~Tomatoes, Kraut, Taters, Hogs etc.~

Two of way too many boxes of tomatoes!!!

I can’t believe I just typed that!  With all the rain this year, we have an over- abundance of tomatoes.  The plan was to put in maybe 15 to 20 plants this spring.  Somehow, we ended up with 50 plants.  So far we’ve made salsa, ketchup and plain canned tomatoes.  Tomorrow we are going to try a tasty pizza sauce.  After that the pigs will have to finish off the crop!  We gave away a bunch of tomatoes but ran out of takers since almost everyone had a great crop this year.  So far we have not had a frost which is odd for our area. 

Getting ready to fill the pints of ketchup!

Ketchup tastes pretty good thanks to Mrs. Wages!

Cooking down plain tomatoes for future use.


The plain tomatoes all canned and ready for storage!

We also had an excellent crop of cabbage this year.  While I am bragging about the great yields, I better mention the fabulous crop of weeds too!!!  Wow, the many rains not only grew the weeds but also made weeding difficult.  Below are some photos of the Kraut being processed.   The girls wanted to package it last week but I argued, and won, stating simply that it did not “smell” at all down in the basement.  Now a week later, having gone down stairs for milk, I can smell that the Sauer Kraut is very near ready!!  The smellier the better says this Italian writer about that German food!  Can’t wait to top our delicious home grown pork with the Kraut.

Shaded by the pine trees, the girls cut and filled three five gallon pails of cabbage.

36 # of cabbage per 5 gallon pail.

Some of our beautiful cabbage heads cleaned and ready to shred.

All of the potatoes are dug and stored in the basement under the steps.  We didn’t plant as many as usual so they should all be used up without getting mushy by spring.  Thank God we dug them in between rains because we are in yet another rainy pattern!!  Cold, damp and dreary.  We had the wood stove going the other day and Fred wanted to light it before supper tonight but I talked him out of it.  (It got too hot the other day) Now it is pouring out, as usual, and some of us are cold!  Guess I should have kept my mouth shut.  Flash flood warnings are out for tonight and tomorrow! 

Straw covered potatoes dug up and now safely stored for the winter! It’s safe to say, we won’t starve.

Farm fresh potatoes!


It doesn’t always rain here.  Below is a photo of our lovely Minnesota moon, shining down on the farm!  What a view while cooking on the camp fire.

A romantic Minnesota moon shining down on me!!!

A beautiful load of hogs getting ready to go to  market.   Now, four weeks later a second load leaves for Iowa this morning.   Time flew…………..

Organic Prairie Pork….a company you can trust when wanting to consume excellent quality Organic Pork.   https://www.organicprairie.com/category/organic_pork

Cleo with her piglets. Hopefully they will grow to be as luscious as their mamma!!

These piglets are from the recent group born on the Callens Farm. They are located in the new building.

Hogs gently loaded. Make HAM not War!!

Fred grinds around 6 to 8 ton of hog feed every week.


Farrowing is officially over! Sweet little piglets snuggle on mamma sow.


Grape harvest came and went. Fred has some wine brewing in the butcher shop made from these Fontenac grapes.

I’ve been cooking with mostly cast iron and loving it. Gone are most of my stainless pots and pans. I kept only a few…..so far.

That about sums up life on the Callens Farm!  I’ll be back with a fishing report in which some much needed recreation happened.  Next week I will be flying out to  Ohio to see my beautiful Jessi, Luke and the sweet grandchildren.  Also, my fun,  sister Anet will meet us there.  I hope the coffee pot will be hot at the Sows Ear, home of the Dougherty’s, much loved in-laws.  Maggie will be my traveling partner. (yikes)  We will also be taking a road trip to see my most wonderful mom in Bethlehem, PA.  Hope she has some Mortadella in the fridge.

  Life is good……….. beyond the pavement.







About Callens Honey Farm

We live on a small family farm located in S.W. Minnesota, near the South Dakota border. The source of our honey is from white and red clover. The honey appears as liquid gold in color. Our honey is extracted using a hand cranked centrifugal force extractor. Then the honey is screened once into a holding container from which we later fill the small honey bottles. We do not heat treat the honey nor add any other ingredients. Pure and natural is our Minnesota honey! What could taste better?
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3 Responses to ~Tomatoes, Kraut, Taters, Hogs etc.~

  1. Here, no rain in two months and the cabbages are not making at all —
    we need kraut, not drought!

  2. Rick says:

    Not sure what was in that cast iron frying pan, but it sure looked delicious! Safe travels! -Rick

  3. Fran Syl De Baere says:

    wow, awesome write up again!! busy life on the farm and loving it. I remember all the canning and freezing of foods to, and jelly and jam making, almost everyday for over a month ! Darn I could have used some tomatoes this year! I miss the nice plants I used to get when I had a garden. Now I just pot about 5 plants , 5 gallon pails or smaller, but even with miracle gro they did not do the best this year. where is Bethleham, PA compared to Warren, PA? take care. syl


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