Monday, November 30, 2009

Puppy Class I

Tonight was Lagers first ever puppy training class. The class was held at Kennebunk MSPCA. The building and trainer were very nice. It was sad to see how many animals they had awaiting placement.I liked the 6 month old Bloodhound girl in class, Roxy.Puppy class is all about socialization Lager did well with that.I think my pup is tuckered out!Lager went in his crate without a peep. I made apple crisp ,now I'm tired as well. I might have to mix up the menu,hamburger rolls are not done. I thought tonight was CSA pick up , it is tomorrow, and two dogs have appointments with Vet.Might do Crock Pot Pork and slow roast beans tomorrow,will buy time with out purchasing any thing extra.

Friday, November 27, 2009

This Weeks Menu

Breakfast: Pumpkin Squares
Lunch:Holiday "Left overs"
Dinner:Turkey Pot Pie
Onion Soup (Turkey Base)
(No More Turkey I Promise)
Breakfast:Bagels with apple sauce
Farm Fresh eggs
Lunch:Grilled Cheese
Dinner:Abenaki Club Pot Luck
We will bring Anti pasta plate
Breakfast:French Toast with Brown Sugar Banana Syrup Maine Maple Syrup
After breakfast Bob to Ma. to help Bobby and Keri
I plan to "graze" all day and decorate!
Breakfast:Soft Boiled Egg
(No I'm not afraid to eat soft boiled eggs,I eat only fresh local eggs)
Celery sticks and carrots w/ranch dressing
Baked Potato
Dinner:CSA Veggies from Wolf Pine Farm Maine
Steak on Grill
Bread Pudding (Made with leftovers from Sundays French Toast)
Breakfast More Bread Pudding w/ Yogurt
Lunch: Veggie wrap
Hamburgers with Homemade Buns
Root veggies Baked
Apple Crisp
Breakfast Apple Crisp
Lunch :Hard Boiled Eggs and?
Dinner:Crock Pot Pork w. BBQ Sauce
Breakfast Quiche
Lunch Left over pork in Ham. Buns
Dinner: Clam Chowder Bread Bowls

Steps in Sustainablity

I have been thinking I will soon add a mission statement to this blog something that tells more about our farm goals, I have not yet completed that task. If you have followed my blog for any length of time you probably have figured out some of my values and goals.
Two of the most important "things" in my life are my Family and Farm.
In an attempt to be a good steward of my farm I have been trying to be less wasteful,of all our resources.
We collect rain via. rain buckets and use it on the farm for cleaning kennels and gardening. We raise chickens and grow veggies and herbs.
We shop local when we can and eat in season.
The ultimate goal is to one day work only on the farm,a sustainable life will be a huge part of reaching this goal.I have for years,done weekly menu's.
Before I go to the store I have "in mind" what we will eat for the week. In an attempt to fine tune this process I am putting in place some new processes many I have learned from other blogs.
1.)Written weekly menu's (not just an menu idea)
2.) Grocery Lists
(I down loaded a free temp.plate at
3.)No shop / No spend Days (stick to the menu)
ps.the photo is local canned harvest @ The Fair


There is a book called The Maine Dictionary by John McDonald it defines trailer as follows: "As far as many Mainers are concerned, be they ever so humble , traylahs are home."...
TRAyLuh house trayluhs,boat trayluhs,snowmobile traluhs,horse trayluhs,and livestock trayluhs .
"He points out that many people in Maine earn a living going from one trayluh to another. They'llwake up in their double wide and go to work driving a semi-tractor trayluh. They come back to their double wide after eight or ten days on the road , have a quick nap, and then hook up a boat and trayluh to their 4x4 and head up to camp - a log cabin trayluh combo."

This is my latest addition it is a chicken trailer.
I purchased it from the farmers at Wild root Farm, as they closed.
Bob has a tool trailer and we have a manure trailer, so this addition is officially #3 trailer so as defined by the Maine dictionary we are on our way to being true Mainers.
Bob picked up the trailer and nesting boxes from the girls mid week while I was working. Bob said he was glad I was not home to catch a photo as it was toed down the street.
This trailer will make it possible to have free range chicken.
Free-Range Eggs
Free-range eggs have darker yolks and “eggier”
They have elevated vitamin levels, especially
vitamin A
They command high prices at farmer’s markets,
health-food stores, bakeries, restaurants, and
locally-owned supermarkets
Free-Range Chickens
Free-Range chickens tend to produce more
Bully less
eat fleas, ticks and grubs
Fertilize pasture
Moving the Trailer
This trailer will hitch to the back of my Tractor ,or Bobs mower.
It is even light enough to move by hand short distances.
The fencing will be quick portable fencing with solar charge. When I put it into use in the spring I will take more photo's.
If you are going to try a portable coop this is what I've learned to be Best Practice:
Move your houses when the area around them gets
muddy or the manure gets thick rather than spotty.
Hens can find their house again if it’s moved a
short distance, but not a long one
Train your hens by moving the house 20 feet or
less the first time
You can move houses with experienced hens up to
100 feet at a time.
Wait till the nieghbor gets alook at this moving around MY Farm

