Peacock Feathers For Sale and Other Farm News

Our poultry seem to still be doing well, keeping them out of the front pasture.  I do not believe there have been any further losses.  I am continuing to be disturbed by the featherless back of one of our turken hens.  Mysteriously, none of the other hens have been defeathered by the roosters except her.  So I am contemplating knitting a chicken saddle/apron for her.  Any advice would be appreciated as I have not done this before.  But she is such a nice girl, and winter is coming.

We have been busy with wine and cider making.  This is the wine I have fermenting so far.

Tom did press these pears for me.  It only produced 2 gallons of juice so I need to figure out what I am going to do.  I am hoping to add quince juice to it for some flavor.  I did pick the last of the Asian pears today so will add them as well.  Plus there are more pears already picked yet to ripen.  I am hoping to get enough for a 3 or 5 gallon carboy.

I am still occasionally having a cocktail the evening before I go to work.  On Wednesday I decided to make an Irish Old Fashioned.  It was actually quite good.  I will try to remember this one.  

One of the only chances I take to read is during my bath before work as well.  I finally finished Moby-Duck.  I had wanted to read it since it came out in 2011.  I finally purchased it used from Powell’s in Portland in 2019 and now have read it.  It is not the best book I have ever read, but I learned a lot about oceanography, pollution, plastic toy manufacturing and the Northwest Passage.

While I read it I had my rubber duck with me.  This is one given to me by my in-laws quite a while ago.  It had been hanging out by our hot tub in the backyard, but I rescued it.  I think he will stay inside now.

Yesterday Tom started working on my motorcycle, a 1975 Honda CB550 Four.  It has leaky forks.  One issue was how to elevate the heavy bike to work on it.  So he wrapped chains around the handlebars.  He was then able to get the front tire and forks off.

Here is the worst of the forks.  Unfortunately the shaft is corroded.  The good news is that we have a parts bike with good forks.  The bad news is that Tom will have to do the same work to get those forks off as well.  The hope is that we can go on a fall ride this year.  I was hoping to go to the Oyster Run tomorrow so that will not happen.

Yesterday I was terribly tired after working so Tom made me a nice dinner.  I had found this recipe for Sheet-Pan Sausage With Peppers and Tomatoes.  Unfortunately, we do not have a lot of tomatoes and peppers from our garden right now so Tom went to Boldly Grown Farm to purchased them as well as shallots and garlic for the recipe as well as some other goodies.   Here it is all cooked up.  It was easy to make and quite yummy.  We ate it on french rolls.

I think the peacock is finally done dropping his feathers.  So now I can offer them for sale.  They are 25 cents for the long ones (>2 feet) and 10 cents for the smaller ones.  Let me know if you are interested in them.

Today after farm chores and some harvesting (Asian pears, tomatoes, peppers, basil, peas, cucumbers, teasels), I went shopping.  The weather turned quite nasty so my timing was good.  I bought new barn boots.  This is always a major event on the farm.  I am hoping these ones will last longer than any of the other ones I have ever purchased.  I am hard on boots (as well as most anything else I take to the barn).

I also bought a pet door.  The weather is getting cold, especially at night.  We had been leaving the bathroom window open so Wally could go in and out of the house.  In recent days we tried to keep her in the house at night and shut the window, but she was disruptive to our sleeping so we needed a different option.  I do not want her to be locked out at night in case she needs to escape something.  Bobcats have been taking house cats in the area recently.

They didn’t have cat doors for our type of window that I could find.  So I purchased one designed for a door, and Tom was able to insert it into our window opening with some plexiglass above it.  It is not terribly pretty, but hopefully it will be functional.

He also put a shelf outside of the window so she can access the door a little easier.

She has become quite comfortable here.

Today the sauerkraut is done finally. I moved it from the crock into two glass jars and will keep it in the fridge.  I bought fancy pastrami from the deli and have Swiss cheese.  Next I plan on grinding some rye berries I have (from Boldly Grown) and making some caraway rye flat bread to make Reuben-style crackers.

