Friday, August 29, 2008

Haying Time

A couple weeks ago they started haying our back field. The end of July and a good part of August it seems as though it rained every day here in maine. The farmer was not able to hay because of the wet weather so harvest came late, I question the quality of the hay. As part of the deal when we bought this place we are to allow the previous owner (well..his farmer friend) to hay the field for 5 years, this is year #2... 3 to go. I tried to get him to agree on a 3 year deal but he did not go for it and I was willing to do anything to get this place.

The results were 45 round bales. Last year the going price around here was $60/bale.

I think they made out ok, that calculates out to $2,700. That is ok because I used those figures to put our land into farm land and it saved us about $1,000 on our taxes.

We kept two bales, not sure that is good enough for my goats to eat but it will make great bedding for the critters.

Davie Crockett?

My brother in-law built this door, isn't is sweet? Maybe I can get my Maine Man to build me one. I'll give credits to farm mom for helping me pick out a screen name for John, don't ya like it?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Glamour Shots

Sunday night we go to a family BBQ for my father-in-laws 81st birthday, post to follow. Leah asks to take the camera to get a few photos. I agree and remind her to be extra careful with Momma's camera and to be sure and take lots of photos of people, not things. She is infamous for taking pictures of objects which can be very entertaining but sometimes annoying. She returns the camera to me and I just happen to peek through at the pictures and this is what I find.

This might have been something I did at 16 not 6.
What are we in for?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sprouts & Taters

I finally scooted over to Johnny's to buy a bioset as seen on Angie's blog Children in the Corn. It works great for sprouts, edibles in 3 days. I tried the canning jar method in the past and the results were some stinky rotted seeds, not pretty!
This was about $15, I received a slight discount because it did not have a box. I sprouted alfalfa, broccoli (esp for spouting), and mung beans. I like the alfalfa the best and ate them mostly on salads but the mung beans ended up in the compost pile. Not quite sure how to prepare/eat them, I have heard in rice? Any suggestions sprout eaters?
John harvested our potatoes, this was the best batch yet. We have approx 3 picking baskets full. Is one basket considered a bushel?
So I need a screen name for this hard working farm man. Although John is a good name I need something a little spicier, don't you think? Ree at The Pioneer Woman
refers to her hard working husband as Marlboro Man, check out her blog if you have not yet. It is a hoot. They live on a working cattle ranch, she home schools, she is a great photographer, and she is entertaining!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Omnivore's Dilemma

Has anyone read this book? I have just started and so far it is amazing, here is a book review! If it is what I think it is I would love to pass it on with some type of drawing in hopes to get it back in the end. Not sure how to do it but this is what I'm thinking..... Make a post to see who is interested (not this one) in reading and have it passed along from person to person in order of comments received until the final person returns it back to me. Each person has one month in hopes that is enough time. What do you think? Suggestions Welcome!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Doing Not Thinking Challenge

I am participating in a challenge hosted by Two Frog Home

What is the Doing Not Thinking Challenge?
This is a challenge for all of us who make plans but don’t accomplish for whatever reason. It’s for those of us who spend a lot of time thinking and not enough acting and doing. It’s not a competition to see who can accomplish their goals in the shortest amount of time, or about the size of the goal, but rather a network of dreamers joined together to offer support and encouragement. We may find that as we put our dreams into action that some are just not reasonable at this point in time and that’s ok - its the going after it that’s important for this challenge. This will be a longish term challenge, we won’t post the final update until December 15, 2008. This doesn’t mean that you must be finished with your dream / goal by December 15th, it just gives us a time frame to work with in, some dreams may take years to fully accomplish. This challenge isn’t specifically about accomplishment, its more about taking action towards realizing your dreams.
(above material taken from Two Frog Home's blog)

Please go to her blog if you want to join along. Every Monday you must update on your blog or her blog to see where your at.

From reading this blog and those of you who know me know I'm not a person who thinks about doing for very long before acting . But there is one thing in my life I've been thinking about more than doing and that is working out and shedding a few extra pounds from last winter. For over 10 years I have been a faithful exerciser and have been able to eat whatever within reason while maintaining my waistline. However, this last year I have been a complete yo yo. Hardcore one week and nothing the next two and most recently I've been a complete slacker. My jeans are a little snug, last years shorts aren't cutting it and my bikini had very little use this summer. So here is a chance to step it up a notch and get to where I feel comfortable.
So my goal is to loose 5 lbs by my December goal. I will do a weigh in but I will not focus on that number too much more as to my activities running, weights. My start date is August 27th, the day the kids return to school . Stay tuned!


