And we’re back…And holy moly what is it?!?

Yes it has been a looong while, so I’ll just jump right back into it.

I’ll post pictures off all my gardens soon.  I’m still trying to get all my tomatoes in the ground. This weekend will be a major jam session to get things done.

Here’s a few of some things that are starting to produce

spinachDSC06831 mustard, zucchini and cucumbersDSC06818  radish   DSC06824 onionsDSC06825 garlicDSC06826   more zucchiniDSC06830   red onions and peppersDSC06839

GARY!!!!!!!!!!! aka Ask Gary

What the heck are these things and should I get rid of them?

(they’re only one my tomatillo plant)

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and what the heck is this

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The New Girls Are Out/Spring Flowers

5 1/2 weeks later, the new girls are finally outside. Their dusty, feathery booty’s had to go.
I decided to spilt the lower level of the coop in half for their introduction. They have the back half and the big girls have the front half and the upper hen house, along with the small door access to an enclosed pen outside.

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Bonnie and Pickles Dirt Bath

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Flowers

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Plum Tree

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Rhubarb

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The Boy’s Raised Beds

Yay Spring!

Now the work begins…especially since I did very little clean up or prep and the end of last season ( oops! ).
I did get the two raised beds that my boys are in charged of weeded and topped off with mushroom compost. As soon as I finished, the boys came along and planted different lettuces,peas and cilantro.

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Ode To Butter

Here’s a fun idea…let’s get some raw milk from the dairy up the road and make butter. That’ll be fun…and easy.
Whew…they say third times a charm, and can only assume they meant “yes, it will take three times to try to make some butter.
#1 Try
Churn the milk with an actual butter churn used by my grandmother.

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This seemed like the best and most logical approach.
Why not use a tried and true piece of equipment. You pour in the milk and just keep cranking the handle until butter magically appears.

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#2 Try

About 30 minutes in, and still no butter, I pour a little of the milk into a mason jar so my other son (and myself) could shake the crap out of it (and by crap, I of course mean butter).

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After 20 minutes of this, we could actually see globs of butter staring to form.
Yay! Butter!  Boo! It’s going to take a month to produce enough butter for toast using the mason jar approach.

Did I mention we were using 1/2 pint jars?

Whose having fun now 😉

And….still no butter from the churn.

At this point, everyones arms are starting to hurt from all the shaking…and cranking. After removing the butter from the mason jar, it finally looked like some butter was being produced from the churn.

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All this wonderful butter fit into a 1/2 pint jar (with room to spare).  And we were still left with a gallon and a half to milk.

#3 Try

Several days later I attemped to use my kitchen-aid mixer to produce some more butter.  About an hour in, I gave up…although technically, it did make a quarter size amount of butter 😦

Letting another day or so pass, I gave the butter making one last try (Yes, I known, for those of you counting, that does make FOUR (oops) different methods trying to make butter). But we have a winner, folks!

Bring out the food processor…#4 Try – Ba Boom!

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It took 10-15 minutes, but YAY! It was working.  It did take four times filling the food processor to go through the entire gallon, but this is definitely the way to make butter.  I finished with @ 2 1/2 pints.

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Making butter makes me tired…and hungry.

And what to do with what didn’t turn into butter?…Make Buttermilk Pound Cake

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A Nice Sunny Day

Finally, a couple of days of super nice weather. High 60’s even low 70’s.
And not a moment too soon…baby chixs are fun, cute, silly and super messy, dusty and sometimes gross.
They have got to get out of my house!

Today I decided they should also enjoy the OUTSIDE.

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And while they were entertained, I was able to start some seeds.

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Hot Pad, Hay and One Muddy Boot

Thought I would try knitting a hot pad from some thick cotton yarn/rope I had.
It was off to a good start until I uncovered the giant knot where two ends where tied together. For those who knit, it’s really hard to hide it the stiffer the material.
Overall, not too bad for first one. The next one will be more rectangular (for 9×13″ pans).

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Hay jumping is always fun. Even when it’s 20 degrees out. Even more fun when making a secret hideout from cardboard.

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“Hey Mom, my boot’s stuck in the mud.” No, really?

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