Archive for April 1, 2013

Chickens love…..

If chickens go crazy over the first, lush grass of spring…..


Chickens love that first, lush spring grass!

Chickens love that first, lush spring grass!

What could possibly make them run AWAY from the grass????


Why are these chickens running

What could the possibly be running TOWARD??????


Clabbered milk!

Clabbered milk!

Clabbered milk, of course!!!!

What treats make your chickens race to get there first?

I am not afraid


My dear husband is in charge of our 6 hives of honeybees. It looks like our bees fared quite well this winter. They came through with plenty of leftover honey, pollen and lots of new brood.

Our youngest boy, known as FlyingBoy as he rarely does anything slowly, has been afraid of bees. Today he and I walked out to observe dear husband at work in the hives.

“Why does daddy have on that suit?”

“Because he is going into the bees house and they don’t like it. They protect their house by flying very close to and sometimes even trying to sting him. But his suit protects him so he doesn’t feel their stings.”

“Why don’t we have on suits?”

“Because we are not touching the bees house. We are going to sit back here and observe quietly. We don’t have on any stinky smells like cologne or perfume that would make them worry that we might be an animal that would steal their honey.”

We sit perfectly still for a few moments, listening to the deep buzzzzz.

“Do you want to go a little closer and look at the frame that holds the bee babies, the honey and the pretty pollen?”

“Okay, if you come with me.” he whispers, encircling my ear with his hand.

We creep forward slowly, in complete silence. Now we’re are sitting about 2 feet from the hive and daddy is holding a frame out for us to see it up close. It has many bees crawling on it.

In hushed voice I say, “Ohhhh! Look at the pretty colors! Those different shades of yellow and green are pollen that the bees have collected from all kinds of plants. Pretty cool, huh?”

Long pause, while FlyingBoy quietly observes.

“Mom? I’m not afraid anymore.”




$10.99 at Meijer. Vintage blue Mason jars are so pretty!!!

Spring snow, lush grass and bloat

We have had lots of rain this spring. The rivers are swollen and the fields are a beautiful green. The grass just burst through the ground a few days ago.

Yesterday it snowed in the lower peninsula of Michigan, but its supposed to warm up again this weekend.


With the appearance of lush, green grass we had some very happy cows who were anxious to get at it.

So here is my question: How do you prevent bloat? What are your experiences with animals that got bloat? How did you treat it?


Stay in our current home and buy land vs. moving to a farm

As we chip away at painting Every. Single. Room. in our house, the thought has crossed my mind….wouldn’t it just be easier to find acreage near our house and drive to milk the cows? I mean, hey, that’s what I’m doing now, right?


Well, here is one “Con” for driving to the cows every morning. Deer wake up early in the morning too.

Windy, wet and cold: spring in Michigan!

Cold temperatures and sideways blowing rain this morning made for miserable conditions. Back roads are flooded over in places, farm fields have standing water and streams are frothing with the heavy flow of overnight rain. Luckily, the cows don’t care. They just keep giving delicious milk. Today would be a great day to warm a pot of honey-cardamom milk and serve it in steamy mugs. There isn’t really a recipe: fill a pot with as much milk as will fill your mugs, add some cardamom seeds… Maybe a 1/2 teaspoon? And a couple spoonfuls of honey and warm to just below boiling. Enjoy!


Abundance of Spring


MyGirl whipped the egg yolks with maple syrup and cream, then poured it into glass bowls which were set in a hot water bath in the oven.

With spring comes abundance. The extra sunshines brings extra eggs. Chickens lay more eggs when there is more daylight. With warmer temperatures comes rising tree sap and maple syrup. And with rain comes more grass and thus the cows give us extra milk and cream. Our cup runneth over- literally! The refrigerator is stocked with a gallon of fresh maple syrup and 4 dozen un-spoken-for eggs and an extra 1/2 gallon of cream. What to do? MyGirl made creme brûlée!


“Cottage Style” creme brulee – sans the blow torch, we just used the broiler to carmelize the tops



How Much Should You Grow In Your Garden To Feed Your Family?

Below is a link to a fantastic post over at Well Fed Homestead about how much you should grow in order to feed your family for an entire year.


Milk Cans and Muddy Roads


Milk cans and muddy roads

Milk cans are wedged in the back of my SUV, with old quilts stuffed between to keep the clanking and rattling to a minimum. It was a nice sunrise, not spectacular, but a mild, pink sunrise.

By the time we finished milking, my left hand wasn’t working properly. After two weeks of sleeping in on the weekend and wielding a paintbrush all day instead of milking, my hand muscles are soft again. I was disappointed because I couldn’t finish milking and had to ask M. for help. I know he is glad for even one or two cows less to have to milk, but I felt discouraged.  What if we buy a farm and move the cows here and I can’t finish milking them by myself?  When I was learning to milk, K. lived with us for 2 weeks and was drawn into service for several days as forearm and hand muscles grew accustomed to the extra work load.  Worry doesn’t help anyone though.  Deep breath.  I rest knowing that it’s in God’s hands.

At least we are making good progress getting our house ready to sell. We are half done painting and we picked out new flooring this weekend. I can’t wait to start looking for a farm to buy!


Crisp spring morning sunrise