Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday morning blog hopping

I am bored, so I am blog hopping. I really should hook up the laptop and download pictures from school this past weekend, but not now...

This is an interesting blog and I agree with filling the pantry ahead of time with sale items. Some of our items next year, like peas and beans and anything I can dehydrate or can, will be in our pantry. But for now...

I love her pantry! We use closet maid in the upstairs pantry and gondola style shelving downstairs for  the canned items. (The shelving came from the grocery store my husband works for when Hannaford Brothers bought the business and stripped the store back to the bones and refilled it.)

This blog is chuck full of information! We have ordered our own 1/2 grass fed Angus at $4/lb prefrozen. My husband is a little anxious about the price, but I think it is going to be more than worth it in the end. When the cow/steer comes, then we will see if we need a 2nd freezer for the 2 lambs.

And, this is a place I've bookmarked to return to next spring for recipes for the butternut and quinoa I plan to grow.

Tomatoes. Store bought beauties vs. farm raised heirlooms which are often 'ugly'

Not bad for a 4x8 garden. Wonder what I can do in hoophouse 10x30?
And how to do a 4x8 garden.


Then on over to the sister's blog for a look at fermented foods.
 I like that this company is MADE IN NH! 

More recipes from Cooking Traditional Foods.

I can't wait to get next year's garden in to make some of the recipes here! Lots of soup will be in next year's pantries! From the Nourished Living Network

And, as someone who has never fermented anything on purpose, this is an interesting blog post.

Not something I think I'll do, but others may find this interesting.

Offal & Odd Bits Challenge 

From the above blog, something I should go do now.

OK. It is no longer morning and I've had enough blog hopping for now. Off to find my seeds and try the above.




Call me the crazy chicken lady!

Friday afternoon while I was at school (there will be a separate post about that) Jerry picked me up 10 more hens from our neighbor down the road. Every year he buys new hens and replaces the 'old' hens. The girls we picked up from him were born May 2011. The hens I picked up last month we born March 2011, as were my own girls.
So, this years chicken investment is $30 for 25 mixed (Ameracauna, Easter Eggers and NH Reds) and $50 for 25 that I need to write down the breed he told me... So, $80 for 50 new hens. This morning when I went out to let out the flock there were already 15 eggs. At $2.50/dozen they made me $3.13. They will pay for themselves in less than 2 weeks with the 2+ dozen a day that they are laying.
My girls are molting, these are not. If we can get them to stay on a rotating molting schedule, I will be happy. I know they need to molt, but no eggs makes me and my customers up happy. Today, I am happy to report there are 6 dozen eggs in the fridge at the top of the driveway and so far, 4 dozen on the table in the house.
(I will not be leaving eggs in the fridge overnight Tuesday or Wednesday nights. If you need eggs those two nights, you will have to come down the hill to the farm!)

So. If my numbers are correct... I am now owned by one rooster and 80 hens.

I am happy to be the sheep farmer with the beautiful mixed flock of chickens! TTFN   

And, on a side note. While perusing others blogs this morning I came upon this. It is not something I can try until next spring, but maybe this blog post from The Chicken Chick will help someone else now.

Sandy. Hurricane or severe weather?

We spent a fair part of yesterday afternoon retying tarps on the hay, putting away the skirting table and resecuring the tarp on the horse trailer, and picking up & putting away anything that could become a projectile. Now, we pray that the 'plastic' roof on the greenhouse holds and that we don't lose any tree branches on the wires, or our electricity.

I am returning to work tomorrow, so I am looking forward to a fun filled day..

From WMUR Channel 9 news- 


High Wind Warning:

Issued at: 9:20 am EDT on October 29, 2012, expires at: 8:00 AM EDT on October 30, 2012

...High Wind Warning remains in effect from 2 PM this afternoon to 8 am EDT Tuesday...

winds...east increasing to 30 to 40 mph with gusts up to 60 mph.

Timing...the strongest winds will begin this afternoon lasting into the evening.

Impacts...widespread power outages are possible from downed trees and power lines. Precautionary/preparedness actions... A High Wind Warning means a hazardous wind event is expected or occurring. Sustained wind speeds of at least 40 mph or gusts of 58 mph or more can lead to downed trees...power outages...and structural damage. During extended power outages one of the greatest hazards is the improper use of well as alternate heating and cooking sources...that result in Carbon monoxide poisoning. Schwibs

Read more:

Sandy could bring winds of up to 60 mph and dump 2 and 4 inches of rain to parts of the Granite State -- likely starting Monday, Gov. John Lynch's office said.
"While the exact path and severity of the storm remain uncertain, it is clear New Hampshire will experience a significant weather event and I urge everyone to be prepared," Lynch said.

So, from reading all of this, I am glad I am home for the day. Tomorrow could be an adventure returning to work for the first day since Sept. 10th. Despite surgery only 19 days prior to work, I am doing incredibly well. I will return to work 1 day a week and see how I do.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

My next project!

I really want to build a solar dehydrator for the farm next year. I am hoping to have a very good bounty from my garden next year. 1/2 can be dried for soups, stews or casseroles, and  Jerry will can or freeze the other 1/2. The only canning I do is jellies or jams. Otherwise I leave the canning to him as he does a great job!

