Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goat Romance ;)

It's that time of year when we start arranging marriages for the goats.  ;)  Belle was the first one to be bred, and Milly is bred now also (at least, we're hoping they are bred!)  We rented a buck from a goat farm.  His name is Kiow (kee-o).  He's actually a pretty cute little guy, from Grand Champion blood lines, too!  =) 
Some photos of the happy couple...




Thursday, December 29, 2011

Farmwife's Journal - December 29th

The warm days have created some ice rink challenges, but the good news is there isn't any snow to shovel and when the ice is solid the weather is great for skating.   And have been doing a lot of ice skating - family hockey!  It's good exercise and a fun time with other families.  Mostly fun...this past week, we had two adults get hurt (on different nights). :(  The ice just get harder as you get older. :)

The puppies are doing great!  Cute as ever!  Princess just started barking at night, like Jackson does, showing that she is feeling the need to defend the place. :)  Guess she is growing up. :(

I wasn't planning on taking this week off of school, but the weather has been so nice, and well...the kids talked me into it. :)  Ben and Jonny got model ships for Christmas, so they have been very consumed with those this week.  And Mike and I are trying to get our plans for next year in place.  We have some new ideas for the market, and we are getting more excited for the coming season, which is a good thing!  Every fall I convince myself that I don't want to do the market anymore.  I just get so burned out.  But the time off in the winter revives me! :)  We are considering changing our hours though and not having such a long season.  But we will let you know more about that later. :)  Pray for us as we make decisions on how we can best serve you.

Happy New Year from the Farm! :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Music

Here are a couple pictures of my kids and their friends, the Mahlstedts, playing Christmas music for the residents of  Dassel Lakeside Home.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Getting the Tree

On Sunday afternoon, after church, we bundled up and headed over to Turks Trees to cut down our Christmas tree. This year a miracle happened! The first tree we examined was the one we cut down! :) Usually we search and search...and search for the perfect tree, which for our house means tall and thin!

Jonny cutting down the tree

Putting the lights on the tree

Decorating the tree


One of our traditions is to make Eggnog and sip it while we decorate the tree.  Here is our recipe...Enjoy! :)

To our blender we add:
1 cup yogurt
1/4 cup maple syrup (We use boxelder syrup! :))
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. nutmeg
4 egg yolks
dollop of cream
and then fill the rest of the blender with milk! Yum! :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Puppies Are Getting Big!

Pretty Princess

Calm Captain

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Farmwife's Journal - December 4th

AHHHHH....I feel all settled into life again.  It's a good feeling!  We had a week of  "nothing major" going on and it was wonderful.

Today we decorated the house for Christmas.  Now it's all warm and cozy in here with the glow of Christmas lights....and it's snowing as I write - perfect! :)

Other than decorating, it was just an ordinary work day on the farm.  Mike and the boys wormed the puppies and the sheep, trimmed goat hooves, cut down the asparagus, and put lights up by the pond for skating time.  Then they boiled deer heads...sound like fun?  After dinner they took them to the car wash and cleaned guy stuff! ??? :)

Emily and I went for a walk this afternoon and on our way she checked in on her bunny and sure enough, Bella was in labor!  By the time we got back, she had three bunnies.  Emily is beyond you can imagine. :)

Before dinner, Em and I brushed all three dogs.  Now that is a chore!  Jackson is a pleasure to brush.  He loves it!  Captain is also fun to brush, but he is such a fluff ball, it takes forever to get through him.  Then there is Princess.  I love her, but she is such a pain sometimes.  If she would stop biting at the brush, you might be able to get her looking nice.  Often it takes two (some days three) of us to brush her  - one or two holding and the other brushing.  She has so much energy.  Usually we run her around and get her all worn out before we brush her hoping that we can tire her out enough to get her to sit still, but it doesn't help. :) 

We just laugh at how different Captain and Princess are.  My friend, who is a breeder, says it's the difference between boy and girl dogs.  Both of their pens are out the back door, on either side of the patio, so we can peek at them any time during the day.  Princess is usually running around with her sheep hide in her mouth, swinging her head back and forth as if she is killing it.  Or she is digging a hole, running around her dog pen doing lap after lap, or barking at Jackson. Captain is usually just sitting there watching her. :)

When we bought the dogs, we were told that the naughty ones are easier to train.  We have found that to be true!  Princess has been so easy to train, but Captain, well, he usually could care less. ;)  But he is coming along!

