Monday, November 29, 2010

Goat cookies, beehives, and other stuff

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Some of us did not want to get up so easily this morning....

It's hard to believe there are only two days left in November! Wow. Time flies. I've got to finish Christmas cards and articles that are due.

The new switches Kevin rigged up for the mule work great. It looks a little crazy, but I couldn't care less, it works! I'm so glad we are not without the machine because of  a silly thing like the starter switch.  We'll get a new one eventually and replace this, but for now it works fine.

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Yes, that is the lids from my yeast containers he used! Talk about putting things to good use... :)

This morning before I went up to the barn, I made some cookies. For the goats of course!

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Yuuummm.
I mixed together shredded carrot, oats, and molasses. I did not measure, but I used about 2 cups carrot, 1 1/2 cups oats and enough molasses to make it all stick together. I baked thema t 350 for about 10-15 minutes.

They went over very well as expected, and will become a more regular treat here. Everyone went nutty over them. The sheep couldn't care less, one of my ewes, Lila, came over and tried a bite but she chewed it good and then spit it out.

Bucket loved them....

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hmmm this tastes good...

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Izzie loved them and gobbled them down.

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But no one loved them more than Sammy and Bea, the cookie monsters!

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Later this afternoon I headed out to take a better look at my Christmas tree candidate for this year. On my way I noticed that somebody had been eating pumpkin.... I'm not going to say who of course, but maybe the one with the seeds hanging out his mouth!
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Certainly it was not Sammy... no idea how those seeds got there, and the orange on his beautiful white face.

Maybe it was Izzie and Bean?

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So what do you think? I think this tree will be perfect. We have 700 acres of bush here, and we only cut one live tree a year. All of our firewood is deadwood. And after we are done with the tree, the deer eat it, so nothing is ever wasted.

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I think it will be just right.

Charlie has been back yesterday and today with his digger putting a drainage system in for the pond that's flooding our driveway, fixing a few mud holes, and, doing a couple other jobs. Yesterday when I went out to check on them, ah, chatting.... or working rather, the drainage was coming along good.

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Then today they worked on the other culvert, clearing it out...

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The drainage ditch was still working well this morning, when I went and checked it out, after the guys had cleaned it out again.

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The pond was making a ton of noise with the ice shifting and cracking, it was so strange listening to the popping and cracking and creaking

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Is it crazy that it's only December and it's time to start planning for the spring? If we don't we'll already be behind. A lot of spring activities need to be planned, and things ordered well ahead of time in the winter. Which is always a good thing because it keeps us busy and looking forward to things when it gets really cold outside.

We've started our serious bee research. We plan on starting with one hive this spring. Our bees need to be ordered around January to make sure in May, we'll have them. We are very interested in the Warre hive instead of the typical commonly used frame hive... there are several reasons why we like this hive better. We've leaned some interesting things about hives lately.


This is a really great site about top bar hives: http://www.bestbeekeeping.com/top_bar_hives.html

We are still learning and it's going to be a great December project reading everything we can, and throughout the winter. But we really need to get our bees ordered in January/Feb.


I've also got my spotted Nubian doeling reserved from Capricornview Farm! We wanted one last year when we picked up Bea but they all were sold. I'm so excited. We are going to buy a few boys to raise too. The kids will be born from March till May, so they could come anytime then. My goats are all due mid/late April.

I've pretty much got my order for the hatchery for spring done. I should be thinking about Christmas instead of baby chicks right now... But what the heck, priorities, priorities. A couple of the breeds are rare, so they need to be ordered in advance.

We will be introducing a new breed of turkeys to the farm and getting some more laying hens.

I'd like to get Guinea hens again, since they eat ticks. But try and keep them at home. They are really hard to keep fenced because they even dig out. People do keep them free range but I find they need to keep so many to replace the ones that wander away and I don't want guinea hens everywhere. So I'm not sure about that.

For dinner tonight we had pasta, with bison meatballs. I've made all kinds of meatballs, turkey, beef, caribou, buffalo... I just alter the spices to my taste, which you could do as well. Usually I only use BBQ sauce in my beef meatballs, unless I'm doing Italian and then I add lots of fresh herbs.

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For these I used salt, pepper, panko bread crumbs, 1 egg, and about 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce in these meatballs. Because I used a spicy onion and garlic BBQ sauce, I didn't add either of those like I normally would. 

I baked them on a cookie sheet at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes and then I put them, my sauce, and some shredded mozzarella back in the oven for about 25 more minutes or until my pasta was ready anyway.

