Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday Dose of Cute: Um, Excuse Me


This Treat Bucket is Empty

Does your post-holiday Monday need more cute? We can help!
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
Daily Doses of Cute Part 12

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the obviously mistreated and starving foodie farm blog where, despite what it looks like here, everybody on the farm had a very fulfilling weekend (including the ravaging, annoying—and now very fat!—squirrels who have discovered the surplus sacks of feed I foolishly thought we could store in the barn), though there will always be a few among us who will never be fully full—at least when it comes to treats or dessert.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday Dose of Cute: The Bigger the Water Dish. . .


The Happier the Cat (or Dog)

This isn't really a giant water dish for cats, it's The Pool. Actually it's a 100-gallon Rubbermaid stock tank we stole from the animals, but when filled with cold underground spring water pumped up from our deep well, there's nothing more refreshing than plunking yourself into it at the end of a sweltering summer day.

It's the perfect size for two, and when accessorized with hanging citronella candles (oh, the mosquitos were bad this summer!), an icy bottle of homebrewed beer for him and a glass of chilled champagne for me, it's actually quite romantic—even with the dogs and cats circling around us.

Pool season ended months ago (and besides, we now have that luxurious whirlpool tub in which to soak our tired selves), but as you can see, I just haven't had the heart to drain it out.

Want to see more of Sarah Kit Kat Kate?
5/1/08: Welcome to the Farm, Sarah Kate
5/11/08: There's a New Supervisor in Town
5/26/08: Purr Where You're Planted
6/4/08: What Kit Kat Caught
8/24/08: You Can't Fence in a Farm Cat

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the thirst quenching foodie farm blog where it doesn't seem possible (or right) that it's been 15 months since I've put up a picture of Kit Kat Kate, who I rescued from The Slammer two years ago next week (where does the time go?!). This sweet little five-pound feline is always doing something extra cute; apparently she's just not doing it in front of the camera.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday Dose of Cute: Thanksgiving, The Morning After


Holidays Are Exhausting

Want to get to know our big white dogs better?
Marta Baby Pictures
7/27/08:
Siesta Time
10/26/08:
Mostly Marta
10/28/08:
Just Doing Her Job
11/6/08:
Maybe Marta
1/24/09:
Keeping the Food Supply Safe
2/1/09:
Moping Marta
2/4/09:
Three Dog Sight
2/7/09:
Being Watched
3/4/09:
Food as Furniture

1/27/09:
Losing Lambs and Lottie (and Acquiring Daisy)
1/28/09:
Snowed In! (scroll down to see Daisy)
2/5/09:
Daisy Off Duty
2/9/09:
When Sleeping and Eating Schedules Collide
3/19/09:
Nap Time
3/23/09:
Bear Hug
4/18/09:
A Girl's Gotta Sleep Sometime
4/29/09:
Standing Tall and Smiling Wide
6/11/09:
Breakfast Company
7/4/09:
The Dog Days of Haying Season
8/20/09:
Work All Night. . .
9/28/09:
Tails in Tandem

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the staying home today foodie farm blog where there's no need to go out and fight the crazed holiday shopping crowds (not that we actually have crowds out here—crazed or otherwise) because all my hunky farmguy really wants for Christmas is to finally get this very dead tractor fixed. Though if Santa showed up hauling a nice big load of firewood for us, that'd be quite appreciated, too.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thursday Dose of Holiday Cute: Happy Thanksgiving!


So much to be thankful for. . .







Yeah, but where's the pie?







No Pie!? Again?

Previous Thanksgiving posts:
11/24/05: Happy Thanksgiving To You
11/24/05: Year Round Thankfulness
11/28/05: So You All Ate Turkey on Thanksgiving, Right?
11/23/06: Thankful To Call This Place Home
11/22/07: Enjoying A Feast
11/27/08: Gobble Gobble

© FarmgirlFare.com, the thankful foodie farm blog where everyone on the farm ate very well today, despite the fact that nobody got any pie, though one of us is about to enjoy some sweet and garlicky roasted San Marzano tomatoes that just came out of the oven—along with a celebratory glass of champagne of course. What? Nobody else roasts tomatoes from the garden in late November? Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Little Last Minute Holiday Baking Inspiration


Quick but Impressive: Savory Cheese and Scallion Scones with Feta

Just in case your Thanksgiving menu still isn't finalized—or you've suddenly remembered that you're going to have to feed people throughout the weekend and not just on Thursday afternoon—I thought I'd offer up a couple of easy perennial favorites from the archives.

