22 posts categorized "Country Life"

new life on the farm

Where do I even begin.  Our cow Tilly is no longer with us.  We had to bring her to the sale barn for slaughter as she wasn't well enough to be a milk cow for our homestead or for that matter any farm or homestead.  Bringing in our vet who took some blood, the results of the test he took on her we found out that she had Johne's Disease.   Hearing that was a very disappointing blow to us, we were getting very attached to her already and had even gotten a new calf from a neighboring dairy farm because our other calf was actually purchased for some friends.  The calf is with our friends who have a dairy cow that took our calf until she can be weaned.

Calf

So, we had to do some cleaning up in the corral area and pastures where Tilly had been before we could even think about bringing another milk cow onto our farm.  We cannot pasture any new milk cow where Tilly pastured for at least a year.  Our beef cow is okay and will be fine.  After we got everything all ready which was not an easy task, we were ready for a new milk cow, and I'm happy to say we found one and her name is Lazer, she's a registered Jersey and is a first-time heifer and will freshen in about 12 days.  We are so excited to have a birth on our farm other than the kittens that were born a few weeks back.

Lazer2

Laser

Lazer3

We also got pigs again this year, but we got them a bit later than we did last year.  These guys are quite small, but we plan to fatten them up pretty good.

Piglets

Our two barn cats had a total of nine kittens.  I just had to show you two of my favorite ones.  The top one is a male and is by far the biggest of all the kittens, our grandsons named him Tom.  The second one is such a pretty girl, but my photos just don't do either of the kitten's justice.

Tom

Kitten

Seeing the volunteer sunflowers growing in amongst the oats was such a pretty sight and having new life on the homestead makes up for everything.

Sunflowers


homestead update

Horseline

Dj

tilly

LIL ANNIE

Wow, I think it's time for an update on what's been happening on the homestead.  There is so much going on here.   We are the owners of 2 more cows, a Jersey milk cow and a Fleckvieh calf.  The Jersey and calf are actually at our Amish friends until our milk barn is finished which we are planning to have it done this week.  It's been hard around here to find a Jersey, and when we do find one it's gone and from what we have heard from the sellers they could sell the cows 5 times over.  Our friends milk cow hasn't freshened yet, so they are out of milk and for both of us it's a win-win situation, they house our Jersey and calf and milk her and they get the milk and we take some as well.  Our Jersey actually freshened early before the auction and didn't make it, so we were wanting to have her take an orphan calf and she has accepted the new calf as hers and has turned into a very good protective momma as well as gives some pretty good milk. 

The fencing is almost 100% done, but it's done enough that we can let the animals in the pasture.   The steer is out on pasture and with all the rain we've had he's not been able to keep up with it, so all is good.

While the livestock were being loaded into the trailer, I had to take a photo of all the horses lined up tied to the fence along with all the buggies parked.

The way this spring weather has been I wondered if we were ever going to get anything in the ground, but yay, we finally were able to work the ground and get some onions planted.  It's supposed to be nice and warm this week so what can be planted now will be.

For me it's been a long winter and the warm weather we are having is so nice to enjoy.


a year for firsts

Books

Kombucha

Kombuchaferment

Happy New Year!  I hope you all had a wonderful safe and happy New Year as well as a wonderful Christmas.  We had a blessed Christmas here and a very quiet New Year.  I guess we are getting "older" as we just can't seem to stay up to welcome in the new year like we used to.

We are in the process of building a barn to house our future milk cow and after some scrambling to finish part of the barn a stall that was originally in the plans is right now housing our steer.  Jim worked very hard to get that ready for the steer especially when winter was fast approaching at the time it was all going down.  So, in preparation for the milk we will be getting from our future milk cow I am reading all I can about making cheese and butter, I just can't wait for that to happen.  In the meantime, I am making kombucha from a Scoby that I received from our Amish friends, it's all bottled up and fermenting for the second time and a new batch is also fermenting as well.

