Friday, August 30, 2013

Pasture Happenings *Weekly Dose*

Heading out to the South Pasture



It is hard to believe that August has came and went! Summer is too short, I would like to see it last a little longer.  We have been having some very warm weather so it seems that Summer is resisting some. I am okay with that, I am not ready for wood burning, hay feeding, coats, boots and the list could go on and on.

Not much has been going on in the pastures. They never got mowed, I am trying to turn that into a positive thing, thinking the sheep will have more forage and browse this fall. But then reality is in the background telling me that the sheep will probably ignore it since they are not big fans of tall grass.
Not the end of the world, but it would have looked a lot nicer if it had been cut.

The sheep are starting to mingle with each other.  I am thinking by the end of winter we may be back to one flock!









We did make our LAST  sheep purchase for 2013, a Tunis Ram from Ohio.  He is everything we wanted in a Ram, but he is not the nicest guy we ever met. He has more ram attitude than we are use to. He is in the barn, and with the horrible lighting in there we can't get a decent picture, so he won't make his debut until he gets let out in the barnyard.

And as far as the last sheep purchase for 2013, he should be our last sheep purchase period.  We have the numbers we need for the amount of pasture we have. I am already thinking ahead to all of those lambs that are going to make an appearance in 2014!  More than enough to keep us busy!

I hope everyone enjoys their Holiday Weekend!


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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sandwich Spread (Nostalgia)




 We have a local meat shop that we like to visit. They make the best brats, all sorts of varieties. Our favorite is Hawaiian. They also make great sausage etc..

On my last visit, Mike came along and spotted some sandwich spread in the cooler. He was instantly reminded of  his Grandmother and the sandwiches she use to make. We worked our way to the counter and purchased some Beef Bologna and a promise from me that I would make some.

My mom use to make this as well. It isn't one of my favorites but it is easy and who doesn't love making their husband smile?









Sandwich Spread

2 pounds bologna
1 pint Dill Relish
1 1/2-2  cups Miracle Whip



Cut up bologna in chunks, put through a meat grinder.
I have a Kitchen Aid and own almost every attachment that you can buy for it. This includes a meat grinder, works great!

In a bowl, mix ground bologna, Dill Relish, and Miracle Whip (or Mayonnaise). I add just enough to hold the spread together. I did not use exact measurements. The above amount is approximate.
Chill, and serve!

I noticed that some recipes call for black olives, and boiled eggs.I stuck with the version my husband remembers.
The Dill Relish I used is home canned and has just the right kick, it was perfect for this spread.



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HomeAcre Hop #34




It has been a HOT week. The weather  took quite a turn. I am hoping with the warmer weather comes RED tomatoes. Still waiting.....

If you have ever wanted to learn how to spin, check out our Sheepy Giveaway!  There are a few more days to sign up!

Welcome to this weeks HomeAcre Hop.


HomeAcre Host:

Mary@Homegrown on the Hill
Kathi@Oak Hill Homestead
Nancy@Prudent Living on the Home Front
Ann@ Summer Acres
Jenny@Black Fox Homestead
Carol@Everything Home with Carol

Lisa Lynn@Self Sufficient Home Acre
and Me @Clearwater Farm Journal


Each host will feature her own picks from the posts linked the previous week. that means your chances of being featured are even better! Visit each of the blogs to see if you were featured this week! (Don't forget to link back to one of our blogs if you'd like to be featured!)