After I finished brushing Princess today, I was putting her in her pen, and when I unhooked her collar she bolted for the gate.  I went running after her.  She ran between the house and Captain's pen and then around the corner of his pen.  Running as fast as I could, I bent to grab on to her and she stopped and rolled over, thinking we were playing some fun game.  At that point, I went sailing over her and rolled over onto the HARD ground.  My first thought was, "I am so glad we do not have neighbors!".   My second thought was, "Oh, my back!"  Then when I got up and called Princess, she happily came to me, like nothing had happened.  As I put her in her pen, I mumbled under my breath something about not getting anymore female puppies! :{

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Housman Farms Goes on Vacation!

Yeah! A vacation!!!  Thanks so much to our friends, the Mahlstedt family, for taking care of our farm while we were gone.  We are considering hiring them. :)  We think they take better care of our farm than we do! :)

Here are some picture of our time together up at Breezy Point.  We had a blast!  It wasn't what most people would consider a vacation because we are not very good at sitting around and relaxing.  We played soccer every day at the gym, went swimming all but one day, played hockey at the local arena one day for two hours, and did some hiking.  Emily and I spent most of Black Friday shopping, which was anything but relaxing. :)  I felt like I was able to get more exercise on vacation for a week, than I did all year. :)  Yes, we are an odd group! :) 

The pictures.....
Rest stop on our way to Breezy Point

Daily swim at 9am! 

Playin' hockey

Fancy dinner at Antlers in Breezy Point

Ben and Jonny at the top of the fire tower in Pequot Lakes-yikes!

Coffee before shopping in Nisswa on Black Friday

Horse-drawn wagon rides

Awesome fireworks in Nisswa on Black Friday!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Farmwife's Journal - November 27th

I'm back!  In case you didn't notice, I took a much needed break from blogging because life was getting a little too full. :/  Fall is always busy on the farm.  Then when you add home school, puppies, and deer hunting you start to realize that something needs go - blogging! :)  Now that fall harvest and deer season are behind me, and our family has had a much needed vacation, I am feeling like I can handle blogging again. :)

Three Fridays ago, we butchered the last of our turkeys and some of our laying hens.  Saturday morning we cleaned and organized the market building.  It's all ready for winter and maple syruping in the spring.  When I had gotten the last of the stuff out of the building, I grabbed the door to shut it and it closed with a loud creak and slam as the handle latched.  The sound played over again in my mind.  I stood there looking at the door and thought, "That's it, we are done until spring!"  :)  The Farmer's Market is a blessing, don't get me wrong!  But every year, by the end of October, I am more than ready to be done.  Next year we will probably change our hours and not go through October....more about that later!

We were blessed this hunting season to bag four deer!  Only one hunter in our family didn't get a deer and that was me! :(  We did not see a lot of deer this year, so I just didn't have the opportunity, plus I was mostly hunting with Jonny and since it is his first year, he got the first shot. :)  Season opened on Saturday, November 4th, and Emily got our first deer on Tuesday.  We spent the rest of the week hunting morning and night and never had the opportunity to shoot any deer, which is very unsual around here.  As we walked out on Sunday morning, the last day of season, I was muttering to myself, "This is so ridiculous...we should have just bought some beef!"  It was a long week!  But the children really enjoyed it. ;)  So there we sat Sunday morning waiting and waiting.... Then a deer came by the stand, and Jonny shot it!  It was a spike buck.  He was SO excited!  It was so much fun to be there with him and see him shoot his first deer.  Mike and Ben were together in one of our other stands.  About twenty minutes later, Mike shot his deer, and again about twenty minutes went by and then Ben shot his deer.  He got a beautiful eight-point buck!  It was so exciting!  Then they all wanted to get off stand and look at all the deer.  I was thinking..."Hey, let's just wait twenty more minutes, so I can shoot my deer!"  But I didn't say anything. :)  They spent the rest of the morning gutting deer and hanging them in the garage. :)  It was a great day!  What a blessing! :)  Here are some pictures...

