Canning firsts…

This past weekend i needed some room in my freezer, and i still do. We are slowly working on cleaning it out to defrost it. I took out bananas, figs, and the banana peppers. I was gifted some more okra, so i had that ready too. I had already thawed a turkey to cook. So needless to say, i cooked and washed dishes all day saturday. 


Tooty helped me make 2 loaves of banana bread, they did not last long! 


I love my spoon rest, a gift from my mom!


Guess what this will become?


I don’t even eat pickled okra!! But you can always use it for bartering!


They are put up!


Next up banana peppers!


I love canning!


Fig jam, i am excited about this one!


Tooty baked in her easy bake, since she couldn’t help with jam, i even burned myself in spots from the popping..


And then dinner was served! I also had steamed green beans, fresh!


Dessert was good, cookies i ordered from a fundraiser, it helped clean the freezer as well!


Let’s see what i can do this weekend!

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Save it for later..

So because the weekends are busy, and i am getting accustomed to a different schedule, i have decided to save it for later. We had some nectarines that needed to be preserved, i bagged them and froze them to make jam later. I put up some more peppers and some okra in the freezer as well. When you don’t have time, freeze it, then when winter comes, you can use it! The freezer is filling up fast!

DIY- Duck Coop/Run

So we used all of the pallets we have! Hubby will have to bring more home now! All we have is scrap pallets!

Since we brought ducks home this past Sunday- they needed a pen/coop. So we planned and started building.

The process took almost all day- with little interruptions of course!

Here is part of the building process. And of course- I couldn’t be in the sun due to the antibiotics I was on- so I had to take it easy. I did get out there and help some BUT SSH! Don’t tell- I don’t listen very well!

Here is my faithful companion who sat by us all day watching.

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Look how pretty she lays! It kills me that she crosses her paws!

Here is the finished product! I will be getting a different feeder- and we will be building a different pond for them- but for now they are enjoying their new home!

The duck coop may need some more on the front where we can half house it- and that is why it has the top that comes up- so I can clean it out. Ducks are messy yall!

I will show more of the DIY Duck pond soon! But for now- pallets are our friend. the only thing we bought for this project is 2 hinge kits, one for the door and one for the lid of the coop- and some 2 x 4’s to build the coop. Everything else we had on hand! Although now my netting is out! I will need to buy some more! The plan is to eventually build a duck run- or possibly let them have supervised free range over the garden, as ducks shouldn’t destroy it like chickens will!

Ask questions if need be- we don’t mind answering. The pen is 3 pallets wide and 5 pallets long.

Update

We have been so busy, school is about to start and the homestead always has some projects! 

I finished off the cucumbers before they went bad, and made 8 more jars of bread and butter pickles. Im excited about my blue jar!

By the way pickling is fun, but the smell of vinegar is quite strong! I swear it burned my nose.

We had a baby shower for a co worker who is a friend of mine, so in half an hour on the night before, i threw a diaper cake together. Not my best work, but she loved it. 

And i have caught my summer cold, the season is changing so my allergies have gotten the best of me. Im trying to hang in there, and beat the sinus infection.

DIY- Trim Goatie Hooves

So this weekend, I attempted to trim both the goat’s hooves. Now this was quite the job and took Sheldon, Hubby and I to get this done! Sheldon had to watch to make sure that we did not get disturbed by the loose goat. I need to plan a little better- and make a separate area to do this- also a milking stanchion, but to later plans. For now I know the goats needed to be trimmed. A friend of ours has goats- and some people I know do not trim them at all! But it is like fingernails- I know they had to feel better after!

To plan- I bought a pair of these from Amazon- (Sorry Y’all- I did not get many pictures!)

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They worked wonderful- and look at all those uses!

I did watch a few YouTube videos and read some articles from other bloggers- maybe next time I will get more pictures and be able to post more. I did not want to take too much off- goats have quicks- so if you cut too much- you can make them bleed. Therefore they will need to be done again in about 4 weeks or so. Most of what I heard- you need to trim them every 6 to 8 weeks. It can prevent hoof rot- and more. I think this is more for show goats- BUT I know I don’t want them to get sick- and it looks like it almost hurt to have to walk on funky hooves- so maybe more for me than them.

They both seemed to be happier a little after- although they did not want to come near us for awhile. They don’t hold grudges long y’all. I found the easiest way to trim was Hubby helped catch them- one at a time- and then we rolled them onto their backs on his lap. It worked really well as they did not scream as much and they got loving as I was messing with their feet. I did the front first and then the back. I trimmed little by little and they probably needed more- but I started to see what looked like part of the quick/foot. So I will trim them again in 4 weeks and each time I will get better and soon become an expert!

They do seem to be happier when they walk!

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Look for that post soon! Also look for a goat expansion post and update- we may be adding more to the herd since Kevin and MJ are half brother and sister and really can’t breed together! I may let them have one set- BUT MJ is 7 months old, and Kevin is 6 months old.

What to do with cut grass?

