Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Sorry for the long gap between posts

I'm still here! And I will be blogging and soon. Life and Spring has happened on the farm and it has gotten very busy around here!


So don't worry I will be back on here shortly!


Hope you all are doing wonderful!


~ Katie

Monday, March 16, 2015

Another nice day

Today we had a pretty nice day, the sun peaked out every once in a while, and the temperature was nicely warm. We can now see grass in our yard! The snow is still present in the far backyard but thankfully the front pastures and the garden have been uncovered.
Now we just wait for everything to dry out, as of now the pastures are like a swamp ( so is the garden). So anxiously awaiting it to dry out, to be able to plow the garden and beginning planting!!!

My mom came over today, which we always enjoy! She helped plant more seeds inside for starts. We talked about the garden and where to plant things. Got me excited to get out there and plant things. (Patience is not my strong suit!! HA)


Well to update you on more homestead things:

The meat chickens we have now are going to be 3 weeks old on the 19th.  Three more weeks till butchering. Our layer chickens will be arriving in 2 weeks, and in about 3 or so weeks our second batch of 20 meat chicks will arrive! So live will be getting a whole lot more busy and a whole lot more noisy! HA! We are so looking forward to all of these animals coming  and how blessed we feel that God is letting us take care of them and for us to be able to give thanks for the food He has given and provided for us.


This spring we are still thinking through if we will be adding to our goat herd with an addition of another doe or two. We are still thinking about this and nothing definite has been decided. ( But of course I'm leaning more toward the YES MORE GOATS!!! )

We have talked about so many other projects and goals we would love to do on our homestead! Tough to know they won't be all accomplished this year but will be keeping them  on the list for the next few years.

Anyone else having any new additions to their homesteads?

Katie

Monday, March 9, 2015

Warm days ahead

We are finally getting a bit of a break from this cold weather and snow! Today is suppose to be in the high 40's and we will even be up in the mid to high 50s another day this week! This gets me even more excited for the spring weather!




Now the garden won't be ready for weeks for sure! The snow needs to melt and then the garden needs to dry out. We need to put our fence up around the garden as well. ( which we can't do until he ground thaws).




But even with all that, my mind still wonders to warm days with dirt in my fingernails and the warm sun on my back as I plant the little seedlings that are sprouting in our dining room.
To see the boys outside running in the grass and the goats out in their pastures enjoying the first sweet blades of grass, they have longed for all winter.

Molly and her mom (Clemmy)



(2 spot, Big Boy, Eli (my mom's goat), and Molly)

                                                   (Molly- doe kid we will be keeping)

 
And the chickens who yearn for those emerging bugs from the freshly thawed dirt.


For the trees with their little buds emerging on their branches and preparing to break out their new green leaves for us all to see. The smell of the fresh dirt drying out from the snow that we had and the freshly plowed garden , ready to be brought back to life.


Spring is close , 12 days away to be exact! You can bet I am counting every one of those days down!

So as new life comes, some lives will leave. The coming month we will saying goodbye to our two buckling kids. We will be selling them. But look forward to our girl having more babies next spring/summer! So goes life on our little homestead!


Think Spring everyone, it's on its way!

What are some of our favorite things about spring?

Katie

Monday, March 2, 2015

Are we normal.....Yes!

      As I re- read my one post on what we eat, it sounded like we weren't normal. Yes we like grass fed, beef, farm eggs, etc. Do we always eat this? No, we are just like everyone else! This food can be a lot more expensive and for good reasons, but we are on a budget that doesn't always allow for this. So yes, it is something we strive for, but we also have to think about the financial goals we have set as well.


     We would like to pay our house off early............. like 15 yrs. early. So not all the foods we would like to buy we can. When we can get grass fed beef, organic chicken, etc. We do. It is a motivation for us, for when we don't have that mortgage payment the things and food we will be able to buy, and not feel like I'm robbing half my grocery budget to eat it now.


     So, yes we are normal, and no we are not perfect,eating organic every night and day.  I do try to buy stuff when it is deeply discounted (like manager specials on the organic meats and freeze them), or when I find a really great coupon and combine it with a sale going on. I also use coupons for products that aren't organic either.


      I sometimes get myself down about not buying everything organic or grass fed, since I do know how good it is for you. Right now though is that time in our lives that we can't do that on a daily, weekly basis.


      I do try to buy healthy though , but like I said as much as I can on a very tight food budget we have set. During the summer months, I do get a lot of my fruits/ veggies from farm stands and Root's markets( a large market with many food vendors with produce, etc.), and might try again this year to go to the produce auctions they have to get some more canning done.

    So even if you can't buy organic, you can still have amazing meals buying local ingredients from local famers.

   So, yes we are normal!


~ Katie

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Yesterday as more snow came I decided to make the house nice and warm and bake some bread. I was in the mood for something sweet and cozy. So I looked for a recipe for cinnamon raisin bread. One of our favorites in our house. I found a recipe that I have never tried before but it didn't just make one loaf of bread....... It made 3!!! Even better, in my book!

