The Gardens in June

We maintain two gardens as well various bits of other plantings.  The two are known as the side garden and the strip garden. Enjoy this glimpse, and if you are in the neighborhood sometime, feel free to stop by and help me weed.  

Fire and Ice

On nights like this when it is going down to -20 degrees and the wind is gusting at 40mph, we welcome heat in any form we can get it.  Of course there is the wood stove, but it’s nice to have supplemental heat from a bottle, too.

Preserving

The gardens are flourishing, and we have been enjoying the bounty. I haven’t harvested enough to begin any large scale canning, but the tomatoes are just starting to turn red.  If we get a few more warm days, I’ll be making sauce soon. We have harvested enough to fill our plates and put a few cans of fermented goodness away. A pepper relish. A corn treat. Loads of pickles. Carrots and Pole Beans. And we’ve been experimenting with jams and jellies. We picked 50 pounds of blueberries at Ingall’s Blueberry Hill in… Read More

A Day In The Life

A friend asked yesterday if I would map out a typical day in the life of our farm. Each season has a different rhythm; I enjoy summer’s most. Getting up with the sun, working in the garden, seeing fantastic looking bugs, finding some new flower in the fields, feeling the cool breeze blowing up the hill, watching the piglets snuffle for food, the pigs wallow in the mud, the cows waiting for their new paddock, the sheep running along beside the four wheeler, and the chickens chasing bugs or stealing scraps from… Read More

Eggs and Flour

Harry’s job this spring has been to collect eggs from the nest boxes. It’s a small job, but it helps him feel like he’s contributing to the farm. He is always sitting on the counter, cracking eggs and helping in any way he is allowed at breakfast. He was really excited when he learned that our bagel recipe calls for eight eggs. I received a wheat grinder as a wedding gift nine years ago, so I get to make freshly ground flour from the berries we purchase at Honest Weight Food Co-op…. Read More

Fermenting With An Airlock

Having grown up in a suburb of Oklahoma City, my mind keeps returning to the events of yesterday, and a blog post seems more insignificant than usual. I’m thankful that my family and friends made it through and are out giving comfort and aid. ………………………………… I have been fermenting for a couple of years now, and though I am pleased with the results, I am always tweaking. I first used the information I found in the book Wild Fermentation, and I have found help at Cultures for Health and Picklemetoo. I am always… Read More

Harvested for Health

In August, we eagerly look for the elderberries to ripen. If we are quick, we can harvest before the birds. I made more than a gallon of Elderberry Syrup from last summer’s crop and gave some of it as gifts.  When we are running low on this tonic I go to my freezer for another 1/2 lb of berries and cook up a batch. Sometimes I try a more medicinal taste, but the kids prefer it plain. When my kids came down with fevers recently, I knew it was time to make… Read More

Hard Luck And Good Music

Occasionally one of the pigs will develop a problem that requires us to harvest the meat prematurely. We keep a close eye on them so we can act quickly. Last week, we had a pig with a rectal prolapse.  Ugly and painful, but not infected. Once the meat was cooled, we needed to find a way to prepare it–but what fun is there in eating a whole pig by yourself? So DP cut it up, I made pulled pork and we took it to a Rocky Top Concert potluck dinner where Deborah… Read More

Sittin’ Chicken

Last year we raised 100 or so Freedom Rangers on about two acres. Each day we moved their coop to a new spot and opened the door to give them the run of the place. At the end of the season we gave them a short ride to the butcher and the next night bagged and froze them. So when I handle a chicken I get from the freezer, I remember how they all did their chicken run to the feeder when I came out to the pasture last summer. I remember… Read More

Two Healthy Drinks

Since the cold weather has prohibited gardening, and since I have a request from a reader, I’ll write about an electrolyte drink I make for us in the summer as well as a tea we learned to make this winter. In 2011, I visited Essex Farm  for a farm tour and an introduction to using draft horses in farming. Mark introduced me to a great alternative to a sports drink. He filled a quart jar with water and added about 2 T apple cider vinegar, 1T real maple syrup, 1/2t ginger powder,… Read More