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Archive for the ‘On the Farm’ Category

Milk Rations

While I am enjoying the lack of commitment to my 1/2 ton milk cow, I am starting to miss the never ending supply of milk that came with said commitment.  I am purchasing raw milk from a family that is family in the biological sense and family in the religious sense.  I am glad they are there to supply us with milk and to keep our urge to eat healthier viable.

Yet, I am feeling slightly constrained and committed to my new source of milk.  I am limited to my two gallons a week; as compared to the 21 gallons we were receiving from Maisy.  I am of course purchasing the milk with tangible dollars; as compared to the 2 hours each day I put toward collecting and cleansing the milk from Maisy.  I have to ration out our milk usage.  I don’t want to run out before the next week’s pick up date.  I want to make yogurt and soft cheeses.  I want to make butter!  Yet, I don’t feel like I can “waste” the milk we have available.

We have purchased 1/2 a share of a Jersey bull with our milk providing family purchasing the other 1/2.  They will use him for breeding their cows this month and we will let him court our cows next month.  After he is done getting his groove on with all the single ladies on both farms, he will be meat in my freezer.  He is a multipurpose bull!

So hopefully, he will impregnate (one if not all of) our 3 breeding age cows.  We hope to have some calves birthed around July of next year.  Once the calves are 1 week old, we can start collecting milk for our own usage again!  Yay!

But that is 10 months away!  Meanwhile, I am thankful for the milk we do have and look forward to the abundance of milking from my own cow again next year!  When I start feeling over whelmed by the gallons and gallons of milk I have this time next year, make sure you remind me of this post and how much I wanted all that milk.

The Milk Maid

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Aw Shucks!

Yesterday evening, The Hubby came home with bushels and bushels of corn.  The pastor of our church had given us this corn from his garden.  What an abundant blessing!  The first thought through my mind was “Yummy!  Lots of corn!”.  The second thought through my mind was “Oh no!  I’m leaving in less than 2 days for my vacation.  What am I going to do with all this corn?”.  After some consultation between The Hubby and I, we decided to start tackling the project that evening and finish ( the remaining portion) the next day.

After dinner clean up, we (The Hubby, Thing 1, Snapper, Little Man, and I) sat out in the yard along the cow pasture shucking corn in the dusk of the evening.  Now let me give you a little visual of this precious family time.  Thing 1 had just emerged from the shower minutes before.  She was in her PJs with her hair twisted up in a towel and wearing fuzzy winter boots.  Little Man bathed directly after dinner so he was sporting nothing more than an over sized shirt and a slightly damp head.  The remaining three of us were still in that day’s clothing.  We are in a semi-circle with a huge pile of corn in need of shucking in the center.

We jump into action.  With the night’s darkness creeping in on us, we needed to act fast!  Little Man had probably never shucked corn before.  He gave it his all and did quite well for an inexperienced 3 year old.  The girls and I moved at a fairly decent speed.  We paused and said “eeewww” at every silk worm we came upon.  I had, what I thought was, a great plan for extracting the silk worms without having to come in contact with them.  The Hubby moved at lightening speed and shucked three ears in the time it took the other 4 of us to each complete one.

This was such a wonderful family time.  I wish I had taken a picture.  I love when the family works together to put up food or take care of the animals.  The farm is a family operation and I enjoy sharing it with my family.  We have been truly blessed.

** Now let me take a moment to state that I am not “scared” of silk worms.  I am simply disgusted by them and every other non-legged creature.  EEEWWW!!!!!  Oh and caterpillars too!

We brought a Radio Flyer wagon full of shucked corn inside to the kitchen for cleaning and preparing.  Once again, we worked as a family.  The Hubby cut off the “yucky” parts and I cleaned the remaining silk from the cobs.  Snapper cut and sealed one end of the vacuum sealer bags.  Thing 1 researched and found a recipe for frozen creamed corn.  Thing 1 also placed the corn into the boiling water and kept track of the time.  After the corn was clean and boiled, The Hubby cut the corn from the cobb and the girls scraped the cream from the remaining carcass of a cob.  After mixing the corn with the cream, I bagged it up and vacuumed out the air.  By the end of the evening, we had 10 bags of creamed corn vacuum sealed, labeled, and ready to freeze and enough corn for 10 more bags left to complete the next day.