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I have been wanting to do this project for a while now and today it finally happened. I usually prefer liquid laundry detergent but since I had the makings to do both I made both. These are the only three ingredients you need.
costs $1.09/bar

costs approximately $3.00/box

costs approximately $3.00/box

Dry Laundry Detergent:

Grate 1 bar of Fels Naptha soap (I used my food processor)
Mix 1 cup of grated soap with 1/2 cup of borax and 1/2 cup of washing soap
Store in plastic container. Use 1Tablespoon for a light load and 2 Tablespoons for a heavy load.

Liquid Laundry Detergent:

There were a few more steps involved in this process but it only took a few more minutes to make.
1/3 bar of grated Fels Naptha soap ( I used what I had left from making recipe above, it was close enough)
1/2 cup of washing soda
1/2 cup of borax

Heat 6 cups water in sauce pan, add grated bar soap. After soap is melted add remaining ingredients. In a pail pour 4 cups of hot water then add soap mixture followed by 1 gallon & 6 cups of water. Stir and let sit for 24 hours.
The end results are a watery gel. Use 1/2 cup per load.
(I have read that some people double the amount of washing soda and borax and I did that on my second batch. I have also read that this recipe can be used in a front loader, it is not sudsy.)

The dry soap recipe I came across on several sites but the below liquid recipe I found on this site

The author suggests adding 1/2 - 1 oz of essential oil if you want it scented. I may pick some up this week and add to because I do like smelly stuff. On the site there is a breakdown of costs for the soap, she estimates the cost at 0.1 cent/load. A bit cheaper then Tide.
I'll let you know how it works and which I like better!
Happy Weekend to All!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Manic Moments

I joke about being a little manic but a few of my actions this week will prove that I am. Manic move #1 - So I started baking bread and my family really enjoys it so the other day while at the natural food store I impulsively buy a 50lb bag of flour....yikes what to do with all that flour now!
I have read to store it in gallon glass jars but then I would have to purchase and that would kind of defeat the "good deal" I thought I got by purchasing 50lbs. I have also heard to put it in plastic bags and freeze.
What do you all do when or if you've ever bought such a large quantity of flour? I think I have just bought myself a whole lot more time in the kitchen, yikes! HELP!!

Manic move #2- The kids and I drove over to a local berry stand to pick up some berries for my mother-in-law. I bought 10lbs of blueberries for her and 10lbs for us. I drive off, have a panic sensation that I should have bought 20lbs for myself, I turn around and get 10lbs more. It takes me literally 2 days to process 20lbs of freakin blueberries, what was I thinking?
I froze most of it, gave a little away, sold a little at the farm stand and made this.

Blueberry-Poppy Seed Brunch Cake


  1. 2/3 cup sugar
  2. 1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
  3. 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1 1/2 cups Pillsbury BEST(R) All Purpose or Unbleached Flour
  6. 2 tablespoons poppy seed
  7. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  9. 1/2 cup sour cream
  10. 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed, drained on paper towels
  11. 1/3 cup sugar
  12. 2 teaspoons Pillsbury BEST(R) All Purpose or Unbleached Flour
  13. 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  14. 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  15. 1 teaspoon milk, or as needed

Cooking Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour bottom and sides of 9 or 10-inch springform pan. In large bowl, combine 2/3 cup sugar and margarine; beat until light and fluffy. Add lemon peel and egg; beat 2 minutes at medium speed.
  2. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. In medium bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour, poppy seed, baking soda and salt; mix well. Add to margarine mixture alternately with sour cream, beating until well combined. Spread batter over bottom and 1 inch up sides of greased and floured pan, making sure batter on sides is 1/4 inch thick.
  3. In another medium bowl, combine all filling ingredients; mix well. Spoon over batter.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 to 55 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Cool 10 minutes; remove sides of pan.
  5. In small bowl, blend powdered sugar and enough milk for desired drizzling consistency. Drizzle over warm cake. Serve warm or cool.

