Monday, July 13, 2009

Photos of this and that

Just wanted to share some photos of the place taken recently. This first photo is of one of my new Speckled Sussex hens. I think they are such pretty birds.
This is where my new greenhouse will be built. Ed is going to start on that as soon as he finishes up some other things.

This is a photo of my Muscovy hen that is sitting on 4 duck eggs and one of my California White hens who thinks she wants to sit on this nest! They are both crammed into one of my chicken nest boxes. I keep taking the chicken out. Well now she sits in the box next to the duck so I am thinking of giving her some Blue Andalusian eggs I am going to trade a lady for Muscovy duck eggs. We also have a Buff Orpington who is setting again.

And this is a photo of Sally's 4 leaf clover she found in the yard yesterday. We have pressed it and put it in a book to dry.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Give us this day our daily bread.........

Happy Friday to everyone! My frugal tip for today is baking my own bread. Since we choose to eat unprocessed foods without preservative's or artificial ingredients it is very difficult to find some things in our grocery store. Yes, you can find good breads at the health food stores but at a very high price. I have bought one small loaf of bread from ours and paid over $5 for it. Now that is just too much for me to pay for bread. : ) So, I bake my own at a fraction of the cost.

I start out by purchasing a 50 pound bag of hard red wheat berries. That is only a little over $17. About the price of three loaves of bread from the health food store.
I load up the Nutrimill flour grinder with the wheat berries.
In a few minutes those wheat berries are turned into nutritious whole wheat flour.
Next, I put my ingredients for my bread into the Bosch mixer. What a time/labor saver this machine is!

I put 6 cups of hot tap water (we have spring water), 3/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup honey or agave, 2TBSP sea salt, 8 cups of the flour, 1/3 cup wheat gluten and 4 TBSP instant yeast. Turn the machine on and mix until everything is moistened. Then I add the next 8 cups of flour one at a time while the mixer is running. Put the lid on and let it knead the dough for 10 minutes.

It looks like this when the 10 minutes are up.

Oh oh! Look who woke up and came into the kitchen to tell me they were hungry!

I have four 12 inch long loaf pans greased and ready for the dough.

The dough is taken out of the mixer and put on the very clean oiled counter.The dough is cut into 4 sections. Which should be equal in size, but mine never are! ; )

The dough is placed in the pans. I let them sit there for a minute or two while I wash up the mixer bowl and my measuring cups and spoons.Into the oven they go at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. What to do for 25 minutes now? Oh yeah, fold a load of clothes and throw the next load into the washer and dryer.

And here are my 4 different sized loaves of bread! Just in time for breakfast for my two hungry girls. Let's see what else besides warm bread with fresh cherry jam?

Fresh eggs from the hen house of course!Aren't those pretty eggs? Now where are those hungry girls?

Breakfast is served in the kitchen of Bountiful Acres! Enjoy my sweet little daughters!

NOTE* I figured the cost of my ingredients and have come up with the cost for the bread I bake myself. It comes out to about a dollar per loaf. I find that quite frugal for wholesome bread to feed my family.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cherry Harvest

The new header photo is of the path going down to the river on the back of our place. Hard to believe that pretty peaceful looking river turns ugly brown and violently washes across our place every winter!

Today is thankful Thursday. I am thankful that I am finished with the cherry harvest this year. I am thankful we have bees that are doing a great job for our orchard. I am thankful for the good crop of cherries from our two trees this year.

The pantry now has 36 quarts of canned cherries and 8 pints of cherry jam on the shelves. There is also a gallon of pitted cherries in the freezer for smoothies this winter.

What will be next? Well plums of course! They are thick on the trees and will be ripening next month.

Last week I meant to post about being thankful for a planer mill here that gives away their shavings for free. We got a pick up load and cleaned out both barns and put fresh shavings in them. How nice it is to have a clean barn again! Now I must let you know who "we" consists of. When it came to getting the shavings "we" composed of my Dad and Ed. Cleaning out the barn was Ed alone. And putting the clean fresh shavings I helped Dad and Ed do that part. : )

I am also thankful that my turkeys know me and like me. Why would that matter you might ask? Well on the 4th when we had gone to watch the fireworks one of our turkeys got out. Ed looked for it everywhere in the dark and couldn't find it. We went to bed upset that we had lost a turkey. I prayed and asked the Lord to keep it safe and help us to find it in the morning. We slept with our bedroom window open and what woke us up at 5am?? The sound of a lonely turkey calling and calling! We jumped up and got dressed and headed outside to find it. Well come to find out, it was in the trees/bushes across the road beside our property. I went out there and called it like I always do when I call them for a treat or want them to come to me. I just kept saying "come on turk turk turk". Then I heard him talking back to me, and the bushes began to rustle and soon out popped our turkey onto the road! It came right up to me and let me pick it up and I carried him back to the barnyard and into their pen. I was so happy to get our turkey back unharmed! Thank the Lord for answered prayers!

We have decided to do away with our Dark Cornish chickens. We aren't going to keep them separate from the other chickens. The roosters are pretty aggressive and we only keep calm animals here. So next weekend will be a butchering time. We will do the roosters and the some of the hens and some of the older ducks that hatched this year. That ought to put some meat into the freezer! I am going to keep a few of the Cornish hens and let them in with my laying hens.

Then we are going to use that part of barn #2 for our drake pen. We are hoping that we can keep the drakes away from the hens (duck hens that is) and they won't fight with each other. That way we can keep a few of the prettier colored ones from this years hatchings.

Speaking of hatching, we have two hens sitting again! One duck has 9 eggs under her and the other has 4. Yes, more ducklings will be on their way!
These are a couple of my roses that are blooming. Aren't they pretty?

Have a wonderful day!