Monday, September 24, 2012


Every year we plant several hills of pumpkins so that we can sell them in the fall.  We put the first ones out about ten days ago and so far have sold enough to make next year's seed money for the entire vegetable garden.  The white ones are catching on; in fact, we seem to be selling more white ones than orange ones this year.

We added small gourds this year also.

We sometimes put squash out also, but this year we didn't get many.

 We have the pumpkins out by the road and run this on the honor system.  In the four or five years we've been doing this, we've only had one "incident".  Last year someone took between 15 and 20 pumpkins without paying for them, and we later found them smashed along the road.  For the most part, people around here are very honest, so we will continue to operate it the same way.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Yesterday's Results

Here are a few pictures to show you what we accomplished yesterday. 

These are the results of my bread baking with freshly ground flour from wheat berries.  The loaves turned out beautifully.

And the bread tastes good too.  I wasn't able to cut a piece while the bread was still warm, so the butter didn't melt.  But it is still wonderful.  As a means of eating healthier (and saving money), I hope to continue to make my own bread from now on instead of buying from the store.

In other kitchen news, the weather forecast for this past Monday night was temps near freezing, so on Monday afternoon, we picked tomatoes and peppers.  And on Tuesday morning most of the garden plants succumbed to frost.  Yesterday we canned tomato juice.

Yes, this is all tomato juice.  The jars on the left are from a "peach" type tomato, those in the middle are from "Green Zebra" tomatoes, and the right ones are from "Amish Paste" and "German Red Strawberry" tomatoes. 
There are still a few ripe tomatoes to take care of; I'll be making salsa from them this weekend.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Grinding Grain

I've been wanting to get a grain mill for some time and have checked on a few different ones.  What I discovered a couple of weeks ago is that a grain mill is one of the attachments for a KitchenAid stand mixer.  I have owned the mixer for at least 10-12 years and never realized that; possibly because I was never interested before.

So, I ordered one, and it came at the end of last week. 

While my friend from up north was here, we ground a bit of wheat berries and made pancakes.  They were very good.  Today I'm making bread with flour I ground a few hours ago.

This grain mill may not be as powerful as some of the more expensive ones, but so far it seems to do just fine.  What we did discover, though, is that it works much easier and faster to put the grain through on "coarse" first, then put it through again on "fine".  That way it takes just a few minutes to do enough for a few loaves of bread.

I have some hard white wheat berries which work well for yeasted breads.  I believe I read that the soft winter wheat is best for non-yeasted baking.  I'll have to do a bit more research on that because I'm definitely interested in grinding grain for other baked goods as well.

You just can't believe how excited I am about this purchase!  One of the best buys I've made in a long time.

Monday, September 17, 2012

New Additions

Good morning!

We had a great weekend; our dear friends from up north were visiting, and we had such a good time while they were here.  We only get to see them approximately every month and a half because we live about six hours apart.  Sometimes we go to their place, and sometimes they come here.

Yesterday we added a couple of pigs to our place.  They are a bit smaller than feeder size, but will still work out well as future meat on the table.

Right now they are just really cute. 

They are currently in a neighbor's barn until we get the electric fencing set up.  Then they'll have fun rooting around in the area adjacent to the vegetable garden, and once pumpkin season is over, we'll let them into the pumpkin patch to enjoy the leftover pumpkins.  Just over 35 years ago, we had a few pigs when we lived on a different farm.  Pigs are wonderful animals, very smart and also very clean--contrary to many people's belief. 

So, we are very excited to be in the pig "business" again.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


One day last week, a storm was headed towards us.  I was so excited that we might be getting some much needed rain.  The clouds were so beautiful that I just had to get outside to take a few pictures.

Looking straight up; at first there were just lighter-colored clouds.

Then darker clouds worked their way from the west.

A few minutes later the sky started getting quite dark as the storm clouds moved in.

I really like looking at clouds of all kinds, and I love thunderstorms (if I'm inside, that is).

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Today remembering 9/11/2001 and all those who lost their lives in the horrendous attacks on our citizens and our country.  May we never forget.

Also thinking of the military: those who have died over the past 11 years and those who are now or have been deployed in the defense of our country since the attacks in 2001.

Monday, September 10, 2012


I don't think I've posted before about the bison.  We had a few acres that weren't being used, so about a year ago a neighbor inquired about working out a deal with us to put some bison on that land.  He  put up a good fence around it in exchange for being able to put his animals there.

He has it divided into three pastures, so he can rotate the bison as the growth in each pasture gets eaten down.  There is also a small creek here, so they have water to drink.

For a while after he put them here, we would see cars slow down to look.  Occasionally, someone would drive up to the house to ask if they could go look at the bison or else just pull into the driveway and take pictures.  After a year, however, most people driving by have seen them, so there doesn't seem to be as much interest as there was previously.  Bison aren't unheard of in this area, but not many people have them, so they are a bit of a novelty.

I think we got a good deal out of this--a good sturdy fence around that part of our land plus we get to watch the bison.  I enjoy going out by the fence to watch them up close or just looking at them from the house.  Since we only have chickens right now, it's nice to see other animals on this farm and the land being used.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Unwelcome Visitor

Good morning!  Yesterday I was looking out the window over my kitchen sink and watching a hummingbird try to get to these morning glories.  I wanted to get a picture of her, but she kept backing away. 

At first I couldn't figure out why because usually the hummingbirds love these flowers.  Upon closer inspection, I saw the reason.  If you look closely, you can see that the web is pretty big.

If you know me, you know there are two things in particular that I really dislike:  snakes and spiders.  Yes, yes, most spiders are good to have around.  However, I don't want them that close to the house.  No, I didn't kill it; I got it into a plastic container, put the cover on, then released it into the woods behind our house.  It may not like its new location, but I'm sure it will do fine.  And I'm much happier having it farther from the house.

Saturday, September 1, 2012


Hi!  Just a quick post to tell you about the eggs.

A few posts ago I told you about our chickens.  They are Cornish Cross and are generally raised commercially for meat only--in those huge chicken barns.  We started with 11 earlier this summer (which turned out to be 7 roosters and only 4 hens), had 6 of the roosters butchered a month ago, and decided to keep the 4 hens (and one rooster) to see if the hens would eventually lay eggs. 
Well, guess what?  Yesterday we found one egg and this morning another one. 

The egg on the right is a normal sized egg, so these are quite a bit smaller.  If the hens keep laying, the eggs will get bigger.  But we are very excited just to be getting eggs, since we were not sure we would get any at all.

We also have blackberries ripening.  I just picked these this morning and will be eating them before the day is over.  Not many, but it's a start.  Yum!!