I always get excited about sharing of the kefir grains, I have often thought it would be wonderful if one of my neighbors would be interested in having kefir. I received a request this week from one, who lives on the same gravel road I live on. She is on Facebook asking her questions and sharing with her friends. I will be following what they are doing and this gives me an opportunity to learn more about kefir. I look forward to the day when I can milk one of my girls and have fresh milk from our farm to make kefir with but first things first, she needs to be bred and that I think will happen this fall. But this is another decision which will add to my daily to do list and I have to be sure this is a good decision for me.
We have a had an interesting week as the weather has been rainy, muggy and changing almost daily. Some of the dreaded chores were started this week, Taking all of the rugs outside and washing them, washing windows, a new wood rack was installed by the house so we can stockpile more wood when the weather is going to be bad. We needed to stop and do these chores. We have kept up with everything which needed to be completed on a daily basis.
IN THE KITCHEN
All canning was put on the back burner, I made bread, a wonderful garlic bread which makes a good tomato sandwich, cucuzzi bread and sourdough. I have made two different soups, tomato with pepperoncini peppers, lots of garlic and onions, the second soup was a vegetable beef. I had thought I was going to can some of the soup but it was eaten up. All day Saturday there was a brisket slow roasting while we were outside working.
ON THE FARM
Trees are being dropped and firewood split. The goats have been out cleaning off as much land as possible. There is only around 2 more months of leaves for them to munch so I am trying to get them out of the pasture and into the woods daily. Some of the beds in the garden need repair, portions of the trees being dropped will be used to repair beds.
IN THE COOP
Blanche is laying again, her feathers are coming in, I have no idea if this was a false molt or not. With the mother hens being small cochins the little peeps are catching up and are almost as tall as the mommies. There have been several broken eggs in the nests, I am trying to see who is doing this, we have been trying to collect the eggs about 3 times a day. Somehow I need to sit up camp at the coop and see who is in the nest when this happens. The ducks are just as happy as 2 ducks could be, the only change is momma duck is laying some in the afternoons. It used to be her egg was in the nest every morning. I enjoy using the duck eggs in the kitchen, scrambled or in a baked items, the richness it adds is very pleasing.
Our spring born peeps are big chickens and stay with the older girls all of the time. We think they are a pair but are still waiting to be sure. They made the adjustment of moving in with the flock rather well, the only problem is night time roosting. We have high poles with steps for the girls to get up to the poles. They watch the others do this, we have never had a problem with any of the girls getting the routine down until now. One of them was setting on the low step which is not a good place for a chicken to roost at night and Mr. Bootsie was showing her where to go next. Much to our surprise she moved to his hand and grabbed on. He gently lifted her to the height of the roosting pole and she stepped onto the pole. I suppose she will be expecting this elevator service each evening.
IN THE GARDEN
Garden is slowing down, fall garden is coming up. My voles are busy cutting the beans off at the ground. We have not caught a raccoon this week, there seems not to be any damage from them. Of course, all of the corn has been destroyed. I am getting over how upset I was when my purple broad beans were cut off, this one I am not sure if it was vole of raccoon. I will just have to buy corn for the girls another winter. We are picking tomatoes, all sort of peppers, beans (string and butter), squash and cucumbers. I must say we have had a good harvest.
My thoughts are moving to fall and winter, what we need to accomplish before the weather changes. What do I need to do for the animals? How much hay do we need to have on hand in case of bad weather? It seems when I think I have everything figured out there is a new concern for us to tackle. For the next few weeks, I shall be finishing up the canning, planting more fall/ winter garden and getting my little peeps ready to take the world on by themselves. Reintroducing the momma hens back to the flock may be the biggest challenge on my list for a while. Have a good week and come back now!!!