I just cannot believe how quickly this year has passed, today, is December 1, 2012 and it seems like only yesterday I was starting seeds for the spring garden. They always told me when I was young, time would move much faster when I grew up. I would like to be a child again and see if time would move a little slower. I know my ability to accomplish tasks is much slower but I am steady, keep moving and at the end of day I know I have been on the farm.
IN THE KITCHEN
This week we used up the remains of our Thanksgiving feast. I am not going to call them leftovers because I try make something different so the meals do not get boring. The turkey became turkey noodle soup with homemade noodles, the mashed potatoes became potato cakes made like Momma always made her potato cakes. I could eat those at least twice a week. I did use pantry items to make a pot of chili, the dried tomatoes, which I skinned, were giving it a nice flavor. This was my first time I used dried tomatoes in the chili and I was pleased. Learning how to use the dried produce is like a new chapter in my cooking experience. Saturday night dinner was a freezer meal. I think I am learning to use my stash of food and staying away from the grocery stores.
ON THE FARM
I am working with the goats on the leads and tethering, they are doing quite well with the experience. They are getting so relaxed, I find myself letting them out of their pasture without leads or tethers, I only do this when I am going to be in the area. The goats have been spending their nights in the chicken coop. We do have 2 rooms in the coop, the only problem, the outside door was glass and I was so afraid they would butt the right place the the door would break. Mr. Bootsie covered the door with plywood and now I have a little more piece of mind. We had been covering the door at night with a cloth so they would not see the shadows of a goat and try to play with the goat. It is really amazing how you have to think when you have animals.
IN THE COOP
Egg gathering is becoming quite a game. Monday I found one egg half destroyed and one with a soft shell. Tuesday, the duck laid an soft shell egg, I usually feed this egg the next day as it is alright in the soft shell. I do feed the girls eggs but they are cooked. I do not want them to get the taste for the raw egg. The month of November I collected 30 duck eggs, and 68 hen eggs. This week, there were 7 ducks eggs and 11 hen eggs.
Eva is still molting, no tail feathers and a lot of body feathers are missing. She does hate the camera, but she was looking so sad I wanted to take of picture of her. This girl is my best layer and lays a very large egg. You can see the feathers starting to come in. By the end of week you could see lots of feathers and we are promised warm weather this week. I worry about the cold and her in this condition, but her molt, 2 years ago, was when we have nighttime temperatures of 8 to 10 degrees. I doubt that she will start laying before sometime in February.
IN THE GARDEN
What I have in the cold tunnel is doing really good. I added some kale and lettuce plants this week. In the greenhouse the basil is doing good and the tomatoes are blooming. I potted the amaryllis bulbs, they were laid on their side in August, new growth was starting to show. I do look forward to having a few blooms. Hollyhocks, I started from seed, were up potted this week.
We are entering a busy time of the year, I am pleased things have slowed in the garden and it gives me time to enjoy the holidays with family and friends. I love walking around the farm seeing the holly trees covered with berries and running cedar creeping across the woods floor. Brings back so many memories of my childhood when we picked the holly and cedar to make wreaths for our house. This was done the week before Christmas because fires in the house would dry out the evergreens. I know our house will be filled with the smells of Christmas. Cookies baking and hot cider steaming on the wood stove. May the holidays be special for you and your families.