Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Kitchen Smells So Good!

Right now in the kitchen I have fresh green beans with little baby potatoes and ham hocks from my pig, collard greens with ham hocks, a chicken in the oven that I butchered the other day with shallots from the garden and onions from the farmer's market. I have fresh rosemary, thyme and lemon thyme on the chicken. So everything except the little onions came right from this farm. It smells amazingly good all over the house. Such a good feeling.

There are some almost ripe tomatoes out there too. I thought I'd give them a few more days to ripen. But this morning on the way to the garden, I saw Benjamin Bunny. Bubba saw him too and took off after it. I was going to tell him not to chase the cute little bunny, but thought about all the food that cute little bunny might help himself to. SO I let Bubba chase it out of the garden.

Me and the grand, Kansas, went out to the garden this morning and she helped me pick the beans. She broke that all but a few. Then I went out and dug the little bitty tiny cutle little potatoes. I wanted to raost them with the chicken but decided to put them in with the beans.

I also made bread and rolls. That smells so good too. I love fresh bread right out of the oven. With butter and some good homemade jelly. Yum! That's like dessert.

What are some good things you're eating from your farm right now? I would love to hear.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Things Around The Farm

It has been awhile since I have posted here. The garden is slowly coming around and growing. It's been way too dry. We had a bunch of tornadoes April 27th and it has not rained since then. I am watering every day. I did get a ripe tomato the other day!!

And the goat kids are growing like weeds. I am ready to sell them. Don't they look like they need to get out of there? This is what their mommas see on their way to the milk room each morning. The kids are hollering "Ma!!" and they just wlak on by. They only have one thing on their minds. Well, 2 if you count getting milked.

I got 3 ewes yesterday. They are 6 month old Katahdin-Dorper sheep. They are a meat breed. They could possibly be bred. But it just happened the other day so who knows. I also have a little 1 month old ram lamb that I got at just a few days old. I am bottle feeding him. He's a Hampshire-Suffolk cross. I figured that at 6 months, if these girls are not pregnant, that he could do the job for some spring lambs. We shall see. I will try to post pictures of the lambs soon.

I have a few turkeys setting on at least a thousand eggs somewhere in the hay jungle in the pasture. I have not seen them in a few weeks now. I hope they are ok. I just can't see them. So in a few weeks I hope to see some little turkey babes.

I also have 6 meat birds that will be going into the freezer tomorrow. They can hardly walk. They won't even come out of the coop now. I am going to put them all in a cage tonight for their meeting with the hatchet tomorrow morning.

I have 7 little Buff pullets that I will move to the back into a coop in a few weeks. I have a game hen setting on a bunch of eggs in a bushel basket in the garage. When they hatch I will move them to that coop. Lots of moving going on here.

I am also going to be moving Mazie and Chuck over to the other pasture after Chuck is steered hopefully on Sat. Then they can eat down that grassy hay. While they are over there I will have the other pasture mowed. Then later put them back and then move the sheep up there. Musical animals. Anyone else do this?

I think I need a sheep dog now to help with all this moving. I have a friend who breeds and raises Aus. Shepherds. I have been thinking about getting one.

Monday, April 18, 2011

My Garden

This in my garden. On the right is when it was just turned over. On the left it's just been plowed.

The little part to the left is where I planted beets last week. Then there are grape vines. Then next I just planted 20 Rutgers tomato plants today. At the far end I planted 2 rows of Blue Lake green beans. I like the bush. Running beans are a lot of work. So I always plant bush beans.

We need to get the old tiller fixed So I can til some before planting more. I have Silver Queen corn, squash and zuchinni seeds to plant too. Also an heirloom sweet corn I saved seeds from last year. Then okra and cucumbers and peppers and more tomatoes. There is a farm over the ridge that I get heirloom tomatoe and pepper plants from. I will go see what they have next week.

I have cabbage and broccoli in raised beds to the left of the garden. I also have free range chickens. Gardens and chickens don't go well together. Especially at the beginning. And when tomatoes start ripening. So I am going to have to put the hens in coops til winter. They will not stay out of the garden right now. And I want veggies. If I have to pen them up that means I will have bugs and ticks. And probably snakes. So I have some thinking to do here.

