Sunday, March 4, 2018

March is here!



      Well the weather has finally turned warmer. Sense Christmas we have had only a handful of days that were above zero, And most of those had wind making it freezing. But a week ago or so the temp changed and now we are in the 30's.

 

      This coming Friday Joel is going in to have surgery on his ankle to fix it. It had been bothering him for a couple years now. Sense it will be a while before he can do much outside I have called in reinforcements. 😁   My Dad is going to come help get Joel up the steep terrace that the house is on. He will also do any tractor work that might be needed; like feeding a bale to the goats or horses, and blow any snow we might get. I am hoping that the snow is done though. 

     Yesterday Joel and I moved and cut wood.  We buy our wood from the Amish down the road that own a mill. We buy 10 foot bundles and cut them twice to fit in the furnace. We stacked five bundles and cut one but left it unstacked. We should be set for another month or two depending on the weather. With the weather in the 30's we are going through less wood. 

 Course with the warmer weather the snow we had is melting. I am hoping these strong winds will help dry it up soon. The chickens are enjoying the freedom to get out. With the cold they only moved from the coop to the barn and back. But now they are all over. 
But with the wind they are still sticking close to the barn. 

With the warmer weather the goats are moving around more. I can see them in the grove from my kitchen sink now. 

They are getting bigger too. They are sampling the same food as there mom's. 
I am watching them as they grow. It amazes me how big they are getting. they are about half the 
size of their mom's though only two months old. I am planning on selling the black and white which is a boy. I will probably only keep one girl sense the other has something up with her feet. 


Well that is what's going on with us sense the weather has warmed up. How are you enjoying the warmer weather? Do you have any plans for the spring?

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Cheesy Potato soup


Well we still have weather that is below zero here in Minnesota. I decided yesterday to make up some
Potato soup. Then thought I would give you all a recipe. 
I started with potatoes, and water. 


Then realized I put to many potatoes in I moved to a bigger slow cooker. Then added
Onion and bullion cubes with some pepper.


I cooked that for 8 hours on low or 4 on high plus 1 hour on low.
An hour before eating you add Evaporated milk and 2 cups of cheese. 


Unfortunately I was unable to get a good picture of it when I was done. 







Cheesy potato soup



8 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
4 cups water
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 TBS chicken bullion cubes
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups shredded cheese
1 can (5 oz) evaporated milk



1. Combined Potatoes, water, onion and pepper. Cover and cook for 8 hours on low
or 4 hours on high plus 1 hour on high.

2. Stir in cheese and milk and cook for 1 hour 

Friday, January 26, 2018

New Comers



                 Pepsi and Coda have been spending a lot of time down by the barn. See last Monday when it was -20*F I went out to do chores.




                         And what I found really surprised me, I found this little guy.

He was still wet and had no one around. I had to bring him in right a way sense he wasn't 
doing well, I was lucky to hear him at all. After bringing him in and warming him up he is doing well, though I am still worried that he doesn't walk  well. But he is slowly getting better. 

Sense we didn't expect any babies we were not sure if any of our other girls were expecting.
So I have been walking out to the pen several times a day. Then on Wednesday morning I found another baby. 

             This little girl was dry and standing. It was warmer so I let her stay out. Though she needed to have a splint on her back leg for three days. She is now splint free and happy with her friends.
               
           On Thursday I came out to find this little black and white boy along with this brown and black girl. The boy is so stocky and big. I would love to see him go for a herd sir.



     This little girl is so tiny and petite. I almost worry about her because she is so tiny, but   she has more energy then the other two. We did have to hold her mother down so she could eat the first time, and finish drying her off, but now her mother is feeding her.
     These are all the babies we will  have this year. I am so thrilled to have two girls that we plan to add to our herd. 
    I hope you all have enjoyed the pictures from our farm.

Monday, January 1, 2018

New year

Good morning everyone. As I write this I am with my Husband Joel down in our basement. He is working on fixing some drawers that don't work well. I set up a small desk in here to visit thankful to be done out side for the morning.
    Here on Brier Patch Farm we have had a stretch of freezing weather. The temps here have barely been above -10 degrees F. Most days have had a windchill of -40, so we have been inside more than we would like, and fighting to have the cars start.
 



     With the cold comes new chores, the furnace needs tended more often, the animals all got extra bedding, and some extra grain daily. We lost a guinea and one quail due to the cold. But as I am watering the animals in the -18 morning I can't help thinking that We are almost done. It is January 1st today. We have three months till March. Now in Minnesota January tense to be the coldest month of the year, and March tense to be the snowiest. But spring is coming, in three months I can start to look forward to some days getting above 30 instead of heat waves of 0. 😃




       With the new year comes looking at the plans for a new year. I am not talking about the losing weight, and other normal resolutions that are usually abandoned a week later.  Don't get me wrong I still have some weight that I want to lose. But I want to plan for the Brier Patch. I am looking at the goats wondering if the extra fat is just for winter or if there will be some kids this summer. Making plans in case this is another kid less summer. I am also looking forward to my quail starting to lay so I can start hatching some. Maybe even get enough for selling and/or butchering.



