Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dexter Bull Pick Up

A few months ago we took deposit on our two Dexter bulls we had for sale.  The younger of the two was still nursing so we all opted to leave them both here until the little black bull was old enough to wean from his mom.

Well, today they got picked up.  I sure hope the older bull successfully covered our two cows so we have calves again this fall/winter.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Evan!

My first born turns eight years old today!  He has requested homemade pizza for dinner.  So, pizza and a movie at home.  We will surprise him with "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" which he has been wanted to watch for months now.  We will have his cake and presents on Saturday with Neil's parents.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Rooster Rescue

I met a new neighbor last Thursday when he stopped by the farm to let us know his favorite rooster had gone missing and wondered if we had seen it around.  At that time I had not seen his rooster.
Then around 11 am this morning I looked out into our middle alpaca pasture and could see a rooster pacing the fence line. I looked a lot like one of our Brown Leghorn roosters but something about him just looked a bit different.  Evan and I went to check him out and try to catch him if needed.

Well, it turned out to be the neighbor's lost wandering rooster.  Evan and I walked him into the corner of  the fence line and fairly easily caught him up.  We put him into a pet carrier until we could take him home.

When we returned him home my neighbor was so shocked that he was still alive.  He was very thankful to have him home again.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Broken Fences and Alpaca Breeding

We have had a growing hole in one stretch of of our interior cross fencing for a while now.  I have patched it up a few times but the LGDs and goats keep working at it until it splits open again.  They do this so they can gain access to another pasture without the effort of going all the way around the fence line and through the gate.  It is a short cut they are resistant to let go of so I have just let them have it.

Then it happened a few weeks ago... I found one of my female alpacas, G.G., out in the cow pasture.  There was no other way for her to get there but to have squeezed herself through the "goat hole".  Every day I would find her in the other pasture waiting to come back for her grain.  Then one day I found her two year old daughter, Abby, in the other pasture with her.  Then a few days later Fiore joined them in their nightly romp in the cow pasture.

One of our alpaca studs, Peter, lives in this pasture as well (along with our mini donkeys, cows, llama and the sheep and goats that can come and go).  Up until this morning I had seen no interest from Peter in the wandering girls.  But this morning when I stepped out the front door to go down to the barn I could hear the noises from Peter as he was chasing one of the girls around trying to get her to cush for breeding.  It was Abby and after a bit of running around she cushed for him and stayed down for a breeding.  So, if it takes then Abby will be a first time Mom next May.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Beef and Bok Choy Hot Pot

I finally used the last head of Bok Choy tonight by making this recipe.  It was really good and I will be making it again!

Beef and Bok Choy Hot Pot

3 cups beef broth
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound beef stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 1/4 cups chopped green onions
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 cups thinly sliced bok choy
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced carrot
2 cups cooked udon noodles


Combine first 5 ingredients, stirring with a whisk; set aside.  Heat vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add beef, browning on all sides. Add broth mixture, green onions, garlic, and ginger; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until beef is tender. Stir in bok choy and carrot, and cook 5 minutes or until tender. Serve beef mixture over noodles.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Museum of Life and Science

The kids and I spent the afternoon at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, NC.  It is a favorite place to spend time.  We played in the music room, the playground, the Dinosaur Trail and the toddler play area but the kid's really seem to be drawn to the percussion area of the outdoor playground today...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Kimchi experiment

Kimchi is a traditional Korean fermented dish made of vegetables with varied spicy seasonings. It is most commonly made with napa cabbage and other vegetables such as radish, green onion, carrot, chive, and cucumber. Kimchi is the most common side dish in Korean cuisine.

I have never made Kimchi before.  In fact, I have never eaten Kimchi before.  But I do like spicy food well enough so I am all for adding more raw fermented foods into my life.

