Saturday, August 30, 2014

Farm Photos

 The Black Copper Marans are starting to lay!  
They have such lovely dark eggs. 
 The sweet but noisy Finnsheep :-)
 Ginger enjoying her cud!
 This may look like a peach to you, but actually, it is
 Rich and Janet's pigs Penny, Brat, (like the sausage) and HD, (Hotdog) are growing and really starting to love the clabbered milk they get every day.  They get so excited when they see people heading their direction.  They squeal and run and jump and snort in excitement.
 Penny Pig
 They are some very nice looking stocky piggies!

The red rabbits are at their cutest stage.  They are about two weeks old.
 Their eyes are just starting to open!

Saturday (today) we enjoyed a nice visit with Aunt Mary and Uncle Harold.  We feel so blessed to have such wonderful family!    
 "For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse." ~Romans 1:20

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Richie's Birthday

 A very special guy's birthday happened last weekend :-)
It just so happens that the annual Toledo Threshing Bee falls on that weekend, which is perfect since it is the event Richie looks most forward to out of the entire year!
So we did that Saturday, and had a BBQ gathering on Sunday afternoon.

(Thanks to the sweet miss Valerie Bowes for the awesome chocolate cake and frosting recipe!)

Rich and Sandy willingly shucked a nice bucket load of corn for the party.  
The horses were quality control.
 It was a very fun afternoon of storytelling! 

The wind was a bit high, so a couple of kind volunteers stepped up to the plate to ensure Richie could have the chance to blow out his candles :-)

 Jeff had quite the apatite...for dessert. :-)

Richie's best friends just had a baby a few weeks ago...we got to meet her for the first time.
She is a beautiful little blessing!

 What would a post be without a rabbit picture?
This is a nice doe that we will probably keep :-)

 Rosie's calf Handsome is doing great and growing fast! 
 The Dexters three!

First litter of broken Red New Zealands were born last week!
 We were so thankful for the rain a few weeks ago.  The sheep are enjoying lush pastures now!  It is the breeding season for them, so lush grass is essential for a few weeks.  As you can see, (especially from the looks of Rose in the bottom right corner) they're not suffering or nutritionally deficient in any way LOL. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Summertime Bounty!

 First pickling of the season!  Almost 40 lbs of cucumbers and zucchini transformed into yummy pickles :-)  About half of the cucumbers were purchased through on of our favorite family businesses...Azure Standard.  
Oh, and a few jars of dilly beans, of course!

So many of my hours and days are spent preparing soil, seeding, transplanting, watering, trellising, harvesting, cleaning and canning the produce that God has given us.  While I busy myself with these projects, I often think about the growing process...and the many truths connected.  It is striking how often you find the use of farming/planting/harvesting narratives and references in the Bible.  Jesus told so many parables that centered around the once essential part of every family's life.  It is amazing how REAL the references and stories become when given a small taste of relying on the harvest for sustenance, like they did in Bible days.  I am so thankful for the blessing of this land and the opportunity we have to grow so many wonderful things here!      

This setup makes quick work of all the cukes!  Richie found this awesome mandolin slicer at Costco Business.  It is a very helpful tool! 

Janet and I have both been putting away many pounds of blueberries, raspberries, and butter, all home grown and delicious! 

First batch of Mozzarella cheese was a success!

And "farmer's cheese" or cottage cheese.  This is one of the easiest and quickest cheeses to make, and it is perfect for lasagna, ravioli, pizza, and eating as a snack!

So far we have harvested 3 gallons of honey.  The count would be a lot more impressive if I was not afraid of my bees.  I did get stung this time, fortunately on the leg, not the face like last time. After a few days of limping around with one leg enlarged to about twice it's normal size, I'm thinking maybe beekeeping is not the right thing for me!
Straining out the wax cappings and particles.

 First ever home-grown pickled banana peppers! 
The greenhouse has allowed a much better pepper harvest than I have ever had in this climate.

 Last week Richie and I had the pleasure of enjoying a delicious BBQ and short boat ride with the family!  
Some of my most favorite lovely ladies :-)

 Hangin' with Aunt Kelley out on the high seas.

Saturday was the wonderful wedding shower for the sweet Miss. Boyer/Tevis-to-be.  I am so blessed to have her as a sister-in-law!