So far I have processed 436 canning jars,only about 36 are for our own use. I have been experimenting with using Pomona pectin and I have gotten good results,but the consistency is denser than using my homemade pectin. That isn’t bad ,just different. I have been asked if I have low sugar preserves,which I haven’t had till today. I will continue to experiment using different sweeteners,but I won’t use any splenda , stevia etc. My reasoning is I don’t cook with them and wouldn’t know what they should really taste like or how they react when cooked. I will try honey,raw sugars,concentrated fruit juices as the regular canning season slows down. My husband and I won’t sell anything we wouldn’t eat ourselves. This may seem limiting but it is hard to sell something you don’t believe in!
Archive for the ‘Barnyard’ Category
Yes, I am up to my eyeballs in canning jars. Empty jars, full jars needing labels and jars that should be shelved.
This season I have made many recipes containing all varieties of plums ( Red ,purple,Stanley and Prune). I didn’t do much with peaches and pickled as many nectarines as I could find!
Tomatoes have not been as plentiful so I only have 60lbs of tomatoes in my freezer skinned and ready to go(almost all will go to Sweet Tomato Chutney). Last year I had closer to 150lbs of prepped tomatoes in the freezer. The Plum tomatoes were not plentiful,but they were dense and made very thick oven roasted pizza passata!
I didn’t get as much zucchini or cucumbers as last year and I have not found any white pumpkins…….so sad……….. But what cukes and zucchini I found were made into sweet garlic dill pickles and zany zucchini pickles!
Our pear tree is laden down with at least 100-150lbs of pears. The sheep and goats weren’t allowed near the tree this year,so I am getting more of the fruit on the lower branches! I am planning to do as many pint jars of pickled pears as possible. Possibly the softer pears will go into Pear and ginger jam or Pear Honey.
Come see us Saturday June 8th at The old meeting house in Webster, NH from 11am-4pm. There will be farmers, artists and musicians,what a great way to spend a early almost summer day! There will also be a free wine tasting from Coffin Cellars Winery. Come and help us celebrate art & local agriculture!
We have eggs,bacon,ham steaks and a variety of beef and pork cuts to cook on the grill. We still have some lamb cuts left and if you want chickens cut your way,you need to order them now!
Yesterday Brandon got back from the farmers market and went out to check on the animals. He found Holstein dead ,she was the second of our 3 original goats to die this year, she was 14. It looks like she lay down to sleep and that was it. She was quite a character and many people who visited the farm can attest to being marked by Holstein. She would rub her head and lips against you,marking you as hers. One time when we had some surveying done on the property all 3 of the goats were removing things from the surveyors pockets, luckily he was use to farm animals and largely ignored them.
The 3 goats came as a group to the farm in 2001 and all were 2 years old. We learned why the first day that you needed a 5 wire electric fence and not just 3 wires……….more escapes that day than we could count,so up went the other 2 wires.
Our remaining 5 goats are lead by Pinkie who is the last of the original 3 and she is 14 yrs old, her daughter Ring is 8yrs old, Brownie’s daughter Pixie is 10 yrs old and Holsteins 2 daughters (in order of age), Nimari who is 11 yrs old and her sister Ocher who is 10.
We will miss Holstein’s Mohawk(hair ridge on her back), her ears and her voice
We have gotten one field of 5 wire fence electrified and are in the process of putting up permanent wire fencing around the property to replace the old 5 wire fencing . We will run 5 wire fence and electronet in the new areas that have not yet been open to the animals. We have been pounding posts ,hitting rocks and resetting the post,next rolling out the fence and getting it tight then securing it to the posts. We still have along way to go!
Sunday we starting letting the chickens out of the hen house to free range. I found 12 eggs in the lamb hay feeder this morning and only 4 eggs in the hen house. We still put the girls back in the hen house at night for protection from predators but not all 22 chickens end up in the hen house. Some just don’t get it and are enjoying their freedom……….hopefully they won’t get eaten .
Lettuce will be planted in the greenhouse this weekend and we should soon see the asparagus coming up! Our bottle baby lamb is down to 1 bottle a day and is 22 lbs,she should be fully weaned in another 2 weeks.
The chickens are busy laying brown. white,pastel pink,green and an occasional pastel blue or yellow eggs.
Our girls like to lay 2 1/4, 2 1/2 and 2 3/4 oz eggs. But you have to realize that a large egg (farm or store bought) is 2 oz ,but our girls just don’t get it, they are a group of over achievers !
We have been very lucky with lambing and the weather this year. So far we have 11 lambs and only 1 bottle baby (her name is Blizzard), but she isn’t an orphan ,her mother is really good, but she has a pushy brother and isn’t getting enough to eat ,so I supplement her with a bottle 4 times a day.
The snow has melted a bit from the last storm and the animals are able to get out of the barn ,which makes the donkey very happy. She gets a little antsy when she is stuck in the barn with all the mothers,babies,goats and chickens as she has to be very careful where she walks. The chicken’s don’t like the snow,so they are jumping from the barn floor to a sheep back and then down to ground where the hay is spread out. Some of the sheep don’t like to be ridden by the chickens, but the minute a chicken starts pecking at hay seeds or grain in their winter coats the sheep stop and become very still. They love to be groomed by the chickens, their eyes close and their heads drop down ,but then the chicken moves on and the grooming is over.
Don’t forget we love to have our egg cartons back (especially the Jumbo size) so we can refill them. If you return any of our canning jars we will give you .50 cents off your next purchase of any of our canned goods!
I don’t know why blowing snow and large snow piles seem to stimulate the ewes to give birth,but we are on a roll and having deliveries every 2-3 days. Luckily we have had no rejections or bottle lambs so far, but we are prepared and I think that our dog Cooper would love to have another bottle baby in the house for him to watch over.
So today’s deliveries were as follows:
Our second oldest ewe Tamale delivered twins this morning. the ram lamb is named Nemo and the ewe lamb is named Blizzard.Our second delivery was by the ewe named Marsh and her big ewe lamb is named Grass.
Don’t forget once the roads are clear, you can come visit(call first, please),we have eggs,full meat freezers and lots of tasty preserved foods!
On Monday morning January 21st we had twin girl lambs born to our ewe named Mertz,we
named the girls Liberty and Freedom. Normally we give ewe lambs names related to their mother’s name but because of the holiday on Monday the names we gave the lambs were appropriate.