Friday, December 3, 2010

Turkeys are gone and Christmas is on the way

I guess for me Thanksgiving is our doorway to the Christmas season. We butchered our Turkeys and sold all but two for Thanksgiving. This years largest turkey was 38.5lbs. Our smallest was 20lbs. The two not sold were deboned and Beth and I ground most of it into burger and then I canned 7quarts. I've never canned poultry before but I wanted to have some in jars to save on a little freezer space.
If anyone watches Glenn Beck he is encouraging everyone to stock up on food. I believe it is the right thing to do anyway, but I am trying harder and making a more conscience choice to do it. I have been picking up extra bags of flour, now that it is on sale for the holidays, and putting them in the freezer to keep it from going rancid. I have also been going to the local Amish store and buying more bulk items. I can get 7lbs. of oats for a lower price then you pay for the canister of Quaker oats at the regular grocery store.
Today I am taking the rest of a Turkey carcass and making a giant batch of soup. If all goes well, I can can it and have a supply for another time. Tonight I will have potpie noodles in it but I will only put it in the portion I will serve. The rest will be noodle free so that if I want to add rice another time or corn or whatever just to change it up. So basically I am going to make a base soup that can be turned into what ever at a later time.
So I had better get busy with that now so My intentions turn into actions!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Farmgirl putting up

Yesterday Miriam came over to help me with my pears. I am so glad she did. We canned 35 quarts and still have a bushel box left to do. She is coming back this afternon to help me.

I have to go to the store and pick up lids, sugar and candies.
I may make some pear jam or butter. Not sure.
I want to try the peppermint pears and maybe cinnimon spiced. Again I will go where I feel led to go with that!
I think that is what society is really missing. The gathering together to get a job done mentality. It seems to me that people are out just for themselves and if they aren't gaining something they aren't helping. It's really sad. I am so greatful for miriam that she would take her time and drive 40 minutes to come help me can and she's willing to come again today!
I hope to have another pic of my finished pears. Un til the next post...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday sewing

I finished my girlfriends apron. She gave me a pair of her Hubby's jeans and I made an apron from one leg. The stain on the apron is from his greasy knee. I was going to put the pocket over the grease but T said it's Art's grease. So it remains out in the open.

I also used my pinkeep that I made myself with material scraps and an old candle stick holder.

Today I made a few apple pies for the church dinner and a batch of chocolate chip cookies.
I'm going to go up to the sewing room again and work on some bowl fillers and scented sachets. I want to have gifty things made for the unexpected gift exchange or as a hostess gift.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Farmgirl return

I've been really busy. Canning freezing and working the farm stuff. Family issues and weekly therapy sessions take up so much time. I just got my newest MaryJane's Farm Magazine. I want to make some of the ornaments she has listed. She has a whole list of holiday beverages also. The alcoholic kind. If I hadn't stopped drinking, I'd try out a few of those two!
I'm going to try to post pics of my critters. I bought a calf six weeks ago. I saw a sign on the way to a Dr. Appt. Jersey Bull Calves $20. So I stopped and bought one. Then I had to get milk replacer and a bottle at tractor supply. I took Beth back to school and came home for the big van. I called my husbands uncle. I said " I bought something and I need help getting it home." He swore a bit and then agreed to help. I drove the van to his house and he drove it to the farm and backed it up to the barn. I helped load the calf in the van and we came home. I used a dog leash to unload the calf from the van and walked/dragged the calf to the goat pen. Once I had him settled I called Hubby and told him what I bought. I fully expected him to throw a fit because we really weren't prepared for a calf but instead he said why didn't you buy two. So now I have Moo Moo the calf. We knew we had to castrate him so we bought a banding tool and now he is a steer.
That is something else I learned. A cow is female and grows into a heifer. A Bull is a male unless you castrate him, then he's a steer. I figure if it moos it's a cow. But you can't talk like that around other farm people, it annoys them.
So for the past six weeks I have gotten up every morning to give the calf a bottle and then again at night. It takes one 50lb bag of milk replacer to feed a calf for eight weeks.
He is now finished with the bottle but he still sucks on everything. It was funny when my daughter went out to help and the calf was trying to eat her butt and suck on her elbows.