These Savory Cheese and Scallion Scones are always a hit, and because there's no butter to cut in (they're made with softened cream cheese instead), they mix up in no time flat. Serve them warm with dinner instead of rolls or bread, or turn them into scrumptious little leftover turkey sandwiches. They freeze and reheat beautifully, so you can even make them ahead of time. Not a feta fan? Try cheddar and chive instead, with or without a sprinkling of dill.


Nothing Says Cozy Autumn Comfort Food Like a Warm and Spicy Muffin

These Spicy Pumpkin Pecan Raisin Muffins were a bestseller at my little bakery cafe in Northern California and continue to delight all these years later. They move easily from breakfast table to afternoon snack plate to holiday dinner bread basket, and the recipe makes 18 large muffins which also freeze beautifully. Perfect to have on hand if you'll be feeding a crowd during the next month.

So what are you doing for Thanksgiving? Any baking involved?

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the oven's on foodie farm blog where we aren't actually doing Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving this year, but we eat so well here on the farm that nearly every day is a feast—and for that we are extremely thankful.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Recipe: Quick Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Lemon and Parmesan (or Slightly Gussied Up with Garbanzos and Dijon)

Quick and easy roasted brussels sprouts with lemon and parmesan - FarmgirlFare.com
A healthy vegetable side dish that's nice enough for Thanksgiving, yet easy enough for everyday.

Prefer your Brussels sprouts raw? Check out my scrumptious Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pecorino, Chives, and a Lemony Caper Dressing.

"Not only are these not organic," I whispered to my hunky farmguy Joe  one day last winter as I grabbed two bags of Trader Joe's packaged brussels sprouts, "they're from Mexico!"

"Am I going to have to stage an intervention?" he asked, as I flung yet another bag into our cart, both of us knowing full well that I'd be picking up a few more pounds during the next stop on our St. Louis grocery shopping trip, "just in case I didn't get enough at Trader Joe's." I couldn't help myself.

Confession: I've never tasted a truly fresh Brussels sprout, let alone one that came straight from the garden. I started some Brussels sprouts seeds this year (way too late, I later learned) but they were apparently duds.

I'm also guilty of letting my imported, non-organic Brussels sprouts languish in the fridge for several weeks before eating them. Nevertheless, during the past year I've become ridiculously addicted to these scrumptious little cabbages.



I'm the sort of person who looks forward to eating leftover roasted Brussels sprouts for breakfast with a lot more enthusiasm than would probably be considered normal. Unfortunately I'm also the sort of person who almost never has leftover roasted Brussels sprouts around for breakfast because I end up devouring them all the night before.

It's a lot easier than you might think to put away an entire pound of these (thankfully healthy) little things.

I did force myself to adhere to a strict sprout moratorium last spring and summer; even in my severe sprout craving state I had trouble justifying the purchase of foreign produce when so much garden bounty was at hand. But that's all over now.

Fortunately this is the time of year when it's easy to find Brussels sprouts grown here in the US, often made even sweeter by a frost. If you're lucky enough to have a local source for sprouts, please go snap some up.

You can often find them still attached to the stalks at farmers' markets and even at some grocery stores. If not, the ratty old ones at the supermarket are pretty darn delicious.



Less Fuss, More Flavor Quick Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Serves at least one - Adapted from Fine Cooking

**Click here to print this recipe**

These are quick and easy, one bowl, one pan Brussels sprouts. There's no need to cut a little X in each stem or boil them before roasting (why do people do this?). You don't even have to turn them while they're cooking.

The unbleached parchment paper keeps the nicely browned bits sticking to the sprouts instead of the pan and also makes for easy clean up.

I finally figured out how to increase my chances of having leftovers for breakfast—roast two pounds of brussels sprouts at once. Simply double the ingredients below. I can fit two pounds of sprouts on one commercial half-size sheet pan.

I love to toss roasted Brussels sprouts with farfalle (bowtie) pasta and plenty of freshly grated Romano or Parmesan. For a real treat, fry up some bacon, then sauté some coarse fresh breadcrumbs in a few Tablespoons of the bacon grease over medium heat until golden and crisp. Toss the pasta and Brussels sprouts together, then top with the crumbled bacon, bread crumbs, and cheese. So good.

