Friday, December 12, 2014

Early Birds???

Well it has begun ...

It's a couple of months earlier this Saxon, but the seed catalogs have been coming in fast and furious!

So far I've gotten catalogs from Johnnys Seeds, Gurneys, and a few others ... Generally ones I don't order from

They must all be hurting from the poor growing season  this year ... Despite what the FDA/USDA say!

Haha to them though ...

Hubby has announced that we will not be buying seed this year ...

Of course that's mostly because we bought seed last year and never got it planted since the weather was so lousy ...

Most people don't realize that seeds are good for YEARS!

You will still get 90% germination some 3 years after it gets packaged if you take care of it ...  75% after 5 years ... 45-50% after some 10 years even ... Okay maybe not that high, but it can still grow.

It of course depends on thelant too.

Annuals/flowers don't seem to last as long

Veggies may need hydrating over night to break the dermis a bit ...

We will see though ...

I want to grow me some potatoes again ...

Reds, whites, and sweets ...

Of course ... I'm gonna have to figure a way to stir them though ... But that's a different post.

Anyhow ... The receiving of seed catalogs is how a farm wife tells the passing of the seasons ...

 I guess this means Spring will be coming early this year ...

Good ...
Maybe we can get in two corn crops ... One for selling & one for preserving!

Numerology Class

50,000 farms
Dairy herds of LESS THAN 100 head
(About 17%)

1800 farms
Dairy herds OVER 1000 head

But the number is still significantly lower than 135,000 farms some 20 years ago ...

I'm sure part of this is the fear of diseases beng wider spread by mixing milks from different herds ...

But then ...

 There's something to be said for diversity ...

20 years ago I started having issues drinking milk too ...


}:0  }:0  }:0  }:0  }:0  }:0  }:0  }:0  }:0  }:0  }:0  }:0  
(Do those look like cows?)

1,800 Farms
Dairy herds MORE THAN 1,000 head

This number has tripled during the last 20 years ...

Interesting ...

I wonder where their milk goes?

I mean that's a LOT of milk every day ... Each cow will produce about 10 gallons a day with those automatic milked machines ... 

What can you do with 10,000 gallons of milk?

They have to be using it for making cheese or butter ... 

}:0  }:0  }:0  }:0  }:0  }:0  }:0  }:0  }:0  }:0  
(Not sure those look like cows) 🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮🐮

Wonder how much milk is drank daily in the US ... 

Wonder how much is dumped because it past the "sell by" date ...


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Bringing in the sheaves

I have gotten the new crop numbers for winter wheat

Montana 73%. (last year it was only 53% at this point)
North Dakota 67%
Idaho 91%. 
Oregon 37%
Washington 23%

there are concerns of North Dakota about the winter frosts now doing damage to the crap that remains on the stalk - A good snow cover will help with this

And as you can see, the further west you go the lower the oats

These numbers are for the good/excellent category
I do not see any numbers for the fair/port category ... I guess AGday just doesn't want to share that information

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Cotton Picking Crop



A) Mississippi
B) Alabama
C) South Carolina
D) Texas
E) Oklahoma 

Answer in a moment ...

First lets look at the progress of cotton harvest

77% Nation-wide
83% is the 5-yr avg

TX 57% in (down 22%)
OK 56% in (down 12%)

I would assume that the drop can be linked to the cooler/shorter summer & early winter-like weather so far this season.

Cotton -while it does make a great yarn & thread - is one crop I have never wished to plant.

Maybe it was the Sally Field movie where they showed the damage cotton picking does to the hands ... more than likely it was the American Girls book "Meet Addy" where they describe what it's really like in the fields.  

I have no desire to stick my fingers amongst a bunch of nails to pull out a tiny bundle of fluff -- I'd rather pay for it!

Okay - now that question above


D)  Texas 

Produces the most cotton in the USA ...

Imagine that!

I thought it would be one of the "Confederate" states

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Trivia Time


a) 23 cups broccoli
B) single sweet potato

What do you think?

Nope, can't make the photo smaller ... Sorry

Sweet potatoes are probably my favorite veggie .... Well, no that's not wholely true either - my absolute favorite is COOKED SPINACH - yes I'm a strange one.

