Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sitting On The Sidelines

10 days ago I was rear-ended by a car doing about 45 mph. At first I just felt stiff  but as the days worn on a constant pain in my lower back developed and was getting progressively worse. I finally made the dreaded trip to the Dr's office. A pinched nerve and damage to the sacrum he said. Physical therapy, anti inflammatories, heat, ice. No bending, no this point my eyes began to glaze over and I was trying really hard not scream "Do you know what I do!" Instead tears seeped from the corners of my eyes.
Doc asked if I loved what I do. The words tumbled.. Yes, I love what I do. It is what I have done for the last 20 years. It is my life. I am a homesteader. A small time farmer. A caretaker of the earth and my animals.
I bend, I lift, I don't sit on the couch and watch tv. I was angry.

My dear hubby and Mom have stepped up and are doing the heavy chores. I am trying to be patient. I am trying to be good. And for the most part I have. Only occasionally pushing the limits when no one is looking.
And so for now I am feeding the chickens, gathering the eggs, feeding the dogs and baking LOTS of cookies.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Fall Broccoli

The Fall broccoli has started to come in. We love fresh broccoli, frozen not so much, so I fix it several nights a week when in season. We eat it raw, make broccoli salads, steam it and just recently found a divine beef and broccoli dish that is now prepared about every other week. As usual I changed a few ingredients to make it more homestead friendly. Check it out here.

Friday, November 8, 2013

All Things Pumpkin

My mom recently gifted me with some lovely local pie pumpkins. Pie pumpkins are tan in color and tend to have more "meat" to them.
I had purchased a beautiful decorative bread pan from William Sonoma and couldn't wait to try it out so I cooked the smallest pumpkin. I made 8 pumpkin breads over the next week. I just couldn't stop myself, they were just so darn cute!
Then I stumbled on a baked pumpkin donut recipe. Little donuts, big donuts, all so yummy!
I did share with friends and family but finally they and my husband said enough! So, I froze the second pumpkin in 2 cup increments for future pumpkin projects. One lonely pumpkin to go..... This one will be pies for Thanksgiving and maybe one more of those cute little breads before the pan is retired for the season.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

An Impromptu Shearing

A late evening email last night let us know the shearers would be arriving today after noon some time, sent us scurrying. The barn was knee deep in hay and had to be scraped and the sheep were scattered here and there in several pastures. Austin sheared alone this time as Jess is expecting their first baby and has been banned from shearing. 3 1/2 hours and 18 sheep later we had the most magnificent pile of fleeces!! I am sooo excited! These are probably the best we have ever had and I can't wait to play with them. I will probably have about half commercially spun into "Lopi" yarn and the other carded into roving for all the hand spinners out there.
The sheep on the other hand are not near as excited as I am... me thinks they think it is a bit chilly to be naked!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Harvesting Ginger

A few months ago I read an article on growing ginger. Shortly after that I found some local fresh baby ginger, so I bought some, handed it over to my sister to put it in a pot to see what happened. It took quite a while to germinate but finally poked it's head out of the dirt. Later I found a piece at the grocery store that had lots of sprouts that was put in a pot as well. It came up much quicker. For the most part it has lived in the greenhouse under a bench with little care. Today we decided to see what had happened over the last few months. The ginger had definitely grown and the rhizomes had probably tripled in size. We decided to replant most and only keep a few fresh pieces.We trimmed the tops, and divided the rhizomes into 3 pots with hopes of having fairly good harvest next year.
Though not real familiar with growing ginger I do know it likes filtered shade and heat (of course!). It is relatively easy to grow, just liking to be kept moist with a splash of fertilizer every now and then. We will see what the next harvest brings!