We are excited to share our homestead with you: from milking goats and cows, raising animals for food, to gardening, chickens, cooking traditional foods, battling the elements... There is never a dull moment around the FARM
|Posted on June 14, 2017 at 7:05 AM||comments (0)|
We are offering a Holiday Turkey Special.
Yes. It seems early to be thinking about the “holidays" -- but it is not.
Right now it is time to incubate the turkeys and hatch them before we can actually feed them for 12 weeks or so.
Farming and "real food" takes time and foresight.
Reserve your turkey today and pay only $3.00 per pound at pick up.
The $10.00 deposit will be applied to the total price of turkey at pick up.
We raise broad breasted turkeys. No limit on quantity.
Grass fed. Free ranging. Ethically stewarded. Sustainably grown in Hopeton (or Temperanceville) Virginia.
Supplementary fed a transitionally organic grain mix, kelp & sea salts.
Turkeys will be raised to approximate weights of 16 – 20 pounds unless otherwise specified.
So think ahead about your holiday food and consider putting a deposit on your turkey.
AND if you would rather have a leg of lamb or goat - send me an email. We are raising those also and will have some available.
|Posted on June 7, 2017 at 8:10 AM||comments (0)|
I had to put this under the DIY Life Hacks Category as well as Canning.
Zucchini Pineapple is simply a great - CHEAP - life hack to canned pineapple (I would say fresh, but nothing beats fresh. If you can use fresh definitely do it!) This is such an easy canning recipe and uses up a product we always have too much of. I end up using large zucchini for this but only the outside and first. Don't grate down to the seeds. That part is always too soft and just makes a pineapple mush type product.
18 cups ground zucchini
1/2 cup lemon juice
3 cups sugar
1 (46 ounce) cans pineapple juice
Bring juices and sugar to a boil.
Add squash and simmer 20 minutes.
Pack and seal in hot jars and lids.
Makes 12 pints of crushed pineapple.
May be used as you would regular pineapple.
|Posted on June 5, 2017 at 6:15 PM||comments (0)|
We are off to a late start with the garden but we did finally start.
Farm Husband cleared and worked what seemed like a giant spot of land for our garden. He took the trees down and they are stacked to be burned this summer or fall. They are occupying a large part of the garden, so more land will be avaliable once they are gone. There will also eventually be a green house in the front corner taking up precious room at sometime in the future.
My point is - tho the garden feels giant it always fills up too fast!
It seemed logical to plant extra and sell it at our "roadside stand" on Temperanceville Road once 1,000 other things are done.
We planted green beans, lettuce, radish, beets, mustard, kale, zucchini, yellow squash, butternut squash, Powhatan squash, corn, Lima beans, pinto beans, cantaloupes, watermelons, peanuts and 3 rows of tomatoes.
I can hardly wait!
No worries ~ I will keep you updated
|Posted on May 20, 2017 at 11:30 PM||comments (0)|
I have been maiking soup.
Good ole LYE soap. Real soap. Soap that lathers and lasts and has only "real" ingredients.
I love Dandelions.
The flowers, the leaves, root. Just all of it.
It makes soap. Jam. Cookies Tea.
Far from a noxous weed!!
Lets start a quick tutorial....
First we pick the flowers
Then we bring them in to cut and sort.
I make an infused oil with the dandy flower petals from an organic olive oil by boiling the petals in said oil for 5 minutes, straining and cooling
Put it all together and blend very well - then pour into molds, cool and cut.
(I skipped a few steps in the phots, so you will just have to pretend)
Then the soap has to age. My recipies are mild and have little scent so 30 days is usually enough.
I test the bars with a PH Test Strip before offering them for sale online in our store or at the farmers markets.
|Posted on May 20, 2017 at 11:00 PM||comments (0)|
Once spring arrived on the ES of VA we found ourselves way behind in a big fat hurry.
In fact it was so fast, we didn't realize just how far
Let me get you caught up over a few posts.
(1) We bought a "new" property in March. This new property is a huge undertaking but is the direction we need to go in.
It is 30 acres in Temperanceville, VA. That is15 minutes north -- driveway to driveway -- of the current homestead.
The new homestead is a complete re-do.
