never a dull moment

The sunset the other night was just awesome.  I looked up from checking on the pigs that we had moved that day to their new paddock area and this is what I saw.  It was really nice to see after having such a difficult time moving the pigs from their old paddock to their new one.  I've come to the conclusion that pigs are not up for change and that they are creatures of habit.  I should have video taped the whole process but I didn't.

Sunsetjuly

We also harvested our garlic and so far growing garlic has been going good (LOL).  It seems like it's been so long since we planted the garlic bulbs, in reality it's only been just over 8 months.  I would like to double our garlic harvest for next year.  Our onions are not quite yet ready to harvest, we planted them later than we usually do.

Dryinggarlic

Garlic harvest

Visiting with our Amish friends last week they gave me some eggplant.  I have never ever had eggplant before and thought I would try some when they offered it to me.  I have to say that I am not a fan of eggplant.  It could have been the way I cooked it, and I will say it won't be something I would be planting in the future, we both actually didn't care for it.

Eggplant

We have been dealing with hornets when we sit out on our back deck, to the point that I'm getting stung when I hang my clothes out on the line.  Well we found the source for all those hornets, I will tell you this was HUGE that we had to take it down for our safety.  Looking at it though it really is a beautiful piece of work done by the hornets.

Hornestsnest

Well our little Noki is down to 8 lives now.  We are not sure how it happened but she somehow got hurt to the point that we thought she wasn't going to make it.  Noki had crawled up into our ATV and Jim's not sure what happened, his first thought was that he had run over her with the ATV but I don't think so, she hurt her right back leg and could hardly walk for a few days.  I think that she had gotten thrown off of the vehicle and somehow her leg got twisted and sprained.  Here she is a few days ago and today she is starting to jump and play with Smoky our other barn kitten.  Poor little Smoky couldn't figure out why her barn mate wasn't up for playing anymore, but she's back and I am glad.

No-kee

There is never a dull moment here on our homestead and I like it that way.


rainy day baking

It rained and it was supposed to be a whopper of a storm with 50 mile per hour winds...ha...that didn't happen, but we did get rain and it was windy a bit, but not 50 mph winds.  I thought that popcorn would be a great thing to have for lunch.  I recently bought a whirley pop popcorn popper and I'm here to tell you it is an awesome way to make popcorn.

Rainstorm

Popcorn

And as always when it's bad weather either snow or rain I always want to bake or make homemade pizza, so of course that is just what I did.

I just had to sneak a peek at the doughs rising.

Breaddough

Breaddoughrising

Rolldough

Living where we live here in Wisconsin we cannot find a place that makes a good pizza.  So since we can't go to the pizza I decided to bring the pizza to us.  Over the years I have used many different crust recipes and this crust is from Jill over at The Prairie Homestead.   It's a flavored crust and the last time I made it I didn't put the seasoning in the dough, this time I did and it was delicious and very flavorful.  The recipe was enough for 2 crusts and so what did I do, I made 2 pizzas.  We love leftover pizza.

Round pizza

Rectanglepizza

Pizzaslice

I made sourdough bread but not my usual sourdough recipe.  I used Kate's over at Venison for Dinner sourdough master recipe.  I made the sandwich loaf and the cinnamon rolls.  I did not frost the cinnamon rolls and don't think I will, there is enough sugar in the rolls that make them sweet enough. 

I will confess that I messed up on the roll dough.  I have been having trouble getting my sourdough to pre-ferment and ended up with 2 ferments so instead of tossing one out I decided to make bread and the rolls.  But, and that is a big but, the cinnamon roll dough I missed a step..oops, but I thought I'd try making them anyway.  There wasn't any difference in how the doughs rose but I think the rolls ended up being just a tab bit heavier than the bread, although they are still delicious.  

Bread loaf

Sourdoughrolls

I hope I didn't get you too hungry with all the baking here on the blog.  I have to tell you about the plates the pizza and cinnamon rolls are on.  Believe it or not they are not paper plates.  I bought them a few years back down in Texas.  I don't remember the cost but they are from a company called  One Hundred 80 Degrees. I don't believe you can directly buy them from their website.  I love eating certain foods on them especially in the summer months.

It's hard to believe that we are smack dab in the middle of July, one more week and we see if we get any chicks hatching...stay tuned.


back deck chit chat

Coffeeandcookie

I know, there is a bite out of the cookie :)  I just couldn't resist taking a bite before I took the photo.   I didn't bake, we bought some bakery over in Iowa from an Amish bakery the other day when we went to do some shopping.  We have been having some really beautiful weather here in Southwest Wisconsin and any chance we get we will take our coffee outside on either our front or back deck.

