Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Will You Sponsor?

My Aunt Linda is an avid knitter and she emailed me today with a very cool project she's working on. It's called Knit for the Cure which will raise money for Susan G. Koman For the Cure. The Knitting Corner, a yarn shop in Virginia Beach, Virginia is donating pink and white yarn for knitters to knit squares for an afghan.

Aunt Linda will decide how many 8" afghan squares she can knit (up to 10) between now and October 31st. She's in need of sponsors who would like to donate money. Each sponsor decides how much money they'd like to pledge per square knitted. For example, if someone pledges to donate $1 per square and she knits 10 squares, that would be a total of $10 from that sponsor.

During the next year, the knitted squares will have the name of a breast cancer survivor or victim sewn on it. The squares will then be knitted into an afghan and raffled off for the proceeds to benefit Susan G. Komen For the Cure.

Click here to watch the video about this.

If you have a name you'd like sewn on a square, please let me know and I'll pass it along to my Aunt Linda, no obligation to donate needed.

I'm going to be a sponsor. Will you join me? There's no donation too small! If you're interested, please let me know either through comments or by email. Aunt Linda will let me know how many squares she knits. After that, I'll collect the checks (made out to Susan G. Komen For the Cure) and mail them to Aunt Linda.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Broiler Time Again

I guess I've been slacking on updating a few things around here lately. In late August we got our second batch of broilers, this time 55 of them.

So here they were as cute fuzzy chicks in late August...

And here they are now at 4 weeks. I took these pictures this past weekend when I moved them into the chicken tractors. I had to split them into two groups.

I've been having to move the tractors every day because they make such a mess. Pretty soon I'll have to move them twice a day.

I'm thinking they're going to outgrow the pens....

I'm not sure what I'm going to do when that happens. I don't really want to free range them again, because they make a mess of the yard. I'm just counting down to processing time. Sometimes I get worn out from all the animals. I'm debating whether or not I want to raise any broilers next year. Maybe I'll feel differently about it after a long winter's break.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Eating Machines

We have 9 turkeys left. I sold 2 to a friend a couple of weeks ago. The remaining 9 are very large and eat a ton! I feed them (along with the chickens) in these two troughs just inside the chicken run. The turkeys used to have free-range of our property, until they started wandering waaaaay too far. I caught them across the road once, and I put a stop to their roaming ways.
Now they stay in the sheep pasture, but I had to figure out a way to feed them so the sheep (and goats) couldn't eat their food. This works really well. The turkeys reach through the fencing to eat, and the sheep can't get to it. The feed cost is really starting to add up though. The chickens and turkeys go through 2 bags of feed per week. Add that in with the 2 bags per week for the broilers, and it's an easy $36-40 per week in just poultry feed alone.

I think I'll be processing the turkeys soon, maybe this weekend or next weekend. They're really pretty, and I'll miss them, but I won't miss their food bill.

It's funny, but many times I catch the turkeys in segregated groups. The white ones will hang out and the bronze ones will hang out.

Pretty soon my freezer will be chock full of turkeys!

Many are going to friends and family. I think we'll keep 2, and we may have an extra turkey or two to sell or barter.

Next year I hope to get a few heritage breed turkeys to keep year round. I'll miss having turkeys on the homestead.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

For Sale

I've decided to sell Darla's ewe lamb. I am on a tight budget and could use one fewer mouth to feed at the moment.
She was born on 6/19/10. Her sire is a Border Leicester (see this post) and her dam is a Southdown. She is halter broke and would be a nice 4-H project. Her wool seems pretty crimpy too, so she may make a good sheep for someone who spins. I'm not a wool expert, but it's my somewhat educated guess.
Please email me or comment if you're interested.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ok, so we're about 90% sure we've picked a name for the new pup! Buford! It's kinda a tribute to his home state of South Carolina (ya know, the town Beaufort) and it just seems to fit him so far.

He was a pretty tired boy last night. He and Elmer took a good nap on the couch.

They were re-energized this morning though.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The New Guy

Scooter and I took a road trip this morning. Our destination: Connecticut. Our mission: to adopt a puppy! We left at 4:45 in the morning, got to our destination at 9:30, and were home by 3:30.

The puppy is an 11 week old Airedale (?) mix pup. He's a cute boy. As soon as I saw him on Petfinder, I fell in love with him.

Here he is meeting Elmer. Elmer was scared at first, then he did his crazy run-in-circles routine.

Scooter wasn't too thrilled we actually brought the puppy home. I think he wanted to make sure he got in a picture too.

The kids love him! We didn't tell them about him, it was a total surprise! I love Elmer's expression in this picture...

The girl loves her dogs...