I have a system. I throw scratch to the chickens so I can get in the gate, toss food to the goats so I can harness the calf. I bring the calf out of the fence to the field so he can eat grass all day. Now I just have problems with the goats because they have figured a way to get out of the fence and they visit the calf.
So that is what's going on now. I hope to post pics of baby bunnies next week. If all goes well and she has a litter and doesn't kill any of them.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Farmgirl joy

BUSY BUSY BUSY!!!!! I am canning my little heart out. I love putting up for the winter. Although I don't think I have near enough I am so happy with what is done. For every jar I put up, It's one less I'll have to purchase at the store.

Meriam gave me 2 bushels of peaches and helped me can them. Four and a half hours later we had 28 quarts of peaches and six gallon bags frozen and the next day I made ten pints of peach jam. Yummy!!!! Plus we still had peaches to eat.

I crocheted seven dish cloths and a friend gave me yarn and I made two for her. I also made a baby blanket for my step sister in law who is having her first baby.

I sold 15 of my older hens to a gentleman who likes to free range chickens and feed the predators and I sold four to a nearby family who want their kids to see where the eggs come from. The little girls were so excited!

Hubby makes chicken runs cheaper than the advertised ones.

We, as in Hubby, butchered four of the rabbits and I cooked two up for our dinner. I froze the other two. I made roasted rabbit with carrots and potatoes. Hubby deboned the cooked rabbit and later in the week we had rabbit pot pie with homemade noodles.

Apples are in now and I bought a half bushel for 7.50 ginger golds. I have been making an apple pie every night! Here is a recipe for crust.

Pie crust
5C. flour
2C. butter
1T sugar
1T vinegar
1 egg

Put the flour butter and sugar in a food processor and pulse until crumbly. Or use a pastry knife to cut the flour and butter together. I love the processor. Next, In a measuring cup scramble the egg, add the vinegar and add enough warm water to make 1C.
If you are using the food processor, turn on the blades and slowly add the liquid and spin until a dough ball forms. If not using the processor drizzle the liquid in and stir with a fork until a dough forms. Next knead the dough a few times adding a little flour if needed. divide the dough into 5 equal parts and shape into discs. Chill for 15 minutes before rolling it out. This is a quick easy recipe that doesn't fail. The crust come out super flaky and You can either keep it in the fridge for a week or pop it into the freezer for another time.

This is how I can make an apple pie everynight. I used to make canned apple pie filling but Hubby didn't like the same pie over and over. I don't use a recipe when I make a fresh pie so it is different everytime. For example I may had vanilla or nutmeg or use brown sugar or use all white sugar. I don't measure cinnamon I just sprinkle. Some people may not like it but Hubby likes a suprise and we have learned that a little nutmeg goes a long way!

I have tomatoes and peppers sitting here waiting to be made into salsa. Hopefully I get to that tomorrow.
Well, I had better get busy. Hopefully with the kids in school and my schedule pulling together I can be more diligent in posting on a regular basis.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

putting up... Farmgirl style

AHHHHHHHG!!! Really I'm not a moron but I do do moronic things. I just sliced up 7 pints of hungarian pepers without using gloves. Oh they're not THAT hot, I don't need gloves. How STUPID, I'll say it again STUPID! My hands feel like the skin is peeling off and get this... I wiped my face with my hands because the steam from the canner made me sweat! MY EYES MY EYES. Holy cow! Hungarian peppers are hot really really hot when the juice is on your skin. OUCH!!!!!!
Here's the really stupid thing. This is not the first time I have canned this pepper. Really, did I just forget that I did this same thing last year?! NOw I am going to whine until Hubby comes home and then I can't say a word or he will make fun of me FOREVER!!!!!
I'm going to go cry...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Farmgirl project pics

Here are some pics of my projects here on the "ranch" (Hubby calls it the chicken ranch)I love doing the farm stuff. I don't have pics of the canning but hopefully I will remember tomorrow because I will be canning peppers and pickles!
And I cannot get the pics off the other memory card so I can't post the aprons. BUT... I will be making a few more. Once again, hopefully this week.

This is my crocheted wash cloth I made with a fan pattern my mama showed me. I need to go get cotton yarn so I can make real dish cloths. I think this yarn is synthetic and isn't good for washing with. It's just what I had on hand to use at the time.

This is my spaghetti squash. I have about 25 rugby ball size squash. I love this squash. I serve it like I would make spaghetti with a thick sausage sauce.

