Saturday, June 29, 2013

Tour De Fleece 2013, Day One!

I decided to link up with the Tour De Fleece 2013.  I had never heard of it until a few days ago when I was reading a post from Punkin"s  Patch Blog. It is a spinning challenge that is set up on Ravelry.

I figured I might as well jump in and join the fun. I have been calling myself a newbie to spinning for too long. Time to make a commitment to improve and get some use out of my spinning wheel that spends too much time in a corner collecting dust.

The picture is from Day One!

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Favorite Blossoms

Common Orange Lily

These are a very common flower in our area. You see them everywhere in the country along the roadsides. We have used them in our yard along the barn and in areas we want quick cover.

I learned something today while I was online looking up it's official name. We grew up calling these Tiger Lilies, from what I see online they are called a Common Orange Lily and are not a Tiger Lily.  You learn something new everyday!

They are one of my favorites. I know they may be viewed by some as more of a weed than a flower but I love them!  I remember my dad coming home after a long day at work carrying in a bouquet he had picked from the roadside, bringing in some of that summer sunshine to our dinner table.
So maybe it is for Nostalgic reasons that we have these flowers as part of our landscape and they always bring a smile to my face.

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Pasture Happenings ~weeky dose~

I went out this morning and decided to follow the sheep trail through some of the pasture. Beats walking in the tall grass. There are several beaten paths they have created over the years. Winding trails that give away their favorite hang out spots.

I didn't find them amongst the Mulberry trees. That is where we usually find them mid day when the sun is up and the heat is on.

I did find them in the northwest pasture lounging around and chewing their cud. I think they are feeling as gloomy as the weather. Most of them didn't budge from their spots.

I was surprised to find a Tunis ewe solo. That doesn't happen very often.

This lamb was falling asleep. I love it when they start to doze off and their head starts tilting back. They usually get jarred awake when they start to fall over.

This trail leads to the Rock Pile...

What a surprise, no sheep just goats! 

The ground is very wet and there is standing water from all of the rains we have had. Goats do not like water but they love trees and rocks!


 Reason #1 you never would want a goat in your orchard!

Heading back to the house, I find the rest of the Tunis laying low...

Who says you can't graze laying down?

The trail up to the barn and back to the house. I find a few sheep grazing along the way.

I am hoping for a few sunny days to dry things out. I think the sheep and goats would appreciate it as well.  I am feeling like the Tunis look.... just a little gloomy!

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Homemade Raspberry Ice Cream

I have been making a lot of frozen yogurt. You don't need cream for the frozen yogurt like you do for ice cream. Tonight, I decided to try ice cream, with the goats milk. I do not have a cream separator and I do not have the patience to skim off the cream, that collects at the top of the bottles of milk, in the fridge. It would take quite some time to collect  two cups. I used half and half in this recipe that was purchased from the store. If you have cream, you can use that.
Raspberry Ice Cream
2 cups goats milk
2 cups half and half
2 cups raspberries
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Blend ingredients, and place in Ice Cream Maker. Follow instructions for your model. Enjoy!

-you can use frozen, fresh or freeze dried raspberries
-I use a  blender to mix the ingredients, to get a smoother ice cream.

I did not have fresh raspberries and decided to use some freeze dried raspberries I had purchased from Emergency Essentials. They worked great. I just placed them in the milk, and let them soak for about ten minutes, before putting in blender.

We never get a chance to put the ice cream in the freezer, it always gets eaten up right away, even by the naysayer of the bunch. It is a great way to use up that extra milk, especially with the warmer weather we have been having the last few days!

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Berry Frozen Yogurt

I have been experimenting with frozen yogurt over the last couple of months.  This one made the cut even with my pickier eaters. 

Berry  Frozen Yogurt
2  cups goats milk yogurt
1 cup blueberries
1 cup strawberries (hulled)
1/2 cup goats milk
1/2 cup sugar

Place all the ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.
Place in ice cream maker.
25 minutes later-frozen berry yogurt.
You can place in freezer for a couple of hours for a firmer yogurt.
Or eat right on the spot which is what we opted to do!

I do not like really sweet frozen yogurt so  1/2 cup sugar is perfect for me.  You can add more sugar or  replace the sugar with honey or stevia to taste.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Pasture Happenings *Weekly Dose*

Another beautiful week! I am loving the summer weather that we have been having this year. The sheep seem to be enjoying it as well.

I am happy to say that my photographer is out of her sling and was out this week taking pictures for her mom.

You just have to love those ears!

Perfect Fit!

Thanks for stopping by the Farm. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Peanut Butter Pie That Passed the Test

With getting about a gallon of milk a day and us not being big milk drinkers I have been making a lot of yogurt and Chevre cheese.  To keep up I have been using the yogurt and cheese in new recipes. Today I tried a Peanut Butter Pie. I thought it was a little rich and wasn't sure if the girls were going to like it,  but my peanut butter loving kids loved it! So, the recipe will be put in the recipe box for future use.

Peanut Butter Pie
4 oz. Chevre Goat Cheese
1/2 cup Milk
1/3 cup Peanut Butter
8 oz. Cool Whip -thawed
1 cup Powdered Sugar
1 Graham Cracker Crust

Place cheese in mixer bowl and beat until smooth, add milk, sugar, and peanut butter. Beat until smooth. Stir in Cool Whip.
Mix well. Pour into the pie crust.

