Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Happiness is......

Having your own milking jersey cow. Her name is Julica but we call her Honey.
If you get a cow, make sure you order your milking equipment BEFORE the cow comes. Although the pleasure and peace of hand milking at 6am and 6:30pm is also fine for a while.

Also-- make sure you have a way for her to get in and out of the pasture on her own. (that part won't be done till end of June-- so I'm getting good at leading her around with her halter).

Cream separator and butter churn coming in a week as well. In the meantime--- I'm back to making cheese, kefir and right now cooking up some fromagina. Will need a cheese press by end of the summer and a big ice cream maker. Cereal with fresh milk and cream is really fabulous and my coffee was never better.

Cows are fun.....

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Favorite

Garlic and shallots--- they love the rain. YEAH!!!
Rosa and Rocky will meet their new dog buddies tomorrow. We now have 2 more Great pry's. Sheila and Susie.
Julica arrives tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I Can't Keep Up

With postings that is....
Every time I take a picture, whatever I took a picture of doubles in size. Take this Tarragon bush for example. It is now twice as tall. For those in the CSA-- the herb garden looks fabulous and you should cut herbs all summer and dry them. Dry them and crumble them up and put them into containers or even little baggies. Then use them all winter and save yourself the cost of buying herbs.

The peppers were planted last weekend in the wonderful cloudy days. I told myself I'd go easy on peppers this year and I again failed. 3 full rows of peppers.... one CSA member told me recently that he still has peppers in the freezer from last fall. Me too-- I still have one and a half gallon sized bags left. This is good! Peppers are easy to freeze and are wonderful to use all winter long.

The garden is going to go quickly as the weather warms up. Beans will go in along with melons memorial day weekend.

And if the garden isn't keeping us busy enough, we did fill in with new blueberry bushes, plant 4 cherry trees, 3 peach trees, more cut flowers, sunflowers and cucumbers last weekend.

We also have 4 new goats (nubian goats), 2 new great pyr guard dogs that come in the next week along with our new Dairy cow Julica who comes on Friday (she comes with a name and we don't feel right changing her name on her as she is 4 years old).

Yes, dairy cow comes on Friday. I have had dreams about making butter and homemade whipped cream for 2 years now........ the dream is going to come true very soon....

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Glorious Rainbows at the Farm

We've had short rainfalls the last few weeks. On Friday night we had a special treat, a quick shower followed by a double rainbow. As we saw it out the window we all squealed- the girls ran to get their phones and I got my camera.

On the other side of the rainbow it lead straight down on top of the new eggmobile for the hens. So I guess the pot of gold are eggs from hens raised on pasture (now being fed organic feed). I couldn't agree more...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Green Akeys Family Farm and The Dukan Diet

I had no idea what the Dukan Diet was until I heard that Kate's mother is on this diet. And yes, I did watch the wedding last week-- loved it!
So I had to read about this diet, what is it all about? (disclaimer- I work for the company that publishes this book)

The Dukan Diet: 2 Steps to Lose the Weight, 2 Steps to Keep It Off Forever [Book]

Ah-- all about proteins again. Serious protein phase then slowly add back veggies and other good items in the last phases.

So what does this all have to do with Green Akeys Family Farm?

Well, as part of the diet you need to eat lean meats. Where can you get lean meats? At Green Akeys Family Farm of course! Dr Dukan says that lamb is prohibited in phase 1 of the diet but he hasn't seen or eaten our grass fed lamb- he'd change his mind if he saw it and tested it out. But our grass fed beef fits right into this program as well as chickens and turkey.

And what else should you eat on this diet? Eggs-- eggs from hens raised on pasture would be the best. So yet again our farm is down with all the latest buzz out there in the real world. :)
I'm thinking of trying out the diet and seeing what it does for me. We had a little too much fun making and eating goat cheese this winter and consequently I did gain weight over the winter. So back to lean proteins and veggies.... I know where to get them!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Spring Green Akeys Farm Update Part 2

Lilacs are in bloom! Nothing says spring like the smell of lilacs in the air.

I planted 1 row of zucchini in hopes for an early crop. The other 2 rows will get planted in a few weeks as the weather warms up. I am testing a few of these 'hotcaps' to see how they do.

The potatoes are all planted. This year we were smart and planted them in order from Early harvest to very late harvest. Didn't really think about that this last year and I learned my lesson. It's a lot of potatoes out there. I really hope they all do well. Though if they do well I have no idea if the CSA can eat that many potatoes? We'll sure try.

I am in love with my garlic yet again this year. The cool weather and the wonderful rain is helping them out. They are looking so good. Each year the garlic plot has doubled in size, if that keeps up it won't take long till the entire farm is garlic. I do think I will try to double the garlic for 2012 as I still see varieties out there that I want to try.

I love when all animals share the shaded areas in the pasture.

And speaking of pasture. It is growing! This year, as much as we want to put the animals on this pasture, we must wait for fall/winter as the grasses need to get established. If we put the animals out there now they would pull the grass up root and all. That would not be good. So these grasses will grow tall and we'll cut them once for some hay for winter. Then in the fall/winter we'll be able to let them graze.

This year we have 2 bee boxes. Unfortunately that means no honey again as we need a year of comb building and the honey that the bees do make needs to be for them to survive the winter.