Monday, August 31, 2009

What a weekend.

Friday night found all of us at the local high school football game. Allison in her first game as a marching band participant. Mom and Dad working concession stand #2 and Emily hanging with the siblings of band students. It was a fun but exhausting night.
On Saturday the girls invited their friends for an overnight... the last blast of summer! Sunday was baking day in preparation for the Canfield Fair. Emily baked her arms off! She is entering 5 categories this year. Good luck honey. But Allison's friend Austin felt left out and wanted to bake a pie. is his pie... and he ate it too! *smile* Austin, no doubt about it... you're entering a pie in competition at the fair next year! Falcon Baking Team rules! Are aprons considered Spirit Wear!? *teehee*

Austin Corey's famous Apple Pie!

Back to school

Emily, Hannah and Logan waiting for the bus on the first day of the fog!

Good Luck at your first volleyball meet tonight,Emily.

It's a little dark at 6:45 am! The High Schoolers ride with the intermediate school children.

Fairview Road's 9th graders...Allison and Alexis. Freshman Rule!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Farm Fresh!

After waiting and waiting and waiting, we finally have a hen laying eggs. Pullet eggs are small. I thought (almost an afterthought) I'd post our first egg feast on our farm blog.

The egg carton is an extra large egg carton...these pullet eggs are swimming in this space!

I cracked the little egg...the shell is very hard. We must be feeding the chickens well!

7 pullet eggs later...enough for two!

Oh...the bright yellow color, with an incredible smell. I forgot how good eggs can be!

Last Night...a quaint story

Last night after Emily and I returned home from all our errands, I walked back to close up the chicken coop. Everyone was in and happy ...or so I thought. I looked over at the alpacas and they were standing outside their barn staring inside. I thought that was strange, so I went over to see what they were looking at. I turned the light on (Thank you JIM) in the barn and there was a hen. She was looking at me, lost and scared. I talked to her in a calming voice (Thinking of Melanie as I did this...only Melanie would have talked in chicken! *wink*),scooped her up,shut off the light and proceeded to take her back to her friends. I thought this scene may have looked somewhat comical to anyone that would have watched. I had a purse on one arm, a chicken in another...juggling with gates and latches. I finally reached the chicken coop,set our wayward friend down and she clucked quietly as she found a place to roost for the night. All is well.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

Blueberry Photos

Yes, I finally figured out how to get pictures from my new cell phone. Here are the blueberry picking pictures from my friend Judy's farm.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


I got to stop at Peppers Fresh Market in Northfield, Ohio yesterday for our lunch break! Ok... so how cool would it be to have a truck (picture below) on my farm like this? Awesome!
The market is a quaint little store with home spun appeal. Local produce, cheese, bread and other various goods can be bought here. My family LOVED the bagged cheese popcorn (locally produced) that I brought home to them. Good thing I munched on some on my way home or I wouldn't have gotten one bite! Supporting local farmers, producers and small businesses is what makes America strong.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Smile... You're on Candid Camera

We have a wildlife camera set up out back of our property. This camera snapped these awesome photos of our neighbors making hay! What a neat father and son picture. I love it!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Tomatoes are ripening fast. So like the zucchini, we need to do something with them. Last night we canned whole tomatoes and some tomato juice. Emily helped blanch the tomatoes and sterilize the jars, I skinned,cored and put the tomatoes in the jars and Jim processed into the wee hours of the night. Thank you to the best family in the world!
Add to shopping list... rubber gloves! My hands were hot and pruny by time I finished with my portion of this job.
Add to wish list...pressure canner! This will speed up our processing considerably and allow Jim some shut-eye.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Wooo Hooo! We got our first egg today! Thank you ladies. See I knew the chickens were hens. But decided that Aurora must truly be a rooster. We will have to have Allison rename him

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Aurora means Dawn....

Our Light Brahma chicken... named Aurora by Allison was caught red handed!

First of all, I created a boundary for naming the hens. They all had to be named after girls in animated Disney movies. This was a challenge for my daughters...for a little while. Allison's favorite movie is Sleeping Beauty so she named our light Brahma Aurora "which means dawn". This should have been an omen.

For weeks now, I have heard a crow from the hen house...full of hens! I do not have a rooster. Yes, I do know what a rooster looks like. Every morning, I open the coop and let the ladies out, I turn my back and I hear a crow! I would look back and ask which of the ladies just did that. They would stop and stare at me in a manner of "who me?" I didn't know which hen had the identity/gender crisis until this morning.

Before the sun came up, I opened the coop and I caught Aurora crowing in my ear. Perhaps she was celebrating the crack of dawn! *smile* I explained to her the following: Just because she is the biggest hen in the yard does not mean she needs to crow to prove it. Just because she hears Uncle Martin's rooster crow next door doesn't mean she needs to answer him. And most importantly, she is a hen, she is supposed to lay eggs, she does not crow. She turned her head quizzically towards me and crowed again! I'll post a photo of our crowing hen soon.

As for our other ladies, they've taken to flight! They've discovered Bernoulli's Effect = lift, flap like crazy and fly! They visit with the Alpaca's during the day. Allison and Emily will go out to the pasture to try to capture them. Sometimes they come quietly, because I think they want their water and feed. But others take to hiding out under the Alpaca shed. Eventually, we gather them all up and return them to their designated area. But now I think it is time for me to get a lesson in wing clipping. Perhpas wing clipping will equal egg laying???

