Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I have finally hit maximum capacity on rain. I can't even go into the garden, and I NEED to. I may need a safety line to make sure I can find my way out...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Meet Bear

Apparently our brains are waterlogged with all this rain, because we adopted a stray dog today. It's not like we don't have enough things to occupy our time, but he was so cute and just the kind of dog Chance has been looking for ( and I kept saying 'No' to a puppy), but he is a 2 year old Wirehaired Pointing Griffon (or close to it).
Meg wasn't so sure about another dog in the house, but now she loves, loves, loves him. Or I should say he loves, loves, loves her. No snapping, just 'honeymoon' behavior so far. Wait til Meg wakes up tomorrow and realizes he is still here....


We have sugar snap peas!!!
They are about 3 days from perfect!!!
Maybe all this rain isn't so bad....

The pigs are out!

The pigs are out to the pasture, I took a video of them running through the tall grass with daisies, dandilions and clover, and I could almost hear the sound of music playing the "hills are alive with the sound of music..." They were VERY happy.

TWO days later: A pig is out! As in - out of the fence! Chance was at work but thankfully the kids were in bed. It took a bucket of corn and a good shove through the barn door into the chicken coop to get him back into the pig pen.

TWO MORE days later: The pigs are out! This time 4 pigs lolly-gagging around when Chance drove into the driveway. Mister big pants just lifted up the fence posts and shooed them back into the pasture

TODAY: The pigs are back in the courtyard, a nice secured rock wall fence, til we figure out why the electric fence isn't working....

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Blossoming Peas

As you can see from the new opening photo - the sugar snap peas are blossoming - not much longer before we can enjoy them right off the vine!

Things are moving right along here, we got our shipment of broiler chicks along with an extra 25 Barred Rock pullets which will become our new layers in October. I will post some pictures, but suffice it to say they are all pretty cute at this age.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Heritage Breed Pork

Excerpted from: http://www.localharvest.org/features/heritage-pork.jsp

"There was a time not too long ago, before the boom of industrial agriculture, when farmers and smallholders always kept a modest number of what are now known as heritage pig/pork breeds. These were naturally thrifty, hardy animals raised for their meat, bacon and lard. The food chain worked beautifully for all concerned, the pigs lived off the land , on grass, grains and windfalls, and occasionally whey from the churn.

Unfortunately, heritage pork breeds are not suited for the intensive farming techniques being used nowadays, and some of the older breeds are in danger of being lost forever. Fortunately some are being preserved by a few dedicated farmers concerned about the general indifference of the consumer towards heritage breed conservation.

All heritage pork in America comes from pure and cross-bred livestock:

The Berkshire: a first class black pig with excellent lean meat . Occasionally, when commercial white pork becomes too bland and tasteless, some Berkshire genes are used to improve it.

The Tamworth: a red heritage breed producing the best bacon in the U.S., a direct descendant of the wild boars which roamed the forests of Staffordshire. Was introduced to North America around the 1870's. Very outdoorsy and athletic."

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

WT Breakfast

Apparently my children are spoiled in the breakfast department.
Each morning they are faced with at least 3 choices for what they'd like to eat. Obviously, eggs is one choice, something baked, or cereal. Until recently they have never wanted cereal because I wouldn't buy the sugar cereal. But then, I realized how quickly they eat sugar cereal, and we can move on to the next part of our day, and there is some nutritional value in there somewhere - calcium , right?

Now, I knew I was running low on flour, so I had been incorporating 50:50 white to wheat flour in my recipes. First a loaf of bread, then bagels, then I tried pizza dough (to which Grace said ' and please don't use wheat flour!') I love to bake and to not have fresh bagels or muffins or bread around is not normal. So I find myself after a long weekend, and an extra 2 days home with Grace being sick, completely out of bread, bagels, muffins, and flour. Of course they wanted waffles. We hadn't had waffles in awhile after the OD we got during maple season, so I thought hmmm, yummy! Again, no bread, no flour, and I started to scrounge, and found... wait for it... yes, hot dog buns! To my brother who is completely horrified right now, wait, let me explain. They are the type of buns without the crust - when split down the middle they look like small texas toast dipping sticks. So, I took 2 duck eggs, some vanilla soy milk for sweetener, skim milk and cinnamon and made the best french toast sticks ever, seriously the kids loved them! And, picky- not so trusting of mommy's cooking-Grace requested them again today for breakfast!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Hail Warning

After returning from a wonderful birthday party with the kids on Sunday, Chance called from work to say we might get a hail storm and that I should cover the new seedlings. Can't he do math? 96 cabbage + a bajillion broccoli + a multitude of cauliflower + another bajillion newly planted brussel sprouts equals - its not happening.

So I head out with oodles of 4-inch pots to cover the seedlings in an attempt to protect them from the possible hail {thanks to Melanie who gave me 300+ plastic 4-inch pots from geraniums planted on Memorial day that were destined for the garbage} After placing about 75 pots face down over seedlings, snugged right into the freshly tilled soil, the first gust blew. There go 15 pots across the garden!

So I head out with oodles of 4-inch pots and bailing wire. After placing at least 100 pots securely over the seedlings I realize I am not going to have enough for all the plants! I felt a little like Sophie trying to decide which plants to try and protect. After being soaked and sore, I began to not care and just placed them over all the brand new transplants and enough of each type of other potential victim for a variety and called it quits.

It did hail a few hours later, if only for a minute or so, but we were rewarded with one of the many blessings of our location - an amazing full rainbow and the start of a double rainbow too! ( and all the seedlings were fine!)

What happened to THAT chicken?

From the kitchen window, where I seem to be endlessly washing dishes or hands (or both simultaneously to save time) this is what I am thinking: What on earth happened to THAT chicken??

Upon closer inspection, I realize it's Nellie, our narcoleptic chicken (no lie). She can be walking around and just stop and fall asleep. I have watched as she is edging her way in to a pile of chickens to eats scraps, and then just lay down to sleep. Then a chicken will bump into her, and she'll jump up and start after the scraps again. Strange bird...