We made it through lambing with another good year. The herd was moved out to the pasture that we rotational graze a couple of days ago. What a beautiful site that is! Yesterday the bottle lambs were moved into the sunshine in our hops yard. We ended up with a 1.5 lamb crop average which we are happy with. Last night it rained so Fred did not have to work and was he ever pleased. He and Caleb headed out to an auction and I took time to take the twins’ senior pictures and make a new post here.
Our hogs are farrowing and they are so cute. We are not quite finished but so far we have 48 of the cutest piglets. They will be sold to Niman Ranch Pork and some of our local private sales. The difference is definitely in the taste! They are raised in a natural setting and do not receive hormones or shots of any kind. The kids have been feeding the sows the buttermilk so that the moms will have plenty of milk for their young.
The men have been working very long hours. This morning it was 5:00 a.m. and they usually don’t arrive home until after 10:00 or 11:00 p.m. That makes putting in the hops irrigation system very slow. What we need is a good rain that will maybe give them a break they will need to finish laying the lines. They did get some of it started not too long ago. Another big job they have to tackle is the placing of new poles. We have so many more to do.
The onions from Dixondale are doing great and I thought I would post a photo of how the bunches look in the box. Yesterday we took a huge bag of onions that we had stored up at Francesca’s house, she has a cool basement, and they are just as crisp as the day we put them in last Fall. I was pleasantly surprised! If they do start to get soggy now, I’ll just chop, bag and freeze them.
The girls planted two huge barrels of hops rhizomes this past week. They filled in some of the winter kill spots, and then dug new rows. If a person had to guess, I’d say there were maybe 250 some odd new plantings. Thank God for the new post hole digger that made the job fairly easy and oh so fast!
I made up a batch of Blood Sausage from a hog that we butchered for a friend of ours. This was the first time we stuffed the sausage in our own casings. Usually I make it the way Fred’s mom did, baked in pans. Haven’t had time to cook the frozen stuff yet, but the fresh stuff we tasted was very good. The name is gross, I admit. You either like Blood Sausage or you don’t! Everyone was so busy that Fred and I ended up cutting and packing that hog alone on Sunday evening. A no-no, working on Sunday, but in this case that hog needed to get into the freezer fast and he has to work off the farm………
The bottle lambs are using up my surplus milk, so for a short time I will have a break from making cheese. For a time there, I was making up several large batches of cottage cheese to use in lasagna, see photos below. They taste even better than they look! It is also Nettle and Rhubarb season and we’ve been having our share of them. So far, I have frozen 10- quart bags of rhubarb to make crisps later in the year, after we run out of the fresh stuff. The nettles I make with pasta and also make the kids drink a strong tea made from the nettles and mint leaves. It is supposed to be healthy, so I tell them!
Even with all the school and farm projects we do around here, we always make time for fun. As of late, it has been fishing and canoeing. I like the fishing best.
Adding this later………..we all had to laugh when Mario asked, as I served the Stinging Nettles and Pasta the other day, if we were eating “itch weed”again!! The answer of course was YES!