Becky's Farm Life

The simple life, living off God's land, one day at a time.

Just Tommy and I this Weekend & Farm Update

Shawn and Cindy came and got  TommieLynn for the weekend, Friday night.  TommieLynn was overly happy to spend the weekend with her brother. Thank you Shawn and Cindy.  Tasha went to Carl’s for most of the weekend. So it was just Tommy and I. Oh, what a treat. It has been many years since we have had a weekend alone together.

I took him out to eat Saturday night to his favorite restaurant to get his favorite meal.  The restaurant had 4 men walking around singing to those of us eating. The restaurant had candles and flowers on the table.  It was a wonderful evening, which we both really enjoyed. Thank you Lord, for blessing our evening and time together.  I did have to give Tommy a dose of morphine while we were there but he said he had a great time with a smile.  When we got home he did put on his oxygen and rested with a full belly and a smile in his face.  His smile on his  face so very much blessed me.  I have found that the smaller things bless my heart so much more now than ever before.  Thank you Lord again for a wonderful evening.

It is now time to cut down my chickens. We have 25+ chickens. And their feed bill is getting to high. People are no longer buying eggs. So I am giving away 2-3 flats of eggs a week. Don’t get me wrong, I do not mind giving eggs away, but their feed bill is about $30 a week. We  no longer eat a lot of eggs a week, maybe 1-2 dozen.  So we are down sizing the chickens. More than like, we will give the extra chickens away, to those who need them for food. Tommy is no longer able to butcher them,   and I just can’t bring myself to do it. Now I could if I had too, but right now I don’t have too.  Thank you Lord . So we will get the chickens down to 8-12 hens and a rooster, that way we will still be able to bless others with some eggs without over spending on feed.  The beef cow is getting fatter, and will go into the freezer hopeful by late spring/ early summer. And then all the pasture fences will come down.

Looking to spring:  We will not have the big garden down in the field this year. The strawberry & tomato patch (were I have many raised beds and is fenced in) will be used again this year. And I have to fence in an area for potatoes and some corn, up closer to the house but away from the strawberry patch. So I have been scouting the yard for the right place to put it. It will not be real big as there is only 4 of us now.  I will only plant 50 lbs. of potatoes instead of 200 lbs. We love potatoes.  Our potatoes did  not do very well last year, maybe  a new spot will help.  I have really missed our potatoes this winter.  And just enough corn to eat fresh and  a little to freeze, not 8 rows 150 ft. long.   All other veg’s will go into the raised beds. So this will be our first year with a small garden. 

The only seeds/plants  I have to buy this spring  are: potatoes, tomatoes, onions sets. I have enough seeds for the other things we grow for about 3 years. Which is a great blessing. We were blessed last year with a really big box of  seed packets: veg’s. , flowers, herbs seeds. Yes, not all of them will come up due to being last years seeds, but more than 80% will. So I just replant seeds that don’t come up, and have done so for years. Every fall when our feed store marks that years seeds to half price, I buy the seeds I  need to   plant the following  spring.  I save money on seeds.  As the seeds get older the percentage of the ones that will come up goes down some. I have planted some seeds that were over 3 years old, and had a good crop.

As the girls and I will be doing all the yard work this year, I am looking for ways to cut back on as much as I can. One things I am going to do to cut down on weed eating is: put straw/mulch/hay around things and places that usually need to be weed eat-ed. I can get all the straw and hay from our feed store  for free:  I pick up the broken bales off the ground, there is always a lot.  TommieLynn has been begging to use the push mower, oh little does she know what she’s asking for.  She starts this year, we’ll see now long she’ll want to mow. 

We have friends coming in this coming weekend, Scott and Ann. Then the following week, Tommy’s sister, Linda, is coming for a visit. He has not seen her in 6+ years. They both are really looking forward to this visit.

Well I am going to finish enjoying my quiet weekend. Hope you all have a great week.

