5 years ago we decided to jump in, head first and learn how to run a 63 acre organic farm. What we weren't expecting was how much this farm would teach us valuable life lessons. This blog is the story of our experiences and learnings.
When you grow lots of garlic you are left with leftover cloves from the garlic that didn't make it passed the drying stage or got too dry or didn't dry enough. Anyway- take those leftover cloves or just break up some of your own garlic.
Slice it- I use my Cuisinart as I chop up a lot. Put in a tray and freeze.
Then take the pieces and store them in the freezer in a container. I use a Ball Jar.- well, 1 1/2 jars that is. Keep them in the freezer and use as you need it!
Then enjoy garlic in the winter and spring after you run out of your fresh garlic.
The turkey house was fine through the storm and all turkeys were fine. The turkeys crack me up. We've got turkeys, hens and broilers all in the same pasture. I think we need more separation between them as everyone likes everyone else's food.
I'll have to get a video of the turkeys-- they crack me up-- if I gobble at them then they gobble back at me.
Sometimes, you just can't plan your day- it gets planned for you. Our evening plans got interupted.
Our neighbors kindly called us to say our eggmobile flipped over. The eggmobile? That thing is huge- how could that flip over?
Well, it flipped. The wind did pick up when the storm passed through this afternoon.
Rocky's house - on the right did not fare well- though the other 2 hoop houses for the turkeys and broilers were fine. They must have missed where the wind gushed.
Thank goodness for Mr Tractor and some work with a chain. the eggmobile was back on it's wheels. Minor damage to the end of the roof and lots of cracked eggs. No chickens/hens/turkeys died- all made it. Rocky must have kept them safe. One hen stayed on her eggs the entire time. Even though they were cracked she would not leave the nest box till we flipped it back over and had to clean it out.
I guess Mike did some good construction as even though it flipped, it's in good shape.
My mom let me have a spot in the garden for my seeds. I planted red lettuce, cilantro,dill and cucumbers. The cucumbers were slowly growing and then it rained and my cucumbers grew a lot!! I was really excited because I looked in and I saw a cucumber! I looked in again and I one more!
I will forever get a kick out of seeing pictures of the food we grew used to make someone elses dinner. These photos are from a CSA member (couple to be exact) and the top is our grass fed beef hamburger with cole slaw. Below is a ribeye steak with bright lights swiss chard with feta (not our feta). Tonight we had chicken (pastured), grilled zucchini with herbs on them, pasta tossed with olive oil and more garden herbs. It's such a pleasure to cook with your own ingredients!
If you decide to move from a regular neighborhood to a farm, do your kids automatically turn into nature loving kids? Well..... depends.
They are hooked on a book called Ecobeauty (disclaimer: I work for the company that publishes this book). Now I thought the book looked cool and it is. My daughter has made about 15% of the items from the book already (on her own with no assistance). Son below has a coffee/chocolate/milk face mask, a hand sugar scrub and a foot oatmeal/cornmeal scrub.
So they may not be into weeding and taking care of the animals, but they are into farm fresh beauty products. Stay tuned because in a few years they'll be making their own soap, shampoo, masks, etc.
So how many people can sleep in a 3 bedroom farm house? Hmm... normally a family of 5. Tonight a family of 5, a family of 4, plus 2 more adults. Death in the family so Mike's family is in town. I hate to say it but deaths can be the cause for so much joy and great memories. Jerry- we're glad you made it to walk Eliza down the aisle and we're thinking of you as you walk through your new door in life.
Luckily we have bunk beds and lots of aerobeds. But only one bathroom in the house so I guess we'll all be standing in line in the am. Good breakfast though. Fresh pork link sausage, potatoes, farm fresh eggs, onions.....mmmm... good breakfast.
And I have a new screen/glass door. I am sooooo happy!!!
Anyone who wants to help weed and garden for a day-- you are automatically invited for meals!
Give it some consideration..... just not this weekend.
Yeah. We need rain. The field has turned to hay. We have about 4 more weeks and if we don't get some good rains we'll be buying and feeding hay. I feel like I live in Texas except that people here talk with Balt'mr accents. (that's for all my Texas followers..... God love ya as I don't know how you live in your weather)
So evidently my blog is SOOOO popular that my mom is now a frequent reader. He-he.