Black Friday Blahh

Because I work in retail I have no choice but to face "Black Friday" head on. My 15 mile commute to work this morning took twice as long , and each light seemed to double cycle. I am amazed at how many people still choose this shopping ritual as their first choice to kick of the Holiday celebration.When I arrived at the Big Orange Box at 6am ,people were lined up to purchase their shop vacuums and patio heaters.I am not saying that Bob and I wont shop for the holidays, we will. I have one item I am in the market for,for each of my children's homes.If I happened to see them value priced this week end even better .However that confession complete 90% of my shopping is done. I shop starting in September purchasing as things strike me for certain individuals. More than half of my gifts will be home made on our farm or hand made by locals. I just wonder how much love and thought goes into these Black Friday, must have purchases. Does anyone truly have 6 people on their list that want or need shop vacs?I am thankful today that after 3:00 I have two days on my farm with no responsibilities dedicated to retail.This holiday season I am looking forward to decorating my house and barn , sledding with my Team of Belgians and spending time with my family. I challenge you to find something at the mall that is more fun then spending time on my farm with my family (the two and four legged loved ones)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Does Turkey Make You Sleepy

Lager is resting after his turkey day. I guess the turkey dinner was a hit, the house is quiet and everyone is resting with full bellies. The food was yummy most every thing on our table was local. It was fun to open the cranberry sauce and apple sauce and share it. Thanks to my CSA we had more root veggies than oven space. Going out to feed pig some squash and potato scraps and the horses some apples. At this time of year Huck starts barking about 3:30. He likes to settle in in the barn before dark.

Happy Thanksgiving

Holiday Greetings from Hooves and Hounds Farm !
The holiday is underway the turkey is in the oven. I changed plans this morning, and opted out of the sage and butter turkey I had planned.The kitchen tools looked more like operating tools. After visiting the pantry I decided to glaze the bird with my homemade apple cider butter and inject it with apple cider and local maple syrup.I purchased this injection needle at Cabela's. I also made a herb butter for under the breast skin. Keep your fingers crossed

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful Day Before

Day before Turkey Day
I am thankful for a husband that helps with chores
(at least the outside ones).
I am thankful for a job that helps purchase a Thanksgiving feast
(although I long for the day I work only on my farm).
I have been working 6am - 3pm this week at the Big Orange Box, and Bob has been doing all the farm chores, making it possible to do holiday chores on my lunch and after work.
The house needs a serious session with the vacuum and that is planned for 3:30
I am Thankful for my puppy.
We sure have allot of groceries at the house,and when I get home I will start preparations for the feast. My son Bobby and his girl friend Keri are coming for the holiday, so I have an excuse to cook in excess.YAY
Did I mention I am thankful for a son who loves left overs.
I am thankful that Keri will keep me company as I prep tonight.
The menu this year will come largely from The Food Network.I bought a 29#lb Turkey (for 4 people)
Bob is traveling to Ma. today to see Bobby and Keri's new home, I wish I could have gone. Bobby and Keri have been working night and day to get ready for their move Monday. It is a sacrifice for them to give up a full day there tomorrow to spend the holiday with us , so Bob is going to help them a bit today.
The Menu
Deviled Eggs (Farm Fresh)
Home Made Pickles
Bacon Spinach Dip (full pig next spring not 1/2)
Turkey w Sage (note to self , purchase Turkey in spring)
Home Made Cranberry Sauce w Pears and applesauce
Sweet potatoes,Maine white potatoes, squash,carrots (most from CSA)
Can corn /the Men like;(
apple crisp (Moms recipe)
Chocolate cheese cake bars (Keri likes chocolate)
Pumpkin cake

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

When You Count Your Blessings Count HorsesTwice

When I decided to keep him, Bob supported me. He said you can keep him if you want,but you have to realize with this one it will be one hour ,one day one week at a time. It has been one year