Basic Version:
1 pound Brussels sprouts
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if desired
1/2 teaspoon salt
Several grinds fresh black pepper
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or more to taste (I like lots of lemon juice)
1/4 cup (1/2 ounce) freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese

Slightly Gussied Up Version:
1 pound Brussels sprouts
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if desired
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
Several grinds fresh black pepper
1 to 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
1/4 cup (1/2 ounce) freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano

Optional:
Handful or two of drained and rinsed canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

Heat the oven to 475°.

Remove any yellow or funky outer leaves on the Brussels sprouts, then trim the core ends and halve lengthwise.

In a large bowl, toss the sprouts with the olive oil, salt, and pepper until thoroughly coated. For the gussied up version, whisk together the olive oil, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper in your mixing bowl and then add the Brussels sprouts, tossing until thoroughly coated.

Arrange the sprouts cut side down and evenly spaced on a heavy duty baking sheet lined with unbleached parchment paper. If they don't cover the whole sheet, spread them around the edges for the best browning. (A couple of commercial half-size sheet pans like these are one of the best kitchen investments you can make. I've been using the heck out of some of mine for 20 years.)

Roast until the sprouts are tender and brown, about 12 to 15 minutes, depending on your oven, the size of your sprouts, and how done you like them. Start checking after about 10 minutes if you prefer that they still have a little crunch.

Place the hot roasted sprouts back in the mixing bowl, add the lemon juice, Parmesan or Romano, and garbanzo beans (if using) and toss until combined. Season to taste, adding a little more olive oil if desired, and serve.


More Farmgirl Fare vegetable side dishes:

Still hungry? You'll find links to all of my sweet and savory Less Fuss, More Flavor recipes in the Farmgirl Fare Recipe Index.

© FarmgirlFare.com, the roasty toasty foodie farm blog where some of us even eat Brussels sprouts for breakfast.

Monday Dose of Happy and Cute: Thirteen Years and She's Still Got It


That smile that makes you smile.

Happy Monday!

Want to get to know our beloved beagle baby better?
The Story of How Robin Trotted Into My Life
6/15/05:
Peek-a-Boo Beagle
7/7/05:
Sitting At the Front Yard Gate
8/9/05:
Robin's Smile Is Infectious
9/12/05:
One Hot & Happy Beagle
11/13/05:
We Have Llama Contact!
11/22/05:
From Out of the Fog, A Little Beagle Dog
11/24/05:
Year Round Thankfulness
12/10/05:
Robin Loves Deer Season

1/15/06:
Robin & Leopold
1/29/06:
She Knows Every Warm Spot on the Farm
2/19/06:
Fresh Spring Water is Better than Evian
4/30/06:
Busted Nesting in my New Garden Bed
5/14/06:
Beagle in Paradise
7/26/06:
Heading Out on Her Morning Route
8/26/06:
Robin Loves Life on the Farm
9/17/06:
Hot Dog vs. Parched Pussycat
11/20/06:
It's Monday Morning. Wake Up!
11/24/06:
Ear Flaps Up? Check.

2/24/07:
Curious & Oblivious (aka Patchy Cat & Robin)
7/17/07:
Haying Supervisor
9/13/07:
One Hardworking Beagle

5/15/08:
After Some Fluffy White Puppy Kisses
8/9/08: Puppy Love
10/5/08: Little Beagle, Large Backyard
11/3/08: A Girl's Gotta Draw the Line Somewhere

2/4/09: Three Dog Sight
3/3/09: Little Beagle, Big Snowstorm
7/4/09: The Dog Days of Haying Season
7/9/09: It's My Birthday!
8/7/09: Why I Don't Landscape the Front Yard
11/23/09: Thirteen Years and She's Still Got It
1/24/2010: Cold Backs, Warm Heart?

© 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the tri-colored foodie farm blog where she may not have much left in the way of teeth after all these years of happily gnawing on bones, but Robin still enjoyed her annual deer leg as much as ever last week (and we enjoyed some fabulous venison tenderloin for dinner last night!).

