I should have taken some before and after pictures but I didn't think about it. I had around 80 bales of straw put up in an open sided section of the old, half falling down barn here. I should have known when the bad weather started coming in, I'd be sorry I didn't have some sort of gate built to keep the goats out of it. Instead of going into their designated area, they climbed all up in that stack of straw and little by little, broke about every bale in there, messed on a bunch they didn't break and generally made a mess of it in the past 10 days. So, today, I got a wild hair and attacked it for clean up. Hubster jumped on the tractor and helped out a bunch and saved me a couple hours of digging, scooping and wheel barrowing messed up, broken and wet straw bales.
I know I looked a the weather radar before I went to bed. How did pouring rain end up looking like this? hahahaha That sneaky storm found some snow as it came across Mo in the early morning hours. This sure was pretty while it was falling. By noon, it was all gone. Morning chores found all the chickens still in the barn, LOL. Guess they've forgotten it's just snow.
I really like it when it snows, everything looks so clean and the whole world seems peaceful. Of course, I have to read the news and ruin it all.
The depravity of humans makes me almost ashamed to be human. Almost. I know that I am above these sick, depraved individuals. The behaviors exhibited over a stupid pair of shoes, the mob behavior over "rumors" of celebrities, the sick and cruel things people do to the helpless. Then, there's the behaviors of our own government. Not even taking into consideration the behaviors of major corporations in this country.
It chaps my butt a bit to think my own government would consider me a domestic terrorist for not being dependent on it. It does make a little sense tho, if I am a free thinker and not waiting for a hand out, I am not easy to control. But, as I see it, the government has a couple of fixes for that. Not even counting our government allowing DOW to petition to use 2,4D, an active ingredient in Agent orange, right here on farm land we as Americans will be eating from. Of course, it's to kill the super weeds that have been created by Monsantos Round up. Real nice. This is on top of the poison already being grown in the form of GMO crops. Oh, and don't forget the GMO mosquitoes about to be released down in Florida. Can you say human guinea pig?
Every aspect of life is pretty much controlled and dictated. This is something I am simply not comfortable with. Not at all. So, here it is, the big New Years resolution..... (drum roll, LOL) I vow to actively work (harder than I have before) to be out from under the corporate control of America. Off the system, not consuming a single thing produced by corporate America. No electric smart meters, no municipal water, no cheap crap made in china. I would also like to work more on helping others to become more self reliant. We'll see how it goes...
One more day done with this crappy, horrible year. I'll be glad to see this one gone. Just not a good year over all.
Aw, this year did have some good parts to it, just not in a row and not enough to out weigh the rough parts.
On a good note for today, Goober cow gave me 5 quarts of milk this morning! A whole half gallon more than she normally does. I think hanging the hay bag is working out much better that throwing the hay down for her. She wastes too much that way. With the bag, she's eating all the hay instead of pushing it around, laying on it and crapping on it. It's too much work to make the hay for her to just waste it like that.
All the goats look good and I'm thinking all the does are pregnant. The 2 older girls should give me twins, Delta will be a single, Skeeter will be a single and I'm not sure about the no name nanny. So, with a little luck, in the next few weeks, I should have 7 goat kids to play with. Lucky goat will like it too, he's been hanging around with Daisy calf since I hauled Spud to the auction.
I have not made any progress in the fencing, the goat shed and enclosure, the chicken house or the goat milking stand. The "maybe next week" thing is part of the bad I hope to leave behind with the coming of the new year.
I had to have some comfort food this evening. Just in the mood for pizza. I've been working up batches of whole milk mozzarella every chance I get. It's an easy cheese to do with lots of sitting time so it allows me to get other things done while it's being made. Some days I just need to be able to walk away from the kitchen to get things done. So, mozzarella it is. Then, I end up with 4 or 5lbs of cheese in the fridge. Of course, the result is a big pizza or 2 with real cheese on it! You just can not buy a pizza that tastes like these do. home made crust (no cardboard) real tomato sauce, home dried herbs, all the yummies you can stuff on it. smothered in home made cheese. Home made pizza should be a food group!
I know I've been quiet lately, I just don't have anything to say. It's just everyday life here drown in stress from outside influences. The farm is still the same, hanging on like it always does. All the crops have been harvested and preserved, the goats are closer to kidding every day and the cow and animals get milked and tended twice a day. I actually had to dump 2 gallons of milk this week, the fridge was full and I was out of containers to keep the milk in. The outside influences took up too much of my time to make cheese or butter with it.
This farm could be so much more than it is. It's difficult to sit here every day knowing it could be so much more and not being able to do anything about it. As each week passes, all one can do is say "well, maybe next week". It's frustrating when your efforts are drained to outside influences. Just simply sustaining, hanging on, isn't enough some days.
Here we are, fast approaching Christmas day and it will pass here quietly, with hardly a whimper. I hope everyone out there has a joyous day filled with love and sharing.
I found something I am very interested in and will be doing what I can to be a part of it. There's a "camp" not far from me I'm considering participating in. It's basically a self sustained community with individual cabins, a couple of ponds and ground to keep critters on. It's new and in the works. Christian preppers Campsite. I will be writing more on this in the coming days.
Wow, did I ever have a bad night. I have had trouble with some of my teeth since I got whacked in the face by the rooster and it seems like stress triggers flare ups of swelling and severe pain. So, I did not do any sleeping. Morning chores were a blur. Goober cow refused to let her milk down and I just managed to coax a quart of milk from a cow that normally gives a gallon a milking. She does this same thing to me about once a week. Tonite, her bag will be full to bursting and I will get all the milk. Daisy calf went over the pitiful field fence and was running around in the pouring rain so in the new barn she went, loose in the barn isle since I still havent managed to sell enough straw to get the stalls opened up. She's actually behaving rather well and leaving the hay alone. Of course, there's the land mines she leaves for me to not step in. The extra clean up work isn't a burden tho.
My stress is not coming from the farm or the holidays but the source affects both for me which is why it's so stressful. It's something I'm not in a position to eliminate which only causes even more stress. Which, in turn, makes it harder for me to keep a happy farm. ARG, sometimes there's just no way to get out from under the rock because it just leaves you in the hard place.
The urge to do anything around here just isn't there lately. The constant mud and slop doesn't help the attitude/mood much either. I feel kind of burned out. I miss the sunshine!
