Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What a difference

a day makes. Yesterday 92 today 62 tonight 30. This is Belgian weather. My team is happy ! The daffodils are finally blooming. The Turkeys are out, and although I can not wait to get my hands in garden soil, I'm glad my veggies are on the deck frost tonight.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

8:43 PM

It is late for us here at Hooves and Hounds. We have been up and moving for 16 3/4 hours. I was not going to post, but it is Nickels Birthday so I know his Birth Farm Mom will be checking ,so here is a couple photo's for Toni at Perry Farm. Nickels 4Th Birthday started at 4 am for Mom and Dad at 5 am for the Team ( and Minni) with breakfast, 6am turn out , stall cleaning fresh shavings. 2pm back into to barn for baked apples and cool down time in front of the stall fans. 4:30 hose down in isle, respray of fly spray, reclean of stalls, 3 more hours out to pasture, then back to barn for dinner plus 1 apple 1 banana and 1 pare each, grooming (Daddy is doing while mom types) and night hay. OK he's slightly pampered.

Monday, April 27, 2009

chow time

As it starts to get dark it's time to shut the chicken house and call the boys in.
Once the isle lights are on and the stall doors are open all that's left is to shut of the fence, hook the rope and open the gate.Thee boys walk in with out leads. We have a thin white rope to help the team stay focused on the path to the barn. When the gate is unhooked the know the way to the stalls. Nickel always goes first. Tonight Nickel detoured right to taste the new grass. Jake thought this was his chance to gain the lead , but Nickel was not having it, he is first in this barn.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bread Pudding

I used cinnamon raisin bread this time and we had it for breakfast , last time I used Arse ago Cheese bread and we had it with dinner.

6 slices day old bread torn into chunks

2 T melted butter

1/2 c extra raisins

4 eggs beaten

2 cups milk

3/4 cup sugar

cinnamon and 1 tsp vanilla

Place torn up bread in greased dish mix all other ingredients ( as you would for scrambled eggs)

pour mix onto bread and beak 45 min 350

I topped with granola, you can top with whip cream or berries as well


The weather this week end was beautiful in Maine .
Both yesterday and today offered sun and seventies. No rest for the farmers however. In addition to the regular chores , Bob is working very hard on the double run in, and I'm sorry to say I'm not much help. The boys were moved to the back yard while the side yard is under construction. When I woke on Saturday, I made a double batch of cinnamon raisin bread pudding and brought half to a neighbor. Later in the morning, our neighbor Dave stopped in he and Bob trimmed the roosters flight feathers. This task became necessary when he flew the coop Friday night and visited the barn. A barn visit would be less of an issue if the barn cats were not such big hunters. In the evening we had a club meeting, I made a vanilla bean cake with berries to share at the meeting. In addition to the carpentry we did take a nice Sunday morning ride with the team today, and we opened the back pasture for the boys to graze, it has been closed about 5 months. We also hung the barn fans, at the stall windows.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day

Today is Earth Day , and my Dads Birthday.

A good day to walk around the yard and just be thankful for what we have. The big plan for the day was to clean the side paddock of the remnants of winter. However after 2 days of rain , I could not get the tractor out. The rain bucket works, it is full .The facithia is blooming. I did remove a couple of buckets of muddy manure, but they get heavy fast. I hope to get it clean by Sunday, for Nickel and Minni's Birthday.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Stage one

run in two

Rooster sightin

The rooster never came out of his house today. Bob and I took a ride to the hardware store and purchased hook and eyes to keep the doors from blowing in the wind. The doors were open all day , however Mr. Rooster never came out. The morning started out windy and cold but when the wind was still it was nice. I got on Jake today and rode him for the first time sense my fall. It was a bit frightening getting back on. I rode Nickel first and further, but I did get on Jake and stay on so that is a good first step. Bob also took a ride, on Nickel while he was saddled. Mostly Bob worked on getting footings in place for the boys new run in , that will offer them shelter from the sun and rain when they are in the side paddock. Pig was the smartest of all, he spent his Sunday taking a nap.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Spring Shots

Today the boys got their spring shots.

