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maryjane

7037 Posts


Posted - Mar 19 2022 :  7:42:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm enjoying the longer days that March brings, although it's still dark when I get up. Tonight's sky had a rainbow of sorts. It kind of looked like a pink funnel cloud.



Cows are all fine. Daisy is starting to look pregnant with her early June calf. Then again, she always looks pregnant, short legs, big girth.

Daffodils are peaking out, birds are coming back. I have honey bees arriving in a couple of weeks, so today I started prepping some hive bodies.

Our six new baby chicks are doing great.

Spinach in the greenhouse, alongside about a dozen Jessica's Asters, a rare native plant found only in our region, thought to be extinct not very long ago.

Well, back to my taxes. It is unfortunately that time of year again.


MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~

NellieBelle

11173 Posts


Posted - Mar 20 2022 :  03:08:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What a beautiful Sun Pillar. A delight to see for sure. Added bonus to the day. Nothing really new here. Spring bulbs beginning to show here too. Some of my winter aconite are in bloom. Garden seedlings are doing well and need put in large pots. Honey bees coming in April. We spent time before milking, cleaning bee hives and checking to see what we need to do to get ready. Suppose to hit 70 today. I love working outside and seeing the multiple V's of geese flying over. Love that sound. I wasn't going to AI Darla because I didn't want a winter calf, but I went ahead and AI'd her, to perhaps save her from injury. We won't know if she took for a while yet. Still don't know about Nellie. Time will tell I guess. She's an odd one for sure. Something is just different with her. Anyway, all is good and just enjoying these warmer days. Hoping your Jessica Asters come along strong and added to your prairie. Lovely. Honey bees love asters.

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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maryjane

7037 Posts


Posted - Apr 09 2022 :  2:26:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We're bracing for snow, a tiny measurable amount over the next three days. What's your weather like?

Of course, my bees were delivered on an extremely cold day (last Monday) with gusts of wind upwards of 50 mph. I managed to get both packages tucked in, and then I released the queens the next day. Day before yesterday was in the 50s so they were out and about. Today, they're in a huddle again, but they're drinking their sugar water and visiting some honey frames I had in storage in the freezer that I put in with them in their hives.



Cow gals are fine and enjoying some pasture again. Today, I picked lovely bouquets of lenten roses and daffodils. Also, discovered a new prairie flower, Blue-eyed Mary, a tiny little thing. And Whitlow Grass. And Pygmy Buttercup.


MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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NellieBelle

11173 Posts


Posted - Apr 10 2022 :  5:13:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Glad to see you have your new honey bees settled in. We went after ours yesterday. Weather was perfect and we have all three 3 lb. pkg. hived and hoping they do well. Some flowers have bloomed and others are starting. Weather is off and on here. Pleasant one day, winter the next, rain/snow showers the next. Here in Iowa the weather will give you all 4 seasons in one day at times. Today was in 74 and pretty windy. Darla showed no signs of heat so I believe she's pregnant. Estella we believe is pregnant, and Nellie is anyone's guess. So that would give us two due in August and one in December. I have goslings coming this week, more goslings, and guineas next week. Chicks in June, and not sure when the quail will arrive. Pretty much usual goings on here. I've made three batches of soap, some goat milk and some cow milk, canned chicken stew, beef stew, and made raspberry jam and canned it up. I will be fermenting different foods this next week once I get new fowl settled in. Hopefully get some bee comb melted and made into candles. Looking forward to more sunshine. Greenhouse is filling up and need to get plants outside once the weather cooperates.

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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maryjane

7037 Posts


Posted - Apr 10 2022 :  8:11:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That's a whole lotta awesome productivity Janet. Candles, soap making, canning, bird rearing ... impressive!

The only thing along those lines I've been doing is to make bread every day, going on three weeks now. I just can't stop, I love it so much. Wild bread is so intuitive. I don't even follow recipes anymore, just mix up a bunch of flour and water with some of my refrigerator mother and set it on the counter until it bubbles mightily (usually overnight), then add salt water (about half cup water and 2 tsp salt) and more flour until tacky (never kneading it). I let it rest for about an hour or two after I turn the tacky dough onto itself for 10 rotations of the glass bowl that I have it in (the main hunk of dough easily gathers up the bits of dough that try to stick to the sides of the bowl). I do that routine (stretch/fold right in the bowl/rest) 3 to 4 times and then shape the ball into either baguettes or Dutch oven bread. Let it rise and in the oven it goes. I've been giving bread to everyone I know.


MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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NellieBelle

11173 Posts


Posted - Apr 11 2022 :  04:00:39 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
MaryJane your bread looks sooooo good! I haven't made any sourdough bread for a few months. Just regular yeast breads when my time is crunched. I will have to get back at it one of these days. I've been drying herbs and putting them away in spice jars. Been making ghee and storing up quite a bit of it. Love using it in recipes. I read you can even burn it in lamps. Smoking point is like 485 degrees. Goat milk, lavender/oatmeal soap, and goat milk/coffee bars and then Clove/orange cow milk soap. had to have a little cow stamp for my milk cow soap. Joe has raspberry jam on toast every morning along with the rest of his breakfast so have been canning raspberry jam. I will probably try and do more of that today between loads of laundry. So just things I enjoy doing and needing to get done. And hopefully get some swiss chard stems fermenting today.

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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maryjane

7037 Posts


Posted - Apr 11 2022 :  7:22:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Your luscious creations make me envious. I do buy ghee (Organic Valley) but would rather make my own once I have extra cream in June. Any tips you can share?

And your soaps!!!!! I've never attempted soaps before. I'd love to make some little half bars for B&B guests. Again, once I have more milk to play with, it's about time I tried soap making. Yours are gorgeous!!!

At this point, raspberry jam is my favorite. Strawberry comes is as a strong second, but raspberry is divine.

I finished drying a bunch of rosemary last week from a large plant I have in the greenhouse. Right now I have a gigantic branch as a bouquet in my kitchen because the plant is in full bloom. Amazing stuff, rosemary.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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NellieBelle

11173 Posts


Posted - Apr 12 2022 :  02:17:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good morning! I don't have any tips. Ghee is so simple to make. I do mine in the oven 250 degrees for about 1.5 hours. Comes out beautifully. I skim the milk solids off and pour into a pint jar. Yesterday, I tried the ghee candle. I had a used candle jar that I poured the ghee into with a wick. It works great. I should have cleaned the old candle jar out better but didn't take the time. I bought some jars just for candle making and will make more when time allows. It may come in handy today as we are to have severe storms. Not looking forward to that. Raspberry is our favorite jam too. I love Rosemary. So many uses. I think you would enjoy making soaps MaryJane, it's satisfying knowing what ingredients are in your soaps, and you can make specialty (specific ingredients for specific conditions) soaps. I enjoy it.

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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maryjane

7037 Posts


Posted - Apr 12 2022 :  06:41:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I didn't know you could use ghee for a candle. I use it to cook with but it makes sense that it would work for a candle. Another wonderful thing our milk cows provide for us.

I just had an existing milk customer ask if she could get a couple more bottles every week. I'm not looking forward to calving and being out of milk for a couple of weeks the end of May. I should have staggered Buttercup and Daisy's pregnancies with a bit more thought, but AI choosers can't be beggars. I'm just happy they're both pregnant. I'll get started on Rosetta again in Sept. Maybe by then she'll be older and AI will take better. Plus, I found a new technician I'll try. I'm glad I saved plenty of Samson and Ian semen.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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NellieBelle

11173 Posts


Posted - Apr 12 2022 :  07:00:42 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I also didn't know that the milk solids were called mava. There are recipes for the left over milk solids, so there are so many things our milk cows provide us with. Continuing to learn each day. ( Leftover brown-colored residue from homemade ghee is called mava. You can keep this mava aside after taking out the ghee from it that is later can be used for making sweets. You can prepare sweet out of that leftover within the minimum time with very few ingredients. It is not only tasty but healthy also.) I know what you mean about not looking forward being out of milk. The little dairy where we got milk when we weren't producing has closed. So now we will have to be more diligent about timing our breeding. Two more families added to our regulars who like the milk so it's nice it gets used up.

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown

Edited by - NellieBelle on Apr 12 2022 07:05:55 AM
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