The past six weeks have been filled with harvesting and preserving the abundance from my field. Considering it was my first year on this property, I’ve been astounded by the results – all my winter planning and spring field work really paid off!
Having lost half of my tomato plants to early spring rains, then experiencing horn worms for the first time, I didn’t expect much fruit. I opted to leave the plants in place – mostly out of curiosity. I wanted to see if they would recover from the pests – and they did! Just a few weeks ago I collected the first Brandywines from my vine and the size is just astounding. And now I know how to prepare for these events next year. I eat as many as I can – great with fresh goat milk cottage cheese – and preserve the rest. My pantry is well stocked with crushed tomatoes, whole tomatoes, salsa, curry sauce, and pasta sauce.
Early one Saturday morning a stray was found on our property. The farm owner and I talked many times about adding a farm dog, and I prayed over the idea as I worked the field. Miss Willow was a welcome surprise! She came right up to me and flashed her belly – she’s marked just like my sweet Sumatra so naturally I was smitten instantly. Didn’t take much to persuade Leora that she was ours! A quick run to the vet to check for microchip, then she got her shots and surgery and she’s ours (who am I kidding – she’s mine!!). She’s a sweet border collie that loves checking fences. She works hard to keep an eye on the chickens, goats, ducks, and guineas – a wonderful addition to our growing herd!
The biggest surprise has been my applebutter. I’ve worked on my recipe for years and am pretty proud of it. Schweizer Orchards is a wonderful spot in St. Joseph, MO – and their apples are amazing. As I delivered eggs one Sunday I mentioned to a few friends that I was making applebutter – and I presold twelve pints! It’s been a bit of a whirlwind since then – I’m talking with my fav coffee shop about partnering with them to sell, and I have my first big event (an Open House for vendors) next week. Such an expected blessing!
These are the three big events in recent weeks. I’ve also moved the guineas outdoors, started plans for coop expansion (planning to double my flock next year), tended an injured Sumatra (she’s doing great now!), and more.