Sunday, July 29, 2012

Harvest from Garden

A small bushel of peas ready to be shelled
The garden has been doing really well lately.  There has been some rain, lots of sun and with the compost that we added, it has definitely taken off.  It is just a lot later than what we would like, and definitely good practice for next year.
From shell to shelled
 These guys just came out of the pot for blanching and were headed to a freezer bag for storage for eating later in the year.  We are taking advantage of the crop that is coming and trying to save all we can.  Our next mission is to get a full size freezer because the one on the fridge just is not big enough!

Delish raspberries
These are the raspberries I picked at a local U-pick with some friends.  It was easy to pick 6 quarts and even some for the tummy.

Going to the Freezer
These also were being prepped for the freezer.  I washed them and put them on a cookie sheet to freeze in a single layer and then after they are frozen, I put them in a bag to take out as I need.  Most of these guys will turn into jam.

Yesterday egg harvest

These was yesterdays treasure.  K had 2 for lunch so a total of 9.  We (I mean the "girls") average about 10-11/day.  We are pretty happy with that and then when the younger ones start laying we should almost be double that.  According to my calendar that should start happening in October as long as there is enough light for them...we will see what happens.  I have started weighing the eggs to get an idea of size and to put the most similar size together.
On the scale
This one is one of the lighter ones.  I can get eggs that are up to 75g.  They are big ones and so orange and thick also.  People that are using them for baking say that they are some of the best eggs they have used as it has added flavour and texture to their baking.  We are pretty happy to hear that. 

These are the younger chicks...they discovered this old folk art swing that we had found in the barn and brought outside.  They love sitting in it.  We think it is hilarious as it looks like they are having a visit on the swing and catching up with the gossip. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Hot Sauce Friday

Hot Sauce ready to use!
Happy Friday the 13th!  Made this hot sauce from the recipe book you see..super easy and super delicious!  I having some with my BBQ steak tonight.

Can't wait until my peppers in the garden are ready to make my homemade version.  I will keep you posted.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Happenings at HillTop

Pasture Management at HillTop Farm
We have been very negligent bloggers....sorry about that!  Ok so only 1.5 months later here is what we have been up to....

K moving the tempory fencing
1.  70 sheep have been in our front pasture helping us with bringing back the fertility of the pasture.  We followed the intensive grazing strategy which we read and same videos about from Greg Judy.  This is where you divide your pasture into small paddocks and the animals stay there for a few days eating up the good fresh greens and then you move them so they do not live in their own manure.  We installed a permanent fence along the periphery of the pasture and within this, temporary fences are set up to divide up the field.  This is all electrified.  You may also see a llama in the photo...he is there as a guard animal and his name is Rainy.  He was so cute and made this great little cooing noises.  Quite the experience.  I do have to tell you, that we did have a night where they escaped.  We had gone to bed and it was around midnight and we could hear the sheep baying really close by...K looked outside and they were right under our window and on our front porch...not just 1 but all 70 plus the llama.  Out we rushed in his underwear and my jammies, we managed to get them all back in which is a story on its own...not so funny and that time, but now we chuckle everytime we think about it. 

The girls enjoying an afternoon snack

 2.  The garden is also coming along...not great, but it is coming along....
The tomatoes, peas and beans
We installed a small water system in the garden and have started to collect rain water in buckets that are stored in the blue container.  There is a tap and hose on the blue container that you put a bucket under, open the tap and voila, water!  We also have about 150 feet of hose that runs from inside all through the garden when we need to do a really big water.  Today we received some black gold which we felt the garden REALLY needed...

Fresh load of compost!  We can see them growing.
I am also trying to grow some peanuts.  I got the seeds from a friend who got them from Owen at Annapolis Seeds.  Who says we can't grow peanuts here in the North...
Peanut Plant

And last but not least 3.  Chickens.  We let out our youngest batch of chickens about 1 week ago and there was definitely some adjusting both to the outdoors and the big girls.  We found the big girls being a bit of a bully so we let the little ones out first thing in the morning, but them back in and then let the big ones out.  Now, they are all just one big happy family....thank goodness!
These are 9 week old chickens.  

Oh yeah...I can't forget our "boys"....I could not resist this photo....they just loved the umbrella
Spart and Smarty Pants, getting out of the sun
Promise we will not be so long in posting next time!  Thanks for being patient!