Freeze until set and firm.
Very easy recipe!

Recipe was found in Goats Produce Too! By Mary Jane Toth

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Monday, June 17, 2013

On It's Journey Home?

I noticed this bird on our power lines. Looked like the doves I see around here everyday but this one was white. That was different!
I got online and looked it up. I think I may have found what it was, a Rock Dove.

I found this on Wikipedia:
A release dove refers to a breed of Rock Dove (domestic pigeon) used for ceremonial release. Release doves are often used to commemorate important milestones of life and offerings of hope at weddings and birthdays and as representing the soul's final journey at funerals.[1] They are also released at grand openings, sporting events, and many outdoor gatherings.[2]
The preferred type of release doves are homing pigeons, a member of the rock dove family, and some strains are specifically bred for ceremonial release. White homing pigeons are preferable to ring neck doves for ceremonial release because ring neck doves lack homing ability and may not survive in the wild.
The pure white pigeon or Rock Dove is associated with all good traits: peace, hope, love, goodwill and family to name a few.

It was the one and only time I have ever seen one of these birds. I imagine our farm was a pit stop on its way back home!  How cool is that?

I can't be 100 percent positive,  but it's fun to imagine....

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Pasture Happenings- *Weekly Dose*

I went out this morning and was greeted with the sound of  a distressed lamb. They were all in the far corner of the pasture so I couldn't see what was going on. I made my way out, trying to find the lamb making all of the noise. What I was greeted with was this guy lounging under a tree. He was making so much racket, I just assumed that something must be terribly wrong. Nope, just wanted his mom to come and  join  him so he didn't have to move from his comfortable spot!  I ruined the plot by  making my presence known...guess he wasn't too lame to get up and go find his mom.

The goats were in the rock pile, a rock pile that has been added to for I don't know how many years. I am assuming since they started farming this place over 100 years ago.
It is not a big surprise it is one of the goats favorite hang outs.

I can almost reach.....

Our pastures are overgrown. The really long grass that has seed headed out is a grass they do not find palatable. I keep telling myself I need to get out there and mow it but that hasn't happened yet!

I have been enjoying every minute of  the near perfect weather we have been enjoying this week.

I hope you all have a great weekend!
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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sheep and Summer, What's Not To Love?


I love Sheep and I love Summer!
I have mentioned before summer is usually the easiest time raising sheep. They generally are left to themselves. We make sure they have clean water and we leave out a loose minerals/salt mixture that is available to them free choice.

We  have to watch them for parasite load and do worm them twice over the summer as part of a maintenance program. We have had occasional wet summers that have required it to be done more often.

That is pretty much it. I think we get back more than we put in during these months.  The enjoyment of watching sheep graze,  lambs growing and playing, and minimal work. What's not to love?

One thing that has been different this spring has been the noise! They have been so much more vocal  than we are use to.  The ewes  had to be fed grain through the winter due to low quality hay.  In the past I have been able to  get the  goats out in the morning to milk without even a glance from the sheep, but this year when they hear that grain bucket they come a running. The whole time I am milking they stand  at the gate protesting at the unfairness of it all.  It surprises me how loud they can get.
Hopefully, they will soon give up and be happy with the grass diet and I can have some peace and quiet in the morning while I am milking.

If we had more sheep, part of summer maintenance would include rotating the sheep through the pastures. When we had over 100 head of livestock that was something we did on a regular basis. With our stock rate being so low we have not used the separate paddocks and the sheep have free reign over all of the pasture. As we grow in numbers that will change and pasture rotation will again be used which adds a little bit more work, but not much.

I hope everyone is enjoying the season as much as I am!

Does your chore load get lighter in the summer?

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Monday, June 10, 2013

How to Culture Buttermilk

I have been making Chevre Cheese which uses Buttermilk. You only use a half a cup with each batch of the cheese. The smallest container of buttermilk I could find was quart size. I wasn't using the buttermilk before it would go bad so I have been dumping a lot of it, and that was frustrating because it isn't cheap.
I was reading through some cheese making information and found a section on How To Culture Buttermilk. Now why didn't I think of that?? Very easy.
One quart of Goat Milk
2 Tablespoons cultured Buttermilk
Warm the milk to 72 degrees. Stir in Cultured Buttermilk.
Allow mixture to set covered, at room temperature for 12 hours or more. When thick, refrigerate.

I get my cultured buttermilk from a local grocery store. I always check the expiration date and get the freshest milk.
You can save some buttermilk from a previous batch to start a new batch. Just like yogurt!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Pasture Happenings (weekly dose)

They are in "graze" mode so it was hard to get any pictures this morning. Sheep graze 9-11 hours a day,  so we catch them in this pose a lot.

I am not out there for long before the Tunis notice, here comes the welcoming party now...

The sheep can't keep up with the grass so it needs mowed. It will slow down when the weather gets warmer but I think we could do with a few more sheep!

I always think Senior Pictures when I get a tree pose :)

Yelling for mom...

Sophie keeps me company. She has picked up some white fuzzy stuff that is floating around the pasture.

The weather was just about perfect this week and it looks like  we are in for a great weekend!

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