Friday, May 31, 2013

New Post Just for Mike

hahaha....Mike did not notice the post I posted three times for him to see for my Birthday post, in which, his wife, Liz took all the beautiful picture driving down our country road.

So this one is for you Mike. DON"T miss it!

Potatoes waiting for me to turn them into Potato Salad. I had already cooked them and already boiled the eggs. It is just a matter of mixing everything together for dinner tonight. This will be served with Crock pot Cheesy Chicken. YUM.

My favorite garden clogs. They are so much easier for me to walk on our hills than any other shoe I own. Forgive the swollen right ankle. I fractured it about 1 1/2 years ago and it stays swollen and doesn't have full mobility. These hills is had on it. But I do have to give it some forgiveness because this is the second time I had fractured the same ankle in my lifetime. I am blessed it still works. The little red dots on my clogs are adorable little lady bugs. How cute is that?!

Here is the infamous dairy goat pasture that now takes up the entire right side of or yard up near the house and includes half of the front yard. This is the project that Mr. Farmer, Mike and Joe worked all day on one day last week. Then on the second day Mike and Mr. Farmer finished all the fencing. Now we just need to attach the gate and Mr. Farmer needs to build a small goat house that has an attached milking parlor for me to take care of my ladies. My goal is to have 2 dairy goats, specifically Sanaans. We had this breed about 25 years ago and I love them. The give a good hearty milk that I can do many things with. I will be drinking fresh cold milk, making butter, using in cooking, making ice cream and using it to make soap.  Boy are my fingers ever itching to get to milking again. Thanks guys for getting this much done over a two day period.
Mr. Farmer will be raising his meat goats down with the pigs and the male breeding goat I will also have for the appropriate times. He has the big barn down there and plenty of fenced in pasture in that area. He is down there now finishing the gates so he can let Lucille into the big pasture to graze. Right now she has a small area of pasture and she is such a big girl at 500 pounds, she just needs more room. She will be so grateful. She is such a sweet heart. Not very friendly to anyone but allows me to scratch her head. I will get her to love me as much as I love her yet.
Tonight, Saturday and Sunday Mr. Farmer is planning to go try and help some farming friend haying. He will probably be the "go fer" since he hasn't hayed in years upon years. Our farmer friends/family/neighbors have help us so much, teaching us and actually helping us, Mr. Farmer definitely wants to donate his hands and time to help repay their kindness. I think of our 7 mile road as family, they would all help if need be. I am so appreciative.
This is another angle of the dairy goat pasture that you cannot even see the end of because it goes slightly down the hill to the edge of our driveway. You know that killer driveway that when I walk up it, I have an asthma attack and tachycardia like crazy. Thank you Joe and Amanda for letting me use your 4 wheeler so I don't drop on the driveway trying to walk it.
As you can tell from my basil plant in my herb garden, something is not quite right with the soil. I really feel Mr. Farmer put way too much manure in it. When I get out again, I am planning to pick up some plain old top soil, no additives. As you will see with a few other plants in my herb garden, they also do not quite look right. But I do know if I keep working at the soil every year, this garden will improve..You can tell I am back taking my pictures, please excuse mu shadows. Boy I need to be more aware of the camera.
My leaf lettuce is beginning to be ready to pick, so I suppose I am making a nice fresh green salad to go with dinner tonight. Again, that's my shadow. Sorry!
One of my 4 zucchini plants that are planted on the end of the herb garden are growing but seem to be suffering a little with the soil. So I will be adding some topsoil to them also.
One plant that seems to be doing well in the garden is my rosemary bush. Thanks goodness, I love rosemary!
Well off to finish making our potato salad and enjoy the rest of the day.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wordless Birthday Wishes

....... to Myself and all to enjoy.  Thank you Liz for taking these pictures. This is the reason I am in such a joyful place, just look at what I see every time I drive down 7 miles of my road!

How could I possibly not feel the greatest joy on earth every time I open my eyes to the beautiful mountains I live in.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Productive Week!

This past week has been full of fun and adventures here on the homestead. Mr. Farmer is down in the lower pasture starting to run some electric fencing on the bottom half of the heavy fencing we have throughout the homestead. He had a surprise one day, he went down to the lower pastures and some awnry piglets had gotten out of the pasture by pushing the bottom of the fencing and escaping.  Hehehe, I can just picture Mr. Farmer chasing pigs and them out running him but all was good he got them back into pasture. Momma Lucille just stood at the fence line and bellowed at all the commotion. Mr. Farmer said you should have heard one of the piglets when he picked it up. He was screaming like he was being put to death. So hopefully the electric fencing will keep them in the pasture and keep them safe.

Last week, I think it was then anyways, I posted a picture of my Zucchini Bread. Well, I am trying to remember to post the recipes along with the pictures. So here you go the recipe that goes with my Zucchini Bread, so moist and delicious.

Zucchini Bread

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup oil
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Beat eggs until foamy. Stir in sugar, zucchini, oil and vanilla. Gradually add dry ingredients and spices and nuts. Pour into bread pans that have been sprayed (PAM) only on the bottoms. Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 60-80 minutes. Cool 10 minute. Remove from pans and cool completely on racks. If you can wait that long. We always enjoy warm fresh bread, so it never cools all the way. I store in plastic containers and a lot of the time I freeze the 2nd loaf for later use. ENJOY!