My pick this week is from Blue Yurt Farms, "Pigs, Bobbing For Apples"

http://blueyurtfarms.com/pigs-bobbing-for-apples/


pig-feat














Congratulations!  If you would like to be featured in the future, be sure to link back to the hop. We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured blogger this week. If you were featured, grab the button to display proudly on your blog!
Clearwater Farm Journal


You are invited to share your original posts on: Homesteading, livestock care, gardening, environmentally friendly farming, self sufficiency, preparedness, off grid living, healthy recipes, home remedies and herbal concoctions, green living, homeschooling, food preservation, environmentally friendly crafts and home decor, photo posts of natural living and homesteading subjects! Now that’s a lot of information to share! If it fits any of these topics, we want to hear about it :) There are just a few little rules to follow:


  • Family friendly posts only. ‘Nuff said :)
  • Please, no posts dedicated to advertising products.
  • Link as many appropriate posts as you’d like each week. Older posts are great too.
  • Please visit as many of the other posts as you can and let them know you found them here!
  • If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on either host’s blog) with the button or a text link, and please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and/or Pinterest!
  • Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business. :)
  • Only share content that you have created.
  • Please remember that the whole idea of a blog hop is to visit the other bloggers and make connections and friendships…so share the linky love!
  • By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post if you are featured. We will also include one photo from your post in the interest of sending visitors your way :)

    Please do not re-post a link you have  previously shared with  the HomeAcre Hop to keep things fresh each week! Thank you!
  • Clearwater Farm Journal



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Monday, August 26, 2013

Turkey Crossing



We seem to have a lot more turkeys in our area this year. There are two spots that seem to be the designated Turkey Crossing!

We always stop and wait for the mama and babies to cross the road. This time I was lucky enough to have my camera. Unfortunately, not the greatest shot, they spook easily and run for cover the minute the window goes down.

Can you see me?

It is nice to see the turkey population growing. We have seen evidence of them in our woods, but never get a chance to get an up close look at one.

Random Turkey Facts:

Benjamin Franklin wanted the Turkey to be the United States National Bird.

Wild Turkey live to about 10 years old.

Wild Turkeys are smarter than domesticated Turkeys.


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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Giveaway Reminder!




Just a reminder that Clearwater Farm Blog is having a Giveaway for our Followers.

We would love to be able to include everyone, but due to shipping the giveaway is for the United States only. :(
Here is the link if you would like to sign up.
 http://www.mittenstatesheepandwool.com/2013/08/michigan-fiber-festival-and-giveaway.html

We will be doing a drawing September 1st!
Good Luck!

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Our First Armful of Peaches




The simple things in life...

I have been noticing a lot of blog post about peaches.  All sorts of yummy recipes and canning and freezing tutorials!

We had our first harvest of peaches this year. I am surprised that we had any with the trees being so new.  We have waited 4 years for our apples to produce. It wasn't much of a harvest,  just enough for everyone to try one. We all  agreed, they were the best peaches we ever ate!

I look forward to a larger harvest when we can try out some of those recipes I have been saving and we can put some up for the winter. But I am grateful for the unexpected surprise, of having our first armful of peaches, from our small orchard.





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Thursday, August 22, 2013

HomeAcre Hop #33




It has been a busy couple of weeks! We have been adding new sheep to our flock. The pasture has been busier  than it has been in quite a long time.
Clearwater Farm Journal is having a "sheepy" Giveaway for our followers, be sure to check it out!
http://www.mittenstatesheepandwool.com/2013/08/michigan-fiber-festival-and-giveaway.html

The pear and apple trees are just about ready and that means plenty of busy days ahead in the kitchen!

This past week a friend of mine took some family pictures for us. She wanted to take some fun shots in the pasture, it was a good time!

I look forward to hearing what has been keeping you busy this week!


Your HomeAcre Hosts:

Mary @ Homegrown on the Hill Kathi @ Oak Hill Homestead Nancy @ Prudent Living On The Home Front
Ann @ Summers Acres
Carol @ Everything Home with Carol
Jenny @ Black Fox Homestead
Lisa Lynn@ Self Sufficient Home Acre

and Me,  Sandra @ Clearwater Farm

 
 


Each host will feature her own picks from the posts linked the previous week. that means your chances of being featured are even better! Visit each of the blogs to see if you were featured this week! (Don't forget to link back to one of our blogs if you'd like to be featured!)
 