I did catch 4 of the Buff roos tonight. They are in a coop right now til I can get them butchered. Have to wait for Truckin' Man to get home to help with that chore. I have 3 game roos that will have to be shot. They roost up in the trees so there's no catching them. Unless I can get them in the milkroom when I feed them in the morning. I will try. My son-in-law said he would be happy to come out and target practice. I will keep one Buff roo. That's all we need.

I hope everyone is able to plant a garden this spring. With the way food prices are going up and all the food scares, I am planting alot. And raising all our meat too. And milk.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

And We're Done!

I had put Sandy in the barn last night and checked on her when I would wake up through the night. But no babies. And none this morning. So I let her out. A few hours later she's up under the trees "talking" and I noticed a bubble. So I hollered at the grands to come watch. I have NEVER seen this goat kid and I have had her since she was a few days old and this was her 5th kidding. So I was really excited. And man, is that girl fast! She popped the first one out and within 5 minutes the 2nd one was out. And of course she is staying on her record of having all bucks. She had a doe way back in 2008. Her last doe kid. I could tell right away what they were. But they are cute. The 2nd one has toggles or wattles and looks like her. The 1st one looks like the dad. Both have elf ears that are a little longer. So they are back in the barn and she's had her bucket of warm molasses water and some more feed. I am happy it's over and now on to the milking!! We are in the milk again!!! My camera needs batteries so will take pictures when I get them.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


This is Sandy. She is about to have her kids. I hope . Her udder has filled up and is really big. So I went ahead and put her in the back of the barn in a stall. And Abby and her kids are next to her so she won't be lonely. But she was standing outside the barn and it's about to pour down rain any minute now. So I had to put her in. She would have her kids right outside. But not tonight. I am so excited. It's been 3 years since she has had a doe. SO I am hoping she has a doe. I can hardly wait to see them. It's nice and warm and dry where she is. So hopefully the next post will be some good news.

Broody Turkeys

Here are the 3 hens on the same nest. They are so funny. It rained all day yesterday and the roof in the barn is leaking. There was a drip right next to the nest and I was afraid the eggs would get wet. So I grabbed an old drawer and some pine shavings and ran out to put the eggs in there up on a few bricks. Well, the original hen did not like that at all. She broke one of the eggs. So now there are 10. And a different hen is on the nest now and the other hen is back in the corner right next to the drawer nest. Turkeys are funny creatures.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Some Outback Frm Animals

This is Abby and her brand new kids. They were born last night about 5:30 . She had a doe and a buck. First doe kid for her in 3 years. I am so proud of Abby. I named the doe Zarah Belle. I will keep her. The little buck needs a name. He will probably go up the road to my friend's to be their herd sire. He is so handsome. Abby is a great mother. Check out that udder. She's the best milker too. Zarah has a #3 on her right side. My daughter Abby (yes, her name is Abby. That's why I got the goat Abby) said that's because she's the 1st doe in 3 years and the 3rd time's the charm. Now we are waiting on Sandy to kid. They weren't due til the 19th. So she has a few more days to go. Here are the turkeys. That's Harper, the big guy. He is in charge of his 4 ladies. Right now there is 1 hen setting on 11 eggs. There are 2 other hens that think she needs help. So they get right up as close as the can to her. It's so cute. I hope the eggs hatch. Mother's Day will be the big day.
Here are the pigs I had for 3 1/2 months. The one on the right just went to the butcher Monday. The other one stayed here til this afternoon when she left to go to her new home up the road to get bigger. The one I took to the butcher was so small. The butcher said I should take her back home to fatten up some more. I just couldn't do it. After all the trouble of getting that pig loaded in the trailor, I was not about to unload her and keep her 3 more months. I don't have that kind of money anyway. I bet those pork chops and sausage will be so good.
I just love this picture of Mazie and Chuck laying under the shade tree.
This was the day Chuck was born. He's now going on 5 weeks old. He's a big boy.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Much Too Busy Sunday