Jonny first deer - a spike buck

Ben'sbeautiful eight-point buck

Many of you have met the newest additions to our farm...Pyrenees puppies!  Jackson, our guard dog, is also a Pyrenee.  We have enjoyed him so much that we have decided to start raising this breed.  Captain and Princess have been a blast since the day we got them....a lot of work too! :)  I forgot what it is like to have a puppy around! ...just like having small children again.  We are training, training, trianing! :)  They are growing too fast!  Here are some pictures:

Ben and Captain


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Farmwife's Journal - October 23nd

Yesterday (Saturday) we butchered the rest of the chickens.  These will go in our freezer. ;)  Several families came over to butcher their birds and join in the fun! :)  By about 1pm all the butchering was done, and everyone took their harvest home to store for the winter. :)  After we had bagged up our chickens and tucked them into the freezer, we headed out to the ridge to clear brush and prepare for deer season.  Because of all the standing water we had this summer, we had not groomed our trails at all this year.  There was a lot of branches to pick up and tall grass to mow down. 

While I was out there, I took the opportunity to pick burdock leaves, another thing I like to do in the fall.  Spring would be better time to pick them, but I usually can't get to my burdock, due to water, until the slough dries up in the fall.  I pick the leaves from the first year plants (ones without the burrs).  Burdock can be eaten like salad, but we don't eat it.  We have plenty of greens still growing in the garden.  I stock burdock in case I will need it for wounds.  It makes a great band aid! :)  The nutrients in the leaves (which are more abundant in the spring) help to feed the wound, and the best part is that the leaves do not stick to the wound.  If a person has a really large wound, it can be hard to cover with band aids or even gauze.  Then when is comes time to change the bandage, it can get really painful because everything is stuck to the wound.  That's when the leaves become a real blessing!

I hang the leaves in my garden shed from a clothes line and let them dry. When/if I need them, I just put them in hot water to soften them up and then they are ready to use.

Last fall Jonny sanded off part of his finger.  It was a really bad wound.  We used the burdock leaves on it and they worked great!  He had very little pain, a sign of a wound that is bandaged well. 

On the farm, you always have to be prepared for injuries! :(  Just this weekend, Mike pierced (almost through!)his pinky finger with the edge of a cattle panel.  I am not totally sure how it happened, but he and a friend were transporting the panels and one slid into Mike's hand.  The point of the panel went right through the finger nail.  He has a nice hole!  I told him he should start a new fashion...finger nail piercing! :)  One of the panels also poked through a finger on is other hand.  At first, I thought I would need my burdock leaves, but we have just used band aids for this wound.  Needless to say, I always need to be prepared! :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Farmwife's Journal - October 18th

Yesterday afternoon I was able to spend some time in my herb garden.  There were still a few herbs that I had wanted to get harvested before winter sets in.  I cut more parsley to keep in the refrigerator, for us and the animals.  Parsley is good in anything and super good for you!  My thyme was looking beautiful, so I cut some of that too.  I just put it in bowls (3 large ones) and let it air dry like that.  Then I'll crush it and bag it up to use over the winter.  Collecting mullein leaves is something I do every fall.  Mullein is great for any lung ailments.  I like to have it on hand, just in case.  I put those leaves and some comfrey leaves on screens in my garden shed to dry.  Comfrey is a wonderful skin herb.  Last year I used a ton of it when Jonny got his finger caught in the belt sander.  There was one other herb I harvested yesterday and that was sage.  It's the second time this year I have harvested a large quantity of  it.  I already have a bunch of it hanging in my kitchen.  When I make soup, I just clip a few leaves and crush them into my soup.  But this time I was harvesting it for the goats.  They love sage!  We are also getting ready to breed them and sage (along with raspberry leaf) will help the moms have healthy babies and easy deliveries.  Sage also increases their milk supply.
Other than picking more parsley (it will still be there even with snow on the ground), I probably won't do much more with my herb garden this year.  Not that there isn't more I could do, but I've had my fill for this year. :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Farmwife's Journal - October 16th