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Recipe: Old-Fashioned Pear and Apple Crisp

Easy Autumn Baking with Less Fuss, More Flavor

Does dessert get any more comforting than this?

My next recipe post was supposed to be for the quick roasted brussels sprouts I've been eating by the pound lately—and which would be perfect for Thanksgiving. But all fresh vegetable goodness aside, sometimes you just have to eat dessert first. Stay tuned for the sprouts recipe, which I'll hopefully have up in the next few days is up! In the meantime, enjoy this easy autumn treat!

I love fruit pies, but many people find them intimidating. A fresh fruit crisp, on the other hand, mixes up in no time flat and involves none of that pie crust panic.

While fruit crisp isn't health food, it's definitely better for you than sugary cereals or donuts, and makes a wonderful breakfast treat when served with an ice cold glass of milk—although some mornings definitely require a side of vanilla ice cream instead.

I've made this crisp with Bartlett and D'Anjou pears, but other varieties should work, too. You can use soft or firm ripe pears; it's up to you. Overripe pears are perfectly tasty, too, but the chunks won't hold their shape as well.

I like to use sweet apples like Gala and Fuji, but my hunky farmguy Joe prefers the tarter Granny Smiths. Use a softer apple if your pears are very soft.

Leaving some or all of the pears and apples unpeeled will give your crisp a nice rustic look, especially if the apples have some red on them.



If you prefer, you can make the topping with either just whole wheat pastry flour or just all-purpose flour. When you're assembling the crisp, it may seem like there's too much topping. There isn't, though a couple of stolen nibbles will never be missed.

If you prefer, you can make the topping with either just whole wheat pastry flour or just all-purpose flour. When you're assembling the crisp, it may seem like there's too much topping; there isn't.

Thick oats give a nuttier texture to the topping than regular old-fashioned oats, but if you can't find thick just use the regular (but not the quick) kind.

This recipe fills my 8-inch square white baking dish right up to the rim, so if the sides of yours aren't very tall, you'll want to use a 9-inch square dish instead.

As always, I urge you to seek out local and organic ingredients; they really do make a difference. Unfortunately both apples and pears are high on the Environmental Working Group's list of Most Contaminated Produce (apples are #1!), but organic options are readily available in many areas, especially this time of year. When using citrus zest, organic is the way to go.

Look for organic flours and oats in the bulk bins at natural food stores. Organic sugars, including brown sugars, are thankfully becoming mainstream, and organic butter is often on sale for the holidays; it'll keep for many months in the freezer. Local Harvest is a great source for finding all kinds of healthy food close to home.



Farmgirl Susan's Old-Fashioned Pear and Apple Crisp
Makes one 8-inch or 9-inch square crisp

**Click here to print this recipe**

Ingredients:
Topping:
1/2 cup organic all-purpose flour
1/2 cup organic whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour
1 cup light brown sugar, packed, preferably organic
1 cup thick old-fashioned (not quick) organic oats
3/4 cup (1½ sticks/6 ounces) organic butter, cut into small chunks

Filling:
2 pounds organic pears (about 4 large), peeled if desired, cored, and cut into 1-inch chunks
1¼ pounds organic apples (about 3 medium), peeled if desired, cored, and cut into 3/4" to 1" chunks
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon finely grated organic lemon zest
1 teaspoon finely grated organic orange zest
3 Tablespoons all-purpose organic flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (or 1/2 teaspoon pre-ground)

Instructions:
Heat the oven to 375°.

For the topping:
Combine the flours, brown sugar, and oats in a medium bowl. Blend in the butter using a pastry blender, two forks, or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Some larger chunks of butter are fine.

For the filling:
Place the pears and apples in a large bowl and toss with the lemon and orange juices using a large spoon. Add the lemon zest, orange zest, flour, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix well. Pour the fruit into an 8-inch or 9-inch square dish and cover evenly with the topping.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until the topping is brown and the fruit is bubbling. Serve warm or at room temperature, with scoops of vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream if desired.

This crisp will keep for 3 to 4 days in a cool pantry or the fridge. It also freezes beautifully. I've frozen one or two servings in containers (I love this Pyrex 14-piece storage set so much I bought a second one), but you could probably freeze the whole crisp; either leave it right in the pan (if it's freezer safe), or line the pan with heavy foil before baking, freeze the crisp in the pan, then lift the whole thing out of the pan in one big piece and transfer to a container or zipper freezer bag. Set it back in the pan when you defrost it.

