Friday, May 15, 2015

Rosie's Puppies

Rosie had seven puppies almost 2 weeks ago. Mom and pups are doing great! ��
Here are some cute pictures that the boys took. 



Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Meet Rosie!

For the past nine months, we have had the privilege of owning Rosie Darling.  We bought her as a ten week old, all-white puppy from a farm in Michigan. 

Having her on our farm has been a joy!  I think our whole family would agree that Rosie is the sweetest dog on our farm.  Even as a puppy, she was so delightful.  To know her is to love her. :)

Rosie is a beautiful dog!  She weighs between 90-100 pounds and is expecting her first litter around May 1st.  

The sire of this litter is Sergeant Tru - another beautiful dog.  He is about a year and three months old and is a brute! :)  He has a beautiful coat and is a very alert guardian.  Sergeant was a badger marked puppy, but his markings have mostly faded.  (In the picture below, he is in the middle between Rosie and Beauty)

If you are on our waiting list, we will be sending you a birth announcement when the puppies arrive.  So excited!!! :)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Thursday, April 23, 2015


Here's some pictures for those of you who ordered chickens for our June pick up. 
These little chicks are enjoying a warm cozy pen for now. I'm glad they don't stay this cute. :-) 
In 1 to 2 weeks-depending on the weather - they will be outside enjoying fresh grass and bugs. 
See you in June! :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Busy Day!

The six puppies that will go to their new homes this weekend were taken in for their vet checks this morning.  Here they are in the back of the car looking as cute as ever! :)

It was baking day for me. First I made sour dough bread.  It takes all day to rise, so you have to get started early.  Next I made five loaves of my whole wheat bread.  Here is a stack of sour dough tortillas that I made for lunch.  They are so simple to make, but it's not a quick job.  The dough is just three cups of starter, three cups of flour, and three teaspoons of salt.  That will make about 8 tortillas.  I just roll them out and cook them in my cast iron skillet until they are brown on both sides.  Normally I shy away from foods that are very time consuming to make, but these are so good - and I had a craving for one. :)

Todays lunch - chicken and veggies wrapped in a sour dough tortilla, blue corn chips, and lacto-fermented salsa.


Whole wheat bread - with one loaf missing!  "Mike...?" :)

This morning at 5am, while some were still in bed, Mike was out in the sugar shack firing up the evaporator. :)  The sap has been flowing good for the past few days.  Today the boys and I collected 96 gallons!  Mike is still boiling and will likely be at it until about 10pm.  A long day.  Not really!  He enjoys it, and we enjoy going out to visit with him.  We ate lunch and dinner out there today. :)

Here you can see that the vents above the evaporator are open to let the steam out.

This is the evaporator pan.  You can see the pipe where the sap flows in and the different compartments that the sap flows through.

Jonny is checking the sugar content.

Got to keep that fire burning!!!  The firebox gets filled every 15 minutes!

That is a HOT fire!  And a nice pile of coals!  Hot dogs anyone? :)

Dinner - lamb stew and garlic toast by a warm fire with the smell of  sweet syrup in the air.  Wish you were here! :)

  The finished product! :)

Well, time to go!  My sour dough bread is finally ready to go in the oven, and I'm itching to go hang out in the shack with my hubby! :) Night! :)

Friday, March 13, 2015

It's Tappin' Time!

Suddenly it's here - sugaring season!  One of the highlights of spring for me is hanging out in our warm, cozy sugar shack watching the fire burn under the boiler and hearing the hum of the sap cooking down into maple syrup.  I think it's a highlight for our whole family. ;)  We will find any reason we can to be out there - sometimes we even have meals out there. :)

Technically our sap is Boxelder sap.  The Boxelder tree is in the maple family, and the syrup tastes very similar to maple syrup.  The sugar content of Boxelder sap is not quite a high as maple, so it takes more sap to make a gallon of syrup.  We have about 140 taps out, and on a good day we will collect about 50 gallons of sap.  For us, that equals about a gallon of syrup.