Yield: 8 servings

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A First for Everything

Another first. I dried some zucchini with my dehydrator. I would like to try experiment with a few other vegetables such as green peppers, onions, and tomatoes. Anyone have any advice, do you or have you dried vegetables. What was your process and how did you utilize your goods. As you hear lots about sun dried tomatoes I'd have to say that is where most of my interest is.
First year growing garlic. We have about 3 times the above and it is amazing. How do you all store it? And the trick to braiding it? I read up on it a bit but still didn't quite get it.

Farm stand update: We made $61 our first week. Doesn't sound like much but it is a start. What we've observed so far. Best sellers, corn, tomatoes, eggs, and cukes. Zucchini, garlic, and yellow squash we've sold very little of.

I will end this post with a recipe for some kick a@! cake I made John for his birthday. He requested chocolate cake with PB frosting and that is what he got. Homemade at that, in previous years it would have come straight from the box with a jar of frosting. You do what you see. I do not ever remember my Mom making cake from scratch so why would I?
We started eating this at 5:30 am and it was gone by 8 that night. We celebrate John's b-day early before I headed to work. I usually do not over eat but I did with this cake. A must make for anyones upcoming b-day!

The Perfect Present Buttermilk Chocolate Cake Recipe
2 Cups Flour
  1. Chocolate Recipe - Hershey's Cocoa image
    Preheat Oven to 300° F
    (This is not a typo! This is a slow bake chocolate cake recipe.)
  2. Use Crisco Shortening to lightly grease and flour the
    9 x 13 in. Baking Dish. (It's a one layer chocolate cake!)
  3. Place all the ingredients on the left into a mixing bowl.
  4. Mix at medium or medium high speed until all ingredients are blended and smooth.
  5. Pour into greased and floured baking dish
  6. Bake for 1 hr.
  7. Test by sticking with knife. If it comes out clean, it's done!
  8. Allow to cool.
Scroll down this page for the simple Recommended White Vanilla Icing...
2 Cups Sugar
¾ Cup Hershey's Cocoa
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
2 Eggs (I use large eggs)
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Buttermilk

Remember that you can freeze buttermilk so you have to make another buttermilk chocolate cake recipe.

1 Cup Mazola Oil
1 ½ Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Boiling Water

borrowed from:

(I cooked it for 50minutes and it came out perfect, my stove seems to over cook a bit)



  1. Cream butter and peanut butter together.
  2. Add half the powdered sugar and blend.
  3. Blend in milk and vanilla.
  4. Add remaining powdered sugar.
  5. Stir until smooth and well blended.
frosting recipe borrowed from

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Two legged, Four legged, and lots of legs

Isn't she sweet? Couldn't you just kiss her!
Tomato horn worm causing havoc in the garden. The chickens thought he was some tasty.
I know there is more in the garden but I've yet to spot them, only their poo.
Any ideas on getting rid of them?

We've had a blast this summer having campfires, frogging, gardening, spending time with friends and family, camping, and just staying home with all of the critters but fall is creeping upon us. As excited as I was to greet summer I am looking forward to the fresh crisp fall days. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention school? 2 1/2 weeks...whose counting? I know in previous posts I have mentioned and considered homeschooling but in all honesty I do not have the patience for it! When the kids are in school I LOVE my time to go to the gym, shop without assistance, have a clean house for greater than 1 hour, and mostly the silence but I always look forward to picking them up at 2:50. I have the utmost respect for those of you who do and for all the teachers.
Looking forward to getting back into the routine of rising at 6am and bedtime of 7pm
(bedtime for them..not me!)

The goats finally have a pen in the barn. They have been sleeping in my mud room and the second they hear you up they were blatting away. This is a much better set up for the winter months. To the right of their pen is a door out into the field so eventually we will have something set up there so they can go right out. I'd like them to go out this winter when it is not too cold. We have considered getting a solar fence for them (and for cattle...maybe next year) but I have heard mixed reviews on them for goats. Right now they have a fenced area that is approx 10 x 10.

