Thursday, April 17, 2014

On The Farm This Week 4/17/14

The Goats:
We sold two of the nannies last week.  :-(  They were two we bought from our Greek friend, and they were not good moms, and did not have much milk.  So off to market they went.  We got good prices for them, but I hated selling them.  I wish I could keep them all as pets.

The babies are all getting big!  Two of them are billies, we're selling them next week.  :-(
I need to figure out what to do about my billy (Horton).  I love him.  He's a huge kiko, super friendly with spots..  but he's the father of the 6 new baby girls that I want to keep.  So do I sell the babies, sell Horton and replace him, or do I run two goat herds with two different billies.  I like option 3 - but pens are an issue.  Maybe I can split the current pen in half and build a new shelter on the other end, and get a second billy goat...

Everyone just had their cd&t shots, were wormed, and got their feet done last week.
Facebook Status - #farmlife - the rain started early today, cutting into our plans. Which means we still have a lot of fence down. But we did get all but one of the horses wormed, all the goats got cd&t, wormed, & their feet trimmed, we picked up a lot of trash, & burned piles of sticks/debris & garbage, raked stones, cleaned up the porch.. and made a VERY long spring project list. It's a start!

Spitting image of her mom.  Piper, the mom, is the one we raised in the house years ago.  She is a cashmere goat. 

The Horses
Kase, on the day he arrived- April 4th.  We adopted him from Appalachian Horse Rescue.

This week.  You can literally see him gaining weight day by day.  He's gorgeous.  Skittish yet - any little noise makes him jump.  And he's VERY protective of his food, you can guess he was starved at one time - he acts as if he's never going to be fed again, even though he has constant hay, grain twice a day, and treats every time I walk past.  I adore him of course.  He's still dealing with some mild rain rot, I'm brushing him every other day and I used MTG on him the other day.

The other 3 horses are out in the front pasture, with the cows.  The back fence is down for repairs, so they will stay there until the fence is fixed, then we'll move then out back to get to know Kase before we let them all run together.
Someone - and I would assume that would be Dan's horse - kicked out the back of the cow shelter...  repairing that is on our neverending to do list.

The Cows:
Milo is 1 month old now.  When we first got him, his feet were turned under, but you'd never know it now.  
Milo just a few days old, with his feet turned under.

The black calf here is a heifer, she belongs out front with the others but keeps escaping the fence.  Mickey is walking to me for a treat - he belongs out front too, but we're waiting for the horses to move back where they belong.  Wendell is the only one who actually belongs in this pen..  in a few more weeks, Milo will move up here to join him and we'll get a new baby.

Betsy, in the front, is 2 years old now.  She was one of a set of boy girl twins, so there's a 92% chance she's sterile  :-(  The other two girls in this pic we bought last fall, to breed.

The Poultry

I still have two baby silkies in the brooder in the garage.  They are getting pretty big now.

The chicken coop hasn't been cleaned out all winter, and desperately needs attention.  We're going to expand the run this spring, hopefully soon, so that they have more grass here.  Currently I have FOUR roosters.  :-(  3 are from babies that hatched last year, I will sell at least two of them.

We bought 3 peacock babies this winter. Two are males, one is female, so we will sell at least one male.  If I find an older male at the amish sale this week-end, I might buy him and sell both of these males - we'll see.  Building the new peacock run is high on my to do list - I'm hoping to get that done next week.


The small round pasture outside of the horse shelter
It's been a muddy mess.  The pasture is greening up, but not as quickly as we'd like.  I saw a neighbor mowing grass today and was actually jealous..  not because I want to mow, but because I want that much grass for the animals!  A lot of our pastures need to be reseeded.

Working on fence repairs.  We borrowed a gas powered post hole digger, and it's awesome.  But it's still going to take some time to get all the repairs done around here.

Chewy Molasses Cookies

I've been on a search for how to make flat, bakery style, cookies.  I still haven't found the secrets I'm looking for, but in the process I found this cookie, which is pretty much perfect.    Now If I could just figure out how to get my sugar and chocolate chip cookies to be this texture!

Chewy Molasses Cookies
Makes  2 dozen 

12 Tbsp (1 and a half sticks) butter, melted
1 cup sugar
¼ cup molasses

Beat, then add to above:
1 egg

Mix separately, then add in to wet ingredients & mix together :
1 ¾ cups  flour
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda

Bake at 350 for 8-10 Minutes.  The outside should look dark and firm, but he centers might be a bit soft.  

I recommend baking on parchment paper.

Leave plenty of room between cookies - these will spread a LOT.  The dough will be very sticky and wet, and this will make a flat, chewy, cookie.

Above - slightly puffy right out of the oven
Below: Chewy & Flat

Three Sisters Garden

A Three Sisters Garden Consists of Corn, Beans, and Squash.  I've wanted to plant one for years.

Planting Chart
Today I found this great planting chart for one - 

But this version is so pretty..  I might try this?

This wouldn't allow for a lot of corn, but it would be great for some of the varieties I like to grow for decoration.  And it would look cool up near the chicken coop...

Squanto's Garden Ebook

And I found reference to a free ebook, but the post didn't include a link.  When I did a google search for the ebook, I found the pdf file, no need to give an email address or sign up for anything, it is just here:  (I am running it through calibre to make it an epub, then I will add it to my Aldiko app on my phone, to read)

What Kinds Of Beans, Corn, & Squash?
I enjoyed this site because it gives info not only on what type they planted, but also how they harvest and store them.  I really want to try drying squash like this for soups!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Menu Planning Monday

Monday - Grilled Chicken & Salads  (the guys had the chicken on rolls as sandwiches, us girls had it sliced on our salads.  The guys had chips too)

Tuesday - Celine Dijon Chicken, baked sweet potatoes, Mixed veggies

Wednesday - Taco Night 

Thursday - Pasta Night - I think I'll do a simple spaghetti & meatballs this week.

Friday - Homemade Calzones for the kids, Dh and I out with friends.

Saturday - Soup - Chicken Corn

Sunday - pork chops and stuffing layered in a crock pot and left to cook while we are in church.  Mashed potatoes

Monday - Grilled chicken, baked sweet potatoes, Salad

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Super Simple Make Your Own Thin Mints

I learned how to make these from a woman in our church, at an Apples Of Gold class.  :-)

Ritz Crackers
Mint Chocolate Melting Wafers

That's it.  Really.

I get the wafers at Ac Moore.  They go on sale for $1.77 a bag, and when they do, I stock up.  do not like the chocolate wafers from Michaels - they are too waxy, in my opinion.

I found Ritz crackers at our grocery outlet (Wengers in Mifflinburg)

You can melt the chocolate in the microwave - just make sure the bowl and spoon are COMPLETELY dry.  One speck of water can make chocolate seize.

We don't have a microwave here (no big health reason, I just got tired of them dying, and we don't really use it..  a counter top convection oven was under $40 and works better for reheating food)

I have a melting pan similar to this one. I paid under $20- check Michaels or JoAnns and use a coupon for a good deal on one.  If you melt a lot of chocolate (we make a LOT of peanut butter eggs each year) it's well worth the investment.

To coat the crackers, drop them in, then lift out with a fork, shaking the cracker back and forth gently to even out the chocolate and remove the excess.  Then place on wax paper, or parchment paper, to dry.