Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Isn't it funny how sometimes we also can be like our farm animals. Wondering if the grass is greener if we lived somewhere else or if we had a different job. I was thinking about that the other day as I saw the sheep always on the hot pursuit to get out of there fenced in area, why do they want to be any where else than where they are suppose to be. I also realized that sheep tend to all be followers except for that one leader in the pack! All the others just following the leader not knowing what is in store for them if they do! It made me realize two things first I love being a farm/ranch wife and wouldn't trade my life with anybody else, plus, to be proud of being who God made me to be and not want to be like or act like anyone else, for he made each one of us special and we are to be ourselves, just as he had planned. Life on the farm has it's challenges, but it's a wonderful life and it's my life.
A couple of weeks ago we lost one of our really nice milk cows due to bloat. I never knew how fast a cow can die from that, one minute they appear fine and the next they are dead. When the grasses grow so nice and rich, that's when they are most susceptible to bloating and it doesn't take them long to die unless you can get the gases released. So we needed to go get another cow.
Last Saturday we did just that. I love going places with Gary, it's great spending time with my best friend whom just happens to also be my husband too!! I am blessed! So off we went to Wooster, about 2 1/2 hours away to a Jersey Cow Auction. It was cold in that barn, but we were able to find a cow that wasn't quite as expensive as most of them. I hope that she will be a good addition to our farm. Brought her home and Gary put her out with the other cows, thought all would be good. Well, what did I tell you in past blogs, how animals know you have somewhere to go so they decide to escape, well, it was time for Gary to come in to get ready for church and where did the new cow go? She managed to get out and go across the road to be with some of our other cattle. Do you see a trend with our farm? ha ha Animals always wanting to leave their pastures for other pastures! They always come with a name too, I rather like her name, Sarina!
Then yesterday afternoon, Gary and I went to Suter's Cider Press, to get some apples and fresh cider!! Yum! Then on our way home we went by the pasture that Gary had moved her into with some other cows, since she is due to calf on Nov. 9th. At least that's what they said at the auction. We drive down the road to check on her and what in the world is she doing? She's standing in the middle of the road starring at our van as we pull up to her! Really!! So we had to go get her put back in again. Ran to the house to get more jackets on to keep warm, hopped on the kabota, checked to make sure the fences are off, get some hay, and off we went on the kabota to lure her into the next pasture with the hay! Hay is a wonderful way to coax a cow where we want them to go! Here the electric fence charger that is out in the pasture had been turned off but the one at the farm was on. So didn't realize that the fence wasn't even charging! Took care of that issue!!! I don't believe she will be getting out anytime soon!! ha Oops!! Maybe I really shouldn't have said that!! You know our luck with animal escapes! At least we have nice animals and they aren't like lions, tigers and bears! ;)
We are getting busy with our turkeys now. Hoping they grow nicely this next month so they can be ready for Thanksgiving. At this point Gary is thinking they will weigh between 13 to 20 pounds. Much better than when his brothers were farming together and we had some 30 pound ones! ha That was pretty funny. You had to cut them (which wasn't easy!) in half just so they would fit into the roaster or oven!! They sure didn't fit into the fryer! Thankfully, they figured out when to get them so they won't be to big when it's time to butcher for Thanksgiving. The turkeys this year though are a week younger than they should have been, due to the fact when they came in the mail it was to hot for them and we lost all of them and had to wait another week to get more. That's life on the farm, you really have to be prepared for anything because for sure it's gonna happen!
I purchased the funniest sign a few weeks ago at Hobby Lobby, it's a picture of a Thanksgiving turkey holding a sign that reads....Eat Beef! Now I need to find one with a cow holding a sign saying....Eat Turkey! I wonder if there is such a sign out there, if so I want it! I could hang them together!
I wanted to mention that Gary's EKG came back normal. Praise God! Now that I know his heart is good, I think it's time to go on a short vacation!! Giggle....Plans are in the making to go back to N.Y.C. to spend some time with my niece and maybe visit Lancaster PA. and ? This year Gary is going with me. It has been a long time since we had a vacation together. I am getting excited to get away. Gary's job is always around him since we live on the farm and it's hard for him to take time off from the farm and still be on the farm!! He is always able to see things that could, or should be done!