Here are her corrections: evidently our garden in our backyard growing up had NO weeds in it whatsoever- only after vacations. You know how memories fad over time. Maybe there were no weeds but I vividly remember being sent out to weed at the hottest part of the day - like 1pm or 3/4pm and weeding 1-4 huge weeds with that long weed gadget before I gave up. She claims I never weeded which is absolutely true. I hated it and still do.
Point number 2 was that she said I didn't have home-ec in high school-- which means she is reading all my past blogs. :) I did have some class where they taught you about babies and family life and yes how to cook. It could have been part of religion class for all I know but again-- this is my blog memoir so only my memory counts at this point.
I look forward to her future corrections. (maybe she'll even comment right in the blog next time... :)) Love ya mom.... send that rain from the midwest out here!!!
I can't be the only person in the world who had no idea what the difference between a Cling peach and a Free stone peach is? Can I?
I was all set to make jam, preserves, etc tonight and I started boiling my peaches and then chilling them in ice water. Then I went to do the old cut and turn where the peach is supposed to split into 2 and the pit falls right out.
Ah-ha-- only if you have FREE STONE peaches!!! I now understand fully what a CLING peach is and a FREE STONE peach. I kept thinking the peaches were too ripe or not ripe enough and my husband gently pointed out- aren't those cling peaches? Huh? I said and that's the end of the story.
Oh boy-- we better eat up, we've got 2 bushels of peaches to eat.
Rain, rain, rain, rain--- please bless us with your presence-- I am soooooo tired of moving watering lines every 3 hours.
If you have to feed yourself and 12 other families in a CSA, how many zucchini plants should you grow? Great question. Gardening is a bit like gambling. And I'm a terrible gambler. I take risks when I shouldn't and I'm conservative when I should double down.
Here is your history before you place your bet.
2 years ago you had a great zucchini crop (20 plants and say 30 per plant) and 1 year ago your zucchini crop was horrid (90 zucchini plants and 3 per plant).
So you place your bets or double down and decide how many to plant.
This year I went with 2 rows of zucchini. I have no idea how many actual plants I have in there. Maybe 90-120 again like last year- and then you plant, mulch, weed, water and cross your fingers.
This year looks like it will be a bumper crop-- so lets see 100 or so plants at 30 zucchini each.... he-he---- I guess I doubled down and hit the jackpot.
Its really really really early to think about Thanksgiving turkeys. However, we have a limited supply and we are likely to have a much greater demand come September than we can potentially meet. So, if you are interested in purchasing your Thanksgiving turkey from us, please email us NOW so we can reserve a turkey for you.
This year we have Bronze turkeys. They are almost 2.5 weeks old now and are really doing nicely. They run and chase bugs, chatter at me, and are generally wonderful little birds. We will be moving them out onto pasture in another week or week and a half as they feather out. Because we started them in June and not July, they will be about 24 weeks old when we process them. To put this in perspective, last year we processed our white turkeys at 15 weeks. The tom turkeys dressed out at 25-29 pounds each. The hens last year were 17-21 pounds. So...we are going to have some BIG turkeys this Thanksgiving.
I may purchase some more turkey poults from a friend who has heritage birds. They forage well, but they grow slowly. The heritage birds have more dark meat, much less breast meat and have a richer, gamey flavor. I still prefer to eat the Bronze turkeys over the heritage turkeys. The big difference is whether the birds were raised on pasture or raised in confinement, and not the breed, in my opinion. Yes, the commercial breeds have been selected to grow incredibly fast and they get so heavy that they cant reproduce. However, they are hybrid birds and you wouldnt want to keep them as breeding stock anyway.
If you want a smaller bird to fry, let me know ASAP so I can reserve a heritage bird for you. They are more expensive, but they are smaller. $6.50 a pound for Heritage Turkey. $4.50 a pound for our Bronze Turkeys. The Bronze will be pretty darn big by Thanksgiving. If you want a smaller bird, we can process them sooner and freeze them. They will be tender and wonderful for Thanksgiving after you thaw them. If you want a big old fashioned roaster and lots of leftovers, well, then our Bronze birds are for you!