New Rose Bush

New Rose Bush

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August 31, 2011

Last day of August.  We're sure looking forward to fall.  Would love some rain right now though.  Everything is really, really dry.

We've been very busy, as always.David and Joel will be digging the trench to hook up our outside woodstove this coming holiday weekend. We just had workers here for two days painting all the tin roofs - house and buildings so everything is shiny and beautiful.  It was Bobbi Hood and his crew.  They did great work.  Even painted the trim by the roof, all the shutters and cleaned out all the gutters.    Now we have to finish putting on new storm doors and doing some new windows. It's always something.
The fall garden is getting in. I put in brussel sprouts, caulfilower and cabbage. I have new tomatoes and beans coming in and I put in another patch of green beans. My field peas (those southern things) are doing real well. looking forward to seeing what is in them! Today someone is actually baling the 10 acres next to us so we'll be able to start piling up some hay in the barn for winter feedings. I'll need about 73 bales just for the sheep. A friends is giving us hay from her horse she doesn't need so that will help out too. We may be getting a goat. Gayle, the woman Joel works for, asked if we'd like it. I'll take it if we can milk it!. We're looking into the Raw Milk Cure for Olivia right now and it would be a great thing to have our own goat to milk.
The delicious apples are ripening and almost ready to pick.  The trees are loaded and beautiful.  Hope to purchase some peach trees soon to start filling up the orchard.  We need to purge the old plum and peach trees too.  Something I'll hate to see.  they're all big and beautiful - but very bad fruit.  They need to be purged.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

August 24, 2011

It's hard to believe but yesterday we actually had an earthquake at around 2:00 in the afternoon.  It registered at 5.8.  Liv and I were sitting in the kitchen reading about Egypt and Joel was int he family room.  Everything started rattling and shaking and Joel screamed, "Earthquake!"  We all ran outside and then it stopped.  What an exciting afternoon at Rose Lane Farm.

The sheep are still loving their new pasture.  We had to go up and cover up two trees by the road so they wouldn't eat them.  The one maple that looked like it died actually had little green leaves coming back.  I'm so glad.  It would be wonderful to have a nice big maple up there for shade and noise blocking.  I hope it continues to grow.

Picking alot of hot peppers - but no green sweet peppers.  I made two chili-pepper quiches and put them in the freezer for the winter months when we need some heating up!  Joel picked a great big container of hot peppers from his garden we'll have to start drying.

I picked the last of the cantelope from Olivia's melon garden yesterday and cut them all up and put them in them in the food dryer.  I'm not sure I like the taste.  It says to sprinkle them with sugar that we wanted to avoid.  So we'll see.  We have alot of dried cantelope right now!

I put in more lettuce and broccoli and turnips, finally getting rid of most of the failed corn in the garden.  I need to order perennial onions and my garlic today.  Can't wait to try the onions.  It's fascinating that they'll keep coming back.  I need to get them in a good space, maybe by the back door.

Monday, August 22, 2011

August 22, 2011

Finally have the sheep in a 2 acre pasture and they are loving it.  They still don't go far from the barnyard, but I think they'll eventually make their way.  We need to lock them up in the barnyard at night still because it all doesn't have electric.  We'll wait for the llamas to keep them safe.

We got our 100 plus pounds of lamb meat from the butcher this past week and had marinated lamb chops on the grill.  They melted in our mouths.  It was wonderful!

Picked up 23 chickens butchered at the Grainery also.  Had a wonderful beer can chicken on the grill also.  They really did a great job and will be doing our chickens in November also.  I'm still thinking of adding to that chicken order to get more in the freezer and more to sell.  Corn prices are going up and it will be tougher to feed those chickens soon.

Ruthie and Howard were here for a few days and  Howard helped with part of the fence on Saturday.  We almost have the front done!  Yeh!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

August 18, 2011

Picked up the chickens from the Bennet's today in Gladys.  They have a beautiful farm with a farm store that we had a blast in.  Was able to purchase pounds of grain, dried beans, locally ground coffee, ect.  The chickens turned out great - most between 4-5 pounds and some even at 6 pounds!  So happy.

We even picked up our first two rabbits to breed from the breeder in Union Hall.  We have a black boy and a gray girl.  They are four months old.  We probably need to pick up one more doe to breed once we get these guys settled in.  I need to find all our rabbit equipment.

Mother-in-law and brother-in-law coming to visit today from NJ.  Will be getting a great big chicken on the grill soon :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

August 17, 2011

Busy still with canning and fencing.  Put up 12 pints of applesauce on Saturday with Olivia.  We picked most of our little gala apple tree.  The apples were splotchy and ugly on the outside, but perfect on the inside.  I could have sliced and frozen them, but we sauced a big jar.

David had 4 days off and really worked on the fence.  We have the whole front road fenced in and then he finished the entire woods side of fence on Tuesday with Joel.  What a blessing.  One more small side by the barn and our whole front 4 acres will be fenced in.  Almost time for the llamas to come - so exciting!

Picked tomatoes and wondered what to do now.  So I had to turn to tomato pudding.  The family is not excited, but they're made and in the freezer.

