Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Warning:  This is a political post.

Today I read something on Facebook that made my blood boil.  Yeah, really.  This is what it said:








And on and on....................You get it.  I hate cut and dry statements like these. No one is 100% like you..  You don't know what others have been through, what their history is.  They may not have the privileges you've had.

I thought we, as Americans, took pride in the fact that America is a melting pot and we stood by liberty and justice for ALL!  Yes, ALL!  

Our ancestors came from all over.   We're all immigrants to some extent, if in fact we accept our heritage.  What if the borders were closed when our ancestors came to America?

We don't all need to think the same, speak the same, look the same, eat the same.  Don't you feel proud of that?  Aren't you proud that our country can claim that we're accepting of black and white, conservative and liberal, multilingual,  religious and agnostic, bluegrass and classical, gay and straight, rich and poor, cat and dog???????????????????

Keep in mind, hate and intolerance is never becoming.  That's all I'm going to say.


Decorating the chicken coop

The mobile chicken coop is almost finished.  I spent most of yesterday trying to make it comfortable for my feathered friends, installing perches and nesting boxes.  I had to shoo them out so I could work without them freaking out every time I moved here or there. 

First job was to install perches.   They have lots of choices - different heights, different sized branches for different sized feet.
Notice how it's hinged at the top.  This is so I can raise the roosts so I can clean under them or I can use the shelter for other animals in the future.  Already, mama rabbit and babies have called this home for about a month.  That's the thing about a farm - shelters serve different purposes at different times.   
I don't know if they'll use their nesting boxes for laying eggs or just sitting  atop.  I thought it was cool to used hollowed out logs but I'm not sure if they're big enough or not.  I also put a cat carrier in there in case they won't use the log nesting boxes.  Last night when I put them to bed the cat carrier was a popluar hang out.
Only 2 chickens sat on perches.  I wonder if more will explore them tonight.
I think this rooster is pretty cool looking.  He was one of the first to inspect my work.  When it gets dark tonight we'll be gathering the adult chickens and putting them in with the teenagers and they will be moved to the field tomorrow.  I hope this works. 

I'd like more of these.  It would be a great little goat shelter for the field or a milking room.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Home grown cream of wheat

I have no idea why I didn't think of this sooner.   We eat lots of cream of wheat and James grows lots of wheat, so why was I buying it at the store?  I'm a slow learner, that's why.
We have at least 3 garden beds this size planted with wheat.  We use the wheat berries to make bread and wheat berry salad and I feed some of it in the grass form to the rabbits but it never crossed my mind to make it into cereal - until yesterday.

There was nothing to it.  I got out my L'EQUIP Nutrimill grain mill, set it on what I thought was the coarsest setting (I learned later it wasn't as coarse as I could have made it) and ground up some wheat berries left from a previous year.  I cooked it just like I would the store-bought brand.  It was delicious, just smoother than what I buy at the store.  Tomorrow I'm going to make it a little grittier. 
This is one more thing I can scratch off my grocery list.  James doesn't grow oats yet but I think he's going to this year and it would be cool to try this with oats too, and barley and ...........

Friday, April 19, 2013

Year of the girls

We've had 11 kids born in the past 6 weeks.  Only 3 of them were boys.  Yay for girls!  Boys are harder to sell and the ones we don't sell become dinner eventually so we always hope for girls. 

Today Tila and Respa (mother and daughter) each gave me a set of twin doelings within an hour of each other.  I checked and double checked to be sure I wasn't seeing things when I turned the kids over to check out body parts.  This little girl is going to look just like her mom.
 This next little girl I think is striking.

Tila was a pro.  This was her second kidding and she knew exactly what to do.  The kids are nursing nicely and she seems very content.
Respa had no idea what was happening to her.  She was outdoors and walked around for quite awhile with one little foot sticking out of her.  She laid by a kayak while Luti's kids tried to climb on her.  The donkeys knew something special was going on and stood nearby to watch.
She had both kids while walking and me following behind trying to keep them from falling on filthy ground.  I wasn't successful but all are ok.
I moved the kids to the barn and put them in a clean stall and had to drag Respa by the collar to show her they belonged to her.  She wasn't at all interested at first and I'm sure she wondered why I locked her in a stall with these kids.  They were quick to get up and try nursing.  Surprisingly she let them right away.  She doesn't have much milk yet and I'm hoping tomorrow she'll have more.  I've never had a doe be so slow coming in to milk.  The kids seem satisfied though.  Tila's udder looks beautiful.  Respa figured it all out and is now talking to her kids and hovering like all the other moms.  I told her how proud I am of her.  She has been my baby for a year and it's hard to believe she's a mom.  After she had the kids she kept wanting to lick me and not the kids.  These little girls don't have names yet.


Here's a video with shots of all the families. 


Monday, April 15, 2013

Two experiments

I had high hopes for my goat leg prosciutto.  I just knew it would be better than the duck breast prosciutto I made a while back.  I ordered all my curing ingredients and it was kind of exciting.  In January I began marinating it.  It sat in the marinade for 18 days.  Next I rinsed, dried it, then hung it to dry just like I was instructed to do on this website http://curedmeats.blogspot.com/2010/12/violino-di-capra-goat-prosciutto.html  Mine hung for 2 1/2 months.  I thought I would serve it this weekend as an appetizer for James' birthday.

I think I let it dry too long.  It was tough as leather and I was tempted to take it out to the garage and use our mitre saw to cut it.  No, really.  When I finally got a few slices off I was disappointed to see that it tasted so strong of goat (yes, I know it's goat meat).  It tastes kind of like the smell of a buck is what I mean.  I know some of you can understand that.  It's very gamey.  Just now I went back to see what the guy (whose directions I followed) said about his end results.  His had dried 40 days.  This is what he wrote about his.

"The leg is very dry and almost stiff as a board.  The slices are chewy and extremely rich and gamey. This isn't for the feignt of heart! It has a spicyness that hits you in the back of the throat.  The aroma is definite goat. Really good.  It's pretty much like I remember it in Italy."

So maybe it's supposed to taste like mine does.  Maybe I should have let people taste it afterall.  I'm not sure I could have sliced enough of it to share though.  It's that hard.  It's in our refrigerator now.  If anyone would like to give it a taste let me know.   I don't know what to do with it.  It seems a waste to give to the dogs.

The second experiment was much simpler and I got better results, though still not as good as I expected.  They're called Dirty Pirate Popsicles, or Poptails.  Here are the ingredients.
2 1/2 cups Coke
1/3 cup Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
1/3 cup Kahlua
With these ingredients you can't go wrong right?  Well, they were pretty good but not as great as I wanted them to be.  I'm sure it's because of the shape I made them.  They were supposed to look like this.
But mine looked like this.

I went to WalMart to buy popsicle molds but they said it must be too early in the season because they didn't have them yet so I made my own with little plastic cups, craft sticks and packing tape. 

Again, if anyone would like to try them I still have some left in my freezer.  I think I may try making them with rootbeer next time. 


Monday, April 1, 2013

Body found today

For those of you who read my post about the man who jumped off the bridge by our house and might be wondering if they found him - Today they located the body, apparently not far from where he jumped.  I didn't go down to the river bank because it didn't feel right.  There were probably more than 20 cars in our field and I thought some must be the family.  There were at least 3 ambulances and many policemen.  They told us on Saturday they were going to dive again to be sure he wasn't stuck somewhere here.  I guess he was.  It's been 2 1/2 weeks since he jumped.  I'm glad it's over.  I'm sure the family is too.