But I don't like canned spinach ... Hubby hates it with a passion so I have to work it in.

He dislikes sweet potatoes too.

I've found people who hate sweet potatoes/yams -- they are two DIFFERENT vegetables, by the way -- either think of them covered in maple syrup or marshmallows ... YUK, even I wouldn't eat those!

You want them baked, whole if possible but pierced so they don't burst on a cookie sheet because they will weep, then sliced, buttered and S&P ... THATS IT ... No sugar, no cream, no marshmallows, no maple syrup ...

Canned yams can even be good if you drain them well and pop them into the microwave ... Mash them and add as little butter as possible.  Because they are canned, they've been processed so they are already basically cooked you just need to reheat them ... But they are going to be a tad water-logged - if they picked them too early, just before they ripen, or too late, where they are getting a bit over-ripe - I highly suggest adding a pinch of salt and mashing them up!  It will hide quite a bit of flavor that's missing if they aren't at their peak.

You can can your own as well ... Check out the website or .org - I can't remember off hand - they will have complete instructions

I thought I had a video on canning sweet potatoes up on my YouTube channel but apparently I do not -- must have erased it before it got uploaded .... iPads only have so much room you know :-/ 

Well, that's enough distraction ...


Which has more vitamin A?

--------> ONE sweet Potato of course! 

Even though the average sweet potato contains about 1 cup of flesh, it contains much more vitamin A & Betacarotine 

We learned with our first born  that if you feed your child too many sweet potatoes when they are infants they can begin to look jaundice -- their livers are not developed enough to strain the beta carotene out of their system and it collects just under the skin .... Interesting -- start feeding them other veggies and it will go away in a few days.

Yes it's true --  flamingoes turn pink from eating too much shrimp .... Infants turn ORANGE from eating too much sweet potato!

They both will also pee on themselves as well, but that just during that awkward pre-potty training time.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Chick chick chick

Tuesday, 7 October 2014 on the television show "egg day "I saw a news report about the new law in California.

Basically what this law says is that chickens that are going to sell eggs in the state of California, must have the following measurements in their living space:

§ room to stand up completely erect
§ room to spread their wings completely out
§ room enough to turn around in comfortably without hitting the sides of the confined area

Attorney general's for five states (Nebraska, Oklahoma, Iowa, Georgia, Tennessee) brought a lawsuit saying that the law was unconstitutional sense if EFax the agricultural practices in other states.

The federal judge in California said that the lawsuit "lacked legs" in California ... that the attorneys Gen.'s for the five other states failed to show that the law does any harm to the people and not corporations ... 

this law goes into effect 15 January 2015

well it looks like this is going to apply just to eggs – it does make one wonder about other products brought into the state of California.

what about meat products, beef, chicken, pork, wow, etc.
what about milk?
what about milk products: cheese, butter, cream, cottage cheese?
what about products made from things we get from other animals – leather and wool?

California is the most regulated state, when it comes to products sold with in their boundaries, then any other state in the Union!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Trivia Time!

This was an interesting trivia question from "In The Kitchen With David" today on QVC (yup I watch/buy from there ... even if it is cheap-crap from china ... it's cheap)

a) Australia 
b) United States 
c) Brazil
d) Costa Rica


(He means pilgrims, for clarification)

a) True



b) United States

According to the AMRC (agricultural marketing resource center) 95% of squash we import in US comes from MEXICO.

Last year ALONE - US imported $317 MILLION worth of squash!

I wonder how much of that wound up in your store-bought pumpkin pie???

You do know, of course, that there is NO pumpkin ... I mean ACTUAL pumpkin .... in your store-bought pie ... Right?

My brother used to work for Mrs. smiths pies .... NO PUMPKIN ... They use all squash.

There is a variety of Hubbard squash they use which has the word "pumpkin" in its name -- so they beat the whole "Truth In Advertisement" law .... But nope .... No pumpkin ... None at all.

Save the US Pumpkin crop ...

Make your own pie.

It's really quite easy !