I think he like the kids too! Excuse Devin's washcloth. He's got a fever.

Kylee wanted a turn walking him.

I think he saw a chicken.

Such a long day!

I feel really lucky to have been chosen as his new family!!! Thanks so much Roxy and Ty's Rescue!!

Oh, and we haven't chosen a name for him yet. Some of our ideas are Walter (probably our favorite so far), Sprocket, Ratchet, Henry, and I like Herschel for some reason.

Friday, September 17, 2010

June vs. The Apple

The girl loves her apples!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Going to the Market

My coworker and friend has a certified organic vegetable and grain farm a few miles from our house. They run a CSA and sell wholesale and also at markets. She was busy this past Saturday, so she asked me if I could sub for her and work at the market. I said yes, and I roped David into helping. :-) I thought it sounded like fun and I wanted to see what it was like to be a vendor at the market. This particular market is in a neighboring county and has a mostly well to-do following.

We met at her house at 6:00 AM and hopped in the van. We got to the market and quickly got everything set up. I wanted to make sure we got everything just right! It was a lot of pressure and I didn't want to disappoint her! We had radishes, tomatoes, edamame, leeks, peppers, mixed greens, and eggplant for sale.

It was a perfect, almost-fall morning. Nice and cool and crisp.

The vendor to our right was Rise Up Coffee. They were awesome guys and the coffee smell tortured us all day! David got a regular coffee and a coffee smoothie (out of this world good!) and I got an iced coffee. They also sold hot apple cider and it smelled delicious. I don't know if you can see in this picture, but Kyle is pouring hot water over the coffee grinds to brew it. They said that's the best way to brew coffee!

Sorry, this was the only picture I was able to snap of the market. There were all kinds of vendors, like woodworking people, yogurt and cheese people, bison people, tea people, veggie people, dog treat people, and many more.

We even had music! This duo was set up very near our spot. They were really good and it was nice to have some background music.

We had a great time! We sold a good amount of veggies, and met some really great people! It's great to know that there are vendors with people who faithfully come every week and buy their products. We also think that it might be a possibility for us in the future...perhaps selling chicken, eggs, and rabbit. I'm just not sure about giving up every single Saturday for the whole summer and into fall.

Easy Like Sunday Morning

Recipe here.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Gummy Love

I love gummies. Anything gummy. I'm much more of a fruity candy kinda gal than a chocolately candy. But don't get me wrong, I'll still eat chocolate if you gave me some! The kids and I went to Bylers last weekend and while we were there we checked out their assortment of candies. They have a ton of different things.

I told the kids they could each pick out one thing and I would also pick one thing. I picked out gummy octopuses. Octopi. Gummy creatures with 8 legs and a blobby body.

Devin picked out these gummy hammerhead sharks!

And Kylee....well, she had a hard time picking something. She went back and forth for a few minutes and finally settled on...

Gummy teeth!!! How creepy yet funny are these?

Oh no, the gummies are eating each other!

And surprisingly, the teeth taste really good! They're almost like a strawberries and cream flavor or something!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Just Swinging

It was a weekend for swinging!

And reading while swinging...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Show Offs

Today all the animals were feeling great thanks to the lovely weather we're having! It really is perfect out....warm but not too hot, and nice and breezy! Our AC has been off and the windows open all weekend.

June and the ram decided they wanted to play head butting games.

They were really getting into it!

Then Darla decided she was going to join in too!

The whole time I was in the pasture the turkeys were showing off for me. They would follow me around and strut, trying to impress me with their lovely feathers and blue and red heads.

Turkey heads are weird and bald and wrinkly, but they do have pretty colors.

Oh yes, Mr. Turkey, you are very impressive. I'm amazed at your good looks. I can't wait to eat you invite you for dinner.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pecks of Pickled Peppers!

How did Peter Piper pick pickled peppers? I mean, don't you have to pickle them after you pick them? One of life's great mysteries I guess.

We have had a wonderful crop of jalepenos this year. That's about the only thing we got a wonderful crop from, except the squash early in the year. I made some pepper jelly in July, but i needed to do something with all the peppers I've picked since then.

Sunday I got busy chopping. I chopped lots of peppers into little rounds to pickle, left some whole to pickle, and diced some for the freezer.

Here is a picture from when I made the jelly. I don't have pictures of the finished product, but I probably made enough for 5 or 6 jelly jars full. We don't eat much pepper jelly, so maybe I can find some poor un-expecting schmuck to give some to!

Here are the jars of pickled peppers. Unfortunately one broke in the canner.

I also brought a big grocery bag full of them to work and gave them to my coworker. I'm not sure why I planted so many plants when they produce like crazy every year. Maybe next year I'll plant 2 plants instead of 4!
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