So Tom went on his annual motorcycle/hot springs trip with his son and my father this last week (My brother missed out this year). So I was left to manage the farm on my own. I worked Saturday so he left after I got home on Sunday morning. Monday was hot so I rotated the pasture animals, did the normal chores and hid in the house in the afternoon.
But here are my lists for the rest of the week.
Tuesday morning I started with Zoom spinning. I have been spinning roving from my two mioget katmoget Shetland ewes, Jemima and Ewegenie. I am almost done with a huge amount of fiber. The plan is to ply it and make an Aran style hooded cardigan sweater with it. The wool is basically cream colored so I think would work perfect for this type of sweater.
I also made more bamboo bean poles (as there are a ton of beans suddenly growing in our garden), weeded the garden, washed wine bottles, washed eggs to sell in our produce stand, made coleslaw for 5 lunches, trimmed the goats’ hooves (which was incredibly late due to my Covid infection), did my special laundry (that which requires careful treatments), and made bath bombs. On Wednesday I fed the bees sugar water, mowed three pastures that were being badly overgrown with swamp grass, froze local strawberries, picked, prepared and froze peas, and transplanted starts from the greenhouse in the garden.
On Thursday I changed and washed bed sheets, paid bills, cleaned the house, got the barn ready for the farm sitter, and brought the drinking water jugs to the back porch.
In addition to these tasks I also made Lemon Balm wine. Here is the balm about to be boiled in the preparation process.
I took the opportunity of Tom being away to make a recipe that he would not like. It was Grandma’s Roasted Duck. This is from a wonderful To Ukraine with Love zoom event that I participated in recently. Unfortunately I could not find a whole duck locally and getting a frozen one shipped was quite expensive. So I ended up purchasing 4 duck breasts thinking that this was a reasonable substitution. Here are the breasts with orange wedges between them and rubbed with pounded salt, peppercorns, orange zest, and sage. This then sat refrigerated for 4 hours.
I placed apple slices and the orange wedges in this dish with the duck breasts on top. This was then roasted, mostly covered, for 2 1/2 hours.
Here it is coming out of the oven.
It ended up being too salty and too peppery. I think my whole duck to breast substitution was not accurate, and I could have done with a lot less seasonings. This did get me wondering about raising ducks again. Our previous experiments with this failed due to the eagles eating them. But I saw some Pekin ducks when I bought the most recent turkey poults, and they were pretty good sized. They may be too big for eagles to fly away with which is their M.O. Plus our slugs in the garden were vicious this year. Tom is not a fan of the idea, but I am warming to it, particularly if I could try this recipe again correctly. And duck eggs are amazing.
I have also been making cocktails from my You Can’t Eat Mount Rainier! cookbook. Rather than my usual one cocktail per week, I made one per day at happy hour during my farmcation. If you would like to know more, check them out at my other blog.
Other farmcation events:
The chicks continue to grow and develop.
The garden is growing like crazy.
I watched Bridgerton Season 2. Again something that Tom would not be fond of but a guilty pleasure for me.
I even shucked peas to it.
The young peacock finally has two proper tail feathers.
The white turkeys continue to grow.
The bee hive appears to be thriving after it appeared to be failing earlier. Feeding it seems to be helping, plus the warming weather.
The cherries on two trees are ripe. But I decided that climbing up a tall orchard ladder when I am by myself was not a good idea. I have been prone to some falls recently and falling off a ladder without Tom around seemed like a bad idea. I do have an Apple Watch now, partly for this reason, but I didn’t quite trust it enough. So, for now anyway, the cherries are going to the birds.
I got the water jug dispenser going again on the back porch. This is essential when the weather gets warm, especially now with my adrenal insufficiency. Hydration is crucial!
I continued to do at home Covid tests. Per the CDC, since I am immunocompromised, I needed two negative tests 24 hours apart to be consider no longer contagious. And I finally achieved that on Thursday!!!! So for the first time in many months I was able to wear surgical masks rather than N-95 masks. It was such a joy to be able to breathe a little better. This is likely temporary though, but I will take it.
The security camera caught this squirrel on the front gate. This squirrel loves to torment our poor beagle incessantly.
At the mountain Boles Aero, that camera caught some deer this morning.
And finally, our Highland bull is enjoying scratching on fence posts. Unfortunately this is hard on our fencing, but he sure likes it. I noticed that he has lost his coat recently, as have the donkeys.
I worked yesterday so our great farmsitter Dani looked after the place for us. This morning I had to rotate the pasture animals again which is a lot of work. Steve was not helping me get the cows moved.
I have been noticing that Vanessa, Donna’s sister, has been hanging away from the sheep flock. This is what Donna was doing before she died. So I decided to bring her to the barn so I could spoil and watch her better. Isn’t she beautiful?
I also have learned that Big Orange can’t fly. I accidentally got him in a barn pen and found him still there the next day without access to food or water. So I need to be extra careful that he doesn’t get stuck again like that. He must just be too heavy to fly.
So now I am truly exhausted. Tom is heading home today which is really good news. I miss him like crazy, more so than usual. He has become part of me, and part of me is missing when he is gone. I do look forward to hearing about his trip.