My feature post this week comes from Amaranth and Kale: Oatmeal-Lavender Facial Scrub.
http://amaranthandkale.blogspot.com/2012/12/oatmeal-lavender-facial-scrub_10.html



Congratulations!  If you would like to be featured in the future, be sure to link back to the hop. We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured blogger this week. If you were featured, grab the button to display proudly on your blog!



Clearwater Farm Journal



You are invited to share your original posts on: Homesteading, livestock care, gardening, environmentally friendly farming, self sufficiency, preparedness, off grid living, healthy recipes, home remedies and herbal concoctions, green living, homeschooling, food preservation, environmentally friendly crafts and home decor, photo posts of natural living and homesteading subjects! Now that’s a lot of information to share! If it fits any of these topics, we want to hear about it :) There are just a few little rules to follow:
  • Family friendly posts only. ‘Nuff said :)
  • Please, no posts dedicated to advertising products.
  • Link as many appropriate posts as you’d like each week. Older posts are great too.
  • Please visit as many of the other posts as you can and let them know you found them here!
  • If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on either host’s blog) with the button or a text link, and please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and/or Pinterest!
  • Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business. :)
  • Only share content that you have created.
  • Please remember that the whole idea of a blog hop is to visit the other bloggers and make connections and friendships…so share the linky love!
  • By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post if you are featured. We will also include one photo from your post in the interest of sending visitors your way :)
Clearwater Farm Journal




 
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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pasture Happenings!

New Tunis Lambs

It has been a while since we have walked the pasture and taken some shots of the sheep. We were without a camera for a little while and we have been really busy the last couple of weeks.

We have added new sheep, separated lambs from the ewes, and then separated the ewe lambs and ram lambs.

The ram lambs are in the barnyard.  The ewe lambs were put back out on pasture. The new Tunis ewes and lambs were also let out in the pasture.

When we get new livestock,  we try to keep them separated from our flock for a couple of weeks. During that time we can trim hooves, deworm, and make sure they are healthy before we put them with our sheep.

Thankfully, the newbies are fitting right in!

There is plenty of grass, but they seem convinced that this grass must be better than the rest!

 



We did buy a young Tunis Ram Lamb. He did not want to stay put the first couple of days. He decided he liked being in the yard the best. Thankfully, after multiple attempts, he finally stayed in the barnyard with the other ram lambs.





When we went to the Michigan Fiber Festival, we bought more than wool roving. Meet Emmet, our new Border Leicester Ram. He was bought from ZNK farm. They were nice enough to drop him off on their way home from the sheep show (Michigan Fiber Festival).  My daughter Alisha, thinks he is a mix between a teddy bear and an NFL player!  He is a yearling, so he still has some growing to do!
We are excited to have him!



Everyone seems to be settling in. We have to purchase one more Ram and then we should be ready for Fall.

The pasture looks a little busier than it has been in quite a long time!


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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Michigan Fiber Festival and a GIVEAWAY!



We went to the Michigan Fiber Festival this weekend and as always had a great time!

I bought some more Romney roving to keep me spinning! I also bought some more of the homemade sheep buttons that I love!

While I was there I decided it would be fun to pick up some extra things and do a giveaway for my blog followers!  The giveaway is an Ashford  Student Drop Spindle, 4 oz. of Romney Roving, and 3 of those handmade sheep buttons!

All you have to do to enter is be a follower of Clearwater Farm Journal and leave a comment on this post. If you do not "follow" on blogger but follow by email,  Bloglovin etc.. please let me know that in your comment! I will pick a winner on September 1st, so please check in to see if you won.

Good Luck :) and thanks for stopping by!

**I want to thank Sue (The Little Acre that Could) for bringing the Canada issue to my attention and for her help. I had not thought of that when I set up the giveaway.  I guess I have a lot to learn. I did look up the shipping and was surprised at the cost :(  Due to the shipping cost the giveaway will be for within the United States. I feel bad :(   I hope everyone understands!



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Friday, August 16, 2013

Agility Dogs, Yes! Obedience, Not So Much...