Here's a SUPER easy recipe from  PUMPKIN PIE

NOT my recipe! but I've used it ... It's very easy, very good ... BUT don't make a ton of it and put it in your fridge for a couple of days ... It will BUBBLE up & out of your container ... I learned my lesson.


b) False

While the Native Americans DID show the Pilgrims how to plant/harvest squash, they didn't really start to appreciate it until the long hard winters set in! Because then they didn't really have a choice, I suppose it was the only thing left.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Harvest Time?

Not here our farm… Because nothing was able to get into the field this year… Because winter extended all the way into the end of May!

Then June was very rainy… In the fields did not dry out until about mid July!

We had plans in the greenhouse this year, but we took a two week vacation and they all died ... because the person that we had put in charge of doing the chickens didn't realize they were also supposed to do the greenhouse when they came over ... No water = no plants ... Imagine that!

Oh well…

It was a year of rest… Just kidding…

We got new baby chicks this year - Amercanas - and they begin laying last month.  We have greens in blue eggs now, as well as one chicken that is laying a pink egg!

I will feature how you can tell what color eggs your chicken will lay on a different post.

Now wow we are not having a harvest (except for eggs that is) there are several states which do have harvests ... Farmers are pulling in their corn, soybeans, cotton, wheat, and of course… Potentate toes!
(oh my God I totally hate that AutoCorrect corrected that it is supposed say potatoes)

<u> acreage </u>  <u>% harvested </u> <u> State </u> <u> ranking </u> 
317,000. 39%  ID. #1 producer
165,000 80%. WA. #2
_67,000  67% WI #3

Main USED to be the highest producer with over 200,000 acres planted around WW2, but now they have about 54,000 acres planted in potatoes.

I guess the kids (in about 6 schools) get a THREE WEEK harvest break! (I wanna go to one of those schools!)


We learned this weekend, that the farmer that lives next door to my in-laws cabin resort, is going to semi retired next year.

I'm wondering what the semi retired means to a farmer… He's a dairy farm… Does that mean he's only going to milk this cow is every other day?

Probably not… That would be way too stressful… LOL

Well I know his wife had a slight stroke… And so she was no longer supposed to be working in the business.  So perhaps "semi retirement" means that <u>  she's </u> not going to be working -- because if there's one thing I know about farmers… THEY DO NOT STOP!!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Chick chick chick

They have done a study in the UK comparing Free Range chickens and Caged chickens ... 

They have concluded that caged birds are better because Free Ranged birds - THEY say - tend to get sick & hurt more often.

Hmmm ....

Here's my thinking ....

If you put a kid in an area not much bigger than they are, they won't get hurt much either .... but no one wants to live that way!

As far as illness goes .... I wonder what kind of birds they are comparing because there are certain birds who will not do well Free Ranged because they just weren't bred for that.

There are birds which are more heat hearty, cold hearty ... There are those meant strictly for covered/penned areas.

I did not know this before we started raising chickens ourselves.

There is MORE you need to do as a free ranger than a penned raiser ...

You have to make sure they have plenty of water both inside and outside ... As well as food in both places as well.

You have to put warming lamps -- NOT CFL bulbs btw - in the winter and not pull them out too early ...

You have to have a way to keep them safe when outside -- we have temporary fencing for three seasons ... We also put netting over the "corral" so they can get out of the kenneled part during the weekend if we are gone.

You need to CHECK them for issues - you don't just let them go and forget them ... You look at their feathers, their feet, their eyes ... You check their vents (honest that's what their butts are called) ,,, you LOOK for issues so you can catch them before they start.

This is our second year ... We have lost ONE bird.  Not due to illness or attack though, human error ... That person has been educated AGAIN, but for a bigger flock.

Now I have NOT seen the actual study ... What I'm wondering:

Who PAID for the study?
<i>it really does make a big difference ... if sme big company like Golden Plump Chicken or KFC or TYson Foods paid, it could effect how the data was interpreted or what was tested.  </i> 

How long was the study for? 
<i>a study that isn't long enough or ends at the first finding doesn't have enough data to compare.  Studies that go way too long, has too much data to sift through.  </i>

What was the flock sizes?

