Monday, January 30, 2017

Ordering Seeds

I finally finalized my seed order today! I have been working on it for 2 weeks. I am really excited about our gardens this year. I will have some help with a farm intern and since I will be retired in a few weeks I will have the time to once again properly tend it.
Johnny's Seeds got most of my money this year. They are an employee owned company and sell only non gmo seeds. They also have a huge selection of organics. My mammoth order should ship out today. Several varieties of corn, green beans, beets, lettuces and specialty greens should arrive later this week. I also ordered some really cool tomatoes and cucumbers. I am doing a happy dance!
Not to be left out my other favorite seed company, Territorial, got a small order. Red celery, baby ginger and campari tomatoes from them.
My plan is to provide fresh organic produce, plants and eggs here at the farm and to the little store from where I am retiring.
I will have to patiently wait until March or so until I can work the outside gardens. So, for now I will content myself to hanging with sis in the greenhouse where she lovingly tends all the seedlings that have to be set out as plants. I think I shall wander that way now.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

It's been a miserable wet weekend. Between the 5 inches of melted snow and the 2 inches of rain we got over the weekend things are downright sloppy here on the homestead. I did what I had to do outside which including slogging to the barn 3 times a day to feed Velvet, our bottle baby and picking spinach for supper.
I also spent some time knitting. My dishtowels have all made the rag bag and I need to make replacements. I love this super simple pattern. it works up quickly and make a pretty towel.
2 finished, 1 almost done and 4 to go. One for each day of the week!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Wildlife Woes

We have had a terrible problem with Canadian Geese for the last couple of years. Each winter they fly in on our pond and proceed to graze the winter rye field to the ground. No matter how many times we run them off they are back later in the day or certainly the next morning. Some days I would chase them 3 or 4 times!
Doug happened to remember a job they had done a while back and beside a pond on the site was a plastic coyote. He assumed it was for geese control. I was instructed to find one. I finally settled on one from Dick's that had a four star rating. I still had my doubts. When it arrived in the mail I was really skeptical! A pitiful piece of plastic all wadded up it the box, with a fluffy add on tail. Not to worry I was told it had to come to room temperature. Uh huh, ok.
Two days later it was assembled on a post that pivoted in the wind and it's tail stuck on. Doug ran the geese off with a shotgun and put him out. About 2 hours later they flew back in BUT did not get out of the water. Eureka! it worked. They still fly in from time to time but never get out. It really does look quite life like from a distance.
 The grass is recovering and goats are once again grazing.
Even Ludo had to do a double take!

Monday, January 16, 2017

More Organizing

A dreary day today so I continued with my organizing spree and hit the laundry room. It's been a long time since I have seen the top of my dryer.

I got all my soap making supplies in one spot. So much easier to lay my hands on what I need. Now I don't even mind doing laundry!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Crazy Weather

Only here in the sunny south can you go from a low of 8* to a high of 72* in the span of 5 days! It's madness, madness I say...but I'll take it.

After baking special order breads and a few errands I was back home for the day. Though still very soggy, I enjoyed the chance to be outside in the sunshine.
I opened wide the garage doors and gave it a good cleaning. Our dog kennels are in there and with the nasty weather this week it had gotten quite filthy. I organized some shelving that was stacked with junk. Animals were tended at a leisurely pace.
I spent extra time with Ludo and Talon, our 6 month old Belgian Malinois, a new addition as of September, working on their obedience. I hope to have them get their BH (basic handling) title in the fall. They must have that before we can compete.
My sweet daughter in law and my mom came for a later afternoon visit. We lingered outside until almost dark. It was a beautiful spring January!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Icy Driveway!

It will be another stay at home day for me. Our driveway is a solid sheet of ice. I don't mind though I still have lots of cleaning and organizing to do. On today's list it will be the fridge and freezers. I have inventory sheets that I like to keep with what is on hand. They are terribly out of date. Once they are done that will give me an idea of what I will need to stock up on and preserve in the coming year. (You can download for free at the Organized Home website.)
 Speaking of preserving, today is also seed ordering day! I can't wait to get my chores done so I can settle down with a cup of hot tea, build a fire and peruse all of the beautiful catalogs that have arrived.

