Saturday, December 29, 2012

Turkey Mutiny

There was mutiny in the kitchen tonight. Arms were crossed and toes tapped as I was informed that no one was going to eat any more turkey. But, but.. I picked some beautiful broccoli today and I thought a nice turkey divan would be good. I was met with cold, hard stares. We want beef or fish but NO turkey. I plundered through the freezer and came up with some crab cakes reserved for special occasions. I guess this was going to be one of those. So I steamed the broccoli along with some carrots I pulled and made a roasted red pepper sauce from peppers from the freezer. A side of pasta completed the meal. Peace was restored on the home front, tonight anyway!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas is for.... KIDS?

Your eyes do not deceive you. These are nubian goat kids. Two were born born yesterday and one today. They belong to my mom who lives next door. Looks like milk will be here much sooner than anticipated. This coming week I will put some of my expecting girls in her pasture and bring hers down here. And I just thought January would be a quiet month.....

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The better part of the day was spent cleaning up yesterday's party mess. Lots of dishes to wash up and things to put away.
Next on the list was butchering the Christmas turkey. He weighed in at 20 lbs. A little smaller than Thanksgiving but a big bird all the same.
While plucking I happened to look up and see the ditch beside the shed was on fire. Seems hubby dumped yesterday's ashes too close to some leaves and they caught up. Turkey forgotten we scurried to get water in that direction as it was closing in on a very large leaf pile. I was carrying buckets while he went to get the pressure washer which, thankfully, was full of water. Fire put out, we got back to the task at hand and finished the bird. Never a dull moment around here!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Annual Turkey Cooking

Since the world didn't end yesterday we had our scheduled annual turkey cooking. Every year my husband cooks smoked turkeys for all his employees and some neighbors. A roaring fire is built before daylight to burn down hickory coals for the cookers and for warmth. We serve three meals beginning with ham biscuits for breakfast. Lunch is soup, chicken wings and a spread of snacks..veggie trays, sausage balls, ect. We end the day with ribs, chicken, beans, potatoes and slaw. This year we cooked some of our home grown lamb too. It was a fun day!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Barking Dogs and Barfing Goats

I am sleepy today. One of my dogs lost his mind and barked most of the night. I tolerated it for about two hours before I snapped. I was telling this to my sister this morning. What did you do? I threw an onion at him and he shut up.The onion basket was sitting by the door and it was the first thing I could get my hands on.
While we were chatting I heard our drive alarm go off. I figured it was the painters arriving. It was not. It was the sheep heading up the drive and out the open gate. I scrambled to get on boots and started yelling "sheep, sheep, sheep!!" in her ear. They turned and started running full tilt towards the barn. From her window she could see them barreling down the drive. She said, "Please tell me you aren't in front of them!" In addition to the loose sheep all the dairy goats that were sharing the pasture with them were out as well. I got everyone up and went to inspect the damage. The ram in that pasture had a very bloody head. I know he was fighting through the fence with the other ram but have yet to find where. The blueberry bushes were missing their beautiful red foliage, but no harm done there. The magnolia tree was trimmed as high as hind feet would allow. Thankfully they had not made it as far as the garden. It looked like the damage was minimal.
Everyone secured, I went out to run a few errands. When I got home and started afternoon feeding chores I noticed a couple of goats looking a bit strange. Upon further examination I realized that they were actually throwing up! Barfing goats are not a pretty picture. I had three. I assumed it was the magnolia tree. leaves. I called the vet. He told me to dose with activated charcoal, wait a few hours and follow up with pepto bismal.
Everyone's tummy seems to have settled and they are all doing fine. Oh, and the dog has forgiven me.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Loosing Track Of Time

