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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

First Time Processing

This past weekend was the first time we processed our own chickens. It took us 4 hours on Saturday and a couple hours on Sunday to get them all done.

Saturday was the processing day and Sunday was packaging day. We killed, scalded, plucked, and cleaned on Saturday. This is a picture of the cones we used. There are two on each side. We have 8 cones total but only used 4 this time, since we were only processing 26 birds.

Doing the dirty deed.

Our plucker doing it's job

We purchased a used Featherman Pro Plucker, and it does a wonderful job. They birds came out with only a few feathers still attached but I think that was because we either didn't scald them long enough or we didn't run the plucker long enough. But I remember plucking chickens by hand when I was a kid and trust me, this is the way to go!

We cut 10 chickens into parts including boneless skinless breast. 2 chickens were in the scalder just a little too long so they went straight into the crockpots and now we have 3 bags of shredded chicken in the freezer and had a chicken casserole last night. All the others were left whole. We have a few of them sold. We marked 10 of them for sale but I hope all 10 don't sell. I would like to keep enough to get us through until Spring when we raise some more.

It was a lot of work, but well worth it. We have chickens in our freezer that we know where they came from, how they were treated, and what they were fed. We also know that they were processed cleanly.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Growing the Farm

This summer has been quite different from the past summers on the farm. We produced only 1 tomato in the garden and so far that has been the extent of our garden this year. The spring and early summer were just too wet for our garden. Then when it did finally dry up the weeds had taken over.  But other things have happened that have been really good.

We have raised our second flock of 50 meat chickens and sold all of them. We are working on the third flock. This flock was supposed to be for our personal use so we only ordered 25. We received 28 but lost one of them. And some of them are already sold.

We had a Farmer's Feast here in the county and provided 25 chickens for it. It was a really nice dinner on one of the other farms in the county. People from all over the county were invited and several from outside the county. I hope this will help in advertising and bring in a few more clients. Our eggs are available for purchase at one of the local hardware stores and we have raised the price on them to $3.00 a dozen. So we have increased sales and price, making us a little more money.

We are in the process of purchasing our own chicken processing equipment which will save us a $4.00 processing fee. It was $3.00 last time we had them processed but the processor told us they were going up. It will also give us more control of the environment that they are processed in.

Next year we are going to try our hand at raising turkeys and possibly rabbits for meat purposes. We already have clients interested in both. There are also plans to put in a large strawberry patch where our garden was this year and move the garden to a different area.

Even though we didn't really produce any vegetables on the farm this year the chicken industry is growing for us.

It seems that there is just so much going on with the farm all of a sudden. God's timing is always perfect and his blessing should always be treasured.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Summer is really different this year. We have had so much rain our chances of getting anything from the small garden we planted are pretty slim.

Last night we had a really bad storm. Lots of wind, blew branches all over the yard and toppled the patio set.

Sunday evening we did have a chance to ride the UTV around the farm and pick blackberries. Most of them still aren't ripe yet so we only had about 2 cups after we picked all that we could get to on the fence rows and the domestic ones we have planted. I went on a search for something to make from that little bit of blackberries, and this is what I found on Pinterest:   I made it last night and it turned out really good. Greg and I both liked it. Here is my picture. I took the picture this morning and the glaze has kind of seeped into the cake but it was still delicious.

 This was my breakfast this morning. I really like how the berries seem to just liquify and become wonderful little pockets of yumminess.

 It seems like it's really hard to find recipes that only call for a little bit of fruit or vegetables so I am creating a Pinterest board for recipes like that. You can follow it here:

 Have a great day!


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Mama's Lemon Pound Cake

For Father's Day I decided to make my mother's Lemon Pound Cake. The only reason I call it my mother's is because she used to make it for every special occasion or family get together. It's actually a recipe straight off the Duncan Hines Lemon Cake mix box. And since I found a square tube pan at a yard sale recently for only $1 I made it square. Mama never had a square cake. And she never glazed the cake.

It is a really good and easy cake to make. The recipe is:

1 box of Duncan Hines Lemon Cake mix (I think you could use any lemon cake mix)
1 box of Jello instant lemon pudding
4 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 cup water

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and  mix with electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour batter into a greased and buttered tube pan. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

For the glaze I just mixed a little confectioner's sugar with some lemon juice and milk.

Next time I will make a couple of changes. 1. I will add some lemon juice to the water. I thought it could have a little bit more lemon flavor. 2. I will use only lemon juice with the confectioner's sugar to make the glaze.

