Saturday, February 23, 2013

Triple Creek Farm, Feb 23, 2013

Talk about taking the wind out of your kite!!!  Mind laid flat down on the ground, Sunday evening 2 weeks ago I crashed into the biggest thickest wall ever.  I thank goodness that most of the time I am able to miss out on all of the free flues and colds people love to share with one another.  And yes, they love to share at the grocery store, Run in, blowing nose and getting orange juice.  Touching every container because they need a special one.  How many of us wash the container the orange or milk comes in?  No, we just put all of those germs in the fridge and let them party with our fresh veggies and deli products.  Grab the hand sanitizer and say I have taken care of this.

I know that my wall was not the flu or a cold, I think it was time for me to take a rest, much needed one.  We have been here 7 years in March and I have not had any rest.  I was the care giver of 2 older seniors until they left us, neither lived with us but I was responsible for being sure they had what they needed and all of the medical appointments.  Right into having animals here on the farm .  I had been so busy for 4 years I had forgotten how to stop, relax and enjoy what we have.  In the last 3 years I managed to sit with chickens in the evening for about 1 hour most days and that helped me.  Along came another crisis and my friend was losing his life and wanted me to take care of his goats.  We did not have fence or a barn and we hurried to get the fence in, barn is still being worked on.  Goats are happy and that is all that matters.  

I made it through the last 2 weeks with the help of Mr. Bootsie who just took over.  I knew the boy could do it if he wanted to, He knew it was important to me and I would get up before I should to take care of my crew if I thought it was necessary.  This was a learning experience for me.  My animals looked at me as if why are you here, we are glad to see you but we are doing great and great they were.  He is a generous farmer, fed them more treats than they should have but they were happy animals when Momma returned.  My bedding plants were sprayed and taken care of.  I remember hearing him say one day he was misting something.  I may have hit a wall but I had an awakening, I have help and he is willing.  


I am trying something new.  Making our own corned beef.  I found a cut of meat I thought would be good and now it is in the brine.  I think making corned beef may be like making pickles except you do it in the fridge.  It will be in the brine for 10 days after which I will be cooking it.  Only time will tell. 


Mr. Bootsie has been doing some work.  We have a wonderful passion flower arbor but we are trying to hide something we do like looking at all the time we sit on the porch.  The arbor was put in with the idea we would add to it.  Mr. Bootsie found behind a local store, a rack which he has added to arbor.  It will almost double the size of our arbor.  Wonderful find, improvements with no cost.  

The goat barn is coming along, the 2 ends are finished and 1 side has the door made for it.  


The girls are able to keep things going as long as they are fed and watered.  I use the deep straw method and the coop stays clean.  We do pick up all the litter we can but there is not a lot.  The duck house needs to be cleaned weekly and Momma duck is not a happy when the straw is changed.  

Egg production is returning, this week the girls laid 48 eggs.  There were 7 ducks eggs, that girl is dedicated, I must say I am amazed.


I did visit the cold tunnel this week and water everything.   You can see the plants are thinking about warm weather.  Bedding plants are looking good and waiting for me to say it is time to install.


Farm life is good.  I am making the rounds and the animals are ready for some warm weather.  I am ready to start walking the goats and letting them out to graze.  Thinking about what we are going to add to the flocks this year.  Right now,  I am thankful I was able to get the wall out of my way and see what wonderful things are happening right here on our little farm.

Triple Creek Farm, February 16, 2013

I know this is a week late, but I just wanted to give the egg count for last week.


Total chicken eggs collected 46 and 7 ducks eggs.


I decided to crash for a few days and the journey back has been long and slow.  I hope to have the week in review post up this coming weekend.  Thanks for following our farm and being interested in what is happening here.  For the many well wishes I want to Thank You.  As I get stronger every day I am very Thankful for friends like each of you.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Triple Creek Farm, February 9, 2013

Mr. Bootsie bought home many things after 20+ years of employment at the same place.  He was not in the mood to unpack this treasures and put them away until Tuesday of this week.  I think his mind has cleared and he is not thinking of being any place but here on our little farm.  He had talked about working a few days a month but that subject has not been mentioned in a while.  I must say he has made the adjustment well.  Checking on the animals, bringing in the eggs several times a day are some of the things he spends his time doing.  I await the garden this year.  I know how excited I get for the first of everything, usually know which plant and watch very close to be sure I collect the first of each veggie.  I think my day is going to have to start real early to be in front of Mr. Bootsie.


I made pumpkin bread with frozen pumpkin.  I am going to be freezing my pumpkin a little differently, my recipe calls for 2 cups pumpkin and 2/3's cup of water.  I have decided to package 2 and 2/3's pumpkin in my freezer packages.  I used a package with 2 cups of pumpkin flesh in it but, after thawing there was only about 1 and 3/4 cups of pumpkin and lots of juice, enough to make the 2/3 cups of water.  Now I had juice with a small amount of pumpkin with residue in it, I thought my bread would be much more tasty using this and not plain water. Needless to say, Wow, this was the tastiest pumpkin bread I have ever made. Here is the recipe for pumpkin bread.

