Open Thread, October 3, 2020

Well, folks. The world still turns and gets stranger every single day. There are many people that daily outline the events taking place around us – political, criminal, availability of everything from food to ammo to canning supplies to baby chicks to anything, you name it. 

Right now, and all day everyday, we request your prayers beseeching the Almighty for the quick, total recovery of our President and his beloved First Lady, President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.

The turmoil, unrest, and uncertainty of the future of our country appears to grow everyday. Every single day. There is something that happens, information that comes to light, or the placement of one more piece of a puzzle that is so deep and wide that it truly seems beyond the human mind to fathom.

So we step back, take a breath and attempt to decipher what is real, what is conjecture, opinion or outright lies and fabrications. Then we go outside and enjoy what we have been blessed with. A beautiful place to live. Flowers. Hummingbirds. The final harvesting of the garden. 

The sweet potatoes are dug and curing in the greenhouse. We grew three varieties to compare productivity and flavor. We will use those potatoes and plants for next year’s crop.

The only other things left in the garden are okra and peppers, which are declining since we are already having lows in the 40’s and 50’s. The turnip greens are growing well, they like the cool weather. The spinach is trying to grow, something killed all of the lettuce and it needs to be replanted. Yes, we are still growing some food stuffs. But it’s going to be an early winter this year, or so I have been feeling for about a month now. I would recommend you stock as deep as you can and prepare for a long, cold winter. Just a feeling.

We are canning chicken today. Baking the last dozen we had in the freezer and getting them all on the shelf. Next week we will start butchering our older laying hens to can as well. The young hens are laying well and we are over run with eggs. We also have another batch of young chicks that will start laying in January. So we have meat and eggs on the menu for part of a future food supply.

The goats are drying up. Three does are due in January. One more doesn’t seem to be bred or show any indication of doing so. We don’t know what is going on with her. Braum’s (an ice cream store in our area) has started selling A2 milk which is a very pleasant surprise. Our vet is drinking it with great success. He hasn’t been able to drink milk in years due to a gut issue. That proves to me that there really is something to the A1/A2 issue. We are buying milk from Braum’s to get us to January and our own fresh supply again.

Just walking into a store now days is a strange, eerie experience. Half of the people look at each other like they are scared to be around anyone, another half is wearing masks and doesn’t like the ones that aren’t, the other half just tries to act normal, but hardly anyone talks. It’s quiet and suspicious. I know that’s three halves, but you’ll just half to deal with it.  Just like living in this dystopian virus controlled world.

My mom is now on hospice and continues her slow steady decline. I haven’t been able to go into the nursing home to see her since March 12th. It kills me to go see her through the window and not be able to touch her and hug her. Knowing there are hundreds or thousands of others in the same predicament doesn’t make it any easier, but I am very empathetic to the pain it causes so many of us in these days and times. A person we know just lost a healthy, active parent with underlying conditions to this virus. It hits close to home since they were younger than Frank. 

Pray for our President and First Lady for there are those that take joy in their sickness. These people that wish our President and First Lady harm are part of the deep, entrenched, putrid, decay of our country. If they win the election, if they take over, we are doomed. If you are not prepared for either outcome, I fear for you. 

Please share what is going on in your neck of the woods. We are all in this together and we all need help from each other. Please share. Be safe. Stay healthy. Be extremely vigilant. Use discernment in all you read, watch and believe. Pray for guidance always.

Until next time – Fern


Homestead News Volume 21

We are enjoying below normal temperatures here this week which is a welcome relief to the hot humid weather we have been having. Our hot weather has been similar to what is happening across the country east of here, we have been having daily heat advisories for a while now. We know the heat will return because that is what is normal for this location in the middle of summer, but this morning the low was 61*, normal is about 80* in the midst of summer.

Self discipline has kicked in a little better this summer with rising early and getting out of the house before 10:00am. We don’t always, and definitely haven’t always in the past. It’s easy to sit and drink coffee, visit and peruse the internet. That’s more fun than going outside and sweating. But when we do get up and about and get things done, it feels better, physically and mentally. The bonus is that things get done. So, here are some things that have been happening around the homestead.

We have put about two dozen roosters in the freezer, with the last of them butchered today. Now that the chickens are finished we have six wethers we need to get in the freezer as well. That will be next on the meat preservation list.

There are now more jars on the shelf including green beans, turnip greens and beets.

The garden continues to produce a good harvest almost daily. We are currently getting okra, tomatoes, peppers and green beans.

