Wednesday, December 30, 2009
I will return in the very near future.
You so you know..you haven't missed anything. Nothing new, nothing old and nothing really 'farmy' going on.
We are beginning homeschool officially in a few weeks and the preparation for that has taken up large chunks of time, as have the holidays. Knit, knit, knit, knit....
So, please be patient and don't give up on me. I shall return.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
the very last pics of the turkeys.
And I am a wee bit sad at the thought of
and start to lay I will toss in a few choice roosters
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Now that the voting is over on Homesteadingtoday.com, I can announce that I was the one that took this pic!! Woot!!
I don't know if it will make the calendar as many folks don't want dead things hanging on their wall, but I love it and will hang it somewhere.
They were tasty too!
sleeping in a squash blossom is yellow.
Some things are blue..
And the sky behind a ....turkey!
And, closely connected to the Sell Off,
going into their pen in the late afternoon.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I seriously need HELP!
Won't someone help me....?
I can't freaking STOP
picking muscadines !
This morning by 9am
I had about 40 lbs. of those
beautiful little purple balls in my big bucket.
Ya'll.. this is the third time!
I went thinking that the scuppernongs were ripe,
there was a whole nother harvest of muscadines ready.
I should have walked away.
It is heavy enough that I don't
dare to put in on my old countertops.
It sits in the kitchen floor..staring at me...
And the figs too...
Those apples are slated for an apple pie.
I don't know what they are, but I made a pie
last week that was the best apple pie I have ever eaten.
But, today I will try to do the right thing.
I will try to wash them and bag them up and
give those muscadines away.. or at least some of them.
I said, 'try...'
And I will make more fig preserves.
The last bit I picked I set out to dry.
Every morning I carried them out ot the sun
and every evening I brought them loving back inside.
When they were almost dry, and I could put them all in one
pan, I started keeping on my dashboard in my car.
Sweet Husband borrowed my car and brought the figs,
the precious figs that I had sliced paper thin..
not an easy thing to do..they are squishy..
and put them in the oven.
Did he tell me this? Did he? NO.
I set the oven to preheat and went out to
pick basil in the garden. I sniffed.
I pondered that sweet, wonderful smell
that was filling the yard.. like burnt sugar..
Damn. It took hours to get all of the smoke out of the house.
It is getting ready to be rainy and damp here
so I have to 'preserve' them instead.
No dried figs for me this year.
And I need help with the egg and incubator thing too...
yep.. I am incubating MORE eggs.
But these are spoken for... or so I believe.
I don't have to feed these 80! eggs.
But Sweet Husband is setting aside more eggs everyday....
Isn't this a pretty picture?
I love it.
Everything is sparkling in the morning sun...
Of course, this isn't shabby either.
I think I am going to slap some on a oatmeal roll
leftover from dinner last night...
Of course, the butter is still on the stove
It needs to hurry because I have 40 lbs
of muscadines to put in that pot!
And I have crushing news...
Mr. White is gone.
He was my first ever rabbit.
I know you aren't supposed to love your food,
but I loved Mr. White.
Such an independent thinker.
He escaped the colony last year and I caught him up
and put him back in another mini-colony
with his favorite doe thinking he would stay there with her.
He broke her out. He is..was.. a fence climber.
He and Mrs. White have lived free in my yard
and barn and in the neighbor's yard way
across the field since then.
I loved seeing him in the barn.
He would bring the wife for a snack
of chicken feed from time to time.
He would run and scatter the hens
away from the food.. it was an awesome sight.
Little white bunny chasing big old hens.
Then he would come over and stand on
my foot for scritches.
We were planning on a whole new area just for him
where he would be safe and could raise
new litters of kits for us once again.
I cannot tell you how heartbroken I am
Old Blue Sue killed him. Damn dog.
He must have gone cruising around dawn
yesterday in the front of the barn. He knew better.
She didn't bite or tear him, just played with him until
he quit playing back. Sweet Husband found her
chewing on his ear. Damn dog.
It is quite the shame. He was incredibly heavy.
It was uncomfortable trying to hold him one handed.
He would have made great kits.
I still have many of his offspring to carry on the good traits.
However, if I can catch up Mrs. White
she will have to be sent to freezer camp.
I don't think she would ever accept another buck
and I don't want to sacrifice one to find out.
RIP Mr. White.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Lookee what I got!!
A Foley mill!
Now, this might not rock everyone's boat,
but it's rocking mine.
Look how shiny!!
Stainless steel! Oooooooh!
With a thingy that goes round and round
This little gadget makes my
preserving chores into a fun
and easy event.
