In chronological order, some days are just like that

It is dry now. Not unusual for September. So I am watering. a-tuesday-002 a-tuesday-003 a-tuesday-006

The first thing I do every morning is load the dehydrator and start the sauce. Oh and here is the link to the tomato sauce I am making today. It is from Tanya in Spain.  This is the one that Chg John makes too. It comes highly recommended.

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The sheep head for the shade very early in the day, but the cows graze on and off all day. Daisy my big Ayrshire is not bothered by the heat. Oh, Look again at the shot of fat Queenie (the Hereford heifer) – in the background you will see the big  car in the yards. Wel,l last night I got John to open the boot up .. I have decided to use it as a hay feeder this winter.  I will clean it out very carefully and give it a try today.  Saves buying one.

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Minty has decided that her favourite shade is in with the broiler chickens. The rest of the flock is under the trees but she sticks her head in under the tarp. Sheep TV. a-tuesday-058a-tuesday-061

The tarp flaps about in the breeze, and it is quite cool in there. Meadow has joined her. Which has led me to begin to design a Chicken Ark that doubles as a shelter for the sheep. I love the idea of multi-purpose structures.  And next year my layers will be out in an Ark  for the summer as well.



The September Home Grown Challenge has taken another interesting turn. Without the convenience of bought butter,  (once again when we make something by hand we are very frugal with it’s use and this summer I have to BUY the raw milk that gives me the cream that makes the butter  – I can only  buy local farm milk , flour and olive oil)-  I have begun to make pastry and roast the vegetables with the strained lard left over from the lamb roasts.  This is what my mother used to do. We ate roast mutton once a week when I was young, we were never short of lard.  And last night eating our crunchiest of crunchy roast potatoes I have decided I am never going back to roasting with butter.


Dinner for bees. With the dry weather and the time of year, the clover has  come to the end of its flowering so I have begun to feed the bees. Last year I did not do this , and the result was hives of bees who had run out of honey before the winter had run out of deep freeze and they died.  So yesterday evening I  put out dishes of sugar water, with marbles and sticks so they do not drown. These are placed in their flight path to begin and gradually I will move them in under the trees and out of the way, but still close enough to me so I can conveniently feed the bees as part of my general chores in the morning. Now that I have started I need to keep this a regular feed right until the first killing frost. By then they will have huddled into hibernation and can begin to rely on their own stores.

Good morning. By late today I hope to have some photos of the bees collecting their dinner. I never harvest honey when I am feeding sugar water. This is just for the bees. Clever wee fellas.

I hope you all have a lovely day.

your friend on the farm, celi


90 Comments on “In chronological order, some days are just like that

  1. Anothe busy day – hope you enjoy the ketchup! Love the shots of the sheep, especially under the tarp. And I so agree about roasting with the meat lard/fat – so tasty and gorgeous crunchy potatoes 🙂 Have a lovely day miss c….

    • Morning Tanya, so far the day has begin just as it should! Lots of work ahead but it will be a good day, i have popped in for my coffee before starting the next round.. c

      • It is mostly for convenience, there are feeders that i can fill at the hive, but the hive is in an oout of the way spot for obvious reasons and I try to streamline my movements .. Time and Motion! c

    • Oh I am sure you are julie, you have so much more to organise than I do and so much of it has an emotional organisation to carry as well.. I bet you are revelling in that spring air!. c

  2. Clever Minty! Leave it to the animals to find the coolest spot. That’s where Max is sure to be. Today may very well be Summer’s swan song. I’ll be wearing a jacket to the market this Saturday and I bet you will, too, for your morning rounds. I look forward to your photos of the bees. In the past, they’ve been among your best. You’re going to love that ketchup. If I didn’t have jam to make on Saturday, I’d be making a batch of ketchup. Maybe Sunday. Have a great day, Celi!

  3. Great pictures. I love your re-use idea for the car boot! The tomato sauce shall be tried – but not this year, as we didn’t plant any toms because of the move. Next year I’ll have a few in pots if I am able. Pastry with butter: have you tried making pastry and/or roast potatoes with duck fat? it is absolutely gorgeous. First cook your duck……………

  4. Good morning, Celi. We were in the low 90’s here yesterday and in a few days it’s supposed to hit 40’s for lows! That pie looks so good. I agree about using the lard for cooking. Although there are still some things I love to use butter for. Do you brown your meat before putting it in the pie? Have a great day, Celi!

    • I am a butter freak, i cannot keep away from the stuff, so the challenge is good for weaning me off it! How is Mikes knee? c

      • Wean off butter!!! SACRILEGE! 😀 The knee is improving but he’s still hobbling around. It’s hard to keep him grounded but he needs to let it heal! You know what it’s like. Always so much to do and winter will be here before we know it.