After a walk we put Jake in a stall with water and I got him a banana.Nickel loves bananas I have fed them to him forever and he eats them peel and all.Jake did not eat the banana at first , it sat in his bucket for 2 days.
Jake did not urinate for two days , I now know he was dehydrated in addition to all else.
When Jake finlay produced a pile of manure, Bob went in the stall to pick it up and what we witnessed then spoke volumes.
Jake coward in the corner clearly he was afraid of "the man with the rake".
On day two Jake started to cough. Bob called a friend for advise. Dick F. came at the end of the week with some sulfur for the cough. He took one look at Jake and said " I wouldn't of paid 50.00 for him". Bob and I estimated Jake to be at least 400lbs under wait, probably closer to 600 if you figure a 17 hand Belgian can easily weigh 2000lbs.Bobby and Keri took a ride to Meaders with us and we bought a halter that fit. The halter that scared him we threw away.
It took weeks of adding sulfur to his food to clear that cough. The first time we had his feet trimmed we were told by the trimmer it had probably been a year sense Jake's feet were cared for. If you look at old posts you will see his broken hooves and the foot baths that fallowed. The first time I tried to get on Jake's back I went for a ride in an ambulance after hitting the frozen ground and being stepped on.One year later , I can now ride Jake.I know he does not like feet on him so I ride him differently than I do Nick , but I enjoy riding him. Jake now gets his hooves done every 6 weeks and Matt his trimmer says he stands better then any other draft he's trimmed. Jake's diet is supplemented with Smart Packs of vitamins and he enjoys many bananas, apples cranberries and candy canes.I can now scratch Jake's back with the rake, although he displays less of a passion for this than Nick. I have learned Nick and Jake have been brought up very different, and so they are different. Jake on his own is a huge part of the miracle that is my farm.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Heaven Was Full Part I

Today I am thankful for almost year with Jake. Tomorrow will be Jake's anniversary on our farm. Given that we are celebrating an anniversary ,you kinda know how this unfolds. However I feel doubly blessed so this will be two blogs.
When I groom Jake I tell him God sent him here because heaven was full.
Jake is my "about 15 year old Belgian" or as they say in Maine "15 going on 20"
When Bob and I bought this farm we had one Draft horse and one Mini. With all the green pasture and fresh air Nickel ,the draft quickly outgrew his Mini companion. We started thinking about having a "team". With a team we could do more, pull a bigger wagon or sled trail ride together...We started to look at adding a second draft. Bob said "no more yearlings, they are allot of work".We decided to get an older Belgian,someone that could teach Nickel.We read an ad (we read hundreds).One for a 15 year old Belgian gelding. The ad partly read "flashy" Belgian, Amish Trained, Bomb proof rides and drives safe with farm animals and tractors...This Belgian was in Pennsylvania.We made a number of calls over a month.We were told Jake had both been a show horse and a work horse. The seller said she purchased Jake 8 months prior from an Amish man ,who felt he was not earning his keep. The vet went out and reported Jake was "a good horse but slightly under weight". We committed to purchase Jake. He was to arrive on Monday the week of Thanksgiving.On Monday he began his trek,stopped by an ice storm. When the trailer arrived on Tuesday , and the tail gate opened Bob asked where is the Belgian? He was the horse closest to the tail gate ,he was packed in (the meet wagon) side ways, his tail had chafed against the inside of the trailer. The manure was deep and no one had water.We unloaded Jake, he was covered with a winter blanket,torn and tied with a rope. The driver was quick to tell us he wanted the blanket back. We took Jake aside to remove the blanket. Bob questioned if the horse had been switched.Bob looked at me and said "what do you want to do with this".I could see in his kind eye it was "my horse" Jake. I called the seller and had some words.I said a prayer. I spoke with the driver, who told me he had one more farm stop before he headed up
North . (Canada still slaughters).
I paid the driver and he left. Bob walked Jake around the pasture, making a sour puss like he had been fed lemons. Read part II tomorrow on Jakes anniversary.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

wrong again!