Rain barrel benefits

We have added a rain barrel,our new irrigation system.
Rain barrels not only store water, they help decrease demand during the summer months.
Only 1/4 inch of rainfall runoff from the average roof is thought to be enough to completely fill the typical barrel. Collection of water from rooftop runoff can provide an ample supply of this free "soft water". Great for raised beds, or pig pools.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Sun shine

Today was a nice sunny day. A perfect 2ND day of vacation. My Mom came up from Massachusetts for an overnight visit. Bob dethached the lawn and woke it up for spring. We got our first rooster,he is picture shy so no picture yet. The Big Boys took Mom and Bob for a Drive.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Haulin House II

Last week we moved pig's house across the yard.

Today we moved the chicken house across town.

The chicken house was a much larger challenge. Notice from the pictures 5 men and 2 machines loaded the house on the truck Bob and I moved it to it destination.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Road Trip

Today I was on the road for work. The task was to visit locals and see who's doing what in regards to building , building maintenance. The majority of the efforts I witnessed came from landscapers. Although I did talk to some contractors and Inn keepers. The old homes that are some of the nicest Inns require lots of upkeep. This mission was not difficult to accept given the clear ski's and sun. The windows in the photo's are from the front of The Waldo Emerson Inn, located in Kennebunk. What is interesting about these windows are the sliding "Arrow Head Shutters" . The Inn keeper told me the Inn is from 1784 and was part of the underground RR. The Arrow Head Shutters a were closed to keep flying arrows out. if you view the shutters from the street side you can see dents said to be from arrows. The large estate on the break wall is the Bush Compound. The house with the contemporary rounded front was designed for the Owners by their son, an Architect who's name slips my mind. The carriage shed barn was across from the Bush compound, I think some Belgians and a nice wagon would fit in well.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Pig on the move

Pig has been relocated,he is no longer in the barn (the winter stay) or the side yard (last year). Pig is on the opposite side of the yard, this will make room (so I'm told) for the raised garden beds and the chicken house. I am keeping my fingers crossed to have the chicken house, and perhaps one garden bed in time for my vacation , so I can work on them...

What is a carrot hunt?

Well it's an egg hunt for Belgians. You take 6-8 very large carrots and you place them under 1/2 a bale of hay and you let your horses hunt for them,even Minni's like this game.

Happy Easter

Happy Easter from Hooves and Hounds Farm.

Bob and I had a very bizzy day we started with our regular barn chores, followed by an Easter Carrot hunt (Belgian don't want eggs) and then a move for pig from in the barn to outside into his new pen and yard work. We wrapped things up about 4 with dog walking then in for Easter dinner leg of lamb.
Jake is not in this photo because he was very up for the carrot hunt but not so the ears. I am not OK with frightening him for a photo.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Soups on

This year I made a couple of commitments to my self, regarding change. One was to waste less, in rearguards to energy and food. The state of the nation has caused me to think about security, family, waste and what we can and can not change. I love to cook,eat and to entertain, in the past this has resulted in large grocery bills and much waste. I am working to waste less without sacrificing taste. As a result of this today I made a soup, that I thought was worth sharing.

I only had to purchase two ingredients for this, every thing else was in the pantry.

Sausage and Kale Soup

In a large oven safe pan add olive oil diced onion diced potato/skin on salt and pepper bay leaf 1lb each sweet and hot sausage,removed from skin and 1c broth.

I used turkey as we had a turkey last week and I made stock

this cast iron dutch oven I bought at Carbellas/I Love It

cover and bake 350 about 1 hour,

remove from oven dice up sausage to bight size

add 4 more cups broth ,fresh grated nutmeg. Put on stove top to bring to boil/to heat broth

add sliced Kale , heat to taste 15-30 min. Remove top with grated cheese. serve Bob is not a huge soup fan so I also grilled him some sandwiches: grill cheese tomato basil, in the pans cover.