens! We planted kale, collards, swiss chard, spinach, mustard, lettuce and arugula. Of course, broccoli and cabbage went in along with beets and a late row of green beans.

We have been happily munching on farm fresh salads for the last couple of weeks. Another day or two I'll be picking green beans. Pretty cool considering it;s the middle of October! 

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Photo Ops or Not!

I had hoped to get some good pics of the lambs and sheep we will be offering for sale this year. Instead all I got were backs and butts. Oh well, another day!