Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wednesday Dose of Confusion (and Cute):
Where Did that Creek Come From?








Because It Definitely Wasn't Here This Morning

Wanna get wet?
3/18/06: Meandering By The House
3/26/06: The Bigger The Water Dish, The Happier The Dog
5/5/06: View from the Middle of the Creek after Six Inches of Rain
5/13/06: Morning Mist Rising off the Creek
5/13/06: Cat Fishing?
5/15/06: Sheep Crossing
1/15/07: Running Water, Rubber Boots, & Mud
1/19/07: Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Life Is But A Stream
2/25/08: A Rare Winter Sight—And Geese!
3/19/08: Flood Watch
4/7/08: Who's A-fraid of the Big Bad Creek? The Big Bad Creek?
4/8/08: A Fresh New Day Full of Morning Mist (and lots more hazy photos)
4/10/08: Surf's Up!
5/16/08: Splish Splash!
1/18/09: Crossing Over to Bigger and Better Things!
4/24/09: Creek's Up!

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the flash flowing foodie farm blog where there's nothing like hiking out for a day of grazing in the far field and then finding a rushing stream of water has suddenly appeared between you and the barn (okay, maybe it wasn't exactly rushing, but still). Fortunately everyone is now safely back where they belong, the two loaves and dozen rolls of Honey Bran Whole Wheat I was in the middle of baking during all of this unexpected excitement didn't overrise, burn, or otherwise become inedible (though I did forget to grease the loaf pansbummer), and I've now been thoroughly reminded that the big crack in one of my beloved rubber boots is even bigger than it was the last time the creek was up—and I never did get around to buying that replacement pair.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday Dose of Cute: One Scene, Two Angles





In Front of the Camera: Little Fernando All Alone at the Mineral Trough







At the Camera: Attacked by The Donkettes!


© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the no zoom lens here foodie farm blog where our photos never lie, but they might not always show you the entire picture.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday Dose of Cute: Egg Layers, the Next Generation


Hello, Girls! It's So Very Nice to See You

Hallelujah! Six of the eight baby chicks born back in April turned out to be hens! They should start laying soon, which will then more than double our current egg output. Usually our hen to rooster hatching ratio is the other way around (and we really only need one Rooster Daddy on the farm), but this time the egg-laying odds were definitely in our favor. Maybe it was all that pizza.

Want to see more chick pics? (some categories overlap)
Chicken Photos & Stories
More Chicken Photos
And Yet More Chicken Photos
Baby Chick Photos
Baby Chicks 2008
Baby Chicks 2009

© Copyright FarmgirlFare.com, the fine feathered feminine foodie farm blog where grown up chickens are still considered cute, right? And if they're not, then you can break the news to Whitey, who, at nearly 10 years old, now has her eye on making it into the Guinness Book of World Records as the Oldest Living Chicken. She and her attitude are doing just fine, and she definitely still considers herself cute (she just hasn't posed for any photos—or had any more longings for motherhood—lately).

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday Dose of Cute: Under Color


Enjoying Lunch Alongside the Wet Weather Creek Bed up by the Sand Field

Want to take a bigger look around the farm? (some categories overlap)
Autumn Color 2008
Earlier Autumn Color
Farm Landscape Photos
More Farm Landscape Photos
And Yet More Farm Landscape Photos
Handmade Fence Photos
Homemade Swing Photos
Haybarn Photos
Hayfield Photos
More Hayfield Photos
Sunrise and Sunset Photos
Misty Morning Photos
Snow Photos
Same Scene, New View Photos

© Copyright 2009
FarmgirlFare.com, the sunny, breezy, and beautiful foodie farm blog where this is the perfect kind of autumn day to wash a whole bunch of laundry, dig out the winter hats and jackets and scarves, and celebrate one of our most prized posessions—the clothesline.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday Dose of Color (and Cute):
Little Bear in the Big Woods


On the Ridge above the Farm



Heading Back Down the Driveway



And Down



And Down Some More

Want to see more of the where we walk in the woods?
9/28/05: It's Starting
10/12/05: I'm Addicted to Our Daily Walks through the Woods
10/26/05: Where We Cut Firewood
11/9/05: Top O' the Forest to You
7/16/06: Morning Dog Walk through the Woods (and Not a Leash in Sight)
10/29/06: I Don't See Colors Like You Do
11/7/06: A Most Beautiful Walk in the Woods
12/26/06: Reflecting on the Bigger Picture, Remembering the Little Things
2/3/07: Looking up the Driveway, the Snowy Version
7/28/07: A Picture Perfect Walk in the Woods (but Pictures Sometimes Lie)
9/23/07: Hello Autumn!
10/21/07: A Flash of Brilliance
11/16/07: Exercising with a View
12/4/07: Just Another Day at the Office