We share sugaring season with a few other families.  They collect from their trees, bring the sap here, and then we cook it all down together.  Last year we had a great run!  For a time we had the evaporator going non-stop so that we could get all the sap cooked down quickly before it spoiled.  We had people doing shifts through the night!  It was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. :)  And we ended the season with a root cellar stocked with many gallons of syrup.  Yes, we were spoiled this past winter.  We used our syrup liberally - in smoothies, yogurt, fudge, coffee and anything else we could think of. :)

Ben and Jonny tapping trees with Rosie and Miska

Ben drilling

Jonny putting the taps in

Miska.  Isn't she pretty?

Rosie.  She will be having puppies in about 2 months!
Ben and Miska.  They sure love each other! :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Heath Journal - Beating the Bug!

We know of some families that have been dealing with a nasty flu bug, so I thought it might be helpful to share with you my remedy for the flu. 

About three weeks ago Jonny told me he wasn't feeling well.  At our house, that means mom gets out her potions. :)  Charcoal is my #1 remedy for vomiting, diarrhea, food poisoning, or that general yucky feeling that goes with eating bad food.  Charcoal has never failed me.  The sooner you take it the better.  If it is taken at the first sign of sickness, you will often beat it all together, but if you wait, it will take a little longer. The most a child has vomited after receiving charcoal is three times, but they usually tell me that they don't feel well when they are ready to vomit. :/  The charcoal not only stops the vomiting, they also recover very quickly. 

So I gave Jonny a charcoal slurry - as we call them.  It's one heaping teaspoon of powdered charcoal in a small glass of water.  Stir it up and down the hatch!  It doesn't have a taste, but it is chalky, so some people do better drinking it from a straw.  Jonny vomited twice before midnight and once after midnight.  After each trip to the bathroom, another slurry was given.  After his third trip I reassured him, "Well, you should be feeling better soon!"  Sure enough!  He slept the rest of the night and woke up feeling much better.  He ate breakfast, lunch and dinner that next day! :)  In less than 24 hours he was feeling like himself again.  And nobody else got sick.  Over the years, we have seen charcoal work like this over and over again in our family and in other families that we have recommended it to.  It stops diarrhea in its tracks!  It draws out toxins and can even be used topically.  It is amazing stuff!

I ALWAYS have charcoal on hand - reordering well before my container is empty!  If we travel, it is the first thing that goes in my first aid kit.  But before you rush out to get some, I should share a couple of things with you.  Charcoal is a VERY fine powder!  When you put a spoonful in a cup, you do it very carefully.  If you just dump it in, you will have the powder flying everywhere!  Hold your breath!  If you breath it in, you will have a nice coughing fit.  Always work slowly with it.  It also stains.  Do not get it on your clothing or anything else that you don't want to be black.  It can be removed from hands and dishes with a good amount of soap, but I prefer to use a paper cup and plastic spoon when mixing it up.  Then I can just throw them away.  Charcoal is not absorbed into the body.  It only travels through your digestive track, so you cannot overdose on it, but make sure you drink plenty of water after taking it so you do not get constipated.  Doctors used to use charcoal regularly, but now they can make more money selling pharmaceutical drugs so they don't use it as much.  But there are still some emergency rooms that use it for treating poisonings.  And speaking of drugs, be aware that any medications you are taking are considered toxins by your body, and they will be absorbed by the charcoal.   

Not all charcoal is created equal.  Charcoal tablets do not work.  You would have to consume a lot of them in order for them to be effective, and they also take too long to dissolve in the stomach.  Use the powder.  Invest in a book about charcoal.  It will be well worth the money.  One of my favorite books is Charcoal  (Yes, that is the name of the book :)  They also have a website with the same title) Charcoal will not only help you beat the bug, but it also has uses with wounds, bites, stings, toxins, infections, and many other ailments.