I had to teach a wayward dog a hard lesson this morning. Whos dog it is, I havent a clue. I've not seen this dog before and he ripped up a few of my rabbit cages(pretty much beyond repair too), killed 9 rabbits and turned another 5 loose. I have yet to catch any of the loose rabbits and if I don't get them caught in the next day or so, the coyotes will kill them so I might as well write it off as a loss of 14. That's a good amount of meat I just lost from one ignorant dog owners neglect. In just a couple of minutes, that dog wiped out 3 months worth of work raising rabbits and around $150 in property damage. Just add it to the list of what I can't fix around here.
It really didn't seem like it but this week really did slip by me rather quick. That sad part is, I didn't really manage to get much accomplished. The whole week was an exercise in mudhole navigation with ice breaking 101 for the last 3 days. Every night has been below freezing with a warm up in the 40s during the day. Lucky goat has taken to laying in the tractor bucket in the sunshine when he isn't trashing the straw pile in the old barn. I started out the week with 7 baby bunnies but only 3 are left now. The doe drags them out of the box with her and they freeze. I really need to build a new rabbit hutch. This old one is starting to rot and I've got it held together with hay string in several spots. I have salvaged everything I could from the old chicken house that got smashed when the tree fell on it. Plenty of wood still usable but I still need to get some wire. Maybe next week.
Roast is what's for supper this weekend with taters and veges I canned from the garden. Of course, it's not a meal without home made bread smothered in apple butter or blackberry jam.
An old German Shepard starts chasing rabbits and before long, discovers that he's lost. Wandering about, he notices a panther headed in his direction with the intention of having lunch.
The old German Shepard thinks, "Oh, oh! I'm in deep shit now!"
Noticing some bones on the ground close by, he immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat. Just as the panther is about to leap, the old German Shepard exclaims loudly, "Boy, that was one delicious panther! I wonder if there are any more around here?"
Hearing this, the young panther halts his attack in mid-strike, a look of terror comes over him and he slinks away into the trees.
"Whew! that was close! That old German Shepard nearly had me!"
Meanwhile, a squirrel who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the panther. So, off he goes.
The squirrel soon catches up with the panther, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the panther.
The young panther is furious at being made a fool of and says, "Here, squirrel, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine!"
Now, the old German Shepard sees the panther coming with the squirrel on his back and thinks, "What am I going to do now?," but instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to the attackers, pretending he hasn't seen them yet, and just when they got close enough to hear, the old German Shepard says...
"Where is that squirrel? I sent him off an hour ago to find me another panther!"
Moral of this story...
Don't mess with the old dogs. Age and skill with always overcome youth and treachery. Bullshit and brilliance only come with age and experience.
My friend Bill sent this to me today, I laughed so hard, I cried. Thanks Bill!
All we got was 3 days of partly sunny and the ground was just starting to firm up. Now, it's raining again! Well, it is that time of year I guess. Doesn't make me like it anymore tho.
I have been working on a couple things around here, I'm about done with the little chicken house I will be putting my banty chickens in. I hate it's raining on it, again, without it being painted. But, none can only do what they can do. Maybe I can get it finished next week.
The Goober cow kicked me during milking last night. She raked my hip with her hoof, it hurts. I wont be running any marathons anytime soon.
Something I read this morning I thought was kind of, hmmm, mixed feelings on it I guess. Parents can rent toys. I remember when my kids were little and they'd beg and throw fits for the latest toy the saw on TV (damn that cartoon network). Sometimes I could afford to indulge them, sometimes not. Both my kids are grown now with a closet full of those toys they just can't bring themselves to throw away, even if they're broken. I also remember several toys they "just had to have" that they soon discarded, never to play with again. I see being able to "rent" a toy kind of neat in case you child decides they really don't like the toy but I also see it as a way to continue the trend of over indulging our children and a continuance of our consumerism mindset. Renting movies or checking books out from the library is not the same as renting a toy. What do you all think about it?
This is what I saw first thing this morning. After 5 days of rain, here it is, snowing. Yay rah. It's nice, I like snow, it makes everything look fresh and clean. I'm just not thrilled about it coming on top of the sloppy, muddy mess I've already got out there. It won't look pretty out around the barns for long.
Yoda cat decided that Polar Bears dog bed is a great place to nap. Good thing PB wasn't around, LOL.
The pinched nerve in my shoulder is still balled up in full force. Wish I had somebody around here to rub it out for me.
Yep, that's what life is like around here. Thanksgiving around here was just another day in a whole week worth of life. I didn't go all out and cook/bake up a storm, just baked a ham for lunch while the bird was in the oven. By the time the bird was done, everybody was stuffed on taters, ham and bread. That figures. We had the bird for lunch on Saturday.
Some new things around the farm, 2 litters of baby rabbits and a goofy hen has hatched out 9 chicks just in time for the crappy weather. She seems to be doing okay with them and with nowhere to put a brooder at the moment, they are better off sticking with her.
I've got a new roof leak, a new water leak too. There is just no winning for me this year.
Other than that, it's just farm living as usual with a side of sloppy mud thrown in!
Well, it's shotgun season with this being opening weekend. Nope, I did not get a deer. The day before season opened, the CRP land around my farm got mowed for the year. Gee thanks jerk. There's been at least 20 deer in my back pasture every day this past week until that guy mowed. Not one single deer since! To put it frankly, piss me off! Eh, there's more deer seasons still to come but it irks me not to have at least one down on opening day. That's my winter red meat supply.
All this week it's been cold overnight and windy during the day. All I've done around here is farm chores and work on those huge argonaut squash. I have several more to do something with and the small chest freezer is full of pies. I'm working on canning some up for storage.
I got just a little straw sold this week and moved a bunch around so I can get the barn stalls opened up for the critters. The bad weather is coming and I hate to leave them sitting out in it when they could be in a dry barn. Still more to move, just not sure where I'm going to put it.
The house tomato plants need transplanted into bigger containers, I should get that done sometimes this weekend.
I've got italian bread rising and cheddar cheese on the stove. I need to figure out how to keep the boy from eating all the cheese as quick as I can get it made. he's been on a real cheese kick the last couple of weeks. Oh well, growing boys need their calcium!
Yep, I've been too quiet. Plenty of things to think about around here lately. First thing this week was the stove element, I burned another one in pieces so I had to cash in some aluminum to get another. Going a couple of days without fresh baked bread is a hard thing for me to do. Not to mention the ruined batch of bread dough because I didn't notice the element was burned in two. Takes too long to get the wood fired smoker/grill up to temperature so I fed the dough to the chickens. they liked it.
