Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Making Spring

I can't wait for spring any longer. I have plants and crops to set out and these cold winter days just won't stop. We had flurries this morning! But I still set our my veggies and flowers and protected them too. Can't count on the cat to keep them warm. At least the plants are growing in spite of the cold nights. I have very hardy plants, herbs and veggies. But the good thing is that we have had lots of rain and the grass is tall. This means a good hay crop. I have baby chicks as well, but luckily they have fully feathered out and can take the cold in the coop now. I hope by May it warms up so my next hatch stays warm. Life is never boring on the farm.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Neighbors Farm

Our neighbors raise Boer goats and have had to separate their billy from the does. And they are building a new barn to house the goats and chickens.

The billy is now separated from his does with his pal. This was feeding time and hoof doctoring time.

The billy loves his grain trough.

Gracie the dog and her minions.

Rick and his second barn. Made from rough cut lumber and recycled old windows.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Rum Cake

Today was my hubby's birthday. He wanted a rum cake made from his grandmothers recipe. 
His sister was kind enough to send me the original recipe and I followed it to the letter. 

After it comes out the oven you add the rum butter glaze. I let him do that as I had dishes to clean.

You can see the rich buttery glaze in the cast iron pot.

The cake sat overnight in a cake pan and turned out exactly as he remembered it from his childhood. 
It was a great sharing it with friends after dinner.

Piggy Surprise

Today, we were invited out to dinner with friends from our church. Millie had a surprise waiting for me in her car. She gave me her handmade set of ceramic pigs she painted herself. I had admired them in her home and she gave them to me. They are so happy looking and I needed to see some happy pigs smiling at me.  I will add them to my farm kitchen. They can sit and smile at me while I cook.

So cute, detailed and well painted. Each one has it's own cute face. I can tell they were painted with care.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Beefalo me now

Last Sunday we were invited to a friends farm to meet his Beefalo. He has a real buffalo that has been bred to an Angus bull creating buffalo hybrids called Beefalo. His livestock is tame and likes to be pet and given snacks. We got to pet a real live buffalo and her offspring.
The buffalo was extremely fast moving for such a large animal. We were quick to get out of her way when she decided it was time to move.

She is chasing the horses away from snack time.The upright tail means she is mad.

Ready for more petting and treats.

Coming around fast for more attention.

The gravy train arrives and they all get a snack.
These hybrids are very hardy and survived the drought last summer and winter with no problems. The Angus the farmer had did not come out of winter as well as these Beefalo. They were ribby and thin. The hybrid meat is very lean and full of flavor. It was very exciting seeing what other farmers raise. Buffalo can never be moved from where they are raised. They will destroy any fence to get back home again by walking in ever widening circles. This buffalo was saved as a baby and raised on this farm. This is her home and she is the queen of the herd.

Let There be Shelby

After much talk about the pros and cons, we decided we needed another equine around our farm. Since we have 3 horses one will always be left behind. Our younger horses really go nuts when left behind. We heard that a jenny was needing a new home. Her price was the trade of our two adult turkeys. They needed a new home and we needed them out of our coop. The donkey is hard to catch and needs more handling, but she is healthy and our filly needs her. This was the first time all week my filly was calm for a change. Our other two horses are at the trainers. The jenny's name is Shelby. Since she is very fast the name works.

Maple and Shelby

Looking out for Maple and her new pasture.

Learning about the lead rope and its limits.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Our Tank Lives Again

After three years in dry dock we finally launched out fish tank again. We kept the original rocks in sealed containers all that time. We were able to use all our original rock and wood, however had to by a new pump, heater and tubes.
Clown Loaches waiting to be added to the tank.

Our tank and real live plants.

goldfish and loaches

One of the two Koi we have in our tank. 

Ump Fishing

Here is Ump our young cat standing on my chair to see the fish tank.

She is fascinated by the tank and watches and sleeps by it as often as she can.

Trying to reach the fish.

Frozen tank stare

She waits for anything to happen.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Digging in the Dirt

We are having a very late spring here in the Ozarks. This time I usually have beds done and planted. Everything seems to be taking its time to bloom this spring. Even the bugs are not out yet to feed my chickens. But the grass is green again and growing in our pastures. Soon we can let our horses have some fresh green grass again. We have not had green grass since the beginning of summer last year. The drought  was so bad all our plants died.This year I am hoping for more rain and happier plants.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

March Hatching

Here is Ump, the cat, watching over our 2 brooder box hatchlings. Our hen hatched them but did not leave her nest, so I moved them indoors. I usually have 1-3 hatches to restock for our farm each year.

The chicks got much bigger and I moved them out of tubs and  into a used leaky stock tank. You can see I added a stuffed Olivia pig in their with them. Soon their pin feathers were emerging and the dust level tripled inside my kitchen.

After almost a month it was time to get them outside into the coop. The smell of 8 chicks get stronger no matter how many times you change the litter. Chicks smell, end of story.

I had 7 hens and one rooster in this hatch. Now all of them are in the coop learning how to grow up into productive poultry for our farm. Ours are a mix of Americana, Cuckoo Marans, Rhode Island Reds and the always present Leghorns. Every year we get a new rooster to add new blood to the mix. This year we will add some bantam hens for hatching, Americana's for blue eggs, and some perhaps Cornish cross roosters for meat.

A Great Read

I am reading a great book for our times called Rediscover Catholicism by Matthew Kelly. It is not just for Catholics but for anyone who wants some real answers to living a genuine life in these times. If you just read the Prologue you will be hooked. Matthew is a great writer for this broad subject for many walks of life.  He is clear in his chapters and has a lot of good information about living in our current times. It is hard to put this book down. Anyone wanting to find answers to life, give this book a try. You won't be disappointed. You can also get a free copy here plus the shipping.