The pinto beans have been pulled and I’m working on shelling them for canning. The harvest would have been much larger if I had realized pinto beans are pole beans, not bush beans. 

Pinto bean harvest

The first planting of cow peas, purple hull peas, are just about ready to begin blooming and the second planting is up and growing well.

We have harvested the first cutting of amaranth. I will be doing a separate article soon. The second planting is in and also doing very well.

Amaranth after the main seed head has been harvested.

New amaranth seedlings

I have pondered doing a Goat Tale for you, but there really isn’t much to tell so I will include them here. The doe, Patch, that had mastitis and a retained placenta, is now healthy, and I am still milking her on the ‘good’ side of her udder.

Patch – you know, see that patch of white on her side?

In the last few weeks all of our does have bred which has happened before, but is unusual. Neither the does or the buck seem interested in breeding during the heat of the summer most years. This breeding means in the next few months our milk supply will diminish and dry up sometime before they give birth in December. Winter babies are good. They tend to be healthy and thrive better than summer babies, but we will miss having our own fresh milk while waiting for them.

Here is a sneak peek at a project Frank has been working on. He will fill you in on the details in a future article.

We have begun reading Leigh Tate’s book Prepper’s Livestock Handbook. Leigh blogs over at 5 Acres & A Dream which is packed with information about developing their homestead and becoming as self-sufficient as possible. Leigh does a lot of research and tracks data covering their successes and failures. This is where I discovered amaranth and kefir. If you haven’t been there, go take a look, she has a wide variety of information available. We’ll be telling you more about her book after we have more time to graze through it. After all, it is about livestock. 

Frank and I were talking about plans for our activities yesterday and came to the conclusion that this time of year almost everything we do is related to food. It is the food production and preservation time of year. Other things can be postponed until winter when the harvest is in and the weather cools down. 

Life is good on the homestead. Very good. The world? Well, that’s another story. I could direct you to all sorts of horrible, troubling things, but you know what is out there. You know what is coming our way. Prepare accordingly. Don’t be caught by surprise. What comes may shock us, may devastate us, may end the world as we know it. But until that time arrives, the sun is shining, I get to spend my days with the man I love at my side. The flowers are blooming. There is food on our shelves. We have a wonderful life.

Until next time – Fern

Simple Meals

We have found our meals getting smaller and simpler as time goes by. Part of that is age, we just can’t eat as much as we used to and we don’t need to because we burn fewer calories, otherwise it is a matter of choice. I have found myself using fewer ingredients and trying to incorporate what we grow or store in almost all of our meals. We buy some things – olive oil, apples, carrots, onions, cabbage, occasional eggs, milk when the goats are dry. We buy wheat, oats and flax in bulk buckets. But there’s not really much else we buy. Coffee, we definitely buy coffee, for we are daily coffee drinkers. 

After I thought about it a while I realized that if we do experience a collapse, everyone will be eating much simpler meals made out of what is on hand. So our advice is to have on hand what you want to and can eat. Some folks have dietary restrictions because of their health, that is something to plan ahead for. Part of what we eat is to keep our bodies regular and provide adequate energy and nutrition. We have found that most people find our meals lacking enough items, ingredients or flavor, and that’s okay. We truly believe everyone should have the freedom to choose, whether it is meals, location, weapons, vehicles or religion. This is the way we choose.

Here are a few of the meals we eat regularly. Sometimes they are like this, sometimes there are variations of the same theme. I didn’t take a picture, but the other day we had a quarter pound ground pork burger on one of our sourdough buns with a slice of onion. Frank has mayonnaise and I have mustard. The side dish was a bowl of turnip greens. Different? Probably. Good? We like it.

 
Ground pork from the pigs that are no longer with us, eggs and salsa we canned last summer.

 

Okra we grew last summer and froze whole after washing. We slice and saute it in olive oil with salt and pepper. The purple hull peas were grown and canned in 2017.

 
Spam and cabbage, both store bought. Yes, Spam. We consider it part of our meat food storage and keep a good quantity on the shelf. We buy a head of cabbage about once a month and eat on it until it’s gone, usually over three or four meals.

We eat greens regularly and keep a good stock on the shelf. We prefer our own turnip greens, but have others just in case we need or want them. We had quite a few comments and questions about turnip greens recently, so I was going to do an article about the nutritional benefits until I realized I had already done one. You can find it here, The Nutrition of Turnips & Turnip Greens. What we do differently now than when we wrote the previous article, is a serving of greens is simply water, salt and greens. We drink the water after eating the greens for the nutrients it contains.

