Babies and Mushrooms and Gardens, oh my!

     

Nope this isn’t a baby lamb! This is Casper our new bull calf. Our Mama who is a white Highland has had 3 white babies on our farm. Our bull is a very dark color but our Mama’s genetics are strong. Her calves look like little lambs to me. He has been a pretty friendly fella so far, which is good because his little bum has needed a lot of cleaning. It’s important to keep him clean so flies don’t lay eggs on him. This can lead to “fly strike” which actually can kill a calf, so it’s great that he has been cooperative with the cleanings he’s had to endure.

It was a week for babies on the farm! I got the very, very early call from the post office that these little ones had arrived. I headed over there to pick up my chirping box of chicks. They are doing really well so far. They have been here only 5 days and they are already much bigger. I was just out there bringing them fresh water and food, and they are already starting to flap their tiny wings and suddenly they think they are tough little tiny chicks, and have started sparring with each other, by running towards each other and bumping chests and flapping their wings at each other. It’s very amusing because when one thinks of tough, a tiny baby fluffy chick just doesn’t come to mind!

I am still trying to get used to this look. Many people are not proponents of garden fabric, however, when you have a back that needs to be treated kindly, you try garden fabric. Weeding can be tough on the back, and so I now have a weedless garden. It seems a bit sterile to me, but oh the hours and hours of weeding I am saving my back from. I could get used to this! Hopefully the experiment will be a successful one. This picture was a week ago and the plants in the middle, the cabbages, collards, and broccoli plants have doubled in size in the last week!

This is my tunnel garden that was wrapped in plastic all Winter. I finally pulled all the Spinach. I planted it last July and we had Spinach all the way through till a few weeks ago when it bolted and was pulled and given to some very happy chickens! Now I have 2 short rows of Dragon Tongue beans, in there along with 3 short rows of beets and carrots, as well, that just went in there. The peas, I didn’t think would even grow at all, because some little critter burrowed in and ate most of them, but somehow they missed just enough and they grew. At best the harvest is a handful at a time, but they are a delicious handful!

The Gardens are all doing well. Next post I will show the upper gardens. They are looking great! Up there we have garlic, pumpkins, squashes, potatoes and mangels. The mangels and extra pumpkins will be great for the pigs come Fall when they are very big and very hungry!

 

These foraged Morels were found by hubby a few weeks ago. It was not a great Morel mushroom year, but that never stops him from finding at least some. We enjoyed several Morel adorned meals and then dried some and sautéed the others in butter and froze them in packets to add to meals. Morels are like magic, they are surprising, unpredictable, and always leave you wondering. We are always thankful for the magic.

Another Spring treat! The Spruce tips this year were beautiful. The vibrant green tender tips, of new growth, were perfect to make some Spruce Syrup with, and it is great! Basically, a simple syrup infused with the spruce tips, which adds vitamin C and a bit of a bright citrus-y and slightly piney taste. Since I had my waffle success with my sourdough discard, I thought this syrup would go great with them.

Golden Oyster Mushrooms! We have never seen them on the farm. Hubby found them in the woods, and we have gone back 3 times now. We now have 4 quarts of dried Oysters and have enjoyed them in two meals so far. They are a very delicious mushroom. Hoping they keep on producing up there! They are so beautiful!

As long as I am on a roll with mushrooms, I thought I would add in this picture of our Shiitake bed. The lighting was so pretty that day, I had to get a picture of it.

Ready for the oven!

My bread recipes were finally becoming predictable and turning out well, and then I got my grain mill, which I love, and as I have mentioned it changed up everything. Suddenly all my recipes needed some re-working to get them right. This one was a very happy surprise, light and delicious inside, with a chewy crust. Success!

These whole grain, sourdough cherry muffins are one of my favorites for using up my sourdough discard. These I made the other day and today I made my other favorite sourdough discard recipe too, which resulted in 27 English muffins. The freezer is stocked!

It is the quiet lull now. Everything is planted and there is little to harvest yet. Things will get very busy soon with processing lots of garden veggies as they come in, I am enjoying the lull, and will use some of my time today to go on a camera walk, no, not a phone camera walk, a real camera walk. Looking forward to it.