Sunday, October 30, 2011
Happy Halloween to everyone! We've been doing the traditional Halloween things- carving pumpkins, preparing costumes, the candy bowl, etc. One of my favorite traditions is to roast the seeds and lots of the 'guts' of the punkins. Just put some butter and salt on them, roast low and slow till crispy. mmmmm.
Tomorrow night is trick-or-treating. I'm glad our little town does it right, in the evening. The town where I grew up seemed to think we needed to do it in the middle of the afternoon. SO lame. Since we live out in farm land, we go into town and go trick-or-treating with friends. We always have a fun time, something I really look forward to.
It's also time in our neighborhood for the artists' tour. This is an annual event where many of our local artists put on an open house, and people drive from all over to see their wares. One of our closest friends and neighbor is on the tour. She is a renowned felt artist, raising her own sheep and making her own yarn and felt. We like to support her during her open house, when she has little time to cook or even eat. This year Karen made her a lunch out of some fresh home grown ingredients from our farm.
Fresh squash soup garnished with apple bits sauteed in bacon, shaved fresh ham, apple slices, and flaky biscuits topped with rosemary from the garden. Yum.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
It's mid Fall here on our part of the planet. The weather has been quite pleasant, with highs in the 50's to 60's and lows in the 30's. We're starting to get frost at night pretty consistently now. The trees are still putting on a show, at least the later ones which still have their leaves. So that makes it Get Busy Like A Squirrel time on the farm. The above picture is our summer crop of alfalfa hay put up in the hay mow (actually, that is about 1/3 of the total. The rest is on the other side of the barn, and rolled up into large round bales which are stored outside.) Been doing lots of other Fall chores, putting away hoses, water tanks, planting more daffodils, trimming branches, pecking away at the garden, weather-proofing barns and windows, cleaning out gutters, checking tank heaters, etc. ec.
It feels a lot less rushed and crunched than last year, when we had our big barn building project- replete with it's many problems and stumbling blocks. Even so, I am sure the night before the first real snow forecast, we'll be rushing to do last minute things. Like put away the hammock ;) Always kinda sad to say goodbye to hammock days.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
The leaves have mostly turned here in southern Wisconsin and many have fallen already, though there are still a lot left on the trees. The forests and copses of trees here are at that "thinning" stage.... kind of like my aunt Margie's hair.
There was a touch of frost on the grass as I walked to the barn this morning. Red ripe apples on the ground, the smell of damp leaves and I could hear a bluebird singing somewhere along the fence line. I have to savor moments like these, because they are so few and fleeting. I think Fall days like this are perhaps our shortest-lived season. We seem to go from late Summer, which lingers for several weeks, to late Fall where all the leaves are gone,the ground is starting to freeze up, the cold winds are blowing but we don't have snow on the ground yet. As someone who has to contend with keeping animals comfortable, water liquid, and driveways and access lanes cleared, I will not vote for what's next as my most favorite time of year. Best to enjoy this as long as it lasts!
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Today was another milestone for us here. We took another load of pigs in to the butcher today, but this time it was the pigs we had farrowed here ourselves. This was our first home-raised litter. We'd been through a lot with these girls. It really feels like quite an accomplishment to have reached this point. In fact, it was almost exactly one year ago that we brought our two gilts home to our farm. It's really something to think about how far we've come in the last twelve months! Wow, have we ever learned a lot, too! Now with our third litter on the ground we almost feel like we know what to expect, heh.
Just a note: we still have a side or two left that can be purchased whole. This is the last opportunity to get pasture-raised Berkshire pork cut to your specs this Fall. If interested in a side, contact us at Prairiefirefarmwi@gmail.com ASAP! Of course,we will always have retail cuts and bundles available any time.
We will have more pastured Berk available in December!
Thank you to all of our customers. We wouldn't do it without you!