Saturday, July 30, 2011

Corn, Heat & Mishaps

The kitchen is in major production mode now. The first wave of corn has arrived. This is a new variety for us called Bodacious. Honestly, these ears are the surprise of the season. The stalks looked spindly and malnourished, despite our efforts to keep the weeds down and keep everything watered. But low and behold, we will actually have some to freeze. And that has to happen very quickly after they are picked.
Another surprise was a few cantelopes. These aren't very big but are sweet and edible. This is our first success with cantelope. Previous years have been a bust.
The heat has been tough on everyone. The girls enjoy their pool on occasion. They can't have it all of the time or they'll rot the hair off their legs.
The boys were fighting and dumped the trashcan in the barn. Gabriel ended up with a cat food can stuck to his foot. He didn't get cut or anything, just stressed out because of the can and the heat. Got the can off his foot and hosed him down. The heat is really tough on the animals, even with 10 buckets of water and 7 fans going.
That's the latest news from the ranch...Here's a video from a typical lazy afternoon.

Ya know, you can stop by. Just give us a call.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Summer Goings On

The chickens have been growing and enjoying life. We still have the original 12 chicks from May. Everyone wants to know when the eggs will come. The internet says either September or October. In the meantime, they are enjoying a free-range diet, eating fruit and veggie leavings, pellet chicken feed, oyster shell scratch, and whatever they find in the garden.
A few hawks from the treeline have been cruising the area the past few days, but the headcount has remained the same. At night the birds go back into their condo, which is sealed on all sides by either wire or wood and roost for the night, safe from raccoons.
During the day, the birds seem to like hanging out under the protection of the sunflowers.
The birdhouse gourds are doing just fine. Do we know how to make birdhouses out of these things? No. They are pretty cool though.
This morning brought more pickles. That's celebrity chef Rocco on the salt box. Rocco didn't come help with the pickle making this morning. I have 6 jars so far this season and am hoping to get at least 12. These are bread and butter pickles. Last year I slaved over several varieties and ended up throwing out a bunch because they were awful. This recipe is a keeper (from the Ball Blue Book...the preserving Bible).
Oh Food Processor...How I do love thee. How did I manage with my box grater last year? Then the "Christmas of Appliances" came in 2010, where the Farmer went crazy and bought me a food processor, a Magic Bullet, an Immersion Blender and a dehydrator. I processed a bunch of zuch into 2 Cup bags in 10 minutes with this baby.
On the alpaca front, Woody (foreground) is banished from the girls' side of the barn because he thinks he is Mr. Studmuffin and is causing problems. Chief (rear) is whipping him into shape.
So that is our version of crazy for now. If you're in the 'hood please stop by and see the babies. They're growing fast!