The season begins! Beets, radishes and sugar-snap peas growing in the tunnel and Tiger keeping me company. Tuesday we brought 3 Katahdin sheep home from Graze N grow in Scheffield. They love the creep feeder where They can eat alfalfa without the alpacas bothering them. Wednesday we planted 240 cabbage and broccoli plants and covered them to keep the bunnies and bugs off. Today we planted spinach and lettuce and started some zinnias in the green house.
I spent the weekend in Flora, Indiana at Heritage Farms learning how to wash, dye and card Suri Alpaca fiber. Thank you to Elizabeth and Liz from Alpaca Fiber Solutions for the great workshop and to Beth and Tim Sheets for the hospitality!
The blue/green fiber is from our alpaca Freedom. I added a little sparkle and put it through a fine tooth carder three times. The lavender batt came from this fiber.
The pink batt was carded on a different carder and sent through twice so you can see more separation of the colors.
We think it may FINALLY be here! The pussy willows are about to open, the young hens are thinking about coming out of their house, the alpaca coats are off and washed and the vegetable plants are getting bigger in the greenhouse. AND… We planted a few things (spinach, lettuce, snap peas, radishes, beets and green beans in the high tunnel!
Some of the things we got at the Good Food Festival today. Also learned about growing old grain varieties that haven’t been altered.
The first sign of new life in the greenhouse is the basil. It sprouted in 2 days on the heat mat! This is the first time our rosemary has flowered.
Just finished grinding more heirloom corn into cornmeal with our stone grinder. We are grinding small batches so it will be fresh and have its full nutrition. This is a multi-colored heirloom corn from Sandhill Preservation (non GMO) grown by us with no chemicals.
I used some last week to make polenta and am now addicted! I will add the recipe I used to this site.
We will be selling it upon request for $2.50 per pound.
or e-mail email@example.com
In addition to the fantastic seeds varieties they carry, Bakers Creek Heirloom Seeds clearly has the most beautiful packages! Some of the new varieties we will be growing this season are Black Krim, Paul Robeson, Comstock Sauce and Mariglobe tomatoes. Pasilla Basil and Purple Jalapeño peppers, Listada De Gandia, Prosperosa and Little Fingers eggplant. We will also be trying a fantastic heirloom zucchini type squash called Zucchino Rampicante. I’ve tried it a couple of times and it is a favorite of squash bugs, but it’s so good I guess I’ll try again! These varieties all came from Bakers creek, so if you would like to dream of what you’ll be enjoying in a few short months, check them out on their website : www.RareSeeds.com
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 large eggs
3 heaping tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 cups cornmeal
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Put skillet in the oven to heat with 2 tablespoons of lard or bacon grease
Mix 1st 4 ingredients together
Stir in buttermilk
Stir in cornmeal
Pour batter into hot skillet and bake for 18 minutes
Makes 2 skillets – I usually make a half recipe
If you like it browned on top and bottom, take the pan out after 10 minutes of baking and flip it onto a plate then back into the skillet with what was the top now on the bottom. That process is a little tricky when you’re dealing with a hot and heavy skillet.
Today I plan to sit in front of the wood stove and order seeds from a few of my favorite companies and go outside a little as possible!
I bought a new coat for Betsy and then heard the weather forecast for next week and decided that Apollo also needed a coat. Too late to order him one, so I used Betsy’s as a pattern and made one for him. Not as pretty or quite as heavy, but a lot less money and he didn’t have to wait for it!
Santa delivered the last piece of my fiber processing equipment – my Patrick Green blender/carder. Now I have lots of work to do!
Our e-mail is currently not working so if you need to reach us you will need to either send a message on FB or call 815-467-5259. I’ll update when it’s working again.
Betsy was 1 month old on Tuesday and has gained 11lbs. I think she got her appetite from her mama. Her personality is so different from our 1st born cria Apollo. She’s far more independent even though he is 6 months older!
Baron is supervising our heirloom corn harvest. When it’s dry enough, we will grind it into cornmeal.
We have taken the wagon from the corner for the winter, but we still have some veggies in the cooler. We have kale, pears, some really nice peppers and eggs. The hens are enjoying the cover crop we planted in the pasture that held last summers pigs!