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the transformative foodie farm blog where Lucky Buddy Bear (our English/Australian Shepherd who you can see more of here and here) is always a willing walking companion no matter what the season—and this year's autumn leaf show can only be described as fast and furious (and fabulous). Compare the second photo above to this same section of the driveway just a few short weeks ago—and look how much color there still was in the woods on November 4th two years ago). I took these photos five days ago, and everything already looks completely different out there—all glimmering golds and rusts and browns—but we've been walking so late each evening that it's been too dark to snap any currently colored shots!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Farm Photos: They Were Right About the Frost









Need to chill out a little more?
10/26/05: Why We Cut Firewood
11/10/05: Where Sheep Sleep, Take Three (The Frosted Edition)
11/18/05: Snugglebunny with Frosting
3/22/06: Garden Journal: Some Very Cold Garlic and Kohlrabi
10/28/07: First Frost! Plus Growing Strawberries & Preparing Your Strawberry Bed for Winter
And A Collection of Snow Photos (just in case you're really overheated)

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the jackets are now out of storage after last night's widespread frost warning foodie farm blog where it was a nippy 26 degrees (and very white!) at eight o'clock this morning (I didn't have the nerve to check the thermometer any earlier)—but that's nothing for our wooly band of sheep (including seven-year-old Tana pictured above) who chose to sleep out under the stars instead of in their fabulous new barn (pictures of which will be coming soon!)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Saturday Dose of Cute:
Have You Heard? Winter Weather is on the Way!


It's Time to Get Up



And Fluff Up!

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the scurrying around collecting green tomatoes in the garden while the squirrels gather black walnuts in the yard foodie farm blog where 30° temperatures, along with a widespread first frost, are predicted for tonight. Not to worry—little Fernando (yep, I've finally decided that's definitely his name, though I thank you for all the other great suggestions!) is all dried off and ready for the first really cold night of his life.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Recipe: How To Make Really Easy Low Sugar Pear Butter in the Oven (with step-by-step photos)

Slow Food Cooking with Less Fuss, More Flavor

Really easy low sugar pear butter made in the oven - FarmgirlFare.com
Very ripe pears are the secret to this flavorful, foolproof pear butter that will keep in the fridge for a few weeks. No canning required!

After going through about 70 pounds of pears while working on the cookbook-that-isn't-going-to-be, I came to a couple of conclusions. The first is that pears just might be even more versatile than apples. The second is that homemade pear butter is one of the most wonderful things on the planet. It also happens to be extremely easy to make.

One of my biggest pet peeves—which, as my hunky farmguy Joe can tell you, I've mentioned about 5,000 times—is the vast amount of sugar that so many preserving recipes call for. One cup of fruit to one cup of sugar? Why? Fresh seasonal fruit is so sweet on its own.

The other day I actually saw a recipe for strawberry jam that used two cups of sugar for every one cup of fruit. My teeth hurt just thinking about it. I make a one minute raspberry 'jam' that doesn't have anything in it but fruit.

Thursday Dose of Cute: Seeing Spots









She's Finally Growing into Her Ears—and Bright Pink Nose!

Like little lamb pictures?
Lambing Season 2006 Photos & Reports
Lambing Season 2006 Part 2
Lambing Season 2006 Part 3
Lambing Season 2007 Photos & Reports
Lambing Season 2007 Part 2
Lambing Season 2008 Part 1
Lambing Season 2008 Part 2
Lambing Season 2008 Part 3
Lambing Season 2009
Lambing Season 2009 Part 2

More Sheep Stories & Photos
Farm Stories & Farm Life Tidbits

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the we only use real sheep, not professional models foodie farm blog where neither the mother nor the father of this cutie pie sport any black spots whatsoever, and it looks as if somebody splattered their fountain pen next to her little baby face—except for the fact that her spots just keep getting bigger.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wednesday Farm Photo: Color Coordinated for Fall


That Mother Nature Sure Has Some Style

A year of farm photos ago:
10/2/08: Gossip Central
10/5/08: Little Beagle, Large Backyard
10/7/08: Hey Good Lookin'

Two years ago:
10/7/07: Itchy Donkey
10/11/07: Living by the Light
10/16/07: A Beautiful Autumn Scene