This is my flock... I have about 27 golden reds. I just sold 15 to a guy who lets his chickens free range. Of course He buys chicken from me a couple times because the predators in his area are eating well. I still have my barred rocks. They are just starting to lay. I have about forty five of them. We also raise Turkeys for Thanksgiving. Last year we did eight. I STILL have two in the freezer and we have 16 now.

These are our first litter. There were five but we sold one. They are just about eight weeks and will soon go to the freezer. I know they are cute. But they are not pets, they are raised for food for my family. We like to eat meat.

These are our new bunnies. They are about two weeks old. They are a cross of a New Nealand buck and California Doe.

I hope you liked the pics. I will try and get more in and maybe show some step by step projects!?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Farm girl, stitching, planting, putting up

Well, I am having a technical problem with my camera card. I have pics of the garden my rabbits (babies) and my sewing projects! I can't get them to download(?) onto the computer!
Soooo... My Mama Rabbit has had her babies and they are doing well. She had seven but killed three of them. I just have to realize that nature takes it's course. They are almost two weeks old eyes open and furred out. My Barred rock chickens are starting to lay, well one layed a very small egg. It's a start!
In the garden we have been picking green beans. I now have 12 quarts canned for winter and still have some in the fridge. I also canned 9 quarts of my friends beans because due to her injuries from an accident she can't do it herself. I figured if I'm already canning mine what's a few more!
We had pulled up all the potatoes and canned those and I pulled all the onions yesterday and they are drying out back.
I weeded most of the garden and pulled out the dead zuchini plants. Then I tilled the spent areas and raked it smooth. Tomorrow I will plant more potatoes and lettuce, beets, radishes, spinach, kohlrabi and broccoli. I think that's it?!
My tomato plants are doing well. Hubby wants me to can green tomatoes so we can have fried green tomatoes in the winter. Yummy!!!!
Have you ever had a fried green tomato? Nice thick slices of tomato dipped in egg and coated in flour seasoned with seasoned salt and fried golden on each side. I will not ever make fried zuchini again. The flavor of green tomato is amazing!
My Mama came by today to pick up my son, Son2. She showed me a new crochet pattern and I made a new wash cloth in about an hour! How cool. I will post pics as soon as I am able.
I forgot, I also made two aprons this week. I used a pair of Hubby's jeans. I made two from one leg. They were really cute. I made them for my friends daughters. They have really had to become little homemakers since her accident. I thought every homemaker needs an apron. I showed them to my Sister friend, T and she wants one too. She even gave me her Hubby's jeans to make one for her. So sweet.
Hubby is out hunting at a Red tag farm. I hope he and daughter are successful. We can use the meat. I mean there is only so much chicken you can eat. I need red meat!
Well, I am going to find another memory card or the cable for the camera! Hopefully my post will be sooner than they have been.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Farmgirl membership arrives

My MaryJane Farmgirl Sisterhood badge has arrived. I'm excited. I just need to "make it my own" with a few additions of lace, buttons and thread. I think I am going to make this into a pin that I can attach to whatever I want to put it on. That way I don't have to worry about only being able to have it on one thing.

I've been pouring over my new magazine and giving the projects in the Ideabook another look.
The first badge I want to work on is the Sew Wonderful.
For a beginnerlevel-
I have to make a sewing kit w/pinkeep. I have made two for myself already so I'll make another to give as a gift.
Intermediate level-
Sew a straight seam by hand and machine
Learn several different seams including the French and Flat
Expert level-
Make a casserole carrier( Bakeover takeover) to give to a hostess with a meal in it
Make hotpads and embroider them using a design from the idea book

I think I will work on my Sisterhood pin tonight after the garden work is done and then tomorrow I will work on the sewing kit. I feel myself getting excited. Now I need to organize my sewing/craft room so I can actually function in it!
Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Farmgirl Sisterhood

I don't know about you, but I loved Girl Scouts. I have recently joined the MaryJane's Farmgirl Sisterhood. This blog will be a catalog of my projects and the merit badges I earn through the Sisterhood. I hope to inspire more women to recycle, reuse,and repurpose. I hope that more women would learn to make more and buy less. I have spent the last four years learning new skills in farming and gardening and cooking and housekeeping. I wish to share those experiences and the ones to come with others who have a dream of living a simpler life.
Check out for more info on the Farmgirl Sisterhood.