Time does pass so quickly these days! One minute we are thinking about Thanksgiving, then it is over and the Christmas rush begins.
We have been quite busy here on the homestead.
Lots of wood has been split and stacked awaiting the cold winter. We had a short cold snap but this past week temps were back in the upper 60's and low 70's!
We butchered our turkey for Thanksgiving. He weighed a whopping 22 pounds. That was okay though as we were blessed to have 25 at our table this year.
The garden is starting to produce some yummy things to eat. Lots of greens, broccoli, turnips and carrots are being harvested almost daily. And FINALLY our young hens are starting to lay. I had taken to standing by the coop chanting stew pot, stew pot.....those thing cross your mind when you only gather 3 eggs from 30 hens!
The sheep have enjoyed the cooler nights and the parasites have momentarily disappeared. All the dairy goats are bred and some are starting to show a bit.
Of course there has been the never ending round of keeping up with the leaves. Mowing, munching and dumping in the garden each weekend. Soon it will be time to turn them under.
Another thing keeping us quite busy is the remodeling project my husband decided to take on...right here at the holidays! He tends to ponder things long and hard but when he puts his mind to it, things tend to move so fast that it literally leaves me breathless. So, for the past week a steady stream of workmen have been in and out. Here at the break of daylight and staying well after dark. We were in desperate need of a new roof. The house needed painting. The upstairs bathroom had a leak in the tub. The garage doors need to be replaced with insulated ones. Our house is 22 years old and needed some TLC for sure. BUT NOW?  Being that we host Christmas, I begged to have things done before then. All of the guys have assured me that will happen....and now if you will excuse me, I must go breathe into a paper bag. ;o))

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Bread Experiment Gone Bad, Gone Good!

While making the usual Saturday sourdough for the store, I decided to try doing some whole wheat for us. I have made it before using 1/2 wheat flour and 1/2 white flour and it was ok. This time I used all wheat and instead of sugar used honey. Well.... after hours of rising or I should say not rising and baking, I had a loaf of bread that resembled a brick and was just about as heavy. Though edible it was very sweet and not what I had in mind. Sigh. I set it aside to feed to the chickens. As the day wore on, I couldn't help but think it could be used for SOMETHING. Then it hit me... bread pudding! I cubed it up and sprinkled with raisins. I mixed milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla & almond extract poured it over the bread. Let it sit for a while to soak up the liquid. Lastly I sprinkled slivered almonds on top and baked. Wow! They chickens loss was our gain. Looks like the boo boo bread may be repeated and end up on a holiday table.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Going Nuts

The pecan trees are hanging full. Well, mine aren't due to a squirrel invasion, but the neighbors are and were are blessed to be able to help ourselves. My mom has made it a afternoon ritual to pick up a nuts each day. Thus far she has picked up close to 10 gallons. Now they are sitting in my garage patiently waiting to be cracked, bagged and frozen. Each evening I crack a few. It has taken a while to get a noticeable stash since I ate so many in the beginning!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Oh Deer, DEER!

Another weekend hunt and two more deer were brought home. This morning was once again spent processing meat. A lot of this will be shared with parents and kids. These deer were huge and it took quite a bit longer but we have managed to get a little system going so it is not so bad. I actually figured out how to cut some steaks today and so dinner tonight will be steaks with brown gravy (made from last week's stock) and rice.
Lots of stock has been made with the crock pot going almost non stop for the last week. I might have more to freeze if I would quit drinking it. Yum!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Oh, Deer!

My brother in law hunted our Virginia property Saturday  and came home with a very large doe. This morning's chore was to help my sister cut it up. There are some local places that would do it but they are charging 100.00.  Last year we decided that money could be put to better use and started doing our own. Gary quarters it for us and puts it in a cooler full of ice for us to work up. Today we were done in short order with lots of bags of ground, stew beef, tenderloin and roasts. The leg bones with all the tough tendons were saved for stock. A plus is that once cooked for all those hours there is a lot of meat that falls away and that can be saved for BBQ sandwiches or soup.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Adjusting To the Time Change

