Monday, November 22, 2010

Cleaning Done

Yesterday started off covered in a heavy layer of fog. It was so quiet and pretty doing morning chores in it. The goats, although they despise rain, don't seem mind the fog that much. Perhaps because it lingers in the air, they feel it isn't as dangerous as other forms of wild water (like rain and snow and other water not safely contained in a bucket).

By noon the sun had won the battle with the fog and was shining brightly. It has been pretty chilly here but yesterday it was beautiful. I decided to take advantage of it and spent the afternoon doing the fall cleaning of the chicken house and the bi-monthly cleaning of the buck house. It was a lot of work,especially the chicken house but its always so nice to have it all clean and nice.

Not that the chickens really seem to care, they are still on strike for whatever reason. All but one finished molting over a month ago and yet there are no eggs. In fact up until about a week ago, we were still getting two or three eggs a day. Then they stopped laying. A lady across town from me that normally sells eggs doesn't have any to sell because her hens up and stopped laying to and so did most of her ducks. And I have heard of other people having trouble with their hens laying even when they laid well in years past. I think they decided to all go on strike for some reason unknown to humans and migrating birds are carrying messages of the strike to chickens all over the place.

Okay well, maybe not that but it is rather strange.

On a more humorous note, here is a recipe for rum cake :)

Rum Cake Recipe:

1 or 2 quarts rum
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup dried fruit
baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
lemon juice
brown sugar

Before you start, sample the rum to check for quality. Good, isn't it? Now go ahead.
Select a large mixing bowl, measuring cup, etc. Check the rum again. It must be just right. To be sue rum is of the highest quality, pour one level cup of rum into a glass and drink it as fast as you can. Repeat.
With an electric mixer, beat 1 cup butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add 1 seaspoon of thugar and beat again. Meanwhile, make sue that the rum is of the finest quality. Try another cup. Open second quart if necessary.
Add 2 arge leggs, 2 cups fried druit and beat till high. If druit gets stuck in beaters, just pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the rum again, checking for tonscisticity. Next sift 3 cups of pepper or salt (it really doesn't matter.) Sample the rum again.
Sift + pint of lemon juice. Fold in chopped butter and strained nuts. Add 1 babblespoon of brown thugar, or what ever color you can find. Wix mel. Grease oven and turn cake pan to 350 gredees. Now pour the whole mess into the coven and ake. Check the rum again, and bo to ged.

Oat Bucket Farm Website

Friday, November 12, 2010

Rain again...finally

It hasn't rained here since my last post about it back in October. Everything was so,so dry. Yesterday afternoon, it finally began to rain. A wonderful soaking rain. It lasted all night, all morning, and its afternoon now and still a nice soaking rain. What is left of the fall colors on the trees is so bright against the wet, mostly naked, branches.

Indian summer lasted for a longer than usual time this year, but winter is finally arriving. Blowing in on the blustery north winds and riding iron grey clouds full of cold rain.

Outside its wet and cold. But inside, we are dry and warm. The house is filled with the smell of the ham and beans slowly simmering on the stove. Cats and dogs are curled up sleeping. The sound of the rain on the windows makes it seem warmer and cozier in the house.

This kind of weather and this time of year make me so thankful for my home, for the family members that share it and for this life I live. I love my life.

Oat Bucket Farm Website

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Garden Bedtime

A couple of days ago it finally got down cold enough at night that the garden reached its end. Due to a warmer than usual fall, it lasted longer than in previous years. But even with a warmer,longer fall, all good things must still come to an end.

So the last of the tomatoes, peppers,green beans,and cucumbers were picked and the plants pulled up. The garden lies empty now, its ground settled in to sleep for the winter. We put one last round of jars full of tomatoes through the canner and put up several quart bags of sliced peppers in the freezer. The green beans and cucumbers got ate, and the last of the zipper peas were put away.

Gardening and preserving are officially over for the year. Once we get past the holidays and the dreary days of January and February set in, it will be time to dive into the seed catalogs and begin the planning of next springs gardens.Here is a poem I wrote a while back, I think this is a good time of year to share it.

Season's Change 

On the northern wind
Lies Winter’s distant call
The passing of the seasons
From Summer’s hands to Fall

The sighing of a season
Who’s time is at its end
The little death of winter
Is just around the bend

The green of Summers leaves
Replaced by brilliant color
As the season passes
From one into the other

The bustle of the autumn
Replacing Summer’s lazy pace
Fall aromas ride a breeze
That’s cool upon the face

Soon the leaves will fade
Their bright colors turned to brown
A shifting carpet they will make
When they flutter to the ground

Leaving the branches naked
Through which the winter wind will blow
When the seasons change hands again
And the land is buried beneath the snow.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

A few bits of chicken advice

1. Don’t buy straight run if you don’t want to have to deal with roosters.

2. Think of the strongest most secure pen and coop you can think of and then triple that or more. Otherwise the chickens will fly over/squeeze under/squeeze through and something will eat them.

3. Chickens love scraps so keep a scrap bucket in your kitchen and throw all of your peelings,and cereal bowl left overs and anything else left over after cooking or eating and dump it too them.

4. They will lay where you don’t want them too and ignore the lovely nest boxes you provide them unless they have no other choice.

5. They may be “just chickens” but they still love a drink of warm water on a freezing winter morning.

6. If you find grubs or tomato worms or the like in your garden, throw them in a can and take them to the chickens, they love it. My kids like to catch crickets and grasshoppers and throw them in the chicken pen and then take bets on which hen will triumph over the rest in the race to eat it.

7. Some hens do not like it if you search the nest box with her in it and she will do her best to peck you.

8. Research your breeds so you know what you are getting into.

9. For chicken newbies (especially those who have never had a farm critter), poo on your shoes will not ruin them forever and a little poo on the egg won’t kill you-unless its that awful toxic poo excreted by those unfortunate hens at factory egg farms.