Next, I learned to make home made yogurt. The cream from the milk rose to the top during the incubation period and made this nice, thick cream cheese kind of layer on top of the yogurt. I skimmed it off and plan to bake something sweet with it. I am currently thawing out some strawberries and blackberries to add to the yogurt. Just something new to do with all the milk I've got from day to day. I also made some mozzarella and ricotta to go with the left over spagetti sauce I made last weekend for another dish of lasagna.
So, some oven use is in the works for today plus a round of caraway cheddar cheese on the stove top. Lots to keep me busy today.....
My Brother Tim has always held a special place in my heart and his lifes work has always fascinated me. You see, my brother is an NHRA funny car mechanic. My brother and his race team are currently in the running for the NHRA Full Throttle Hard Working Crew award. Would you all help me show my love and support by voting for my brothers team?
Funny car - Jeff Arend crew (my brother is the fellow laying on the ground under the race car in the video)
Yup, I made some cheese last night! Just a plain old wheel of cheddar cheese, it's what we're fond of eating here. I was going to whip up another home made pizza with the mozzarella I made Friday night but the element for the oven is burned up. At least this one lasted 14 months, 3 months longer than the last one lasted. Things just aren't made of good quality anymore. It's times like this that I get a little nasty tempered thinking about still not having my brick oven and cooking grill built. That whole thing is a rant for another day tho. I had a whole Argonaut squash all foiled up and ready to bake for a couple of pies and no oven. The chickens got a treat since it won't make it cut until Monday when I will have to go to town and try to get an element. I WILL build my gazebo with my brick oven, cooking hole, fireplace and firepit in the middle. I already have my design mocked up and the spot on the property picked out. LOL, I'll never be in the house again, LOL.
Have you all heard about the 20 earthquakes since yesterday over in Oklahoma? Do you think it might be connected to the plume event from the 1st? I say yes it is and the pucker effect is strong here. The old barn will NOT stand thru a 5.3 earthquake. Between the dericho and the earthquake we had here a couple of years ago, the doublewide is already off center, the brick skirting is already cracked, this thing might fall apart. Like it would really break my heart, LOL.
The calf has quieted down a little bit. Geez, there's nothing worse than a couple of cows mooing constantly for 3 or 4 days. I know my closest neighbor is not liking me too much right now, LOL. I know it's got to be as bad as a barking dog but there's nothing I can do about it. It has to be done and whacking them with a newspaper isn't going to help. Goober cow has leveled off at a hair less than a gallon every milking so I'll have plenty of milk to play with for a while. I still haven't located a bull small enough to breed her to. I'm kind of running out of time too. Something I should have considered when I bought her. I can't breed a jersey cow to a big breed bull and not have calving problems. Jersey cows are not very common in this area.
Well, I had planned on baking some bread and a couple pies this weekend. Guess another pot of deer meat chili is on the menu. I really need to get all the old deer cooked up anyway, almost time for a couple of fresh kills. Can't have the old mixed in with the new. Guess I better get to it....
It's 10am here and it's still foggy enough to not see the barn from the house. I had a rough night and slept hard, waking up feeling more tired than when I went to bed! I whipped up a ball of mozzarella cheese last night, finishing up around 1am this morning so ending up late for chores this morning was a "given". Day 2 for Daisy calf being locked up in the barn again and she's mooing up a storm, again. That calf just flat refuses to be weaned! Daisy disappointed me a little bit, last nights milking gave me a gallon and a quart and this morning I just ended up with 3/4 of a gallon. Bad cow.
We had our first snow of the year on Thursday afternoon. The ground is still warm here so the 20 minutes or so of flurries just gave us all a "fright" and a nasty foreboding of what's to come, soon. I still did the old family tradition of stopping to dance in the snow. Can't pass that up!
I'm already a little bit bored with no garden to tend. The weather during the day has been beautiful and makes me wish it was more like this back in July and August.
Oh well, I guess the nice weather means I need to bake more. I have a few new things for the daily menu I've been meaning to try, LOL.
Well, I really thought today was just going to be more of the samey same as I sat down to read the news at the computer late this morning. I just got a cup of coffee and there was a huge boom, sounded like a bomb went off. Yep, there was a wreck right near the end of my driveway. One of my neighbors! We were on the scene right away and I sent the boy home to get some towels which we used to keep our neighbor warm and help reduce shock, he got banged up pretty badly. All I could do was hold his hand and keep him talking. It seemed like forever for the EMTs to get there but they did a great job and the ambulance got there a little after them. Took a long time to clear the road tho, lots of backed up traffic to disturb the normal peacefulness of this country farm.
yesterday seemed like a weird day. The critters were all worked up. The horses who are normally pretty quiet and calm did a bunch of bucking and running around. The goats were pretty restless as well. they spent most of the day running on and off the front porch which they don't normally do. The cows also moo'd all day and I thought it had something to do with me keeping the calf from sucking all the milk. Turns out, there were a bunch of plumes on the new Madrid fault line yesterday. Science has proved that animals know when the earth shifts and seismic activity is coming. Wonder if this means we may have a little shaker coming soon? Maybe, who knows for sure. It's not an exact science, not yet anyway. Well, that sucks tho, I don't want an earthquake, even a little one! Today, the critters are all laying around sleeping, even the horses.
Well, I better get back to scrubbing the floors, plenty of cleaning up to do around here........
It's been just another quiet week here on the farm. Just the simple, aimless ramblings typical of rural life. I've been working on out smarting Daisy calf, something one would think an easy task considering she's just a cow. yah, right. A baby cow with nothing but time on her hooves to figure out how to get into her Mommas pen to suck milk. Anybody who says "stupid cow" is simply frustrated because they've been outsmarted. I did manage to get a half gallon of milk last night, Goober cow did not let all her milk down in anticipation of me being outsmarted again. So, it looks like my newly found success with the Jersey cow milk will have to wait for a Saturday or Sunday batch of cheese.
Speaking of success, the wheel of caraway cheddar came out great. All I did was reduce the cook temperature by a couple of degrees and the result was a moister wheel of cheese instead of the rock hard, dry cheese I was producing. I'm thinking it has something to do with how rich the milk is.
