Sunday, November 27, 2011

Our Wee Horse

While we were back home for Thanksgiving, we got to see the wee horse. She is pregnant & due in April! Brownie had to be moved to a family pasture because of the severe drought here & a lack of good grass for our special lil mama. Hoping she can return to Willow Run before the birth.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Carrots in a Bottle

A few day ago I posted about our experiment with planting carrots in empty pop bottles. The theory is that you will be able to watch some of them grow. Here's what our little carrots look like today! We are up to 3 bottles and I plan to add more as we get empties.

Juicing!

A juicing before and after! The chickens get the trimmings and the pulp.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A juicing plan...

I have a wonderful juicer, but I realized that I haven't been juicing regularly lately...okay, I haven't juiced AT ALL in the past 6 months!! There, you made me face the dark, ugly truth!

So, I have a new plan. I will juice enough to fill a quart jar every morning and drink the whole jar each day.

Day 1 - this juice contains one mango, three apples, two celery stalks, two large carrots, and one pear. I also send the pulp through twice to be sure to squeeze out all the moisture.

Potpourri for Free!

Made a beautiful fruit salad for church potluck yesterday! As I was peeling & coring fruits I threw all those bits into a sauce pan to simmer with a cinnamon stick. Humidifies a dry winter house and makes it smell heavenly! Try it next time you have some apple cores and orange peels!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bountiful Baskets

My friends, do yourself a favor and check out BountifulBaskets.com! This was our basket for this week with an added fruit package. All this was $25...no kidding!! Our local delivery comes every other week, and I plan our meals and snacks around the contents of our baskets to be sure I use every teeny bit of yumminess.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A little something...

The girls planted carrots in these pop bottles so we can watch them growing beneath the soil. I think I'm just as giddy to check our experiment each morning as they are!

Irrigation

As we problem solve our way through this past summer's challenges, one thing we know for sure is that our garden is too large to hand water in excessive heat & drought conditions. We've decided to design an irrigation system to make the task of watering more efficient.

As Homestead Man works through a plan involving PVC pipe and sprinkler heads, built in an above ground grid, the 9-year-old is coming up with her own underground system. The drawing below shows recycled bottles with holes punctured to allow water to slowly leak out. The bottles are connected with pipe so they can be filled in one above ground inlet. Pretty clever, huh?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fall is for Baking!

Anyone else have an irresistible urge to bake this time of year? I always pop overripe bananas in the freezer in their skin then thaw them and squeeze out the banana (toothpaste style) when I am ready to bake this banana bread. I added 1/4 cup of wheat germ in the batter and sprinkled a bit on top to boost the nutritional value. Add in pecans grown on a family tree, and you've got a treat you don't have to feel quite so badly about!

News from the Coop!

We have exciting news! After a long run of bad chicken luck and a short break from birds, we went to a local farm and picked out two brand new healthy, happy hens for the hen house! I can honestly say that we have learned how valuable these ladies are to the homestead over the past few months of eggless existence. We bought local eggs, but it wasn't the same.

There's something quite wonderful about walking out to gather eggs, greeting the hens and stroking their lovely feathers, and cracking open a fresh egg with a rich orange yolk, laid just hours before. We know our hens are happy, that they can munch on grasshoppers and green grass all day long, they spend their mornings scratching through a pile of hay nibbling the grains. Hearing them coo to each other while they peck along the dirt is so calming. We've just missed having them around so much!

Meet Beetle, our lovely Black Australorp, named for her iridescent feathers and Feathered Friend, our Columbian Wyandotte, named by the 7-year-old. Beetle seemed happy with her new diggs...she laid a gigantic brown egg just one hour after arriving here at the OAH.
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