Monday, April 26, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Neil spent the morning repairing garden hoses and running some of them to the automatic waterers in the barn. So, now we don't have long hoses running along the ground everywhere. He also had the time to fix the water pump that has been leaking out in the pasture. Once he fixed the underground connection he installed four t-posts around the pipe and ran electric fencing around it to prevent the cows and donkeys from rubbing on it and breaking it again.
This afternoon we all went over to Neil's parents for dinner. I made a beef stroganoff from our farm raised beef to take over. It was really good.
Today's mail brought two postcards from Memphis, Tennessee...
Friday, April 23, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Today is Earth Day. We already do many things everyday that others only think to do today. For example, we recycle as much as we can, I always pre-cycle if possible (meaning I purchase items with the least amount of packaging involved or with an intended use for the package once it is empty), I shop with cloth or other reusable bags, I use "green" cleaning products, we use hand towels in the kitchen and cotton dishcloths to wash dishes, we grow or raise much of our own food here on the farm, and I buy organic when it is an option. But when Earth Day comes around I like to get the kids excited and involved with conservation projects. This year we did lots of fun things.
I gathered the few ingredients together and we headed out on the deck. We tied string to four pinecones and set aside. We then mixed 1 cup vegetable shortening, 2 cups corn meal, 1 cup sunflower seeds and a cup of oatmeal together.
Then Evan hung them in the trees out by the kid's playground for the birds to find.
In the afternoon we packed up the kid's bikes and went over to a local park that has a walking/bike path. The kid's love going here since we don't really have a good place to ride bikes on our property.
We rode for a while then stopped to play on the small playground there. Evan took it upon himself to start picking up litter around the park and ball field. I was so proud of him!
Then this evening we created some Egghead critters by filling empty egg shells with potting soil and drawing faces on them. Then we planted some clover seeds in them and watered well. In a few days our little eggheads should have some crazy hair growing on them.
We did get a postcard in the mail today... from Wisconsin. I am not sure how they knew that both Evan and I are fond of big red barns...
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Received lots of fun things in the mail today. First we got two more postcards. Both of them came from the same family in Arizona. One card is full of great state facts and the other one is of Superstition Mountain.
So, Flat Baxter that arrived here today will be learning about things here on the farm and going on some day trips with us over the next few months. In an attempt to not clutter this blog I will start a new blog for each of the Flat Travelers that we host. You can check out Baxter's blog here.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
I found out today that I was selected to compete in the 2010 ® SmartTM Creativity Contest, challenging teachers and home educators across the United States to become LEGO Smart! The contest doesn't begin until August but they will be mailing Lego kits out in 4-6 weeks so I can start working on my contest entry.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
We had a guy stop by the farm this morning looking for a turkey tom to buy for his hens. In luck I still had two toms that I haven't gotten around to butchering yet. So, Neil and I caught him up and off he went to his new home to be with his new girls. I love a happy ending!
What was not so happy is that today was the day that we needed to dis-bud our kid goats. It is our least favorite farm chore but one that needs to get done. The kids (of the human kind) helped us round up the three goat kids. Then Neil and I got them all dis-budded. It went really well and we got good copper burns on all the kids.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
McKayla with her 4-H temporary tattoo.
Friday, April 16, 2010
We received two postcards in the mail today. One from Iowa and one from Pennsylvania and both state map cards.
The third litter of Chinchilla rabbit kits are finally leaving the nest box to eat pellets. They are very cute. There are 6 Chinchilla colored ones and 2 black frosted ones like their mother. I have offered one kit from this litter as the raffle prize for the 4-H event this coming Saturday.
Today I also did the Ivomec injections on the alpaca girls.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
I will be disbudding them this weekend and will then get them started on bottle feeding. The new owners will be picking them up next weekend.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
The kids and I have started something new lately. We are trading postcards to learn about other parts of the world. We are trading within the US for State map cards, state bird, flag, flower, animal, scenic views and more. We are also wanting to trade internationally to learn about other countries too.
So far we have received state map cards from New Hampshire and Arizona. We also have a Washington State card of the World's Longest Beach.
Some of the places we have found to trade cards are:
If you would like to trade cards with us just leave me a comment! We have several different cards we can trade from North Carolina.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
I made a new recipe today... Southern Shrimp and Grits.
Neil often orders this when he is eating out when at work. I wanted to offer him the same experience here at home. He told me that he really likes the version he has had at Fatz Cafe. Fatz is a true Southern restuarant chain. I searched online and happily found their Edisto Shrimp and Grits recipe online. This came out so good! I will be making this again for sure.
30 pieces jumbo shrimp
12 oz. popcorn shrimp
12 oz. Parmesan cheese
6 oz. bacon bits (warm)
¾ cup sliced mushrooms
½ oz. lemon juice
1 oz. diced yellow onions
2 oz. Golden Award or other liquid butter (I used melted butter)
4 oz. Burgundy wine
2 oz. Trio Brown Gravy dry mix (I used beef boulion paste)
drop of garlic-seasoned olive oil
dash of salt
dash of cayenne pepper
Stone-Ground Cheese Grits:
2 cups white stone-ground grits
1 quart water
1 quart milk
2 Tbsp. chicken base
1½ cups mixed Monterey Jack and Cheddar Cheese (I used all cheddar)
1⁄8 cup butter blend
For stone-ground cheese grits: Bring water and milk to a boil. Add grits, mixed cheese and chicken base. Simmer for 30 minutes. After 20 minutes of simmering, add butter and stir well. Cook for remaining 10 minutes.
For Burgundy gravy: In a pot add Golden Award (liquid butter), onions, mushrooms, wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Add salt, garlic and cayenne; reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. In separate pot, mix dry brown gravy mix and hot water according to instructions on package. Add gravy mix to mushroom-wine mixture and cook on medium heat for another 10 minutes.
For Edisto Shrimp: Lightly sprinkle jumbo and popcorn shrimp with blackening seasonings and cook on a flat top. (Follow proper blackening procedures.) Place 8 oz. cooked stone-ground cheese grits into bowl; place 5 jumbo shrimp in a circle along outer rim and 2 oz. popcorn shrimp down middle. Add about 3 oz. of gravy, drizzling over entire dish. Sprinkle 1 oz. bacon bits on top and garnish with 2 oz. Parmesan cheese.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Today was the day we had our alpacas sheared. For the third year in a row we have hired the same professional shearers. And the for third year in a row we worked together with two other local alpaca farms to get all of our animals done in one day.
We started at 7 am at David Rosin's farm in Timberlake, NC with 15 alpacas. Next we came to our farm to shear our 12 alpaca and our llama. Finally, we ended up around 4 pm at David St.Laurent's farm in Virgilina, VA where we did 19 alpaca. 47 total in all!
Here are a few start to finish photos....