It was logged 15 years ago and cleared. Then left. So it has fair sized timber regrowth that needs to be removed then stumped and the land planted in grass for our animals. It needs to be fenced. There are no weather proof buildings. There is an old shed barn and a house but both are far from useable. Let me just post some photos so you can wish us luck!
This is the front side of the home. Every window is broken. Al the electrical is gone The aluminum sidding was taken as high as they could reach Even the bathroom fixtures have been broken. Who breaks toilets!!??
This is the backside of the house. I don't think I have mentioned it is in need of a roof and has a few leaks?
This is the front of our one and only "barn". Far from useable....
This is the back of the barn, Those trees have messed up a lot of the structure.
FarmHusband thinks salvage of metal and some lumber is the only option.
No post of a new homestead would be complete without a photo of the out house!
Records show indoor plumbing and the septic tank were installed in 1984 (Great year- since it is also the year I graduated high school!)
The home had plumbing for the last residents (who left sometime durring 1994, the year FarmHusband and I married)
It appears they continued use of the out house..... the farm and equipment magazines from 1994 sorta let us know who the one was that used it!
|Posted on March 6, 2017 at 9:10 PM||comments (0)|
Organ meats are essential to good health.
Its amazing how a GOOD piece of liver can bring a woman back to the land of the living when your feeling run down.
Never underestimate the power of Liver!
1/2 pound ground organic chicken liver
1 1/4 pounds ground chicken or turkey
2 large onions chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup celery leaves, minced
1 cup chopped onion tops and parsley
1/2 cup olive oil
seasoning to taste
1 cup water
2 cups cooked rice
Put cooking oil in cast iron skillet, add ingredients from ground chicken liver through celery leaves. Simmer together for one hour until nice and brown and everything has cooked together. Add water and simmer 15 minutes. Season to taste. Add onion tops and parsley. Simmer another 5 minutes. Turn off heat, add cooked rice and stir until blended.
|Posted on February 21, 2017 at 9:10 AM||comments (0)|
I love essential oils (EO’s). They are amazing. Essential oils have enhanced lives for thousands of years, offering a variety of benefits from health, cosmetic and dietary purposes to spiritual and religious use. They inspire a positive emotional state, enhance our physical wellness, purify our home and can even be used to refine your beauty routine. (I have not started this thing they call beauty routine but plan to soon!) Let me give you some examples of ways to use EO’s for your dogs and horses.
Essential Oils For Dogs and Horses
Lavender - calming, relaxing, occasional skin irritations, repels ticks and other insects that like horses.
Cedarwood –promotes clear, healthy skin, supports healthy respiratory function, calming, repels insects.
Frankincense –supports healthy immune system, promotes relaxation
Helicrysum –helps skin recover quickly, helps relive tension, promotes circulation
Lemongrass –repels insects, purifies and tones skin, soothes aching muscles and joints
Eucalyptus –assists with clear breathing, helps to lessen stress
Wintergreen –soothes achy muscles and joints, promotes healthy respiratory function
Only 1-2 drops of essential oils are necessary on most animals including horses.
Their powerful sense of smell and sensitive systems respond more quickly to the oils than we humans do.
A carrier oil such as extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil can be added to extend the oil over a large area or to dilute the essential oils for use on smaller dogs. As you know a lot of products sold for use on animals contain nasty chemicals you probably don’t want to use on your friend. Here are just a few ideas of easy DIY recipes you can make yourself.
1 cup water
2 tbsp. castile soap
5 dr. lavender
4 dr. peppermint
5 dr. cedarwood
Mix all ingredients together in a glass dispenser. It will appear watery but use like regular shampoo.
2 cups water
8 dr. lavender
8 dr. peppermint
Put ingredients in a 16oz glass spray bottle. Mist animal everyday avoiding eyes and nose. Spray on bedding or animal clothes as well.
1 tbsp. olive oil
5 dr. lavender
5 dr. roman chamomile
5 dr. marjoram
Combine ingredients, then apply a few drops of solution to your palms. Massage into animals armpits, temples, toe pads, outer edges of ears and or inner thighs.