Saturday, January 7, 2017


The storm came in overnight. Mostly snow with some periods of sleet, totaling about 5 inches. I headed to the barn early to feed hay and 1/2 rations of grain. More hay and the rest of grain tonight. I spent most of the day organizing the kitchen. A pot of chili simmering on the stove and the fireplace burning made for a lovely quiet day.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Another Winter Storm Prep Day

I hit the ground running today. Several special order breads had to be baked and delivered before I could finish up final storm preparations. The weather models seem to be all over the place depending on the track the storm takes but right now 3-6 inches of snow seems to be what the weather people agree on. That in itself is not so bad though any amount of snow here in the sunny south tends to throw our world into chaos, it is the fact that temperatures are not going to get back to above freezing until Tuesday. THAT will be a problem!
While bread was baking I filled all the bird feeders. They were so happy they didn't even wait for me to finish to start eating. I called hubby and reminded him to fill gas cans and get kerosene, just in case we needed the heater and the generator.
Once bread was delivered, I made a dreaded quick trip to the grocery store. I needed cat food and paper towels. Then I hit our local pet food store and picked up an extra bag of dog food and frozen beef bones to keep them busy over the next few days. I have a feeling there will be a lot of garage kennel time! I filled my truck with gas and thankfully headed home.

After I unloaded everything, I headed to the pool. It has been shut down for a few weeks but not winterized so I had to reboot everything and get it running so there would be no frozen pipe disaster.
On to the barn where once again I filled all water tubs, fed extra hay and plugged up heat tapes on the water pipes, drained and stored hoses and tossed a couple of old bales in the shed with for the piggies to snuggle down in.
Lastly a trip to the garden. I harvested what was left of the lettuce. Even under row covers it will not survive the forecasted 7* low on Sunday night. I pulled lots of turnips, then covered them with several layers of row cover. I hope they make it through since they are my favorite food right now. Sweet and delicious I eat several raw every day! A couple of baskets of greens were picked and then went next door to help with sis's garden. There we harvested all the broccoli, more greens and covered some of her things.
By then it was 4 and sleet had started falling. I was glad to call it a day.
Time to hunker down, build a fire, start a couple of pots of soup, some cornbread and wait. I say...let it snow!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A Chance of Snow

Looks like a bit of snow may be in our forecast for the weekend. Snow or no, bitterly cold temperatures are definitely on the way. That means cold weather preparations need to be made. Since I am working tomorrow I tried to get most everything done today. Extra water buckets were rounded up and filled. Hosepipes had to be drained. Extra hay was hauled and racks were filled to the brim. Lastly old hay was scattered in the shed for the piggies and livestock guardian dog to snuggle up in. The animals probably wondered what was up since it was almost 60* today! They will be grateful and so will I when this deep chill moves through.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Though the organizing challenge is not due to start for another week, I piddled in the kitchen yesterday. We have had a couple of rainy days and my urge to get my all together, all together is intense!!
The first thing I did was rearrange some cabinets. That should throw my kids into a tailspin. They still haven't recovered from the last rearrange 4 years ago. Haha!
I also attacked my cookbook shelf. I grouped authors and topics together and kinda put them in alphabetical order. I had to create another whole other space for Christmas books and magazines, as my shelf is overflowing. 
In an effort to eliminate counter top clutter I emptied another piece of furniture and put some larger appliances in it with labels.
It's amazing the things you unearth when going through seldom used cabinets. I found this sweet pottery sheep platter and made it home to all the oils that usually sit scattered on the counter. A pretty good start on getting my house in order!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Life Changes

Well, the last week has been quite a roller coaster ride. The little country store where I have baked for almost 10 years and worked for almost 9 is closing it's doors on January 31st. It was a back and forth hard decision for the owner but in the end she is ready to do something else. This will make her twice retired. Though I am sad at the thought of not seeing our friends/customers I am ready for a change as well. I feel sure someone will step up and reopen the store. I was actually contacted about if I would stay on but after much thought I have decided to get back to my homestead.
The last couple of years I have not gotten to spend as much time here. With baking and working I was pushing over 30 hours a week. In the beginning it wasn't so bad but to be quite honest it's not as easy as it used to be and I am tired! 😉
SO! What will I be doing? Erecting a greenhouse, relocating chicken coops, milking daily, adding a new vegetable garden. A possible CSA may evolve or I may do a farmer's market again. I might actually spend some time in my studio. I will be able to spend more time training my dogs. I have become a distributor for Young Living Oils and Shaklee products, two things we use a lot here on the homestead in the home and in the barn. One thing is certain, I will not be bored!
The first thing on my agenda, however, is to organize my house. I am taking a 14 week challenge from the Bowl Full of Lemons blog! Looks to be fun and by the time I am done Spring will be here. So my friends, life changes yes, but in a good way.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year 2017

Happy New Year  everyone. How about a few baby goat pics to start your year off with a smile!