Friday, March 30

Tail End of the Week: Get Your Friday Farm Fix #3

Welcome to the Friday Farm Fix, a new series on Farmgirl Fare where I share a random sampling of what's been happening around the farm during the past week. Just joining us? You'll find all the Friday Farm Fix posts here.

3-30-12 Friday Farm Fix 1 -

Lots more photos below. . .

Saturday, March 24

Saturday Dose of Cute: Laundry Shadows (and The Whole Picture)

Laundry line shadows 1 -

The luxury of having an outdoor laundry line is something I never take for granted. Some farmgirls probably wake up in the morning, look outside, see that it's fair and breezy and think, "Today would be a great day to plant some daffodils or maybe go for a horseback ride." I start figuring out what I want to wash and hang up in the sun.

We use our laundry line all year round, and although we do own an old clothes dryer that runs on propane, it's still living over in The Shack (where we no longer have propane). The only thing I use it for is softening up clothes and sheets on air fluff, because it's down to just one heat setting: shrink.

Since there's a limit to how many pairs of socks and underwear even we can rationalize owning, the weather sometimes forces us to dry the laundry indoors, and then we use these awesome expandable folding racks.

After going through numerous wooden clothes drying racks over the years, which look quaint but aren't very sturdy, I finally tried this metal version, and it worked out so well we bought two more. Each one provides nearly 24 feet of drying space, and I can even drape big heavy quilts over them. They also make cozy little cat seats.

More below. . .

Friday, March 23

Tail End of the Week: Get Your Friday Farm Fix #2

Welcome to the Friday Farm Fix, a new series on Farmgirl Fare where I share a random sampling of what's been happening around the farm during the past week. Just joining us? You'll find all the Friday Farm Fix posts here.

3-23-12 Friday Farm Fix 1 -
Twelve year old (!) Whitey the Chicken enjoyed a brief foray into the great outdoors this week. She hasn't ventured back out since, (and neither have the three much younger hens in her coop), but the newly named Rooster Andy has been strutting all over the place.

Lots more photos below. . .

Wednesday, March 21

Wednesday Dose of Cute: Daisy Jump!

Airborne Daisy -
Good girl.

More Crazy Daisy? Here.
More farm dog photos? Here and here.

©, cute and graceful.

Tuesday, March 20

Tuesday Dose of Cute: Spring Has Sprung!

Mr. Midnight under the flowering quince -
In all its blooming glory.

More Mr. Midnight? Here.
More about this flowering quince? Here.

©, where our mild winter and several week long warm spell (in the 70s again today) seems to have pushed everything at least two or three weeks ahead of schedule. The quince bush doesn't usually flower until April, and the daffodils have already finished blooming. The Easter tulip buds started popping up days ago. It's pretty, but kind of weird.

Monday, March 19

Monday Night Dose of Cute: Friendly and Her Triplets

Friendly and her thirsty triplets -

©, where this awesome first time mother is seeing more than double—and is also a little exhausted.

Saturday, March 17

Saturday Farm Photo: Things Are Greening Up

the hayfield on St. Patrick's Day morning -
Looking out across the hayfield this morning (this is part of what we see out the kitchen and bedroom windows of the new house - it's beautiful year round).

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

More hayfield photos? Here.
More farm landscapes? Here.

©, living green and looking green—and getting ready to pay a little tribute to my Irish heritage. Cheers!

Friday, March 16

Tail End of the Week: Get Your Friday Farm Fix #1

this week's Friday farm fix 1 -

Welcome to a brand new series on Farmgirl Fare! I carry my beloved camera with me everywhere around the farm, often snapping hundreds of photos a week. For various reasons, most of them you never end up seeing (often because I want to tell you the story behind them but don't have enough time), including some that I really love.

Last year I had a brilliant idea; I would start doing a Tail End of the Month post, full of various favorite previously unposted photos taken each month. Unfortunately that plan turned out to be overwhelming before it even started, especially because I kept forgetting about it until the last day of each month.

But sorting through just a week's worth of photos and sharing them on Friday? That I should be able to handle. The number of photos in each post will vary, but so much has been going on this week I had trouble narrowing it down to 14 images for today's edition—and there still aren't any donkeys.

When I told Joe about my idea this morning, he thought it sounded great—both for you and for us. You'll get a better idea of what goes on around the farm each week, and we'll have a better record of what we've been doing. "And," he said, "it'll give your readers a farm fix before the weekend."

