Thursday, May 10, 2012

Making Soap

I just made 2 new batches of soap. They are on the table all wrapped up til morning. I made the first batch with lard, olive oil and coconut oil. I have been wanting to make a soap using lard for a long time and finally just did it. I added Lemongrass EO and then the zest of 2 lemons. It's a pretty yellow color already so I can't wait to see how it looks after it's cured.

The 2nd batch is just a vegetable base that I am going to cure a few weeks then remill it and add goat milk and Patchouli and Sweet Orange EO. I LOVE this soap.

I have also wanted to make a soap using beef tallow. I have heard that it's VERY nasty and stinky and to NOT melt the fat in the house. I do have a little house next door with a kitchen. I may just do it over there. I've been saving my beef fat when I get bones from the slaughterhouse for the dogs. So I have several bags of fat in the freezer. Just need to make tallow now. Any tips or hints from anyone who has done this before?

I also went into the chicken coop and shoveled up buckets of wonderful comopted chicken s*** to side dress all my gardens with. This is some of the nicest "dirt" on this property. I use all my sheep and goat manure too. Along with the straw and hay they drop. So the gardens are looking really good right now. Especially after all that nice rain yesterday,

Farmer's market was pretty good. There were only 5 of us selling. I sold more soap and rolls than greens. That's ok though. I love them. I bought a bag of fresh collards so I'll cook them with some kale. So had a good day. But it wears me out.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Farmer's Market and RAIN!

It's Wednesday and that's farmer's market day. Ours is from 3-6. I love being able to pick in the mornings and then get some other things done. Like bake bread and rolls to sell. Get cleaned up. Get clean clothes on. All that necessary stuff. Make sure I have everything I need when I get there.  And thank goodness it's under a huge open air ag place. With lots of saw dust that get in the sandles and flip flops. But kids love that.

So today I will pick later than usual because it is raining!!! And cool. Windows are open again. Sheep are SO happy! They are out grazing in the drizzly rain. The goats HATE it. They will not even step out of the barn. For anything. Well, it was a little drizzly when it was time to milk mthis morning.  Abby and Sandy will run to the milk parlor for good sweet feed. But that would be the ONLY reason they would go out in the rain. I have had to go to them to milk when it was raining real hard.

This means that the lettuce and greens will be nice and cool and perky today! And not much washing to do. I love market days. I love the other vendors and the customers that come. I am also trying to sell all last years goat milk soaps so I can make more. I am in love with Patchouli soap. Love it! And lemongrass. I just love it all. I am also taking Kambucha scoby. I sold 2 last week.

Have all the markets where you all live opened yet? What are yours like? I have got to take pictures.

I am so very thankful for this MUCH needed rain. It's a good soaking rain. The grass was getting quite crunchy here. And brown already. And this is just the beginning of May. We are so ahead right now. It's kind of scary. I have had to water about every other day and I don't usually have to do that. This might be a really hot dry year.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mulch And Other Stuff

So this morning I put a nice layer of wet newspapers down 3 rows in my North garden. It looked so nice. Well, then later on I looked out there and there is my nice dried out newspapers flying all over the garden. It does dry out in the sun and the wind. I hadn't gotten back out to put old hay down on top of it yet. So I ran out there and threw some dirt on top til I can get back out there to mulch. And I am praying all these clouds floating around will have a little rain in them to wet those newspapers some.

I am just one person doing all this work. And I cannot seem to keep up with it all. I was outside just now and noticed the poor droopy tomato plants I had planted about 4 days ago. I had not mulched them yet and they were trying to tell me they needed mulch. Really badly. So I just did that. I have had this huge round bale of really old hay for a few years now that I have been pulling hay off of. SO I grabbed a wagon load and quickly mulched them all. The others have been mulched and are doing well. I counted them all the other day after planting the rest and I have 198 tomato plants. 4 had died or I would have had 202. AND I have room for about 30-50 more. That's alot of tomatoes. I need to stake them all now. I am going to use some fencing down the middle of the row and tie the plants on. I planted 2 pretty close together so I could do that. I also have lots of posts to use. I am going to use the useless tomato cages for the cucumbers.

I just tilled up the parts of the rows of beans and re planted McCasslen, Kentucky Wonder and Blue Lake beans. Also went ahead and planted cucumbers where I had planted some squash and zuchinni seeds. They never came up. They are between the okra rows. I have only had 4 zuchinni seeds to sprout so far. I think I got a bad batch of seeds. I'll get more and try again. Gotta have zuchinni. The squash has done pretty good. I am mulching them all next and tilling where some didn't come up and will re plant seeds. So much to do.

