Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What goes on on 'real' farms...

and wondering if it's something we could do.

http://blog.windyfieldsfarm.com/2010/10/17/butchering.aspx

Now, I am pretty sure that I would not be wielding a bow saw to cut a dead pig carcass to pieces, but I have to admit, the photo doesn't look as frightening as I thought it might.  If I were to do it, I would probably have to send my piggies away to come back packaged up in individual cuts, but there is merit to being sure that the creature you sent away is the same creature you get back.  And, there's something to be said for choosing how many and how much of which cuts.  Hmmm.  A lot of something's to be said.

Alas, there is also something to be said for supporting our local farmers...and letting them do the work they love...ummm, by purchasing meat from them!  And not taking the chance of falling in love with your food.  (notice, Dinner and Lunch are still running around the farm here, crowing away).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Coming Home...


does life get any better than coming home to this?  



and...goat in bag!  
gotta love aria!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Awwwwwwwww!!

Name that Mushroom....




relaxing at Camp



does life get any better than this?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Bree and Bees

Autumn is most definitely upon us.  I took the last honey super off of Bree with a crunch and a crack as I busted through cold bee's wax and proplis.  I am thinking I'm a little late doing this, and now the girls will have to reseal the cracks and crevices of the top of their hive.  There was a little honey in the super, but I left it out for the bees to rescue, as they too, suffered with the loss of the well when I was unable to feed them as I would have liked.

Now, it's time to tie everyone up.  Take a listen and look by the entrance.  And hope and pray and worry through the winter...and wait for spring.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Apple Rings

I canned spiced apple rings...what a bust.  I don't think I will be canning rings again next year.  The peeler, corer, slicer worked, but only how it wanted to.  I think the apples were too soft for rings.  The recipe called for too much mace, which I should have realized when I smelled the mace that it would be too strong a flavor.  And, in the end, I'm not sure all my jars pinged sealed.  Now I have tons of jars of apple rings...and well, maybe they'll be yummy mixed with yogurt.

Maybe drying and freezing apples is the way to go.

And, of course, honeyed applesauce--yum!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Lately Happenings

I just took one of our local meat chickens (from Katie) out of the freezer and turned it into broth.  I don't know about you, but I am so confused when I go to buy a can (or box) of chicken broth.  Low sodium or low fat...I don't want either: I want the fat and the salt...but a reasonable, normal amount.  And I certainly don't want conventional chicken broth, because WHO knows what gets thrown in the pot...it's kind of like hot dogs and ground beef: WHAT is it, really?  So, I've been wanting to make and stash away my own broth.  So, with one chicken, I think I have enough to get us through most of the winter for soups and risotto and whatever else it turns out we need it for.  Yay!  I love local food.

And I pulled the breasts and meat pieces off and froze those for later meals as well.  So, lots of meat pieces and broth.  Next time I do a bird, I will need to ask Katie for her 'rooster ball' recipe and Laura for her 'chicken nugget' recipe.

And speaking of local food.  We just bought a meat share from The Farm School to split with Katie.  It's five pickups through the winter with a total of 60 pounds worth of meat...plus eggs (like we need that...but in the winter, who knows, when our chickies start to slack off and know they can get away with it we might want farm fresh eggs).  We're curious to see what we get out of the share and decide if that's a way to go.  Besides, The Farm School does great things and has great programs.  Sometimes, I wish they had a bigger local presence, but maybe that's just me being greedy--they are there.  farmschool.org

As for food, I am a natural hoarder.  I never finish my home canned goods because I want to SAVE them and have them for some 'later'.  That 'later'...I'm not sure what it is but it's there in the back of my head.  And the same with my freezer goods.  I'm a hoarder and a saver and then I end up throwing away things I should not be throwing away because I have hoarded for way too long.  So, my plan to keep myself from doing this is to start opening and using the goods as soon as November starts.  And that way, I can see how far it gets us into winter...and how much more I need to save for next winter.  If I'm lucky this year, it will make us to February when Greenfield has their HUGE Winter Farmer's Market.  AND the freezer should be empty by spring for defrosting and starting over.  AND I should not have to buy a lot of food...I stored and stashed a fair amount away.  Not as much as I would like to have, but more than last year!

It's moving into chore time for the season.  I HAVE to make the applesauce I could not make all that time we had no water (BTW, thank goodness for RAIN!!).  But I did freeze some apples and dried some apples, which I might not have done had we had water.  Then it's garden and farm chores.  It's time to take that last honey super off of Bree and get the bee feedings going.  Avalon is still hanging on, and I don't want to stress the bees out by looking too much into the hives when I am not going to do anything but wait and hope, but I might take a quick peek at Avalon when I open Bree.  Then it's time to feed and tie them up for the winter and start crossing fingers!

The barn needs a complete overhaul.  The chickens need to GET OUT!!!  And all the stalls need a good cleaning before winter.  The coop needs a good cleaning before winter.  And the garden needs a good cleaning before winter.  And I need to plant my garlic and winter wheat and move around bulbs!  Phew.  And it all needs to be done before November when NANO starts: nanowrimo.org

That was a long one...hope you're still awake.

Happy Autumn everyone!!!