Thursday, September 24, 2009

Growing Herbs

Year #2 of growing herbs. Would have done long ago had I known how easy it was. This year Maine Man even allowed me my own little section of the garden for this purpose. You see he is the true green thumb in the family, so in the garden (this being the only place.....I assure you!) I follow his direction and do as I'm asked.
We grew cilantro, dill, oregano (pictured here), basil, rosemary, and parsley.
The kiddos entered a few vegetables in the fair taking first place in everything including Flower Girl's oregano. Next Year we plan to do a Farm Display. That should be a lot of fun. You must display 2o varieties of produce and it has be educational. I have it all plotted out in my busy little head. Can't wait, it will be a good experience for the kids. There is incentive as well, first prize gets $100. Not sure about your kids but my two are always looking for ways to make a buck.
A few weeks back while visiting my sister-in-law I noticed several canning jars filled with herbs and I inquired how she dried the herbs. I have previously attempted the hanging upside down method but was never impressed with the results.....dried, brown, super crispy leaves. Did a little research then I thought to use my dehydrator. Love those AH HA moments! It worked PERFECTLY. I dried basil and oregano, took no time at all. Placed the whole dry leaves in canning jars and I crumple them us as I use them. Cannot wait for next year's herbs. Plan to grow and put up MUCH more.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Get buried in the sand?
Go out boating?

Fly without wings?

Explore Mother Nature for hours?

Go for the ride of their lives?

Kick butt at bowling?

Go camping with their Momma?
(Dad joined us the next couple of nights)

Swim day after day?

Do lots of farm chores?
Not...a little child labor is good for them but I don't want to scare them off the farm.

Check out our high tech pea picking apparatus.
Works good for beans & berries too!

Search for sea shells?

Spend countless hours in the pond: canoeing, frogging, trapping cray fish?

Climb trees?

What prompted this post? This Spring when school was getting out I was asked by several people what I had planned for the kids this summer. What activities had I signed them up for?
My response was, "NOTHING". We had a great summer despite the lack of "planning". In some aspects of life I am a planner but in many I am not. I believe that kids will make their own paths if you foster their dreams and interests rather then force upon them.
Sometimes we're so concerned about giving our children what we never had growing up, we neglect to give them what we did have growing up. ~James Dobson

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

We Made it.....14 years and counting!

Just a real quick post in comparison to last year's anniversary post and a picture showing our true age. You'd have to click and see the picture from back in the beginning of time.
Maine Man most of all just a big thanks for just being the man you are. We appreciate all your hard work and dedication to our family. Here's to 50 more..........

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Weekly Summary

Maine Man suggested I do a weekly post summarizing the chaos of our lives. Not sure this will be a regular thing but this was a perfect week to do.
* Kitten takes ride to school with MM to pick up kids......under suburban. Amazingly unharmed.
* Rabbits get loose for 282nd time this summer. MM open fires and guess what we have for dinner.
* Boxer injures 1 duck and kills 2. Last week she killed a rabbit.
* Pumpkin & Ham don't go well together! Pigs.....Pumpkin some how gets into Ham's pen and Ham nearly shred her to pieces. Never seen anything like it! THANK GOD MM had not left for work yet!
* Flower Girl & I were struck with a horid gastroenteritis.
* MM was down with a nasty respiratory illness.
Those were just a few of our finer moments so far this week, still have 4 days left.
You had to hear MM narrate of the kitten story, I laughed until tears. Glad the little man was safe.
As for rabbit meat, we all love it. I think it tastes better then chicken. The first time MM cooked it he used a slow cooker. It was ok. Along with it he cooked a duck. FG's exact words were "I liked the bunny better!" I had to agree. I really did not care for the duck. Second time around he coated it and baked it in the oven, yummy!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Drinking Water

Are you tired of buying water? I am! We are looking into buying a water distiller. Just curious as to what others do? Do you or anyone you know own a water distiller? If so, how many gallon? Where did you purchase? Would you go that route to do it again? I have also heard a bit about reverse osmosis filters??? Any advice appreciated!

Community Treasure Chest Rant

So if you haven't started the tote thing in your community...WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

If you have no idea what I'm talking about read here or I mentioned a bit about it on the bottom of this post.

The above picture shows goodies that I received from 2 totes this summer. Free & clear!! Imagine that? 2 pr of crocks, leather shoes for Momma, cookbooks (can't have enough of them, can you?), several pair of earrings for Flower Girl (just in time for school), magazines (even 1 for Maine Man), recyclable grocery totes, chain lube & wire, LL bean shirt for moi, and shorts for my girl.

So here is my tally of what I have obtained while doing this tote thing since May 09'

Keep in mind I am involved in 3

3 pr of shoes

12 pr of earrings

7 books

1 pr of curtains

5 pr of jeans/pants/capris

knot tying book/kit

1 hat

5 shirts

3 vases

1 necklace

1 dvd

1 book on cd

1 scarf

3 candles

1 pampered chef dish set

gameboy w/ 5 games

candle holder, decorative jars, Christmas cards, recyclable bags, chain lube & more.....

All with virtually no work involved. Many of the items above were not necessarily for me but I knew someone who could use them. For example the curtains went on the kids "fort" windows, the unused x-mas cards I gave to my MIL, the crocks I passed on to my niece.

If you are frugal, resourceful, looking to recycle I encourage you to start one up. I shared this idea with a co-worker who is involved in her town's recycling committee, come fall they are planning to go town-wide with this project.

It has been a fun experience and I hope that it continues on. I will admit there are times when I have received the totes and there was a whole lot of junk in them. The circulation of the totes have slowed down a bit over the summer. Me the rule maker has been involved in breaking the rules. I had 1 tote well over a week... but gardens, camping, life got in the way. Excuses.

I hope this post inspires just one of you to start one up, in your workplace, church, your neighborhood.

*Side note: For obvious reasons from here on out I have decided to refer to my daughter as Flower Girl(FG) and my boy as Country Boy(CB).

Saturday, September 5, 2009


They'll eat just about anything including my laces.

Finally a follow up note to my previous post the good, bad, & the ugly.

My rant about being overwhelmed with all the work of the farm, especially the animals. This summer I came to the realization that raising animals is a lot of work and can be rather costly to feed and maintain. Most days we literally worked from dusk till dawn and beyond. I often found myself dreaming of the cool winter nights kicking back shortly after dinner..... Not......there was always SO much to do! We just had too much and we were not optimally set up.

While reading through my comments on the above post mentioned there was one that really caught my eye. It was from Trapper Creek. It was then I had an ah ha moment.

She wrote, "A big thing for us here is minimizing the daily chores and making some weekly, like having a big enough feeder and water setup that the pigs only need to be serviced once a week. Same with our laying flock. Things like that made a huge difference in my attitude :)"

That is the key! Get optimally set up! Make life easier! So that is the plan. We are downsizing on animals for the winter. We sold the goats, 1 flock of laying hens, and the meat rabbits will soon meet their maker. One last batch of broilers before winter. Thankfully they are only a short term commitment, 6-8 weeks, I can handle that. My plan for next summer is 2 pigs (1 for ourselves and one for a friend, same with the cows), 2 cows, layers, broilers, and a few ducks for the pond. That's it!

It is thorough our journey that we have come to realize our purpose here on the farm....raising animals for food not hobby.

Farm Lesson of the Summer "Work smarter Not harder!"