Every year we have this discussion, What to do with the extra berries from the farm? This year, I have finally figured it out, I made freezer jam with last years berries! With the berry season coming quickly, we needed to do something with the surplus of berries from last year.
I was very nervous, considering this is my first time attempting jam. So I followed the directions very carefully, and I was pleasantly surprised that my first batch came out perfect!!
Since I had great success with the first go around, tonight I tried it again. The first batch was marrionberry, and tonight’s batch was Blueberry. The blueberry looked really runny, I hope it turns our. Here are some pics of my jam making process!
Thawed Marrionberries, Grown here on the farm :)
Thawed Blueberries, also grown here on the farm!
Smash the MB's with a potato masher.
Chopped the BB's in the food processor (I love my food processor)
Sugar, water and pectin.
MB Jam all done!
BB Jam all done. 7 pints. I hope it sets, it looks really runny! We will see tomorrow.
I made 4 pints of MB jam with 3 cups of sugar, and 4 pints with 2 cups of sugar. The one with 3 is better surprisingly, it take more like the berries then the other! I am addicted now!
Another thing I accomplished this weekend was getting my "big garden" Planted!! Well, most of it! I was so relieved to get it done!
Here are the "After" pictures I Promised you.
The Vineyard after it has been pruned! Looks Much better.
Here is where I planted Approx. 265 bulbs, 4 shrubs, 3 ground covers, and several pansies. Hopefully it will be beautiful this summer.
Yesterday was a BEAUTIFUL day! Which was a great unexpected gift!
Cam, I really don't think it is a good idea to swat Turbo's tail, he is 3 times your size.
The stare down! Cam looks like she is ready to attack, and Turbo is looking at her like, You really annoy me.
I think this picture explains itself :)
A little bit of basking in the sun after playing all day. These pictures are special to us because Turbo has been use to being the 'Only Kitty' on the farm for 5 or 6 years now. So for him to allow this little kitten onto the farm and play with her all day is a very special thing.
My Project. Last weekend I Planted 171 bulbs and 7 plants (not just here, there is another berm just like this on the other side). This weekend my project was to plant all of the pansies and about 90 more bulbs. This is the pic before I planted the pansies yesterday.
Larry's Project. The grapes were in desperate need of pruning! He got them all pruned yesterday, I didn’t get a chance to take 'After' pics of our Projects, and of course today it is raining, So I will get pics up as soon as the weather allows me.
Yesterday afternoon I was making my normal rounds after work, feeding and petting the sheep, fed Cam and was on my way to feed Turbo and I noticed his bowl was still full from the morning feeding. This is VERY unusual. I asked if anyone had seen him and no one had. So Willie and I went on a walk about yelling for him, No turbo. We went across the street into a barn to see if maybe he had gotten himself into a live trap that was set to catch the raccoons that have been around, No Turbo. I kept checking outside every hour to see if he had come back to eat his food, and nothing every time.
This morning I went outside praying he was going to come greet me, but he didn’t. I started my car and went back inside to finish getting readyfor work and I was trying to cope with the idea that my little guy was gone. As I was leaving, I opened the door stepped out, turned around and grabbed the door knob and I heard a loud MEOW and felt a cat on my feet, IT WAS TURBO! I dropped my purse right there on the deck and grabbed that cat and hugged him! Thank god he came home, I went in and woke up the guys the let them know he had come home; they were all as excited as I was. We all went out and fed him, and pet him letting him know we are SO happy to have him home safe and healthy!
Yesterday was a busy day. We got a lot of farm chores done. We started off the day de-worming and vaccinating all 6 of the sheep. I was very surprised in how well it went. This was our first time having to vaccinate full grown sheep. But with the 4 of us it went very smooth. Next, we all split ways and were working on various things. Larry and Willie got the riding lawn mower hooked up with a bagger, we bag the clippings from the yard for ensilage to feed out during the winter. I worked in the greenhouse. I trimmed all of my poor pansy’s. They looked terrible, between sitting out in pots in standing water all winter(oops) slugs, and aphids those poor things do not look well. So I trimmed all the yellow leaves and dying stock, added more dirt, sprayed them with soapy water and hoped for the best. We will see if they snap back or not. Then I separated crososmia bulbs, last year my mom brought me some bulbs, I didn’t have time to plant them so we put them in sawdust for the winter, well after sitting that long they all rooted together in a tight mass, it was not easy getting them out, but I did!
Then I sorted out my seeds, ok I admit I have a seed buying addiction. 33 packets of Veggies and 17 packets of flowers.