So, this week I started a jar to capture some wild yeast so I could take pictures of it. It didn't work out so well. It happens tho. Wild yeast is all around us in the air. I have found it to be a weather and time of year challenge here. Sometimes it works out great and sometimes not. I also find I have more success if I have been baking bread all week. The yeast I capture is readily available from what I've been baking. So, basically, here's how you capture wild yeast. You need a decently sized bowl (not metal) or a large jar ( I use a glass, 1/2 gallon canning jar) and mix 1 1/2 cups of warm water ( I let my water sit for a day to release the chlorine) and mix it with 2 cups of flour. You'll need to cover this mix with a cloth of some kind to keep the no see-ums out of it ( I use butter muslin and a canning jar ring). You will also need fresh air. This does not work if all the windows are closed up, the yeast is outside. The mix needs to sit 3 or 4 days and if you have bubbles on the surface, you captured yeast! If not, dump it and try again.
I have a few old wives tale tricks I use to attract wild yeast but I can't be sure they actually do anything at all so I have omitted those for now. Once I verify they actually do something for the yeast and not just my own mind, I'll add them in. I will also add instructions on how to make those old fashioned live yeast cakes I remember my Mother and Grandmother using when I was young in the next post....
I took a drive this morning down to the annual sustainable living expo and walked around, looked, talked to a few people and I promised a nice lady I would post here on the blog about making rennet from thistle and how to make your own yeast for baking bread.
Right now, I need to take my son to town for parts for his truck so hang in there, I'll be back to write up a storm soon!
Whew! What a long day! I made my son happy as a clam, he hasn't quit smiling yet.Here's why... I've got a purple flare side Ford pickup truck. i got it from my Dad a few years ago. The "Barney mobile" (my fellow coal miners dubbed her that) is like getting a hug from Dad every time I get in it. Well, as the kids have grown, my college daughter drove it back and forth to school. Wow, was she hard on ole Barney. Barney sprung a leak in the gear box seal which eventually burned up the power steering pump which locked up and threw the belt. More like mangled the belt. So, Barney has been sitting here waiting for the money to repair her. Then, my son decided he wanted to fix her up and use her to go back and forth to a job which he hadn't found yet. He piddled on her and every now and then I'd give him a suggestion(can't have Mom do it, oh no) and with a few temper tantrums and some tool throwing, he finally got her ready to go. So, today I took him into town for his last 2 parts. The belt and a replacement battery since he burned up the other listening to the radio while he was working on her. I did have to help him with the belt, he just didn't get it on right. he turned the key, she fired right up! Power steering works and sh'e back to purring like the kitten she is. Boy, is he happy! Maybe since he spent all that time on her fixing her up, he won't be inclined to tear her up. Time will tell....
Okay, on to the Sustainable Living Expo. Overall, it was actually full of great information. The problem is, there wasn't anything there for ME to learn concerning sustainable living. I did gain some knowledge about the Emerald Ash borer I did not know, plus I got a good lesson on what it does, what to look for, where it is in the state, etc. I enjoyed the bushcraft fire starting demo, even tho I have already mastered that art. I got into a conversation about the thistle sitting on the table they were using as a fire starter. Thistle, if you collect it before it gets to the 'downy" stage can be used to make rennet for cheese making.
Here's how you do it-
Harvest your thistle flower as the pod begins to turn brown but before it makes the 'down" if it is downy, it is too mature to create rennet. Allow your thistle flowers to dry completely. Then, using a mortar and pestle, crush and grind your thistle flowers into a fine powder. Once you have your powder, add some warm water to the powder and allow to soak around 15 minutes or so. The water mix will turn a dark brown. I use a fine muslin to strain any plant solids out of the water mix. The dark brown water is your thistle rennet.
Now, I can't give you exact measurements on the amount of thistle powder or the water, I just kind of eyeball it. I normally crush 4 or 5 thistle and add probably around a 1/4 cup of water.
Thistle rennet also gives your cheese a pleasant twang you don't taste in store bought cheeses.
Now, I need to go find my notes on the wild yeast capturing and the home made yeast. So, stay tuned...........
The neighbor came by with more late season peppers and we picked the last of the tomatoes from the vines. We're supposed to have a hard frost tonight that is going to finish off the plants. The butcher block is full of veges and I have 2 more 5 gallon buckets waiting to be processed. I put a round of peppers in the dehydrator last night before milking time along with a wheel of caraway cheddar into the press. I have been working with the milk quite a bit since the cheese seems to be finishing out much drier than what I expected it to. I am leaning toward thinking it is due to the large amount of cream on the jersey milk. So, this batch of cheddar got a slightly reduced cook temperature in the hopes it would make a more moist end result. We'll just have to wait and see how it goes...
It's an unpleasant 40F with rain this morning. I really need to get some straw moved around so I can get Goober back in the barn. I don't like being cold and wet and she doesn't either. The goats finally decided it was time to sleep in the barn and Daisy calf make herself a bed in the old barn where some of the straw bales are.
Since it is just so yucky outside today, I'm thinking I will get some sauce simmering on the stove and whip out some soap. I am waiting a bit tho since we're waiting for a call from the doctors office. Looks like hubster will finally get some attention for his deteriorating gall bladder. Modern medicine is infuriating to say the least.
Oh, in case you haven't seen it on the news, the peanut crop for this year is a disaster. Prices for products made with peanuts are slated to triple in price very soon if not already. I stopped in at the local Kroegers yesterday just for a look-see while hubster was in the doctors office and a 40 oz jar of Jiff was $9.39 with the same size peter Pan being $8.79. I also checked in at Aldis, the same size jar there was $3.59. If you like peanut butter, you better go get some now. Enough to last for a while at least.
Well, my mini vacation is over. One of these days I will blog about why I was on mini vacation but not today, LOL. Last night, I chopped up some late season sweet peppers and got them dehydrating for soups, sauces and stews this winter. Plus, I picked some late season beans and tomatoes. I'm going to can up the beans and make a sauce from the tomatoes for some of my favorite food this week (Italian food!) to go with that riccotta cheese I just made.
I put my fat foot in the picture with the argonaut squash to give a better idea of the size of these things. I ordered the seeds this past spring from Gurneys for my neighbor who graciously brought me these 2 monsters. I'm going to cook them up and can them for making pies over the winter. I wont bother trying to save seed tho, supposedly the seed doesn't germinate too well (according to the amish guy who suggested my neighbor grow them).
I've got lots of work to catch up on around here and plenty of cooking, canning and other projects for the farmstead. I also pulled the frozen milk out to make a batch of soap.
