The farm house

The farm house

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Remember how I said I was going to "experiment" with bread making? I did, in the basic white bread format and the results were not the best but far better than previous attempts. Yes folks, there is hope. The yeast packet had an expiry date of October 2013 so, maybe that was what prevented a fully risen loaf?? The loaf consistency was more like sourdough and still edible and quite tasty if I might say.

Yesterday, I decided to take another stab at this bread making challenge. Well, this time it worked!! Two loaves of nicely risen white bread. Now, I am looking forward to adding fruit, perhaps some herb bread...The sky is the limit.

Now for another experiment... Shortly after Mr. Guinness arrived, Vanessa from Both Boys Barn offered me some eggs to hatch-buff brahma banties they were, and I accepted. They were a bit on the old side but I was up for the challenge. So, plugged in the incubator yet again(now you're thinking, "wow does she ever stop hatching?") Then, she forgot to bring them. Oh! Well the incubator was ready to go, so, while cleaning the barn I found a few eggs and thought, "Who knows?" what the heck. I also chose some of the dark brown eggs from my lavender Marans hen. I even took a few from the fridge.... So hatching day is officially tomorow. The experimentation part here is, old eggs, refrigerated eggs and eggs that were not heated for 7 hours during the power outage: 7 hours of no power, simply a blanket put over the top in order for the heat to not escape so quickly.

Today, there are 3 eggs chirping and pipping. At least one is from the fridge as I marked it with a "F" so that I would know... Goes to show you, don't give up even when you think all is lost. The mother hen who hatched the chicks under the porch still has 2 of the 3.. They are getting quite big now and she has decided to stay in the barn while the nights are quite cold now. Their survival also shows me that despite all the hoopla about feed, they are getting by on what mother hen shows them to eat and me throwing a few handfuls of whatever feed I have the most of onto the barn floor. No doubt attracting mice which are sometimes found floating in the water bucket of the ram pen. Who needs a barn cat??

So, we wait and see what comes from these experiments. This time, I feel it is a good thing.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

November News

Halloween is over and a new month has begun. We've already experienced a wicked wind storm that left us without power for 7 hours. We have bottled water on hand but watering the critters can be a creative endeavor when there's no power to the water supply! A generator is now top place on my list of "things" to get if I ever get ahead once again.

On the Sunday before Halloween, Tina Connolly from Fat Duck Acres and myself went out to Clayton On to learn how to make our own goat milk soap! Tina will be getting some sheep this Fall, in fact they should arrive soon. She hopes that they will be bred in order for her to milk  after the babies arrive.

A very scenic and winding drive led us to Anita Dworschak of Wildrose Country Homestead. There were a few varieties of goats to greet us along with the tell tale odor of male goats on site. Not my cup of tea that smell. I am grateful that sheep just smell like wool!

I decided to try my hand at cold press lavender scented soap. Well, I think next time I will reduce the amount of fragrance as I find it to be a bit much as it cures in my moved to staircase to basement. It's doing well there fending off any cat litter smell etc... So soap making takes time. Like many things, so don't think that you can just whip up a batch and then use it-Oh no, it takes 6-8 weeks to cure!! Good to know if you are contemplating making some for an occasion or for sale...

I am still awaiting my processed wool. I am eager to see the quality...2 ladies are being bred this Fall and I figure 3 lambs for April which will bring us up to 15 sheep!! Wow! It's almost like chicken math: you get a few and the next thing you know they're everywhere. I just hope I can continue with my sheep as our financial scenario has changed drastically and continues to do so...that's for another post.

Tomorrow will be the one month anniversary of "Guinness"s arrival. I adore his personality. He has filled in a bit, not so ribby and his spine isn't quite as sharp. I do believe he needs his teeth floated. That should be a great help as we head into the grass-less months. Once his teeth are filed, he will be better able to chew hay and the supplement he will need to get him back to being fit. A good sign is that he is growing a winter coat!

Now I'm off to experiment with bread making. I love fresh baked bread but never seem successful, which is why I say experiment. Who knows? It could turn out today....What are you doing today?