Took 23 cornish rock chickens to Rick and Betty Bennet for processing last night.  They only process at 2:00 in the morning so they should already be done.  We'll travel back to Gladys tomorrow morning to pick up the birds fresh and ready to cut up or freeze.  Have a few to give away and sell.  The next batch of chicks are coming in September.  I'm so glad we get a break from feeding, watering and moving for a while.  The Bennets only raise meat chickens in the spring and fall and I'm beginning to think that's the best idea around here.  The summer is too stressful on them and it's so difficult to keep them watered.  Next year we'd like to try 50 in the spring and 50 in the fall and be done with it.  It'll be eaisier to get away in the summer too.

Time to get fall crops in the garden.  I did put in a planting of lettuce and carrots already.  Need to get in my cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli for the fall.  I want to put in plantings of greens each week from now through September to ensure a steady supply of lettuce on the table.  Hopefully, we can travel to that great little greenhouse up in Wirtz to get some vegies to plant when we go to pick up the sheep meat from J & P Butchers.

Purchased a riding lawnmower on Saturday from Coast to Coast Small Engine Repair.  We've been giving them alot of business fixing our push mower and weed wacker.  They had a great used Cub Cadet we purchased.  It's really great to get the paths down to the pond done again.  Hope to have Joel pick up some downed branches and trees today to finish the path from the pond to the spring house.  It's such a nice walk down there.

Made these Pecan Bars for our Bible Study Picnic yesterday:
Crust: 2/3 c. confectioners' sugar
            2 cups flour
            1/2 pound (2 sticks) softened butter
Mix together and pat in 9x13 pan.  Bake 350 degrees for 20 min.  Remove from oven.

Topping:  2/3 cup melted butter
                   1/2 cup honey
                 3 tablespoons heavy cream
                  1/2 cup brown sugar
                 3 1/2 cups shelled pecans (used walnuts), coarsely chopped
Mix and spread over crust.  Bake 25 min.  Cool.

I thought they were too buttery, but everyone loved them.  Took a tomato pie also that turned out well.  Everyone seemed to have an abundance of tomatoes to share in our meal.  What fun.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

August 9, 2011

Took two sheep to J&P Butcher shop last night.  What a nightmare trying to get them loaded.  They are so wild.  We had to corner them and David grabbed them while I tried helping to get them on their butts so we could grab their legs and carry them to dog crates.  It was really hard.  I was so stressed out about it all I got a horrible headache.  Luckily getting them out was a breeze - because we put them in butt first.  They just jumped out and into the waiting pen.  It was nice to have a chute for them to go down into also.

The rest of the day yesterday and today was taken up with canning - 11 quarts of apple pie filling and 5 quarts of tomatoes and trying to get the lawn mower fixed.  It took a couple of tries but the lawnmower now has a new pull start and spring and the weed wacker had the throttle fixed.  We should be all set.

Was able to get alot of weeding done because even though it's 90 plus degrees there's a nice breeze blowing and it doesn't feel that humid.  I planted a couple more spots of lettuce and carrots too.  I hope it all comes up.  Waiting for cabbage and broccoli to grow big enough to transplant in the main gardens.

Picked okra and sauted it with onions, zucchini and tomatoes. It's really good when it's sliced thin and the okra is little.

Bought two new halters today from Tractor Supply for the sheep.  Can't wait to HALTER TRAIN all the sheep so we won't have to go through what we did Monday night. 

Scheduled butchering date for this batch of chickens for next week in Gladys.  Ordered the last batch of chicks for September 13th.  It'll be a little easier when the weather is cooler I think.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

August 7, 2011

Lightening Strikes!  No, literally, it struck somewhere very close to the house last night.  It fried our electric fence, leaving my sheep defenseless all night.  It also has done something to our telephone.  We're not sure what yet and if it can be fixed or not.  We're working on it.

It also tripped the breaker to the electric in the garage.  Luckily I went out to the garage to get a package of hamburger for lunch and found all the electric out.  I would have really cried if I lost everything in my freezer.  It's stuffed to the top with chicken, beef, tomatoes and fruit.  I do hope that never happens again.

We luckily were given a new electric fence box from Gene Suggs at church so David is hooking that up right now.

Had our first two sheep shorn on Friday, so that we can get them to J&P Butchers on Monday night.  Looking forward to marinated lamb chops on the grill soon!  The fiber was pretty bad.  They may be a Catawba Sheep mix so the fiber was more like hair on some parts.  I'm glad I'm butchering them.  We still don't have enough pasture for 5 sheep.  The third new sheep I'll butcher in the Spring.

Talking about fencing, David and Joel were able to put up the first part on the woven wire on the fence in the front pasture!  So excited.  The sheep really need more to eat.

Still getting alot of tomatoes from the garden.  Froze 4 tomatoe tarts last week.  Will probably dry more tomatoes this week.  Should I make more salsa too?  Probably a good idea.  Great to take to parties.  Just picked apples and peaches at Fruit Hill Orchard so will be doing some canned apple filling tonight or tomorrow.

The lawnmover broke - the pull ripped right out so will have to get that fixed on Monday.  It finally rained a bit yesterday and I really have alot of grass to cut.  May have to use the weedwacker for a while.

One more week till I can get this batch of chicken to the butcher.  They are nice and plumb right now.  Hopefully I can get them even more stuffed before butchering.