So I thought I would share this recipe with you. The only thing I found tricky was to pinch the ends together. But that could have been because we put a ton of the filling in the middle! HA! I hope you all enjoy this as much as we did.


Here is the link to the recipe: Cinnamon Raisin Bread. Hope you guys enjoy it as much as we did!



What is your favorite bread to make? Would love to hear and leave a link or recipe in the comments! I am always looking for new breads to try!



~ Katie

Friday, February 27, 2015

At the feed store

Yesterday was a great day! I got to meet up with my best friend from highschool and her husband.  Actually her husband and I planned a surprise lunch for her, she had no clue! So we all got  done eating and decided to go to Tractor Supply that was close so I could pick up the meat chickens, for our farm. This is our first year raising and butchering our own chickens so we are excited about this experience.

So we get to the store and looked around. I looked at all the cute chicks (and yes thoughts of sneaking some other chickens and a few of the ducklings there, did pop in my head. But then Tom popped in my head and those thoughts went away haha). So I asked the Saleman if he could give me 13 of the Cornish rock chicks. He boxed them up and took me to the register, and told me to have a nice day. I thank him and told him to have a nice day as well. So while waiting in line there was a lady in front of me. My friends and I were looking at the different magaizines while we waited for my turn.


The lady in front looked over and said oh what kind did you get. I said, " oh the meat chickens". she stared at me with a  confused look. She said what do you do with those? I said, " you butcher them." Once again gave me a confused look. Then her look turned to disgust. I could tell she was not happy so I went on looking at other things while she finished checking out.  I could hear her under her breathe saying, " that is just cruel!", " If you have to do those kinds of things it is time to find a job". Yes I kept my composer( let me tell you I wanted to tell her a lot), because I really felt what good would it do? The mind set that woman had I really didn't feel if I said anything it would have made her change her mind.  So the lady left with her bags and still mumbling things under her breathe and the last thing she said I didn't hear.

The cashier looked at me in disbelief that the lady had said all those things. She couldn't understand why the lady was that rude either. She said," where does she think her chicken from the store comes from?",  Apparently the last thing she said to the cashier was, she wasn't going to shop their anymore because they sell baby chicks ( like meat ones) and that is just horrible.


I guess the reaction of the lady today made me really think, about wow am I really a cruel person for doing this? Am I a horrible person for wanting to raise our own food?

The answer is "NO!". We are a family that enjoys the farm life and likes to know what our animals eat, do , etc. We are thankful and we are sure to thank God for them . Are we weird to do this, to grow our own food, to raise our own meats? Well depends on who you are? haha Personally I don't think we are, we are just wanting to go back to the days when this was normal. Everyone would have chickens in their backyard, families would have their own gardens and survive on that till the next summer harvest. Back when making your own laundry soap, seasonings, hanging laundry, and not using electronics that often was normal. That is the life we thrive for and we hope that someday, even if we have one person start planting a tomato plant, green beans or lettuce in their backyard. Or someone who gets the passion to try canning or freezing their own garden veggies. Or even to go and support a local farmer who grows and sells their vegetables, eggs or meats. Every little bit counts, then I can have a 100 of those ladies talk about me that way.

So for now we will enjoy the cute little fluff balls that have taken residence in our home, until it gets warm enough for them to go out in the chicken tractor and then in April we will pray and thank the Lord for letting us raise these chickens and for the blessing they will be to us and others

Just another day on the homestead......


~ Katie

~

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Is it Spring yet?!

Oh Spring, where are you?! There is still snow on the ground but the sun is coming out this morning.

My mind has been drifting these days of garden plans and seed starting. Fruit trees to plant and berry bushes to buy.

The snow is still here but my hear and mind are in spring. The laundry flying in the warm spring breeze and the chickens digging in the warm dirt.


I got my seed order back in December! haha  I am so ready for Spring to be here!


I wanted to share my seeds for our garden this year with you. So here is what we will be planting:


And before I forget, we purchased our seeds from Baker Creek Seed Company, if you haven't seen their site I would totally recommend it! They have so many seeds, I would buy them all but I don't have enough land! Ha!


Okay back to business.


Peas- Improved Maestro

Pepper- Horizon Bell (purple)
              Golden Cal Wonder ( yellow)

Tomato- Amish Paste
               German Pink (great for canning)
               Mortgage lifter
Beans- 
            Blue Lake Bush 274

Carrot-
          Little Finger (good for eating!)

Onions-
           Stuttgarter

Pumpkin-
               Squash Alligator or Jacare ( great for pumpkin pie, keeps really well)

Broccoli-
              Waltham 29

Cucumbers-
               Cucumber Muncher (Burpless great for eating fresh or pickles)

Lettuce-
          Red romaine

Zuchinni-
             Fordhook Zucchini (freezes well)

Corn- (this will be our first year growing corn, we will be purchasing another kind as well)
         Country Gentleman (shoepeg type corn) Freezes well

Beets-
      Early Wonder


So there are the seeds for this year! Excited to see how they all do.

~ Katie