Friday, December 4, 2015
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Monday, November 2, 2015
My husband and I took a walk on our property through the woods. We went up and down hills, over rocks and fallen trees, and over a creek. We found eight different types of mushrooms and walked back to drop them off at the house before proceeding down to the creek to forage for persimmons. I walked towards the picnic table to put down the mushrooms and stepped directly in a hole. I fell over completely loosing all the mushrooms I was carrying in both hands. My husband behind me saw the whole thing and told me I almost hit my head on the picnic table. When I finally could sit up, I was in so much pain. I couldn't put any weight on it. I asked my husband to get me ibuprofen and we headed straight to the emergency room. Broken fibula.
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
All of the tomato plants got blight this year. They did keep producing tomatoes, and there are still a bunch coming in now, but because of the blight over such a large area of the garden, I have to not use that garden next year. That's fine. The raised beds were a great idea in theory, but maintaining them is hard. If it was one flat surface, weeding would be easier.
Next year, that entire area is going to get rototilled and I'm just planting some rows of corn. Maybe try the three sisters thing with corn, beans, and squash. We're going to set up an area near the orchard (front of the house) to use as the garden. Less tomatoes, more food we actually eat. I did great with the beets and carrots, onions and potatoes, but next year I need to plant beans and peas and stuff for salads.
Meat production is going great! We had two (of the seven) hogs processed this year and ended up with 330 pounds of mixed cuts for the freezer. I made over 50 pounds of various sausages - Italian, bratwurst, kielbasa, and breakfast. I've started one ham (I want it for my birthday party at the end of this month), and brined 18 slabs of belly for bacon. I smoked 8 of those last week to take up to my family this past Saturday. Cooked some bacon for breakfast at dad's and it was really tasty. I hope they all like it. If not, more for me in the long run.
I have over 15 quarts of hot and sweet (mostly hot) peppers fermenting in the kitchen. Going to turn that into fermented pepper sauce. I had good luck last year making some. I'm following the same method so I have high hopes for this batch. I'll need to get one of my husband's friends to be my official taste tester; he loved last year's!
Traded my rooster Bob, the Buff Orpington, for four Barred Rock hens. They had too many hens, and I had three roosters and five hens so it worked out great. He was with me from the beginning; I had him since he was a 3-day old chick but he wasn't appreciated here because he was the beta rooster. Chip is still around; he's the alpha and he's happier now that he's the only male. The one chick who managed to not get eaten turned out to be another rooster (Half Amerucuana and half Buff Orpington). I gave him to my friend who also needed a rooster - especially after watching and waiting for this one chicken who she thought was a male to step up and start acting roosterfish. Turns out, he's a she; she laid an egg instead of starting to crow. In her defense, she thought with the big comb and wattle that it was male. It's really hard to tell them apart until they start sprouting spurs, crowing, or laying an egg. I thought my rooster was a hen; I could have sworn the saddle feathers had rounded tips not points (another way to tell). But I was wrong.
The weather has been beautiful this week. We had a period at the beginning of the month where we had nothing but rain and clouds. Was not a happy camper. Doing much better now. Hate how sometimes my moods are affected by the weather.
The trip north was fun. It was great seeing my sister and her four children. Met the newest member of the family, my first great niece. They were celebrating her 1st birthday. I wasn't planning on going because my husband was supposed to be out of town but it was postponed. Last minute road trip! My children all behaved. The drive (five hours) wasn't too bad on the way north, but NoVA traffic on I-495 sucks. Just all the time. Every day. 365/24/7. It's just a fact.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Saturday, July 18, 2015
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Pulled the rest of the onions out (all the red and the remainder of the white) and set them on shelves in the greenhouse to dry. The yellow ones were brought up to the house last night, dusted free of dirt, stems removed. Now I have to have a marathon chopping/dicing session. Plan is to cut up recipe-sized portions and freeze them in vacuum seal bags. I'm also going to make some onion soup and either freeze it or can it. I'll have to see if I can can it. That would be ideal.
Completely cleaned out the weeds in that bed since I was out there.
Got three more huge albino beets and that bed is just about finished; I think there's maybe five more so I'll give them some time to get a little larger.
Going to start some fall crops in those spots - for me, it's late lettuce, spinach, bok choy, and some other Asian salad green called Salt Wort that's supposed to be like sea weed. I love seaweed salad!
I need to clear out the area where the pigs were; mow and then rototill it this weekend so I can plant pumpkins and turnips there (to use for hog feed). It'll be nice rich soil too. My current garden was home to hogs first. I don't add anything but compost to the tops of the beds each season, give it a good mix up, and plant. I've had the soil tested by the local agriculture extension office and we don't need to add anything. We're getting good results by giving beds a rest and rotating crops.
Seeing a LOT of baby tomatoes and hot peppers. Very exciting! I'm already harvesting some Bloody Butcher tomatoes. These are from plants we picked up at the Scottsville Farmer's Market. We lost a few when we transplanted. I suck at the whole conditioning thing. I'll be better next year with the greenhouse to use. Others are tiny and green, but you can tell all the different shapes already: small grape, long pear, tiny cherry!
The zinnias I started in peat pots need to be transplanted; they are about to bloom! OOPS! I also have to put the nasturtiums out in the garden too. The idea of peppery edible flowers sounds interesting. I love fresh salads composed of all kinds of lettuces, so I thought the edible flowers would be a fun thing to try this year. Both the zinneas and the nasturtium are edible.
Friday, June 19, 2015
Thursday, June 4, 2015
In 1814, Francis Scott Key wrote the poem,Defense of Fort McHenry. The poem was later put to the tune of (John Stafford Smith's song)The Anacreontic Song, modified somewhat, and retitled The Star Spangled Banner. Congress proclaimed The Star Spangled Banner the U.S. National Anthem in 1931.
Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On the shore dimly seen thro' the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash'd out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov'd homes and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
I'm milking three goats twice a day - trying for between 7/8 am and then 6/7 pm. I only started on Sunday morning doing two-a-days; I started getting them on the stand at night the week before.
Fiona, the oldest mixed Saanen/Nigerian Dwarf is getting a little persnickety. This is her third year of being milked. She comes to the gate when she's called, but wants to take her own sweet time about walking to the stand. She has been producing a good half-gallon of milk for the past three mornings but she loses patience being on the stand for as long as it's taking me to get her completely milked out. I think she's turning into a diva.
It's Franny's second year of being milked, and she's actually the most well-behaved. She's at the gate when I come back with Fiona, and walks fine to the stand. She hops right up and starts munching. She's producing about a quart a day total but milking her tiny teats takes some time.
Now, Feisty is a first-freshener and she's just wild. I have to trick her with a bucket of food to catch her so I can drag... er lead her to the stand. She hops right up and starts eating her sweet feed treat, but getting her to and from the stand is a giant pain in the ass. She's fine while being milked. I couldn't catch her this morning. She's going to have one sore udder tonight. I hope I can catch her for the evening's milking session.
I've got five babies that are being fed on a caprine bucket feeder. The girls have caught on quite well, The one mixed buckling, I'm calling him Splotches, is doing much better than his half-brother, Big Nose. I have to catch him in order to get him on the feeder whereas the other babies see me, know what's coming, and run right over when I set it on the stand. Stupid boys.