People have asked me, what is a day like on the farm? Surely that depends on the season and some days are busier than others. Wintertime is slower, but in the Spring most days are busy! Today was a day of spring planting, chick feeding, house cleaning, dinner prepping and good eating. With a well deserved glass of wine in hand, I ran through my head, the details of the day, and here they are…
Coffee with hubs, started the day, then out to the brooder to check on the wee chicks. They are growing while we watch them. We did some connecting on, when should we move them out of the garage brooder, and into their rooster coop, where we house our meat birds once they leave the garage. Then I collected some shiitakes from their shady spot, and grabbed some spinach from the mini high tunnel, and robbed the coop for some eggs. Then inside to make some breakfast for us.
After some dish cleaning, it was back outside to the garden, to get more plants in, and to feed the laying hens, and make some cages for protecting my new herbs from those curious hens. I knew dinner needed to be easy on a planting day, so I had thawed one of our chickens from the freezer the day before. I ducked inside and put it in the oven, knowing we would be coming in that night late, and tired. I threw in some laundry, set a timer on my phone for the chicken and headed out to plant a few more herbs in the herb garden and good thing I set a phone alarm for the chicken, in the oven, or I would have lost track of time!! I set the chicken on the counter, to cool enough to handle, and started more laundry. Once the bird was cooled, I separated out the meat from bones, while saving a bit of the meat for throwing on my spinach salad for lunch, and then dropped all the bones into a pot of water and set them on low on the stovetop and headed back out. It was time to tackle the potato planting, which we were way behind on already. We plant them in buckets, and hubs had gotten all the buckets set up already and we put the cut sections and small whole potatoes into the buckets and covered them up with compost. Then a quick stop at the rooster coop. I swept it out and got it straightened up for the moving of the chicks, and then back to the brooder to check on the babies. Inside, I sorted the last of my plants on the plant rack. I ended up with one more tray to sell, one tray for my mother-in-law’s garden, and then there were the extras. My garden is full so remembering that my doctor said he was excited about a community project raising food for the local food pantry, I gave our clinic a call and they were happy to take the extra plants and grow even more food for the food pantry. Then one more time outside to clean up tools, collect empty coffee cups and water jugs,and it was time to call it a day, and clean up for dinner. Guaranteed not all days are this packed, but the late part of Spring is when everything happens at once!
While this day might just seem like just another day, here, when I reviewed it all at the end of the day, I realized it was exactly what I dreamed of 6 years ago. A day raising our food, caring for our critters, coming in to our plates full of foods, we carefully raised, and going to bed tired and happy. I never forget not even for a day how grateful I am for this farm.
Almost all the veggies are in the ground. The garden fabric is a huge help in reducing weeding time…weeding is a back breaker and this is the solution for me!
We are back to the catch of the day trays! Today’s catch brought Shiitakes, Spinach, Nettles, Dill, Hosta shoots, and chives.
Nettles are packed with nutrition, and after a long winter with few greens, they used to be considered, and still are by some, to be a Spring Tonic. I have always been afraid of them, because, well, they are Stinging Nettles!!! I brought them inside and put them in boiling water for a minute and a half, because it said they should boil for 30 seconds, ha, ha!
Here are the Stinging Nettles, properly prepared. I only used the leaves, as I read that you only use the stalk if they are still very small, and these were just past that stage.
Here is the beginnings of the Mushroom Nettle Soup.
I added just a bit of cream and it was absolutely great! I am not afraid of Nettles anymore!
So many, many years ago, sitting down to food that came all or almost completely from the homestead was the norm. These days not too many people get to experience a meal that came from a few feet out their door. Although it is a lot of work, I feel beyond fortunate to have such opportunity.
The hens weren’t used to the warm sun yet, they decided to stay in the shade for the day and be bush hens.