Sunday, October 26, 2014

Apple Butter Festival on the Farm

This past weekend we made 30 gallons of apple butter. We were fortunate enough to have beautiful weather and many friends to share such a wonderful event. There was a lot of stirring going on!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Summer Time Brings New Crias, Critters and Crafts

We sure have been busy on the farm this summer. In late June we welcomed two new crias to the farm.

As of yet I have not named either cria. I am still working on names for them. On June 22 this little guy was born.

On July 2 this little girl was born. Now they can play together and run around. She is a bit unsteady on her legs yet but will be racing around soon.

We added 5 more ducks to help keep our supply of eggs going. Three of the new ducks have joined the flock and  two remain up at the barn. Hopefully they will acclimate soon to their new surroundings. They are pictured here in front of the chicken coop that we just finished adding some trim pieces to the shutters.

Finally I sent out last year's fiber harvest to be made into yarn. Here are some of the newest skeins that just arrived. All the fiber is grown on our farm. I sent out two Michigan mills to be processed. I am so pleased with the results. Each skein is between 4.4-6.0 oz. 250 yards, 3 ply worsted. $28.00 a skein.
100% Michigan Made

From left to right: Beige skein is fiber from my alpacas Snowy Kiss (fawn) and Royal Rosa (White). They are both full of luster and very soft. The brown skein is actually dark rose gray from IVF Red Hot Fiesta and sire to several of my alpacas. The black skein is really a true black. Yana, my yearling alpaca, shared her fiber for this beautiful hank. You can see the luster in the photo. It is just plain gorgeous. I only have three of these skeins and they weigh in at around 6.0 oz each. Lovely!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Ultimate Omelette

A duck egg omelette with foraged garlic mustard.

First you crack a few duck eggs in a bowl.                   Add a bit of 1/2  & 1/2 , salt, pepper.

 Chop a bit of foraged, young garlic mustard to add to the eggs. 

 Chop 1/2 a tomato into small pieces.

 Dice up a bit of red onion.

Put 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick skillet and fry until soft. 

 Pour egg mixture into the skillet. Sorry for the blurred photo. I was trying to take the pic and pour.

Let the egg mixture cook at minute until the edges look done. Then using your spatula, push the egg mixture back and allow the liquid to pool on the bottom of the skillet to cook. I use this method because I do not like any uncooked egg.

Now to flip it! Oops. It folded in half. I usually can successfully flip it. Okay, no worries.

And now to add cheese. Your choice. I used Parmesan.

 Et Voila! Your duck egg omelette with foraged garlic mustard! Yum!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Chicken First Aid

What to do when your chicken has had a mishap and her toe is bleeding....

I found my Phoenix yesterday minus one claw and bleeding. I put some straw in a cat carrier and brought her up to the mudroom. There I administered first aid.
Here she is waiting patiently for me to gather my supplies.

 I gathered up my supplies. For a toe injury I needed cotton balls, iodine, blood stop powder, a bit of liquid B12, and wound tape. Not shown in this photo is a bit of tuna for her after I bandaged her up!

Her middle claw is missing.
 First I gently cleaned the toe with warm water. Then I put some iodine on a cotton ball and cleaned the wound. Thankfully she was not bleeding so I did not need the blood stop. It is good to keep a jar on hand just in case. I put some iodine on a clean cotton ball and placed it on her toe. I then wrapped the tape around her toe and up her leg making sure that her other toes could bend and move about.
All wrapped up and clean.
She was such a good patient. I put her back in her crate and gave her a small amount of vitamin B12 mixed in with some canned tuna as a treat. She will be back with her mates in a few days.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Photos from the farm

Photos from around the farm the past two weeks. Enjoy!!
Phoenix Lavender Rooster, Phoenix Hens, Silkies

Snow bound

More Snow

Line Walking

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Making my own laundry detergent

The holidays are over and I just got back from a warm and sunny vacation only to be greeted by sub zero degree weather. Whether I am too cold to be motivated or still recovering from my trip that "to do" list sitting on my calender just isn't going to happen.  Instead I decided to make my own laundry detergent because it sounded like a fun project and I happen to have had all the ingredients in my laundry room.

Here is what you need to make your own detergent:

2 bars of ivory soap, grated
1 cup of Borax
1 cup of Washing Soda
optional-a couple of drops of essential oil in lavender or which ever floral scent you prefer.

I grated the bars in a glass bowl. Be careful as the soap gets smaller not grate you fingers by accident. I almost did this because I was watching Season 4, episode 1 of Downton Abbey while grating.
Grating, grating and more grating

Borax and Washing Soda

Final Product

I added the Borax and Washing Soda. I stirred it with a plastic spoon until the mixture was completely combined. I then added about 5 drops of lavender essential oil. Voila! I have my detergent. I store mine in a glass jar with a tight lid. Use 2-3 tablespoons per load.

This detergent is perfectly safe for your washing machine (including HE washers), septic tank etc.

If you don't have all the ingredients on hand you can find washing soda, borax and the ivory bars at your local grocery store in the laundry section. They are not expensive to purchase. It does save you money in the long run and gives you an excuse to sit down and watch Downton Abbey!