Lots of loose ends getting done around the farm- hot tub was repaired, drained and cleaned. Purple martin gourds removed and put away for the winter. Corner fence post reset and fence wire affixed. Hay feeders are now in the yard awaiting new tarp covers which Acorn will make out of used billboard fabric.
Blind Hog fired up the burn pile then later he and Acorn also mounted the 10 yr old gas grill onto a nice, smooth, level platform. Nor more wobbly grill! Acorn gave it a good cleaning and new sear plates are on their way- will have it cooking like new!
Barn kitties are also forthcoming next week- friend Judy wanted to do a steep reduction in her numbers- we are taking 4 teens and a momma with 3 kittens. They will be divided between three barns. Looking forward to “rodent control” make no mistake!
Acorn has begun new classes online for healthcare professionals- she desires to start her own “thing,” more about that will be disclosed later on. She did however go ahead and secure a catchy web domain while thinking “If you build it, they will come…”
Finally from the SteelMeadow Kitchen- Homemade English Muffins are easy! Do not be intimidated! While you are baking bread, cut off a couple 3 oz blobs of dough to rise. “Dry fry” on an ungreased iron skillet for 7-8 min on “medium/350F”, then flip for another couple minutes. DO NOT EAT until the next day- trust Acorn on this- you need to wait for the steam to escape and the muffin to be dry…
Ahh yes, the agony of the late summer swarm. NOW Acorn knows where the bees came from when she saw them in the bee tree behind the mailbox a few weeks ago… Oh well, it happens.
Blind Hog has had good luck with the tractors- Mahindra had a minor issue but neighbor Fred found the shorted out wire off the starter. Massey Fergus in running like a champ with the new carburetor.
Goats are moved back in with the cows, fields ready for Fall rains. Garden is cycling around and the geese have been granted “yard privileges…” They just LOVE hanging out with Blind Hog and Acorn… Seriously- they are like right there whenever outdoor chores are going on. Who knew geese would be so curious?
Acorn made up a new batch of sourdough starter from her own apples but since that was not ready, she opted for spelt pancakes. No milk? Why, use cocoa mix for chocolate waffles. 11/10- highly recommend.
Texas was a blast- good food (Ribs! Chicken soup!), fun at the Bucky’s carwash… And MORE!
Acorn is getting ready to get on a plane, again, and go visit her Mum and Rumi in Houston. Blind Hog and Sam once again will mind the conn.
The past week has been full of the usual chores- laundry, gardening, canning and mowing. Blind Hog clipped the “south field” so the goats can see where they are- not too fond of venturing into a field with grass above their heads!
Goat breeding is on schedule- looking forward to the kids next year.
A delightful week- very “uneventful” which is fine for the two farmers. OK, so maybe just a little more “train trivia” will be discussed…
Phew! Whatta week! Acorn returned back from a fun weekend in Florida with Dad and Joyce- hot winds, cool pool and much relaxation for a tired farmer. She had to jog between terminals to catch a connecting flight but hey- she and her luggage both made it!
One day to ‘catch up” on chores, (namely- replacing the carburetor on the Massey Ferguson 35), and then a whole day spent behind the wheel- driving 3 hrs to Arkansas to see the Big Boy locomotive in action for a 45 min stop. Blind Hog and Acorn left after 30 minutes of train pictures, videos, etc and drove an hour north to a little crossroad town along the tracks. Set up, took a video of the train blasting through, then back in the car. 6 miles up the road to Poplar Bluff where the locomotive was to spend the night. After almost 2 hrs of standing in line for a spot on a shuttle bus, they made it to the rail-yard for 20 minutes of yet more pictures and videos.
Finally, it was time to leave and head back to the farm- a 2.5 hr drive. Bona fide railfans, Acorn cannot wait to chase the locomotive again.
Yes- Acorn is leaving for the weekend for family visit- boarding pass in one hand and a negative ‘rona test result in the other. Blind Hog and Sam will take care of things, and stay out of trouble… Hopefully. Blind Hog promised no tree felling or lumberjacking.
