This Really Stinks.

Our last Momma Muscovy final hatched her eggs a couple of days ago during the storms.  She is now officially known as “Super Mom” because she hatched 23 ducklings.  I think our official count is now standing at 13 adult Pekins, 3 baby Pekins, a Khaki Campbell drake, 4 adult Toulouse geese, 2 goslings, an African goose, a Toulouse-Canadian(?) goose mix, 7 adult Muscovy ducks, 40 Muscovy ducklings, 22 laying hens, 1 rooster, and Lexie’s 8 Pekin ducklings for 4-H.  That’s around 103 feathered friends in our pasture.  Let’s not forget the 20 broiler chicks that will be arriving in 2 days.  Some of the chicks will be sold, some will be bred, and some will be dinner this winter.  This is for the birds. I won’t even talk about the zoo inside!

We spent all day Saturday weeding the garden.  I’m not even posting a picture.  I’m mortified.  We just got it all planted three weeks ago and soo many weeds.  Nik reminds me that they are edible weeds so technically we’re still growing food.  Whatever.  I want my cucumbers and lettuce and snap peas.  Needless to say, we were all sore and tired by the end of the day.  Sad thing is, we didn’t even get it finished.  OOooh, the shame!

We’ve got a couple of houseguests this week.  Jaxson and Jaylee, my parent’s slightly spoiled dogs (with slightly being used very loosely).  dogs Poor little puppies won’t eat unless you hand feed them.  And they totally hog the bed.   Poor Todd is moving to the guest room to try and get some sleep tonight!  Only 6 more days.  Love you dearly guys but these pups are a handful!!!    And do you want to know how to get your parents to call and chat with you on a daily basis – take their dogs!!! *wink*  We’re dog watching while they’re on a family vacation with my aunt at a beach house in Florida.  Wait a minute.  Family vacation.  Aren’t we family??!  Well.  I see where I rank.  It’s totally beside the point that I would have had to graciously decline the invitation due to all the commotion around here.  Never even crossed their minds to ask us.  This really stinks.  Just kidding guys!  Take it all lightly, we love both you and your dogs!  I’m feeling all that love from the deep south!  But really, does Jaylee have to sleep on my desk while I do my work?  Tsk, tsk.

puppy

Father’s Day here was rainy, cloudy, and cool.  Not at all like that sunshine and 90 degree temps in Florida.  Sorry, couldn’t help myself!  We had a “lazy day” and I roasted a chicken with rice stuffing for dinner.  I tried out a new recipe from Simply Living Healthy for some carrot cake bars.  I loved this recipe because it’s one of the few baked goods I can actually enjoy these days.  No corn, soy, canola, eggs, white flour, gluten, sugar… yep, I know, sad, isn’t it?  We all thought it tasted good and I’ll definitely be making it again.

Carrot Cake Bars

  • 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 eggs (I used flax meal)
  • 2 Tbsp butter (I used coconut oil), melted
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrots
  • 1/2 cups chopped nuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.  Grease and 8×8 baking pan for bars or a 9×13 pan for cake and line with parchment paper.

In large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  In separate bowl, mix together eggs, oil, and maple syrup.

carrot cake bars batter

Stir wet ingredients into the dry.

carrot cake bars batter

Spread batter into prepared pan.  Bake for 22 to 25 minutes.  Cool to room temperature.  You can top with frosting and sprinkle on more nuts, but they were yummy as is.  I forgot to take a picture of the end result.  In too much of a hurry to eat a slice!  One of these days I’ll figure out how to make these recipes printable for you.  That would be nice, huh?!

Oh, to  put the cherry on top of our stinky weekend, I’d like for you to meet Daisy.  Our little stinker!  She just finished eating some yogurt so she has a little white nose.

baby skunk

At least Todd got to kick back and catch a little nap on Father’s Day.

napping  baby skunk

Awww.  So cute!  I think I’m liking these stinky days!

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Geese, Gardening, & Guacamole

There is nothing like springtime on a farm.  The grass is green, birds are chirping, critters are running around, and everyone is in a pleasant mood.  Everyone but Jack.  He is downright cranky.  Jack is our male Toulouse goose.  And Jill (his partner in crime) has been busy laying eggs and now has a clutch of 12.  Jack is a very good protector of Jill.  He doesn’t let anyone or anything near her.  He seems to really butt heads with Todd and Nik.  He starts hissing, flapping, and nipping.  He gives us girls a little break.  At least he has manners.  I just wish Jill was doing her job.  She has a nice nest going but hasn’t quite gotten the idea to stay on it yet. Toulous Geese grazing in garden She goes in periodically throughout the day to check on it, but prefers to spend her time in the garden eating the grass.  I think I’m going to mark each of the eggs with a crayon so we can see if she is turning them or if they are being left to rot.  Our Canadian Mama goose in the pond is glued to her nest.  I wonder if we can sneak a few of our eggs under her?  Any ideas on making a goose tend to her eggs?

The boys have been busy getting the garden ready.  They fenced in the area where the garden will be (a 100’ by 60’ area!) Building a fence around the garden and we are letting the ducks and chicken and geese go in there to start clearing out the grass and weeds while at the same time they are fertilizing it.  My husband is a genius – it was all his idea.  This way we don’t need any chemicals to get rid of the weeds and it’s less work for us.  The animals love it too – lots of extra greens and bugs.  We dumped a large pile of compost in there and pretty soon we will till it all up.  Nik has been doing research to figure out what plants we are growing this year.  I would be out there tossing seeds here and there but he is diligent.  Only three types of beans because otherwise they will cross and we won’t be able to save the seeds for future years.  You have to watch planting different squashes together.  Whew!  Who knew gardening was so complicated?!  Needless to say, we will be able to enjoy lots of veggies this summer, preserve what we can for the winter, and save the seeds for next year.

I wish we could grow avocados around here.  We have been going crazy on avocado dip lately.  So simple to make and soooo good for you!  My favorite way to eat it is with black bean chips.  Yummy!  Avocados are fairly inexpensive and a little bit goes a long way.easy avocado dipEasy Avocado Dip

  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 ripe avocados, halved, seeded, and peeled
  • 1 cup fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp shredded lime peel
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt

In food processor, combine all ingredients and process until desired consistency.  Serve as is or chill.  Store avocado pits in the dip to help prevent browning.

The avocado dip is also good as a mini-pizza snack.  I spread the dip on a rice cake and top with sliced olives.  Tadaa!  A quick, healthy, and easy snack that even kids will eat.