I also am going to get into fermenting food, there are so many health benefits from fermented foods and not just from sauerkraut.  As I do like sauerkraut, I would like to ferment other foods. 

This year 2022 will be the year for many firsts and I am looking forward to all the firsts that will be happing around here.


edie

Garlicsalve

Good afternoon, it's been a busy week here. 

On Monday, I did laundry and made garlic salve

I remember when I was a young girl and my dad wasn't feeling well, an older women Edie in our church told him that she has something that would help him and that was garlic.  I'm not sure how the garlic was used at the time, but my dad wasn't interested but thinking back I wish he had taken her up on her offer of help. 

I believe Edie did things naturally.  I remember seeing alfalfa drying in her home that she used to make tea with.  My cousin and I would ride our bikes over to her apartment to visit from time to time and walking into her small apartment you could smell that distinct smell of garlic.  Edie was my cousins grandmother and spoke her mind which I never minded as a young girl, my cousin and I would enjoy our short visits.  Though she wasn't my grandmother I would sometimes think of her as my grandmother too. 

I wish that my cousin and I could sit and visit with her again as adults.  Edie had passed away many years ago and I do think of her often, especially when I get a whiff of garlic I think of her. 

I would love to turn the clock back just for one more visit.


his name is dee-jay

Another month has passed and so much has been happening here on the homestead.  We lost one of the 3 pigs we are raising for meat, she developed pneumonia and we had to put her down.  We could have tried giving her shots but there was no guarantee that she would survive, plus we would not have been able to butcher her for a minimum of 30 days.  We got 3 on the chance of losing one, and even though she was going to be butchered it was still hard to put her down.  I will admit that I cried, she was a sick girl and it was hard to see her so sick like that, so I cried and when I was all done I pulled myself up and told myself it was okay to cry because as we don't want to lose any livestock like that I realize they are here to be butchered and fill our freezer.  So no attachment girlfriend.

When our Amish friends mentioned that they have this Devon/Jersey calf that was a bull but is now a steer and that they really don't want to sell him but just don't have the room to raise him until he's ready to be butchered as they had twins born this past spring, and would we be willing to raise him on our land and split the beef.  We of course said yes, so the day after thanksgiving Jim went and picked him up.  Once our fencing is done around the pasture he’ll be able to roam a bit more, right now he’s kept in a smaller area to help him feel more secure while getting used to his new surroundings.

DJ2

DJ1
We definitely did not plan on getting any sort of cow, milk or beef at this time.  Our plans were to get a milk cow this spring and raise a calf with it but the opportunity came for us to jump right in we just couldn’t pass it up.  He’s such a good guy and so far things are going well with him. 


what's been happening here on the homestead

I don't think I will be able to update you on all that's been happening here without having photo overload, so I'll just do the best I can.  Since sugaring we have been so busy here on our homestead.  We got pigs this spring and friends came out to help us put up the fence before they arrived which was a HUGE help and we appreciated it so much.  The pigs are definitely getting big since the day we got them.

J&r

J&J

Had to get a photo by Jim's old ford tractor which has been such a work horse here for him.

Ro

Pigs

I've been growing herbs and trying to dry them out but it's been so hot and humid lately it may take a bit longer than I would like.  I'm also making some infused herb oils that I will be making into salves when they are ready.

Herbs

Infused oils

I started incubating eggs from our hens on July 1st and we candled them last night and it looks like all 22 eggs may have something happening.  I'm crossing my fingers that we will have chicks by the 21st or 22nd of July.  Our rooster Rudy is such a good boy and really takes care of this girls.  He has 23 hens to look after and does a tremendous job.

I know some may think that is too many hens for one rooster and we did try out another rooster to see how it would work and maybe have two flocks going but Rudy would  have none of it, so this guy had to go, and he was such a beautiful guy too.

Roo2

So Rudy in the man around the coop.