I got an extra hour this morning to figure out if I could crawl out of bed from yesterday's leaf raking chores. Much to my surprise I was only slightly sore and had done no great harm to any large muscle groups!
I hate the time changes.... Doug was up at his normal 5 'ish, which by my clock was 4 'ish. Sometimes I really don't care for happy morning people. Because of the farm, I am of the morning people sect. That doesn't mean I  have to be happy. Are you ready for breakfast? No. Want some coffee? No. Go away.
Finally we are beginning to harvest some fall goodies from the garden. Today I picked an armload of kale. More turnips and lettuce were added to the basket as well as some broccoli. The garden has been slow to recover but being that we have had no rain since early September, we'll take what we get!
One great accomplishment today was finally getting the garlic in. I was a good girl this year and only ordered 4 lbs....However, I forgot to order elephant garlic so I will have to plant some of my winter stash if I want some next spring.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Leaf Duty

I swore I would not get behind in cleaning up leaves this year. Unfortunately, Sandy roared in and I was behind within hours. Today hubby and I spent the day raking, blowing and munching leaves with the mower. Some areas were just too thick to vacuum so they were raked on a tarp and drug to a nearby ditch at the treeline. These leaves made me fear tomorrow... would I even be able to CRAWL out of bed in the morning? Others were blown into natural areas. The large areas of the yard were sucked up, munched up and dumped in the garden. Later I will rake them out in unplanted areas of the garden and use some for mulch between the rows of greens.
A good day, a long day, but one that leaves certainly leaves a sense of accomplishment at the end. And also promises a good nights sleep! 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Fall Shearing

Today I brought up the sheep for shearing. Our shearers were to arrive between 5 and 6 this evening. I plan to shear most of the small lambs myself so it was just the bigger, older sheep coming in. As it was, the shearers didn't arrive until 7. I told them we are old people and this may cut into our bedtime. Even my chickens were in bed!
Shearing went smoothly and since there were no rowdy youngins' to shear, we finished in about 2 hours, which was still 18 sheep. I left the now naked sheep in the barn for the night. I have several lovely fleeces to work with and plan to send some off to have "Lopi" yarn spun up. In the next few days I will make decisions on breeding groups and get everyone divided up and sent to separate pastures.
Thanks Austin and Jess!

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Day In The Kitchen

We have been experiencing some pretty high winds today from the bands of hurricane Sandy. The temperature has dropped dramatically. Not a fun day to be outside, but a good day to spend in the kitchen. I had been commissioned to make 150 biscuits for a function Friday. After much thought we decided the best route would be the angel biscuits. They freeze well and could just be popped in the oven 20 minutes before needed. I did not want to make them too far in advance for flavor reasons.. I am a bit weird when it comes to frozen bread. She was much less concerned than I. So, I figured I could live with 4 days in the freezer.
 After I made the biscuits, I froze them for about 30 minutes on wax paper and dropped into freezer bags.
And while I was in biscuit making mode I made some Cheddar and chive to go with supper tonight. They turned out to be quite delicious!
Since it was so chilly, I put a pot of chicken quarters on to cook for chicken and rice soup. And then I decided, what the heck,  I made some cabbage rolls with the beautiful leaf cabbage in the garden. And finally, a yummy turnip au gratin. The kitchen stayed quite warm and smelled divine. Best of all, I can take a few nights off from cooking! (I will post all the recipes on the "Eating Blog" soon...)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Garden Dictates

Every Sunday I make out my menus for the week. I peruse the garden to see what is growing and ready to harvest. This helps me make a grocery list and plan what I may want to cook. In spite of the animal damage we have incurred lately, we may actually harvest a good bit this week!
Today I saw lots of turnips. The Beira Tronchuda cabbage have several leaves that are ready- either to fry or make cabbage rolls. One head of broccoli, some kale and a bit of spinach can also be picked. AND if the poultry don't behave they may also be harvested. I also have several head of lettuce in the herb garden by the house. I am off to plan menus!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Problem Solving Rock

