More animals

Remember when I said we were all done adding animals?

Well, apparently I lied.

I found this yesterday afternoon.
 You know, I'm never quite sure that the stuff we do will work. Apparently we have gotten down the hatching our own business.  We've done the incubator (even this year), but I have decided I much prefer a broody hen.  These are the ones born almost 2 weeks ago. They are already integrated into the flock, their mama as their protector.  They are super friendly and love to be held. Mama lets us with no troubles.

The ones above are the 'older' ones. This one below isn't quite a day old yet.

It's much, much, much easier having a broody. Some of these below are incubator chicks, so we have them in a separate pen.  I think I'm done with the incubator. It's nice having everyone all together.
So, as of bedtime, there were 5 baby chicks peeping in this nesting box. It may not be the final count. We shall see tomorrow.    All together, I have 78 mouths to feed at current count (including all animals and people on this homestead). That's a lot.  And now, I'm done adding animals. (I think.)


If you haven't noticed already, it's just a part of me to always have a table cleared off and topped with fresh flowers.

 I always feel our place is a home with a clear table, a bouquet and transferware. I also love to tuck them into random nooks. I just about always have 2 vases, at minimum.

 Gathering the bouquets is something that I frequently do with my littles.  You know what's neat?  This guy has been noticing when they need to be freshened up.  He is the one who lets me know we need new flowers. He often picks some to display for me.  He always compliments my fresh bouquets.

I just love that my hobby has become something he loves too. How special is that?!

Too hot.

I'm without doubt not a fan of heat.  I don't think I could function living any further south. It's so much harder for me to get the drive to get things done. And so, it's well after dark when the temperature cools when I finally get moving. Two loaves of pumpkin bread tonight and a frittata both out of the oven.  The pumpkin bread made with our own pumpkin, own eggs, own pears. The frittata our own milk, own eggs, own veggies, own herbs. And then I just snapped 10 pounds of beans.  It's nearly midnight when I sit down to blog and I have to get up at 5:30am tomorrow to milk.  Sometimes I wonder what my husband frequently wonders: "What ARE you doing?" And "WHY?"

But, my family eats homemade/homegrown. I'm sitting on our screen porch listening to the crickets as I blog. My boots will get 'washed' on the way to the barn tomorrow morning as I step through the dew.  The first conversations I have will be first with our beloved dog, Kammie and then with Ophelia, our milk cow.  The kiddos will join me in the barn as they awake.  I'll eat my breakfast, already feeling like I accomplished something for the day.

It's certainly a lot of work, even more so this time of year. But the work tends to lead to little snippets of joy that I may not have experience had I purchased our goods at the grocery store. And I get to smile when my kids say "Mmm, this is so good!" 

And the good part of the heat?  We get to stop and relax for homemade popsicles midday.  That's something special that we don't do year round.

He Cooks

Recently, Adrian said to me, "Mama, can I go fill a bowl up for dinner?"  What he meant was he wanted to gather a medley of finds from the garden to concoct into a dinner masterpiece. 

Certainly, by all means. Go ahead.

He collected this:

And the two of us made this:
 I have no idea what it was. Summer squash, kale, herbs, white beans, homemade cream of mushroom soup (I store that in the freezer for quick meal starters), rice, our own broth and our own milk.

You was really really delicious.  Who would have thought of that combo?  I guess Adrian.

He also wanted to pick some flowers.
 PLus he helped make the bread.
 Voila. A meal. Made (mostly) by a four year old.  He's really the best chopper out there.
 He was so proud, he kept wanting his picture taken. He never wants his picture taken.

 His dad said he thought this was the best soup ever.  And you know what? I don't think he was just being nice. It really was fabulous.  Thankful for our little garden to table chef.

Flea Market Love

I fondly remember the days I'd venture to the Brimfield Flea Market. Certainly a trek from our home in Maine, but we'd meet my uncle and we'd all head there together.  I'd browse, search, ponder....and sure enough head home with stuff, stuff and more stuff.

It's too long of a day for my littles to head to Brimfield, but we can at least pop into smaller/local flea markets.  There's still a lot of love there.

Our loot:

A four dollar big metal tub. The wooden tool box.  Vintage toys. Wool, lots of wool.

 There's yards of wool here. You know how expensive that is? Wicked expensive.

Pretty proud of myself. I found all the stuff I loved and asked her "Would you take $15 for this?"  It was a lot less than if I had tallied the price that she tagged.  I'm trying not to be scared to ask. Getting better at asking, which is good, as she agreed.

And look at these vintage toys.
 Adrian always loves 'rusty old'. He'd much rather go to the flea market for toys than a department store. That makes my heart soar!  She just loves tiny tiny, no matter where you get it. A quarter a piece makes me happy. 

Who knows what this rusty bin was for, but I say it's good for keeping children. Not bad for $4.00


 I was pretty stoked to find the tool box. It's because I've already started a wooden tool box collection.  This is round 3 of them.  $2.00 for the last one I bought. The cost of all  was $5.50.
 I filled them with the garden necessities (thanks for grammy and grampy for the shoves, glaves and the like).  One box for me and each of my littles.
I'd say they approve.

Mama Made: Tiny Elephant

She likes tiny tiny. So I made a miniature Elephant.
Pattern was from one of the books I picked up at the thrift store.

 She loved it.
 But he claimed it. The never ending battle of being the younger sibling...

Raspberry Crumb Cake

I was trying to use up our own raspberries and tried this recipe. It was so so good.  So good that I made it 3x.  It felt pretty cool to make this with our own milk, our own eggs and our own raspberries too. The recipe adapted from here.

Raspberry Crumb Cake

For the crumb topping:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
For the cake:  
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt or buttermilk (Tried all 3. I think I liked the buttermilk best).
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 10-inch round springform pan.

To make the crumb topping, in a small bowl, stir together the flour, granulated sugar and lemon zest. Add the melted butter and stir with a fork until the mixture is crumbly. Set aside.

To make the cake, in a bowl, stir together the eggs, sugar, sour cream, vanilla.  Add baking powder, baking soda, flour. Beat.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Cover evenly with the raspberries. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the berries.

Bake until the topping is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 38 to 42 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Remove the sides of the springform pan.

My kids were mighty excited to dig in too.

Missing a certain someone...

I love it best when this house is filled with little feet.  We're missing a special someone.  He's looking forward to returning next year, which we're looking forward to having him again. In fact, he has declared when he is old enough to choose where he will live, he's going to choose to live with us.  Those feet won't be little anymore by the time that happens! 

Farm on.

Thank you so much for your kind words in welcoming our mama and calf. I understand that you might like to hear a little be more about them. 


The tractor, baler and wagon are all hitched up. Right now, the green wagon is full of hay.

 So you unhitch the full wagon.
 Unhitch the empty wagon from the farm truck.
 Then switch the wagons.
 There. Now the empty one is ready to be filled up and the full one is headed back to the barn.
Got it?  Good.

Because now it's time to do it in real life.

 (Can you see who is next to the driver in the cab?)

 And jump.
That job may be done, but there's another in urgent need of attention. A job with many steps and close attention to detail. Onto the next task...

It's not us who is in charge of the haying, but the bigger farm operation seems to parallel our little farm life. So much to do in not enough time. The changes as of late are sort of like having a newborn with no maternity leave from work.  A hired hand would be useful.
Such is the summer season and the season of new beginnings.  There will be a time when things settle a bit. We'll get used to our new rhythm and be able to really think about and hopefully write about the lifestyle we keep embracing deeper. 

I can assure you now though, although the decisions we made have challenged us, the rewards, satisfaction and appreciation run deeper.  The plan? To farm on.


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