Friday, July 22, 2011

Haven't posted in awhile

First I would like to apologize in the couple week time span since my last post. There has been a lot of drama here at the farm and surprisingly nothing to do with the farm or any of my kids. Anyways...back to farming. We are about to enter our 3rd weekend of butchering. We had done it a little different then we have ever expected. 1st weekend we did 5 fatties, 2nd weekend another broke a leg the day before so he was going to the chopping cone and 2 others as well. This weekend we will only be doing another 3. The heat this week has been unbearable and there has been no rain for like 2 weeks. So trying to keep my family, the animals and my garden hydrated has taken all the extra energy I have left after this butterbean I am growing has sucked it out of me. HA HA HA

Here is the plucking station. You have to scald the skin a little to help get the feathers off. We used a turkey fryer hooked up to a gas grill.

Here is Mr. Smith scalding the skin.

Here is Mr. Smith about to take this fatty to chopping cone. We bought a piece of stainless steel flexible metal sheeting and made a cone. You put the chicken in the top head down and chop the head off. It then drains the blood.

Here is Mr. Edgar helping Mr. Smith pluck the feathers. He got paid in chicken meat :D

Here is a zucchini I pulled from garden last weekend and have a gotten a few more since. I put a pen next to it so you can see how big this guy really is! LOL My baby belly is in the picture too....this butterbean is growing fast! My sister in law has a really good recipie for zucchini I need to get off of her to use up some of these zukes!! LOL Its not slowing down :D

So in about a month we change the layers feed in anticipation of them laying eggs about a month later. Excited about that!! We have been letting outdoors almost at sunset to start getting used to being out of the coop. Mr. Smith had to chase some of them to get them back in the coop last night...they did not want to go back! They like the outside! It is so neat seeing them eat the grass and bugs and how they interact with each other and play.

I have also planted 6 cabbage seeds and 8 broccoli seeds for my fall seedlings. I did not get any more potatoes in and the last of potatoes are about to be done. Almost all my onions are done and finally my tomatoes are starting to turn red! So excited to start making spaghetti sauce! I saw 2 pumpkins finally growing around the corn. I did get another wave of corn in and I am going to try my best to get another in this weekend or next weekend is the last weekend for my zone to get them fully grown before the first frost.

That's all that has been really happening here farm wise. Harvest continues and the heat wave/drought continues. We shall see what comes this next week! :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Making food from harvest

Zucchini Bread
1 3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup mashed/pureed zucchini
1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 cup water

In a large bowl, combine the 1st 7 ingredients. In a small bowl combine the eggs, zucchini, oil & water. Stir into dry ingredients, just until moistened.
Transfer to a greased 9x5in loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 min. Cool for 10 min.
Huge zuke from my garden.

Pureeing it.

Baking in the loaf pan.

Done!! YUM YUM!

Wanted to show this pic. Of all the peas I have gotten out of the garden this is all the peas that came out of it. Enough for a serving for 1 person. :(

Spiced Blueberry Jam
1 1/2 quarts blueberries
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1 pkg pectin
5 cups sugar

Remove stems & full crush ripe blueberries completely, one layer at a time (or blend coarsely in a food processor) Measure 4 cups of crushed fruit. Add more berries if necessary.

Place berries in a large kettle and stir in lemon juice, cloves, cinnamon, allspice and sure-jel or can-jel. Place over high heat and stir until mixture comes to a hard boil. Immediately add sugar and bring to a full boil, hard 1 min, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat, skim off foam with a metal spoon, stir and allow to cool for 5 min to prevent floating fruit.

Ladle into sterilized glass jars, leaving 1/2" space at top. Seal with lids. This should make about 7 cups or 3 1/2 pints of jam.

One of my jars of jam! :D Yum! This might be the last that I get to make of jam for the season. So hopefully 4 more pints of strawberry jam & 3 1/2 pints of blueberry jam will get us through to next strawberry season...unless the orchard started grapes...then maybe I will do grape jelly...but my little homestead is not ready for that just yet....a few years down the road! :)

Monday, July 4, 2011

This is the week!

This is the week that the chickens bite the big one. LOL Wednesday is the 8 week mark...but we will not be able to do the butchering until the weekend. I will post pictures of how big they have gotten a little later! I am so excited! :) We will be eating chicken quite a bit for dinner in the upcoming weeks...but hey I don't have to go to the store and buy them! I know where they were kept, how they were treated and what they were fed! :) Happy 4th of July!!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

New garden pics!

Here is one of our zucchini plants with 2 zucchinis currently growing.

Green Beans on back fence, FINALLY growing good!

Roma tomatoes.

Wild tomatoes, we did not plant these. These are the beds that they grew in last year, but they have spread to even outside of the garden. It's weird, but I will take it!

3 sisters: sweet corn, green beans, and pumpkins. You can see the corn cobs growing in!

Our potato bed.


Jalapeno peppers.


Strawberry plants still spreading like wild fire! Next year will be good picking!

The onion bed that we just took 36 onions out of. Still have a few left that are still growing. :)

Close up of some of the 36 onions we pulled.

Real close close up!

The whole table where we are letting them dry out for storage.

Another close up. Some got pretty good sized.

A HUGE zucchini growing.

The 4 zucchini plants.

Sweet shelling peas...finally growing well also.

Sweet corn grown in the traditional way.

Another wave of sweet corn....1 more to come hopefully today and another in about 2-3 weeks, last of the season!

2nd onion bed, still growing strong. These are already looking larger then the ones we harvested from the first bed.

Cucumber.....have to weed here, I know!! LOL


Onion seeds? These were flowering on top of the onions and I know that's where you get vegetable seeds. So I am going to look up how to store these or use them for fall crop.

So there are some updated pics....I know I haven't posted some in awhile. I will be posting more as things progress!