Three years ago:
10/6/06: Baby Cary is Five Months Old Today!
10/14/06: Freshly Picked Fall Color
10/15/06: This Kohlrabi is Very, Very Safe

Four (!) years ago:
10/14/05: Dan and His New Charges
10/15/05: Dan's Opinion of His New Charges
10/15/05: Uncle Dan

And out of the kitchen came:
Less Fuss, More Flavor Quick & Easy Gazpacho
Gardener's Delight Simple Homemade Tomato Juice Recipe
Fiesta Cottage Cheese Veggie Dip (and Factory Tours)
Whole Grain Cottage Cheese Bread Recipe
Fresh Tomato and Basil Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread
Chocolate Babycakes (Made from My Emergency Chocolate Cake Recipe)

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the delicately blooming foodie farm blog where this really is the perfect time of the year to go for walks in the woods (as opposed to in July)—and there sure were a lot of Donkey Doodle Dandy photos posted during previous Octobers! (Dan is doing great by the way, and already starting to fluff up for winter.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tuesday Dose of Cute:
Who's Soggy Now? (It's Another Sing Along!)

















Fortunately Baby Donkeys Are Waterproof

So far Daphne's baby boy (who still hasn't been given his 'F' name! I've been leaning toward Fernando but haven't quite decided yet) is the only donkey we've had born on the farm this year. That may change very soon, however, since Dolores—who we thought had miscarried during the winter—is now huge. Judging by how much this little guy loves to chase, gnaw on, and generally torment (in a little brother kind of way) his big sister Evie (who doesn't have any interest in playing with him), I know he'll be thrilled if a new playmate shows up.

Want to see more baby donkey cuteness?
Daphne's baby boy (born 7/09)
Evie (born 7/08)
Esmeralda (born 7/08)
Dinky (born 7/07)

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the longeared foodie farm blog where what started as one little donkey has now turned into six—and if I can get them to start eating the dreaded cactus that is taking over the farm even faster than the donkeys are, I've been told by my hunky farmguy (and resident cactus hater) that a herd of 100 would be more than welcome!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Dose of Cute: Relaxing in the Afternoon Shade








Really Relaxing

Can't get enough cute? Try these:
The First Daily Doses of Cute
Daily Doses of Cute Part 2
Daily Doses of Cute Part 3
Daily Doses of Cute Part 4
Daily Doses of Cute Part 5
Daily Doses of Cute Part 6
Daily Doses of Cute Part 7
Daily Doses of Cute Part 8
Daily Doses of Cute Part 9
Daily Doses of Cute Part 10
Daily Doses of Cute Part 11

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the kick back with your hooves and paws up foodie farm blog where Daisy, who is actually resting just a few feet from her two-factioned flock in the farmyard, only looks as if she's completely off duty (and dead to the world). One strange little noise and she'll be all ears and bark. And besides, she know she's got big bad Marta nearby as backup.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday Farm Photos: Color Me Autumn








Next on the Agenda: Getting this Picturesque but Very Dead Tractor (Hopefully) Fixed!

Want to see more of this place? (some categories overlap)
Autumn Color
Farm Landscape Photos
More Farm Landscape Photos
And Yet More Farm Landscape Photos
Handmade Fence Photos
Homemade Swing Photos
Haybarn Photos
Hayfield Photos
More Hayfield Photos
Sunrise and Sunset Photos
Misty Morning Photos
Snow Photos
Same Scene, New View Photos

© Copyright 2009
FarmgirlFare.com, the roasty toasty foodie farm blog where the recent cool and stormy weather (yay—2.75 inches of rain) brought it down to a nippy 51 degrees in The Shack this morning. That's fine for me (I love wearing layers!) but a little on the chilly side for rising bread dough, so the first fire of the season in our little living room pot-bellied woodstove (our main source of heat) is emanating that into-your-bones warmth and crackling merrily away. Oh so cozy.

Now we just need to get in gear and go cut a lot more
firewood before it's time to start up the big wood-fired furnace in the new building, especially since last year's wonderful heat cheat source petered out after just three deliveries. You know what they say about firewood—it warms you up four times: when you cut it, when you stack it, when you carry it inside, and when it finally burns. There's nothing that compares to it.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Catching Up: A Book, Building, and Bread Bakery Update


I'm loving this autumn color

If everything had gone according to plan, right now I would be in a massive, fruit- and vegetable-filled frenzy trying to finish up the
gigantic cookbook project I started working on last November. Unfortunately plans have a way of changing—especially if you live on a farm—whether we want them to or not.