Was it for chickens or 4000 chickens in the flocks that they looked at?

The size of the flag makes a huge difference!

Look – all I'm saying, is don't take studies at face value! Statistics can lie! It all depends on what formula as they used to come up with the answers that they want

Sunday, March 23, 2014

This Years (hopeful) Growings

Okay, here's what's on the list for this years garden:
Northern Xtrasweet

Small Sugar

Blue Lake (bush)

Hubbard (mixed colors) winter squash
Butternut, winter
Butternut, Waltham (winter)
Grey Zucchini, summer

Oregon Giants (edible pod)
Oregan Sugar Pod 2

Beef master
Yellow Plum

eureka, pickling

Our daughter, the littlest field hand is planning on selling the following veggies:

Yolo Wonder peppers
Husky cherry red tomatoes
Sugar snap peas
Parris Island Cos romaine lettuce

Photos to come soon!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Brrrrr ....

And I'm supposed to consider what seeds to buy??

I'm thinking snow puppies not corn beans or cabbage right now

Friday, January 17, 2014

Drought Conditions

Well the government has FINALLY put out a list of states which are in severe drought .... Amazingly enough - they are all states which <i>might </i>possibly switch in the House from Dem to Repub ... I'm totally serious!

There are 11 states on the Primary Natural Disaster list:
<blockquote>• Colorado
• New Mexico
• Nevada
• Kansas
• Texas
• Utah
• Arkansas
• Hawaii
• Idaho

Now there is a bill that is going to be entered into the Californian state house/senate to split that state into 6 separate states as well (LA, SF, north, 2 middles, south) -- don't blame them, I wouldn't want to cover the unemployment/wLfare for LA either {something like 70% of their population gets some sort of funding}

Any how -- back to the Natural Disaster Zone ...

This means that producers WHO QUALIFY will be eligible for low interest rates ... But the small farmer who took the biggest hit, probably won't though because they don't qualify ...

Hmmmm, and as much as farmers like to think they are "independent", the bigger they are the more they rely on insurance & government money ... Honestly

Although there are plenty of states in the "watch" area ... The only states which get the status are those which might flip come fall elections ... I'm telling ya!

52% of the US is in some form of drought right now

In CA alone, 62-63% of the state is D3, or second worse, drought .... they say (AGDay) that only 1% of the state is actually free from drought of any level ... Wow ...

Texas is pretty bad too, 38% is poor/above poor ... Expect flour prices to go up yet again .... I'm guessing they are learning the importance of hurricanes/tropical storms right now

All this means FIRE WARNINGS like you wouldn't believe ... We will have to see what happens next ...

Sorry I got a bit political here ... But I thought it was rather interesting ...

Friday, January 3, 2014

Bad News, Worse News

Well my chickens are about 1 year old ... yay!!!!!

I need to think of killing all but one of them ... BOOOO!!!!

Why? You might ask ...

Because the bit ties have taken to EATING THEIR EGGS! 

I thought it was just the Reds but today ( well "yesterday" I suppose if you want to be technical but I haven't been asleep yet so to ME it's still today) .... When I gathered eggs I heard a loud tapping in one of the nesting boxes ... I opened the door to find a Red AND a Leghorn going after the same egg!


That is $ out of our pockets!

Birds cost $3 each ... Eggs sell for $3/doz wholesale .... I don't see an issue with slaughtering them AFTER we have a newly established flock

OR OR or it could be just that they are getting stir crazy from being trapped inside with the latest cold snap -- we don't let them out unless its above 20F

I wanted to get 6 - 8 Blue/green egg layers (sometimes they throw a pink egg) but I may have to rethink that ... 

Because Blue & Green eggs are So rare in the market I think I can get $5/doz wholesale ... But I still want to have some white & brown eggs too

I have got to figure out a way to stop these birds from eating their eggs!

 I've read that putting FRESH evergreen/pine needles in the boxes is supposed to help ... Makes sense to me ... I wouldn't eat anything that tasted like PineSol either, even though I love the scent of it.

I'm willing to give it a try but I don't know how well they will do with the heat lamps in there