Come on, just one little kiss

Friday, August 8, 2008

Bread Making 101

Not the best of pictures but you get the idea. Growing up and up until recently bread as I knew it was sliced and bought in a store. So I decided it was time to make an attempt at bread making. I had made bread a few times in the past with my bread machine using a special bread machine mix, I was never impressed. So I tried two methods this time and only had sucess with the above loaf. I tried a traditional white bread and the above loaf which is Oatmeal Bread. It was delicious and the whole family enjoyed. The white bread I attempted to knead myself and let rise on a cool drizzly day. You know it, it didn't rise until the next day. The oatmeal bread I cheated a little and used my bread machine for a little assistance. I first put the milk and butter in the pan then the dry goods mixed except the yeast then I made a small area in the middle of that and added the yeast and I used the "dough" cycle on the machine. It mixed, kneaded and started the rising cycle. I took it out onto an oil counter, shaped it into a loaf and let it rise for 1 - 1 1/2 in the bread pan and then cooked it in a preheated oven 350 degress for approximately 35 minutes. Viola, my first successful loaf of bread!
Here is the recipe. It was found on the back of a package of King Arthur flour.

3 cups King Arthur Unbleached bread flour
1 cup rolled oats (old-fashioned oats)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons brown sugar or honey
2 teaspoons instant yeast OR 1 packet active dry yeast
(in case you decide to cheat a bit like me)
1 1/4 cups of lukewarm milk
3/4 cup raisins or currants (optional)

(If you use active dry yeast, dissolve in the milk before combining additional ingredients)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


You might be a redneck if your neighbors buy you a pig for your birthday!
(Thanks Gary & Dawn)

Happy Birthday John, We love you!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Bad and Good Eggs!

This morning I went out to tend the farm stand and there I find our "Honesty Policy" jar empty and on the ground and barely a vegetable left on the stand. I always take the money in at night but last night I did not. Details for that to follow. I usually keep $5.00 in the jar and whatever we had made that night. Not the money that makes me mad it is the principle! I put that stand up as a way to get rid of excess veggies, provide local produce to my community, teach the kids about making money, and of course to make a little pocket change. Lesson learned today by Luke and Leah. There are lots of dishonest thieves in this world! I was so steaming mad I moved it right in front of the house where it is easy to see and I will wheel it in every night. You should have seen me putting the post in. On a normal day I probably would not have had the strength to get it so deep but get me mad and watch out!

Why I did not pick up my money jar. I was sick! I brought the kids and the neighboors boy to the movies to see WALL-E and believe it or not I got motion sickness. I was so close to loosing my cookies I almost had to leave the theater. I have only had that happen one other time at the movies and it was in an amphitheater. Regardless, I like the movie. If you haven't seen it it is about how poorly we humans treat the earth, it makes fun of big box stores and us as humans dependence of others. I would like to watch again when it comes out on disk because I did have to close my eyes a bit on the second half.

Below is the pickled egg recipe. John ate all the ones I made. He said best ones yet. It was a first for making them with our own farm eggs, that was the key!

Off to freeze some beans, attempt to make some bread, and if time allows make some mustard pickles. Finally caught up on responding to my comments on the last 6 or so posts, I will try and do better with that, sorry! :)



  1. Put the peeled hardboiled eggs in the large jar.
  2. Boil the remaining ingredients together for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour over the eggs in the jar.
  4. Cover; leave on counter overnight.
  5. Keeps in refrigerator for weeks, in theory.
  6. In reality, if you love pickled eggs, these will disappear.
I added 1 cup of beet juice.

the recipe came from:

Friday, August 1, 2008

Tid Bits

Isn't the size of that critter just amazing. Luke found him in the garden. Please excuse his dirty little hands!

The garden stand has been a success so far with customers each day. It has been fairly easy to maintain and the kids have been right into it. I think it is a good lesson for them to learn about making money and as they get older if they are interested they can expand on this idea.

This weekend I had seriously contemplated attending a local kneading conference
and could have participated at discounted rate under a farmers scholarship. Instead I knew we could use the cash so I earned some money by picking up an extra shift rather than spending more. I regret that I was not able to attend but my plan is to learn a bit about bread making on my own and next year I will attend this event. I am currently reading/skimming through a library book called Bread Alone. I may attempt to make a loaf over the weekend without using my bread machine.

Lastly, I want to make reference to a blog I came across the other day called Seasons Eating Farm . I only had time to read a few posts but if you have interests of chickens and eggs this article was very informative.

Todays egg count was 20!!! Have a great weekend all! :)