We have wonderful helpers who visit the farm. Today were four of our grandchildren who came for an evening visit. We ate burgers o the deck made with ground bison. We also had deviled eggs made by Anna, cantaloupe, and strawberries and cream for dessert. There are ten turkeys, 39 chickens: 15 laying hens, 7 pullets and 17 meat birds that are New Hampshire Reds, 3 goats, 2 sheep, 2 dogs, and a couple of farmers! After our evening meal with the kids, we went to the barn to call all of the girls in just in time for other red-tailed hawk to strike one of the young meat birds. Tim was able to get the little chicken back, but we don't know if she will make it. The hawk strikes the back hard and it appears to damage or break the spinal column causing paralysis. The little chicken was carried inside and tried to rally around. Only time will tell. The young turkeys are darling. They whistle chirp when they are happy and content. There are 10 heritage birds: chocolate turkeys and bourbon red turkeys. Yes, I will admit I chose them for the name alone! They were hatched May 7, and seem to be holding their own. Turkeys are quite fragile. Just when we were beginning to get brave enough for the next level of freedom, the hawk struck, so the turkeys will have another week or so in the safety of the barn stall. We are getting about 11 eggs a day from the laying hens. A few of them are pretty old, but with names like Beauty and Maude, it has been hard to find them ready for the stewing pot! The seven newest are silver laced wing wyandottes and araucanas. I call them the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters, after the constellation. They are charming, sweet, and stick closely together. The young pullets stay close to the barn and coop and follow my voice when they hear me. The little hens will visit while I weed in the garden from the other side of the fence. Weatherwise, it has been beautiful in Southern Oregon. Cooler than average temperatures this past week, but also a welcome relief from the steady 93 degree weather we had at the end of May and first week of June. Hopefully this finds you healthy and happy and ready for a great summer with family and friends!
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Here is the start of St. Paddy's Day Dinner! Cooking the brine for the brisket. Start with ONE and a HALF Gallons of water, aka
6 Quarts of Water (I use wide mouth canning jar to measure)
1 1/2 Cups Salt
3 Cups Brown Sugar
1 Cup Pickling Spice
4 Whole Star Anise
2 Whole Cinnamon Sticks
8 Whole Cloves
1 Cup of beet juice (I used pickled beet juice!) It adds color and subtle flavor
15 Black Pepper Corns IF the pickling spice you use doesn't have any.
Bring ingredients to a boil and stir for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
2 Quarts Cool Water
Let brine cool to room temperature.
You can cut this recipe in half if using one piece of meat. This is enough for three Ziplock bags and meat.
Once brine is cooled, put brisket, a roast, a large flat steak, even London Broil cut of meat into a gallon sized Ziplock bag. Using a cup with a pour spout, pour brine into bag with meat. Cover the meat completely. Mostly seal the Ziplock bag, then slowly force air out of bag. Finish sealing bag. Put meat in brine in a bowl or casserole dish and place in refrigerator for 2-4 days. Turn bags over to be sure meat is fully submerged in brine each day.
Friday, March 15, 2013
Our newest batch of baby chicks have arrived! There are forty-two little nubbins and peepers. These little fluff balls are part of the Araucana count.
There are eighteen New Hampshire Reds. They were popularized in the 1930's as a dual purpose bird. They are known to be fast growing, on the large side, and they are also great layers.
The New Hampshire Reds were surprisingly different from the Rhode Islands that we got last year. Surprising because they have a similar lineage. These little peeps are just three days old.
They need plenty of fresh water which means about three changes a day, warmth from a heat lamp, and plenty of food to eat at will!
This batch is a combination of Araucanas and Silver Laced Winged Wyandottes. The Araucanas lay the beautiful green or blue or turquoise or even pink eggs. All of the others will lay a shade of brown; some lighter and some darker than the others.
Brand new baby chicks have a soft, peep, peep, peep song when heat,food,and water are just right...kinda sounds like all of us, huh?!
Monday, March 11, 2013
Southern Oregon weather has invited us outside in the first weeks of March without heavy coats and hats. We are celebrating spring is just around the corner and there are many, many jobs to do. Join us right now for a little fun on the farm!
Friday, February 1, 2013
Welcome, precious Evelyn Rose! She was born at 12:20 am on this first day of February! Our Littlest Valentine, born in Alaska to the loving arms of Mama, Daddy, and sister Ada, weighs 7 pounds 10 ounces and she will be called Evey! We can't wait to go to the Last Frontier to hold and love the newest little bundle of joy! We love you Karyn, Zac Ada, and Evey! ~