We delivered several cashmere goats to their new owners this morning which just happened to be on the way to our farm in VA. Sooo...
We arrived at the farm at noon and only had about three hours before we needed to head back to finish chores. We ate a sandwich on one of the highest hills and enjoyed the fall colors. I think we missed the peak by a few days as some trees were already naked but still it was a glorious sight. We headed out for a hike. Lots of turkeys were hanging out by the creek and we discovered a major deer highway. After a two hour hike we were starting back to the truck when Doug wanted to walk my "perfect" future driveway. It runs along a creek and passes by a huge rock overhang. Under one of the rocks a natural spring bubbles up. I want to dig that out, make a pool and waterfall that will flow under the drive through a pipe. We climbed to the top of the overhang and sat for a while. As usual we discussed future plans, how soon, what we needed first, that kind of thing. We know we need a barn but we also need a decent dwelling to live in while working- preferably one with running water and plumbing! I mentioned the possibility of a barn with an apartment. Eureka! And furthermore why couldn't we pay someone to paint the outside of our house here in order to give us the time to start the fencing. Oh boy, now we were on a roll. Alas, it was time to climb down from our problem solving rock and head home. I think if we could have stayed there longer we might just quite possibly have been able to solve the problems of the world....
(Next time I will post pictures of said rock!)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

My mom is having a little get together today and asked me to make a table arrangement.
I put this together.. thought it turned out kinda cute!
I have been playing with the felted bowls some more and made this one for a friend. The black swirls are locks from her Portuguese water dog, Savvy.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Taste of Fall

The trees are beginning to show their lovely colors. It is a sight to behold come dusk as the yellows almost glow in the dark.
This time of year is most pleasant, as things have begun to slow. There is no hectic milking schedule or feeding of young kids. We are not buried in a summer harvest of tomatoes (though I do miss them!). While chores must still be done they are accomplished at a much more leisurely pace.
I was supposed to organize the pantry today. I didn't. Instead, after baking and delivering bread this morning, I decided to get some soap made. I have several requests for some scents that I don't have on hand. I made four batches before heading out to feed animals. I took my time and visited with everyone a bit longer than usual. I also took some photos of one of our rams that will going up for sale soon.
I did a garden check and harvested more turnips, a couple of large handfuls of kale and some lettuce.
I pondered supper and came up with a blue cheese stuffed meatloaf (recipe here), roasted potatoes and a salad. With the exception of the blue cheese all ingredients came from the farm.
Then I set a  lovely fall table on the porch.
Dinner was divine, my company was good (hubby and bird dogs!). Today was homestead heaven.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Little Felted Bowls

Oh there was plenty that COULD be done outside today but I had an intense urge to piddle in my studio. Something that I haven't done most all summer. Besides the weather man is calling for rain. Never mind the sun is shining.
The little one is done free form with roving while the bigger was felted on a ball. I plan to add a bit more detail around the top of the little one.
It was nice just to play a bit!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Secret Garden

Since all the animals know where the big garden is, I decided a secret garden may need to be planted. Just in case....
It is really not a secret, but the kitchen herb beds. Today I planted collards, broccoli, lettuce and kale. So if an animal disaster does occur again I have a small amount of backup! And too, this area could be covered with protection in the event of a really bad cold snap.
It has already started producing some really lovely lettuce...
I also planted a flat of pansies that have been waiting ever so patiently.
Now I just need to get it all mulched!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Plowing and Planting

We spent the better part of the day weeding, plowing and replanting what the critters have wreaked havoc on the past week. Luckily we found some cabbage plants, a few collard plants and there were still a few broccoli left in the green house. This could quite possibly be the saddest winter garden on record. Well, maybe the one where a wascally wabbit ate 30 something broccoli in one night beat it....
On the bright side we harvested the first small turnips and a large crop of radishes. So many in fact, I should be able to ferment some tomorrow. I had hoped to get the garlic in but we ran out of time.
On the critter front I have been doctoring one of my dairy girls. I have dried everyone up but she wasn't quite ready and developed a nasty case of mastitis. Poor thing she has been pretty miserable. Twice daily milkings and antibiotics have her on the mend and it looks like she will recover nicely..

Friday, October 12, 2012

First Birds....Now sheep!