Craving more sweet treats? Try these other Farmgirl Fare recipes:

Cookies and Bars


Muffins and Scones
Cranberry Christmas Scones (tasty any time of year)
100% Whole Grain Bran Muffins (four different flavors)

Cakes, Tarts, and More
Easy Old-Fashioned Blackberry Crisp (and life in a very small town)

Still hungry? You'll find links to all my sweet and savory Less Fuss, More Flavor recipes in the Farmgirl Fare Recipe Index.

© FarmgirlFare.com, the crustless foodie farm blog where Farmgirl Susan shares recipes, stories, and photos from her crazy country life on 240 remote Missouri acres—and crisp, crumble, and cobbler are some of our favorite words in the English language.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday Dose of Cute—And Heartbreak:
Rest in Peace, Little Donkey


Dolores and Her Baby Girl, About One Hour Old (previously posted photos here)







She's gone.

At first I thought she'd just caught a chill and then had become weak from not nursing for a couple of hours, but there was something else wrong. Something not working right in her complicated and miraculous little newborn system.

We thought Dolores had miscarried last winter because we found a large patch of blood in the snow by the barn and blood on her legs, and we were thrilled when she became so big it was obvious she was pregnant. But she could have been carrying twins and lost one. Twins in equines are almost never a good thing. The remaining fetus would have been weakend, and possibly harmed by residues that weren't flushed out during the miscarriage.

I saw Dolores pawing at her newborn baby, urging her to stand up. I've seen ewes do this before to their lambs. She meant well—and there was nothing I could do to stop her—but Dolores probably weighs 800 pounds. At one point, she put enough weight on the baby's side that I heard an audible expulsion of air. That can't have been good.

Or it could have been something else entirely.

Monday afternoon, in desperation, I tossed a bucket of treats onto the grass to distract Dolores (who is fiercely protective and could easily kill me with a single swift kick), hoisted up the baby, and carried her across the front field and up to the barn.






I then proceeded to do everything I could to save her. We spent the last five hours on the beat up old hardwood floor in the living room, next the the blazing woodstove, with Robin, Mr. Midnight, and Molly Doodlebug rallying nearby. Actually, Mr. Midnight, as cats are wont to do, kept trying to climb onto her soft, toasty body, but he finally settled for curling up on the other half of the pillow tucked under my butt.

When it became clear that nothing I could do was going to keep her from dying, I refused to simply abandon her. I wanted her to know she wasn't alone, and that during her short time here she was loved. I rested her head on my outsretched leg, folded my other leg protectively over her body, and proceeded to rub my hands gently across that oh-so-soft fur until she drifted into sleep and eventually took her last breath.

Her heart continued to beat. And then I felt mine break.

I'm no stranger to death here on the farm, and losing an animal is never easy, but losing this little donkey hurt more than most.

While we were sitting there together on the living room floor, I named her Flitta, because she flitted in and out of our lives. And also because it sounds sort of like an abbrieviation for The Flame Trees of Thika, a beloved book I've read numerous times.



When things are going badly on the farm, I often venture back to Kenya in the early 1900s, through Elspeth Huxley's Thika books about her childhood there, or by watching my all time favorite movie, Out of Africa, yet again. These women lived in a strange and beautiful and sometimes dangerous place, and the tales of their often difficult adventures always put mine into a comforting perspective.

I choose to live on this farm in the middle of nowhere, thousands of miles from where I grew up. I choose to surround myself with dozens of animals who depend on me and often become very close to my heart. The high points soar straight to the heavens. The low ones can reach down to the depths of your soul.

It's been a rough several days. Our sweet Zelda became ill on Friday and died on Saturday afternoon. Not long after we'd started naming all our new animals alphabetically according to the year they were born or arrived on the farm (last year were the 'E' names, this year are the 'F' names), I pointed to a ewe and said to Joe, "This pre-alphabet sheep needs a name."

"Zelda!"

"Zelda?"

"I doubt we'll make it to the 'Z' names," he said, "and if we do, she'll already be dead by then." It suited her perfectly. Zelda's death was unexpected, but at seven years old it was understandable. Chip and Chip, at 13, are considered pretty ancient by sheep standards.


