Sunday, July 15, 2012

Guinea babies!

We have teeny, tiny guineas!  The momma started doing the "my-egg-are-hatching-and-it's-very-uncomfortable" squat yesterday morning so I knew it wouldn't be long before little guinea heads started peeking out.

Usually, if I can make a sound similar enough to a baby chick, I can get little heads to poke out from around momma and get a peek.

This picture was while the momma and babies were still in the nesting box.  This morning I moved everyone down to the baby pen on the floor of the coop.  I really should figure out a better method of getting this done but for now a pair of heavy leather gloves is the way to go.

I first took most of the babies out of the nesting box and placed them in the new pen.

Between pecks, I was able to move momma hen down to her babies.  She calmed down once she realized that everyone was okay and even began to teach them how to eat.  

She did have a few eggs that hadn't hatched yet but felt like they may have a chick in them so I let her keep three eggs to see if they would hatch by tomorrow.  I also cleaned out the nesting box she had been in.
Guinea eggs are very pretty and a tad smaller than my regular chicken eggs.

Yesterday was our 11th anniversary.  We celebrated the best way we could.  TH, THB, and MHM went to cut a load of firewood on some property TH used his charm super power to gain access to.  I stayed home and canned 14 quarts of green beans using my new All American 930 canner.  It went much faster than when I would use my Presto and have to do two runs.  After we were done, we took the Princesses to the drive in to watch Brave.  It was a good movie and the princesses love getting out and visiting the drive in movie. 

Everything is still wet here.  The weeds are really enjoying this weather.  Our tomatoes have finally started to ripen.  I had one on the vine that I was saving for today but I suspect THB or MHM was granted access to the garden by TH and I lost that one.  Oh well, one tomato for the help of a load of firewood is a pretty good trade!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Farm update

It's been an interesting few days here on the farm.  We had a thunderstorm roll through that caused some damage to the garden.  Most noticeably to the corn. 

The path of destruction stated with the loss of a cayenne pepper plant that was broken off, went through my pumpkin patch knocking the plants over to one side but thankfully no permanent damage there, tossed around some of the sunflowers, and then pummeled the best corner of the corn patch.  It could have been much worse so we're glad most things bounced back.

We have discovered the best bratwurst topping in the world.  For Independence day, we grilled out and I was thinking how I could sneak some squash and zucchini into the meal.  I brought a cast iron skillet out to the grill and warmed up some olive oil and just a touch of margarine.  To that I added diced squash, zucchini, red onion, a garlic clove, and two sliced hot hungarian wax peppers.  I cooked the brats and the topping side by side and they finished at the same time.  We put the brat in the bun, added a stripe of mustard down the middle, and then loaded the topping. It was UNBELIEVABLY GREAT!
TH says he has eaten a lot of brats from the big cities in his day but that these were the best he had ever tasted.  He ate two and a half and I managed one and a half myself!

We have been picking beans this week.  I received my dream canner as an 11th anniversary gift from TH and am now waiting for the high btu burner we ordered to get here so I can use it outside.  I made the mistake of trying it out on my kitchen stove last night and didn't think I was ever getting to bed.  It was almost 1:30 am when I finally got to lay down after starting around 6:30 pm.  I also ran into the problem of my lid sticking which I already knew was a possibility through my research of the canner.  A slight pry with then end of a claw hammer and the lid popped right off.

We still have two rows of beans to pick and can for this first picking session.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


The zucchini and squash harvest continues.  I've been sneaking it into almost every supper but we still have an abundance.  I sliced and shredded some yesterday to put in our dehydrator.
I sliced it, steam blanched it for 5 minutes, and then dehydrated it for several hours.  I think it was about 24 hours to get it to the brittle state.  (sorry for the pics, my camera and I were not getting along yesterday!)

I'm always amazed at how many veggies you can fit into a quart jar after dehydrating.

I was pleasantly surprised to find a yard sale today!  It was a bit of a drive but worth the trip.  I bought a new pocket knife, a cake container for two tier round cakes, and an old metal detector.  The metal detector is missing the battery cases so I've sent out an email hoping for someone to help me figure out which ones I need to make the detector usable again.  I figured for a dollar, I'd bring it home and tinker with it.

We keep putting off our bean picking.  We've finally gotten some rain which we desperately needed but has put us behind.  I hope to pull the peas at least today.