Where was Little Man during this part of the process?  In bed!

I awoke this morning with a list (a mile long) running through my head of the things that needed to be accomplished before we reunited with our beds tonight.  As I lay in bed contemplating my strategy for the day, I felt something move on my chest.  (yeah, you read that right)  AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I jumped out of bed screeching and searching for this thing that had victimized me.  As I look around and up and down myself, I don’t see anything!  I must have felt my hair brush across my chest because I can’t find the culprit anywhere.  Now I am out of bed and might as well start my day.  I go to pull my hair up into my morning ponytail, when I spot a long creepy crawly on my chest.  (I’m creeped out even as I type this.)  I fling my cami off over my head and the culprit goes flying though the air.  I leap onto my bed and screech for The Hubby to come save me from this horrible creature!  I’m convinced it is a centipede; as they are well known for being found in beds.  Of course, The Hubby comes flying into the room to my rescue.  Who is this culprit?  A silk worm!  EEEEEWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!  (GAG!  CREEPY! AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)  I can’t even think about it with out my stomach tying itself into a knot.  That thing slept in my bed with me all night?  Possibly in my hair?  I’m going to need therapy now for sure!

At least the shucking (silk worm) portion of the corn production is over.  We have the remaining portion of the corn to complete this evening and we will have quite a store of frozen corn available to us this winter!  Yay!  Thanks to the Lord and my pastor for blessing our family!

Up to my ears in corn (and silk worms),

The Milk Maid

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Have you given up on me yet?  Did you think I’d never come back?  I wasn’t so sure myself.

It has been an extremely busy summer for me and my family.  After two weeks of initial recovery from my surgery in May, we headed off to Alabama for a missions trip with Builders for Christ.  Two weeks later, our friends, The Price Family, came for a month-long stay.  During three of these weeks, The Hubby and I, along with Mother Price and her teenage daughters, counseled children at our church’s bible camp.  One week, Thing 1 attended a Horse/Bible Camp.  One week, Snapper and I headed to Nashville, TN for a music camp.  Snapper learned so much during that time and we hope to return next year.

After Mother Price and her brood departed for their new home in Florida, we enjoyed one week with a taste of normalcy.  But there was still one more week of camp to accomplish before life returned to normal.  On the first day of August, Snapper headed to Diabetes Camp.  Thing 1 and I spent this week having some “woman” time and lots of shopping!

Now it is August 10th, and we are beginning our second day back to school; homeschool that is.  The first day started out bumpy and I lost my temper right away.  Today, is starting better.  The girls are in the kitchen making themselves some breakfast.  Soon they will sit down at their perspective tables (Thing 1 in the breakfast room and Snapper in the dining room), and start their schoolwork.

Our local homeschool co-op will resume at the end of the month.  The girls are registered for classes and eager to get started.  I have once again taken up the hat of Commitment Coordinator for the co-op.  I love my administrative position and wouldn’t trade it for a teaching position for all the riches in the world.  I can teach my kids but I’m not quite so gracious when teaching others.

I love this feeling of normalcy.  I have found that I needed it more than I knew.  I have been feeling out of sorts during the last few weeks.  We adults thrive with structure and scheduling just as much as children do.

After such a busy summer and with hunting season coming up (The Hubby), we decided to dry up our milk cow for a season.  We have been with out milking duties for about two weeks now.  I miss it but enjoy the freedom.  We are purchasing raw milk from friends who are also family.

I hope to get back to my blogging on a regular basis again.

See you soon,

The Milk Maid

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Dear Nosey Neighbor,

Thank you so much for your concerns that you expressed to my husband this morning when you dropped by to return my dog.  I understand that you are a self proclaimed animal lover.  I too enjoy animals of all kinds and would like to take this moment to address your concerns for the animals on my farm.