Becky

Advertisements

February 15, 2009 Posted by | blessings, creativity, eggs, family, farm life, farming, garden, ideas, making do, saving money, update | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chickens Tips & Saving Money

Hint on Chickens:

If you want them to lay in the (all) winter, put a 40-60 watt light bulb in their house, and it needs to be on 14 hrs a day, or the chicken will stop laying as daylight lessen. I know this works because I have done it for years, and I’m one of the few in my area that has eggs in the winter. We put our chicken light on a timer, the ones you can hook to lamps in your house, and it works great. With the amount of power the light uses is still cheaper than buying yucky store eggs.

 

Saving Money:

Hot water heaters: we flip the braker off at bed time, so as it does not heat water all night, when no one is using it. And at times I flip it off during the day. In the morning, the water is still warm just not hot. They make a heavy duty timer (like above for the hot water heater), which we hope to some day get. But flipping the braker did make a difference in our power bill.

Have a great day.
Becky

Technorati Tags: ,,,

 

September 25, 2008 Posted by | eggs, ideas, saving money, winter | , , , | 3 Comments

Another week on the Farm – Winter is Coming Fast

I have stayed busy. Tommy has had a bad week but thank God, I think he’s getting better.  I have canned more potatoes, froze more milk and cream and eggs, and made a big batch of mozzarella cheese for the freezer. The mozzarella cheese photos and recipe, I will post in a few days.

I have 3 lbs. of  onion sets that need to be planted. I could not get any this past spring. So hopefully they will have enough time to grow this fall. I have never grown onions in  the fall, so this is my something new this year. We eat a lot of them. And two weeks ago at the store they were $2.?? for 3 lbs., used to be less than a dollar.

I am at the point were I hate, hate going to the store (any store). The prices on everything are up to unbelievable. Enough to make all sick. Thank God for my food barn, milk cow and chickens. I know a lot of you don’t have these things, and I am racking my brain on tips and hints for you. For right now, my tips are buy very wisely and learn to cook from scratch. I’ll be posting some easy from scratch recipes soon.

The chicken are slowly slowing down on their eggs. But I’m freezing a lot too.  The  milk cow is down to 3 gallons a day, and should keep going down now.  We have a cow in the freezer. Chickens to kill this fall when it cools off more.

Winter is on the way. And I’m almost ready, or should I say as ready as I can get. This summer has flown by. There are leaves all over the ground here. At times, I would love to put a hold on the winter coming, Saying I need a little more time to get ready. But the good Lord knows what’s He’s going, so I pray I’m putting up enough for the winter. And if not, He’ll find a way to supply what we need, not want.  I have felt like the ants in the Bible, more this year than ever before. And we have lived like this for years.  Does anyone else feel like the ants this year??  I feel we all are in for the longest, hardest winter world wide.

I would like to thank everyone for all your comments and your prayers. These blogs have been such a blessing to me in more than one way. To be honest, I didn’t think I would be able to help any one. But the overwhelming numbers are unbelievable. The canning potatoes post has reached  497 hits.  Are there any potatoes left out there?  Thank you all again.  I am just here to help you all any way I can.  There are so many people looking for ways to make it through all this mess. And my heart goes out to you all. I wish I could give you all a big hug.

Well it’s time to start another day. May God bless you all to overflowing today.

Becky

 

September 12, 2008 Posted by | Canning, eggs, Food prices, food storage, freezing, homemade cheese, making do, self sufficiency, Tommy, winter | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Freezing Eggs -Farm fresh and Store bought-with photos

Freezing Eggs
You crack say 2 -3 eggs into a bowl, add 1/4 tsp. of sugar or salt ( use sugar or salt depending on what the eggs will be used for), just pop the yolk, and pour into a freezer bag. label your bag sugar or salt and how many eggs inside. Check your most used recipes to find the number of eggs you use the most. I use 6 eggs in ice cream with 1/2 tsp of sugar. Eggs to eat, I pack in 3’s with 1/4 tsp salt. Eggs for cakes add sugar to eggs. The only thing you can’t do with these eggs is have them fried. I have found they last 6 -12 months in the freezer. The older they get, its best to use them in recipes than to eat plain. A lot of people don’t know you can freeze eggs.  After the first year here of home grown eggs, the store bought eggs didn’t taste so good any more. So I found a way to keep us in eggs when the hens slow down. This does work with store eggs, too. Date your bags and always use the oldest first. 