Now that the crock is available, I started fermenting pickles today.  I have 6 pounds of cucumbers (which is pretty good considering how late I started my second attempt at cucumbers).  Here they are ready for their brine.

I also finished the tarragon vinegar today.  This is one of my favorite things in the world.

So that is what is happening on our little farm.

Posted in Farm, NYT Cooking recipe | 4 Comments

Boles Weekend

We headed up to our Boles Aero trailer on Saturday.  This was partly to see a part of my family but also to start the process of building a new cabin for my father.  Tom brought his surveying gear to stake out the corners for the foundation.  My dad and brother were his rod men.  The dogs helped too.

Dad laid out the plans, which are currently awaiting approval by Kittitas county, on our dining table.

So excited!

I am having a flare of my plantar fasciitis.  I walked the dogs once and found the remains of the castle.  But that taught me I cannot walk.  So Tom did the dog walking after that.

Saturday evening we hung out in our trailer.  There was Dad, Mo, Greg and Sue.  This is Greg and Sue checking our our Julio’s cereal.

Here is a doe in front of our trailer Sunday morning.

On Sunday morning we decided to watch the Seahawks game against the Detroit Lions.  We started on my father’s deck as we figured there would be enough room and the weather was decent.  It was quite a set up.

Unfortunately the antenna was not terribly cooperative.  We tried to move the party to the bunkhouse where Greg and Sue were staying.  There wasn’t much success there either. So we moved to our Boles Aero, but it was really crowded.  Mo ended up watching it at their place, and Dad joined her for overtime.  Greg and Sue decided to grab a quick lunch when overtime started thinking they had time, and they missed the dramatic ending.  It was a fun game.

We (with the beagle) then took Dad’s Ranger to Tom and Hermaine’s place nearby.  They have a really nice place, and it has been an inspiration for us to build a new cabin.

Mount Rainer came out yesterday.  We had been siting the cabin to take advantage of its view, but we couldn’t see it.  So thankfully it showed itself where we expected it to be.

Since I couldn’t walk, I decided to knit with football on the TV.  I made some good progress on my Sheep Tribute Scarf.

Tom enjoys watching the local news.  They give a Trash Can Forecast which is hilarious (and accurate).

We enjoyed a really nice sunset last evening,

Today we packed up and headed home.  It was a nice although brief trip.  It was sad I couldn’t do my usual walking around, but I was able to relax and enjoy myself nonetheless.  And getting started on the new cabin is huge!

Posted in Trips | 4 Comments

Apple and Pear Days

Tom has been picking apples like crazy.  He is picking ours and those of family and friends.  Here are some of those apples.

He has been pressing them into cider.  Here is Wally hanging out while he presses.

The animals are getting the pressed apples.  They seem to like them.

I finished picking the pears today.  This is 4 boxes of them.

One box was ripe so I canned them.  I produced 8 quarts.  But there are 3 more boxes that will need to ripen.  I have my work cut out for me.

Previously I had picked the remaining grapes.  The birds had gotten almost all of the ones under the netting.  So I mostly was able to pick the ones that weren’t ripe enough for them to eat.  I destemmed them Sunday while watching the Seahawks first game (a loss).

The peacock is losing his feathers.  I will be selling them for 25 cents each, if anyone is interested.  Here are the ones he hasn’t dropped yet.

Tom had placed a cardboard box on the back porch to put in the recycling.  But Wally adopted it so now it is her bed.  Tom has since added a towel, and she spends a good portion of her days there.

In the mornings though, when I am trying to check my emails, she likes to lay on the keyboard, trying to get attention.

Unfortunately the rabbits are now eating the corn stalks before the ears are ready.  So our corn harvest is going to be quite poor again this year. Here are some of the chewed up stalks.

And the donkeys have been eating the squash leaves in the old pig pen.  I have a large green pumpkin that I would really like to see ripen so I can carve a large jack o lantern.

So I fenced the donkeys away from them. So far it is working.

It is easier to fence donkeys away from squash than rabbits away from corn.

Posted in Farm | 8 Comments