Next time your friend engages in an activity he really enjoys (going on a walk, a ride in the car, eating, playing fetch) get out the Lavender EO.
Place a drop on your hand and rub it along his neck, on the tops of his paws and the bridge of his nose (being careful to avoid his eyes). Then put a drop on your hands and rub them together.
Before he starts the fun activity, put your hand in front of his nose. If he turns his head away that’s okay, don’t force it.
Let him start the activity but every few minutes have him stop and smell your hand. You are teaching him to associate the smell of lavender with something that makes him happy.
Do this every time he does something he enjoys over the next week or two. You can even add in a few rub downs with lavender on your hands to reinforce the association because who doesn’t love a rub-down?
Now that you have taught your dog to associate the smell of lavender with something positive, you can use it to your advantage. This works the same with horses!!
Next time your friend is about to embark on a stressful situation, put lavender on your hands and rub it on the normal places you have been.
Not only will the smell trigger a positive association, but lavender itself lowers stress by lowering cortisol levels. While you’re at it, put a little lavender on the bottom of your feet and back of your neck since it lowers cortisol in humans too. Because while we love our pets like family, just like family they can stress us out too.
If you would like to know more about Essential Oils please – Just ask!
|Posted on February 20, 2017 at 9:05 AM||comments (0)|
A friend asked if I had ever had one..... a White Potato Pie, and my answer was No. SO I found the recipe on Allrecipes.com and made it. I managed to share quite a bit of it with my husband, and I would be glad to share it with you. Since that’s impossible, I’m doing the next best thing – sharing the recipe with you. If you have any left over mashed potatoes (without pepper) this would be a great way to use them up. Enjoy!
2 potatoes, peeled and cooked
2/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
4 eggs, beaten
2 unbaked pie shells#
(#I used all of the mixture in just one pie shell because I like a thick pie.)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mash potatoes and put in a large bowl along with the butter. In a smaller bowl combine sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Add to potato mixture and stir. Add whipping cream, milk, zest, juice, vanilla and nutmeg. Mix well and then add beaten eggs and mix till combined. Divide into two pie shells and bake for 55 minutes or until the middle is set. Serve cold. SO YUMMY
|Posted on February 18, 2017 at 9:00 AM||comments (0)|
I am sure you have noticed that you can pretty much find convenience items for anything these days -- including pre-diced, veggies, instant potatoes, frozen pizzas, etc. Sometimes it’s handy to be able to rely on these types of foods, but I think for the most part we should be preparing them ourselves. The more we can make from scratch, the healthier we will be and the more money we will save. There are tons of recipes out there for DIY convenience items so its easy to do. GracefulLittleHoneyBee.com is a super place to get ideas
These 5 items are some of the things I make for our household, what do you make for yours?
1. Slow Cooker Pinto Beans
2 lbs dried pinto beans
1 onion, chopped
2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
8 cups water
Step 1: Cover beans with water to soak overnight.
Step 2: Next morning, rinse beans and place in slow cooker,
Step 3: Add water, oil and onion. Stir.
Step 4: Set on low for 10-12 hrs or until soft. I checked my beans at the 6 1/2 hr mark and they were still crunchy so I turned them on high for 2 hrs to be done in time for dinner which also worked great!
Step 5: Make cornbread. Because pinto beans without cornbread is just sad.
Step 6: Let cool and top with all the trimmings!!
*Don’t add salt or high acid foods such as tomatoes until the end because the beans won’t soften.
2. Homemade Taco Seasoning
*makes almost a pint
1/2 cup chili powder
1/4 cup cumin
1/4 cup garlic powder
1/4 cup onion powder
1/4 cup paprika
1/4 cup oregano
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp pepper
Step 1: Mix all ingredients and store in airtight container.
Step 2: Enjoy!
2 tbsp = 1 taco seasoning packet
3. Homemade Baking Mix (Bisquick)
5 cups flour
¼ cup baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (16 tablespoons) butter or margarine
Combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.
Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 6 weeks. You may freeze it for longer storage.
To make Biscuits:
Mix together ⅓ cup of milk for every 1 cup of mix. Drop onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 min.
1 cup of mix will yield about 6 biscuits.
