Life on a very small working farm with humorous stories starring the animals that keep the owners on their toes. Includes information and tips on raising animals, gardening, and occasional ecological ravings, recipes, photography, and disaster preparedness.
A native of Washington State, I moved from Seattle to Lummi Island in 1999. There I established a small homestead on 3 acres where I learned most of what I know about farm poultry, goats, making goats milk soap and the pleasures of living in a small community. After 8 years I sold my little farm and moved to Lopez Island to help my guy whip his house into shape for selling. We moved with our two teen girls to another more accessible island to be closer to the colleges they would need in the next few years. I and THE MAN are currently living on 4 acres. The chicken coop has been built and the garden established.
THE MAN and builder of all things on "The List" is currently working on my never ending and always growing requests. Our goal is to become more self sufficient and have fun doing it. Oh ya and get our daughters raised and into college. A feat in itself. So if you are into some humorous farm antics, recipes, organic gardening, with the occasional tip for solving a problem or two read on. Make comments. I love learning from my readers.
The man surprised me with this. He has surprised me with little gifts before. Flowers, candy, the usual stuff. I was never that excited about flowers that were going to die and candy that would make me fat but I always appreciated them. I think he has finally figured out that I get excited about weird stuff like this. YA! buy me a new bird or a pressure cooker, or a great book or take me for a ride on the Harley. THAT I can relate to. Now I know his idea of the ultimate prepping tool is a motor home but that is a lot more money than a cooker and now that the kids are older we don't use that as often. So we sold ours. We will probably buy another smaller one for our selves since we like to go and we will be able to use it on what ever property we end up with after selling this one. But that will be after the girls leave for college.
I was going to can chicken soup this weekend but the directions are so confusing that I think I will look for a cook book that is a little more helpful than the manual that came with it. Braeburn apples are on deep discount at the store this week and my kids will only eat home made chunky apple sauce so I will probably start with that. Maybe even make some pie filling. What I really wanted it for was to can salmon. I have salmon in the freezer that we haven't eaten and I would like to get it out of there. It is an All American pressure cooker/canner (made and manufactured in the US) so anyone with any tips, please leave me a comment.
Speaking of new birds here is an update on the geese. The second batch of eggs were also not fertile. As I suspected both the duck boy and the goose boys are done for the year. Although the duck will occasionally perform. So both my girl geese are still trying to sit on the nest. I have done everything I can think of to discourage them but as soon as I open their gate at night they go right back and they spend the day walking around the fence line trying to figure out how to get back in to the non-existent eggs. Being the chump I am I felt sorry for them so the other day after the man had gone to work I crept down to the feed store knowing they were getting a new shipment of ducks that morning. I thought I would get some Black Cayugas because I really loved the one I had years ago. The hatchery had only sent one in their order and she was tiny. My intent was to put them under the geese but she was so small I was afraid she would get hurt or worse. So I got two Rouen because they were bigger and two more Khaki Campbell (because they are exceptional egg layers) and took them home. I tried putting them under the girls. The ladies were willing but those little ducks kept popping out from under and would have none of it. I tried until the little bugs got cold and finally decided I was going to have to raise them.
Rouen are stripped
click to enlarge
So meet Lola and the crew. She is absolutely ADORABLE! The rest are just cute. For those who don't know what a Rouen is it is a mallard derivative and looks a lot like a mallard. I don't know what I am going to do with them yet but will probably sell them or just find them good homes since they will be pets.
I will be teaching a class at the end of the month for an organization that is putting together classes on old fashion life skills for people that want to be more self sufficient so I am teaching "Basic bread and cheese making." Because I have been asked for another recipe from a reader I will include the recipe in my next blog. Here is the picture.