Monday, March 31, 2008

Yesterday and Today

Yesterday was 50 F degrees and I got a chance to actually start cleaning up the garden. The first picture is the little buds of rhubarb starting to break the surface of the soil. The second picture is of some of the snow warnings still in effect this evening. It was pretty bad out there today. We stayed close to freezing so we just got lots of sloppy wet snow. I think I may have done a post already about how I was tired of the snow. Well now I am exhausted by it.
In other news I bottled 5 gallons of beer last night. It was a batch that had sit in secondary fermentation for almost a year. The sample I tasted was pretty good so we will have to see how it turns out after it has had a chance to carbonate.
I also started some seeds. Mostly herbs. I am trying something new to see if I can start seeds in the basement with heaters and lights. I have in previous years proven to be one of the worst seed starters alive, so we will have to see on that one as well.

Well stay dry and warm if you can.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Chickens are hip

Apparently chickens are the cool new thing. I was handed an article today from todays StarTrib that was talking about people who choose to keep small backyard poultry flocks. I think it makes me almost feel like a trend setter.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Side Note

I got my first link to this blog the other day. It came from Stonehead of Musings from a Stonehead. I highly recommend his blog for a look at how they do this sort of thing over in Scotland.

Enough with the snow already

Happy Easter Everyone,

I know it is still March, I know Minnesota's weather is famously variable, I know Easter is early this year. All the same I am tired of the snow. I know it wasn't a snowy winter, I know we could use the moisture and I know it won't last long. I need it to stop snowing. As you can see above even Cooper is praying for it to end. We have had around 6 inches of the "white stuff" since Thursday evening and it just keeps coming. I know it is just a combination of jealousy for those who have already begun to plant and blog about it and my own eagerness to get out and do the same. I suppose I will have to work with nature and wait for the time to sow but just the same I don't have to be happy about it. I guess I will just have to work on my stoicness err stoicisity, aw screw it! I want Spring.

End rant.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The sausage wars continue.

Well tonight I finished baking the summer sausage. It was not without it's difficulties. First I went through 3 thermometers before I found one that worked. Then it took until midnight before the meat got up to temp. Lastly now I have to fit it all back into the fridge. Ah well what a guy wont do for awesome venison summer sausage.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sausage Galore

Well my friend Jamie was out today. We made a couple different sausages from the book we got him for his birthday present. We made a batch of venison summer sausage, a batch of garlic and sage duck sausage and a batch of red pepper lamb sausage. I haven't had a chance to taste the summer sausage yet but the other sausages were great. I took most of the day but I think it was worth it.
In other news it snowed on Tuesday it was 50F to day and we have a winter storm watch for tomorrow. You got to love Minnesota weather.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Spring continues to creep in.

I spent a few hours outside today. First I started to clean up around the chicken coop. I had placed the spent litter into empty feed bags this winter. I placed them around the coop to help insulate it. I am not sure if it helped but now I have to move it all to the compost bins. I got about half of it moved this afternoon.
I also cut down and burned the asparagus ferns and spent hops vines. I probably should have done this last fall but at least I got it done today. I fed them into the burn barrel along with some twigs and brush.
Jess and I also got to tour the Rising Moon Farm today when we picked up our lamb. We fed some of the sheep and llamas, we saw their chickens and their peafowl. They also had one of the Chinese golden pheasants. It was a stunning animal. I decided that if I am ever going to raise pheasants I would raise these. Wouldn't make a sporting animal to hunt due to its flame yellow color but I bet they taste just as good.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A River Runs Through It.

Well we are finally into the great spring melt. Every spring we seem to get a day or a few days that melts all the snow off the adjacent fields and every year it runs through the pole barn and over the yard. Last year I attempted to dig a small drainage ditch. I also attempted to build a small berm around the pole barn. Might have worked too if yellow dog hadn't dug into the pole barn at the low corner. Just the same it is worth it. Between lengthening days and spring melts it feels like we have our yard back. If we have one more day like today we can start getting the chicken yard ready for the ladies again.

Take Care

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Costly Meat

Well it has been a long time since I have written. Sorry about that. I guess winter leaves me with less to say about things around here.
Tonight Jess made her excellent coq au vin. We had a heck of a time finding chicken livers for the stew. we stopped at no less than 3 stores and there was not a liver to be had. It was fortunate then that there was one stored inside that rooster that I have been meaning to dispatch. I think I was putting it off. It seems unnatural to kill an animal you spent the entire year raising and protecting. Just the same the rooster was one rooster too many and had what I needed. This might seem cold blooded to some but it was just a matter of time for that rooster, he didn't lay eggs, protect the flock or stop molesting the hens and like I said Jess makes an excellent coq au vin.
Otherwise we continue to collect about a dozen eggs a day. Luckily my Jess has found an outlet for them and we are not buried in them.
I have also gotten my first batch of seeds for this years garden and man I can't wait until I can get out and work the soil.