So, using the two heads of Bok Choy that I soaked in the brine overnight, I followed this recipe:

Kimchi Recipe

2 Cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 cup fish sauce
1/3 cup chili paste (recipe called for twice this amount if you are brave)
1 teaspoon honey
1 bunch green onions, cut into 1-inch lengths (use the dark green part, too, except for the tough ends)
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks

Put the first five ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth texture is formed.  In a large bowl mix Bok Choy (or Napa Cabbage) with green onion,carrots and sauce from food processor.  Pack the kimchi in a clean glass jar(s) large enough to hold it all and cover it tightly. Let stand for one to two days in a cool place, around room temperature.  Check the kimchi after 1-2 days. If it's bubbling a bit, it's ready and should be refrigerated. If not, let it stand another day, when it should be ready.  Once it's fermenting, serve or store in the refrigerator.

My freshly made Kimchi.

And on another topic... this afternoon Neil got in the pool with the kids which they loved!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Bok Choy done three ways

My friend, Heather, brought me five heads of Bok Choy this morning.  Her kitchen was overrun with it from her garden.  What was I to do with five heads of Bok Choy?  A quick internet search provided the answer...

I chopped, washed and blanched two heads and spread them in the dehydrator.

This dehydrated Bok Choy will be made into Dehydrated Bok Choy Soup a specialty Asian soup.

With two other heads, I chopped and washed as above but then soaked in a salt water brine.

After soaking overnight it will become Kimchie tomorrrow.  The first time I have made Kimchie too.

The final head will be used fresh in a stir fry in the next few days.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

4-H Club Meeting

Ring Rockers
4-H Club

The kids and I traveled up to Clarksville, VA to attend our first meeting of the Southrn Ring Rockers 4-H club.  We still belong to our local 4-H club here in Roxboro, NC but the SRR Club is a horse emphasis club.  We also have friends that are members already so it seemed natural for us to join them instead of searching for a horse club here in Roxboro.

Tonights meeting was strickly a business meeting.  Next month we will be starting up a Cloverbud program before the business meeting.  Cloverbuds are 4-H kids between 5-8 years old.  It should be fun for kids and they are looking forward to it.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New Postcards

We received four great postcards in the mail today:

Sunday, May 09, 2010

The pool goes up!

Neil and his Dad worked on setting the pool up yesterday afternoon.  They got a new load of sand to level the area were we set the pool up every year. Then the pool itself went up.  The filter was attached and finally it was time to start filling it up.  It filled overnight and McKayla was in it as soon as Neil gave the go ahead.  The tempurature was that of ice water but she didn't care... she loves to swim!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Goats as lawn mowers

These are the two little Nigerian Dwarf goats that I got last fall.  They have been doing really well this spring and have grown quite a bit.  They are still much smaller then my other NDGs though.  In fact they are still small enough to squeeze through the hole in the fence cut for the poultry to come and go.  They routinely come out of the pasture to eat the grass on our lawn.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Happy Star War's Day!

May the fourth be with you!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Local Farmer's Market, Strawberry Jam & Turkeys

Today our local Farmer's Market opened for the season.  McKayla, Taylor and I went over to see what was being offered.  There was someone selling Grass Fed Angus Beef (which we didn't need), someone selling plant starts (a bought a Cherrokee Purple Tomato and a few herbs), a local woman selling fresh baked goods (I got a rhubarb tart and got cookies for the girls) and then there were fresh strawberries.  Big geaurgous strawberries!  I bought four quarts of them.  The girls and I ate some of them right in the parking lot as we just couldn't wait until we got home to eat them.

Once home I made a quick batch of freezer jam with them.  I cleaned and sliced the strawberries...

Then I added in a package of freezer pectin and mashed it all up until it was the consistenacy I wanted for jam.

Finally, I spooned it into freezer containers and let it set for 30 minutes to gel before putting them in the freezer.  It made 11 half-pint jars.

This afternoon when McKayla and I were out walking around the farm we noticed a turkey hen with baby turkeys at her feet.  I always feel bad about taking babies from their moms but I know if I don't I will loose them all.  McKayla helped scoop them up while I got another brooder pen ready for them.  We caught up seven of them...

McKayla (with wet hair from the pool) holding all seven turkey poults.