Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Crystal Garden Art

I love garden art and have been drooling over these glass and crystal pieces that I've been seeing at the flea market lately.  So, this is what Meagan made for me for a Mother's Day gift.

Isn't it wonderful?!

Paden got me a great hammock swing, but we haven't hung it up yet.  Tom said that if I want to hang it on the back porch, he'll need to get up in the attic and build a special brace.  I guess he thinks I have too much body fat to suspend from our current porch roof.  :o

Friday, May 18, 2012

Ah, They Grow Up So Fast

(If you look real close or double click on the pic you can see momma Cardinal feeding babies.  Sorry it's so tiny, but I'm never prepared with my camera and my super duper zoom lens wasn't handy)


And little geezer.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Goat Roper

We had to move some goats around in the pastures today and this goat obstinately stayed behind.  He's Daisy's only surviving triplet from last year that we ended up keeping as a companion for Billy.  I couldn't get him to go where I wanted him to and he's way to big for me to struggle with, so I asked Jordan for help. 

We cornered him at the end of the alley where he was and while he made a half-hearted attempt at jumping the fence, Jordan leapt upon him and wrestled him to the ground while I danced around them saying, "oooh, Jordan, don't get hurt!"  Jordan held him down while I slipped a rope around his neck and Jordan tried leading him with that, but when that didn't work out too well, he just took him by the horns and manhandled him into the pasture.

The Little Things

Things have calmed down around here for me.  Milking season is upon me.  I have my early morning routine with that, then the goats are out to pasture for the rest of the day.  We use about a quart of milk a day, but I've been getting enough milk so that I have a few gallons stored in the freezers.

The garden is well under way and only requires weeding here and there rather than intensive weeding every day.  So, I now have time for the little things.

Every year we have some kind of bird build a nest and raise a family in the ferns that I hang on the front porch.  This year it is a Cardinal couple and they built the nest so that we can see everything from the kitchen window.  The mother doesn't seem to mind being eye-to-eye with me as she sits on the nest and goes about her business tending the hatchlings.  I took a picture of the babies while the mother was away today.

It's amazing how such ugly little creatures can morph into beautiful red birds.

Red Yucca blooms.
None of the yucca around here bloomed last year, but this year all the big white wild yuccas are blooming and my red yucca in a pot is blooming like crazy.  I tried to grow some of this from its seeds last year, but was not successful.  Will try again this year I think.  I'd like to have enough to do a big planting by the front gate some day because it's so pretty in mass plantings.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Pickled Asparagus

The asparagus has gone crazy this year.  I've been picking it since about the end of February and it's still putting out enough shoots that I'm having to pick them so that the fronds won't be so thick.  Since the asparagus was taking over the refrigerator and I was tired of eating it, I decided to pickle every spear that was in the frig.

I found a recipe on allrecipes.com and modified it a little bit to fit the ingredients that I had on hand. 

Trim the ends of the asparagus spears and cut them into pieces that will fit into a pint jar (about three inches).  Place them in a large bowl with 1/3 cup of coarse sea salt and cover them with two quarts of water.  Let stand for two or more hours.  Drain and rinse under cool water,  pat dry.

Sterilize four pint size wide mouth jars in simmering water for five minutes.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine 3 1/3 cups of distilled white vinegar, 1 1/3 cups of sugar, 2 teaspoons of course salt, 2 teaspoons of mustard seeds and 1 teaspoon of dill weed (or 3 tsp. dill seed).

Add one onion, sliced or chopped.  I used red onion because that's what I had on hand and I like red onions the best, but it does turn the pickling liquid pink, which turns the asparagus a little pink, too.

Bring to a boil and boil for one minute.

Pack the asparagus spears, tips up, in the hot jars leaving.  If you have some dill sprigs, tuck one into each jar, then sprinkle in 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.  Pour hot pickling liquid into the jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the rim.  Wipe rims with a clean damp cloth, and seal with lids.  Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Cool to room temperature.  Check seals when cool by pressing the center of the lid.  It should not move.  If any jars have not sealed properly, refrigerate and eat within two weeks.

This recipe made four pints.

It's pretty good if you like pickled things.  I can only take it in very small doses because of it's sweet-tartness.  It also has a little bite to it because of the red pepper, which I do like.  I think I might like the onions that it's pickled with better than the asparagus.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Pony Has a Friend

A family at the church where we go gifted us with a miniature donkey.  I accepted because I thought she would be a good companion for Pony and solve her loneliness problem.

She is nine months old and so very cute.  Her breeder told us that she is very sweet and tame, but I think at the moment she is completely freaked out by being dragged into a trailer, taken away from her mother for the first time, and thrown in with a bossy horse, so she is a little skittish.  She is also more interested in Kip and Buffy on the other side of the fence (and they with her) than she is in befriending Pony.  Hopefully, she'll come around.

Pony is tiny.  Donkey is tinier.

And such a cute little pouty face.