We finally did it. We butchered the 2 tom turkeys. My hubby was home and I asked him if he wanted to help. Well, really I told him we were going to butcher 2 turkeys, so get up and get a move on, buddy. So he did. I got everything ready and we did it. A friend made a feather plucker that attaches to a drill. Very handy tool. It only took about 1 1/2 hours total. One weighed 12 pounds. The other had so much fat I thought surely he would have eventually died of a heart attack. He must have been hogging all the feed. He weighed 14 pounds. So that chore is done. I had wanted to do that for a long time now. They are 10 months old. Now I might be able to let the other tom and the 4 hens out without the hens running up front to the other boys. Then they head to the road. I have one turkey hen that is setting on some eggs now. They have been laying alot. I have already sold 2 dozen for incubating. I hope they hatch. I will put this hen in a big cage soon. Then take the turkey babies and try to sell them. I also made bread and rolls during all that. Not a good idea. I kept having to stop and get bread out of the oven. Also started some heirloom tomato seeds in egg shells and old toilet paper rolls. I hope they all come up. I had the garden plowed Friday so it's all ready to plant. It's been in the 80's this week. I did plant some broccoli and cabbage in a raised bed. Hubby weed whacked in the huge strawberry beds yesterday. I think he weed whacked all the strawberry plants. But I won't say anything. I'm just glad he still does this for me. The 2 pigs go to the butcher Monday. I let them out for the day to enjoy their last day here. I have a half a lemon cake and some goodies for their last dinner tonight. We are getting a trailor from a friend and will load them up tonight. Then in the morning I will give them biscuits and gravy for their last meal. They have been good pigs. But I do believe a freezer full of bacon, sausage and pork chops will be a whole lot easier to take care of, don't ya think? I took some pictures and will upload later.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Storms Acomin'.

I just saw on the news that there is a tornado watch for several counties around us til 10pm tonight. I'm sure it will be in our county soon too. I hate storms. My animals don't like them either. And why does it have to storm at night anyway? We do need some more rain but no storms, please.
I had my garden turned last week and with rain tonight then all weekend, it will be a few weeks before it can be tilled. But that's ok. It's still just march. I already have potatoes and onions coming up from last year I won't have to plant. And all my spinach, kale and red mustard I planted in the cold frame last week is up and growing really good now. But it will be chilly tonight so I will put the windows back on.
This is a spider web on the front porch. So cool.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


This is a picture of the Hereford cattle up the road from us. There are alot of them. And this year they waited to have calves when it was warmer. So for the past month they have been popping them out every day. They are all so cute. I love cows. And that is Lookout Mt in the background. I love this shot.

It's been such great weather I am afraid it won't last. It is still March. Ya just never know around here.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


This is Mazie when she was little. So long ago. She is huge now. And a momma. She's a good momma. The other morning it was still dark and I heard her mooing. I thought maybe she's in heat already? Then later after the sun had come up I saw why she was mooing. She had rolled the round hay bale over by the gate and the gate had shut. So she was on the pasture side and poor Chuck was inside. I don't know how long they'd been apart but she was full of milk. And they ran to each other like in a movie. Such love. All is well now though.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Abby and Sandy

Oh my goodness! I hope this works and it shows up. But these are my 2 does that I have left. Abby is on the left. She is Lamancha. SHe just turned 9 in Feb. And she is due to kid in a few weeks. Sandy is on the left. She is mostly Nubiam with a little Togg thrown in. She is also due in a few weeks. She will go first I do believe. The are both HUGE right now and I don't see how they can possibly go any longer. And I am ready for nice fresh goat milk. Right now please!

Is anyone else milking yet?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mazie and Chuck

Oh my goodness. They are so cute together. I was a little worried about Chuck yesterday. He had a drippy nose. He was born when it was about 33 degrees so I was thinking he could get pneumonia. So I gave him a 1ml shot of LA200 yesterday afternoon. I'm glad I did. This morning she had brought him back over here to her hay bale mountain. And he has been peeing and pooping! So I know he's getting momma's good milk. And he's running around the hay mountain. She chases him. So cute.

And I have been milking her! And she lets me! But yesterday I noticed the back left quarter was brownish-red in color. So I called my dairy friend up the road. He said lots of 1st time heifers have that happen. Just to milk that quarter out. It could get better and it may not. He was amazed though when I told him she stands still and lets me milk her. It's like milking a big giant red goat. No problem. But this morning she raised her left leg a few times. I just hollered NO! real loud at her and smacked her leg. Then I tell her "Good girl". So I think it will be ok and she'll let me milk her. My friend said she won't have alot of milk this first time. And she is a beef cow. But as long as I can get a little bit for us. Anyway, this is fun. And he's so cute. Now I have to think about castrating the poor little guy as soon as possible. They should just be born without that little package.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

He's Here!

