Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Tomorrow we will relax (unusual for our family :) ) and reflect on our blessings. We are so thankful......for you, for your patronage, and for a year full of bountiful blessings. Getting to know all of you and being able to serve your family by providing you with real food, grown locally and organically, is something our family enjoyed and is grateful for. We hope your experience at our farm was just as enjoyable. Please pray for our family as we evaluate the 2009 season and consider how we will continue to serve you in 2010.
For those of you who will dine on one of our turkeys tomorrow, we trust it will be the most delicious turkey you've ever had. Brandon is grateful for the opportunity to grow them for you.
Happy Thanksgiving!
The Housman Family

Friday, November 13, 2009

My Amazing Husband!

Mike is one of those guys who is good at everything he does. The goal of every member of this family is to beat him in checkers, or any game for that matter, but he's just too good! Everything he does, he does well.
One time we were at a family picnic and a bunch of guys were having a wood splitting contest. Before they started someone asked me if I thought Mike would win. I confidently said, "Yes, he wins at everything he does!" And he did win! He's full of determination and a little competitiveness! :)
Not only is he a winner :), he is also very skilled with his hands. On a rare occasion he will make dinner, and it's always an amazing meal! Or he will create something, like a chicken plucker, that's bigger and better than anything else out there.
One talent I've enjoyed most of his, is his wood working skills. He has done a lot of work in our house, building me cabinets, bookshelves, you name it!
Here are some picture of a cider press that he made this fall. It's so awesome! We pressed our grapes and crab apples with it. The juice was used to make jelly and frozen for concentrate.

It sure is wonderful having such a handyman around! :) And, NO, you can't borrow him! :) HE'S MINE! :)

Picking Grapes

One fall activity we all look forward to is picking grapes! We have grape vines growing all over our property. Picking grapes usually takes an afternoon or two. We load up all the ladders in the four wheeler trailer and enough buckets for everyone, then head out on our "grape" adventure!

This year we had some friends join us for an afternoon of picking. The guys tackled the vines in the tall trees, while us ladies picked the stuff they pulled down. My monkeys, I mean boys, would scurry up the trees, grab hold of a vine, and hang on until they hit the ground. Or they would just swing from the vine until it finally broke loose. Who needs a swing set? :)

Eating the grapes fresh off the vine is a real treat.....all those antioxidants! :) You just have to be careful not to confuse the Grape vine and the Virginia Creeper vine. They occasionally end up twisted around each other making it look like one vine. Virgina Creeper is poisonous, but it also tastes horrible, so it's hard to get poisoned from it. And as fall lingers on, the Virginia Creeper vine turns red (leaves and stems), making it obviously different from Grape vine.

Here is a picture of Virginia Creeper.

Making grape juice and grape jelly are our two favorite ways to use our grapes. For the juice, we just freeze the concentrate in 2 cup containers and then add water and sweetener (organic cane juice crystals) when we are ready to drink some. It's are real treat in the dead of winter! If we are planning to mix up some juice, chances are we're either eating homemade pizza or popping some popcorn. :)