Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Too many hens.... not enough chicks

Four more chicks were hatched out yesterday. The problem is, three hens want to claim them. Three hens were sitting on 1 nest that had gotten split into 2 nests and this is the result. I thought, "Wish I could talk to King Solomon. He would surely know what to do." When I went back out later to get a pic, this hen was the one who ended up with the chicks; the silkies must have been scolded away :)
I think two of these are silkies and other white w/gray butt islike this hen. The black one is from one of the little banty's I got at the farm sale early this spring.
Oh yes, one silkie jumped back up on the remaining eggs. I will let that go on a few days and then pitch them if none hatch by then.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Can I get some Volunteers please?

my one and only mammoth sunflower for this year ...

Two huge watermelon plants .......

Dill, that I transplanted from the herb bed to the garden ...

Raspberry plants .... with berries on! .....

A tomato plant with our 1st tomato of the year, 3 times the size of the plants I started....

and a cucumber vine climbing up the hummingbird feeder pole near my front porch! See the little cukes on it?

What has volunteered in your garden?

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Sweet Deal!

Last winter, when we lost our freezer due to power surge during the ice storm, we were able to replace it with this......

It is an "either-or" 13.5 cubic ft freezer/refrigerator. We also got $50 off b/c of being the last one in stock. This means , once we use up most of the food it holds ( right now the last butchered cow) we can move the rest into our regular freezer and use this as a refridgerator at garden time when produce comes in faster than can be processed.

We are looking forward to watermelons, cantalopes, corn, green beans, tomatoes, corn, squash, cabbage, swiss chard, and did I mention corn?? all from our own garden.

On another note ...... I am also looking to go to a harbor freight store and get one of those 3-burner hot plates and hook up to a 20# propane bottle and do my summer canning outside in the carport, instead of heating up my kitchen. Oh, yumm! I could slow cook my spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce all day and still be cool! not to mention vegetable soup to be canned!

No, the power surge did not blow my mind, this is the "real me" talking.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Country Apple Pie ......... and other uses for oatmeal

Somehow I inherited a tall canister of "quick" Quaker oatmeal. Oh yes, it was when dear daughter decided to go on an extended vacation and didnt want food to go to waste. I already had a 5# bag of the "old-fashioned" kind I bought at the bulk food store. Okay, how many ways can I use extra oatmeal?

My first choice was this Country Apple Pie. I decided to use oatmeal in my piecrust, which I have done on occasion before, but this time I used half oatmeal and half flour. (I love to experiment) Even with the extra oatmeal the crust held together well and made it into the piepan. I loved Rachel Ray's way of making a pie! Just make the bottom crust extra big and fold it over the filling (made with brown sugar and plenty of cinnamon). No need to bother rolling out a "lid". Walla! This was a hit with dear husband!

I also made a meat loaf, and so combined 2 cups oatmeal in the mix in place of seasoned bread crumbs or breading. It turned out real tasty! We have been eating it several days now.

Granola is next on my list. I love it for cereal in the morning . That will be an early Saturday morning project. There are numerous other ways uses for oatmeal. The Quaker Oats box used to carry a cookbook offer on the back. I have mis-placed mine and don't know if they still offer it, but it has many useful recipes in it. Oatmeal is so good for you ..... a natural grain, low in fat, and supposedly helps lower your cholesterol (if you eat it :) )

Homemade soap with oatmeal, for a gentle exfoliator, is a good project for wintertime. We have made goatmilk soaps using oatmeal and it is a very nice soap.
If any of you have favorite ways of using oatmeal please post them. We would love to hear.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sunday afternoon Surprise!

Late afternoon I walked to the hen house just to talk to the chickens. I heard a little "peep-peep" from the floor. One little yellow fluff ball making that big noise! I had thought they weren't due for another week (somehow I lost a week!) I scooped her up and put in with the hen on the nest and got a good hard pecking and scolding for my troubles!

This morning she was off her nest and had 3 little peeps with her. I love diversity in color, so of course I commended her with doing a great job!

I took the water unit off the hanger and set it on bricks on the floor with a ramp so they could reach it, and threw a handful of feed into their corner. She is teaching them to eat ....

.... while standing guard. Not another hen dares go near!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Got to Make Hay while the Sun Shines!

Hubby had a good start on making hay 2 weeks ago .....

Then the rain came for several days ......

When the sun came out, a few rounds of the field were made ...... and the old mower flung its last blade and died ..... actually, where it had been welded twice before was again broken, this time too bad to be fixed. There was danger of doing damage to the tractor if we tried to continue using it. And there were 55 acres yet to mow.

Fortunately our calf sale three weeks ago had reaped the funds for a new mower.......

Our old Zetor tractor needs worked on once in a while but it does a good job. I hope it keeps doing just that because by next year the rickety old rake will be the nessessary replacement.

(The swallows follow after the hay is cut to get their fill of bugs)

We are glad the rain held off .....

until he could get this hay field rolled .....

Hubby enjoys what he is doing... being a farmer.... and I enjoy him being happy. It makes me smile!