Sunday, August 16, 2009


I need more time!
This week dad, the girls and I picked some blueberries from a friend's farm. We picked about 6 quarts and froze them for our enjoyment in the winter. I have some lovely pictures from our berry picking adventure on my new cell phone. However, I need to get a usb cable for the phone to upload to the computer. Let's put that on my list of things to do.

Today I made 6 pints of Salsa. There are plenty more tomatoes and I plan to make more salsa, sauce, and plain ol' canned tomatoes as the season wears on.

We received our entry tickets for the Canfield Fair and cannot wait for the fair to begin. However, the school system in its infinite wisdom decided to start school the week of the fair! I'm unsure if the girls will make it to school on that Tuesday(Sept. 1) because our baked entries need to be submitted that day.

This weekend the beekeepers group will be preparing honey for sale at the fair. I haven't experienced this yet and am anxious to see how this whole process works. Dad agreed to get my hives for my birthday. So when I attend this week's meeting I'll ask around for some advice and order up my hive boxes to get them ready for spring.

Here is something new, it's been like summer this week. It has been sunny and warm, our air conditioner is on, and we are constantly refreshing the critters water buckets.

Still no eggs from the chickens. I think my chicken will be September layers! That's my new story and I'm sticking to it!

I received another apple catalog. This is from an orchard in Central Pennsylvania. It contains both varieties of apples I want to add to the farm. I think we will probably order these this winter.

I also went to the bookstore to look up a new magazine on -of all things- cheese. It's called Culture magazine and contains all things cheese. It is very entertaining and educational. I'm looking into learning how to make cheese and this looks like a terrific resource.

My little herb garden went unweeded because I spied some poison ivy in there. So dad decided to weed wack the whole thing. Arguuh. No Sweet Annie wreaths or anything else will be harvested from my little patch. Next year I'll have to mulch this heavily and mark my plants clearly.

I also bought some more fabric for my fabric therapy... I think I'll call this apron therapy! I found some awesome prints and can't wait to find some time to make a few more aprons. I've already made one to submit as an entry into the fair this year. I'll post a photo after the fair. I've been making oven mitts like mom used to make in the same fabric. I found some oven safe batting at JoAnn Fabric's and its cool to have a matching apron and mitt.

Exciting news from Emily. She has made the 7th grade girls volleyball team! Congrats to my baby and good luck in this new-to-you sport.

Allison has been busy with Marching Band practice. Yesterday the band participated in the Alliance Carnation Day Parade. It was quite warm and she was 'fried' when she returned. I am very proud of her dedication and her pride in representing the school and our community. Now on to 2 band nights and Friday night football games!

Now for the disturbing news. Grandma had a bad fall this week and had to go to the hospital. She is recovering nicely and is in a physical & occupational rehab center until she gets her strength back. God Bless you Mom and I hope you get better real soon!

Now its time to get some other chores done...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Super Freak Pumpkins and more.

Superfreak Pumpkins This is a cool web site about the Superfreak Pumpkins/gourds. Now this is what I will put on my planting list for next year! It has local farms where these are available as well as carving tips and other ideas & information.

A corn maize that the girls and I want to try this fall.
Randy's Raisings
Have Fun!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Where is the summer going?

I can't believe it's the 8th of August. The summer is flying by! Last weekend we were at the pool for the last of the swimming competitions for Championships. The girls did well and I'm proud of their individual accomplishments. We also had our swim team banquet and the food was excellent as always (Can't go wrong with the Georgetown). Allison and Emily both won a Chinese auction prize as well as Jim and I (a gift certificate to a local farm!).

Jim accomplished a big task for the farm this past week! *Drum roll please* He hooked up all the barns with electricity. With the help of an electrician we now have a light in the hen house with a plug outlet for the water in winter. An outside light for the Alpacas along with an inside light in their barn with another plug outlet for their winter water. Yeah...Jim, your my hero and I LOVE YOU!

Allison's friend Austin visited yesterday and I put the teenagers on a job of painting the inside of the Alpaca barn and giving the Alpaca's their shots and spraying them for the awful horse flies that are out in droves.

The chickens are wonderful. They run out to greet us every time we walk by their yard. Of course most of the time we are bearing treats for them. I like that our fruit and vegetable scraps are being used up. They appear happy. But they really need to get into this thing called laying eggs. I have frequent conversations about this subject and end with something about chicken soup!*smile* (just kidding)

The tomatoes are finally turning red! They were green for quite sometime. It has been unseasonably cool and uncharacteristically wet! Didn't think we would see them red. I thought I would have to process them green. I guess this is what I will be doing next weekend! Time to SALSA!

This has been the summer for intriguing Zucchini recipes. I have made zucchini fritters, which I like but am alone. And zucchini brownies (5 star...according to the family), lemon zucchini cake (a repeat winner) and zucchini muffins. There are still some more recipies to try... and I have enough zucchini to do it! *smile*

The girls and I are putting some finishing touches on our entries for the Canfield Fair. Why can't we just limit ourselves to one or two entries total? I think we will have another large haul this year.

Sauerkraut anyone? This is our first attempt at creating sauerkraut. I bought some cabbage at White House Fruit Farm yesterday and Jim shredded it this evening and now it is fermenting in a crock awaiting to turn to kraut. I can't wait to try this on some sausage!

Also, today Emily and I participated with the East Ohio Handweavers Guild in a weaving demonstration at the Columbiana County Fair. We arrived as Monica was finishing threading the warp through and we were needed to wind the warp on. Emily cranked as Monica and I kept the threads from plying and knotting. Now this loom will be ready for the next member to begin the fun of weaving a rug! (I don't know who the gentleman is in these pictures... but he was fascinated by our work.)