Soup. Frozen tomatoes, cowpeas, cabbage and peppers. Canned green beans and squash. Ground pork, carrots, onions.

We are slowly using up some of the things we froze last summer. This batch of soup provides us four meals, some we eat fresh and some we freeze for later.
 

We have made a number of variations of the meat pie.

This version is made with our canned chicken, salsa, frozen peppers, cheddar, sourdough starter and store bought onions. It’s okay, but we like it better with ground pork instead of chicken.


This meals takes little effort at this point. Turnip greens and Jacob’s cattle beans. The tape measure was part of Frank’s meal, um….. humor…. for this picture. Does this food taste wonderful? No, not really. We eat it for the nutrition and the taste is okay, but nothing great.

 

 

Think about simple. Think about how your meals would change if the SHTF. How would your diet change? What choices would you have? Are you used to eating what you would then be forced to eat? Would it make you sick? Can you afford to be sick in that situation?

Our diet is the way it is by choice. We like it that way. It’s interesting to think it may benefit us if the world continues to spiral down into the abyss we seem to be forced to march a little closer to everyday. Eat what you store. Store what you eat.

Until next time – Fern

A Fascinating Chicken Story

Hi Everybody, Frank here.

I have an unscheduled chicken post for you. This is not going to be one of those six, twelve, eighteen kind of things, but the other day something really cool happened in our chicken house.

Proud daddy

We’ve had a couple of hens wanting to set for a good while now. For you non-chicken types, this is one of those things that a hen does occasionally. She’ll want to stay in the nest box until the imaginary eggs underneath her hatch. Well, it’s a chicken thing. Everyday we take the eggs out from underneath them.

If you are looking to start a flock of birds, there are birds that are advertised as broody and non-broody. If you don’t want a bird to exhibit this type of behavior, get a non-broody breed. If you think you might want to hatch your own eggs using a hen, then get a bird that will go broody. But just because a bird goes broody, or I will call it setting, doesn’t always mean that they will sit on the eggs for 21 days, hatch the baby chickens and raise them. Some birds are good mommies and some birds aren’t. We have never let a hen set on a clutch of eggs.

Now, back to the story. As mentioned above, we have two hens that have been trying to set. We have an assorted flock, two is not bad. One is a Dark Cornish, one is an Black Australorp. Well, we put our recently hatched baby chickens in the chicken house about 10 days ago. Three nights back, one of the setting hens decided she would go over and set on the opposite side of the pen where the baby chickens were. Now she’s still in setting mode. The next morning, all the baby chicks are crowded on their side of the pen right up next to where this setting chicken was. This hen just happens to be a Black Australorp.

Well, Fern and I thought that was really cute. And then we thought about it some more and talked about it. This setting hen was talking to these baby chickens. We thought we would try putting this hen in with the baby chicks. We did. We watched her for awhile. Now, remember these are not day old chicks, they are about 10 days old. But these baby chicks took to this hen just like she was their mommy, and she probably is the mommy to at least a couple of them. There are dangers in doing what we did, because adult hens on occasion will kill a non-related baby chick. All the baby chicks are still fine and healthy. This hen has adopted these 36 baby chicks. I can’t necessarily say that they have all bonded with her, but at night many of them sleep under her wings and under her body, and the rest crowd around close. 

So, what does this mean to us, the humans? Now, this is what I have read and been told. If you release a mother with her baby chickens into the flock, then the mother will protect the babies from the other adult hens. After a couple of days, with the mother hen defending her chicks, the other adult hens won’t bother them. 

Here is our plan. We have already started another batch of eggs that will hatch in about two weeks. We will put these chicks in the pen where the current baby chicks are. We will move the current baby chicks into an adjacent pen, still separated from the adult birds, but without the direct heat source that the first pen has. After this move of birds, about three weeks later we should be able to release the current baby chicks with their mom into the general population. That would make them approximately six weeks old at that time. We normally don’t release birds into the general population until about 10 to 12 weeks of age. This will provide us with the opportunity to start another batch of eggs hatching a little bit sooner.

You might say, “Why do you need so many baby chicks?” Well, for all of the babies that are hatching, they will become our replacement laying flock in about six months. We will freeze more friers this year than we have in the past. But our big plan is to can quite a bit more chicken meat for long term use. We also make our own chicken broth when we are canning chicken. 

The cool part of this story is the mother hen and the baby birds. I thought you’d want to know this. If you’ve had any experiences like this, or know of anyone that has, please let us know in the comment section. We’ve heard stories about how you can take a setting chicken with eggs underneath her, and during the night replace the eggs with live day old chickens. But we were just floored with the behavior of this adult hen and the relationship she now has with the ten day old baby chicks. Hope you’ve enjoyed this story. Take care.

We’ll talk more later, Frank

Low Carb Fried Chicken

I think I have made a great discovery. Frank loves fried chicken, well, we both do. After we changed our diets to accommodate a low carbohydrate intake, I no longer fried chicken. But I have only found so many ways to bake or saute chicken that meets our dietary requirements and supports our weight loss.

As I was pondering new and delicious ways to fix chicken, I ran across some information about sourdough starter and it’s carbohydrate content. As the starter ferments it predigests, or consumes much of the carbohydrates in flour. When sourdough bread is made and left to proof, or ferment, the starter will consume much of the carbohydrates in the wheat, creating a bread that is lower in carbohydrates compared to yeast made breads. This got me to thinking about different ways I can use my sourdough starter. I am very interested in what you think about this information. Here are some of the things I have read.
 
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From Cultures for Health: Low Carb Fermented Foods 

“One of the beauties of the fermentation process is that it actually lowers the carbohydrate count of the food you are fermenting.

Fermentation occurs when bacteria feasts off of the carbohydrates found in a food. In making kombucha that food is the sugar. In making sourdough bread that food is the flour. In making sauerkraut that food is the carbohydrates in the cabbage. In making yogurt that food is the lactose naturally occurring in milk.

In fermentation, the sugars and starches are eaten up by the bacteria cultures, and converted to lactic acid, carbon dioxide, and more bacteria. So, by definition, fermentation is a process one could use to lower the dietary carbohydrate levels found in various foods.

It is difficult to know the exact carbohydrate count of a fermented food, but there is one principle to keep in mind if you are concerned about the carbohydrates in your fermented foods:

The longer the fermentation time, the more carbohydrates eaten up by the organisms, the more sour the ferment, the lower the dietary carbohydrate count.

So by controlling the culturing, you control the carbohydrates found in fermented foods and in this way you can eat low-carb and enjoy many fermented foods.”

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From Daniel Reed: Sourdough Bread and Health

“Researchers in Sweden at Lund University have noted that the fermentation process that’s involved in the creation of sourdough utilizes carbohydrates, lowering the carbohydrate level in the dough as it’s transformed to lactic acid. The result of this process means that sourdough bread can aid in ensuring that your blood glucose level remains in line, helping to guard against various diseases especially diabetes.”

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With this information in hand, the question then became how many carbohydrates that are contained in fresh ground whole wheat flour are ‘consumed’ during the fermentation process? There doesn’t seem to be a consensus on the numbers. If you look up the number of carbs in whole wheat flour, you will find that a bag of whole wheat flour at the store, and flour you just made from grinding up wheat berries appear to have a different carb counts, and quite a different amount of nutritional value. 

Nutrition Data indicates that 1 cup of whole wheat flour has 87g of carbs and 15g of fiber. Subtracting the fiber from the carb count gives a total of 72g of carbs. It doesn’t indicate whether this is store bought flour or fresh ground whole wheat flour.

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The Whole Truth has an article that says, When wheat is ground for commercial flour sales, the bran is first removed and the germ and oil in particular are separated out, since these spoil in a short period of time. The remaining endosperm is then finely ground, leaving white flour. In order to market “whole-wheat flour,” a small percentage of the bran is returned to the product, yet it still lacks the germ and thus is far from being “WHOLE” wheat flour.”

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There are a few opinions out there about how many carbs are consumed during the fermentation process, but most indicate it would depend upon the length of time the flour is allowed to ferment. There are several forums that discuss possible numbers like this one. I have done some thinking on this. The starter itself should not be high carb if you consider the example of wine. One bottle of wine contains approximately 2.6 lbs of grapes. That would make the carb load 468 grams. However we know that there only remain around 30g of carbs in a bottle. Hence we know how much the beasties eat. Essentially we are left with 7 % of the original carb count. Two problems with this. Wine ferments on average for 2 weeks. This starter takes 4 days. Second, we cannot automatically assume that the uptake of carbohydrates is the same with flour as with grape juice. If I was to make this I would assume 20% of carbs remaining to be on the safe side.”

 
So, if I take the 72g of carbs in 1 cup of commercial whole wheat flour, add it to the sourdough starter and let it ferment all day, or a minimum of 8 hours, and multiply that by 20%, I get 14.4 carbs. 

