Saturday, August 31, 2013




Born August 16th

Isn't he cute!  Even baby cows are precious.  This is Thor. Sassafras's name was picked from the drawing we had.  Sugar Bug was voting for Coco.  But I think Thor fits him well.  He is a bull.  He is growing fast and doing well.  Sweet Pea is a perfect mama and is a wonderful milker. 
Here he is a couple weeks old with Sugar bug chasing him.  He is quite the runner now and loves to chase other animals.  Mama is never too far away though.  Since we started milking her she has a new halter.
Sweet pea does great milking.  We milk her once a day usually in the morning and she has done well.  We plan to build a stanchion for her to stand in soon.  She does well while eating her grain but shuffles her feet a bit.  Thankfully she has never kicked hard.  Just moves enough that she has kicked over a few buckets of milk. If you have ever hand milked you know that sinking feeling when all your had work is spilled on the ground. She is an easy milker and the girls have helped some too. I laugh because they both cringe when Thor slobbers on them while milking. Right now we share and he usually nurses while we milk the other teats. 
For those who may have never seen a calf nurse.  :)  
We were so happy to have good milk we had to buy cereal for the occasion.
 Her milk is very good.  Sweet and mild.  It doesn't have the least sour taste to it.  I find it hard to describe fresh milk.   I don't think it has as strong a flavor as store bought.  It tastes lighter and sweeter.  At least ours does. The taste of milk varies a bit with the diet a cow is on. We've had milk before that smelled and tasted a bit oniony because mama was eating onions in the field.   We are enjoying our milk and will soon be making all sorts of dairy products. 
Well, cover more on milk later. :) 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Jungle....

With all the rain we've received my garden has grown by leaps and bounds! It looks more like a jungle than a garden. :)

It is green!  At this point I think there is more grass and weeds then my plants but that's ok. I've managed to keep them from choking my plants out. 

My poor cherry tomato plant may not make a full recovery.   It was attacked by these guys...

This is the Tomato Hornworm.  Really it is a caterpillar and it feasts on tomato plants.  I pulled 6 off the cherry tomato plant and they did that damage pretty much over night.  Thankfully I haven't found many more but I have learned to keep an eye out for these guys.  They blend Very well.  The chickens will eat them but even they can't see them on the plant! 

My bush green bean plants have done well.  I have 3 rows and I've harvested a handful about every other day.  I think next year I will plant about twice as much so I can really can a good amount.  I haven't quite had enough to can this year.  We eat them too quickly. :)

Here's my Okra plants.  They have also done really well.  In fact I have many that are too big as they grew too fast for me to pick.  I did pick enough to pickle 4 jars so far.  That will be another post too :) 

I planted squash, zucchini, watermelon, cantaloupe, and cucumbers too.  But it started to rain while I was taking pictures. Go Figure. I hope to feature each veggie or fruit and share some ways we use them, store them, and save seeds as I learn.  

Sweet Pea was out watching me and so cute I had to take a few of her too.  She has enjoyed the rain and thinks that big puddle (half in the picture) is her personal pond.  The problem with this is that this is the end of our driveway so we have to make her move to get out, and she is a stubborn teenager at times.  :) 
No calf yet either.  Her due date was VERY wrong.  We are anxiously waiting to see her little one.

How's your garden growing this year??

Saturday, August 10, 2013

When it rains it pours....

        This post has two meanings.  I started it to tell of hard times we've had with the death in the family, then losing all but 3 of our chickens, me getting sicker than I have ever been in my life, and Super D getting held up in Colorado longer than we wanted.  But really is has rained everyday for 2 weeks now and there is no end in sight.  Every time I look at the forecast it tell of thunderstorms. 

I have never seen so much rain in my life!  Here is Patrick Bridge where we often swim...

This has even gone down the water was up to where I am standing.  The river has even flooded some of our tall bridges.  It is incredible to see.  When this happens it changes the landscape of the river so when the water settles it will be a new place. 
 By the way, I am recovered from my sickness, we've ordered new chicks which should arrive this month, and Super D is progressing with all he had to accomplish in Colorado and will be home soon. 
In all we really have survived just fine, but I am tired.  Running this place with just me and the girls is a handful... plus my other job.  (at the local store)  It has kept us going but we really miss having Super D around.
 I feel as though we just got stuck this summer.  Instead of moving ahead we were only able to maintain what we have.  But we will pick it all back up soon and have some progress of getting things done around here. 
The plus of all this rain is that it is God's miracle grow!  My garden looks more like a jungle and everything is very green.  Quite the contrast to last years drought conditions.

Will do a Garden post next so you can all see how it's going.  Not as well as I had hoped but better than last year!  :)  Happy last days of summer!