4. Homemade Laundry Soap
2 parts grated soap (Fels-Naptha, Zote, or Ivory)
1 part baking soda or washing soda
1 part borax
Mix and store in air tight container.
Use 1-2 tbsp per load.
5. DIY All-Purpose Orange Cleaner
You will need:
The peels from 4 oranges (or any citrus)
1 quart mason jar
10-15 drops lemon essential oil (optional)
Step 1: Place peels in mason jar and fill with vinegar making sure the peels are completely submerged to prevent mold.
Step 2: Let sit in a cool, dry place for 2 weeks.
Step 3: Strain and use 50/50 with water as an all-purpose cleaner.
Step 4: Add essential oil if desired and you are ready to clean!
You may reuse the peels by covering them with vinegar again and repeating the process.
|Posted on February 16, 2017 at 9:25 AM||comments (0)|
If you’re trying to save money and live a frugal life, then you’ve probably already realized that the little things matter and can really add up quickly. Being frugal and saving the most money is all about changing habits. Today I’ve put together a list of 10 Easy Ways to Reduce Household Expenses and Save Hundreds including things like groceries, heating/cooling costs, entertainment, health, clothing and much more. Of course there are many other ways to reduce your expenses and save money, but I wanted to keep this list small and manageable so that no one gets overwhelmed.
If you’re just starting out with your frugal living journey, I’d advise you to go slow and change one or two things at a time until they are normal for you and then pick a couple of other habits to change. It won’t happen overnight, but soon you will see how these little habits can save you hundreds of dollars in the long run. So enjoy the list and be sure to add your own way to reduce household expenses in the comment section!
1. Cook From Scratch
2. Grow Your Own Food
3. Meal Plan
4. Hang Clothes To Dry
5. Buy Secondhand
6. Lower Thermostat in Winter, Raise It In Summer
7. Unplug Appliances Not in Use
8. Make your own Cleaning Products
9. Make Your Own Laundry Detergent
10. Take Your Lunch to Work
|Posted on February 14, 2017 at 9:05 AM||comments (0)|
Today I am sharing a recipe from one of my favorite blog authors Jamie Geller from JoyofKosher.com
This recipe for roasted lemon cornish game hens is courtesy of Jamie's book; Quick & Kosher meals in Minutes.
It is a super recipe to try out on our wonderful Cornish Game Hens (available in our store)
ROASTED LEMON CORNISH GAME HENS
3 (1 to 1 ½ pounds) Cornish game hens, split in half
6 sprigs fresh thyme
12 slices lemon
1 medium onion, sliced
1 carrot, peeled and cut in ½-inch slices
1 stalk celery, cut in ½-inch slices
3 sprigs parsley
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Lift, but don’t remove, the skin of the breast of each hen half and place the thyme and 1 or 2 lemon slices between the skin and the meat.
3. Place the onions, carrots, celery, and parsley in a baking pan large enough to hold the hens.
4. Place game hens, skin side up, on top of vegetables. Drizzle olive oil over the hens and season with salt and pepper.
5. Bake for 1 hour. Serve each person one-half a hen.
The vegetables are a “mirepoix,” a combination of carrots, celery, and onions, that is used as a base for many dishes, including soups, stews, poultry stuffing, and roasts. Traditionally, when used for roasting, the vegetables are not served but are used rather to infuse flavor into the dish.
|Posted on February 12, 2017 at 9:25 PM||comments (0)|
I like to keep track of the weather.
On days when the weather is out of the ordinary or maybe just because?? I like to post the Temperatures and wind, rain or snow if any for the day. For example today's post read's: 2017 Temps. 74/36 = late evening high winds gusts to 60 mph possible. I make sure to have the event repeat annually. So next year it will show up as a reminder and I can compare it to the day I really like seeing multiple years pop up. It seems to be a four year cycle. A lot of the time anyway. Nothing scientific about it just a personal comparison.
Today was an amazing day. 74* out! Sun shinning, beautiful sky. The red bud trees are starting to develop buds which means the others will soon follow suit. I know that ground hog said 6 more weeks of winter.... but I am doubtful.
Lambing starts next week so I spent an added amount of time just "looking" at the ladies. Trying to re-learn each ones regular body language so hopefully I will notice when their times come and can be there for the births.
