Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Farm Happenings


Winter is near yet we still seem to find ourselves with an endless to-do list.  We have almost all the wood in the barn before the cold weather is upon us.  We’ve rendered all the lard from our cow.  My crockpot ran for 3 days straight but now I have plenty of fat for soap making.  I’m attempting to make apple cider vinegar for the first time.  It will be months before I know if it was a success.  I’ve  also located a  a temporary boyfriend for Dolly, a Nubian buck. We will be picking him up at the end of the week.  You know what that means?….spring babies and a goat back in milk….Yeah!


What I haven’t been doing….dusting, folding laundry.

Maybe in my next life my house will be clean Winking smile

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Confessions of a Bad Beekeeper

IMG_7440rOne cool, winter evening last year as I thumbed through an adult education flyer I got this bright idea of taking a bee keeping class.  IMG_7441rBy June I was an official beekeeper…that honestly didn’t have a clue how complex these little creatures really were. 

I thought medical terminology was challenging in nursing school but at this point I think bee terminology has it beat.  How many lay people have ever heard of bee space, capped brood, propolis, nukes, & varroa mites?

Heck spell check doesn’t even recognize these words.IMG_7446rHere’s County Boy, remember the child who wanted NO part of my bees!  I’ll never let him live that one down! 

Several weeks back he helped me winterize them.  IMG_7449r

Here’s the deal, when I first started  bee keeping I checked them  every week as instructed.   Despite my frequent checks I was never able to identify the queen.  Towards fall I checked them less and less with a span of over of month going by.  I remembered I was suppose to treat them for mites but according to the place I get my supplies I was “too late”.   Ugggg….so I dusted them with a little powdered sugar for good measures and treated them preventively for Nosema  (aka bee diarrhea). 

With this being the first year I did not harvest any honey from them.  I question if they have enough honey for themselves to make it through a long Maine winter.  As pictured above I have given them some sugar water but that won’t be enough.  I will have to do a little more research on winter feeding.

Last night I went out by flashlight to put there top cover on and be sure the foam insulation was still in place before the storm.  On the way out the door Maine Man  called me a “bad beekeeper”, hence the title.  He’s right!  Beekeeping isn’t really a fly by the seat of your pants project but that unfortunately is how I roll. Hopefully they’ll survive this winter despite the neglect. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful Tree


Inspired by a friend on FB!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Where’s the beef?


Recently Maine Man processed Sir Loin & T-Bone….not an easy task after tending them morning & night for the last couple years.  Above is a picture of part of a liver in comparison to Country Boy’s hand.  IMG_7397rWhat an anatomy lesson for the kids!  CB said in school they dissect frogs, we dissect cows, pigs, & chickens… IMG_7419rrFlower Girl helped process & package part of one of the cows and the rest went to the butchers.IMG_7427rrIMG_7409rr

Here is the front quarter of one of the cows in a walk-in cooler that MM just built.  We are thinking it will serve with a dual purpose for cool crop storage.  We will monitor the temperatures in it closely this winter. 

MM and CB also just processed 50 chickens a couple weeks back and CB’s deer.  Soon they will process the pigs and some ducks.  Nice to have full freezers coming into winter!  

Monday, November 14, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Greens into November


These pictures were taken in the greenhouse a few days after our first snowfall.  The tomato plants died off but we left the tomatoes on to ripen.  We were eating them up until about 1 week ago. …til the frost made them mush.  My Dad ate some tomatoes from the greenhouse from the 3rd week of October.  He said “those were the best tomatoes I ‘ve ever eaten in my life” ….and he is no Spring chicken. 

Thankful for the power of solar heat and Maine Man, my garden hero!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Scenes from the farm October 30th



I don’t ever remember snowfall this early in the season.  I wasn’t quite prepared but Mother Nature didn’t care. 

It’s all gone now, the snow only lasted a few days around here.  More to follow but that’s ok because I look forward to winter.  A time to be lazy, read books, cuddle and watch movies, and cook.  Hell ya! 

Coming next ….a post on the greenhouse. It was fun to go in and see all the green stuff growing the day it snowed. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Can’t hide my pride!


Country Boy is living up to his name! 

140 lbs, 5 pointer

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Oktoberfest Dinner


A couple of weekends back my SIL brought over a DELICIOUS crockpot to share at our cider party called Oktoberfest Dinner.  It is a must try and great idea for a pot luck.  Definitely check it out!  I have never really liked sauerkraut but I loved it with this recipe.  Click on the cider party link if your interested in seeing more pictures.  She did a better job taking pictures of the press then I.

Now I want to make sauerkraut.  See how one thing leads to another.  That is the beauty of being a foodie, homesteader, or whatever you may call us. (CRAZY)  The possibilities are endless!