Thursday, January 27, 2011


It's snowing again and it's......chore time.  Mark is off doing chores elsewhere so the little ones get to check the chickens.  Their daddy said to go out and collect the eggs and check the chicken's food and water.  My guess is they will ask for some tea when they get inside.  The children are thinking the milder Oregon winter sounds nice about now.  They miss the early spring flowers, daffodils.

We have a ewe that is about ready to lamb.  That will be exciting to have a baby animal or two.  New life is amazing!  Isn't our God creative!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A cold week

Brrr!  We have had some chilly days this past week with the temp sometimes below 0*F.  The animals are faring well in spite of the cold.  They flock to the food at the morning feeding anticipating their meal.  Having plenty of food and water keeps them warmer and better able to withstand the cold.

The chickens continue to lay eggs, much to our delight.  They taste so much better than the store bought ones.  The eggs are still small, but we are starting to see some bigger ones come in.  They will continue to get bigger the longer the hens lay until the eggs are standard size.  It's amazing, but even the small eggs can have double yokes. 

Two of our younger children normally do the chicken chores.  They are learning to work together.  To water the chickens, they each get on one side of a 5 gallon bucket and carry the water to the chicken tractor.  As I watch them through the kitchen window, my heart smiles to see them learn good life lessons in teamwork.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Local agriculture Predicted to get Huge in just eight years

NEW YORK:  A group of futurist experts and authors convened by the politically conservative business magazine Forbes predicted that by 2018, only seven years from now, 20 % of the food eaten in major urban areas of the USA will be grown close to, or in the city itself.  The magazine noted that this is a huge dollar number and would really shake up modern American agriculture, which is currently built around a small number of large-scale farms and long distance shipping.  "In addition to making our cities more resilient, the health benefits, for both our bodies and our planet, of consuming food that is grown within a small number of miles of our homes or workplaces are significant."  the magazine said in the October 25th 2010 edition.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Smoked chicken for company lunch

As I had told you before, Mark is a great chef!  He prepared smoked chicken for company after church.  We were planning on 20+ people, with some of them children. 

Since our family can eat 1 chicken in one sitting, we thawed 4 chickens to smoke.  On Friday evening, we soaked the chickens in the salt water while we were at a friend's house for New Year's Eve.  When we got home, the chickens were rinsed from the salt water and refrigerated overnight.  Saturday morning Mark smoked them in 2 shifts as the smoker holds a max of 2 birds. 

Brushing and injecting the marinade

We baked the chickens low and slow all afternoon, deboned them in the evening, and put the chicken pieces in a 9 X 13 for easy heating during church.  The guests enjoyed the pasture-raised poultry, and we even had enough leftovers for chicken sandwiches on Monday. :)