GOODBYE HALLOWEEN

Hullo PUMPKINS!

( sorry for the spelling mistake! I fixed it). A lovely local town donated all their Halloween pumpkins to us! Twenty something of them.

And the pigs could not be happier!

I am going up to Chicago at Thanksgiving. I want to get home-made whole kernel bread into the hands of the homeless. I am not sure how yet. But I do know I want to be on the streets.

I like thanksgiving. And many decorators and stores jump straight from Halloween to the Christmas holiday. Giving thanks on Thanksgiving Day, which is one of the few really universal American holidays that everyone can join, ( no matter your religion, or immigration status) has become a poor cousin.

So The Little Red Hen is going to go against the flow and thank the homeless with bread. Homeless people teach us the power of generosity, humility, empathy…. so many things. How to put that into a sentence that would not insult a person who lives on a city street?

This is still an idea in development.

I am not sure exactly where I will take it.

But my need to feed the homeless people one at a time started with one man who I gave pizza to one Christmas, years ago. I have been giving out homemade cookies ever since – trying to find him again. I never found him. The Still Man.

This story. This story is from my early blogging days when all those awards were flying about – do you remember them? I don’t do chain awards anymore but the story at the end of this post is worth scrolling down for. If only so I can give thanks for him. For this man who showed me his eyes and gave me so much.

Many of you will remember his story.

Now to get on with my Saturday. Only a few hours work today – I hope, then back to do the weekend mucking out.

Love celi

TWO POINTS OF VIEW

Looking West.

Then walking West and looking back to the East.

Watching the wheat grow.

It feels like our house is on an enormous emerging lawn.

As my plan to be the Little Red Hen takes root.

Autumn is here I think. For the next ten days our average highs are in the forties. Cold is coming too. I have found some really cheap straw – in inconvenient big bales but really cheap. Soon the pigs will have extra warm beds. Plus big round bales tucked up close for winter shelters.

It is windy out there – rain in forecast I think – let me look.

OH!!! Well – that was unexpected!

Celi

SEE THE LITTLE LOAF?

That’s because I put half a cup of sifted buckwheat in there.

Everything else was the same. All Glenn. It is a cow pat! Amazing how buckwheat affects the rise of a loaf. Tasty though!

For a cowpat! Not pretty.

Above is my kitchen last night. All about the flour. It rained and rained – perfect time for baking. After chores I was soaked to the skin and cold! I am not ready for the cold!

Making bread is my favorite relaxation nowadays.

Del the milk cow, is dropping production nicely. Though not impressed with her bad bale diet it is helping with the plan to have her dry by the end of November. I will milk her this morning and inspect her udder. (The co-worker milks her during the week.) But I think everything is going according to plan.

Other than that today is all about getting warm straw in with the pigs, the barn scooped out, the Sunday clean out of the duck house, then pulling everything out of the big pantry and cleaning it.

I found another egg fridge so Heidi and I are going to declutter the Pantry and remove one set of shelves so I can fit another fridge in there. There is a lot of stuff in there that can be thrown out. No point keeping stuff I never use. Jars of old out of date food stuff from the days when I used to regularly feed big numbers of people. Dishes that someone else can use. Lots and lots of empty bottling glass jars that I will haul down to the basement.

And containers of stuff I never used in the first place. I just liked the containers!! Out they go as well. A well stocked pantry does not mean lots of stuff just in case. It means enough of the stuff you use. My well stocked freezers are certainly well stocked with what we eat!!

And the eggs make regular money to keep this shop afloat. And I can’t keep them in outside fridge for much longer! So the pantry must be better utilized.

My coworker collected nineteen duck eggs the other day! I hope that becomes a regular occurrence!

Saturday ( yesterday) at the mill – Saturday is a lovely quiet time to work.

Well, I heard the oven ding. It is up to 500 degrees. It can stay there for 30 minutes to heat up the cast iron then I will begin to bake!

Have a great day!

Celi

RAGGLE TAGGLE

This old rooster.

He is positively ancient.

He is so scrawny that he is able to hide from the big young roosters, keeping out of trouble. Mainly though he just hangs out in the feed shed tucked in behind the bags.

In fact he has been around so long that even his name has drifted off into mists of time.