Seed saving

This was brought up on Face Book this morning. I've been saving and planting, with success, tomato seeds as well as pepper, squash and flower seeds for long time. This next year we are growing a number of varieties of drying beans. This website explains well how to dry the beans to use for home use. We will reuse some of the beans the following year in the next garden. It is easier to do this when they are heirloom and not hybrid. We've discovered with some hybrid tomatoes that the plants grown the following year produce much smaller tomatoes, almost like a cherry tomato instead of a beefsteak. But, we will continue to do this to save money that can go elsewhere.

Hybrid of Sandy, winter storm threatens East Coast

This was shared by a friend on Face Book. All the more reason to get my yard ready for winter!!

WASHINGTON (AP) — Government forecasters say a big storm that they're calling "Frankenstorm" is likely to blast most of the U.S. East Coast next week.
The storm is an unusual mix of a hurricane and a winter storm. The worst of it could be focused around New York City and New Jersey.
Forecasters on Thursday said there's a 90 percent chance that the East will get steady gale-force winds, flooding, heavy rain and maybe snow starting Sunday and stretching past Wednesday.
The hurricane part of the storm is likely to come ashore somewhere in New Jersey on Tuesday morning.
NOAA forecaster Jim Cisco said the storm is so massive that the effects will be felt along the entire coast from Florida to Maine and inland to Ohio. 


Woo Hoo!!!

They are out and I can return to normal life. Well, as normal as they will let me! It may take another 6 months to 2 years for them to be completely healed, but I can go back to work!!

He told me I am so rough on my hands that that is why I am rebounding so quickly. No PT required as I am a farmer that does plenty of hand PT. That means I can go clean out my gardens and put them to bed for the winter. I can get my hoop houses up for the winter crops and lettuces. I need to go strip the chicken house and rebed it for winter. The sheep are set, most of the yard is set. A few dozen more fleeces to skirt and a horse trailer to empty, then the trailer can be parked for winter. Most of that won't get done until next week as I have class Friday and Saturday, and Jerry shears on Sunday. Oh that reminds me...He has 6 more of our sheep to shear!

That means as soon as the outside is ready for winter that I can start picking and carding the last 2 years worth of washed fleece!! I can't wait!

So, I am off to clean my chickens barn! 



The stitches come out at 9:30 today and I can't wait. They itch, they pull, they hurt! I can NOT wait to scrub the dead skin off and start applying the lanolin with vitamin E lotion and the goat milk lotion to smooth them back out. AND to be able to start exercising the thumbs so that I can get back to work, both on the farm and at the Post Office. There is a picker and carding machine calling my name....


Friday, October 19, 2012

OK. I'll admit it. We are back at 60 hens....But, we are back to 2 dozen eggs a day!

This is what a lot of our hens are doing right now....

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A day on the farm

All is quiet here on the farm. Yesterday we picked up 15 1 1/2 year old chickens that are laying like gang busters. I am not sure what breed/cross breed they are. I'll have to ask again. Friendly things. They've never free ranged/ pasture ranged. They had a house and a small yard.

 Ewenice, the fat Romney, in front. Dolores behind her. Lizzie below. And the new chickens.

 Just hanging out.
 One of my leghorns has finally laid again. It's been weeks, and they don't appear to be molting.
One of our Easter Eggers laying a blue/green egg.

 We are no longer washing eggs. That way we don't have to keep the storage fridge at 40 degrees.
As you can see from our labeling, we are letting people know. The dirtiest ones are washed and kept here.
The others are just from dirty feet coming in to lay next to the first egg(s).

 One of the Easter Eggers with one of my sex link's eggs.
Both extra large plus.

 Don't you just love the color?
Look inside the EE egg. It is the same color in as out.

 Pearl Blue Bantam.
 4 of our different chickens.
 2 of the newest birds.
 Little hen, now 5 1/2 months old. Already as big as her mother.

Well, the tomatoes did not get covered and the top ones froze. But, I was able to pick a lot that were nearer to the bottom.

Surgery went well. They decided to knock me out cold, instead of using 'twilight' which was fine by me. I was so hungry by the time they got me in (an hour late) that I was getting a headache. The anesthesiologist gave me Tramadol in my IV to counter act the pain, as well as the nurse pumping in the IV fluid to get me re-hydrated.             

I was cut on the inside of both thumbs and the right carpal tunnel.
 I went from this after surgery, to the braces after 2 days.

 The purple marker is where I was cut.
All in all, I am doing quite well 1 week later.
Stitches come out on the 29th.
We will see how soon I can go back to work after that!! 

Friday, October 12, 2012

It is raining again and they are calling for a freeze warning. Guess we better cover those tomatoes!

Surgery today on my right carpal tunnel and the trigger finger in both thumbs. I so can't wait!! Been busy here trying to get things done before surgery. I know I'll be down a couple of days, so that should give me a chance to get the blogs updated...

Monday, October 01, 2012

VT Sheep & Wool Festival

Despite it raining all weekend, we had a wonderful festival. We sold lots of $10 fleeces and lots of our fleeces that I marked 20% off. We will have the same sale this next weekend at Wool Arts Tour. Roving sold well also. 
Lots of people shopping carefully as none of us know what will happen after the November election... Even I only bought a $4 maple ice cream cone, and a $35 basket. Sales were not outstanding, nor were they worse than last year. 
Met a lot of new people and saw ~3/4 of our regulars. I know it was a hardship for others to come 2 hours or more due to gas prices. But!! Wool Arts Tour is coming up this weekend. Come see us in Deering and get yourself a deal on fleeces! We have Mohair, including Natural Colored kid and yearling fleeces. We have lots of Icelandic from our customer in the White Mountains as well.


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