Agility Dogs, YES!  Obedience Dogs...not so much!


This year was Flynn and Scout's  first time at the 4-H Dog Show. I have to say that they did WAY better than expected.

What does it take to get a dog ready to show? Well these boys have been going to dog practices since January!  Along with that, they get worked at home. So practice, practice, practice and a BIG dose of patience!

I posted about the first dog practice, chaos! We came home from practice on more than one occasion, with one of the girls close to tears.  If you don't already know, Border Collies are smart BUT they are also busy.  There were weeks that we couldn't get  them to focus on the girls for more than a few seconds because they were more interested in trying to herd everyone at practice!

I almost bailed and told them, maybe next year. We have had Border Collies for many years, but these two are by far the most intense.  If I am honest, they drove me nuts at the dogs practices!! (dogs not  girls).

The dog show is split up into two days. Tuesday evening is Rally/Agility and Wednesday is Obedience, Showmanship and Grooming.  They were signed up for Agility, Obedience, and Grooming (required).  Obedience they have to do at least one year to be able to show Agility.

We gave the girls the pep talks, " It is their first year, if the dogs don't listen, or get distracted or simply jump out of the ring, well that's okay"-  and that is exactly what we expected!

Well I am happy to report they did great! We were all surprised, especially the girls. Their 4-H leader said she has never seen the agility course run so fast :)  The girls were thrilled and walked away with 1st and 3rd place in Agility with a qualifying score (which means they move up next year).

As far as Obedience, they did get first and third place,(Non-Qualifying Score) but it was miserable, for girls and dogs alike!  They do not enjoy it at all, much too slow paced and too easily distracted. So this is their one and only year showing in obedience.

And the "old" dog, you can tell he has been through it many times, he has no idea why the pups can't get it together and just chill out like he does! As long as there is some one's feet to lay on, it's all good! He should get some "brag time" too. First place in Obedience and  Agility and second place in Rally. I should add that he doesn't have much competition because there are very few dogs that show advanced classes. But we think he did great!

Dog Show....Easy Peasy!!


I am proud of the girls for sticking it out with these boys all year. I am not sure if I would have.
It just goes to show patience and hard work do pay off. Even without the ribbons, it was a worthwhile effort and the girls had a great experience.

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

More Grass, More Sheep, More...




I have a book that is called More Grass, More Sheep, More Money. I think the word money could be interchanged with a few other words, one being work.  But we do have plenty of grass and it has been our goal to work our numbers back up to what they were long, long  ago, before the twins were born.

We have spent some of this year adding more sheep to our farm. Including adding a new breed of sheep, the Tunis. We are excited about the direction we are going but do have some changes that need to be made.

Having more sheep, does mean more work. At least initially. We have plans to put up new fencing to create more paddocks, so we can practice rotational grazing like we have done in the past. We need to finish our corral, that  is a MUST. It is not any fun wrestling sheep around. We have done it, and when you have a small number you can get away with it, but as the numbers grow the handling system we have  has to improve!

I remember some advice I read, when I was pouring over every sheep book I could find,  the first thing  you need before you buy sheep is good fencing, and a good handling system! I have never regretted taking that advice with our fencing, but we have not really spent much time with our handling system.  When I look at our biggest frustration with raising sheep, it comes down to handling.  Two people can get a lot done in a fairly quick amount of time if you have a good system. When you don't you can spend a lot of time chasing, being trampled on, cursing (not me) , you get the idea.

We are going to have to try to carve out some time this Fall to get it done! It is not as much fun as bringing  home new sheep, or having lambs but I know in the end it will keep us sane and help make sheep farming a little more enjoyable!


Speaking of buying sheep, did I mention we went on a road trip (yes, during fair week) and bought home more Tunis?   9 more lovely red heads (one being a ram). They also had these adorable sheep guardian dogs (Pyrenees) that almost made their way into our Jeep!  But we showed some restraint. Someday....







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