Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Good morning on the farm

"Good morning" from all of us!
The last pic is not one of ours.  He ate our last 2 adult Tophats that made it through the first massacre (by our dog).  We trapped him!!








Sunday, July 26, 2015

Pics

   Getting around to posting a few pics.  Here are our new 'babies'.  I think we are already going to lose one, probably tomorrow.  It was weak from the time it arrived so I don't think that one will make it.  We have 15 Tophats in total.
    I baked up 2 more pumpkin today and got 4.5 cups of puree.  I guess I'll be making several loaves of pumpkin bread tomorrow!  We tried pumpkin pancakes and they were o.k.  Nothing spectacular.  I have cucumber coming out my ears!!!  I think next year we will only plant half a row!!  
   Here is a pic of our boys' cake.  Nothing spectacular again.....I was quite tired that day :)  Funny thing about it was I had it all done and was making room in the fridge for it.  As soon as I got it in there, a container of hummus fell right onto the cake landing on the '10' so I had some fixing up to do.
    I forgot to get a pic of all the rabbits we are watching.  We have one of the pens completely full of rabbit cages.  Quite the sight!  
   Our ducks are starting to mate.  I'm wondering if we are getting close to having them lay eggs.  We still haven't created any permanent nesting area for them so we need to get onto that soon!   



Friday, July 24, 2015

Updates

   We had some baby chicks arrived today!  Yep.....we missed our little Tophats so much we ordered some more.  The kids were surprised because we didn't tell them they were coming :)
   Hubby is going to watch a rabbit slaughter tonight.  It sounds gross, but these are meat rabbits like the ones we have and he is going to learn the whole process tonight from start to finish.  Hopefully he won't be too grossed out!  He's not really looking forward to it, but we have to learn how to do it.  Our rabbits will be ready for breeding the end of next month.  We are also rabbit-sitting for the next 2 weeks for friends.  They have lots of bunnies and juniors and we will be getting one of their bucks!
   The garden is continuing to produce daily.  Every other day I'm processing something, whether it is pickles, pumpkin or green beans.  We are waiting on our tomatoes and ocra,  and only one cantaloupe is growing (out of a whole row!!!)  Lettuce still is forming but nothing yet.  We went and plowed all the rows that didn't produce anything.  I lost all my onions, peppers, garlic, chives and strawberries. Such a disappointment.  We are certainly learning the things that work well and what doesn't and how much to plant next year.  It's been a great learning process and I'm already excited about next years' garden.
  Other than that, nothing else new I guess.....just staying busy!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Garden-fresh homemade pumpkin bread

How exciting!  My first 2 loaves of homemade pumpkin bread with our very own garden grown pumpkin!!  Tastes good too :)  We roasted the seeds as well, but the pumpkins were just a tad under-ripe so the seeds weren't the best.  I'm waiting to process the rest of the pumpkins to make sure they are fully ripened.  It was really easy though!  I'm going to have lots of pumpkin stored away for future goodies!  I also put in a picture of my pressure canner.  I've canned several jars of green beans so far, and the second batch of green beans I blanched and froze.  Our cucumbers are growing like crazy and some are just huge!!!  Tonight I will be doing my 5th batch of pickles.






Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Birthday pic and pickings

Here is our boys' 10th birthday pic.  (Well, one of the many!)  And another pic of today's harvest.  I've done 3 batches now of pickles but today we got out there and picked the green beans for the first time, more cucumber and our first pumpkin!  My pressure canner arrived in the mail today so tomorrow will be another first for me as I attempt to learn how to can!


Friday, July 10, 2015

Sad day and celebrations

This morning was a sad day on the farm.  We woke up to a sea of dead chickens across our yard.  All our top hats and Maran chickens are dead.  It was really quite sickening to see.  From the looks of the fur we see caught on the fence, it was our dog that did it through the night.
There is so much to be thankful for though.  We recently moved our Guinea and Easter Egg chickens out of that pen into a different area, so the devastation could have been much, much worse.  We also, thankfully, were hatching some of the Maran eggs in our garage and currently have 9 chicks that have hatched.  What a blessing that we will be able to replace our Maran population!
Needless to say, we don't have our dog anymore.
I guess it's part of life on a farm.  An unfortunately part....

In other news, we have a potty trained girl!!  She has gone (I guess a week now) with no accidents or even having to be told to go potty.  She always goes on her own!!  She hasn't been able to get through the night dry yet, but we will be working on that.  She loves her new underwear from Nana.  Thank  you Nana!

We also celebrated our boys' 10th birthday.  WOW!  Double digits!!  He's our farmer-in-the-making and loves the outdoors.  He does such a great job taking care of the animals.  He's also such a good big brother.  Happy birthday to our boy!  We love you!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

My first canning experience

Here is our first pick of the harvest!  We have quite a few pickling cucumbers ready so I tried my hand at the hot water bath method and made some dill pickles today.  It was quite exciting!!





Monday, July 6, 2015

Chick hatching

video
This happened yesterday.  So cool to watch it from start to finish.  (I could only post a small portion of the video)  We now have 4 chicks in the house.  Hoping for a few more this week.
video
Here's the ending....

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Survival

   Trying to survive infancy as a chick is tough!  The odds are not in your favor.  We have now lost 6 chicks with only 3 surviving so far.  Last night, one of the 4 babies died (I'm assuming it was merely squished through the night under her mama).  One of the chicks that was hatching died as well.  So we have had 3 newborns die, and 3 die while hatching.  Mama hen is still sitting on a good 10-15 eggs or so, but we may have to move those indoors soon.  Those eggs are a week behind the already-hatched chicks, so Mama hen may stop setting soon to nurture her 3 babies that are already starting to get curious about their surroundings.  
   Hubby is working on the new chicken coop for all our egg laying chickens (as opposed to our fertilized mixed group of hens/rooster)   Hubby is currently working on the nesting boxes right now. We need to get the chicken run all fenced in.  Our Top Hats/Guinea/Easter Egg chickens are now moved into a bigger area.  They are enjoying that much better!!  Yesterday, we saw that one of the comets was running around with a baby snake in its mouth!!  Yikes.  Ohhhh how I hate snakes!  But I am glad they like to eat them :)
  All the other animals are doing well.  The ducks, geese and goats coming running up to the fence whenever anyone is outside.  They love interaction with people (especially if you bring food).  
   We've had a lot of rain lately, so our garden is really growing!  Our pumpkins are starting to form and we see some tomatoes.  The green beans are cucumbers are coming along well.  
  That's it for now.....