Thankful week Day 2
Today I am thankful, that I was wrong yesterday!
I mentioned that Jake does not lie down often , today he pointed out he does(when he chooses). I am thankful that I was wrong , because if Jake can lower his guard then I am doing a good job with him.
Today was a typical New England weather day, you walk out side and can see your breath.As you get bizzy doing chores you take of layers,as you rake you sweat. Then you go for an end of the day trail ride and come back shivering. Just in time for roast beef potatoes and Patriots football.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thankful Week

Many horse very rarley lie down, Nickel lies down alot.
Becouse horses are pray animals, it is rare to see them lie down.
Horses are usally ready to run for their lives. Horses legs are equiped with locking meconisms that provent them from fallind over when they sleep standing up. I am thankful that Nickel feels safe enough on his farm that he lies down alot. On occasion we have seen both Jake and Nick lie down but most often Nickel lies down and Jake stands gaurd. Nick is so content that both Bob and I have layed along side him in the paddock. I have to tell you it is an awsome feeling to lay along side a 1800lb creature and know your safe. I am thankful.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Some things do not make sence

Yesterday I got up and put on my khakis, and headed down to the barn to say good bye before work. I quickly remembered,it is not the weather for Khakis. I changed into my jeans. Bob had propane delivered, at the same price we paid last February.After work I did some chores ,ate dinner and showered before I sat down to stuff envelopes for the Abenaki Club. It was cold in our room, when the heat is on it is set at 64. I asked Bob to start the fire. He promptly told me fires are illegal in Maine in November,then he got me a blanket.Today I awoke at 4:30 to 29 degree dog walking. I went to work dressed in layers, it got clear and warm. At about 11 they asked employees to move cars from employee parking. The company that supplies our propane hooked a pipe to an area in the lot and lit a fire. They were "cleaning the pipes" .The fire burned till they put it out at 4:oo when I was heading out. I don't understand a place where we burn fuel all day and pollute the air to clean, while others turn down the thermostat and freeze. hmm

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

5LB Bread

Yesterday while at work I was thinking about my CSA share from last week, what I picked up and what was left at home.(I often fantasize about farm life at work)
I was thinking " I have to do something with the cranberries" .
I have shared a few handfuls with the Belgians but did not want to feed all of those beautiful fresh berries to the horses, they had already feasted on many of the shares apples.Cranberries are good for people and horses/ loaded with antioxidants.
I decided because I am out of canning jars, I would make bread.
The cranberries add a wonderful tartness to the sweet Orange bread. I made the largest cranberry bread I have ever made.
I worked 9-6 so almost bailed out of the idea, but I am glad I went through with it.My Mom use to make Cranberry bread for the holidays. My Mom use to make every thing for the holidays, cooking from Thanksgiving to New Years.
My Dad loved holiday food Thanksgiving was one of his most favorite days of the year eat nap eat!
My Mom cooks much less these days, now that my Dad has passed and the BIG eaters(my brother Harry and I ) are gone.The scents of the holidays bring me back , to happy times.

The bread was cooking as I cleared the dinner dished.It produces this heavenly seasonal scent that makes us sure that the holidays are upon us and almost brings a warmth into the darkness of winter.

Cranberry Bread: (makes 1 regular size loaf)
I got this recipe at a tour of Ocean Spray Museum on Water Street in Plymouth(I think it's gone now)

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons butter (softened) or vegetable oil

1 tablespoon grated orange peel

1 egg well beaten
1 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I left out)
In a large bowl mix together thPreheat the oven to 350F

Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.

Chop the Cranberries and walnuts and set aside.e flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Stir in the orange juice, orange peel, egg and butter.

Then fold in the chopped cranberries and walnuts.

Spread the mixture evenly in the greased loaf pan and bake in the oven at 350F for 55 minutes.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Missing My Dad today,miss him every day.
Thinking today how short life is, and how thankful I am for mine. I love my family and my farm. I think my Dad would like it here. It is peaceful, and yet there is lots to "putter with".
I think this place is near perfect, our one mean neighbor has gone for the winter. Yesterday when we were exiting Duke Lane the 4H kids were walking Cows !
Today it was in the 60's.
My new pup seems to agree that farm life is good.
When you stop to take it all in there is much to be thankful for.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Apple Cake

2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup apples, peeled, cored and cubed
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 9-inch pie pan (Pyrex is what I use).
Preheat oven to 350º F.
Lightly coat pie pan with non-stick spray or a light coating of butter
Beat eggs and sugar until smooth (like lemon filling).
Add remaining ingredients and stir until well mixed.
Pour into 9-inch pie pan and bake at 350º F for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick
inserted in the center comes out clean.
Bob likes topped with whip cream


In and around the chicken coop there is a flurry of activity. The rain has stopped and the hens are happy that the storm stirred up the pests, and worms. Roosters and Hens are awesome for keeping the ground clear of little pests.

Sexy Feet

After the dogs were done at the vet, it was time for the big boys to get a trim. It is funny to think this is the last trim before sled season. Today we are going to go look at a Bob sled to consider for the team. Jake has come a long way in one year, he is very comfortable with Matt, the trimmer.