Lookie what came in the mail for me! A wonderful lady named Coley sent me a box of blackberries! How cool is that? Thank you Coley!
This past week has been a real trial in patience. I guess I'm getting old because the younger generation is just, hmm, how can one put it, oblivious maybe? Inept? Uneducated? Completely lacking in common sense?
Okay, here's a good example- Family lost in corn maze- I heard the 911 call on the radio this morning, there is NO reason I can think of that anyone could ever be "lost" in a corn maze. That is of course, unless there is some invisible force field keeping them from just walking thru the stalks of corn toward the lights they could see over the top of the corn. I would have never in my wildest dreams ever thought there were humans out there so stupid they couldn't just figure out all they had to do was walk thru the corn stalks to get out. 25' from the edge of the field, they could see lights and hear cars going by. Darwin award winners for sure.
This is our world now. we have created it to be this way. We have raised our children with the television, cartoons and video games. Our children are incapable of thinking for themselves. What this produces is a young adult with no life skills and not even enough common sense to know when to bathe let alone the ability to take care of themselves. These "children" (young adults) repeat things they hear on the radio and see on the TV and internet like those things are the gospel and have no comprehension of real life. They are simply walking puppets with no original thought and are unable to do anything without being told what and how to do it. We have FAILED. We have failed ourselves, our children, our society and our world by not instilling normal basic common sense into the next generation.
This week has had it's fair share of mishaps to go along with the general aggravations that exist here on the farm now. Hubster made another visit to the hospital for his gall bladder and we are currently awaiting the appointment for the discussion about removal or more meds. I vote for removal already! On top of that, I'm waiting for tires to come in for the truck. I'm running on a patched tire on the duals with it's partner tire going flat every couple of hours and the tread is already hanging by a thread with the wires showing. So, I'm holding my breath until Wednesday and I will have to use the money I had set aside to finish the chicken coop to pay for a tire. The other one will have to wait a couple weeks for me to cover the cost. Just something that has to be dealt with, it's just life. It's what happens when you're making other plans!
Lucky goat is enjoying the cooler temperatures and is romping thru the weeds in search of those delicious treats. He doesn't mind the burs much since he knows he can always wipe them off on Mommy's pant legs while he's begging for his daily cookie! Yoda doesn't much care, it's just too comfy on that blanket awaiting it's turn in the wash machine...
I've been working on trying to show one of my neighbors how to start seeds for their garden and the difference between just the peat pellet and good compost. Both these seedlings sprouted at the same time. The difference is the big one was put into the compost soil, peat pellet and all, right after it sprouted and the other was just left to grow on it's own. These seedlings are 2 weeks old, both large red cherry tomatoes. Both are growing on the same shelf in the window, right next to each other. I didn't even sift the compost, I just scooped some into the container.
These tomatoes will be my indoor plants for this winter.
There's nothing particularly special about the compost, it's just horse manure, hay, straw, a little sawdust, some rabbit, goat, chicken and a little cow manure in there too. Mostly horse manure tho. I don't turn the pile over, it's just occasionally heaped up with the latest additions which tend to end up spread out around the main pile.
The secret to strong plants and a successful garden is the soil. The more organic material you can get, the better. Plants need nutrients to thrive. Water alone will not do the trick. Commercial potting soils have a limited amount of nutrient available in them and it quickly runs out. Adding a good organic compost to your garden will ensure that your plants achieve maximum potential.
It's been a good week but busy just the same. I managed to get to the goat auction with Blackie and Spud. They both sold for what I considered a decent price and I managed to NOT buy anything. Kind of hard to buy when you're broke, LOL. One of these days tho, I'm going to have a small flock of hair sheep. Hair sheep are just too cool. My son threatened to make me walk home while i was playing with a couple late lambs. He said to me "No Mom, you are NOT getting sheep!" LOL
So, the goat money combined with a little money from selling straw off craigslist and I finally have all our over due bills paid! Woohoo! Progress!
I'm getting closer to making good cheese. Daisy calf decided she didn't like being weaned and knocked a loose section of the barn wall out to get to Goober and I didn't get any milk for a couple of days. This mornings milk wasn't much to speak of so I think Daisy will find herself back in the pole barn stall all by herself where she can wake the dead mooing for another week. I can't wait for the moon sign, I have cheese to make!
I still haven't made that batch of soap. I know, shame on me.......
A quiet Saturday with a little farm clean up, still plenty to do around here. I got a visit from my college girl! It's nice to get a chance to visit with her, she's starting to grow up now. A full time job plus school and a part time assisting coach job is wearing her out. I told her "welcome to my world!"
So, since we had such a nice visit, supper ended up being one of her favorite "Moms cooking" meals. I whipped up some pizza. The mozzarella cheese I made earlier this week melted beautifully. The only problem was, I used it all! So, now I need to make some more. good thing I have 4 gallons of milk in the fridge!
I'm still planning on making a batch of soap. I have just one bar of soap left in the cabinet so I really do need to get a batch made. with the 30 day "curing time", I'll be running out of soap just in time for the new batch to be ready. Guess I better get to it, eh?
I've been piddling around the farm all week, working on shaping our new farm helper into a country boy. A few small projects and normal life as usual here. Yoda the tomcat is making sure my sack of cornmeal corn doesn't run away on me!
I got lucky with craigslist for once. I posted an ad to sell some of the straw I baled this summer and sold a few bales right away. It allowed me to pick up 100' worth of fence and another goat feeder. A little measuring and cutting on some scrap wood laying around (I never throw that stuff away, I might need it!) and now all the girls can eat at once without pushing and shoving. Polar bear did a little supervising, making sure we actually intended to feed somebody with the new contraption.
Since I spent a day outside supervising the farm work and making sure it all got done the way I wanted it to be (just did it myself, LOL) I ended up with 4 gallons of milk in the fridge. So, a big batch of farmers cheddar got made. I like the farmers cheddar because it's a relatively quick cheese to make. One I don't have to constantly stand over to ensure a good outcome. It's just got a 12 hour press time so it's a good, moist fresh cheese for eating. I'm slowly getting back into the cheese making groove and it won't be long before I get back to having good wheels from every batch. Making great cheese really is an art form and you get a little rusty when you don't make it all the time.
I still have that milk in the freezer for a batch of soap. I might find the time to get a batch whipped out before the end of the weekend. I've been asked to make pizza first tho, LOL. So, maybe soap tomorrow!