Our first batch to go (Mob A) are the experienced mothers. Hopefully we will have no issues. Last year only #27 needed extreme human intervention. Her baby ended up being dead once we managed to get her out. A great big ewe baby. She would have been beautiful. It was very sad..... and remained sad all year since she was the only one without a baby, she didn't fit into any of the sheep clicks.
But now that I think about it I also had to help Charlie birth her girl Alice.... Alice was a singleton and she was really big. Charlie was a first time mom last year....her birth was hard and it took her a while to recover. We are hopeful this year she has an easy birth experience.
And hopeful the mild weather holds out!
|Posted on February 8, 2017 at 9:40 AM||comments (0)|
Its been a busy few days for us.
Together Lance and I have worked 52 sheep and goats.
Most of our girls are now inside the 4 weeks until birthing date so they all needed the important boosters.
We gave the following shots to all
BO-SE (a prescription Selenium & Vit E supplement) to mothers and then as soon as babies are born they will also receive a shot of BO-SE
We then wormed all animals with Ivermectin Plus via injection. Most sites will tell you to orally dose with the Ivermectin but after much study and research we decided that giving the product as instructed by the manufacturer is best. Giving the wormer via injection allows the medicine to reach all of the stomachs of the sheep/goats. One of the worms animals in our area is named "the bankrupt worm" It resides in the fourth stomach and embeds in the stomach lining and takes the nutrients from the animals food. This worm does not show up in the FAMACHA test since it does not cause anemia....but it can run an animal into the ground in a very short amount of time. Ivermectin Plus also kills tape worms and liver flukes. Its good stuff! 10 days after this dose we will retreat all animals with the Ivermectin Plus.
Finally we give all animals a large dose of Coccidiosis solution.
Goats are also given Copper Boluses.
Below is a quick look at the FAMACHA scoring guide
|Posted on February 7, 2017 at 9:05 AM||comments (0)|
If you have not heard me say it ..... we have an abundance of eggs. The ladies have recovered from their winter molt and are getting back to normal laying but farmers market season has yet to begin. Thus we - meaning every protein eater on the farm - are eating a lot of eggs.
Quiche with a fattening flaky buttery crust is one of my favorites. But. Not the healthiest option. So i make one with a brown rice crust and then i feel better when I want a cookie for dessert.
Quiche with Brown Rice Crust
Crust: 2 c cooked brown rice (wild rice is great also)
Quiche: 5 eggs
1 c cooked broccoli florets (or any vegetable you have)
3/4 c milk
1/2 c shredded cheese of choice
1/4 t onion powder
1/4 t salt
2 T herbs of choice (oregano, thyme, marjorim, sage)
Lightly grease pie pan, mix rice and egg by hand and press into pie pan. Bake 10 minutes at 350* Remove from oven
Raise oven temperature to 400*. Place broccoli (or chosen vegetable) in pie pan on pre-cooked crust. Combine all remaining ingredients well.
Pour over vegetable. Bake 40-45 minutes or until top is lightly browned.
|Posted on February 6, 2017 at 7:50 PM||comments (0)|
Oh my this weather!
I'm cold to the bone and have been craving a bowl of Broccoli Cheese Soup.
The best thing to go with this EASY Broccoli Cheese Soup tho?
My Harvest Apple & Cheddar Bread.
Preheat oven to 350* for bread
Broccoli Cheese Soup
2 c Milk
2/3 c shredded cheddar cheese
2 c cooked fresh or frozen Broccoli (or cauliflower)
2 t diced onion
2 t cornstarch
1/2 t chicken bouillon
In a sauce pan hand squeeze or mash broccoli with a potato masher. Add all remaining ingredients and heat through.
Harvest Apple & Cheddar Bread
1 1/4 c all purpose flour
1 1/4 c whole wheat flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 t ground cinnamon
3/4 c chopped pecans
3/4 c milk
1/3 c melted butter
1/2 c sugar
2 1/2 Granny Smith Apples peeled, cored, sliced
2 c shredded cheddar cheese
Combine dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients. Mix together well and pour into a lightly greased loaf pan. Bake 65-70 minutes