 IMG_0021

I remembered I had all these Tupperware hamburger holders,

well they hold two eggs each. And stack so well, no freezer bags to buy now. 

IMG_0022

IMG_0023

 These are 4 oz. cups I found at Wal-Mart, 4 for a $1. They hold 1 egg each. I’m still looking for the rest of my Tupperware hamburger holders, so these will do for now. I usually freeze butter in them.

IMG_0024

 Just poke the yolk, no stirring.

IMG_0025

 Add your sugar or salt.

IMG_0026

Then freeze it. These to take up a little more room in the freezer, but for now it’ll have to do. I can use them to fill in holes. Or when their froze I put them in a freezer bag.

Eggs all winter long. Happy freezing.

Becky

 

September 2, 2008 Posted by | eggs, food storage, freezing, ideas, making do, self sufficiency | , , , , , | 13 Comments

Garden and Farm and Home

I have been going full speed last few days. Right now it’s over 90, so I am taking a break in front of a fan. I am mulching everything I can, this so helps  with less weeding, and holds water in longer. I canned more quarts of  milk and quarts of green beans. Froze milk and eggs, and some cream(the only things you can not do with cream that has been frozen, is whip it. I make butter, ice cream and cheese with it as time allows). Thank you Lord, for a great garden and a milk cow who is giving more milk ( over 3 1/2 gallons a day, now)than I can keep what with, and 80+eggs to eat and eggs to put under hens( meat this winter). I hoed up another row of potatoes.  One of our hens hatched 3 more chicks ( total so far  this spring 11 chicks). I have got  to find time (somewhere) to make strawberry jam, and I’m almost out of butter.  The Lord has really blessed our farm and garden again. I am putting up everything I can get my hands on.   Our daughter is bring in more blackberries than I can keep up with and finding them in places they were not in before.  I know it’s going to be a very long, hard winter. And the Lord is providing food now to put up. Usually, when our garden and farm do above average, the winter coming has been hard and long. It has happened three different years, here. So that is why I am preparing more than I normally do, not just because of our economy and our income  dropping to a third.  This blog, Becky’s Farm Life , has gotten some many hits, from people looking to stock up on food and stretch their money, I know the Lord is trying to prepare them too.  I am just trying to help all I can. It’s becoming my mission for the Lord. People, I talk to face to face think I’m crazy for telling them to stock up and get ready. So the Lord showed me to start this blog, and they will come, and they have.  Please if any of you have ideas to add, please do so. As we are to help one another. And again, I don’t have all the answers, just telling what I know and what has worked here on our farm for years.

Tommy still has not gotten the gas line fixed under the house. So I am glad I have a gas stove top outside( this is where I can in the summer). In a way it’s a blessing, I can cook simpler meals,and the kitchen does not get so hot. Last night, we had eggs and bacon and toast and milk.  I just have to keep an eye out for the cats, they think it’s their dinner.  I am checking all my stored  things as I go to the store next week. I have cut going to town to every two weeks, it would be once a month but I don’t have room to store that much animal feed. As it is I get 700 lbs, every two weeks, this feeds 3- cows, 30 chicken, 4- dogs, 4- cats, 6- kittens. Do you need a kitten?  And many food we need for the next 2 weeks, I am so blessed to have a truck big enough to carry it all. When I come home from a day in town, the truck is packed tight. And usually  takes us about 3 hrs. to get everything put up.

The milk cow has been giving me a hard time. She was in her worse heat the other night. She want to play with the bull more than she wanted to eat and get milked. It took me 3  1/2 hours to milk her out, usually 20 min’s. She a great milk cow for it being her first year milking. Tommy says, It’s  a female thing, men think they know it all. I have another chicken wanting to sit on eggs, I will let her in a few days.   I have strawberry runners to cut off, and sucker the tomatoes, clothes to wash and hang out side. Hope every one has a blessed day.  So I better get up from in front of this fan and get more things done today. Becky

 

 

 

July 2, 2008 Posted by | Canning, canning milk, eggs, farming, food storage, freezing, garden, milking cow, Stocking up | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment