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Our first chicken dinner from the land!

Our first chicken dinner from the land!

It was an historic meal for us this weekend!  We had our first chicken dinner with a meat bird that we raised on our land!  For me this was the culmination of a LOT of research and work.  We decided to start small and slaughter a few birds on Saturday.  Of course I will spare you the gory details.  It's not fun to kill anything really but it is a necessary part of eating and I was prepared to do it before I ever got started with this idea.  So the processing of the birds went well and we are glad we started with just a few since we learned a LOT and now feel confident about the larger slaughter that's coming.  I roasted the bird and it was DELICIOUS!  We all enjoyed it!  It's is also a satisfying feeling to be able to provide for my family in such a direct and tangible way. 

I couldn't resist sharing how I cooked the bird so here is my own recipe.

NATE'S ROASTED CHICKEN WITH GRAVY!

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Preserving Beans and Beets!

It's time to start preserving the harvest on our little farm!  The other night my wife and I started the long process of preserving some of the food we've been growing.  Karen cleaned and froze green beans and I canned some beets.  I used a pressure canner which is always a bit nerve wracking but it worked flawlessly!  Enjoy the video!

Filling a meat bird feeder with a tube/chute!

The meat birds are growing fast and I wanted to share my method for adding feed to their feeder.  I made two feeders from a 4 foot section of PVC pipe split lengthwise.  Each half is then suspended from a single rope that goes through two pulleys.  This allows the feeders to remain inside the chicken tractor at all times which is helpful when moving the tractor.  The feed is then poured into each feeder through a long tube that starts at 1 1/2 inches at one end and steps up to three inch PVC pipe at the other end.  This allows me to fill each feeder from the outside of the coop which means I don't have to go INSIDE.  Believe me that's a plus!  The pulleys allow me to adjust the height of the feeders as the chics grow.  The pulleys also allow the feeders to self level.   Overall the system works pretty well and was fairly low cost to make.  Enjoy the video!

My antique Gravely tractor is restored!

It is RUNNING!  I buttoned up my 1960 Gravely Model Li restoration just about a week ago!  I'm very pleased with how it turned out.  This tractor is NOT meant to be a show piece.  I intend to use this as a working tractor.  There are several things about this tractor that are different from my other model, a 5260.  First of all there is no governor mechanizm that carefully adds throttle when needed.  That job falls to the operator!  If you need a little more power, like when cutting through thick grass, you have to add throttle yourself.  It takes a little getting used to.  The directional control levers are reversed which is very....

Grain field progress - High Summer!

The grain field has really exploded these past few weeks.  The corn really liked all that heat we had!  It went from about knee high to taller than me right now!  The ears of corn are just beginning to form and swell.  The barley has "headed out" meaning that the heads of grain are emerging from the stalks.  The small needle like shoots that are attached to each grain are called "awns".  Awns are pretty interesting.  In barley they aide in photosynthesis.  In some strains of wheat such as "emmer" the awns actually have little hairs on them that contract and move with humidity.  This is important because if the grains were to ever hit ground these little hairs would contract and help to push the little grain into the soil!  Very cool!

Open Farm Day 2011

Open Farm Day 2011

 

Open Farm Day 2011 is a wholesome family adventure that offers a hayride of fun. On Sunday, July 24, farms throughout all 16 counties will open their gates to offer the public an opportunity to learn about the business of agriculture.

Open Farm Day gives you and your family the chance to visit local farms throughout the state.  Visiting hours are generally from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

How to Eliminate Back Pain from Gardening or Yard Work

How to Eliminate Back Pain from Gardening or Yard Work

Summer yard work and gardening are great ways to spruce up your home, grow your own food, and spend time outdoors. The trouble is, while gardening or working in the yard, we usually work in bent over, unusual positions for prolonged periods of time and can wind up with back, neck, and shoulder pain when we are done. Dr. MacArthur and Dr. McNally of Portland Chiropractic Neurology offer these tips to help keep your body safe before planting and pulling weeds:

  • Stretch your muscles.