Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

First real frost

We had our first real frost this morning so I need to note this for my records. While we did have a few cold morning and a kinda-frost earlier... this one really hit the mark.

These zinnias have been beautiful all fall... I think they are done now.

Yep. It's a real frost.

Yesterday, while Nicholas was breaking the mower, I was hard at work cleaning up the garden. My only regret was that I forgot about a few tomatoes.

I should have taken these into the house. 

The celery got a little frosty.

I covered up the celery that was still in the garden. But when I checked this morning I saw that some of the cover had blown off... so I hope these guys are OK.

The weather guys are all hopping around talking about how we might get some snow this weekend so it looks like we'll be in hibernation mode soon.  We've been working on getting some firewood but we need to get it stacked up near the house.

Happy Thursday everyone! Did you get a frost?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I might have dinged up the mower.....

Yeah so... I might have dinged up the mower pretty good.... The blade is not supposed to bend that way...

 
 I am the reason we don't have nice things. 

If I can't bang that blade back into shape then I might need a plausible reason why Nicholas was up in the garden using my mower to bushwack those tall weeds. I am not going down for this alone.

 Note: This is what Nicholas does all day. 

Wish me luck, friends. I gotta go find the big hammer.

Happy Wednesday everyone! Are you working on garden clean up and blaming your cat for ruining every piece of machine powered equipment you have?




Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Turning a light on in the hen house

I wanted to note that we finally had to break down and put a light in the hen house. Many of our chickens are older and so they don't lay everyday anyway. But now with the Big Dark rapidly approaching all of those silly hennies are on strike.



We are on our second bag of layer mash also. Some of the gals are having a molt so not only are they unproductive... but they are very very ugly. Poor old gals.

So, shouldn't we just cull the older ones? Yeah. But I love my old biddies. And that's "biddies" and not our Bitty.

I just love my older hens and the way we see it they aren't much trouble at all. Except for the recent layer mash purchases mostly the gals free range anyway - so there is very little expense. Many of our gals have put in their time, laid a lot of eggs, raised a clutch of chicks, or are just so darn cute.

Hands down, the chickens are the best thing about my farming day. I wouldn't miss the goats at all but I would be very lonely without my flock following me around all day, clucking and scolding, and wondering what I was doing.

Is this efficient? Nope. Effective? Nope. But part of this life is really enjoying it. So we do and our older hennies can stay. Next spring we'll bring in some new gals but for now we will just be glad for our old biddies. And hope they start laying again.

Happy Tuesday everyone! Do you have a light on in the hen house?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Three things I hate about fall.

It's true. I don't like fall. At all. Not a bit. Sure I love the cool temps and the crisp, dry air... but that's where my affection ends.

This. What is this about? They are everywhere.

I like my leaves on the trees, the sun warm, and the growing season in full swing. Here are just 3 things that I hate about fall:

1. Those sticky seed thingys. They are everywhere. We are plagued by them. I've even given up on picking the seeds off a few articles of clothing and just thrown them away. I'm covered with them and so are the dogs. We drag so many into the house that the inside cats have them too. Enough!

2. Those weird ladybugs that get in the house. What is with that? They are weird and kinda stinky. And they really bug me. They should be outside enjoying summer not trying to hibernate in the house. But they don't really do any harm so I'll just stand here and glare at them. You can read more about the whole thing here.

3. The stupid time change. Apparently daylight savings time ends on Nov. 2nd and I've already started being mad about it. What the heck, man? It's going to be dark so early. No one likes that! Even Russia got rid of their time change. The whole thing is ridiculous. I think they should pick one and just stick with it. 

This whole fall thing has given me the grumps.

I'm going to start out the day in 2 layers of sweats and a hat. By mid-chores I'll toss my hat on the steps by the door, and end as the day goes along I'll strip off more layers until I'm in shorts and a tshirt and squinting because the sun will perpetually be in my eyes all afternoon. Stupid fall.

Happy Monday everyone! Anyone else have the grumps?


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Bitty. And the weather.

We can't turn our back on Bitty.....

She is always into something. I should not have left the cupboard open.

But seeing our littlest cat, Bitty,  cuddling up with our biggest cat - Nicholas - now that... that was something we did not expect!

Our Itty Bitty is such a small fry next to our Large and In Charge Nicholas. She looks like a toy.

I'm jotting down my notes about the weather. Altho we've had some cool mornings - like today with our 35* temps... it seems like we will have a burst of warm weather. Mid-week we will be about 75-80*.... and then they are expecting our first hard freeze next weekend. We have some work to do outside so we will be hurrying to get it done.

It's always weird this time of year - you never know when that last "good" day is going to happen.  Last year at this time we had our first snow. I don't think that snow is in the forcecast.... but this could be it for our lovely sunny days.

Happy Sunday everyone! Warm? Cold? Indian summer or frozen morning?


Friday, October 24, 2014

How to make Apple Crisp

We love apple season because we love to make a lot of apple crisp. This is so easy to make - and it's a breakfast food. And dessert. And it's perfect for elevensies. Or snacks. Or dinner.

Served warm and swimming in a bowl of cream.

We were lucky that someone we know invited us to come and pick up the last of their apples. They expected us to just throw these "bad" apples to the pigz. Are you kidding? Some of these were perfect - except for a few spots. But if you are going to peel the apples anyway - what's the difference if they are "perfect" or "spotty?"

 My spotty apples. These are Wolf River and Grimes Golden apples - both heritage varieties.

I just peel and cut up the apples until I fill the pan. 

Oatmeal layer - it cooks in the apple juices. Yum!

Then I add a couple of layers. I like a lot of oatmeal - real, old fashioned oatmeal not the quick cooking kind. I add a generous layer of oatmeal right onto the apples trying to get some of it down between the fruit.

Crumble topping - ratios of about a third each of butter, sugar, and flour.

Then I make the crumble topping. I just eyeball the measurements, but I use a ratio of about a third each of flour, brown sugar, and butter. I use this little mini chopper to mix it all up until it's gravelly.

Sprinkle the topping on top.

Then you might as well add some butter to the top also.

But here is the key to a perfect apple crisp - cook it low and slow. I use a 325* oven for at least an hour or until the apples are bubbling. If the topping is getting too brown then just loosely cover with foil.

That's all there is to it. We got another round of "bad" apples so today I'll be making another apple crisp.

Happy Friday everyone! Are you enjoying apple season?


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Beetin' up eggs

Last nite, after a lot of brussel sprouts, blue cheese, and red wine... it occurred to me that I have not recently adequately expressed my love of  beets. You can't beat beets, that is for sure. But the next best thing to beets is - beet pickled eggs. Yep. It's a thing.

Aren't they lovely?

I've already finished off one jar of beets and I had all of this lovely pickled beet juice. I couldn't let it go to waste - and then one of my pals reminded me about pickled hard cooked eggs. Ever since I learned of the miracle of steamed eggs I've been using a lot of had cooked eggs. So I fired up the steamer and make myself some pickled eggs. 

No really, aren't they just beautiful?

I love pickled eggs in salads. I love beets in salads. I love that the salad turns pink when you use beets.
 Seriously, isn't this the greatest thing?

I have a few more hard cooked eggs marinating in beet juice. My next step is to make deviled eggs out of the beet pickled eggs. I can't wait.

Happy Thursday everyone! Do you love beets? How about pickled eggs? How could you not?


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