It's here! A bull calf born early this morning just like me and Mazie talked about. He was all nice and dry and nursing first thing this morning when I looked out the window. Such a pro she is and this is her very first calf ever. Mazie the Big Red Heifer is now a COW! I have given her several buckets of molasses water and fresh hay so far. The calf is nursing great. He knows exactly where those faucets are. And he knows how to use them. I just hope he lets me have a little bit sometimes.

I am so relieved that mazie is ok and that the calf is a bull and he is healthy. And I didn't have to do a dad blamed thing! Yee Haw!

I'm off to give her more water. She's gonna have to move over a little closer to her water trough. Enough of this already!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mazie is Almost Ready!

I have been checking on Mazie all during the day now. She is very close to calving. And I am very nervous and anxious and scared all at once. I so want her to be ok and the calf to be healthy. But I want her to wait til the weather is better. I purposefully planned it so she would have the calf in good weather but the weather is not cooperating with me. We have had a monsoon the past week and it's a sopping wet muddy mess out there. It's been sprinkling all day and the temp has been dropping. So tonight is NOT a good night to have a calf. I have told her this so I hope she will wait. I have her due date as the 14th. So just 4 more days to go. But today I saw goo. About a 3" clear goo hanging off the back end. Which, by the way, is very floppy and big. Oh my, I am so nervous. I have helped goats give birth, no problem. But a cow? I don't know. I hope she does ok and the calf will be strong and healthy, all on her own with no help from me. The Herefords up the road are popping calves out all over the place this week and last week. SO stinkin' cute! Mazie's calf will more than likely be black.

And Abby and Sandy still have about 5 weeks to go. I thought I was going to lose Abby a few weeks ago. I didn't know this, but she had gotten out (which I did know, thanks to Sandy!) and she got so sick a few days later. I thought she had ketosis which was strange because she had almost 2 months to go. So I dosed her with all the stuff for ketosis. She got better. I was out front a few days ago and saw what was once an azalea but is now just a stick. I do belive the pig goat ate the azalea. She is very lucky to be alive. I just hope the kids are ok. She did look like she had 2 basketballs on either side. But she is back to her mean ole goat self again.

And the pigs are growing like, well, pigs! They have til the middle of April then off to the butcher they go! Can't wait for some good fresh bacon and pork chops and sausage!

And yesterday I was feeding the turkeys and found 2 eggs! 2 eggs! I was so surprised to see them. They are 9 months old. Then this morning I found 3 more! So 5 eggs in 2 days. I went and found a few turkey roasting pans and filled them with pine shavings for them to hopefully lay the eggs in.

Last Friday a friend came with his big huge tractor and a big huge seeding machine to seed my front pasture with fescue. I know this is not the time to plant fescue. But like he said, you plant it when you can. SO we did. Then the next day we got flooded. I mean the pasture was under water. Well, then a few days ago we had a monsoon. It was under water again til today. So we'll see in a few weeks if the seed survived all this water. I did this to get the pasture ready for some spring lambs. A friend has some Suffolk sheep about to have lambs and I want some for meat. But I also want to find some wool sheep. I think I might try to find some Shetland sheep. Been researching them. They seem to be a small breed and the rams are supposed to be nice. Ha! Nice rams? We'll see.

So lots going on here at Outback Farm. It's almost spring! I want to get the garden tilled and planted too. But it is only March. I will try to get back and post about Mazie's succesful calf delivery soon.