The cake was really good without the changes but I just wanted a little more lemon flavor.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Eggs, Eggs, Eggs...

So we have eggs running out our of ears. Yesterday we got almost 3 dozen eggs. We are selling quite a few but they are still piling up on us. I have decided to start cooking at least one egg dish for supper each week. I am looking for recipes that use a lot of eggs. If I cook breakfast for supper, which I do on occasion, I only use 3 or 4 eggs and that just isn't enough.

Last night I made a Fritata and we really enjoyed it. This was the first time I had ever made one.

Here is the recipe:

4 Tbsp. olive oil
3 medium sized potatoes, shredded (or you could use frozen hash browns)
1/2 pound ham, diced
1/2 package frozen spinach (squeeze out liquid)
12 eggs, raw, scrambled
1 1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Heat olive oil in oven proof skillet. Saute potatoes for about 5 minutes. Add ham and saute for 2 more minutes. Add spinach and stir well. Add eggs. Do not stir. Cook until eggs start to bubble a little. Top with cheese. Place in a 350° pre-heated oven and bake until eggs are set and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let sit for a couple of minutes.

Since I did this from scratch, I really didn't measure so this is loosely what I did.  I think next time I will remove it from the pan since the pan continued to cook and the eggs on the bottom got a little over done by the time we were done eating.

Have a great day!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Hopefully Back to Normal

It has been a long road getting back to my normal routine. But hopefully, I am back. I will have to have about a year of physical therapy to get total use of my left foot back. But at least I can walk!!

We have replenished the chickens that were killed by the neighbor's dogs and now we have more eggs than we know what to do with. Greg has found one customer who uses about 6 dozen a week and that will help a lot. We are getting more than a dozen eggs a day now.

I have been researching egg recipes on Pinterest. You can follow me at Eggs are a very economical way to feed your family. When you think about the price of meat these days and compare that to a dozen eggs it's pretty easy to see that eggs, even though they seem expensive, are still a cheap way to feed your family.  You take a dozen eggs add a few leftovers to them and have a meal that will feed your family for around $3.00.  And it's a great way to use up the leftovers. Add a little leftover green vegetable, some leftover meat and some cheese, maybe some chopped onions or other herbs and bake a fritata or crustless quiche and you have a complete meal in just a few minutes. Serve it with toast and it's a great meal.

One of the bee hives didn't make it over the winter so we ordered more bees and established them in the hive yesterday. If the weather permits we will open the hive on Wednesday to see if the queen has been released.

We still haven't planted anything, it's been too wet to get into the garden. We are thinking about turning our garden into a strawberry bed and moving the garden to one of the fenced in areas. It will be a bigger garden than what we have now. And, this year we are going to make a real herb garden. In the past I have just planted all of my herbs in pots or containers. I am really excited about that. I also want to plant some Asparagus, Rhubarb, and grapes this year.

We are also looking into buying goats again. It has been a while since we have had goats but we really want to get some more and start over.

How is your Spring going?

Have a great day!

Friday, February 13, 2015

I Can't Believe It!

It sure has been a long time since I posted but, there was a lot going on.  The holidays happened then I had foot surgery on December 30. I had a torn PT tendon and Plantar Fasciitis. The tendon was repaired and the Plantar Fascia was snipped. It has been a long journey since then and I am now in a boot and on crutches and/or scooter. I have been going to Physical Therapy 3 times a week and the Podiatrist once a week. I am now back at work for 4 hours a day. On the good side of all this I lost 11 pounds while recuperating.

About 2 weeks ago, Greg was working from home to help me out and it was a good thing he was. The neighbors dogs came into our yard and killed about 14 chickens. I really don't understand why when you live in the country you think your dogs can just run wherever they want. These people actually have a fenced in yard and about 8 acres fenced in that their dogs could stay in but they are always outside of their property.  I just don't understand letting them roam that way. Every time I go to work I have to stop and wait for them to get out of the road.

The neighbor was understanding and said he would pay for the replacement of the chickens, but it's really hard to figure out how much a chicken is worth. It costs us $123 to replace them but that is with younger birds that aren't laying yet. We still have to feed them for 6 weeks before they are laying. And then to factor in how many eggs they ones we lost would have laid over the next year and a half is impossible.

I just don't understand it. Please be respectful and keep your dogs contained.

That's all for now.

Have a great day!