I made a pot of beef barley soup on Friday, and tried a recipe, one hour French bread which was very tasty and I came in from the chicken coop at 5:30 started making this bread and we were eating supper before 7, I am pleased as this is almost a quick bread.


Mr. Bootsie went to the mill and came in with a load of lumber to work on the barn construction and to repair some of the raised beds.  He has more lumber to pickup from the mill.  He is working on the barn for the goats.  This is a much needed project as they need a safe home if we are going to breed the girls.


Wednesday evening, I noticed my Eva eating oyster shell.  She was my last to molt.  I was so pleased because the coloring has returned to her comb and I know she will be laying really soon.  Thursday morning, when the girls were let out there was no Eva, I found her on the nest.  Checking for eggs later in the day,  there it was.  One BIG pretty white Eva egg, she is the only girl who lays a white egg.  Now we have everyone back on line.  I have eggs, I have a fridge full of eggs.  Hen eggs and ducks eggs what a wonderful problem to have.  Oh, I had better remember, if they go broody they stop laying.  I am sure I will have a few broody girls during the spring.

This week 44 hen eggs were gathered.  The faithful duck laid 7 more eggs.


I just could not stand it any longer and the broccoli plants were just getting too large.  Black plastic placed over a worked bed.  Five broccoli plants installed, covered with milk jugs and thick row cover.  Will they make it?  I really do not know, will I?  Yes, I have something in the garden to check on daily and that pleases me so much.

I have been planting seeds to grow by the wood stove all week.  Planted on Sunday and up Saturday were cayenne peppers.  I used my seeds from one of the pods I saved from last season.  I just broke the pod open and planted the seeds.  What an easy way to save seeds.


I found lilac buds this week, the robins are back and the hawks are doing their dance in the sky.  Bluebirds are working in the garden area.  When we first purchased this land there were not many birds around but our bird population is growing.  We have resident red-headed woodpeckers and lots of little birds which winter here.  In the greenhouse plants are starting to come alive.  The earth is awakening from it's winter rest.  I am so ready to see what wonderful things happened over the winter.  Have a lovely week thinking about springtime at your place.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Triple Creek Farm, February 2, 2013

This week marks the end of the first month Mr. Bootsie has been retired.  Adjustments are slowly being made.  Things are starting to get addressed and plans are being made for this spring and summer.  It is always exciting when spring arrives on the farm.  I am hoping this year to increase my flock a bit, we are gathering more eggs than we can use at this point.  But this fall we shall have no eggs unless I bring in some new girls.


I decided to sprout some beans this week.  Sprouting is something I do in a hit and miss fashion. I made some lo-mein and I really did miss the sprouts.  I am making these sprouts to go into egg rolls.

Mung Beans washed 

Cooking seems to be what is going on here this week.  I cooked down some beef bones to make a rich stock which we used.   Soup was French onion with homemade rye bread croutons and swiss cheese.  We purchased some ground beef from one of my favorite stores and I made sloppy Joe's and taco meat which is in the freezer.  Meatloaf was dinner Saturday,  there will be extra which I will freeze for later.  The pastry chef showed up and made a strawberry pie.  I do not mind making the crust but have no interest in doing the filling,  Mr. Bootsie comes to the rescue and makes the filling.    


Except for replacing the covers on the wood racks after the blow this week little was accomplished on the farm.   Wood stove is still safe and in the same place.  Remote for the TV is close by and Mr. Bootsie is loving this cold weather as he is hiding in the house.  When the temperature drops it is a job just keeping the wood in, the stove loaded and the ashes removed.  We have metal buckets to store the ashes in but this week they needed to be dumped as we had accumulated to many ashes.  We dump some around the coop to help with snakes during the summer.

We did start giving the goats raspberry tea.  They are enjoying a bowl of warm tea first thing in the morning and afternoon.


The girls are getting through the cold weather, laying is improving.  Plenty of chickweed for them to eat and we can tell the days are getting longer because they are going in a little later each day.  Ducks just want the cold to end so they can take a dip.

Egg count for the month of January was 133 from the hens  and 31 ducks eggs were collected.  This week we gathered 35 hen eggs and 7 ducks eggs.


All of the wintered over onions and garlic have been fed plant food.  I use a product for root vegetables and put in on right before the rain on Wednesday.  I installed a few beets and pac-choi in the cold tunnel.  I have started up potting the plants I started from seeds.

The cold tunnel made it through the snow, the tunnel was in need of a door as we were using sheets of plastic.  The door was put in and covered with plastic.  We were able to salvage a door from some of our collection of miscellaneous items.


The weather is playing games with everyone, all over the country. The temperatures this week ranged lows in the morning from 16 to 50, the high one afternoon was 74.  Bad storms came through our area. Tornado's to the South did much damage.  I hope all of you and your loved ones had no damage from the storms.