Do you remember the walnut tree that was split in half by the falling branch of another tree.

Well this year it has walnuts again.

It needs another good prune to try and keep the top balanced but all in all it has had a good summer. That split goes right to the base. So I think it will always need support and yearly pruning.

I hope you have a great day. It is Friday here. Only a half day tomorrow. Then a break.

Celi

Look at this!

FALLING DOWN

It has been windy these last few days which has reminded us of how wind free this summer was.

However while I was at work there must have been one really strong wind – here they call it a Flat Wind. Whatever it was, it managed to topple two trees by the cows concrete pad.

They fell straight over the fence and into Pats paddock.

Two of my Mulberries. There are so few big trees here.

I opened the gate and let the cows through. They had those leaves stripped and gobbled up in half an hour.

Mulberry leaves are very high in protein. In fact they are a really good feed for all the animals. I have a whole stand of mulberries on the other side that I call my drought forest. ( It is a very, very young forest but in twenty years I hope it proves itself to whoever is here). Whichever way the climate tips more trees are always better. They can be feed for animals. The mulberry can be pollarded and will quickly grow back. It is great firewood. And feeds birds and me with those berries. They are great dehydrated and thrown into salads. Or frozen and added to smoothies all winter. And it is a native to the Midwest areas. Both the red mulberry and the white mulberry are natives.

These lost trees were growing for shade so it is a shame they fell.

They will be dried for firewood for next year.

It is this year we need the firewood, though this is not my department. The wood shed is not looking good for this time of year. I just know that turning on the all-house heating will be too much for our revised budget this year so I hope it is not too cold.

I work in a very cold environment at the flourmill so it will be all the same to me. I am gathering as much warm clothing (my farm warmies are not presentable at all) as I can, so I can stay warm in that vast warehouse with those cold shiny concrete floors!

This morning’s bread is almost ready for baking so I had better get moving.

Talk soon.

Celi

SLEEPY SHEILA

But that was as close as I got before she saw me. Read More

WHERE ARE MY WORDS?

I have loaded my pictures but I can’t find my words. Read More

RISING UP

All around me. In all four cardinal directions – but nothing to do with the sins – the wheat is sprouting. Struck. Rising up! Wheat is a hardy grass. Some varieties are sown just before the cold really hits yet are strong enough to weather the horrible winter and return in the spring. No wonder it is good to eat! Read More

DUCK DUCK

As I moved from one job to the next mending fences and cleaning out pens, laying in straw and filling water tanks, shifting pigs – a flock of ducks waddled along behind me. Scolding and chattering. Read More

START IN THE BARN

With the six.

And their field. All the oats and corn are gone already. They ate all the best feed first .

Being pigs and all. We have late summer colour succumbing to cold frosty mornings.

It was quite cold yesterday – it was a heavy frost actually – my car was iced up but then the wind picked up and began to blow. A whisper of a wintry grin.

The ducks are the happiest creatures. Sone of the new flock are laying – maybe five more. But not the twenty more eggs I was hoping for. But they are cheerful and easy to care for.

Yesterday I added straw to the pigs houses. I found this old dolly in the shed and now I just load it up and roll the bales down the back. Why did I never think of doing that before!

Poppy and Sheila down the back. I have started loading the root cellar with old paper flour bags along with their straw – it will add warmth to their beds for the coming winter.

They will have a crinkly mattress.

Every evening when I feed them they have pushed their bowls under the electric fence and over to my side so the empty bowls are lined up ready. I am sure this is just coincidence because Poppy is terrified of the wire. But I look at Sheila and wonder sometimes.

There is not a lot of grass left in the home fields. Del is still milking once a day. As the grass depreciates so will her milk. I hope the cold does not come too fast because the wheels on the pump are flat. At least with milking once a day we can milk at the warmest part of the day.

Do you see the cold coming? Not too bad yet. I need to get going and get the bread on the way. The dough started at least. I had to make a new sourdough starter because Godzilla is sulking and the new one started so fast using the organic flours. We do not heat or irradiate the flour so it is a perishable, live product. I don’t know why I was surprised at how quickly it started to bubble.

The new breads are not as sour as Godzilla’s loaves but still bouncy and delicious!

I hope you have a good day.

I am having a lovely late start!

Celi