Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Water Saga

is officially over.  We have good, clean water!  And lots of it, judging from the amounts we had to dump out onto the ground in the well cleansing process!!!

I FOUND THEM!!!

And I can't wait to try them out:  reusable canning lids AND they are BPA free (you know, that creepy chemical that's in all our plastics and leeches into our food and now they're saying that we probably shouldn't be using it around food.  It's the reason you shouldn't heat food in plastic containers...or wrap your cheeses in plastic wrap...or drink from plastic bottles)!!!!  So, yay, for BPA free canning.  I hadn't figured out how to get around that minor canning issue.

Again, I found this info on my new favorite canning website: foodinjars.com

The article on the Tattler Lids:

http://www.foodinjars.com/2010/09/canning-101-preserving-with-tattlers-reusable-lids/#comments

I must do some research on these.  I will keep you posted on the results of my own tests!

As for water...we should have our new test results back today by noon.  If it passes (please let it pass), we won't have to lug water to the barn for all the animals...and we'll be able to taste our new water.

In the meantime, thank goodness it is finally raining.  (It's only been months since we've had any decent rain)...I almost couldn't remember what the noise was on my roof last night!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

We can't use it....

but it's running....

Day Eleven Without Water


I think we've used our allotted lifetime supply of plastic bottles this week!!!  At least some of them were leftover from the Ice Storm of 2008...still in the basement with water we could use for toilet flushing...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Autumn Writing Contest Winner

an autumn haiku:


autumn is better
than summer though summer is
better for cold beer


by katie


Happy Autumn Everyone!!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Ditch


Just waiting on the water test....

Sunday, September 19, 2010

We have water...


It smells like chlorine and we can't proceed further until we finish circulating it out and get it tested, but we have water.  And so far, the only thing we can do with it is haul buckets inside to flush the toilet.

Oh, and I watered the beans until I remembered it's chlorinated water...does it still constitute organic beans if you watered them with chlorinated water?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

425 feet later....

Friday, September 17, 2010

Current State of the Yard


I'm afraid for what it's going to look like...later.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Water

Well, the dry summer has finally caught up with us and the well is all but completely drained.  Only the little critters in the little puddle in the bottom of our well looked sadder than we are.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Apple Time

We went to Sentinel Farm in Belchertown to pick apples on Sunday.  And to see the goats: Mary, Samson, and Franklin, who we are happy to say are happy as can be and loved, loved, loved!  That was wonderful to see.  Their new family is also thinking of breeding Mary for milk.  Yay!  So, we'll work with them to help them get Mary bred either this year or next fall.

Apple picking was wonderful.  They have beautiful trees and beautiful apples...and I now am inundated with apples.  It's time to make applesauce, including a Limited Reserve of BumbleChick Honey Applesauce, more applesauce, and some apple rings which I think are going to be awesome in yoghurt this winter.

I also need to dry some apples so I can work on a green and roibois apple tea, as my new favorite harvest apple tea has been discontinued!!!!

AND, of course, it's just about cider pressing time!!!!

And it's quickly closing in...on me too...but the Autumn Writing Contest Deadline is next week.  Midnight of September 22nd!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Squirrels and Red Chickens

I knew the little red hens were bold, but yesterday, I watched one of them chase a fat grey squirrel around the yard and away from any seeds and treats that might be on her turf!!!

I only wish I had gotten a picture.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Putting Food By




It's been a busy weekend preserving and freezing and canning food for the winter.  Pictured above: Tomato relish, watermelon rind pickles, and oven dried tomatoes.

The watermelon rind pickles taste delicious so far...and only took the whole weekend to make.  I hope that as they meld in the jars, they continue to taste great.

I found recipe on line.
I did learn today that you should always boil water bath any pickles you make.


Watermelon Rind Pickles

4 quarts watermelon rind
3T pickling salt
cover the rinds with water and salt and let sit overnight.
in the morning, rinse and rinse and rinse well, then boil on low heat until just tender.

3 1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup water
6 cups sugar
4 sticks cinnamon
1 T whole cloves
boil and cook for five minutes.
pour over drained watermelon and let sit for 24 hours.

bring syrup to a boil and pour back over rinds and let sit for another 24 hours.

bring everything to a boil for five minutes.
seal in jars and boil in a water bath for 10 minutes.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Samson and Mary and Franklin

For those of you who are asking about the goats in their new home.  We are hoping to visit them next Sunday when we go apple picking at their new home.  In the meantime, here's an update.  Then I am off to can more tomatoes....


"Mary and Samson have settled in like they were born here.  They are kind and gentle and not at all strange in or out of the pen.  Franklin is quite noisy and seems to want people attention all the time.  The two older goats are trying to let him know that he is lowest on the pecking order, so he is trying to get people attention and special privledges.  The boys have fallen in love with Franklin and feed his interest in people company.  He spent an hour at the Farmer's Market being adored by all of the visitors to our apple tent.  Lease training is going well with Franklin and the older goats are getting some exposure to it."  
sentinelfarm.com


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Pickled Peppers


I pickled some peppers I got at the Farmer's Market last night.  The really pretty peppers with the red and greens are actually from Laura's garden!  Mostly these are for Paul, cuz I don't really like hot, hot peppers. But I do like to use them in Mexican dishes and other spicy dishes...so now, we've got them stashed away for when we need them.


Very Basic Pickled Jalapenos
This technique can be used for just about any small, hot pepper. Measurements are for 1 pound of peppers and yield approximately 2 1/2 pints. Recipe can be doubled.
1 pound of jalapeno peppers, sliced in half lengthwise
2 cups white vinegar
2 cups filtered water
2 tablespoons pickling salt
Pack clean, hot jars with peppers. Pour hot brine over top. Bubble your jars thoroughly by tapping them firmly on the countertop and using a wooden chopstick to release any stubborn bubbles. Wipe rims, apply lids and bands.
Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Store in cool, dark place for up to a year.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September

HoneyBees at the Watering Hole

It's been a very dry summer.  We've had to worry about water most of the season...and as you can see, the bees are very grateful for the Bird/Bee Bath.

Remember, for those of you interested, we are running our second writing contest.  The theme is Autumn and the deadline is September 21st.  We welcome poems, short stories, or essays of less than 2500 words.  The winner of the contest will receive a 1/4 pound jar of very coveted BumbleChick Honey.

Please send submissions to bumblechickfarm@yahoo.com