Friday, January 27, 2012

Manic Day

Some days you don't get enough sleep and you got a lot to do on the farm. Just have to take it one step at a time. Even farm zombies have to get chores done.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Goodbye Best Rooster

Today, I found my best rooster dead in the adjacent coop. He was next to our new white rooster's cage. It seems the stress of having a new rooster near his flock was too much to take. Though the white rooster was kowtowing and submissive to our home rooster, the big guy just croaked. No signs of stress or battle at least from the outside. He had a great life on our farm. Now his son will take over the job of protecting the flock. Soon to share the work load with the white rooster.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Poppy Roll


While we are working on the fence our barn cat, Poppy comes along to supervise. He inspects all piles of dirt and gives it a roll. Poppy just rolls along with us as the sun sets behind us.

Rooster Day

Having a farm means eventually you have to eat what you raise. We had too many roosters born over the summer and we had to cull them. This week I got to learn how to kill my own chicken and process it. I caught all four roosters and selected the red one first. Jeff is our good friend volunteered to show us how to do the deed. After a prayer of thanks for the bird; he cut the head off cleanly and swiftly and showed me how and where to cut. Then we waited for the blood to drain from the body. After about two minutes the blood slacked off and I learned how to peel the skin off the carcass. This was a young bird with a good layer of feathers and fat. Jeff explained the parts of the chicken and how to get around the cavity. Skinning allows us the skip the plucking step of the process, very messy and time consuming. I learned where all the parts are inside the chicken. He left the lungs for me to clean out on my own. The bird is now marinating and will be Sunday dinner.
I learned it is messy to kill a bird, cold days are better, no bugs and a use a sharp knife you don't mind getting dirty. It was not an easy farm step but after it was done I felt good. I had a meal I raised on my farm from scratch. That bird will feed us and the scraps will feed the wildlife.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Carcass Soup

I have been making soups from scratch to save our health and money. Our healthy eating through reduced salt, preservatives and canned chemicals by home made. I have a great book, Nourishing Traditions, that has simple and basic recipes that are healthy. I can in glass so no chemicals there.
This week I thawed out my leftover Christmas 5lb turkey carcass and cooked it down. I added veggies and rice along with spices and canned 4 quarts. The soups came out very good! So much better than store bought. I gave some to my neighbor since I had so much. He ended up sharing the turkey soup with his young puppy. That pup has not been eating at the vets office and came home to recover from an illness. The turkey soup was a hit with the pup. It is now eating the soup with rice. The vet said my soup is called carcass soup. I had never heard that term for soup before. But in a way it was a turkey carcass I used as stock. It was worth the effort of cooking down and using that bird. And on a cold day fresh soup is the best. Who knew a turkey carcass could be so useful long after the holidays are over.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Poachers in Full Force

Ah the joys of Sunday mornings in the Ozarks. Since the weather has been so bad on the weekends, we have seen no dogs nor poachers. But today we saw 100 dogs, 7 trucks and 7 people blocking roads and running hounds around the neighbors cattle. Two dogs ran at my ducks on my property and were met by my very angry shepherd. We drove out to church and our country roads were blocked with 3 dog filled vehicles. They were slow and reluctant to get out of the way. They were not from Summersville and are not welcomed here. By noon we saw two more blocking our home road by our house. This got old fast. They finally packed it up and left the area. We hope they took all their dogs with them. These people left cans and food bags where they waited for their dogs. We do not like this ugly side of rural living. People think they can do anything with pasture, back roads and no one around. These poachers think they are untraceable and untouchable. They had no idea they were being watched. We might be country farmers but we are not dumb.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Friends New Life

Some friends of ours are moving to Africa as missionaries. They have sold their home, cars, possessions and packed a container of supplies to take over there. They have faced so many challenges to get to this point but now they are on their way. Hard to believe they will be a world away doing what they were called to do. We hope to stay connected via the Internet. Funny, Africa has better and faster Internet than rural Missouri does. My friends are moving here: I know they will be very happy serving the people of their Mission.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Fence Grind

Today we walked the t-post line and fixed crooked ones. Caps had to be replaced and post ground down to seat the caps better. My husband plugged the grinder into the tractor battery. That way we could get to the remote areas of the pasture with electricity. Many of the post hit rock and are a bit loose in the ground. After some rain the post should sit better in the dirt.

Something Old is New

Here is our brand new/old bird water dish. An ice storm last year cracked a limb over it and broke the iron dish. Our neighbor can weld and he not only fixed the break, he painted it, too! And in my favorite color to boot. And you can see a bird has already washed some seeds in the dish. It is so nice to have something old fixed again and useful.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pipe Fence

We finally got t-post and pipe put in for our horse pasture.We have a great contractor to pipe and weld for us. We bought 3 large gates and painted the pipe green ourselves. Now we need to install the electric tape, caps and solar chargers. The weather has been perfect for this kind of work. But the snow is coming and the work has to get done. If all goes well the horses should be in the big pasture by the end of the month.

Pepper Me

Some days you just feel like a cat zombie.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Feasting in Winter

I have to say this year we were given a lot of food goodies. We received spices, cookies handmade, brittle from monks, English muffins, chocolates, mixes and homemade jams. It has been a delight for our taste buds. Working in the cold all day it is nice to have a sweet treat to come home too. Or like Daisy, to take a nap next to.

Packing up Christmas

Today at church we all stayed after mass to pack up the nativity and decorations. Then I came home to pack up my own decorations. All the outdoor lights, santa collection, nativity, garlands and the tree. All packed up in green and red plastic boxes. Then we put them into storage until next Christmas. It was a little sad putting away the sparkly things. But we had so many guest this over to share the holiday with. It was a great holiday with friends. We are looking forward to more entertaining and more dinners with friends in this new year.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Amish Breadboard

We are having a cedar dresser made by an Amish man in our town. At my request he designed and made this bread board for me. It is hickory and black walnut planked together and rounded at the corners. Here it is with olive oil applied to season and protect the wood for years.