Tuesday, May 26

Recipe: Easy Orange Yogurt Cake and Growing Strawberries

A simple, classic orange cake that tastes great with strawberries (recipe here).

One of the nice things about living in a very sparsely populated rural area is that when the first local strawberries of the season arrive at the only store in town, the owner is likely to personally call and give you a heads up because he remembers that you bought something like 20 quarts of strawberries last year and are a sucker for rarely available local fruit.

"One of the Amish down the road just brought in 40 quarts of strawberries that he picked this morning and needs to sell today because he can't sell on Sundays. Do you want some?" When he said they were grown by one of the two brothers who built our new sheep barn and hay barn a few years ago, and who I know gardens organically, I was sold.

More story below. . .

Sunday, May 10

Looking Back: A Tiny Tail for Mother's Day

Baby Cary in the greenhouse on May 19, 2006, age two weeks.

Once upon a time I had a little lamb. Her name was Cary, and she followed me wherever I went.

This is my twenty-first year living with sheep, and those few months back in the spring and summer of 2006 were definitely the sweetest and most special for me (and for the Nanny Bear).

If you'd like to read (or reread) our story, written on Mother's Day a week after little Cary was born, you'll find A Tiny Tail here.

Baby Cary and the Nanny Bear in the kitchen garden on May 27, 2006.

A very Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there!

Other Mother's Days:
5/12/07: Just in Time for Mother's Day. . .
5/11/08: Mother To Be
5/11/08: Newborn Bliss
5/8/12: Green Grass, Hungry Twins
5/13/12: Chomp, Chomp
5/12/13: Happy Mothers, Lots of Lambs
5/11/14: Lokey and Her 11 Baby Chicks

Cary and the Nanny Bear in the front field on September 4, 2006.

P.S. Cary is doing just fine, and at age nine, she is now one of the oldest members of our flock. (My big pet wether, Teddy, at 11, is currently the oldest sheep on the farm, and my first two pet wethers, Chip and Chip, who lived to be 13 and 15, hold the all-time farm record.)

I decided not to breed Cary again after that first traumatic experience, but she is still an important member of the group. I've noticed lately that she seems to be the new head ewe—at least where decisions regarding eating are concerned.

P.P.S. The Tail of Two Mothers, my other favorite Mother's Day story from the farm.

© FarmgirlFare.com, where there can never be too many mothers (or too much cute).

Tuesday, May 5

Tuesday Dose of Cute: Marta Beast

Living up to her name.

It's hard to believe it's already been over six months since the last time we spent several hours shearing our beloved guard dog Marta—until you look at her. It's time to get some more doggy downers from the vet and do it again before she gets more matted and the job gets even more difficult.

She actually wouldn't look too bad if she would just stay away from all those dirt pits, mud puddles, and manure piles she loves to roll around in, but where's the fun in that?

We used to haul her to the groomer 40 miles away (which was an adventure in itself) for a yearly spring spa day cut, but the last time it took them over five hours and cost a small fortune—and they didn't seem real excited about ever seeing her again—so we bought a set of professional clippers (which cost much less than the visit to the groomer), asked the vet for some drugs to knock her out (the growling makes Joe nervous), and started doing it ourselves.

More Marta photos and story below. . .