Thursday, August 30, 2012

Movie in the Park

This Friday, August 31st, the Dassel Chamber of Commerce is hosting "Movie in the Park" night at the Dassel Ballpark.  Housman Farms is helping to sponsor the movie, "Chicken Run", a hilarious children's movie about chickens trying to escape their factory farm.  As a sponsor, we get to run a 30 second commercial before the movie.  See below for a sneak peek.  We are also going to be working in the concession stand selling popcorn and whatnot (sorry, not any of our farm food).  :)  If you live in the area, please come.  It is free admission with a donation to the local food shelf.

Movie starts at 8:15 pm.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Hail Storm

Last Wednesday afternoon, we got hit with a hail storm.  It was the most damaging storm we have had in the eleven years we have been here.  Actually there wasn't much to the storm, other than hail...large hail!  Some of the stones were near golf ball in size, and it hailed for about 10 minutes!

The hail storm.

Many of the watermelons and other melons have large holes and were split open.  Our onions also have large holes in them.

The blueberry netting caught a bunch of the hail, but unfortunately the netting is full of holes now and will need to be replaced.
Even the rain gauge has a hole in it. :(

 Most of the pumpkins survived, which Jonny was so grateful for!  Many of the plants look shredded and only time will tell how they will recover.  It is getting late in the season, so some things we are just going to be done with.
The vehicles and building all suffered damage.  Some roofs and siding will need to be replaced.  Two windows were broken, one in the garden shed, and one in the market building.  Two turkeys perished in the storm and several were injured.  The rest of the animals were fine.  Unlike the turkeys, the other animals are smart enough to seek shelter during a storm. :) 
All in all, we feel blessed.  It definitely could have been worse!  

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Latest...

Creative use for weeds :)

Personal size swimming pools (barrels)

Ben chopping onions - without tears :)
I washed the carrots, Ben sliced them, and Em and Jonny blanched them.

Em and Jonny blanching carrots in the market building


One of our small strawberry patches, in desperate need of weeding.

Our pile of weeds

After the strawberry patch was weeded - how nice! :)

When weeding on a hot summer day, one must take a break for fresh, homemade lemonade


An afternoon at Meeker County fair

Food processing in the market building

Ben saucing tomatoes

Emily and her "little sister", Hannah, cutting hot peppers

An afternoon spent making lamb breakfast sausage and Italian the freezer they go! :)
Chopping comfrey root

Dehydrating comfrey root

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Farm Kitchen Menu - Banana Pancakes

Moms it is our job to help nourish our families bodies.  Do not neglect your duty to feed your family well!  I admit that at times it seems mundane and meaningless, but we must remember that we are giving our children a foundation of health when we feed them well while they are in our home.  Fight distractions and make time for healthy meals.  Here's a recipe your family is sure to love! :)

Banana Pancakes

In the evening, mix the following together in a ceramic bowl:

2 cups oatmeal
2 cups wheat flour
2 1/2 cups raw milk
1 cup raw kefir

Cover bowl with a towel.  (If you do not have raw milk, skip this step and just add 3 1/2 cups of milk to the AM recipe .) In the morning add:

2 eggs
1/2 cup melted butter
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 mashed bananas

Mix well! Ladle onto a griddle and fry until golden brown on both sides.  Enjoy with maple syrup or strawberry sauce! :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Is Farm Life a Fit For You?

I wish I had more time to write about what farm life is like this time of year, but farm life does not allow time for such things. :)  Mike and I are planning a "downsizing" for next year, in hopes of being able to expand in other areas.  People who come to our farm often ask, "How do you do it all?"  I just smile and say, "I work hard every day!"  We all do!  That's farm life.  A couple weeks ago, some young ladies with their small children, who were taking a tour of our farm, were talking about how beautiful and dreamy it was at our place.  And instead of just smiling and saying "thank you", I thought I should give them a little bit of reality.  So I told them that it is a lot of work.  Not that I wanted to rain on their parade, but I didn't want to deceive them either.  Mike and I like to stay busy participating in life, and that is why this lifestyle has worked so well for us, but not everybody likes to have a work schedule and routine like ours. 

Let's face it, farm life IS dreamy for many young, married city dwellers!  I remember those days.  For fun, I would load up the kids and just drive out to the country.  No destination, just a drive in the country. :)  I wanted so badly to live out here. And now here I am, living the life I dreamed of for many years.  Country life is dreamy!  It's like having a little piece of heaven right here on earth...but there are day... and weeks (I will warn you) when farm life is a bit overwhelming, for example, harvest time.  I go and go and go some days.  Pushing my tired feet to pick more produce, scrub more vegetables, fill the dehydrator, can one more batch, blanch another quart... pressing on to secure the harvest.  After all, we have spent so much time planting, weeding, tilling...we can't give up now. :)  But at times, it seems like all we do in life is process food, and I have to remind myself that it is only a season.  Then in the evening, the sun starts to set, the day cools, and in the quiet stillness I walk through my garden and look around my property.  It is peaceful and beautiful.  Then my eyes fill with tears, and I am extremely grateful!  Often a hymn will come to mind, and I will walk around with a heart full of thankfulness and praise, feeling blessed beyond measure.

To sum it up, in order to enjoy farm life, you must love hard work and routine.  You must be extremely flexible (I am still working on this) because the weather and animals will not always follow your schedule and these are two important variables in farm life.  I am thankful that my husband grew up on a farm. At least one of us knew going into this what is was going to take.  Mike's parents have always been very organized, and growing up, Mike's life was well structured to suit farm life.  You must also realize that once you move to the country, get animals, grow gardens and orchards, and maintain a large piece of land, you no longer qualify for city life.  Therefore you cannot join the orchestra, run your children to soccer every night, be on the bowling league, jog through the park every morning, have coffee and knit with the girls on Friday, go to every event on the city calendar, watch soap operas in the afternoon and movies at night, or be busy in any other way outside of the home.  It's not that you will never be able to do these things, but they will just be the exception rather than the rule.  In order to be happy on a farm, you must be a person who is happy at home.  And for a woman, you must enjoy being with your husband and children, not needy of girlfriends and "me time".  I know farm wives who try to live like city folks.  They are miserable!  But if you can enjoy farm life, it is likely your children will too.  Before you dream about life on a farm, think about the kind of life you really want and enjoy.  Country life may be exactly what you are looking for or it may ruin your family.