Last Thursday was spent preparing for our Friday farmer's market (in the afternoon) and butchering 100 chickens (in the morning). Everything HAD to be done by Thursday evening because butchering was starting at 6:30am!

I got up at 5am on Friday morning. Wanting everyone to have a hearty breakfast in their bellies before we started butchering, I ground some flour and made homemade waffles for everyone. Then I made a big pot of Italian Vegetable soup, knowing I would not have any time in my day to make lunch. Thankfully I had a loaf of herb bread in the freezer. This meal would serve as lunch and dinner.

Under lights, we started butchering on time. It was about 45 degrees. Gutting is not so bad on cold days because the chickens are warm and they keep your hands warm. Inspecting, the job Em and I do, was not super pleasant. :) The well water was cold, but the air was even colder. When our fingers were too numb to pull out pin feathers, we would stand over the wood stove in the market building and thawed them out. I kept thinking about a CD we had listened to earlier in the week called The Endurance. It's the story of Shackleton and his men getting stranded in the Antarctic. The trials they went through were unimaginable, and they made my apparent sufferings seem so foolish. Trying to keep my perspective, I was determined not to utter a complaint, but still a few managed to sneak out. :(

I try (and fail regularly) to be an example to my kids in this area, especially my boys. The last thing I want to do is raise wimpy boys! Thankfully my husband is a great example to them!  It is pathetic to see a grown man who doesn't like to work and who won't just suck it up and do whatever needs to get done!   When my children say, "I don't feel like doing such and such." I always say, "It's good to do things you don't feel like doing!" It makes us disciplined and helps us to grow in character. So obviously, I am still growing in this area! :)

We were done with the butchering by 10am. Then we hustled to clean up our mess and clean up ourselves. At noon we opened up the market and the day was a whirlwind. :) We were blessed with lots of customers! The day was filled with conversations with friends who we get to see weekly and those who drive out once or twice a year to pick up poultry. Visiting with friends it the best part of the day! :)

When I got up Saturday morning my whole body ached (see I am still complaining!). :) You would think that I would be used to busy Fridays by now, but not so! Friday morning was so cold and Saturday morning was even colder. Today we had another 124 chickens to butcher. Customers came from 2-4pm to pick up their birds. Once the market was over and everything cleaned up, we showered, ate, and crashed! :)

Honestly, there are some times when we wonder why in the world we are doing this! It's a lot of work! But then when we get letters or emails like the one below, we are encouraged.

I just wanted to thank you again for your hard work and care in providing us organic produce and free range chickens. Thank you feels so inadequate for the hours of love and labor you put in for all of us to benefit from. Yes, I know we pay you, but still I wanted you to know how appreciative we are of your sacrifices. Please share this with your children. I praised God with Emily for the business you had today! May it help supply for your needs. I pray after a very hard day emotionally and physically that you feel blessed and encouraged in doing good for God’s children!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