So Monday, we had to cut the grass. It was getting long, and we knew it had to be done to do the fireworks, and for the kids. I don’t like it to be kept long because of the bugs especially. Hubby borrowed his dads sweeper so we wouldn’t have grass flakes everywhere. Well what do you do with all of the cut grass? We have 3/4 of an acre, and most of it is grass, it was pretty long, so we had about 3 loads to do something with.

The first load got taken to the chicken pens, the girls freaked when we added it- but learned very quickly what it was. They were very happy after, as I’m sure it had a couple crickets- and yummy bugs as well. We are hoping it will cut down on the mud some- and reseed the area. The next 2 loads got taken to the goat pen to try to regrow the grass in there as well. The last load went into the compost.

This was right after, and I am hoping that it reseeds the ground. It is all dead and brown now- but at least it is in there preventing some more mud.

The goats were a little unsure- and they did not eat it- so that is a good sign!

I will have to let everyone know how well this works!

DIY- Goat Hay Feeder

Hubby and I have been talking about a hay feeder for the goats, and finally got one built!

Pinterest is where I get all my good ideas y’all! So to whomever originally posted this- thanks! I have to give credit where credit is due- this is not my idea- I just executed it!

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Goaties need hay- and they don’t want it wet- or if it has touched the ground! I never knew goats could be so picky- mine are y’all- mine are! I tried to feed them corn on the cobb- they don’t like it. They don’t like strawberry tops either!

To make the feeder- we used an old plastic tote that was warping. It can hold 2 to 3 flakes. We nailed a 2 x 4 piece that we had laying around to the pallet wall- and then screwed the tote on. If you look at the back- it has a little of an angle because I need to be able to place the lid on and off- you don’t want the hay wet!

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It took a minute to figure out what it was!

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We absolutely love it!

Goat Update

The goats are doing great! We are doing some more DIY with them later this week. I still have to finish cleaning out the pen this weekend. I can’t do it much when it is raining! We are expecting rain all week! Good for the garden- but not to do work in. We did manage to get a new watering system set up!

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Enjoying the new hay in their pen! I still have to clean some more in the pen, but at least they have a fresh, dry spot to lay now!

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The brushes were an addition awhile ago- we added some brushes so they can rub against them and brush themselves! I have seen them use them sometimes. Here is our new water get up. We bought a bigger water tub- better than the 2 buckets! It gives them fresh water all the time! We did buy a float so that these guys will never be without water! Not as frugal because we bought a new tub, and the float- BUT it is a time saver so it has that going for it!

Stay tuned for some more goat pen, and goat toys expansion and DIY Frugal ideas!

First Canning Experience-

So we had a fun weekend last weekend and went to a local farm to pick strawberries. We now have to go back to pick more! We picked 6 gallons! I didn’t get many pictures, we were having too much fun!

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These are out eating strawberries! A bunch went into the freezer for pies and smoothies later! Or bread or whatever I happen to want to make!

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These are my jam strawberries. 2 full gallon bags went into the freezer, I didn’t have the energy to make it all. So we will be making more soon

 

wp-1494378876539.jpgThis is Tooty’s slicer! I bought it from my Avon Lady, since Tooty loves strawberries and wants to do everything herself! She just chats and chats while she slices them, it is comical! And adorable!

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It makes such even slices, and my 6 year old has no trouble using it!

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So hubby and I decided to make some jam that night! I didn’t get much pictures, it was my first canning experience, and I had such a good time! I have never tried this recipe, and can I say it is amazing! I am so glad I made it!

It takes 5 and a half cups of crushed strawberries, so I still have plenty of more strawberries to use and make some more. This recipe made 9 and a half jars of jam! Every jar popped! I was so happy! I will have to take more pictures for next time! Hubby was boiling jars to sterilize and keep hot while I was making the jam. It does require constant stirring! Tip- Remember hot canning things need to go into hot jars!

I had such fun, and can’t wait to can some more now! The mess I can say is worth it, but it was a LOT of dishes!

Have you canned anything yet?

Learn as you go- Chicken Edition

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So we tried to integrate the babies into the big girls coop. That did not go to well. You live and you learn right? I did not have any casualties, so that is a good thing! Spaz does not like the babies right now and needs to establish her dominance apparently!

She has been pecking and chasing the babies. So we are now on week 2 of separation, and I will have to try this weekend and see what will happen. Hubby came up with this idea, after we quarantined Spaz for a minute. Violet is not aggressive but doesn’t like the babies near her pecking spot- but she hasn’t pecked at them or chased them.

We placed some chicken wire to separate the girls, and the babies have a roost. I may be looking at expanding the coop as well. It worked really well, until one morning when I went outside 2 of the babies had flown into the big coop, and didn’t know how to get back. Spaz went on attack mode. Needless to say that involved a trip in the coop to put the babies back and the hubby bending the wire down so they can’t get out.

I don’t recommend doing this while tired, I jabbed my leg, so now I have a huge bruise and a hole where the chicken wire caught it, and some more bruises from getting in and out.

Any tips on integrating? I am hoping the babies will be big enough soon that they can fight back and not get picked on. I don’t want to come home to a blood bath!

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