A whooping 5" of rain in 3 days, yay rah. A little thunder from time to time, a good time to just nap and relax. Oh no, what do I do? Do I flop on the couch? Of course not! I made me some cheese and pastries, LOL. Of course, I got some net cruising time in too, I like looking at pictures of other peoples gardens. I might get some ideas to try!
So, a big ball of mozzarella got made. I had forgotten how hot the water to process it needs to be. My fingers are still tingling a little bit, LOL. The stirred curd cheddar smells great and is drying. I also made a wheel of farmers cheddar, half the press time and a moister, softer cheddar type cheese. While the curd was cooking down, I used a couple of the apples I got from the farmer up the blacktop and made an apple tart. Pie crust with butter, cheese, an egg and a tbsp of flour for the filling and those yummy apples on top. Some of the butter leaked out of the crust and now I have a mess in the oven to clean. Oh well, it was worth it!
Today I'm thinking about some rabbit and dumplings with french bread.......
Yep, the calf is weaned! Well, more or less she is, LOL. Daisy calf is still a little bit upset with me but Goober cow is milking nicely. 5 gallons of milk in the fridge and one batch of mozzarella cheese done with a batch of cheddar on the stove. I am one happy farmer!
It's been a bit of a quiet week with me feeling a bit under the weather. I did work a small bit on the chicken house, I'm one piece of plywood short of having it all covered and then the paint and attaching the run to it and it will have chickens in it. It poured rain all night into this morning so it's gonna be a while before i get back out there.
I'm afraid i'm losing another tooth from the chicken smashing in the face thing. I havent felt much like eating so the boys have all been on their own for supper. You know Momma doesnt feel good if she won't cook!
I'm into week number 2 waiting on hubster to get the tractor tire off. Done waiting, the boys did it for me this morning. Now all I need is for the tire man to be on duty so I can get it fixed!
Maybe in a day or 2 this tooth will just fall out and i can get back to being myself....
I know, shame on me for laughing at my Lucky goat. I even teased him just a little by calling his name. He called back and was trying to find me. I couldn't take it, I had to pull the bag off for him. He was happy to see me and didn't care that I laughed! He just can't help being a curious goat since he's never seen a feed sack before...
Come on now, really? Did this just happen? yep, I just can NOT win this year. Had to run to town for gear oil to put in the truck differential (hubs said it was full even tho I KNOW one of the seals is leaking) and on the way back, as we passed the county jail facility, I spotted an American flag laying on the ground. of course, that instantly chapped my ass so I had to turn around and go pick it up, prepared to walk all up and down somebody for their blatant disrespect etc. Turns out, it's a closed down office for the federal housing (welfare). So, here I am with this flag that has apparently been cut off the pole and thrown on the ground. The city police were glad to take my complaint and promised to follow the flag rules with my perfectly folded flag ( officer was impressed, LOL). So, I jump back in the truck and am at the city limits when I can hear something funny from the truck and the battery light comes on. I already have a sneaking suspicion of what's wrong so I put the hammer down headed for home. Diesels are hard to turn and have no brakes to speak of without that belt. I made it home tho, safe and sound. Now I need a new belt. ARG, I just can't have a good day....
Yep, It's another installment of Lessons learned the hard way.... last year I tried peanuts for the first time. I just planted a couple of nuts in a car tire. A sort of raised bed experiment thing. It worked well and with the pictures from around the internet I'd looked at, I decided to go ahead and plant some in the big garden. Here comes the lesson learned... peanuts don't like hard, compact soil and they despise clay. 8 plants and that's all I got. The roots grew down to the clay and quit. I really thought they were doing good, the tops all looked great! Guess I need to build some garden boxes for the peanuts! LOL At least I have a good crop of seed nuts for next years planting!
Side note, small disaster today.... I've been looking for a mystery water leak that showed up on the water bill this month. couldn't figure out where it was and I had resigned myself to crawling under the trailer in the sloppy mess and cutting the plastic that holds the floor insulation off to locate it when I found it from inside the house. The wash machine has finally flew apart. I don't know why I never heard it leaking until today but there it is, leaking from underneath it and the water was just seeping down thru the wall in the corner behind the washer. I turned the water spigot off and it quit leaking. Yep, something inside the washer is broken. It's 11 years old and has been repaired a half dozen times already, Sears just doesn't make em like they used to. I just can not catch a break this year.
The last few days have just been "ho-hum" days, piddling around the farm. I finally got a little bit of cash to pick up a couple pieces of plywood for the chicken coop and it starts to rain. It's one of those all day misting rains, no real precipitation but wet enough to ruin your outside plans.
There's been a few emotional drains happen this week. hubster ended up back in the ER and that young ER doc figured out his digestive problem in about 5 minutes. which of course, makes me madder than a wet hen. 7 weeks of no paycheck, 100 different tests, the 3 doc appts a week, the 2 procedures and $17,000.00 to a specialist (harvard grad) who apparently missed the week they taught the gall bladder and gall stones.
The next emotional blow was hearing about a couple old friends of mine having a motorcycle crash. Father/daughter pair and both were seriously injured. It took me a little driving to make a visit to another old friend to find out what happened and the daughter is going to eventually be okay but my friend is in very critical condition and it's not looking good.
I am getting some support from my loving and caring goat pal, Lucky. He ensures my good spirits by amusing me every chance he gets. I've been giving him horse cookies and he really gets excited over them. When I run out, he has to make sure I'm not holding out on him by chewing the hoodie pocket just to make sure it's really empty! Johnboy is in full rut and no one is safe from his unbelievable stink. Billy goats can get really rank. You can smell him all over the farm. The worst part of it he's spoiled and you can't hardly get away from him outside and he begs for attention. Am I ever glad I snipped and clipped Lucky goat!
I watched part of the republican debate the other night. Geez, we've got some real winners in the race, don't we? There is no way on this green earth that I could ever support Rick Perry or Michelle Bachmann. My "weasel meter" is just pegged every time either one opens their mouth.
I've turned my thoughts toward next years crops already. Since this year was so dismal, I'm working out some things to possibly prevent a repeat of this years disasters. We'll just have to wait and see how those ideas turn out. I still haven't learned how to grow patience, LOL.
I think today is a good day to just flop on the couch with a good book......
There's my Sia, letting me know he still loves me.