Monday, January 10, 2011

On Being Anxious and Worrying

It is now 1:22 AM. I cannot sleep because I am being anxious about everything right now. First, we took the old gas logs, the whole thing, out of the fireplace so we could see if it would burn wood. Because we can't afford to buy propane. Because we are poor. So the chimney did draw up the smoke. I was very excited about that. We spent the day gathering and cutting wood. Then I called a guy to come deliver a rick of wood. Then I called the son-in-law who is a logger. He is working right up the road. He said to meet him there and we'd fill the truck up with green wood. So we did. Had the grandkids there and they really helped load. And unload. And bring some inside too. Great grands they are! All this because we were supposed to get slammed with a foot of snow and everything would be shut down and power could go out. And we are all electric here. So I was worried I'd freeze to death. Hubby had to leave to go back out in his truck so I'd be here alone. Now I am scared I am going to burn down the house! That's why I'm still up. I did the same thing last night. It's just an open fire and we don't have a real fire screen yet. So if anyone reads this, please pray I don't burn the house down with me and the dog and cat in it.

Then I am worried about paying this big huge electric bill I just got for Dec. Good grief! $313.00. That's another reason I wanted to burn wood for heat. We have a heat pump of all things. And the darn thing just blows out cold air. And we have to pay for being freezing cold. In the winter. And it will not shut off. It goes constantly. And all I see are money signs. Heat pumps SUCK! So last month we got one of those radiant heaters from Oreck. $400. Supposed to only cost $1. a day to run it. Ha! Anyway, I hate winter. I am ready to move on over to the big island. Right now.

So the other morning in my devotional I read Phil. 4:6-7. Be anxious for NOTHING but in EVERYTHING by prayer and supplication, with THANKSGIVING, let your requests be made known to GOD; and the PEACE of GOD, which surpasses ALL understanding, will gaurd your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ. So there. Why am I still up then?

I've written myself a few notes of things I need to do in the morning because there is not a thing I can do about this right now. Except pray and give it all to my God. Who will take care of everything like He always does and always has done. Forever and always. Amen.

So goodnight then.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Elderberry Syrup

I just love this stuff. It's great for keeping away sore throats and stuffy noses and flu. I had bought a little bottle last year and it's very expensive. Then I found a few bushes out back in September. So then I found a recipe to make my own. I only got about a few cups. So I had a friend order some organic berries from Frontier. Really reasonable price too. And so easy to make. I double the recipe. I give some to the grandkids and they love it. I usually take about a tablespoon every day for prevention. Last week I started noticing my throat was getting sore. So I went to taking a T. every few hours for a few days. All better! I do not want that sore throat I get just about every winter. It hurts! So here is the recipe if anyone wants to make their own.

1/2 cup of dried elderberries.
1 cinnamon stick
5 whole cloves
5 T. grated ginger
2 cups water

Bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and reduce by at least half, about 20-30 minutes.
Strain berries through a sieve. I smash them to get out all the juice. Then add 1 cup of honey.

Pour into dark bottles and refrigerate. Take a tablespoon daily. It tastes really good too.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Winter on the Farm

It has been a long time since I've posted anything here. Happy new year! It's been cold. I am ready for spring now. We had about 6" of snow Christmas day. It's been a long time since that's happened here. It stayed on the ground almost a week. Then we had lots of rain. Then some really beautiful days but cold. We have lots of winter left. And a big ole huge electric bill.

I am going to get a few pigs this week. A friend is getting one also that will stay with mine here. We'll split the feed costs but I will be doing most of the work since they'll be here. The pigs are a few months old already so hopefully we can get them fattened up in a few months. I really am not looking forward to the keeping of pigs again but do miss the fresh pork chops and bacon.

We butchered 2 of the turkeys right before Thanksgiving. A friend came and helped. He had made a feather plucking contraption that really helped alot. But the turkeys we did were only 6 and 8 pounds. I was really kind of upset. They looked bigger. Guess it was all the feathers. My mom and step dad said they'd just get a turkey from the store. Really not good. So I have the other turkeys confined in a big coop trying to fatten them up. It's costing about $50. a month to feed these guys.

Mazie is getting huge. She's due in March. I can see teats but no udder yet. I guess with first time heifers she won't get an udder til right about delivery time. I have never had a cow before to give birth. First time for me too. I am already nervous about the whole thing. I am hoping she'll calve at night and the calf will be up and all dry and nursing when I get up in the morning. That's my plans anyway.

I am calling the butcher in the morning about getting a time to bring the other heifer in. She's just too mean anymore. And we are almost out of beef. SO she has to go. Plus Mazie will have her calf to keep her company.

I hope everyone has a greta new year and lots of fun on the farm! More later I hope.