This morning I was busy in the kitchen. I looked out the window to see lambs meandering through the yard. These lambs had been residents of the orchard which is beside the garden. This is not good I muttered as I pulled on boots and hurried outside. Sure enough the had enjoyed a salad bar breakfast of cabbage. ALL of the cabbage. They like kale and mustard too. Sigh.
I decided if they were well enough to escape they were well enough to go back to the big pasture. And they did. Mom, bless her, had watered yesterday while I was at work and had not latched the gate tightly. I reassured her it is what it is. Water over the bridge. We will try and replant what we can and hope for enough warm weather to get transplants established. If not, well, we will be cabbageless this winter. LOL!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

There were only a few escapees today. Mostly the chickens that have live at the barn their whole life and just a couple of naughty turkeys. I clipped the turkey wings and returned them to the pasture and went to investigate the route of escape for the hens. One hole at the far end of the run was found. I fixed that and returned the girls to the pen. Now let's see what TOMORROW brings!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

In A Fowl Mood

The last few days the chickens and turkeys have decided to make the garden their new feeding place. They have managed to wipe out half a row of kale and severely injure the collard and cabbage plants. Arugula seems to another favorite as it has been mowed to the ground. I have clipped wings here and there but they are still managing to hop the orchard fence. So today I was on the warpath.
I blocked every hole along the ground and patched every spot I could find in the fly net. Then I commenced to catching. Turkeys and roosters and hens, oh my! One by one with the help of my trusty bass net they were captured, clipped and sent to the penitentiary for an undecided amount of time.
Unfortunately we are covered up with roosters and some just can't get along with others. Those that could not play nice ended up in smaller pens alone and will either go to new homes or freezer camp as soon as I have time. By days end I was in a much better mood. Lets see what tomorrow brings!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Garlic has Arrived!

Today the garlic I ordered from Territorial Seed arrived. I tried some new varieties this year along with some old favorites. Unlike last year I did show some restraint and only order 4 1/2 pounds this go round!
I ordered Music and Susanville two mid season varieties that I love. The new ones to try this year are Italian Late, a softneck, mid season garlic. Duganski also a midseason and finally Premium Northern White a large cloved late variety.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

In Memory of Chance

Keeper of the flock, guarder of the poultry. Holder of my heart.
I found Chance had crossed the Rainbow Bridge sometime during the night, this morning. Only 9 it was a sad shock. Thankfully it seemed he has just gone to sleep...
He has been with us since he was 16 weeks old. I named him Chance because I told him he only had one chance to prove himself. Very standoffish from lack of human contact it didn't take him long to become part of the family or prove himself!
He will be missed desperately... goodbye our good and faithful friend.

Friday, October 5, 2012

It has been a quiet week here on the homestead. The daily chores are much easier now. We are in between garden season..waiting for the winter crops. We have let the okra go to seed and only a few lone pepper plants remain. I am craving greens!
It is time to start thinking about breeding plans for next year. Actually, I am a bit behind and even if the goats breed now it will be March before we have fresh milk again. I am milking one more week and freezing it all for soap and cheese. The girls have let me know they are done, their milk supply dwindling daily. One older girl is being retired. She has battled arthritis and hoof issues all summer. She is most unhappy living with the youngsters. I have caught her staring longingly at the buck pasture on more than one occasion! That leaves only 5 does being bred this year, 4 alpines and 1 saanen.
I have the cashmere goats for sale but will go ahead and put the buck in with them. My plan was to sell them in order to enlarge our Icelandic flock but with the parasite issues this year, those plans are being reconsidered. I  think some of the sheep that suffered the most will be allowed to regain good health and rest for a year. If they show no improvement the following year, I will cull them. This year has been the second most challenging for us since we starting raising Icelandics five years ago. That being said, I am not sure how many we will be breeding this year. Certainly a few but definitely not all!
Luke is home for the weekend and said he would love to work since he is a starving college student (not!) and I have a very long list for him. I look forward to visiting with him and "the dog"!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Annual Beach Trip