Since I've had some serious trauma to my life and big plans in the past few days, I've been thinking about where the farm is now, where it was, the things that have happened to us the last couple of years, how I've dealt with different things, what my attitude used to be like and what my attitude is now. Wow, lots to ponder, eh?
There's a few things I don't have to think on very hard to remember exactly when they changed. Some other things tho, those seem to have changed more subtly over a period of time.
So, with that in mind, I'm already working on another brilliant (or stupid) plan to supplement our winter food supply. Since Mother Nature showed us her more cruel side this year, I will see a winter menu that is lacking some of the items I have become accustomed to having. I will have to adapt and overcome and wipe the cobwebs off my creative side. Since we have taken some serious blows to our already pitiful financial situation, I didn't even come close to building the greenhouse, killing my big plan to have a 3 season harvest(again, LOL). I refuse to admit defeat and have worked up a plan to once again do some indoor growing. I can't just have buckets of plants laying around when the cold weather comes (lousy windows and serious drafts) so once the plants get to that point, I will create an indoor greenhouse from simple materials that would never withstand life outdoors but will work out just fine inside. Now all I need is for the seeds to germinate!
Today we are on the lookout for a crappy white, early 90s ford stepside truck with a red camper top on it, 2 young looking guys with dark hair. No plate number, it was too far away and they took off too fast after they dumped the goats out on the side road, about a half mile from the farm. I got all my goats but one back! My neighbor spotted them and quickly informed me my goats were on the side of the road and headed my way. From the intel I have gathered, Monday night and Tuesday night were the ramadan feast and goat is the menu. A nice man I spoke to from Paducah, Ky (big goat buyer and seller) informed me he loses Boers from his operation every year at this time and I should expect my goats to show up at auction quickly because they're milk goats. So, I canvased every single auction barn within 150 miles yesterday with descriptions and pictures of the goats(yes, I have tons of pictures of my goats) plus the local sale papers, rural farm stores etc. Apparently, the guys that stole my goats can't tell the difference between milk goats and meat goats. The goat I didn't get back was a pygmie cross doe. Lucky was not harmed. We think the truck is local and the sheriffs dept is looking into it. We need to find that truck. We'll find it, half the countryside will know about it by nightfall today.
I feel sick. I'm relieved but I'm angry too. I'm happy I got my Lucky back but I'm still very angry. I nurture and love my herd of goats, gentle them down, work with them, feed them, tend to their needs, play with them every day and all it did was make it easy for some jerk with a feed bucket to walk right up, shake the bucket and steal them from me in broad daylight. My side gate now has a chain and lock on it. It will make it a hassle for me and anyone with bolt cutters will still get thru it but maybe it will slow the next guys that think my goats will make an easy meal down just a little...
Seriously. Today, somehow, my entire goat herd has been stolen, including Lucky goat. Sometime between 5pm and 7pm. Nobody here heard a sound, we were around the farm all day, front door was open, dog laying on the porch and all the goats are missing. No where to be found. The goats were laying on the burn pile at 5pm when the boys lit it on fire and when we went out to milk the cow and feed, the goats were gone. Not one single time in the 2 years I have had these goats have they ever been more than 150 yards from the barn. Lucky has never been not on the porch come dusk. Tonight, the barn lot is quiet and empty. 9 goats, all gone.
Of course I'm excited, I like snakes! I found this little beauty in the barn, same spot I found that awesome rate snake a couple months ago. I am thinking this is some sort of corn snake (rat snake) but I am waiting on the snake man to reply with a proper identification. of course, I had to catch it and play with it for a while and of course, bring it in the house so I can take a couple pictures! This one is super docile, it's a keeper!
Well, I was kind of hoping I'd have something good to talk about by now but we're still just hanging on around here. One day at a time. While the heat of the day has lessened, the humidity level is still making life a sweaty, uncomfortable experience. Goober cow has done her job well, she ate down all the grass and stomped the weeds in the garden. Now I'm just waiting on the neighbor to get around to turning it all over. I'm going to move the critter pens elsewhere on the farm and plant more of a fall garden in the rich, manure filled soils. The wait just kills me but all my equipment is broken so I don't have a choice.
Oh, we, the boy, the young man that is staying here now to help me and myself, we got Spud gentled down some and got a band on his family pride. It was actually harder than I expected it to be but I got the deed done. Much less traumatic than how Lucky goat got to be neutered. Poor Spud, at least he didn't have to find out the hard way that it's better to be born a girl than a boy on the farm.
The easter egg hunt continues. I know those darn chickens are laying eggs. it sure would be nice if I could find them from day to day! One day soon tho, I will have enough money left over to buy a roll or 2 of wire and some sheet tin roofing and we won't have to hunt for eggs again.
The lawn tractor is still not running but we spent a day on the back roads picking up cans so we could pick up some stuff that will clean out all the gunk from the biodiesel. Hopefully, it will help with the problem. I have never been less of a supporter of biodiesel than I am right now. It is complete garbage and a waste of a good food crop! The orange goo that grows in it from the soybean oil absolutely causes me mountains of problems not to mention the poor fuel mileage. What a waste of good soybeans!
I've been doing a bit of seed saving these past few days. I have sacks of tobacco seed drying on the fireplace along with okra, sweet pepper, hot pepper, tomato and corn meal corn. I dehydrated another 2 quarts worth of sweet pepper to cook with. I so enjoy the flavor sweet pepper gives to about anything.
I found an interesting article on Drudge Report last night, it's about Illinois unemployment. It seems that our wonderful governor (I didnt vote for him, actually despise the man) had this brilliant idea of raising state revenues by increasing the income tax rate. Well, it's working out really well (yah right). Not only did Gov. Quinn anger several large businesses/corporations in Illinois, a few of them even packed up and left the state. others have actively reduced their work forces bringing the unemployment rate for the state up above 9% with a total of 89,000 jobs lost since January. The link wouldn't open this morning for me to review and highlight it, maybe it will work later today. I can say for sure that the opportunity for a decent wage in southern Illinois is just about non existent. Gas stations, walmart and fast food is about the only opportunity for employment unless you are a CNA, LPN or RN. Even then, you won't find a decent living wage. The local electric conglomerate is seeking to raise it's rates, again, and the cost of fuel is obnoxiously high as well. Don't forget about the consistently rising cost of commercially produced foods. Even at a rise of 2 or 3 cents a week, it still hits you. The urge to grow more food is very strong now.
So, now I'm off to dream about fixing things around the farm and increasing productivity.....