        • He must be deeply frustrated but you tell him from me if he does not give it a GOOD feet up rest every day, (at least two hours morning and two hours afternoon) then it will take twice as long to heal. Elevated!! I know – I popped a knee cap years ago, refused to rest and it took almost five years. i am not kidding. i had to wear a knee brace. You can scare him with arthritis as well. Maybe he can work on the books or something.. he can drive the tractor as long as the leg is straight and ELEVATED! (send me pictures!! ) I love butter.. I will never really give it up! c

  5. Okay – tell me about the pie….I see onions and bell peppers, but the bowls have apples and green tomatoes…what all is in there.

    • The bowls were just on the table, I seldom dress a shot! too lazy! In the pie is beef, browned and cooked in beer, balsamic, soy and worcestershire sauces. I cook it for a LONG time. Then i cook the onions and capsicum and pile it on top so the flavours don’t get muddled. Served with fried apples. The green tomatoes are tomatillos, I made a salsa verde as well yesterday.. Lots of good food here! c

  6. Growing up there was always a white enamel pot sitting in the fridge with the strained, solidified lard, ready for the next time it was needed. Sounds like I might need to find an enamel pot of my own! 🙂 Gorgeous writing and photos as usual Celi!

    • Good morning. I was saying exactly the same thing to John yesterday, we need to find one, probably an antique shop acquisition!! c

      • If not enamel then use glass. As a kid we had ‘Roast’ every Sunday (pork, Lamb or Beef, for some reason Chicken was expensive when I was growing up and only for special occasions). The fat was drained from the roast for the potatoes next week, and the ‘jelly’ on the bottom was used for the gravy. The pork fat made the best roast potatoes, but the beef jelly made the bast gravy. There was always lard in the fridge, and my granddad even liked it spread on bread!

        • so did my Father! and then fried bread they all loved fried bread, and we were all so TRIM!! Pork was very expensive in NZ, still is i think, we definitely had roast chickens but mutton every sunday.. never lamb, morning Lyn.. c

  7. Your photos are always interesting! I feel like I’m taking a walk around your place. Another hot day in the forecast for SW Oklahoma too. There are wee chances for rain in the coming days… we laugh but these late summer rains always hit just in time for the state fair!

    • We have those tiny rainy forecasts too, I would not mind a few drops! But I hope the storms hold off until I get the chickens and the steer into the freezer, it is so lazy when everyone can be out in the fields! c

  8. Good morning! Busy busy busy!!! LOL Love the photos! Today I am working on some corn for the freezer. Got the water set to boil for blanching. Today it is in the low 60s here in North Dakota. Sun is shining and the hummingbird wars continue outside our bedroom window! They were humming above my head when I was out shucking the corn! They love the sweet smell! And the yellow jackets! LOL I also have a pot of sauce simmering on the back burner this morning. Takes all day to simmer to get it just right for canning later! Have a great day! Love this neighborhood here!
    The pot pies sound delicious!!! By the way…we all love the garlic tomato sauce!!! Canned some!!! Thank you for a great recipe!!! 🙂

  9. Those sheep are funny!
    I like the idea of using the car trunk as a feeder. My next door neighbour in Georgia had two old Cadillacs in her drive way, which she used as cupboards – she must have had the entire neighbourhood’s old furniture (from the last 100 years) stacked up in her back yard 😉

    • Cadillac’s as cupboards! fantastic, I use Johns old convertible to store all my honey gear, away from the mice.. morning Mad!! c

  10. I’ve been wondering how to make a bowl of water safe for the wild bees – the bird bath is just too deep for them. If you don’t mind, I’ll be pinching your idea of a marble-filled bowl to use here – thank you!

    • You are most welcome, also under my dripping tap is an old roasting dish filled with bricks, they all sit along the bricks and dip in for a drink, i will try and get a shot for you today..I was mortified when I first discovered that bees drown getting water. this is why they prefer muddy puddles.. c

  11. Those sweet ewes are so cute. Did you see them duck under the tarp? They are clearly a lot smarter than they are given credit for. And such a clever idea and beautiful shot of that royal blue bowl of marbles. Where in the world did you find marbles, Celi? And perfect sticks. That is a work of art.