      I am also looking at the new catalogs. I want to get some new chickens sense mine are all over two years. Sense I haven't had many people wanting eggs last year I am planing on having a rooster so I can hatch out my own. I just need to figure out what breed I want.
       I am also looking in my seed catalog and thinking. I need to figure out where my left over seeds and the ones I saved last year are. I know I got them in the basement but where? It is still filled with some things I haven't unpacked.
   



  There are also plans for the farm, we need to plan on where we are headed and how we will get there. Along with what needs to be done. We are planning new fences and fixing of old. along with wanting to one day replace our old barn to one that will meet the farms needs.

How about you? Do you have any thoughts on what you want your year to bring?

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Homemade Lipton onion soup mix



I use  Onion soup mix in just about everything. I love using it in soup, roast and other recipes.
But to tell you the truth I hated paying $3 or more for a box with two small packets in them. So I went on a search and found many different ways of making the same mix. So this is my version having tested others. 


    First you'll need all of your spices, measuring cups and spoons. Along with a bowl, spoon and a air tight container. I use a glass jar.




       measure out all the spices into your bowl, or you could just put in your jar.




                                             Then mix well.




Then put into your container. After closing it I always give it an extra shake.



                 Then label. When you go to use this mix 5 Tablespoons is equal to one packet.


                        Onion soup mix

       3/4 cup Dried Minced Onion
      1/3 cup Beef Bouillon powder
     4 tsp onion powder
      1/4 tsp celery salt
      1/4 tsp Paprika
     1/4 tsp Black pepper
    1/4 tsp Parsley Flakes
    1/4 tsp Sugar

                  Directions
   1. Combined ingredients
  2. Mix well and store in air tight container
When recipe calls for one packet of Lipton onion soup, use 5 Tablespoons of this mixture.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

We are in!!

In October Joel was finally done making our counter tops. 


He made them from old doors we got my Uncles old farm house.
Once they were done and the kitchen cleaned up we started on the flooring. It took two days (he still had to go to work) for us to get the kitchen, Living room and dinning room done. Total of 6 hours. 
We finished on Friday night and enlisted the kids to help up wash the walls, along with sweeping and mopping the first floor. 

      That Saturday we moved in. I posted on my facebook page that we where moving with silent hopes to get some help. But with it being last minute and last weekend of bow hunting I didn't really count on any help. That was till my Dad called to see when we were starting. He was able to come for a few hours and help. Her-ray!! That meant I didn't have to carry all the furniture with Joel. 
   About an hour after that my Sister in law's Dad showed up to also help. We had all the furniture moved in that Day.


My mother in law had Mahala so it was just us five for lunch, Or linner sense we didn't eat till 3 o'clock. We didn't have my Stove hooked up so Joel ran to town for some food. He even brought Ice cream home, The kids were thrilled. 

Our goal was to have all the beds moved in and set up for the night. Mahala's brother's were kind enough to do hers for her. 

Harold tried to sneak a tablet break after his bed was done, and everyone else was busy.




Ethan was the first to have his room all set for the night. He was thrilled and proud to get the old dresser from Joel's Grandfather's. 


I was able to even get our bed made up though I am still setting up our room. 
We were able to sleep in out new house for the fist time that night. But it took us a week to get everything moved from the trailer house right next door. Now it is either all put away or in the Basement. 






Monday, October 2, 2017

What I've been up to

    Well September flew by for me. Did anyone else feel like they missed a month?
With Joel's help I was able to get the garden almost completely emptied before I left for a week.
This year I did something I have never done my whole married life. I went on a vacation with out Joel. Joel and I have gone to nearby places off and on alone before, but this was the first time I went with out him or the kids. 
I went with my parents to Idaho to celebrate my Grandmother's 91st birthday. I haven't been out to Idaho sense the year before I got married. That was 15 years ago. Joel and I went out to Billings Mt for her 80th birthday. But with four kids in school and our farm there wasn't away for everyone to come with.


What did I find out? I missed my family, Both the ones I went to see and those I left behind. I love the scenery and would have loved to stay.  
Growing up I had always planned to move to Montana. I wanted to have a ranch and have the mountains in the distance. I loved it then and still do. But I am glad that my kids get the chance to know there grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. I can't say I ever did sense I only seen them a week or two in a year.  



I stayed at my parents house the day before we left sense we started out at 4 am. We traveled 13 hours before stopping the night. (Did I mention that we drove?) Then we had another 7 hour drive the next morning.  I hadn't done this sense I was a kid. Even now I don't want to sit in the car long enough to go to town let alone another long drive, so why do I want to go out again?






But I will treasure this picture of my Grandmother, Mother and I.