Mother Nature just won't give me a break this year. Not only does she whoop on my garden with her inhuman heat and humidity, she's got to whip up nasty little storm cells out of nowhere and knock the crud out of my shade trees. This pitiful little farm is starting to look pretty darn rough!
I know it's not surprising that a member of our federal government would do or say something stupid but this man, Tom Vilsack, is a complete moron. Who is Tom Vilsack you ask? Well, Tom is the secretary of Agriculture for the good ole' US of A. That's right, Tom Vilsack is working hard to strengthen the American agricultural economy, to revitalize rural communities, to protect and conserve our natural resources, and to provide a safe, sufficient and nutritious food supply for the American people. Because USDA's work affects every American everyday, we are proud to be the 'Every Way, Every Day' USDA. That's right, he's the jackass in charge of the USDA.
Mr. Vilsack is on video saying that the federal food stamp program is an economic stimulus. Tom says "Well, obviously, it's putting people to work. Which is why we're going to have some interesting things in the course of the forum this morning. Later this morning, we're going have a press conference with Secretary Mavis and Secretary Chu to announce something that's never happened in this country -- something that we think is exciting in terms of job growth. I should point out, when you talk about the SNAP program or the food stamp program, you have to recognize that it's also an economic stimulus. Every dollar of SNAP benefits generates $1.84 in the economy in terms of economic activity. If people are able to buy a little more in the grocery store, someone has to stock it, package it, shelve it, process it, ship it. All of those are jobs. It's the most direct stimulus you can get in the economy during these tough times."
Okay Tom, whatever you've been smoking, you need to quit it, RIGHT NOW. You should be ashamed of yourself for being so completely idiotic. As a matter of fact, I think you need to be punished for your stupidity. How about you spend 1 month working for minimum wage either stocking those grocery shelves or working in the factory that produces those grocery store products. Also, you should immediately return your government paycheck because you are entirely too stupid to deserve it.
Welcome to the new world folks, this is how our politicians view the rest of America. Don't worry tho, there's going to be plenty of minimum wage jobs available that the government is going to create for each and every one of us so we can all sign up for food stamps in our poverty and further stimulate our economy with them!
It's been quiet here while we're just trying to hang on. Every piece of equipment I own is broken with no money to fix any of it, so not much is getting accomplished. I have gradually been trying to wean daisy calf but she is proving to be smarter than the average cow. Her latest trick is jumping the field fence that surrounds the property perimeter next to the garden where Goober cow has been penned up for the last few days. I did manage to get a gallon of milk before Daisy figured out how to get back to Momma. This morning, there she was, right there in the pen with that "who, me?" look on her face and Goobers milk bag was empty.
I've been salvaging what I can from the goat chewed tobacco plants and the bag full of seed pods is from just one plant. All the corn meal corn is now harvested and I'm working on getting it dried the rest of the way so I can store it for use later. I've got a 5 gallon bucket full of hot peppers for the dehydrator too. The free roaming chickens are eating all the tomatoes on me and the easter egg hunt is ongoing. I know they are laying eggs somewhere, I just can't find them. The farm is just a mess and this year is a complete failure on the self sustained side. But, that's life. Even the best of us gets knocked down a notch every now and then...
I'm a bit of a nerd when it comes to science and the earth. I like to know what's happening in our universe and I get some really great info and see pictures of the most amazing stuff over at the Space Weather site. It's a sight I check out just about every day. With all the stresses and distractions around here, I had forgotten all about the Perseid Meteor Shower. Thanks Space Weather for reminding me!
This site is great for knowing all about what the sun is doing and the activity coming from the sun that can affect our world in devastating ways. I just wish I could see all those awesome auroras instead of having to enjoy them thru pictures. The latest class X solar flare is a little disturbing....
I had to harvest the cornmeal corn today way ahead of schedule. I'm still working out how to finish drying it without having the problem continue that caused my early harvest.
Here's the problem... since the hubster got sick and put a serious dent in our finances, some of our farm projects, things that needed done to keep the farm productive and in good order, didn't get done. One of those projects was the goat enclosure, another was the chicken coop. Between the goats and the chickens, the garden is taking a huge hit. That hit will affect our food supply for the next year.
There's just some problems that ingenuity, creativity and imagination can't fix.
Whoops, poor fellow missed the one ditch only to lose the tandems in another. This is just off the end of my driveway, at the side road. It's the most excitement we've seen around here in months!
As you all know by now, I don't watch commercial broadcast television. So, I get all my news from around the internet and the local paper. One of the news feeds I like is Fox news. Today, there is a very nice to read article on the truth about how and why salmonella gets in ground turkey. Thank you Dr Seiegel, I love it when the truth gets written in main stream media!
Here you go folks, this is what your America really looks like. This is what your government is up to- Raw Food Raid. Your tax dollars at work protecting all of us from the most dangerous thing on the planet. Raw milk.
On the heels of the biggest rip off of the American people in history (obamas debt hike charade) this move by our government is a clear declaration of war against freedom.
This is our country now. A country where you will be arrested for growing your own food, eating that food and sharing it. Don't even think about putting those evil vegetable plants in your front yard either. A country where you are arrested for feeding the homeless. A country where you can not have a lemonaide stand or give your neighbors home made bread or jelly.
Are you comfortable being controlled? Do you like having every aspect of your life dictated to you by your government? Get used to it because this is just the beginning. This will continue and get worse. Once the USDA uses the Dept of Transportation vie executive order to finish off the rest of the small farmers across the country by requiring them to be permitted as commercial drivers, eliminating anyone who does not have a commercial drivers license from operating farm equipment, requiring additional commercial permits and licenses for transporting their livestock and crops and a $750,000.00 liability insurance policy, our entire food supply will be under corporate/government control. Welcome to Agenda 21!
As I was contemplating earlier, it's hot here. Reaallly humid to go with it. I had to sit in the fan for a while after my brief outdoor adventure and set myself up a cutting board on a couple of buckets so I wouldnt have to be away from the fan while I cut up sweet peppers and tomatoes. I got everything prepared and ready to go before I walked away from the fan. My chopped sweet peppers are looking pretty good in the dehydrator and the sauce is simmering down nicely. All food I grew right here on the farm. Add in a little deer meat in the sauce and it will be ready to go.
Yes, all of 2013 and part of 2012 are missing from the blog. You can thank Mike H for that. Almost all of those posts were about our great friendship and our partnership in farming. You all know how that turned out!