It seems like it's slowing down some here now that the gardens are doing good.  It's like a lull in the storm, because I know it will get pure crazy when it comes harvest time.  I am slowly taking from our garden, onions, some peppers and lettuce so far.

We've had a heck of a time growing corn this year.  With the drought the birds hammered on the tender corn that were just starting to sprout up out of the ground.  But, we did manage to get some to grow, we even replanted a couple of times.  I think we have enough though for what we are wanting it for.

Cornfield

My sunflowers are coming along, we did plant them just a tad later than we probably should have, they are planted along side the corn.

Sunflowers

The incubated eggs are still incubating.  The nineteenth I will lock the incubator down and hopefully about 3 days later we'll hear chicks peeping in their shells and then trying to peck their way out.  I've got a few things more to do to get ready for them, but I've still got just over a week and we'll see what we have. 

Some other exciting news on our homestead/farm here is that we are doing work in preparation in getting a milk cow, more fencing is going to be put up, and a cow barn is in the planning stages.  A lot of good things happening around here.

I hope all is well with you, take care.


what's been happening here on the homestead

I don't think I will be able to update you on all that's been happening here without having photo overload, so I'll just do the best I can.  Since sugaring we have been so busy here on our homestead.  We got pigs this spring and friends came out to help us put up the fence before they arrived which was a HUGE help and we appreciated it so much.  The pigs are definitely getting big since the day we got them.

J&r

J&J

Had to get a photo by Jim's old ford tractor which has been such a work horse here for him.

Ro

Pigs

I've been growing herbs and trying to dry them out but it's been so hot and humid lately it may take a bit longer than I would like.  I'm also making some infused herb oils that I will be making into salves when they are ready.

Herbs

Infused oils

I started incubating eggs from our hens on July 1st and we candled them last night and it looks like all 22 eggs may have something happening.  I'm crossing my fingers that we will have chicks by the 21st or 22nd of July.  Our rooster Rudy is such a good boy and really takes care of this girls.  He has 23 hens to look after and does a tremendous job.

I know some may think that is too many hens for one rooster and we did try out another rooster to see how it would work and maybe have two flocks going but Rudy would  have none of it, so this guy had to go, and he was such a beautiful guy too.

Roo2

So Rudy in the man around the coop.

Rudy

This is the first time we have hatched eggs on our own, we have always gotten chicks from the feed store in town.  We'll see how many hens vs roosters we hatch out.  I'm hoping to get some roo's so I can process them in the pressure canner instead of freezing them. 

Eggs

The gardens are doing great now that we finally have gotten rain.

Weeding

Coop and vines

Grapes

What's a homestead without barn cats or kittens :)  Meet Smoky and Noki.  Noki is a Finnish word for soot.  Jim started calling the top one Smoky and I thought the black one looked like soot so I looked up the Finnish word for soot and it was Noki (pronounced No-Kee).  They are both girls and just so cute.

Smoky

Noki

There is nothing like taking a break with some coffee, haymakers punch also known as switchel and wild berries that are growing in the back yard.  I add lemon juice and maple syrup in place of the molasses and brown sugar.  I use either Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar or my homemade ACV, just depends on my mood at the time.   Believe it or not the haymakers punch really does refresh you on a hot day, especially when you have been working outside in the hot weather.

Berriesandhaymaker

Acv (2)

My flower garden is blooming so nicely.  I look at this lily and always think of my blogging friend Ann who sent it to me after my dad passed away.  When it blooms I think of them both.

Flower

I think I have covered most of the stuff I wanted to share with you, like I said there is just so much that has been happening here I'm not sure I could cover it all in a blog post so I just gave you some highlights.

I hope your days are going good where you live, take care.


red sky warning

Marchsunrise

Sitting this morning enjoying a cup of coffee, I looked up and saw the reflection of the sunrise in the window.  Standing out on the front porch to take the photo I heard our rooster doing his early morning crowing, it was the most pleasant sound to hear while looking at the sunrise. Have you ever heard the saying, red sky in the morning, sailors warning? Well we got snow that started after the noon hour, and when it started the winds came as well. My trips to the chicken coop were pretty cold fighting the wind...brrr.

Sugaring season has been different this year.  The one thing Jim noticed was that the ground didn’t seem to be as frozen as it usually is at this time of year.  We did have quite a bit of snow on the ground in the sugar bush during our below zero cold streak which lasted about 12 days. We are thinking that the snow may have insulated the ground from freezing.  We have been making maple syrup for 11 seasons now and we can never predict how the season will go. Hopefully the snow we got is what we call sugar snow which should reset the sap run. I’m definitely crossing my fingers for that to happen.