THE CHASE - by emily

It was just an ordinary afternoon on the farm.  Mom, Ben, Jonny, and I (Emily) were all in the garden digging, washing, and crating up carrots to store away for the winter.  I was standing by the sink as mom was washing some carrots and she thought she saw a ladybug on my neck (eeeeek!) and told me to look the other way.  I turned my head, and to my unsuspecting surprise found myself looking straight at a great big grayish/brown rabbit!  He was hopping along the fence, looking for a way to get out.  I started hollering to my accomplices, "EVERYONE!  QUICK!  A RABBIT!  I'M NOOOOOT KIDDING!  RUUUUUUUUUUN!!!!!!!"  I excitedly raced to the end of a row, grabbed up some wooden stakes used for marking rows, and raced towards Peter Rabbit, the boys on my heels.  Peter then realized his most dangerous situation and began frantically attempting to go through the fence.  It didn't work.  The screaming, wooden-stake armed ruffians were dangerously close to him.  We chased him up and down the fence.  At times I was only about a foot away from him but never had time to strike...
finally we got him cornered, and Ben, who was the closest, gathered up all of his almost-12-year-old might and swung with a tremendous whack, hitting squarely on the ground next to the so-far-fortunate Peter.  Oooops!  Realizing the gravity of the situation all the more as the stick whacked beside him, the bunny dogged through us all and raced towards poor unsuspecting mom, who was watching discreetly from a distance, while cheering us on.  It really looked like he was trying to attack her as she jumped back, screaming. He then decided to try out his luck in the asparagus patch and raced into the thick plants.  We were surrounding the patch when I looked and saw he had already gone through it and was bounding across the garden in great leaps.  "RUNNN!  HE'S GOING TOWARDS THE PLAYHOUSE!"  We raced furiously after him.  But before we caught up with the garden robber, he had dodged UNDER the PLAYHOUSE!  By this time, Dad had come hurrying up with a gun, wondering why we were all screaming bloody murder.  He commented later, "I thought it was something at least more dangerous than a rabbit!"  So... back to the action... my bright homeschooled mind immediately came up with a solution.  The boys guarded our prisoner while I raced up to the house, grabbed Lady & Charlie, our trusty cats, by the scruff of the neck, and with one in each hand, raced back to the scene of action.  I set them down by the playhouse, hoping they would catch on.  Charlie, not understanding what this mad ruckus was all about, raced away like he was being chased by a bunch of country ruffians.  Lady, however, was the smarter (or maybe hungrier?) of the pair.  Her tail was switching back and forth and her ears were pricked up as she peered under the playhouse.  Then, she wiggled under and all was silent.  We waited, the air tense.  Then suddenly "SQUEEEAK!"  Then a little later there was some scratching, and again all was quiet. 
It was probably a good 20 minutes before my wonderful cat, Lady, crawled out from under the playhouse.  How did we know she really caught the rabbit?  Well, being the wonderfully smart detective that I am, I picked her up and looked at her paws.  Uh hu.  Yup, just as I thought.  Although I'm sure she washed her hands well after her meal, there was still some fresh blood in between the pads of her paws, and .... some very incriminating evidence... grayish/brown bunny fur!  Yeah!  Good job Lady!  I immediately took that fur and put it in an envelope and wrote the story and date on the envelope.  The reason for that?  Next time one of my unnamed male relatives accuses lady of being a good for nothing, lazy cat, I have my evidence to prove otherwise!  :)  
So in conclusion, it was a wonderful day!  I just LOOOVE living on a farm in the country!  I love the unexpected, exciting, crazy fun things that happen that put a twist into a "boring" (not that digging carrots is really that boring... it's just not  overly exciting) day!  Like bunnies showing up in the garden!  It was definitely a wonderful end to an otherwise ordinary day. 



Oh... and I might want to mention... some of the Great Huntress Lady's kittens will be for sale in about a week!  $20.00 a piece and worth every cent!  =]  Will be great hunters,just like their mother!  Not to mention they are absolutely adorable and the sweetest things ever!!!  :) 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Organic food - full of good nutrition! :}

This morning I put homemade granola on the table for breakfast.  Since our raspberries are still producing, I also put a beautiful bowl of them on the table to eat with our granola.  Whenever Emily eats raspberries, she inspects each one for bugs.  This morning was no exception.  Mike chuckled while he watched her carefully scan each berry as she dropped them into her bowl.  Everyone else just piled them on and chowed down. :)