    • I love real local olive oil, but it is so hard to find.. i buy californian so I know it really IS olive oil.. lard is healthy too in fact animal facts stimuate an enzyme in your stomach that says ‘I am full’.. whereas the plants and processed fats don’t work together with your body in that way, you just keep eating unaware. However we need to LISTEN to the Stop Eating messages! And it is hard to stop eating crunchy roast potatoes! c

  12. I thought of you very early this morning, Celi, as I drove into work and quite literally dodged a peacock lazily crossing a very busy street! He was unconcerned, and drivers were considerate, and I was mesmerized for a few moments. 🙂

    You are so creative to think of using the old car as your hay feeder! What an excellent and resourceful idea. As with the use of drippings rather than butter! And I’m definitely looking forward to the bee pictures. As usual, I’m quite amazed at all the intricacies that need to be considered and measured to truly live sustainably. So many different aspects to be learned! Blessings on your fruitful day, my friend.

    • Morning darling, i think you have had peacocks walking along your road to work before if i remember rightly! What a treat and thank goodness motorists give them a wide berth! c

  13. I put up pics yesterday of my (still green) tomatoes and (barely started) sweet corn!

    I’ve also been sharing my morning orange juice with bees, I use a plastic cup and they fly in, walk down the side, have a good drink, then walk back out and fly away. I surely don’t mind drinking after dirty bee-feet!

  14. Beautiful post, yummy photos too! Rest when you can it is nearly 100 here today and will be in 60’s soon 😦

  15. Gosh, you have a wealth of knowledge, as must most farmers. Who knew that you put marbles and sticks in the sugar water so the bees don’t drown? I love learning something new!

  16. Same sauce has been simmering away on my stove all afternoon and it smells heavenly! I think lard makes the best crust, and your pie looks delicious. Smart animals know how to beat the heat. It reached 96 here today, and I was picking beans in it. Not so smart, but market is tomorrow and deliveries, and BEANS MUST BE PICKED! soon enough we will be shivering so no complaints here…

    • This is what makes me so proud of you guys. Picking to feed the masses, no matter what the heat or how bad your back hurts, we all need to keep remembering the ones who grow our food.. c

  17. Popped in for a moment and loved it! Who but you would have thought to use marbles and twigs to make certain the hard working bees would not find themselves adrift at sea 🙂 ! Can’t believe how much mass the chooks have put on and Minty and Meadow are no fools!! Oh, spoke to a local ‘farming lady’ [she now has your link] trying to do exactly what you are and she said we call those chicken arcs tractors also and they are supposedly well known 🙂 !

    • Eha, what are you doing out of bed?! Love that you popped in, you will see some dramatic changes in 10 days. Now, drink, eat and back to bed.. c

      • Have just eaten, drink as if water was going out of fashion and have no one to do my ‘chores’, so, Milady, guess who is nominated to do laundry etc ere the promised rain my garden would love does arrive!! No one here but me 😀 !!!!!

  18. I’m enjoying your creativity and resourcefulness; making the ark double as a sheep shelter (well I guess it was the sheep’s idea, but you are so good at taking note!), the lard instead of butter (it’s what my grandma and mum did too), and the beautiful bowl of marbles and sugar water for the bees.

    • Morning Juliet, I don’t mind a sheep teaching me a thing or two!! How is my beach, i will pop over later and see.. c

  19. mmm, I have plans now to make this pie. Great idea to use a skillet 🙂 Mad dogs, Englishmen and cows go out in the midday sun but sensible sheep stick to shade it seems. I’m also going to risk the G.O. echoin gthose moans, and utilise some of his marble collection in our bird baths so the bees have a better chance at getting a drink – our deepest has a rock island but the marbles look so pretty 🙂

    • The rock garden would work too but you are right, i use the marbles because of all those gorgeous colours and bees like colour! i think! c

  20. Hi Celi! Seeing Minty under the tarp made me think of another blog I follow: Fairhope Farm.
    If you visit her blog and search for ‘portable sheep shelter’ she has instructions for a very simple tarp structure. Love your blog! Faith.

  21. Enjoyed seeing the sheep, especially Meadow and Minty with the chickens. Adorable! Onions and green peppers smell so good when they are cooking. Yum! Beautiful tomatoes.

  22. Good Morning dear Cecilia, I missed you, how nice of you, you visited my blog. Thank you, as always your farm notes, and especially your photographs fascinated me. I will come back again to catch your farm days… Blessing and Happiness, love, nia

  23. Totally engrossing post. I wonder if I can feed our solitary bees in the same way, or don’t they need it? By the way, no question that roast potatoes are better with lard….butter is hopeless. Olive oil or goose fat is my option here….even though I have no geese and don’t produce olive oil:)

    • If you have a countryside with lots of flowers then your wild bees should be ok. They will only take to the sugar water if there is nothing else about though. I wonder if you have a wild hive close by, hope so..c

  24. Enthralled. I wanted to reach out and caress each gorgeous tomato. To hold them cupped in my hands and inhale their fragrance. Oh joy! Oh bliss! Real tomatoes. V.

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