So welcome to the first Friday Farm Fix—which will hopefully be appearing each Friday! I think it's going to be a lot of fun. If you have questions about any of the photos, I'll do my best to answer them in the comments section (where you can now reply directly to individual comments!). As always, your feedback is welcome and greatly appreciated.

Lots more photos below. . .

Thursday, March 15

Recipe: Easy Roasted Onion, Potato, and Cabbage Soup (or Side Dish)

Roasted Onion, Potato, and Cabbage Soup 1
Cool weather comfort food, garnished with a sprinkling of kitchen garden chives.

It was sunny and a strangely humid 84 degrees on the farm yesterday, but I'm hoping that was just a fluke and cozy soup season will soon return because I've been craving this easy Roasted Onion, Potato, and Cabbage Soup. Inspired by my favorite Roasted Leek and Potato Soup with Arugula, it's thick, rich, and flavorful, yet low fat and full of healthy goodness.

The roasted potatoes, onions, garlic, and cabbage also make for a tasty side dish on their own—perfect for St. Patrick's Day. Enjoy!

Can't survive on soup alone? You'll find links to all my sweet and savory Less Fuss, More Flavor recipes in the Farmgirl Fare Recipe Index.

©, roasty toasty to the mosty.

Sunday, March 11

Sunday Farm Photo: Donkey Spread

Donkeys in the front field -
Donkeyland's winter location is in the front field. (Because Donkeyland isn't a place, it's a state of mind—and donkeys.)

Current lamb count: 30 (five more ewes to go!). Current donkey count: holding steady at 7. Number of donkettes who look as though they might be pregnant, despite having all three donkey boys de-jacked last summer: 1 (surprise!).

More donkeys? Here and here.
More farm landscapes? Here.

©, where the backlog of recipes and farm stories I've been meaning to share is really piling up—and includes several mostly finished paragraphs along with about 30 photos from Operation Donkey Boys (nothing graphic!), which were simply forgotten about months ago (along with so many other things). Maybe after lambing season we can get back to those neglected longears—and some favorite cold weather recipes before the cold weather is over again. How can it already be the 11th of March?

Friday, March 9

Friday Dose of Cute: Taken Today, Version Two

Friday random lamb photos 1 -
(Click here for version one)

Lots more photos and a lamb report below. . .

Wednesday, March 7

Visit To a Friend's Farm: This Little Piggy

Makin' bacon at a friend's farm 1 -

Not too long ago, nearly everyone around here raised up at least one or two butcher hogs each year for their own table. There used to be plenty of local hog farmers around as well, so inexpensive young feeder pigs were easy to come by.

Hogs grow fairly quickly, don't require a lot of acreage, and provide plenty of meat. They'll also eat all sorts of kitchen and garden scraps. The locally raised butcher hog we had custom processed last December weighed 260 pounds and dressed out at 185 pounds. Just like with our grass-fed lamb, the amount of meat you take home is a little less and depends on the cuts you choose.

That's a lot of bacon—and ham and chops and sausage and hocks and pork steaks. We had an amazingly flavorful pork roast for dinner a few nights ago, seasoned with nothing but salt and pepper. The bacon, which we have smoked but not cured—so as to avoid adding nitrates—makes the best BLTs.

More below. . .

Monday, March 5

Monday Dose of Cute: Farmgirl Fare on Facebook and Pinterest

Daisy inspecting one of Estelle's twin lambs -

Farmgirl Fare on Facebook
Farmgirl Fare on Pinterest

See you there!

©, where the Quick and Easy Raspberry Almond Bars just came out of the oven (a surprise treat, along with a couple of freshly baked loaves of homemade sandwich bread, for a sheep expert friend who helped save the day—and a sheep—this morning), so now it's time to head back down to the barn and connect with some cute. Baaaa!

Sunday, March 4

Saturday, March 3

Saturday Dose of Cute: Finding Happiness on the Farm

Little sheep wrangler 1 -
My favorite little cowboy

BlogHer, my publishing network, has asked me to answer another question as part of its year-long Life Well Lived program, this time about Getting Happy:

How do you teach the children in your life happiness?

My first thought was that I should probably ask for a different question, since my experience with children is practically zilch. But then I started thinking about the kids who have visited the farm, and I realized that maybe I have helped teach them something:

That there is beauty and joy to be found everywhere in nature.

More below. . .

Thursday, March 1