While I was working in the greenhouse, I had 2 great helpers.
Pretty rough life this cat has :) NOT!
Of course I had to stop and take a couple breaks to snuggle with the kitten!
We began setting up the lamb cam yesterday, while we were at Radio Shack getting a monitor I spotted a Nikon digital camera, after looking at it for a bit I decided I needed it, because using my cell phone for pictures is not really the best quality for my blog or website.
It been a couple days since I put a picture of the AeroGarden on here! They have grown a lot since my last post!
First Picture with my new camera!!!!
Yesterday I got a package! I was so excited my Aero Garden order came in, well most of it. I am still waiting on 1 more item, but here is what came.
Liquid nutrients with measuring device, grow bulbs, and a timer.
Here is a picture of the tomato plants. They are growing like crazy! I will wait until the rest of my order come in to transplant them.
You would think after living in Tillamook my whole life I would be use to the rain. Well I am not. I am so ready for spring I am going crazy. While sitting inside watching it rain yesterday, I worked on my Cross Stitch. On the right is what it is suppose to like when I am done.
Today, My Kitchen was BUSY!
Chicken Enchilada stuffing in the CrockPot.
My first attempt at homemade enchilada sause. I hope it taste good. (I Will post a picture of the finished enchiladas when i put them together)
Sorry it is blurry, but here is the finished product!
Blueberry Gooseberry Pie before it went into the oven, and yes that is a homemade Crust :)
Pie after it came out of the oven, my tapioca didnt desolve like it should have im not sure why. But i am sure it will still taste good :)
And of course, what would a blog post be without an AeroGarden Update? Everything is getting its second growth! Makes me smile!
Here in Tillamook we have had nothing but rain and wind. We have had at least 3 in a row if not more, I have lost count ;) So, as you probably guessed, nothing has been getting done at the farm. All the ewes are still in the nursery, even though the babies are gone, and Big daddy Moe is still in the corral area under cover. After all of the storms we have had, I am anticipating spring more than ever. As soon as the sun peaks out from those nasty gray clouds, I am going to walk around and look for any signs of spring.
On a good note, OUR LAMB CAMS CAME!. Even though we have about 6 months until our next lambing season, I am still excited to have them.
Aerogarden update, all the seeds have sprouted! I will get a picture this evening. All the tomatoes seem to be growing great, so I will not have to try again! Yay for good seeds!
Yesterday was a sad and happy day all intertwined. It was sad because the last of our lambs got picked up yesterday. But the happy part is that we still have our original 6, and we get to re-breed so we can have more babies!! I am really excited for next lambing season. Dorpers are a wonderful breed, they breed all year. So as soon as we turn the ewes back out with Moe, about 5 or 6 months later we will have babies again! I am excited to see what the next generation of lambs is going to look like, and how many we are going to have. I love farming!
Update on the Aerogarden, all but 1 Tomato seeds have sprouted! I will give them a couple more weeks in there, then I will transplant those and start more seeds! Going home and seen those little seeds sprouting gets me really excited for spring and summer!
Besides the greenhouse being a nursery, there are a couple things growing in there. At the end of the gardening season last year, I decided to do a little experiment. I started some onion seeds and some carrots.
Experimental Carrots and some weeds :)
They all sprouted really well, and have stayed green all winter, but have not really grown that great. I Also was noticing that the onion were growing funny, they were all leaning to the right pretty bad. It wasn’t causing them to die or anything it was just interesting.
Well, just the other day, I went into the greenhouse to make my rounds to each of the Ewes and Lambs, and below is what I discovered.
I love the look in his eyes, he looks like he is saying 'whats your problem'.
This also explains why the carrots have not been growing well. They keep getting squished. Silly Kitty.
Last year I bought a Cascade Hops plant, it grew wonderfully, until, the greenhouse hit 110 degrees and burnt all of the beautiful hops. The plant never recovered, all the leaves turned brown and crispy and it never got any new blooms. So a couple months ago, I went into the greenhouse and trimmed the stocks way back and hoped for the best, and this is what I found!
Picture taken Feb 19th.
It is growing awesome! this picture was taken 3/12/11!
Update on the Tomatoes in the Aerogarden. Much to my surprise 3 out of 7 seeds were all the way open by the time I got home from Portland today. Did I ever mention I LOVE my Aero garden ;-)
As I mentioned above we went to Portland today. I was very happy to find that Costco had their bags of dirt finally available. So I bought myself and my mom Jumbo sized bags of Moisture control MiracleGrow! 6 bags to be exact. I am one happy girl :)