They turned out pretty good. Tomorrow we'll have meatball sandwiches with the leftovers.
While I was out this afternoon finally after weeks of trying, I got a picture of a Chickadee in the forest :) This bird was on our new road and kept coming out onto the road even with me there. Kevin said he was out there on the road while they were working even. I guess the tractor pulling up the dirt brought some bugs out because this little bird didn't want to leave the road, even with us there.

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 Deer Norman showed up tonight over where our sugar camp is. He is not in rut any longer, so it's over. Maybe we will see Torn Ear again now.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A day in the life....

I thought it would be fun to take the camera with me and take random pictures of a fairly typical day, at least as many as I could, while still getting my tasks accomplished.

So.... welcome to a typical morning on the farm. The house is quiet. From down the hall I hear a voice calling "hello." Then silence. Then "what are you doing?" silence. "Hello?... Hellooooooo?" Kiwi is up.

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Climb out of bed. Foggy eyed walk down the hallway into the kitchen.

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 Turn off ceiling fan that has been on blowing heat from the fire towards the bedroom all night. Put on the coffee - the most important morning task. 

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Uncover birds. Get a lot of excited kak's from the Kak's.

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Goodmorning Noel...

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Let dogs out for their morning pee.

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It was cool this morning...

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and we had a little sprinkle of snow.

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mom... Norman is taking too long!

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Max & Flav were relaxing after a hard nights work as usual....

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The pond even had some ice on it....

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Go back inside. Feed dogs, give Norman his pills.

Feed the Prairie dogs.

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Sweep up the mess from the Prairie dogs and birds from overnight. Prairie dogs leave a BIG mess. Paper, pellets, hay. What can you do...

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Ah, sit for a few minutes and have a cup of coffee and some breakfast.

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Yummmm, Red river cereal...

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With wild blueberries picked in Northern Ontario this summer!

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Now that it's getting cold, I have to suit up. But not as much as when it's 20 below.

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Then spend a few minutes looking around for the camera, that is over my shoulder. *Sigh* this happens a lot.

Then head to the barn to let everyone out.

Goodmorning Maaaa....
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Where have you been?
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Where's my treats?
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Where's my kiss?

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Let everyone outside.... oh Good morning Snick and Maggie....

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Flavious poses...

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Max notices there is a pumpkin in the yard...

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hmmm I wonder if this is good to eat?

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The barn looks pretty

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Back to work... Fill up empty and frozen water buckets.

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Then it's time to finish up, feed chickens, clean stalls, feed rabbits, clean cages... with very handy friends...

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Hello Yukon....

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Oh wait, someone is knocking at the door...

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It's Levi and Sammy!

After chores, we drive out to gather wood...

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First Kevin checks his dam....

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Then it's back through the ears field...

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Someone drives a lot slower than me...

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keep driving...

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start loading the wood...

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The snow is like little tiny pellets...

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After we unloaded the wood at the splitter...

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I ran in the house to put the crockpot on... I threw in a pork tenderloin, some onions, broth, oregano, garlic, cumin, tomatillo salsa, and navy beans. We'll see what happens with that.

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Go back to the wood yard and the mule won't start. The starter switch has been going for a while now. Why did it finally fail today? Because it's Saturday that's why. Everything always breaks on a weekend or holiday.

So Kevin pushes me home...

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and pulls it apart...

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No worries. He can rig something up, he was an electronics technician  after all, he knows his stuff..

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So we leave that to head out to put our trail camera out before dark, in the argo.

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A porcupine lives in this log every winter.

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I stop to take a picture of the droppings to show you.

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But wait.. the camera picks up something my eyes did not... the porcupine is home!

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We set the camera in the cedar swamp, in a new place, then head home.

Hey, there is a deer in our yard!

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and Goofy and her fawn too...

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Kevin goes back to work and I head up to the barn to put everyone in. It's dark by 5 PM now.

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Izzie is getting so big!

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Ah can we hurry up with the treats please?

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HEY! We are waiting for you lady!

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What about me?

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Then it's back to the house. Let the dogs out, feed them dinner, feed everyone else dinner. Tidy up. Finish cooking dinner with Dale.

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What? Doesn't everyone cook dinner with their Prairie dogs to help?

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Who knew.

Doesn't everyone sit and have a glass of wine in the evening with their Prairie dogs?

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Ooops, I think there was a Prairie dog in my rice cooker...

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and after all, the pork mixture I had considered making into chili turned out good. I mixed it with rice and filled up tortillas with it and cheese... it was yummy.


Now back to all the typical glamorous evening things a farm girl has to do...

Like dishes.

Kevin tells me the mule is fixed, so in the morning I'll check out his new switches. He's really great with this stuff, with a lot of things. Every year as soon as it gets cold something happens with that machine. Otherwise it's always reliable, but it seems to want to not work for the winter. I guess it doesn't like having to work in the cold. Well... tough.
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