Past week has been spent cleaning house, tidying up, cooking-canning-baking. Garden and yard are groomed, livestock moved to new grazing. Should be easy sailing for the lads. Why does it seem there is so much work to get a house in shape before even just one person goes on a trip? Acorn felt like Gayle Waters-Waters…
When Acorn returns, the farmers will try to “catch the train” and be “railfans” for an afternoon. The largest steam engine in the world, UP #4014 aka “Big Boy,” is passing by within a 2.5 hr drive of the farm. Acorn is beyond excited. Catch the schedule here:
Hay is in the barn! 15.6 tons! Acorn can relax now! Was a wild time getting the hay to the barn, but nothing is as easy as it seems. Blind Hog thrives on excitement.
Last of the market goats to the salebarn. Garden continues to put forth:
Tried out the first of the Cornish cross chickens… Deliciousness…
Acorn is also getting damned tired of tick nymphs… But she did not rant about that at all… She was much more interested in talking about how the tenor ukulele got new “low-g strings,” which Acorn just loves. Can you tell the difference?
Broilers all processed and shrink bagged. New Goat Plan underway. Mechanic work completed on the F350 (still needs a bit of parking brake work) and the 17 yr old riding mower has been resurrected once again. Garden, cows, goats; yada yada yada…
Selling goats, buying goats and buying hay. What comes in, must go out.
Acorn finally picked a watermelon that was truly ripe. Ratatouille, carrots and pickled beets in jars. Dairy goat milking is being throttled back so Acorn can dry off the girls. Daily yield is being reduced each day- now back 2/3 already.
Yes, Acorn made a list of most of the things accomplished to talk about for the podcast. She did leave off filling 350 lbs of mineral mix into all the livestock feeders. They had the mill put the mix in 25 lb bags instead of the 50 lb. bags Blind Hog was carrying when the tore his calf muscle. Blind Hog said Acorn was handling those 25 lb bags quite nicely, while he sat in the truck with this foot on the brake. Yes- we do not trust the parking break on the F3509. That is Acorn’s task tomorrow…
First eight of the Cornish Cross chickens are processed, along with the three cockerels who were twice their age but half their size. The remaining “piggie chickens” will be processed when they run out of feed. 75 lbs of feed remain...
Acorn picked chanterelle mushrooms, sauteed them in butter and put them in the freezer for future feasting. Bees are doing super, two hive splits are thriving. Momma cows are ready to be bred for spring calves. They will get back with the bull Fintan once the last of the 2021 kids go to market, in a week and a half.
Fields are doing super, best grass out there in several years.
SteelMeadow Farm has a new goat plan- going with registered Savanna bucks which means the current unregistered Savanna bucks have to go. Fred has already found a new home. George is yet to find his. Not only were they were both unregistered but they also had more than two teats. Acorn says no to supernumerary teats of goats. Period!
Rain to move in and a cold front with it. Hot damn! Drunk Uncle ukulele provided the podcast’s noodling in the background. Play it loud and play it proud!
Pullets are now protected with insulation foam to help deter the black snakes… Will it work? Time will tell!
Starting to sort through and “work” goats at 10 am was about 3 hrs too late… Blind Hog and Acorn both had to have a sit down before the task was completed. It was the high, high humidity that was the killer culprit. Nonetheless, the intrepid farmers soldiered on and goats got worked. Ten adult goats went on the trailer the next day and the herd production average is thus improved. Twenty-one kids are now finishing out- on their own field and will receive sweet feed to keep them growing.
Cabbages cut, kraut fermentation in the process. Three half-gallon jars will be repacked into several 12 oz. tall jelly jars- the perfect size for us. No further processing, will keep it in the fridge and keep the microbes alive.
Blondies. With English walnuts and craisins. Doubled the ACV (apple cider vinegar). Just like eating chess pie or buttermilk pie in little bites. Here is the recipe.
Blind Hog and Acorn forgot to mention the chanterelle mushroom bonanza, as well as the great news about the bee hives.. Going to have to wait till next week for that!
Blind Hog and Acorn got the wall sculpture delivered and installed. A bit of unusual farm work to say the least! Good news is that Glen and Becky are happy and the piece looks great in its new home. Now Acorn just needs to figure out the next chapter for the Great Farm Plan...
Rains continue to surprise, and the garden and fields are taking full advantage. I know there are at least 3 watermelons in the patch. Blackberries are ripening, tiny zucchini appearing- watch the zucchini go from tiny to huge in just a day!
Eating well on the farm- lots of veggies and it is hard to beat a tart with patisserie cream and rhubarb compote, with homemade honey vanilla ice cream of course…