Monday, May 31, 2010

Thank you to my eloquent friend at the Wild Magnolia for giving me this Versatile Blogger Award. I believe in passing it along I am supposed to tell something about myself, so here a some things about me that are not in my profile.



I was born in Oklahoma City but when I was two I moved with my family to a suburb of Los Angeles California where I lived until my late 20s. I lived for about 6 years in a beautiful town up the coast from Santa Barbara Calif. not far from the infamous "Neverland Ranch" I still miss California very much but don't believe I will every return to live there again. I have lived in Central Florida for about 15 years and have grown to very much appreciate the ebbs and flows and more relaxed pace of the South, I will never ever love the humidity here and find summers to be miserable still. I hope someday to move to the mountains of New Mexico a place I love.


I love to read, especially period pieces that take me to another time and place and teach me something historical, I love movies like that as well and big epic pics like "Seven Years in Tibet" and "Out of Africa" are some that I loved. Although my favorite book has no historical significance at all it's "Lost Horizon" by James Hilton. I have no idea why that one struck such a cord with me but it did. I love blogs for the same reason they take me to different places, teach me new things about the world around me and let me take a peek into how others live.


I am a music lover, all kinds of music although I have no musical talent, I am a closet singer. I am proud that I passed that love along to my children.




When I was 18 I backpacked through Europe with a girlfriend, it was a great adventure and one that I am so glad I had the chance to do before I came home and married and had babies.


I believe in compassion for others and really try my hardest to have a live and let live approach to life even when it's hard to do so.


Alright enough about me, on to who to pass this award along to which is a really hard choice to make, I follow so many amazing blogs and continuously surprised and inspired by all of the talented a caring people out there in blog land. Many of the blogs I follow faithfully have already received this award so I am looking beyond my usually circle of blogging friends to some others that enjoy.


Although she has huge huge following and is actually bit of a celebrity I have to give credit to Jenna at : coldantlerfarm.blogspot.com/2010/05/good-morning-from-cold-antler.html

I first read an article by Jenna in a homesteading magazine I can't remember which one and it mentioned her blog. Her blog was the first blog that I started following and I was hooked from then on. She has a variety of interests and she writes in way that pulls you right into her life and has you rooting for her. Jenna is a published author with a book and multiple magazine articles and a beautifully illustrated blog.

The next blog is the girls at: http://stickhorsecowgirls.blogspot.com/2010/05/c-when-opportunity-knocks.html two great friends who post about anything and everything and often leave me thinking or laughing. Intelligent and witty they feel like women you want to hang out with.


The next blogger lives in New Mexico not far from where I hope to move in the next few years so I live a bit vicariously through her posts, and i am in love with her little Donkeys , see them at http://www.the7msnranch.com/



Hope to have introduced you to some new bloggers,



Laura

Remembering why we celebrate Memorial Day and Piggies to Market



Remembering all who have sacrificed it all for this land we call home and our freedom.

Before I run out the door to work, I had to post that I sold two of my male piggies at the auction on Saturday night for $50 each, for a little tiny rural auction that was a good sale, and paid back my investment of $30.00 each for the male and female I originally bought to breed. The money went right into bags of feed to finish off the two I plan to keep for meat. I gave the only two females of the litter to the woman who gave me the horses who in turn gave me two little Peking ducklings. I have 3 more babies left to sell and will take at least two of them next Saturday to the auction.


I met an older man at the auction who was wanting a baby goat for a pet but could not afford one, I heard through a friend that he was a nice old guy who would be good to his word, so I loaded up one of my two buck kids and took him to him on Sunday morning, he was thrilled to say the least and I got to see his really beautiful veggie garden and know the little guy will be well cared for.


Sunday it rained buckets so i was forced to stay inside and ended up doing nothing, nothing of any use that is. I guess I needed an afternoon like that, I can't remember the last time I did that.


I should have passed along the "Versatile Blogger" award that I received from a very gracious woman, but I was too brain dead. I will have a hard time choosing who to pass it along to since there are so many great bloggers out there whose posts I love to follow, but I will do it soon.