The last few days were a whirlwind of activity. We were getting ready for our-or should I say-the boys annual fishing trip. This is a most stressful time for me. I have to make sure all the critters are in fairly good health, which has been a challenge this year with the parasite issues we have faced. A very long list was made for the farm sitter. Another wonderful friend had stepped up to the plate to stay here and tend the farm.  She was raised on a dairy farm but is out of practice. Milking is like riding a bicycle she has assured me!
I tried to condense pastures to make feeding easier. I gave each animal a hands on check to see how they were doing. Some were moved to a "medical pasture" so our sitter could keep a closer eye and offer a bit of extra care in the way of grain and hands on care. Phone numbers for emergency care were left and a number for someone who, heaven forbid a critter should die, would come and bury it. Groceries, linens and clothes packed, we pull out of the drive....
It was a lovely trip. The boys caught lots of fish and I took the grand dog for a 3 1/2 mile hike. We cooked awesome meals and ate local fresh fish every day.
Everyone survived our trip- including me!! It is good to be home. The sitter assured me she had a great time and has urged us to leave again. Silly girl.. The grass needs to be mowed and the garden weeded. I can't wait to get started!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Herb Bed Additions

A few herbs were added to the beds today. A nice lemony thyme that will be great with chicken and some cilantro to add a mexican flair to dishes.
And some lavender.. not an herb I have cooked with a lot, but plan to experiment with in teas and cookies!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Outsmarting The Sheep & Goats

After having  turned the turkeys out in the front pasture with the sheep and goats I ran into a problem with feeding them. Every time I fed the turkeys, the sheep and goats would magically appear, no matter how far I believed them to be, to eat their food. Turkey food is not good for the four leggeds and many times I would hose it down just to keep them from eating it. So today I sprinkled the food OUTSIDE the fence. The turkeys can reach through but the sheep and goats cannot!!
Okay, so I may not be smarter than a fifth grader.. but today I am smarter than a goat! Hmmm.. not sure how that makes me feel.

Monday, September 10, 2012

What's Black and White...

With purple polka dots?
A LGD with a hot spot!!
Poor Gip, he is so embarrassed! When I fed this afternoon I could see the beginning of what what soon be a huge hot spot on his side. The blue lotion has been my friend this year, clearing up the hot spot on one of the other dogs in record time. A couple of days and it has dried them up and they have healed nicely.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Headed To The Hills

Last year we had problems with people trespassing and hunting our farm in Virginia. An early morning decision was made to head up and post the fence lines. So after the morning milking and chores, we tossed a picnic of homemade bread and egg salad, pickles, cheese and apples in the truck and hit the road.
It was 10 degrees cooler there and the wind was blowing. A heavy shirt was needed most of the day! We posted for about 2 1/2 hours, getting the main line where people tend to cross done.
The apple trees are hanging full. Of course I had no ladder this trip so we picked what could be reached and hope to get back before they fall and the deer enjoy more than we do.
We enjoyed our picnic on the tailgate of the truck before heading back down the mountain. A lovely day!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Crowder Peas

A good chance of showers are called for this afternoon and sent me out to the garden early. Way behind on the okra picking, I had to toss half on the ground. There was still a huge amount though, plenty to share with family and then some.The great find of the day though was the first of the crowder peas were ready! A large basket was filled and menu plans changed. I will simmer the fresh peas in the beef stock from yesterday~ Yum! In addition to the okra and peas more basil was picked. That means more pesto needs to be made. I was afraid we would be buried in pesto but it seems to be the new favorite meal and we have been working on the winter reserves already.
The promised storms did arrive and give the garden a much needed drink of water. And afterwards the most beautiful rainbow...
That was only mid day, so it left plenty of time for evening chores to be finished and some weed pulling in the herb bed!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Let Us Pray

