hello fall




Lilacinsept (2)

Lilacinsept2 (2)

Oh my goodness, I love this time of year.  The sunsets are just gorgeous.  I took this photo on my way back from the mailbox one early evening as the sun was going down.

Harvest time is here as well and my New England Sugar pie pumpkins did great.  I traded some pie pumpkins for some carrots, we didn't grow any carrots as time just got away from us.   Our lilac bush we noticed this summer seemed very stressed, well it had died and so Jim cut it down but we noticed that it had blooms on it, other than the few blooms the bush was dead

The kittens are doing well, they are starting to do what barn kittens/cats are supposed to do, catch mice.

Finally the days are getting a bit cooler as well as the nights, wonderful sleeping temps.  Such a busy beautiful time of year

sunflowers, bees and butterflies...oh my

We planted a row of sunflowers along side our corn and they are starting to open up.  I couldn't decide if I like the sunflower in color or B&W, so I posted both. 



The bees and butterflies are busy on my Joe Pye Weed.  It's fun to watch these guys so busy doing what bees and butterflies do.



Our cow barn or milking barn is starting to come along nicely, I will do a post on that as we make more progress. 

Our hot spell has broken and I have to say the weather has been very nice the past couple of days.

happy hatch day

Sorry this photo is a bit blurry, I was too excited about the hatching plus these babies were not staying still long enough so that I could focus on them, so this was the best I could get.



2021 baby chicks

I stand corrected in the video, I said "Happy Birthday".  I was corrected that it's actually Happy Hatch day!  Any way, we have chicks, 19 to be exact out of 22 eggs that were incubated.  So our hatching odds were pretty good for the first time ever incubating our own eggs.  They started showing signs of starting to hatch on Wednesday and by the time we woke up on Thursday we had 3 baby chicks and by late evening there were 19 total that hatched.  The last 3 eggs I checked after leaving them in the incubator for a few more days just incase they are late hatchers.  I'm sad to report that one wasn't fertilized and the other two for some reason stopped developing. 

It's starting to get hot here again in the 90° range which I don't mind too much.  So far though we have faired pretty well not putting our AC on, the nights have cooled down enough that sleeping hasn't been too unbearable.  It's also been pretty dry here and I have been having to water some of my plants.  One thing about the hot weather, we haven't had to run the chick brooder too much that keeps the chicks warm when they go under it.  We do plug it in later in the evening as the nights get a bit cool for them, not for us but definitely for them.

I love getting new chicks on our homestead here and it's especially exciting that we hatched chicks from our own flock.

never a dull moment

The sunset the other night was just awesome.  I looked up from checking on the pigs that we had moved that day to their new paddock area and this is what I saw.  It was really nice to see after having such a difficult time moving the pigs from their old paddock to their new one.  I've come to the conclusion that pigs are not up for change and that they are creatures of habit.  I should have video taped the whole process but I didn't.


We also harvested our garlic and so far growing garlic has been going good (LOL).  It seems like it's been so long since we planted the garlic bulbs, in reality it's only been just over 8 months.  I would like to double our garlic harvest for next year.  Our onions are not quite yet ready to harvest, we planted them later than we usually do.


Garlic harvest

Visiting with our Amish friends last week they gave me some eggplant.  I have never ever had eggplant before and thought I would try some when they offered it to me.  I have to say that I am not a fan of eggplant.  It could have been the way I cooked it, and I will say it won't be something I would be planting in the future, we both actually didn't care for it.


We have been dealing with hornets when we sit out on our back deck, to the point that I'm getting stung when I hang my clothes out on the line.  Well we found the source for all those hornets, I will tell you this was HUGE that we had to take it down for our safety.  Looking at it though it really is a beautiful piece of work done by the hornets.


Well our little Noki is down to 8 lives now.  We are not sure how it happened but she somehow got hurt to the point that we thought she wasn't going to make it.  Noki had crawled up into our ATV and Jim's not sure what happened, his first thought was that he had run over her with the ATV but I don't think so, she hurt her right back leg and could hardly walk for a few days.  I think that she had gotten thrown off of the vehicle and somehow her leg got twisted and sprained.  Here she is a few days ago and today she is starting to jump and play with Smoky our other barn kitten.  Poor little Smoky couldn't figure out why her barn mate wasn't up for playing anymore, but she's back and I am glad.


There is never a dull moment here on our homestead and I like it that way.

rainy day baking

It rained and it was supposed to be a whopper of a storm with 50 mile per hour winds...ha...that didn't happen, but we did get rain and it was windy a bit, but not 50 mph winds.  I thought that popcorn would be a great thing to have for lunch.  I recently bought a whirley pop popcorn popper and I'm here to tell you it is an awesome way to make popcorn.



And as always when it's bad weather either snow or rain I always want to bake or make homemade pizza, so of course that is just what I did.

I just had to sneak a peek at the doughs rising.




Living where we live here in Wisconsin we cannot find a place that makes a good pizza.  So since we can't go to the pizza I decided to bring the pizza to us.  Over the years I have used many different crust recipes and this crust is from Jill over at The Prairie Homestead.   It's a flavored crust and the last time I made it I didn't put the seasoning in the dough, this time I did and it was delicious and very flavorful.  The recipe was enough for 2 crusts and so what did I do, I made 2 pizzas.  We love leftover pizza.

Round pizza



I made sourdough bread but not my usual sourdough recipe.  I used Kate's over at Venison for Dinner sourdough master recipe.  I made the sandwich loaf and the cinnamon rolls.  I did not frost the cinnamon rolls and don't think I will, there is enough sugar in the rolls that make them sweet enough. 

I will confess that I messed up on the roll dough.  I have been having trouble getting my sourdough to pre-ferment and ended up with 2 ferments so instead of tossing one out I decided to make bread and the rolls.  But, and that is a big but, the cinnamon roll dough I missed a step..oops, but I thought I'd try making them anyway.  There wasn't any difference in how the doughs rose but I think the rolls ended up being just a tab bit heavier than the bread, although they are still delicious.  

Bread loaf


I hope I didn't get you too hungry with all the baking here on the blog.  I have to tell you about the plates the pizza and cinnamon rolls are on.  Believe it or not they are not paper plates.  I bought them a few years back down in Texas.  I don't remember the cost but they are from a company called  One Hundred 80 Degrees. I don't believe you can directly buy them from their website.  I love eating certain foods on them especially in the summer months.

It's hard to believe that we are smack dab in the middle of July, one more week and we see if we get any chicks hatching...stay tuned.