Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cannin' like crazy and other stuff around the farm

Well we have been crazy busy again. With Chuck back in school we are trying to figure out a nice neat schedule to get everything done in. The bugs have been terrible, I think with all the cool weather we really lucked out and then came the rain and now the warmth, the mosquitoes are really really bad. Henriette has been down a little on milk- probably due to the bugs. What do the bugs have to do with milk production? Well, her body puts its energy into making the milk but if things in her environment are taking her energy for something else we notice a drop in milk. Oh, how interesting the cow is.
I have been canning like crazy- peaches, tomatoes, jams, and jellies. Also freezing veggies from the garden.

Wild plum Jelly

Wild grape- that will be grape jelly soon

Crabapple Jelly!

This year I have canned 100 pounds of tomatoes (20# more than last year- we ran out!)

Fall is just around the corner, in the mornings there has been so much fog a result of warm days cool nights. It is so beautiful, but it wont be long before cool air sticks around. The fog is so thick dew is dripping off the plants like it had just rained.And last but not least we have a new animal. I tell you honestly we did not plan to have a horse right now. Yes we did plan to eventually get a horse. Chuck wants to be able to use a horse for working around the farm. We wanted to start looking get an idea of prices and find a breed we like. Well it turns out a neighbor friend of ours has horses and she had a Belgian that she was looking to sell. Once she heard we were looking she decided that her horses new home would be ours. We worked out a trade deal and the horse is now living at Duskwind Farm! I have to say we have not been able to spend much time with him as we have been so busy, and the bugs have been so bad. Chuck and I have little to no experience with horses so we are looking to learn as much as we can. Another local farmer's wife has offered to help us anyway she can as she has experience with drafts, and she owns Percheron's.

Just a side note I am selling peaches at the Farmers' Market- if anyone would like to buy some they are $5 for a pint- they are Red Haven peaches from Michigan canned in a light syrup with organic cane sugar. They are actually going pretty fast- I am surprised at how many people want canned peaches. I am also selling garlic.

We now have butcher dates for all animals that will be processed this year. Lately Chuck and I have been freaking out. We had a butcher that we lined up for our fall processing, we really like them because they were small time, interested in nitrate free processing and willing to let our animals be slaughtered on the farm and the carcasses brought in for processing. Well to make a really long story short they no longer have a building and instead of calling to let us know we had to find out from someone else and then I called and left a message to no answer and then a week later when I called they had changed their message to say any processing of farm animals will have to wait until after they have a building and after deer hunting season. Which really pissed us off- first off when you go hunting you can not be sure you will get a deer- I know I have a cow. And second we have been really good customers. Well I could dwell but we have now found a new place and we are really excited to try them this year and hopefully stay with them. So the cows go in early October, the pigs late October, and the lambs mid November. The pigs should be huge and hopefully the lambs will be bigger than last year. Although we had no complaints and everyone except one of last year customers is back and ordering a whole instead of a half. The only one that did not come back only bought because she wanted to try it and we were desperate because someone canceled on us by sending us an email the morning of slaughter- of course we did not get that until after the lamb was dead. Can't undo that!

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