Back in March, I did such a good job whacking my head on a
low ceiling beam in one of our chicken coops that—seven months, three doctors, all sorts of treatments and therapies, and numerous hours spent with an ice pack and this awesome massager later—my neck and shoulder are still screwed up.

And the thing that causes me the most pain just happens to be sitting at the computer (although
putting up hay was a close second). This does not mesh well with very tight and very inflexible writing deadlines (or blogging!).

The new building, which is basically a big metal barn, looks out on the Hayfield

So no cookbook. But no massive October frenzy either. It's disappointing, of course, especially since this was a really exciting venture that went beyond just writing a book about making the most of your seasonal bounty. Because of proprietary and legal mumbo jumbo, I can't share any more details about the project; I'm not purposely trying to be secretive.

I've been approached by other editors at some wonderful publishing houses who are interested in my writing and photos, so there might very well be a book of some sort in my future. I figure an even better opportunity will present itself if and when the time is right—and I thank you for all the support you gave me for this one.

In the meantime, I'm looking forward to sharing more of the Less Fuss, More Flavor recipes I created for the cookbook, including one for a ridiculously easy—and ridiculously delicious—homemade pear butter that I will hopefully have up this weekend. Update: the pear butter recipe is up!


With three big sinks and My Favorite View, doing dishes will be a pleasure

We're also back to contemplating our wholesale artisan bread bakery plan (you can see a photo of the whole building and read a little more about the bakery here), which was shelved last year due to a combination of skyrocketing gas prices, skyrocketing wheat prices, and all of my spare time being spent writing the cookbook.

Since we already have the 7-foot wide deck oven and 60-quart mixer installed in the commercial kitchen on the bottom floor of the new building, I know we'll eventually come up with some delicious way to use them. Joe says that if nothing else, every few months we'll simply bake a lot of bread for ourselves and our friends all at once.

Our new bedroom (and the locally made oak stair treads)

As far as my healing and physical therapy are concerned, we finally fixed all the plumbing problems in the new building (thankfully without having to tear into the beautiful bathroom tile), so although it'll be a while yet before we move in—there are still hundreds of feet of baseboard and trim to put up, the 'real' stairs to be installed, 17 windowsills to be built, light fixtures to be mounted, and a bunch of other stuff I'm probably forgetting, all of which are much better accomplished if you aren't already living in the space—the glorious whirlpool tub is fully functional.


Oh, baby

And after spending 9 years without a working bathtub, boy does it feel nice. This is one splurge that was definitely worth every penny.

© FarmgirlFare.com, the soak away your troubles with champagne, candles, and a bathtub built for two (only 6½ years after putting up the shell of the building!) foodie farm blog where this whole neck/shoulder thing has put a big damper on my ability to respond in a timely manner to your comments and e-mail. I love hearing from you, and I thank you for your understanding and patience.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Thursday Dose of Cute: The Boss Lady is Back?











Then I'm Going on Break!

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the off-duty foodie farm blog where Daisy and Marta, our livestock guardian dogs (who can get through/around/over/under/in and out of anything), did an excellent job watching over the sheep (as well as the rest of the farm) while we were away last weekend (me to Farm Aid 2009 and my hunky farmguy Joe, sadly, not to Farm Aid 2009) and, despite what it looks like here, did not run off the second I got home (well, not far off at least).

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Wednesday Farm Photos (and a Dose of Cute):
There's No Place Like Home


Heading Down the Driveway

I had a great time during my whirlwind trip to St. Louis for the Farm Aid 2009 concert. I arrived home happy, tired, determined to personally become much more involved in the fight against corporate factory farms and support of small family farms, and more grateful than ever to live where (and how) I do.



I also arrived home to find not only all of these adorable faces (that I missed while I was gone!) waiting for me, but also an e-mail from one of our new lamb customers (and a fellow food blogger) telling me how much he is enjoying the custom butchered whole lamb he recently bought from us ('What great flavor and texture!!') as well as a comment on my kitchen garden blog from someone who saw my post about building our low-tech, low cost homemade greenhouse and said, "I never thought I could have a greenhouse without spending thousands of dollars. Your greenhouse gives me hope. Thanks!" Encouraging words like these really mean a lot.


Looking Toward the Front Field

I'll hopefully be sharing my experiences at Farm Aid 2009 soon, but in the meantime, I think Neil Young had it right when he told us during the concert that each of us has the power to change things by voting with our dollars:

"Just buy the right food. Read the labels. [Our food system in this country] is a big complicated mess. Support family farms—they're too small to fail."