About 3 Hours Old







Then of course came Flitta. Today is the first time it hasn't been raining or drizzling since Sunday. Joe has been out of town during all this, so I've been dealing with everything on my own.

Before Donkey Doodle Dandy unexpectedly came into our lives several years ago, I'd never had any experience with donkeys—let alone pictured myself owning one. Now we have a herd of six, and I can't imagine not being surrounded by these intelligent, entertaining, and very companionable animals.

My muscles ache, my heart is broken, and my darling little donkey girl is gone. Tears are streaming down my face as I type this, and I still wake up with a heavy thud of sadness. But despite the tragic ending, I'm still very grateful I was there for her beginning. That precious, amazing experience can never be taken away.



Want a bigger farm life experience?
6/3/05:
An Unexpected Beginning (my very first blog post)
6/8/05:
That Outfit Could Kill You
6/27/05:
Chocolate Chip Sheep & Chocolate Chip Cookies
7/31/05:
When? Soon (Living on Country Time)
8/10/05:
Whoa! Farm Visitors

4/12/06:
Hearts and Rocks and Numbers and Thoughts
4/13/06:
Shepherd's Nightmare
5/14/06:
A Tiny Tail for Mother's Day (the story of baby Cary)
6/15/06:
How to Ensure a Happy Haying Crew
7/21/06:
And Sheeeeeeee's SAFE!
7/18/06:
The Tail of a Donkey and His Ratty Blue Halter
9/1/06:
Happy Hour in the Garden

1/19/07:
Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Life is but a Stream
1/31/07:
Sheep Shearing Early for a Change
2/3/07:
Snowstorms and Sheep Shearing
5/13/07:
The Tail of Two Mothers—A Mother's Day Story from the Farm
6/7/07: Farewell, New Cat
7/28/07:
(It Only Looks Like) A Picture Perfect Walk in the Woods

2/3/08:
Handyman Special
3/10/08:
Broccoli Soup & Recharging Your Dead Batteries (Because Setting Them on Fire Isn't an Option)
3/13/08:
Cary, No Baby
3/19/08:
Flood Watch
4/20/08: Chick Days Are Here Again!
4/27/08:
A Big Sunday Feast and a Mysterious Little Owl
9/18/08:
Putting Up Hay and Losing Electricity
9/24/08:
The Higher and Higher Cost of Farming
11/23/08:
Heat Cheat

1/1/09: Happy Happy, New New
1/27/09: The Stuff of Farm Life—Losing Lambs and Lottie
5/6/09:
Baby Cary is Three Years Old Today!
7/1/09:
A Day in the Hay
9/19/09: Bye Bye Sheep Barn! (new barn photos coming soon—no, really!)
10/9/09: A Book, Building, and Bread Bakery Update

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

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the grieving (yet hopeful) foodie farm blog where it takes 12 months to make a baby donkey—and only a second to lose your heart to one.

Thursday Farm Photo: Misty Morning Light


Shining on a Brand New Day (& Silly & her Darling Daughter) — Stop and Breathe It In

It's beautiful outside! I'm finishing up a long farm story post that will hopefully be posted tonight, but in the meantime I thought I'd share a glimpse of our morning in case you could use some peaceful scenery.

I've been out checking on the critters, soaking up the sun, surveying the grass situation in the front field (not bad for this time of year, though nothing like it was in June of course), unloading the several hundred pounds of sheep and donkey treats I picked up yesterday in town, watching a high-flying gaggle of geese heading south for the winter (one of the neatest things about living here), and even doing little impromptu donkey manure spreading in the kitchen garden. (And you thought we just kept the donkeys around for their entertainment value.)

I don't know about you, but this kind of light always feels rejuvenating to me. It's so invigorating and full of hope—like anything you might possibly dream up can happen.

