Farm Lessons #4: This Farm $#@&^ Just Got Real

As much as I hate to admit it, this farm thing has been a romantic dream that I knew would be a bit of an adjustment, but not really that big of a deal, right? I mean, I did goat classes before I brought them home. I did my research, I studied. I’ve been ON farms before. I have got this, right? But life on the farm has opened my eyes to many things. And this week, this farm #$%& just got real.

You know we added 14 animals in the space of a six weeks, right? Right. Don’t judge, I’m not the type of girl that does a slow ramp up or half way work. I may need to reassess that character feature later, but I digress.

At one moment this week, standing at the sink in the kitchen, I see a goat in with the puppy. I panicked and ran out screaming. Lucky, our 6 month old, sixty pound puppy is larger than life and doesn’t know it. Mr Bean, although looking undignified all covered in puppy slobber, was fine. Phew, crisis averted.

Not much later, I was literally rescuing my top hen from this same knucklehead when she flew into his pen. On the verge of tears and feeling way in over my head, I saw the damage…most of her back feathers had been plucked by the eager puppy host. I was upset but willed no tears to come. It’s just a chicken, right? These things happen on the farm. Problem is this one is named after my grandma Dorothy. Crap, I went and got attached to the chickens. I’m not a good farm girl AND I let this happen by not paying attention. I felt like a total failure and had no idea what to do.

So, I did what every good farm girl does. I Googled it. Armed with chicken advice from the online experts, I headed to the feed store for supplies. I separated her and gave a quiet little space to come out of shock. She drank water and ate…all good signs. After a saline bath and wound spray, things are looking better.

I am pleased to tell you that Dot is doing ok and seems to be healing. Her behavior is all normal, despite her chilly backside and she seems to have resumed her place at the top of the pecking order.

I’m so relieved. I am getting farm tougher day by day, but am not ready for my first farm funeral. Not yet. I need a little more seasoning.

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Blueberry Granola

I love the crunchy goodness of granola with Greek yogurt…and this special recipe uses up some of our blueberries too!

Recipe:

1 c. butter melted

1 c. brown sugar

1/4 c. water

1 T vanilla

6 c. old fashioned oats

2 c. shredded coconut

2 c. chopped almonds

1 c. pumpkin seeds

1 T. cinnamon

mix all together, spread on baking sheet, bake at 250 for an hour or until dry, stirring every 15 minutes.

I added dried blueberries on the last 15 minutes.

Farm Lesson #3 – Outside Pets

We spoil our pets…always have. If you were to sum up the way our pets are treated, it may sound like this, “Whatever you need…at your service my leege”.

So to have outdoor pets is a new experience for us. I mean, at some point, our bed is full!

So we have the barn set up for goats and kitties, and a separate set up for the puppy. But we refresh the bedding every week, deliver food, water, treats twice a day. Our day begins and ends with the needs of these pets.

We visit regularly, let them out, pet, scratch, provide a pool for them to cool off in, talk to, fuss, tend and serve.

Our outdoor animals are ok. So if you are like my mom who thinks they are suffering, just know that as we speak it’s 80 something outside and a fan is running in the goat barn for our poor goats and kitties.

I think they are going to be ok.

It’s the little things

Way to go girls… our first egg!

Starting off on a farm is hard work! I am sure I put in two miles a day just watering and feeding pets and gardens! There are days that I fall into bed after a full day of work and chores and wonder about taking on this amount of work in our fifties. But there are so many little things that make it so worth it.

The quiet as we just sit and enjoy the gorgeous sunset, the peace of walking the puppy along the property to learn his space, the satisfaction of cooking with berries and veggies right from your own yard. The muscles that are refinding themselves after schlepping 40 pound bags of feed, hauling hay and wrestling naughty goats back into their pens.

Everyday, when the goats and chickens follow me around like toddlers yelling, “Mom, mom, mom” with their bleating and clucks, it makes me smile. And today, we found our first egg! It’s exciting to see progress. So far that egg cost about $600+ but I’m sure the cost balance will even out over time. None the less, we know that those chickens are eating organic, non-GMO feed so the eggs will be pure and good for our health!

I love life on the farm. Come visit anytime you need a little more peace..there is nothing like a dose of fresh air and an animal snuggle to heal ya! ❤❤❤

Blueberry Muffin Lessons

Baking with blueberries, lessons in baking with blueberries

Blueberry Sourcream Muffins

These Blueberry Sourcream Muffins are tasty! A little fresh lemon juice and zest mixed with sourcream adds a fresh tang. But, I learned a couple of lessons with this batch.

When cooking with blueberries, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Coating the berries with flour help suspend the berries in the batter.
  2. Don’t just add a few extra berries. The fruit needs to be exact or it puts the whole moisture balance off and you end up with soggy bottoms.
  3. Since these cute paper cups don’t use a muffin tin, they need just a little longer to cook up the bottom.

Overall it was a great idea and they look lovely but we only ate the tops and tossed the rest.

Good thing I have lots of berries to experiment with!