Sunday morning, the clock went off and there were feet hitting the floor. Hay is running low and the farm we buy hay from is selling today. It sounds like a big deal but when we get there and folks are loading up 40 and 50 bales of hay, our little 10 bales are nothing. I say nothing but I would not want to tell the ladies and their playmates there is no hay for them. I have learned, when talking with folks who have no farm animals, they do not understand the importance of feeding on schedule. When we made a decision to have a small farm without help we became married to the farm, a decision I love, I chose this way of life for my golden years and there is not a day I do not find happiness on our farm. It is hard work for someone our ages but the rewards are priceless.
IN THE KITCHEN
This week I finished preparing one of our tromboncino squash. This squash was used in bread for Thanksgiving, stored in the fridge and I am making bread for Christmas. This was an easy store in the fridge, covered the cut end with clear wrap and cut the end off when I was ready to use again. I made slaw from the squash, this was a first for me, using the winter squash raw. I was pleased with the results, and will be adding this our meals. Winter salads are difficult, at times, because we do not go to the produce market a lot. I made the squash puree and decided to try squash pancakes, they were very tasty with apple sauce or fried apples. I have decided not to do a lot of holiday baking, as one thing is eaten I will make another. The soup for this week came from the canning pantry, vegetable beef made with vegetables from the garden back during the summer.
ON THE FARM
I am starting to notice the girls are eating more, I hope this is a good sign as I have not seen anyone go into season and I am hoping there will be baby goats in April. When I read of others miscarrying I become concerned because I have no idea what I am doing. I keep reading and hoping I am finding the answers to any questions I may have. With last week's weather and additional rain falling the land is not drying out and that slows down our plans to do anything. I do not need to have something stuck in the land. We can just take our time and maybe someday things will be done.
IN THE COOP
Another one of the girls has molted, Little Grey is such a big bird you can hardly tell she has molted but she was one of my best layers and I sure do miss her eggs. No signs of eggs from the welsummers. I was hoping to see some but they seem to be holding out.
IN THE GARDEN
I harvested Holland greens this week, these greens are wonderful, Mr. Bootsie likes them and they are so easy to cook. I was so pleased to pull back the cover on the row tunnel and find there were enough greens to harvest. This makes all of our work for the winter garden worthwhile. I am hoping there will be more to harvest as the season goes on. There will be enough kale to harvest this week. I have swiss chard greens I can use in salads, The celery is growing and I tasted the celery this week, the flavor is different from the celery I have used it the past. This has more punch and a very fresh taste, lots of pretty leaves at the top which I shall enjoy using in the stocks I make.
As I walk around our farm and see holly trees with berries, running cedar floating over the forest floor, I remember Christmases past. We would go out with baskets and harvest these greens and bring them home to decorate for Christmas, It was a very quick time because the decorations would be put up just a few days before Christmas and they left before the New Year arrived. The applesauce cake, fruit cake and Chandler's gelatin would be made. There would be family and friends coming after supper during the week between Christmas and New Years. There were nights we would be home and nights we would be going to visit, everyone knew the night we would be home even without telephones. There was the Christmas morning, when I came down and found a baby calf wrapped in the official calf coat behind our stove because it was too cold for him to be outside. During the morning this little guy found his legs and stood up. I don't remember what was by the tree for me but I shall never forget the little calf, Momma told me Santa brought him and we needed to take very good care of him. After he found his legs, he was taken outside to be with his Momma in the barn.
I wish for you my Friends, a joyous, safe and Merry Christmas. May your life be richly blessed, May your heart be filled with goodness and May you make a memory which will stay with you forever!!!
The Bootsie's of Happy Hallow
25 special, special farm workers *
* 2 very special visitors for a neighbor's farm and our staff of 23 made up of 4 goats, 17 chickens and 2 ducks