After breakfast, we were sitting around the table reading and suddenly Emily screamed!  She happened to look at the bowl, which still had some raspberries in it, and to her horror, saw a bug crawling inside a raspberry.  "See...I told you guys they have bugs!"  We all just laughed.  I said, "Emily, think of the added protein and nutrition!"  Everyone else chimed in, "Yaaaaa".  Then just to make my point, I pluck the offensive berry out of the bowl and proudly popped it into my mouth. :)  Emily, with eyes like saucers, let out a scream followed by a questioning laugh.  :)  It was a great joke! ... if I do say so myself! :)

Yes, organic foods do sometimes have's a fact!  But what you have to ask yourself is, "What is more harmful...a bug or chemicals?  We can't see the chemicals, so we like to just convince ourselves that they are not there.  The bugs we can see, unless of course we eat without looking! :)  Don't you wonder how many bugs our family ate for breakfast this morning?  With crunchy granola, who would know?  I guess I would rather feed my family bugs. :)  Really, if the bugs think the food is worth eating, it must be good stuff!  Believe it or not, there are animals that turn their noses up to some of the foods people readily eat.  They are smarter than we are; they know that it really isn't food at all. :)

So next Friday, stop by to pick up some organic produce! :)  When you get home, throw away your vitamins and just enjoy some healthy food knowing you are getting the best nutrition nature can supply! :)

OK....soooo the truth is....I didn't actually swallow the raspberry with the bug in it, but in retrospect I really wish I had had the guts to do it! :)  Maybe next time! :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Mad Rush to Beat the Freeze

Tuesday afternoon we started getting emails from "My-Cast" weather service warning of a FREEZE overnight Wednesday through Thursday morning. Not just a frost, but a freeze. Ug! As low at 25 degrees was the prediction.

We are pretty used to dealing with the frost that usually starts sometime in September for us, but a hard freeze takes things to a different level. We did some double checking and decided that we should pick the apples - depending on the variety, 25 degrees is just too cold. All the other usual victims of frost like peppers, tomatoes, basil, etc. needed to be dealt with too.

Things started kind of slow in the morning as I sorted out onions and garlic that were crated up in the garage so I could free up those crates for potatoes and apples. We picked pumpkins, peppers, a few more cukes, some beans, and lots of lettuce. Then Mindy found out that a freeze this hard could actually damage the potatoes, so we started digging those too. That is when we decided to call in the reinforcements. Our good neighbors the Hendricksons. Barb and the kids came over and helped finish up the potatoes and then we started in on the apples.

Wow, did we have apples. The harvest was so much bigger and better than I expected. We filled up crate after crate with apples. Soon I was dragging out boxes and plastic bins from the garage. And THOSE were filling up. I called my sister and told her to bring boxes. We were still picking apples until at least 7pm best I can recall... it is a just a blur to me now. We didn't weigh anything this year, but based on past experience of what the various containers hold I'm sure we have well over 1000 pounds of apples!

Now we just needed to cover what we could with frost blankets and tarps. We were able to cover most of the lettuce, some peppers, and some beans. The rest we just chose to let it die. Oh well.
After some photo ops with the apples and potatoes we hauled them into the garage and root cellar, out of reach of Jack Frost. We went in the house with our family and friends and had homemade chicken vegatable soup. Then we headed over to the Hendrickson's house around 9pm to help THEM get ready for the freeze. We cut and hauled all the squash into the garage, covered peppers, tomatoes, etc.

We got home some time after 10pm and fell into bed exhausted. The end.

Spud and his potatoesApple picking crew

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Farmwife's Journal - September 13th

When I got the forecast this morning I found out that we are under a FREEZE warning for Wednesday night through Thursday morning.  I had been looking forward to some FROST, but I am not prepared for a freeze! :{

The kids had an etiquette class this morning.  It was their second class, they will have two more.  Their teacher drives out from the cities.  They love the class!  There are 11 students total, and the class is held in our market building.  I'll write more about that later.