I Was So Happy to See Franny, My 2009 Bottle Baby (Whose Story I Haven't Told!)

If you missed the live Farm Aid 2009 concert broadcasts, it's not too late to watch it. DIRECTV's The 101 Network will be re-broadcasting the concert in HD, commercial-free, and surround sound four more times—click here for more info. And the Farm Aid webcast brought to you by EternaGreen will be up for free on the Farm Aid site through this week. After that, it will move to the FarmYard—Farm Aid's members-only area where you can watch this year's concert as well as past shows.

What is Farm Aid? Farm Aid is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to keep family farmers on their land. Over the past 24 years, Farm Aid has raised nearly $36 million dollars to support programs that help farmers thrive, create and strengthen connections between farmers and eaters, take action to change the dominant system of industrial agriculture, and promote food from family farms.

Want to get involved? Find out how you can take action here, become a Farm Aid member here, learn more about the Farm Aid community here, connect to the land and each other at Homegrown.org, or follow Farm Aid on Twitter here. And if you have $5 and 15 seconds to spare, text FARMER to 90999 to donate $5 to farmers through your cell phone. (The charge will show up on your next cell phone bill.)

There is good food to save and no time to waste.

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the critter loving, homebody foodie farm blog where somebody around here just gobbled up nearly a pound of quick and easy roasted brussels sprouts for dinner. (Fortunately they were the main course.) Recipe coming soon!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Saturday Dose of Cute:
Off To Do Some Live Blogging at Farm Aid 2009 in St. Louis!


Daphne and Her Baby Boy

As I
mentioned a few weeks back (what the heck happened to September?), I'm going to be at the Farm Aid 2009 concert tomorrow doing some live blogging for the Farm Aid website. I'm so excited! There's going to be an incredible lineup of artists performing, plus the HOMEGROWN Village where concertgoers can get their hands dirty and learn about food production, growing your own, composting, how farmers care for the environment, beekeeping, and more.

And of course there will be all kinds of fabulous food from local and family farms—which is one of the things I'll be blogging about. I'll also be spending some time in the FarmYard, a special place in HOMEGROWN village where farmers and concert-goers can meet, greet, and exchange a story or two throughout the concert day.

If you're in the St. Louis area, a very limited number of reserved seats for Farm Aid 2009 Presented by Horizon Organic have just been released. Tickets are available at livenation.com (click here), at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater Box Office, by calling (877) 598-8703, or at participating Blockbuster stores (visit livenation.com for list of locations).

If you're not in St. Louis you can still enjoy the concert! It'll be broadcast live on DIRECTV's The 101 Network, live on FarmAid.org's Webcast, and live on Willie's Place on Sirius XM Radio. Click here for more info. And check out the just released video of Willie Nelson & Lukas Nelson talking about Farm Aid 2009 here.

Pre-concert events include The Homegrown Urban Country Fair in St. Louis today from 10am to 2:30pm at the Tower Grove Farmers Market. This hands-on, interactive and educational festival features exhibits, workshops and demos celebrating modern homesteading and how we're connecting to good food, farmers and the earth, and great live music. You can read more about it here.

Tonight there will be a public briefing called 'A Farmer/Urban Connection,' which will run from 5:00 - 6:30pm at the First Presbyterian Church, 7200 Delmar Blvd in St. Louis. Farm Aid, Missouri Rural Crisis Center, and other local, regional and national family farm organizations will discuss the challenges and opportunities facing family farm agriculture. Learn about how you can use your voice to push for a vibrant 'family farm' food system that builds thriving rural economies, strong communities, and resilient ecosystems to nourish us for generations to come. This is a free event open to the farmers, non-farmers, and all others interested in supporting family farmers. Click here to RSVP.

What is Farm Aid? Farm Aid is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to keep family farmers on their land. Over the past 24 years, Farm Aid has raised nearly $36 million dollars to support programs that help farmers thrive, create and strengthen connections between farmers and eaters, take action to change the dominant system of industrial agriculture, and promote food from family farms.

Farm Aid’s mission is to build a vibrant, family farm-centered system of agriculture in America. Farm Aid artists and board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews host an annual concert to raise funds to support Farm Aid’s work with family farmers and to inspire people to choose family-farmed food.

Want to get involved? Find out how you can take action here, become a Farm Aid member here, learn more about the Farm Aid community here, connect to the land and each other at Homegrown.org, or follow Farm Aid on Twitter here.

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the rushing around trying to get on the road foodie farm blog where we can't think of anything better than combining great music, great food, and a really great cause—keeping our family farms. Thanks for your support!