Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Baby asparagus and Baby Chickens!

After wanting for many years, we finally got an asparagus bed put in. I am really not sure what took us so long, but I am glad its finally done. And we already have baby asparagus popping up!

And, we brought in twelve new baby chickens this year! Its been a couple of years since we had any chicks here. They sure are cute buggers. We have a mix of Barred Rocks, Brown Leghorns, and Black Australorp. I really wanted some Production Reds and White Rocks as well, but the farm store was out of them.

My youngest loved getting to hold the babies when they first came home.

We fixed up an old metal rabbit hutch for them. Its ugly I know, but we are going to paint it. We actually got it almost six years ago. It was on freecycle and we used a full sized van to pick it up. It is incredibly heavy and six feet long. We barely got it wedged in the side door. We tied the side door shut and drove an hour home the back way with it hanging partially out the side door,lol. Hey it worked, its here. It has house rabbits and injured adult chickens in the past. For the last couple of years it has house nothing and we almost got rid of it earlier in the year. But we have learned from past experiences that you never get rid of animal related stuff because the minute you do, you will need it. So instead, we moved it across the yard so that its next to the garage, took out the wire floor in the enclosed half, put in a wood floor, put in a heat lamp (the cord runs through the window into the garage) and installed baby chickens.

This big metal piece slides out so that when they are bigger (or if it ever gets around to actually warming up) they can go out into the wire side too.

The babies installed in their new home. Well their new home until they are bigger and can join the older ladies in the pen.

Oat Bucket Farm Website

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dandelion Jelly

We made the first jars of Dandelion Jelly this year. People look at us like we are crazy when we tell them we make jelly out of Dandelions but then most people spend all of their time trying to kill them rather than seeing them as the food they are. The blooms can be made into jelly, the leaves eaten like salad greens, and their roots can be roasted to make a substitute for coffee. You can even make Dandelion wine. Such a humble little plant and it can be so many things. But then, many of the plants we often label as weeds and do our darndest to kill can be used either as food or medicine. But people have strayed so far from our natural selves that we work to kill off natural growing food and medicine in favor of smooth,completely green lawns that make lawnmower tracks so perfectly that it looks like they have been stenciled on.

The Dandelions in my yard are blooming beautifully, their yellow blooms like little suns beaming up amongst the clover and the little purple flowers that grow wild. And we make jelly from them.

(I wanted to have a few Dandelion blooms in this pic but the Dandelions are lay abouts and apparently they prefer to sleep in since I couldn't find a single one awake and open when I went to take this pic this morning) 

Dandelion Jelly

1 quart packed yellow Dandelion blossoms (take off all of the stems)
1 quart water
1 3/4 oz package pectin
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 1/2 cups sugar
4 to 5 drops yellow food coloring

Boil the flowers in water for three minutes. Then strain through a jelly strainer, keeping the juice and throwing the spent blossoms to the chickens(or compost pile if you don't have chickens). Makes 3 cups of juice or there abouts. Add pectin and lemon juice and bring to a rolling boil. Add sugar and food coloring. Bring to a fast boil and boil for 2 minutes. Pour into clean pint sized jars. Place heated lids and rings on jars and let sit to seal and set up. Makes 4 to 6 half pint jars.

Oat Bucket Farm Website

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Long Time No Blog!

With the busy schedule that March Madness (aka kidding season) brought, I realized that I have failed to blog. 

So much has happened! Each of our three does had a single kid. Tally had a ten pound chocolate buckling who is  already in his new home where he is the Jr herdsire. Hershey gave us a beautiful, chocolate and white doeling. And Lacey, our sweet,wonderful grade LaMancha doe gave us a solid milk chocolate doeling. Lacey, unfortunately was CAE positive and became symptomatic. She was in so much pain that we had to put her down. It was one of the hardest things we have had  to do. We loved her so much. But we have her daughter who was pulled the minute she born into this world since she never received so much as s drop of milk from Lacey, she will be free of the CAE virus. We had to say goodbye to our beloved Lacey, but we have her beautiful daughter to remember her by.

We also brought in a new Jr herdsire and a new doeling!

Without further ado, here is our babies!All registered names are of course pending approval by the ADGA.

This first pic is our new Jr herdsire, Crossroads End's Diamond Rio in the lead, with Crossroads End's Lady Antebellem (the black and white one) and Oat Bucket Farm Lacey's Jewel both following him.

Crossroads End's Lady Antebellem (Bella for short)

Oat Bucket Farm Almond Joy (Joy) in the forefront with Oat Bucket Farm Lacey's Jewel (Jewels) in the background.

Crossroads End's Diamond Rio (Rio)

Bella and Joy

Bella says, "I am just too cute for words!"

Joy says, "I am just as cute."

Jewels says, "I'm cute too and I have jewels (wattles) to boot!" 

Oat Bucket Farm Website