Rudy

This is the first time we have hatched eggs on our own, we have always gotten chicks from the feed store in town.  We'll see how many hens vs roosters we hatch out.  I'm hoping to get some roo's so I can process them in the pressure canner instead of freezing them. 

Eggs

The gardens are doing great now that we finally have gotten rain.

Weeding

Coop and vines

Grapes

What's a homestead without barn cats or kittens :)  Meet Smoky and Noki.  Noki is a Finnish word for soot.  Jim started calling the top one Smoky and I thought the black one looked like soot so I looked up the Finnish word for soot and it was Noki (pronounced No-Kee).  They are both girls and just so cute.

Smoky

Noki

There is nothing like taking a break with some coffee, haymakers punch also known as switchel and wild berries that are growing in the back yard.  I add lemon juice and maple syrup in place of the molasses and brown sugar.  I use either Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar or my homemade ACV, just depends on my mood at the time.   Believe it or not the haymakers punch really does refresh you on a hot day, especially when you have been working outside in the hot weather.

Berriesandhaymaker

Acv (2)

My flower garden is blooming so nicely.  I look at this lily and always think of my blogging friend Ann who sent it to me after my dad passed away.  When it blooms I think of them both.

Flower

I think I have covered most of the stuff I wanted to share with you, like I said there is just so much that has been happening here I'm not sure I could cover it all in a blog post so I just gave you some highlights.

I hope your days are going good where you live, take care.


canning season

Our canning season is still going strong.  We went to the apple orchard this fall and bought some honey crisp apples.  We usually get the seconds as they are cheaper in price.  I received an email from the orchard we usually go to that they had a BOGO sale going on, which is buy one box, get one box free.  Since it was busy here this fall, but who am I kidding, it's a ALWAYS busy here, but since I was busy I didn't get to the apples right away so we lost a few to rotting.  BUT, I was able to make applesauce out of the remaining good apples.  We really didn't lose that many but it sure seemed like it at the time I was going through them.

Applebowl

This time before I cooked the apples I peeled them.  Oh my goodness, I will always and forever do that when I make applesauce again.  

Potofapples

It was so much easier when I was putting the apples through the sieve, I was not fighting the peelings.

Sauce

Twenty-four pints of delicious applesauce ready to be put down with all the other canning we did this fall.

Applesauce

I not only canned the applesauce, Jim and I canned more venison stew from the deer he got and the potatoes, onions, and carrots we grew in our garden this year.

Earlier in the fall we canned our peppers and potatoes and made tomato sauce with the tomatoes we picked.  When I say we, I do mean both of us.  I am very fortunate to have a husband who enjoys canning as much as I do.

Peppers

Tomatoes
Potatoes

Onions
It really feels good when you do a garden, and come harvest time it's very exciting to preserve the food we've grown.  It's a lot of work but so worth it in the end.


eagle watching

Eagle2

Eagle1

Eagle3cropped500

We can say that almost everyday on our property we'll see an eagle sitting high in a tree, flying overhead, or on the ground eating something. In fact the day after we buried our Sadie girl there was an eagle circling just over her grave about 4 times, seeing that gave me goosebumps. These photos were taken from inside the house, I was afraid if I opened the front door the eagle would fly away.


comfort food

Thanksgiving has passed and we are now heading into the Christmas season. The rain we had Saturday evening has officially turned into snow...YAY! And in years past I have been known to cook some kind of comfort food to feed my family, mostly homemade pizza. Today I made Italian style meatballs from the ground deer meat we processed. 

Meatballs

Pinetrees3

It's just that kind of day to stay indoors and enjoy the home fires that are burning in the wood stove.

Homefires

Also from the previous post I seem to be getting into the Christmas spirit and with that I gave my blog a new facelift for December month.


walking the land

It’s been warm here in Wisconsin but the evenings are a bit cooler, still warm but tolerable. Our potato patch is doing well and we’ve been keeping on top of the Colorado Potato Beetle that will infest our potato patch here.

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I do love walking our land checking everything out and seeing the beauty that surrounds us here.