Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Answered prayers!

And here she is! Living proof of answered prayer. Meet Bessy, our family milk cow. We just got her day before yesterday. She is a 6 year old Jersey milk cow. She has the sweetest personality. She loves to be petted and scratched under the chin.
She isn't in milk right now, but Lord willing we will have plenty of milk and a calf next year. Did you know it takes 9 months gestation for a cow?
I can hardly wait until we are having fresh milk, making butter and cheese, yogurt, sour cream and of course ice cream! This will really cut down on the grocery bill.
Today I must finish making tomato sauce. Our tomatoes got off to a slow start, but boy are they keeping me busy now! Next will be the zucchini relish, freezing peppers, drying celery leaves and basil and then on to the apples.
When canning season is finished I will take a picture of my pantry shelves to show all the pretty jars of food that we have put up for winter.
Have a great day!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Autumn Blessings!

Summer has slipped away and Fall is here already. Now is the time of harvest and giving thanks.
Our garden was blessed this year and has provided plenty of produce for our family and we have had lots to share with others also.
It has been canning season at our house. I have the blessing of my Mom being here and helping me with all this produce this year. My Dad has also been out in the garden helping to harvest it all. Along with my husband and two daughters, we have been very busy putting up food for the winter months ahead. My pantry is looking very nice.
We have canned green beans, tomatoes, carrots, peaches, pickled veggies and salsa. We have put in the freezer cauliflower, broccoli, leeks, peppers, more peaches, plums, blackberries. I have dried in my dehydrator peppers, leeks, herbs and my mints for tea. Still have apples to can, make into cider and more tomatoes to make into sauce, ketchup, celery to freeze and dry, relish to make, the baby potatoes to can, the bigger ones get stored in the shop to use fresh in the winter. We also have lots of winter squashes put in a cool place for winter keeping. I will be making jams and jellies from all our fruit we have put in the freezer too. Yes, it has been a good year despite the weather! The only thing that didn't do well this year were the cucumbers and the corn. That is okay, next year will be better Lord willing.
Soon our cornish cross chickens will also be in the freezer. A chore that we don't enjoy at all, but is neccessary when you raise your own meat.
I think the biggest news of all is we are getting a cow at last! The Lord has used a friend of ours to get us an affordable cow. She is a 3 year old Jersey. She isn't in milk right now, but we will have her bred and nine months later we will have milk and a calf! I am so excited about our family milk cow! When she gives milk we will probably get 3-5 gallons of milk a day from her. Plenty for drinking, cooking, making cheese and yogurt from, and the cream for making butter, sour cream and of course the occassional batch of ice cream! I can hardly wait!
Ed is going to borrow a cattle trailer today to pick her up either today or tomorrow. The friends that we are borrowing the trailer from are also loaning us their cider press to use! We will have plenty of apple cider to put up for winter too.
We had our first wind storm of the season last night. This morning there are lots of leaves on the ground. Probably knocked more apples off the trees too.
We had our Muscovy ducks fly out of the pen and into the road. So we did the wing clipping to keep them from being able to do that. We certainly don't want them to get run over! They are doing nicely. We ended up with 3 males and 4 females. We should have lots of ducklings next summer.
Mom and Dad are all moved in and settled. It feels good to have them close. It is such a blessing to have family near. Our daughters are so happy that they have their grandparents right here to enjoy everyday. They are the only grandparents they have on earth.
My oldest son turned 30 last month and my youngest daughter turned 6 yesterday. I think I have been raising children all my life! lol! Well most of it anyway.
I have had such a thankful heart for all the Lord has blessed me with. Happy healthy children, grandchildren, a wonderful place to live, a good husband, my home, our bountiful harvest! Yes the Lord is so good to us.
Oh, and we named our little farm! The title of my blog. Bountiful Acres Homestead. Very fitting indeed.
Happy Fall to all!