After class, we had lunch and then headed outside to try to prepare for the freeze that's coming.  We may end up picking some apples, so I cleaned and organized the root cellar.  That was a job!  It took me about two hours!  Mike and Jonny pulled the onions.  Then when Mike was off getting poultry feed, Jonny and I picked peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, beans, kale and spinach leaves, sage, and some apples.  Can you guess what Ben was doing?  Yep, digging potatoes!! :}

While we were working outside, Emily was busy with her first official babysitting job.  She watched a two-year-old little boy, named Gabe.  She had a blast!  We met his family through our Farmer's Market.  She is hoping she will get to watch him again! :)

Well, I just finished cutting up the spinach and kale leaves, they are in the dehydrator out on the porch.  Most everything else is out there too...I am trying to keep it cold until tomorrow.  I have tomato sauce cooking on the stove.  I need to google for a pizza sauce recipe.  Em and I think the recipe that we used last year needs improving.  I also have a bowl of elderberries in a stainer on my counter.  Once I squeeze the rest of the juice out, I will put it in refrigerator until I get around to making my medicinal syrup....sometime after the freeze! :)

Well, Em wants to trade back rubs (she is still sore from her accidents yesterday :}), so I better get off this computer before she goes to bed! :)

Farmwife's Journal - September 12th

Yesterday after church Mike and the boys went to get a second load of hay.  It was another hot day, so Em and I made sure they were well stocked with bottles of chocolate milk. :)  Once they were finished with that, they went over to Mike's parents house to pick up some logs that his dad had cut.  Whew!  Long day!

This morning, when Mike and I got up, I noticed that the cushion on the couch was lifted up.  Since we were the last two in bed last night, I figured that a child must have been up in the night.  Mike laughed and told me the story.  He had heard Jonny getting up to go to the bathroom, and we know from experience that when Jonny is really tired he's usually not fully awake when he gets up, and we had better hurry and find out where he is and what he is doing.  Sure enough, the two days of throwing bales of hay had caught up with him. :)  He had walked in the living room, lifted the couch cushion, as if it were the toilet seat, and just in the nick of time Mike stopped him and led him to the bathroom.  Whew!  Jonny remembered nothing of it this morning!  We laughed and laughed at the breakfast table remembering all the different places Jonny has gone to the bathroom over the years. :)  Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox. Proverbs 14:4  :)  (This story was shared with permission from Jonny.) :)

Knowing that there may be some pretty cold mornings coming this week, we decided to skip school and work on garden stuff today.  I made a bunch more pesto today, since Basil is one of the first plants to die off from the frost.  We picked more tomatoes and put them in the dehydrator.  Then we ran our larger tomatoes through the food mill in preparation for more BBQ sauce.  Ben, of course, dug potatoes today. :) 

This afternoon I told Em and Jonny to take a break and go out and enjoy the beautiful weather for awhile.  As I was putting the ingredients for pesto in my blender I heard  Emily scream.  I went flying out the door and found Emily on the ground crying and holding her head.  The kids explained the story...all at once!  Jonny had decided to pull Em in the wagon behind the four wheeler, but as he was driving he noticed Ben (who was supposed to be digging potatoes) wanted a ride too.  Seeing the opportunity to leave Ben behind, Jonny hit the throttle while he was rounding a corner and sent Emily sailing through the air.  I scolded Jonny in the most mournful voice I could muster up ...."Jonnyyyyyy, you have to be careful with girls!  They are fragile!"   He said, very sincerely, "Ya, I just thought of that!" :) Then I scolded Emily, "You might have had a little more sense than to get in a wagon that is tied to a four wheeler with baling twine, and pulled by a nine year old!" :)  She assured me that they had done it before and that it was great fun!  So after a hug and an apology from Jonny, she was back in the wagon and off they went! :)  About half an hour later, Emily came in holding her head again.  I had no compassion. :)
(This story was shared with permission from Emily) :)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Farmwife's Journal - September 10th