Want to see more misty mornings?
7/6/05: Misty Morning Sunrise
8/3/05:
Breakfast Under The Mist
8/10/05:
View Through The Dew
8/26/05:
These Misty Summer Mornings Feel So Peaceful
9/25/05:
I Can't Resist These Pink Sunrises
10/11/05:
Sheep Into The Mist
11/22/05:
From Out Of The Fog, A Little Beagle Dog
11/26/05:
October & November Same Scene, New View

2/19/06: Five Seasonal Views of the Haybarn
3/12/06:
Misty Morning Rose Lamb
5/13/06: Morning Mist Rising off the Wet Weather Creek
5/25/06:
Donkey In The Mist
5/29/06: Sun Hits Morning Mist
8/16/06:
Misty Morning Peace - Stop & Breathe It In
11/23/06:
Thankful To Call This Place Home

1/1/07:
Two Trees Dancing Under The Morning Mist
12/13/07:
Slow Traffic Ahead
12/14/07:
Good Next Door Neighbors

4/8/08: A Fresh New Day
8/17/08: Quiet for Breakfast
12/11/08: My Favorite View, No Matter What the Season

8/23/09: Morning Peace (I love this series)

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the rubber boot stylin' foodie farm blog where four days of non-stop rain and drizzle makes this dose of late autumn sunshine especially nice to see. Dry, mud! Dry!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday Extreme Dose of Cute:
Welcome to the Farm, Little Donkey!

Just Before Noon Today, Not Long After Being Born

































Congratulations, Big Dolores! As you can see, it's been a very exciting day here on the farm. I was so thrilled to be able to witness this newborn donkey's first few. . . well, firsts—first moments of life, first time standing on those wobbly legs (Dolores literally helped and held the baby up), first drink of milk, first wiggling of the ears (they're so long!), first touch of human hands. Amazing.

I'll share more photos soon. I've already taken dozens, despite having to make a mad quarter-mile dash from the front field back to The Shack to replace the batteries that died after the first few newborn shots. It took a while before I could tear myself away (I didn't want to miss a minute!), and for once wished I'd driven out there instead of walked.

In the meantime, mother and baby are both doing fine—and have been fiercely guarded all afternoon by our hardworking, baby loving Great Pyrenees, Crazy Daisy. But the best news of all? I'm 99% sure our new arrival is a girl—which means I get to keep her. I love her dark coloring. And she already let me pet her and hug her and snuggle her all over (while mom was busy burying her head in a much deserved bucket of treats).

Life is good.

Can't wait for more? Get a fix with these past pics:
Fernando (born 7/09)
Evie (born 7/08)
Esmeralda (born 7/08)
Dinky (born 7/07)

© 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the newborn foodie farm blog where you know I'm already thinking about F names. . . Felicity? Frances? Faye? Fanny? (I love that name, and my sweet Doll Face—who was born during my very first lambing season and whose real name was actually Fanny—just died this past winter at the ripe old age of 13). I guess we'll have to wait and get to know this dark beauty a little better before we make a decision—and after we confirm it is indeed a girl (they really tuck their baby tails in tight!).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thursday Farm Photo: Looking Up


And Witnessing That Small but Mighty Staying Power Once Again

Want Another Piece of Sky?
8/6/05: Late Night Gratitude
9/2/05: The Work May Be Hard, but the Views Can Be Great
11/1/05: Good Morning
11/21/05: Seeing the Moon on a Sunny Day
3/2/06: A Brief Distraction from All the Cuteness
8/11/06: Tweet
8/21/06: Dreaming Up a Rainstorm
9/5/06: Another Beautifully Distracting Sky
9/12/06: A Peach of a Sunrise
9/23/06: Last Night of Summer Spectacular Show
10/24/06: There's that Distracting Sky Again
11/9/06: Big Sky
6/30/07: Stormy Weather on My Mind—But Not on My Farm
8/16/09: On a Sunny Afternoon

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the craning your neck foodie farm blog where one of the best things about living miles from anyone is looking up on a clear, dark night—and last night at about 1:00 when I was crunching my way through the frosty grass in the front field to check on Dolores after a very long day off the farm (still no baby donkey news yet!) it truly looked as if there were more stars up there than sky. Amazing.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Sunday Dose of Cute: Hello Girls!


Lined Up and Looking Fine

Want to see more sheep shots?
Sheep Stories & Photos
More Sheep Photos
And Yet a Few More Sheep Photos
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

Farm Stories & Farm Life Tidbits

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the never content for long foodie farm blog where no matter what pasture the sheep are in or how incredibly tasty the grass is, eventually they always want to be on the other side of the fence—and if you look closely in this photo you'll see one of our wooly little sweethearts showing some autumn style with a dead leaf decoratively stuck to its rump.