1)  My beagle, Pie, that you so kindly returned to us this morning has a collar as is required by the law in our county.  The law does not required an identifying tag but since you brought up the subject I would like to explain to you our reasoning behind not providing her with one.  You see, Pie, is a very sweet natured and playful dog.  She especially enjoys playing with one of the other neighboring dogs, Abby.  During this playtime, Pie has successfully removed several collars from herself.  We have bought several different kinds of collars with several different latches in an attempt to keep a collar on her.  If we were to have an new identification tag manufactured everytime  we need to replace her collar (3 times this year already) we would have to take out a second mortgage to cover the expense.  Also, it seems that every other neighbor in the subdivision, in which you reside, knows Pie and that she belongs to us.  They have all pet and loved on her.  They even throw her a treat on occasion.  I do not believe in tying my dog to a stake or run line and I would think that you, being an animal lover, would find that to be cruel.  I wouldn’t like living my life on the end of a chain.  Would you?  Pie knows her way home and is in no need of a car escort to get back home.

2)  It also has come to my attention that you are concerned that my family “milks” a cow.  I truly do not understand what problem you would have with this.  I know that some people who live a “vegan” lifestyle do not consume milk since it is derived from an animal.  Please let me assure you that no harm comes from the process of milking our cow.  If you need to be concerned for cows being milked, please take your concern to the commercial dairies and their cruel ways of extracting milk from their cows.  Our cow, Maisy, is a very happy and healthy cow.  She is fed a very healthy diet of alfalfa hay, hight protein grain, and fresh pasture grass.  She is not given hormones or any other chemicals to increase her milk production.  We hand milk her twice a day and she enjoys the process.

Once again, I thank you for your concerns but I must assure you that we care about all the animals on our farm and take great strides to ensure their health and happiness.

The Milk Maid

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Yep, a grandmother to a new born chick.

Thing 2 hatched out a chicken via incubator today.  The egg has been in incubation for 21 days which just happens to be the average amount of days for a chicken egg.  She is overly excited.  She lays beside the incubator, in the floor, and talks to it.  So sweet!

Click on the slide show below to see our picture record of the exciting event that took around 3 hours total.

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Congratulations to Thing 1 and her baby chick… There are 3 more eggs in the incubators.  Maybe we will have more in the next day or so…. Stay Tuned!

Grandmama,

The Milk Maid

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Thing 1 and Thing 2 got new rubber boots to wear to the barn.  Aren’t they cute?

The girls are growing up so quickly; turning into young ladies.  They are so helpful around the house and are eager to please on most days.

Speaking of growing:

Herb Bed

Lettuce and Onions

Brocolli

Brussels Sprouts

Tomatoes and Bell Peppers

Cayenne Peppers, Jalapeño Peppers and Roma Tomatoes

Garlic and Chives

Egyptian Walking Onions

Strawberry Bed

(Built by The Hubby)

This is the first big bloom on my Strawberry plant from last year.  It is still as beautiful as it was last year and much bigger.  I’m expecting a large crop from it this year!

The Milk Maid

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All this sunshine… All this warm weather.. All the soft breezes…All the perfectly mild evenings…All this for me????

Hot Peppers

Sweet Peppers and Tomatoes

Bringing some water to her daddy.  Sweet Thing 2!

Catching some air on the trampoline

Chillaxin in the Pergola

Yeah, I know… Coolness…

The clothes line I’ve been asking for finally happened!

Thing 2 planted these for me

She had so much fun planting

The dogs needed to find shade… Why?

Enjoyed my sister and her family visiting

Grilling out and eating in the pergola

Did I mention how much I love my pergola?

The bestest sister ever!

Her first S’more ever.

We were obviously deprived children.

The kids loved roasting marshmallows.

I made my own fire and cooked this chicken all by myself!  Yay me!

MMMMMMMMM

FOR ME?  YEP!

Blessed!

The Milk Maid


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