Dehydrating Bell Peppers

 

 

 

 

The pepper harvest is rolling in.  Lily picked these on Thursday while I picked raspberries. Last year I ran out of dehydrated peppers by Christmas, so I am dehydrating big bunches this year.  Overnight in the dehydrator and then into canning jars.  They can be sprinkled into almost anything for added flavor and nutrition.

Oh, Jethro!

Jethro--injured again
Jethro--injured again

This winter we ordered 25 more laying hens and 4 roosters.  We received 12 roosters.  12 roosters is 10-11 more roosters than we needed.  So, Serrano Rooster Survivor was born.  We “weeded out (ie sent to the freezer)” the ho-hum, bossy, rude, aggressive, and lazy roosters and kept 2.   One of the 2 kept was Elvis.  He is a beauty–black and white with a big crest.  He might as well be a hen, if you catch my meaning, and he weighs nothing–not a good freezer candidate.

The rooster we are pinning our dreams (and the hens reproductive yearnings) on is Jethro.  He has proven himself to be a great rooster.  He is the obvious choice of the hens–meaning they do not run in fear from him!  He calls everyone for meals and treats his gals with respect.  He is not aggressive toward us and has a great voice.  The DAY AFTER the last 2 losing contestants went to the freezer, Jethro developed a bad limp.  That was about a week ago and he seems mostly recovered.  Things happen.  Perhaps he got his foot caught in something. 

Friday, I go to the barn to discover Jethro’s neck is bleeding.  Chicken society is a pretty brutal one. Had this been a hen, they would all be ganging up on her and picking at the wound–likely until she died.  Since it is Jethro, a few gals are picking at it here and there. You can see this in the photo as White Pants picks at him.  We have separated him out into a dog kennel to give him a chance to heal.  He has a small puncture in one of his wattles.  He will very likely be fine.  Paco slapped a little neosporin on him.

The burning question is, how is this string of injuries is happening?  I think our barn needs nanny cam.  Is this a series of unfortunate accidents?  Are the girls ganging up on him?  Is he fighting with Elvis?  Rough chicken sex?  Poor Jethro.  He beat 11 other guys and now someone may have it out for him.  The mystery continues….

Granola Recipe

Granola--Ready for the oven
Granola--Ready for the oven

This recipe gives me away as a sloppy cook.  I am not much for measuring.  I had to go make granola and measure so I could pass this along.  This is foolproof.  The exact measurements are unimportant.

Put enough raw, thick cut rolled oats to fill a 9×13 cake pan. It’s about 3 pounds of oats.

Now pour 1 1/2 cups honey or agave nectar with 1 cup canola oil.  Heat in microwave for 2 minutes–just to warm enough so they can be mixed together.

Pour this over the oats and stir until they are all covered. 

Add nuts of choice.  Stir again. Personal favorite-almonds, they are a true Superfood!

Bake, without cover, in the oven at 280 degrees for about an hour.  You are slowly toasting the grain and nuts.  You also want to roast long enough to dry it out to the point where it no longer sticks to itself.   Stir a couple of times while in the oven.  You can now turn off the oven and let the granola cool inside there overnight or pull it out and cool on the stove-top. 

When cool stir in your choice of dried fruit.  Stores well. 

When we eat it, we shake on a combo of ground flax seeds and chia seeds out of a shaker I keep in the fridge.  Great with milk or yogurt.  Grind your own flax seeds in small batches, MUCH more nutritious.

A Day on the Farm

tonight's pickings
tonight's pickings
ummm..fresh corn
ummm..fresh corn
corn stalks are drying beautifully
corn stalks are drying beautifully
picked and picked but tomatillos still dripping with fruit
picked and picked but tomatillos still dripping with fruit
ready to go pick
ready to go pick
Tinsel--our OCD farm dog
Tinsel–our OCD farm dog
tomatillos husked and ready to process
tomatillos husked and ready to process

Goats!!

Here is a picture of Latte, a wether to be renamed Charlie and Stella, a doe.  Notice Stella has had her wattles removed due to a benign cyst.  We are excited to be bringing them home next week.

Lillian had her open house today for school which begins next Tuesday.  She is a bit apprehensive since it is a different school, but also excited.  I am constantly pondering whether waiting a year for Kindergarten is the right decision.  I think so, but she has changed an awful lot this summer.

Small Wonders

022This blog is a place for me to record the happenings of our family, our farm, and to mull over the small wonders of our lives.  I need a place to explore my continually changing definition of myself and my place in the world, as well as have a record for my now 5 year old daughter to look at as an adult in order to further understand the place, life, and woman that helped to shape her.

Small Wonder Farm current residents:

  • 3 humans–Lily 5, Paco 42, Kirsten 37 (not for long)
  • 3 dogs–Hanna, Pepita, and Tinsel
  • 2 cats–Carmen and Cookie Chomper
  • 28 chickens–26 layers, 2 roosters (Jethro and Elvis)
  • a variety of wildlife including a family of box turtles

We will increase by three net week when we bring home 3 Nigerian dwarf goats form the local Columbian Park Zoo.  We are all excited to have goats again, but I imagine no one will be happier than Tinsel.  Our OCD border collie devoted his days to our Nubian dairy goats and misses them terribly.  He will be overjoyed to be able to run back and forth in front of the pasture fence and keep track of their every move.  There is one doe, already named Stella, and 2 wethers. The wethers names are currently Rocky Road and Latte, but will be renamed Charlie and Horton by Lily and I.

Next spring we are talking about adding 30,000 plus residents.  We would like to become beekeepers.  1/3 of the global food stream is dependant on pollinators.  We would like to giver them a leg up on our farm while enjoying their pollination efforts, their wholesome sweetness, and, well, just marvel at the small wonders.

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