Sunday, August 27, 2017

More Fowl Things - weather and turkeys

We sure have had the rain lately!  Following  a very soggy and dismal farmer's market, yesterday afternon the Greater Mille Lacs Chapter of the Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota had our first Farm2Families event.  And it rained some more.  We put up canopies, cut back on the activities some (no hayrides), had our speakers and meal as planned and it was all fine.  Just not as many people attended as we would like, but considering the rain it was good.  I didn't take many pictures but did have my sister Carolyn take this fun picture of some of us members posing with our photo board.  My relatives who see this post will recognize cousin Mathew Nix there in the front.  I claimed the goat of course.

 Wandering turkeys continue :

There are lots of mushrooms around -due to the damp conditions I suppose.  I find them so interesting - this leathery looking one was in the yard.

And this is not a mushroom at all.  It's Monotropa Uniflora - also called ghost pipe or indian pipe.  It's a plant that doesn't have chlorophyll, sort  of rare I guess.  I wouldn't know anything about it but I saw it just the other day on facebook.
In garden news, even though it's a mess, the jungle is producing quite a few tomatoes!  I will be making sauce this week I think, and I am looking forward to a good melon harvest.

Be well folks, I'll be back next week.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Fowl Things

So the turkeys are messing with me.  Plainly they get a kick out of flying over the fence, then standing around by the gate and calling loudly so I run out and let them in.   Over, and over, and over again.

Kurt added a board to the top of the fence near the gate so they can just jump up onto it and from there just jump back in.  We parked the wheelbarrow with some wood suggestively close.  And added a ramp.  Oh, that's working well!

 While they are roaming around, they have a great time - checking out the roof of the woodshed and pole barn, followed by a little greenhouse trashing.
 The gentlemen turkeys are gobbling these days and doing that poofy display thing which is kind of neat to see.

Enough of turkeys.

Thursday I found a little surprise in the coop!

This hen has been setting for a while but I was expecting the chicks on Saturday, not Thursday!  I actually have two other broody hens but I am ruthlessly taking their eggs away daily.  This is not the time of year to be having chicks.  I did let this one though because we have a thing (event) coming up where it will be nice to have some little ones to show folks. More on that next week.

No futzing with the incubator, fretting if the power goes out, trying to manage the humidity, making sure the turner is working and getting the temperature just right.  This hen does it all, and better.  Mother Nature knows best.

Until next time, be well friends!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Another Chilly August Day...

The calendar tells us that it is mid-August.  Our high temp today was 62 degrees.  Just doesn't seem right.

I just have a bunch of random thoughts this evening and am not even sure where to begin.  You might be wondering how the pigs are doing - I'll say not that great.  At least none of them died this week but their condition and lack-luster appetite is concerning.

In the coops, the turkeys are routinely putting themselves outside of the fence and then calling until I trot out to open the gate so they can go back in.  I'm getting pretty well trained. 

The pumpkin patch is looking pretty good.  I tried to get some pictures out there of the blossoms and one of the bigger pumpkins but they are just not blog worthy, sorry about that - so you get these:

Cheese - Kurt and I made this farmhouse cheddar around the end of October and it has been aging in the wine fridge since then.  The flavor is good - quite sharp, but the texture is on the dry side.  It does not melt like a store-bought cheddar does so it wasn't a hit in Kurt's omelet. I am really enjoying crumbling it up on my salads and I think it would be good in a pasta salad, so may give that a try.

Spot - She has a talent for finding the sunniest place to nap - here on the dusty backside of the baler.
Ok, just noticed the wrapper on the baling twine next to her ... that makes me giggle a little - wonder what she is dreaming about?

Hoover - He likes to hang out as close to me as he can, so that means he is frequently underfoot in the kitchen.  You might think this was just a momentary pose but I believe he was sleeping when I took this one.  The kitchen floor was recently redone in painted plywood (thank you Rollie!).  That is working out okay so far although I do intend to put another coat on at some point - this winter maybe?
Sunflowers - behind the house they are really blooming - just beautiful.  I took 2 pails of them to the farmer's market yesterday to sell by the stem and they sold out by 10:30.  I will take more next week and hope they go well again.
With that, I will wish you a fine evening.  Be well friends!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Harvesting begins

Wow, this has been such busy weekend for me - I haven't been home a whole lot.  This post will be brief and short on photos I am afraid!

Our first harvest of the Turkey Red winter wheat is combined and in the shed.  We didn't get the yield we had hope for, but for a first time growing it we did all right. We will keep a little to grind for flour, and a little for our favorite local bread baker, but most of it will be going back into the ground in a couple weeks for this next year.  We will also have hard spring wheat to harvest later this fall - that is the the wheat we've been growing for several years now.
Rollie is at it again

We haven't lost any  more pigs but we are still concerned about their health - will keep you posted on that.  And reports of the demise of our turkeys have been erroneous.  They all just great. 

One of the things that has been filling my time is an event that our Sustainable Farming group is planning - we call it Farm2Familes.  It is a community event to bring farmers and consumers together in a fun and educational way to benefit all.  That's coming up on August 26.

Today I just had fun.  My friends Sara and I did a 5K in Minneapolis this morning that ended in Target Field and then attended the Twins game in the afternoon.  After the drive home from the cities I am whipped but will be ready to do it again next year!
Outside Target Field afterward - kind of sweaty but all smiles!
One more thing I will add - the sunflowers are starting to bloom providing buckets of sunshine which we take to the farmer's market to share. 

Until next week, be well friends!