My sister went in for surgery today. She was very stressed and worried, understandably so. You know that I'm scared I won't wake up thing... Anyway, when the doctor came in he saw her tears, he grabbed her hand and said do you want to pray? HOW cool is that? Unfortunately, I missed it because he was the same doctor I had last year that was always at least an hour late for my appointments. He was 45 minutes early for hers! He is now back on my good list after today.
She did great and is home. After she was settled, I got all the girls milked and fed and hurried to the kitchen to make mega pans of lasagna for the family to munch on this weekend while she takes it easy. I also started a batch of beef broth in the crock pot. Once her goodies were tucked in her fridge, I finished barn chores and the new Friday mowing chores. It has been hot and dry this week so all of the new plantings had to be watered as well.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I See Green!

The kale is already peaking out of the ground! Yeah!
I am ready for all those healthy hardy greens and a long cold winter.
Most everything we have planted thus far with the exception of the carrots are up.
I checked over the sheep today and a few are still struggling. The worst were wormed. I filled mineral feeders and hay bins.They too, are looking forward to a long cold winter...
One of the guys that works for Doug spent the better part of the day plowing and disking the lower field. It looks really good and all that is left to do now is pick up rocks (and plant of course). There are LOTS of rocks. As soon as it is ready we plan to plant a forage rye for the critters to enjoy this winter.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Fall Plantings

Today I planted broccoli, collards, brussels sprouts and cabbage starts. Several kinds of cabbage were planted, stonehead, purple and napa to name a  few. I have yet to raid the greenhouse for the plants my sis has started for us. I also sowed radishes, carrots and kohlrabi, both purple and white. Tomorrow I will head to the feed store to pick up the rest of our fall seeds. Doug attempted to plow the lower pasture to ready it for a winter rye crop. The ground was so hard we may need to bring in some bigger equipment to break the ground. Earlier in the week he was able to spread all the barn scrapings that had been composted over the summer in an effort to help enrich the soil. Hopefully we can get it ready to plant and have that as a winter forage for the goats and sheep.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Preparing The Fall Garden

Much work had to be done before the fall garden could go in. All of the tomato plants had to be pulled out and supports hauled to the shed. The hog weed in some places was head high and had to be cut out before tilling so as not to scatter any more of their seed. The pumpkin and winter squash plants weren't even visible and out of frustration I had Doug plow it all up. They only crops left are crowder peas, okra, basil and watermelons. I know, I know, whoever heard of watermelons in September? But melons we have and picked the first ripe one today!
Once that was done, Doug could finally begin tilling. I had hoped to plant today but decided to let the hot sun work on the grasses and roots for the day. So, once the garden was in some semblance of order, we moved on to the herb bed where we weeded and got them ready for the new herbs that I hope to get in next week.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Time For a Change

I spent the better part of today refreshing all the pots on the patios. The summer plants were looking sad and  I was ready for a change. Fall will soon be upon us. I found some really beautiful mums and changed everything out.

Oh, and then I mowed grass....
Luke is home for the weekend and my older son stopped by. They were most impressed by my new grass mowing capabilities! Tomorrow the fall garden MUST go in....

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Baa Baa Bad Sheep

I have been letting the lambs graze the yard for the last few weeks. It has been nice to wake up and see them outside my bedroom window grazing the front yard. But....

They have crossed the line and will now be sent back to the penitentiary. These WERE big beautiful cabbage plants waiting to go in the winter garden.

 And this WAS a potted plant...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Fall Hay

I can't believe it is hay mowing time again. We mowed the fields on two separate days so we could bale on two separate days. We were not sure what kind of help could be lined up and with Luke being gone...
But help we had, even showing up today on a Sunday! They are a wonderful group of guys!! 663 bales later all the fall cutting was in the barn. Most of this hay will be sold as the big barn is still full. That should help cover the costs of twine, fuel and paying the boys.
I was actually not needed this go round but I did get to mow-- only it was our yard, not the hay fields. I also worked up the last of the apples for a second round of jelly. The summer garden has played out except for okra, hot peppers and basil. I harvested large amounts of all three. I will spend this week preserving these goodies.