Hope everyone who gets Memorial Day off enjoys time with family and friends. I am off to work, still sick people to see even on the holiday.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Harvest Begins





As usual my pictures are out of order, but I give up on trying to fix them.
Please ignore the weeds around the bed, they are out of control, but I wanted to show the enclosure I made to keep the chickens out of the raised beds, I was going to cover the top as well but so far they have shown no interest in bothering the beds so I will wait and see. I was thinking that in the winter I will try covering it with plastic to make a mini green house for lettuce and spinach etc. It was really cheap and not to hard to make. Next time though I will cut all my pvc pipe in 2 foot sections and piece it together with connectors, if the sections are too long the pvc wants to bend and bow, I think shorter sections will be easier to work with and not as unstable.

I have been able to begin harvesting things from my garden and was able to make my first meal from the farm. I should have taken a picture but I did not think of it at the time. I had roast chicken, green beans and red potatoes all grown or raised here on my little plot of land. What a sense of satisfaction seeing my hard work return a yield. All of my kids are back home with me and along with a good friend have participated in one way or another in helping me keep it all going. I am so thrilled that my two grand-sons get excited when they see they find a big green bean to pick or that Logan the four year old snuck out and planted his own pumpkin seeds, imagine my surprise when they started coming up in the middle of my herbs.



Pictured are some of the herbs I have growing in the water trough raised bed, thyme, rosemary, basil, lemon balm, along with some of the green beans from another raised bed. Yes those are pumpkin vines threatening to take over the whole trough. I have a large plot of ground where I have been growing the potatoes, black eyed peas, tomato's, squash, peppers and a few other things. Additionally, I have two wood frame raised beds, I built this year. I have to say the things in the raised beds have grown so much faster and look so much better then my in ground plants. The soil here in Florida is so very sandy, it may take me years to amend it to my satisfaction, for my purposes raised beds are the way to go, great soil from the beginning almost no weeds and at a better height to work with. Well worth the investment of time and money to make them.I have lots of things getting ready to begin ripening, I can't wait to pick the first tomato.

I did not take pictures of the chicken processing, I did five white rock hens that I ordered from Murray Mc Murray, I let them live longer then I should have I think they ideally should be done at around 6-8 weeks to be the most tender. I procrastinated. If I am honest about the whole thing I will have to admit that I am not 100% OK with the killing of animals for my food purposes, I struggle with the whole thing a bit but keep coming back to either going back to being a vegetarian and give up meat all together or raise my own giving the animals the best life I can. For now I am trying to do the latter and hoping that I become more comfortable with the whole idea. The actual processing is not that bad for anyone thinking of doing it there are lots of places to find info, I am sure there are you tube videos out there. My only word of advice is to be prepared, have everything you need ready ahead of time. I used a deep fryer to have boiling water ready, a large table covered with a clean plastic drop cloth, a clean five gallon bucket a de-boning knife, an ax and a tree stump, I am sure every one knows it is not the most pleasant of events but when my five hens were all packed in freezer bags I was grateful for the experience. I am thinking about ordering another batch of 25 meat birds, but am not looking forward to raising another batch of chicks quite yet.



On a completely unrelated note, can anyone tell me how to get the blog spot to allow you to load more pictures?? If I have more then three pics and any text at all the blog program boots the pictures off. This post started out with three pictures and as I added text it bumped them off, to who knows where. It seems like I can type the text and then add the pics but then they all end up at the beginning of the post instead of spread throughout. Irritating!! I love seeing every ones pictures of their farms, kids, creative projects, cooking and critters and would like to post more of my own without having to create a post for every one of them. I am sure it is operator ignorance on my part lol, but I have no time to sit here trying to figure it out, there are baby goats screaming to be fed.










Saturday, May 8, 2010

Just saying a quick hello to my blogging friends.

I really hope all of my great blogging friends out there are having the best spring ever. My life has gotten so hectic and full of things that have to be done that there has been no time to post and no time to follow any one's posts. The little farm has blossomed but with all of the new life and growth comes tons of work as I know you all are well aware. Besides that, my new job has me spending hours on the computer every evening charting the events of the day so by the time I am done I don't want to touch a laptop. But I miss the give and take of the blogging world and hope to find a way to make time to catch up soon.
Blessings to all!!!

Laura