So what's growing in your neck of the woods now? I would love to hear.

I just took bread out of the oven. This is the best bread. And so easy to make. It's like a hard crust, soft inside sour dough type bread. I love this bread. It sits after I make the dough for 12-18 hours. It's all bubbly and smells so good. I like this bread for a good thick cut bacon and tomato sandwich. No other bread works for that. And has to be ripe home grown tomato too. So I have a ways to go for that to happen. (I was supposed to let the bread sit for an hour before cutting. Uh oh!)

I turned the AC on yesterday. It feels amazing! Anyone else done that yet?

I hear raindrops!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It is raining! For a few minutes anyway. Thank You, Lord! (And it is still raining.)

Oh, I put 10 Buff eggs under Hot Momma broody hen this morning. She has been broody for a week now and I have thrown her off the nest every day. Then I thought this morning that I should go ahead and set some good Buff eggs under her because I will be needing more hens soon anyway. So I fixed her a nice nest with fresh good smelling hay and 10 pretty eggs in a milk crate and she jumped right on in. And broke an egg. So had to wait for another egg to get laid and stuck that one under her. She is a happy Hot Momma hen now! So in 21 days, I hope to have 10 brand new little chicks. Watch them all be little mini Mr. Rooney's. Just my luck.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Do Green Beans Grow In Dog Hair?

Because that's what's on my living room floor at the moment. I could actually grow a whole new dog with all the hair in my house at the moment. Because I have been outside doing gardens and yard work the past 4 months now because we have had such a mild winter. And I have not cleaned my house!! Because it has not rained in forever. And I keep saying that if it would just rain long enough for me to be inside, I might just clean this nasty house. But IT HAS NOT RAINED in forever! So I have stuff growing in my house.

My seeder was not getting seeds through so I asked my husband to fix it. That man is SO attached to his recliner, he had to fix it there. In the living room. In dog hair. So he says to put some seeds in the seeder hopper thing. So I did. Then he says to roll it along the floor to see if any seeds come out. Well, of course they did. Because he's a guy and things work for guys. So he did some guy things to it and it works fine now. Of course. He's a guy. And I did not get ALL the green bean seeds up when I swept last week.

So hubby's coming home this morning and I thought I might just vacuume up some of the new dog on the floor and also found some green bean seeds under his recliner nesting in some of that dog hair. If only it would rain now, we could just pick green beans in the living room. Hey, maybe hubby could just sit in his nice comfy cozy recliner and pick us some dinner! Cool!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Well, it's been almost a year since I posted here. Geeze, what have I been doing?

The past few months I have been starting 2 huge market gardens. Have already been to the farmer's market twice so far with kale, lettuce, Swiss chard and onions. Been planting like crazy here. Just brought home another flat of tomatoe plants. WE NEED RAIN!!

Also in March my 5 ewes all had single lambs. We have 3 ram lambs and 2 ewe lambs. I will keep the 2 ewe lambs of course, to make my flock bigger. I went with all A names for this year. So the 1st born is a Finn ram named Abraham. He is all black. He is Darla's. She was pregnant with a Finn ram when I got her. I hope he stays all black. Lucinda, the Finn ewe, is blackish-reddish-brown and I want to use him to breed her. And the 2 ewe lambs. Then next is Adele. She is so cute. She is Leelah's. I went ahead and docked their tails since they are more wool sheep. Then next came Axle. He looks just like his momma, Gracie, who is a Katahdin hair sheep. I had to call my friend up the road to hold Gracie so I could pull his big self out. Then came Alfie. He is Fiona's. Then about 3 weeks ago Lucinda had Annabelle. She is SO pretty. Kind of gray with black circles around both eyes. I docked her tail too. It finally came off today. She is adorable.

Also had goat kids. Just 2 does were pregnant. Abby had a single little doeling on March 10th. I named her Iris Josie after my mom and neice who,s birthdays were the 8th and 9th of March. She is a little stinker, like her big sister, Zarah. Then Sandy had twins, a doe finally, after 4 years of all bucks, and a buck, who is amazingly gorgeous. I will keep the doeling. I named her Brie. The buck already is spoken for. He will go to a friend's farm in a few weeks. I named him Brick. He's all spotted. Just so cute. So now I am milking again!!

So I have been really busy lately. And need to get out there and get some chicken manure and til it in for the tomatoes. I am waiting for the sun to go behind the trees first though. It's so hot. And this is only the 4th of May. My sheep are miserable already. I told them this is nothing yet. I'll have to put a fan out there for them, poor things.

I hope everyone is doing well. I want to put some pictures up of all my babies. I will soon. Happy Spring and happy planting.

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.