Now, what does all of this have to do with fried chicken? I started all of this research to try to get a reasonable estimate of how many carbohydrates would be in 1/2 cup of our whole wheat sourdough starter. After all of this reading, I determined that 1/2 cup of starter should, could or probably contains about 7 or 8 grams of carbohydrates. That is doable for us on the amount of carbohydrates we are limiting ourselves to during this phase of our diet.

I mixed 1/2 cup of starter that had not been fed for over 8 hours, with one egg, cut up the chicken (which we raised; it doesn’t have skin), dipped each piece in the batter, shook off any excess, and fried it up. I realized after we were eating that I hadn’t thought to put any salt and pepper in the batter which would have made the chicken better. But, you know what? It was really good. Like I said before, we both like fried chicken and we hadn’t had any for over four months.

When figuring our carb count for the chicken in this meal, I count it at 6g of carbs per person. That is probably higher than it actually is, but I would rather error on the high side than the low side. We only have a meal like this about once a week or less, but it does add a tasty alternative to the way we have changed our eating style.

My question for you is this. Do you think I am close to accurate in my assessment of the carbohydrate contents of the sourdough starter? I don’t want to try to kid myself into thinking I am fixing a low carb meal if I’m really not. I know there are many differences between sourdough starters that are fed all purpose white flours instead of only fresh ground whole wheat. But if this really is a decent low carb way to fry chicken, then I am happy to provide an occasional tasty meal for my husband. 

Until next time – Fern
 

I Don’t Have a Clue What to Write

I really don’t. It’s late. I’m tired and I can’t think of anything interesting to share with you. Frank and I have been very busy. We made the unplanned trip to look at the goats. Very informative, and the ride gave us time to reflect on our decision to come home with an empty trailer. We’re still glad we did. We’ve contacted a few other folks about a new buck. We’ll just have to see how that works out.

Frank has spent a couple of day working on a new CB installation in the vehicles that we will share with you sometime in another post.

Cabbage seedlings the rabbits are chewing on.

The seedlings are doing well now that we got a few days of sunshine. The part of the garden that is planted is growing. The turnip seeds I sprinkled in the front of the herb bed are coming up very well. I look forward to picking the greens for man and beast alike. With all of the cloudy cool weather we had this month, our seedlings grew very, very slowly. The small cabbage and broccoli we planted are finally starting to take off and grow. We did buy some spinach, lettuce and a few cabbage plants to provide some food a little earlier than our small seedlings will.

I also ordered more plants for the herb bed this year. They are getting acclimated, and will be planted in the next few days. I will do an article on how the herb bed is coming along in the next few weeks. I’m excited about the number of plants that are established and have been coming back year after year.

We are getting ready for more baby goats this week. Tomorrow we will be working on the barn making sure everything is in order. Cricket and Lady Bug will hit 150 days of gestation on Thursday, and Penny will do the same on Saturday. Since they are all first fresheners, I may not get much sleep after Tuesday night, with trips to the barn at all times of the day and night checking for babies, then checking on babies. You’ll be hearing all about them as well.

I tried a new low carb fried chicken dinner last night that was really good. After I do a little more research and put it all together, I’ll fill you in on that one. It was one of those experiments that I just didn’t know if it would taste good or yucky. Good thing for us it turned out very good.

We bought some seat cushions for our dinning room chairs. There comes a time in life when a little cushion can make a difference. They came in today so we haven’t had much time to try them out. I also ordered a roll of high density foam to put in the cushions on my chair. This is where I sit with my laptop and write these articles, and the cushion needs a little more umph. And, yes, that’s a heating pad. My back’s been acting up again, so during breaks from planting the garden and such, I fire it up.

 

We all know there is a drought going on out in California, and there is a drought going on in western Oklahoma, but there is not a drought in my neighborhood. It seems like just a few weeks back we had snow on the ground, then we had ice on the ground, then we had snow again.

Every now and then we’d have a pretty day or two, then we’d either have cloudy days with rain or rainy days with clouds. Once we had about three or four days of sunny weather, and Frank got the garden tilled. But, down deep it was just too wet and everything clodded up. So, when we needed to do some planting, we took some hard rakes and broke it down. Then in rained for four or five more days, then we had about three days off from the rain and actually had some pretty weather. So, Frank tilled the garden again, still too wet, but the clods were a little smaller this time. Then, you guessed it. It rained for three or four more days. 

