Monday, June 16, 2014

The gift

Most of you know I've been having predator problems, which resulted in the loss of some of my chickens. And my beautiful rooster. 

Before the rooster was killed, one of my "girls" was setting on a nest of eggs. So I was hoping and praying she would hatch out some new babies for me.

A friend of mine heard about the situation and sent me a message offering to "gift" me some of her fertile eggs. And to top it off she even delivered them!

I slipped them under the hen that night with her other eggs and marked my calendar. And waited.

This morning was the 21st day. After finishing my chores I made my way to the far corner of the barn to see what I might find. 
During this whole process another "thief" had stolen some of the eggs. (But that's a story for another day.)

I carefully lifted momma hen up and was pleasantly surprised to see all five of her remaining eggs had hatched!
Is there anything much cuter then newly hatched chicks?!

And I have these five new babies because of a generous, thoughtful gift from a friend. You never know what a "seemingly" small gift can mean to a person. It can become a great treasure. Thank you friend!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Spring strawberry salad

Does anyone want to try something yummy? 

I've made this salad twice in the last four days and am really enjoying it!

I just tear up lots of fresh, tender lettuce from the garden (baby spinach would be good too). Then add some sliced strawberries, some candied walnuts and a strawberry dressing. Toss, and enjoy!
Yum, yum.

I found the dressing on the internet and modified it to the ingredients I had. 

3 strawberries
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 teaspoon sugar

I used my hand held emulsion blender to whiz that all together. Then kept it in a pint jar and shook it a bit before adding it to the salad.

Happy, healthy eating!

The first time

A couple weeks ago I got to do another "first". First time driving the tractor!

We don't own a tractor, so when we need to do some tractor type work we are fortunate to be able to use my father-in-law's.

So hubby got the ol' tractor going and starting scraping the horse "pasture" and piling up the manure to move to the garden. I really wanted to learn how to drive it and not always be on the ground with the shovel in my hand. So when he said, "You want to drive it?" I eagerly took the driver seat.

It was a bit nerve wracking trying to remember all the pedals, levers and such, but with my "coach" walking me through the process all went well.
Now we're getting something done! Dumping a load.
This is kind of fun! Heading back for another load.
The hubby doing the shoveling. 
We do "team work" really well together.

Friday, June 6, 2014

The morning harvest

I had a rewarding morning in the garden. I'm still harvesting lettuce that reseeded itself in the compost pile and other places in the garden. I was able to fill two big bowls full! 

Time to wash it!
I enjoy all the different textures and colors. Yum!

Next, it was time to pick the strawberries. The other day I picked a small bowl full but today supplied me with a small bucket full!
Thankful for the Lord's bounties!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

From start to finish

This time of year my Excaliber dehydrator is put to good use. I want to use what I grow. And depending on the food, sometimes the best way to preserve it, is to dry it. Who doesn't like to eat the own food?!

Which is what I'm doing today; dehydrating oregano.

I have some raised beds in the garden and one has yummy, pungent oregano flourishing. 
So I picked a big bowlful; washed it and dryed it.
Now for the time consuming part, picking it off the stems. I suppose I could throw stems and all into the dehydrator, but this is how I do it.
Next I put the leaves on my mesh trays, spread it out a bit, and slid it in the ol' Excaliber!
Now we let the dehydrator do it's work!

The end product looks like this. 
You just can't beat fresh picked, home grown and dried, herbs for cooking!

Look what I found!

I knew the strawberry plants were starting to load up with little green berries, but I hadn't looked at them in a few days.

This morning I went out to weed the garden and look what I found! Little bits of sweet sunshine wrapped in itty bitty red coats!
I noticed Mr. Robin nearby admiring my treasures and was determined to harvest them before he absconded with them.

A bowl of sweet delights for breakfast!