Proverbs 27:27 And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Busy Week On the Farm

Living on a small farm can be very busy.  Sometimes, I feel like we just never have an extra moment at certain times of the year.  This is one of those busy times of year.  I not only have our twice daily milking and normal barn chores but baby goats to bottle feed and the garden.  The garden is a wonderful thing to have and we love having it.  It saves us a lot of money and is healthy eating for little monitary cost.  Only hard work. :)

But when things are ripe they are ripe and we better either eat them, preserve them or make them into something and it can't wait.  So a "not so busy week" can quickly turn into a busy one.  Some years certain plants will do better than others and over produce.  Last year it was green beans.  We were over run.   We ate them about every way you can think of.  Daily.  They were good but by the end of the season we were pretty green beaned out.  :)  The deer got ALL of the green beans this year.  So from  year to year you just never know how much of anything you will get.

This year it is tomatoes and peppers.  We have been blessed with an absolute abundance of them.  They are on plates and in bowls all over the kitchen.  I got smarter this year and bought a lot of those two and three tier plate racks at thrift stores and so am now going up with our produce to take up less counter space.
We have made two small batches of Chili Sauce with the extras, so as not to waste anything.
Needless to say the family has eaten a lot of tomato dishes and tomato sandwiches.  They have also eaten a lot of peppers different ways.  Praise God the uses for tomatoes and peppers are just endless.  From spaghetti sauce to salsa.

We also had to butcher five chickens on Monday.  I will spare you the intricate details of butchering but show our "butchering set up" for the curious back yard farmers that are thinking about doing it and don't have the nerve yet.  If this little country wife and a few kids can do it you can too.  Our set up is efficient but not expensive or fancy.  When I needed to learn how I "googled" it.  Read tons of ways to do it and did what made the best sense to me.   I am not going to be showing terribly gory pictures below but if the thought of butchering and seeing the equipment will make you feel bad or uncomfortable you might want to skip the rest of this post.  :)  Blessings!

William is my squeemish young man, so his job is to heat the water up to the right temperature (145-160 works best for us) and bring it out to us when we need it.  He also does the final washing off and picks out any small pin feathers once the bird is pretty much clean before I wrap them in plastic wrap and bag them in freezer bags.

Above is our scalding pot.It is just an old large water bath canning pot.  It was left here in a pile of junk by the old owners of this property 14 years ago.  It has been very useful.

 Above is my fancy butchering set up.  My killing cone is a large plastic white vinegar bottle (bottom and top cut out) screwed to the wall with a garbage bag under it.  My non-porous table that is easy to wipe down and keep clean.  A trash can.  A clean large bowl for carrying the clean birds up to the house for William to do a final go over.  A bottle of vinegar and water  and paper towels for quick clean ups.  My knife and sharpener and a pair of kitchen scissors.  The bale of chips is just to hold my bowl this time.  :)

These two ropes hanging down is where we pluck from.
Seriously, this is all you need except for a chicken/rooster of course and some running water, plastic wrap and freezer bags.  Not to hard or bad really.

I never wanted to start to butcher our own food.  It took me becoming knowledgeable about what happens to our food and how it is handled.  How many chemicals and things go into everything and also a health crisis to make me realize we had to do this to have pure food.  I have an auto-immune disease that requires me to eat food that is not sprayed or contaminated in any way.  I have to know what is done to the food I eat or I have horrible symptoms that make my quality of life not very good.  So I am grateful that I have learned this skill and live where I am able to raise some chickens/roosters to do this.  We give our birds the best and happiest chickeny life they could have. 

We feed them well.  We treat them with great care and they lack for nothing.  They have a purpose and are valued.  We are grateful to God for them and butcher them in the most humane way we can.  That's my two cents on it all.  :)

We sent three of the five birds to freezer camp after a rest in the fridge. But the kids excitedly slotted the two biggest ones for being bar-b-q'ed  for movie night this week.
William and Carolyn love to cook together and made their movie night meal.  They had chips and other stuff with it too.

God is so good to us always.  I am grateful for all He helps us do and get done around here.  For all He has shown us how to do.  It really is a wonderful way to live. 

Gods many blessings and Happy Farming!

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