Ok.. maybe not all that great,
but look what I used to use
to remove those pesky pits
Now you understand my joy.
This thing leaks air something fierce
The slide tray is for allowing more
And the new...
Are you sick of turkey pics yet?
It is just that they are all over me everytime they see the camera..
And on a sad note..
Sunday, August 30, 2009
I just love the turkeys. They are much better all around
than stupid chickens! As you can see, my love affair
with my 150+ chickens is waning.
I am having a big chicken sell off soon.
And a several big slaughter days too.
Viva the turkeys!!
And last night was their first night in
the big new turkey pen in the barn.
They are not happy.
But, they have to stay inside for a few days
to acclimate to the new digs if I don't
want to spend every evening having a
turkey round-up. And turkey round-ups
involve long sticks and ladders if I don't get out there
soon enough. Turkeys can fly, you know.
And here is Mr White! My free range buck.
His 'wife' is around somewhere too. But they will soon be caught and
penned. I know they are breeding, I see them do it.
But without a safe home I am not getting any of the kits
for myself and that is wasteful.
The barn sure will be lonely without them underfoot
and chasing the chickens off their feed. I love Mr. White.
And what is summer without the obligatory tomato pictures?
And the things that taste great with them...
chard and basil!
These came from the 'secret garden'
I found this spring. I have the owner's permission
to use the gardens as I will. Oh Joy!
Green Ischia figs and muscadines!
It took some internet digging to find the variety of fig.
The bright red insides are the give away.
They are gross raw though, but
all figs are. I am a cooked/dried fig kind of girl, I guess.
Note to self.. next time chop them finer.
Sure are pretty though.
And cooking down the muscadines!
Oh, if you could have smelled my house!
These are a different muscadine than I am used to.
They are darker and sweeter without the 'tang'
of wine I am accustomed to working with.
More like a Concord grape really.
And I haven't even tapped the haul yet.
It was just too hot to pick that day.
It will be much cooler
this coming week and much nicer to pick in.
Plus, the cooler nights will act to sweeten them even further.
And some of the finished product to line my shelves with.
I had some on cornbread this morning..
wonderful! Fig on one half of the wedge and muscadine on the other.
Decadence and plenty!
Sure will be good when the cold winds blow this winter!
I love putting food by, I really do.
Is there anything more satisfying than seeing the
shelves in the pantry bending with plenty?
I just don't think so...
But rabbit tastes good!
So, here goes..
I dispatch the buns by the
just as I do the chickens.
But I must say I don't like it.
It has a tendency to cause
a mass of blood to pool at the junction
of the neck and shoulders.
I am going to try slitting the throat
immediately upon the upwards yank
to see if I bleed them instantly
I can stop that.
Personally, I don't care, but I do sell many
processed rabbits and I like a cleaner
So, here is a bunny in a dead state.
It's neck has been broken.
I will let the head dangle off the edge
of the table and remove the head or
slit the throat to bleed it.
I make a slit in the skin
on the belly and on the back
I slide my hands under the skin
and pull in opposing directions..
Until I get this..
I will remove the head and feet and tail
and pull the rest of the skin off.
Leaving me with this...
I will then make a vertical slit
up the body and hold it by the
shoulders over the bucket.
The innards fall right out.
I take two finders and reach up into
the upper chest for the lungs and heart.
I can do a rabbit from hopping to soaking
in about 2 minutes. It is wonderful!
Much easier and cleaner than
stupid chickens with all their stupid feathers!
(forgive my tone.. I am facing a day of butchering and plucking tomorrow)
And the wonderful finished product!
Don't they look delicious!
I am very proud of my rabbits.
I get great size and superb meat
from them. Each of these weighs in between
4 and 5 pounds- dressed weight.
That is a big! rabbit.
I attribute some of the weight to my
raising process. I do not cage my buns.
I colony raise. My buns have an indoor
room and an outdoor pen.
They run and hop and dig and groom each other
in a more or less natural habitat.
They get to use their muscles
which makes for good meat quality
My does and buck run together
and the does kindle in a vast underground
warren system of their own making.
I don't even know I have new babies
until I see them pop out into the
pen for the first time!
And I don't know how many I have in total
for about another week. They scoot in and out
of their bolt hole very quickly if they hear me approach.
But they eventually get used to me
and are all over my feet all the time.
on piles of wood sorrel and peppermint and mulberry twigs.
I try to feed from the yard as much as I can
They are very efficient at turning weeds and grasses into protein!
The three hefty boys in the foreground are the next up for
freezer camp. Maybe next week.