Today Mike and the boys mowed the fence line and fixed some fencing that was down, so the sheep and goats could graze that area.  After that, Mike and Jonny went to get a load of hay and got that put up in the barn, which took most of the afternoon.  Spud (Ben) worked on digging his potatoes.  His new business venture has been really enjoyable, until now.  Planting the potatoes, hilling them and watching them grow was the easy part. :)  But digging them all up....that's a different story!  It was hot today and he worked really hard and got really dirty (Ben is good at getting dirty).  He didn't have time to finish because we had a party to go to, but all work and no play makes Ben a dull boy...Right?!  He will probably spend a few more days digging before he is done.  The good news is, he has someone waiting to buy his potatoes when they are all dug. :)  In all labor there is profit! :)

I picked 9 lbs of elderberries today.  I got about half of them cooked down, will do the other half tomorrow.  Then I will make some more elderberry syrup.  I also got the tomatoes, beans, and cucumbers picked today.  Em washed and chopped the beans and put them in the dehydrator.  We gave the cucumbers away and the tomatoes will get processed into pizza sauce and barbecue sauce....another day. 

In between all the garden work and the work of keeping everything running smooth around the house, Em and I work at making healthy meals from scratch for our boys.  If a man does not work, he should not eat...right?  Well, our boys work hard, so we feed them good!!  We try to keep some fat on their bones, but as you can see by looking at them, we are not succeeding! :)  But the frost is coming....soon there will be much less to do....maybe then we can fatten them up! :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Farmwife's Journal - August 29-30th

We started school Monday, so the days are busier than ever!  After school, we picked blueberries, grapes, plums, beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, and basil.  Jonny helped me make pesto, while Em cut the tomatoes and filled the dehydrator with them.  Then we filled the other dehydrator with the beans. 

Today after school, the kids (and some friends) played music for the residents of Dassel Lakeside Apartments (independent living for seniors).  They had a great time and the residents really enjoyed the music. :)  We hurried home when they were done because Emily had a bunny customer coming over.  She sold another bunny to a good home! :) 

Before dinner, we quickly emptied the dehydrator with the beans and filled it with beet slices-beet chips!   ...mmmm! :) 

After dinner, there were, of course, chores to do, but when they were done, we popped popcorn, made grape juice and played a game.  :)

Tomorrow Grandpa comes over after school to teach a fishing class.  The kids can't wait! :)  Right now, the house is quiet!  And I have barely seen my husband for the past two days- he's had meetings.  So I will get off this computer now and spend some time with him! :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cider Pressing last Friday

Last Friday we had a good time picking crab apples and turning them into delicious apple cider. Quite a few of our customers (friends) were able to try their hand and turning the crank on the grinder and on the press.

Picking the apples



Relaxing in the shade

Yum Yum!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Obstacle Course

Starting at the top of the root cellar, Ben and Jonny attempt to make it through the maze of buckets, boards and boxes in the poor little old wagon....will they succeed? :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Farmwife's Journal - August 18th

The phone rang this morning at about 6:50am.  When that happens I am usually saying, "Who is the world....?"  Then I remember...the post office! :)  Yes, we had 300 baby chicks arrive this morning!  Come out tomorrow and you'll get to see them. :)

This morning we picked wild grapes.  I don't know what it is about picking wild grapes, but it's an activity we all love to do!  There are usually several places on our property that we find grapes.  We picked from two different spots today.  Emily was busy baking for the market tomorrow, so she wasn't with us, but we will go hunting for more in a couple days.

Joshua and Caleb...I mean Ben and Jonny ;)

extending the ladder as far as it will go...exciting boy stuff! ;)

After we were done picking, Mike got out the cider press and the boys helped him pressed the grapes.  Voila!  Grape juice! :)  I put the juice into 2-cup containers and froze it.  When we mix up a batch of juice, we just add sugar syrup and sometimes club soda.  It sooo yummy...and healthy! :)

putting the grapes through the press

containers of grape juice concentrate :)

P.S.  Does anyone have any ideas for what we should do with all our grape seeds?  I hate to compost them because I know they are so good for you, but I don't know how to make use of them.

Blog Archive