Now, I have to say, the last three days have been beautiful. Sunny skies, light to moderate breeze. So when we got home today from running errands, Frank tilled the garden again. And, yes, it’s still too wet, but it’s getting better. Because you know what’s forecast late tonight and for the next five days? Liquid precipitation. If it could hold off for a little while tomorrow morning, then we can get the barn cleaned out without changing the corral into soup. Our weather men continue to tell us that we are running short on precipitation for the year, and I’m sure they’re right. 

 The folks we talked to at church Sunday mentioned that they haven’t planted a garden yet. It’s just too wet. Two Sundays ago at a potluck, I asked a lady if she had brought her famous turnip green dish. She said no, to do that she would need to build an ark. Somebody else made reference that to get to their garden they would need a canoe. I sure did miss those turnip greens. Well, that’s what the weather’s been doing lately.

See, I told you I didn’t have anything to write about….. I hope all is well in your neck of the woods. Feel free to share what you’ve been up to.

Until next time – Fern
 

Things on the Farm with Ponderings

We woke up this morning to a little sleet/frozen rain giving a light coating to everything outside. There are many folks around that have weather much worse than ours, especially up in the northeast. But, out in this neck of the woods, when we get this type of weather everything shuts down until the roads all thaw out. We’ve heard a few folks on the VHF radio this morning that are out and about ‘going to get something’ they need. We always ask ourselves, “Why didn’t they need this a couple of days ago when it was sunny and 76*?” That’s when we filled up both vehicles with gas and bought what we needed from the store. We can’t help but shake our heads and wonder what is actually contained within their craniums that causes them to throw all caution to the wind and venture out in their immortal skins, knowing that all will be well regardless of the weather conditions. It kind of reminds you of all those folks that know a collapse is coming but refuse to prepare anything for it’s inevitable arrival, doesn’t it? Take hurricane Katrina for example. People knew for days and days it was coming, but some didn’t prepare. The video clip that really got to me was the one with some folks out on their porch asking, “Where’s my water? When is somebody going to bring us our water?” We will never be able to understand the thought processes of people that throw caution to the wind and expect others to take care of them if something bad happens. Remember the story about the grasshopper and the ant? We’re ants.

Our pine needle covered path is extra slippery this morning

Every so often when I am out taking pictures, I get a variety of shots from here and there that don’t fit into any particular theme or post, but I like them and keep them. Today seemed to be a good day to dig some of them out to share. So, in no particular order, here is a view of life on our farm.

This is a great little lantern that is charged with a small solar panel on top.

Our funny Pearl, waiting with me for baby goats.

My first attempt at fermented cabbage that I haven’t told you about.

The salad is growing. Lettuce seedlings

Mixed baby greens

Spinach

Lunch & Buttons, 5 days old

Patch running around like a nut.

Patch

Lunch & Buttons. The lighting makes them look lighter than they are.

Buttons

The wethers and billy goat

Eating hay in the manger

One of our oldest cats, Pooh (there used to be a Tigger)

Frost on the turnips

It’s back to milking twice a day. Yea!

This is the first year I’ve been able to get a few decent bird pictures.

Before we became bloggers, we really didn’t take very many pictures. There are still many times we will be in the middle of something, or even finished with something that would have made a good post, but didn’t think of the camera. Very little effort has been made to figure out how to take decent movies and upload them to the blog. The first time I tried, Blogger wouldn’t accept whatever format our camera uses. I tried again a few days ago and figured out that I can upload short movies now. Here a few short shots of the kids playing in the barn today. Please forgive the wiggling and sometimes blurry shots from zooming in too close. The quality of the upload is not the best either. You’ll notice I am not the narrator. No one is. You may hear goats munching hay in the background or moving around in the barn. Or crows calling. Life in the barn is generally quiet and peaceful. I like it that way.

There are many times that the peaceful, quiet days we enjoy on the farm belie the distant rumblings and groanings of the discord that is growing across the globe. Some days it seems louder and others more distant, but there is no denying the fact that the discontent with life as we know it on this planet is growing and growing at a rate that is visibly escalating. Almost everyday we talk about the blessing of being tucked away from most ‘happenings’ out in the everyday world. There is no TV or radio blaring here. There are few neighbors and most of them are known. There is no desire to ‘go’ and ‘see’ and ‘be a part of’ anything happening ‘out there’, like we might miss out on something. 

There is contentment with who we are, where we are and the work we have to do here. There is a true blessing in living a quiet, peaceful life on the farm for us. This contentment can be found most anywhere if you choose to pursue it. It won’t come knocking on your door, but if you look for it, you will realize it’s always been there, waiting to be discovered, waiting to be found. 

Until next time – Fern