Then I next made my Oat about scrumptious. Here is that recipe before I forget to blog it. I have such a list of things to accomplish my mind goes in a thousand directions.

Oat Bread

1 pkg. dry yeast (I use 1 tablespoon of yeast)
1/2 cup warm water
1 cups of quick oats (or any kind you prefer)
1/2 cup freshly ground whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups boiling water (I use hot tap water)
5-6 cups unbleached flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water. In a large bowl combine oats, whole wheat flour, sugar, salt, and butter. Pour boiling water over all the dry ingredients and mix well. when mixture is cooled to a lukewarm stir in the yeast. Stir in approximately half of the flour. Turn onto floured surface and knead in remaining flour. Place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until double in size. Punch down. Shape into 2 loaves and place into greased bread pans. Let rise again. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Cool on rack and brush loaves with softened butter for a soft crust. ENJOY!

Nothing like home baked bread! YUM!

One last project that I will mention today is a wreath I decided to make for my bathroom. I had not made a fabric wreath for many many years and to be honest I forgot how long it takes. I actually wore my finger on my right hand to the bone. Probably because I have old pinking shears and you have to cut alot of 2 inch square to complete this wreath. It is worth every millimeter of skin I lost because everything I walk past the bathroom, I smile and enjoy its beauty.

Herb garden is completely planted, lets see what is next I can get into.


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Plants Every Where!

Plants have taken over our kitchen table! We have plum tomato plants, round tomato plants, bell peppers, ghost peppers, jalaphnia peppers and more herbs. I cannot wait to get them planted.Then I will have room for my cooking and baking.

This is what 2/3 of my table looks like. Needless to say we have not been eating at the table. Mr. Farmer usually sits at the one uncrowed area and I tend to sit in the living room. All the same room really but two different areas.

Right now I have zucchini bread in the oven and potatoes boling to make potato salad before my potatoes go bad. Next on the list is to bake a batch of oat bread. Having the plants on the table is an issue because I have no counter space except for my hoosier and my 1/3 of the table to use. So unorganized at this time.

Next rpoject I am pushing mr. Farmer to get accomplished is to make my bathroom door. Mr. Farmer kept insisting it would not work but I knew it would. This past weekend I was in NJ for a baby shower and to see my parents. I went to the Amish market there and as I am walking down the isle, low and behold, what did I see? The exact door I want for my bathroom, so of course I took picture to prove I knew what I was talking about. Now I have a picture posted on my fridge with a kind reminder not written on it.

Here is what I am going to have.

.The perfect bathroom door for my tiny hallway that leads to the ultility room. Now to light a fire under Mr. Farmers butt.  hahaha

Back to work on the homestead.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Spring has definitely Sprung!

With the temperature being close to 80 degrees today I think it is safe to say Spring is here Sweet tea is made and in the fridge and cooling.

Mr. Farmer has been diligently working on fence repairs by cutting down locust trees and getting them ready to replace old worn fencing around the farm. There are many looses dogs that run all over our farm at night especially and we need to protect our pigs. I have no doubt that mama, Lucille, will protect her piglets at all costs.With her being larger than myself, I do not even try to handle her babies. Once her babies grow some more, we will start handling them so they are more use to human touch than Lucille is. Unfortunately I think Lucille was not handled much at her previous home. Oh if anyone knows someone who grows Tamworth pigs, please message me at the bottom of the post. We are looking for a male Tamworth to use for breeding our females we plan to keep from Lucille's litter.

Speaking of pig, I must say one pig provides a lot of meat. We still are eating pork from the ones we had butchered last summer. I haven't named the girls we are keeping yet but anyone that I know that will be butchered will have a name related to a pork product. That always helps me remember their purpose here and not get upset when they are off to butcher. I love these animals.
I would need to add that the piglets are now double the size they appear in this photo. Mr. Farmer has been so busy during daylight hours I have not been able to go down to the barn and take new pictures.But soon I will. Maybe tomorrow, I am heading to NJ to my daughter-in-laws baby shower and also getting to visit with my parents while I am there for the weekend.

I planted some of my herb garden but am waiting on planting more once our nights become a little warmer. I went out there to plant yesterday and I noticed my basil and dill did not look 100% healthy. I am not sure if it from the cold at night or if it was the major load of manure Mr. Farmer blessed my herb garden with. Only time will tell. The soil was so poor where this garden is it will take a few years to get the soil up to par.
I painted a sign for my garden, kind of a gentle reminder to Mr. Farmer what goes into my little garden area. hehehe It doesn't appear very straight but it did while I was painting it. I must have been holding my head crooked. Oh well, I used what I had on hand and in general it serves it's purpose. Herbs waiting to go in garden.

At the end of the month Mr. Farmer promised me he would, with the help of a son that will be visiting, fence in my future milk goat yard. Mr. Farmer will also build them a goat house with a milking parlor. Now I need to find 2 Sannan does at a reasonable price so I can have fresh milk to drink, make cheese, butter, ice cream and soap. The dairy goats will be kept up the hill near our home in the side yard. I guess I have to move my fire pit. I will gladly sacrifice my fire pit to once again have my Sannans. Never know if I find some in NJ this weekend I will be bringing them home, SURPRISE!

Well that's all that is happening on the homestead at the moment. I am off to do some mending.