With the weather turning cold out, it makes me think of casseroles for a meal. Here is a casserole dish that I really like and it's easy too!
Dairy land Casserole.......you'll see why it got the name Dairy land!
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
2 cups tomato sauce
1/8tsp. Worcestershire sauce ( or a little more if your like me and like Worcestershire sauce!)
1/3 cup onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. green pepper, chopped
8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
3 Tbsp. melted butter
1. Cook noodles until tender. Drain and set aside.
2. Brown beef, add tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, onion, and pepper.
3. Combine cheeses and sour cream.
4. Butter large casserole. Pour in half of the noodles. Add cheese and cream mixture and cover with remaining noddles. Top with beef mixture. Drizzle melted butter on top. (or you can leave the butter off!)
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes, or till cooked through. enjoy....;)
I will be back soon with more of our life on the farm.
Monday, October 3, 2011
I was just thinking about how David Letterman does all those top 10 things when I was walking around the farm for some exercise. Our farm sits on a corner and so I can walk down one lane, down road 3 to road N and then up our other lane and get a half mile in!! So thought you might enjoy what I came up with, which is all true!
On Sunday afternoon, I was helping Gary with chores, we went out to move the cattle down a little farther in the pasture. The guys have the pasture in sections and then when the cattle have finished eating down a section, they move them down the pasture a little farther and so on and so on. So Gary and I went out there on the Kabota to do that and we spotted a baby calf in the pasture. Gary had put one of our milk cows out there awhile ago since she was going to have a calf, but she wasn't due till mid October. Sure enough though, it was her calf and she had had it early. It was a cute little heffer, but rather weak. It looked like Daisy (the mother) wasn't taking care of her, so we loaded the calf up onto the Kabota and drove her back to the farm. She is doing good and will hopefully be a milk cow later on.
Unfortunately, we lost that sweet little premature heffer calf 3 days after she was born. :( She was the sweetest little thing.
My recipe for the day is: Cheddar Chicken PotPie **** Or if you don't have time to put a crust on top just leave it off and add more milk to make it a chicken chowder!!! :)
Cheddar Chicken PotPie
1 cup unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 Tablespoons chilled butter, cut into pieces
3 Tablespoons of cold water
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
2 cups peeled cubed potatoes
1 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup unbleached flour
1 - 1/2 cups milk
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, myself, I like the Vermont Sharp Cheddar Cheese
4 cups diced cooked chicken (or you can use canned chicken)
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning....I really like the flavor poultry seasoning gives chicken and turkey dishes
Salt and Pepper to taste
For crust: combine flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut butter into flour until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Gradually add the water, mixing gently with a fork. Gather into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 30 minutes. For filling, heat broth to a boil in a dutch oven or large saucepan. Add vegetables: simmer 10-15 minures or until tender. Blend flour with milk; stir into broth mixture. Cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened and bubbly. Stir in cheese, chicken, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Heat until cheese melts. Spoon into a 10-in. (2-1/2 to 3 qt.) casserole dish. Set aside. On a lightly floured board, roll crust to fit top of casserole dish, trimming edges as necessary. Place in casserole over filling; sealing edges. Make several slits in center of crust for steam to escape. Bake at 425 degrees for 40 minutes or until golden. Yeild: 6 servings.
*Note: you can purchase whole chickens from us and cook it whole and then take the meat off the bones and use that for your chicken* *We also have chicken parts and turkey parts, just check out our website for what we have availabe at that time*
Till next time...wishing you a week filled with much joy!
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
I got home from running errands, just in time to help with the cattle drive. We had to take them down the road to a new pasture. It went smoothly. Much better than the last couple of cattle drives. The first of those, we got the vehicles across the road, put up the electric fencing, (which the cattle do not realize that it's not plugged into the charger! lol) and got them herded across the road and into the new pasture, all except one lone calf. Who obviously, has a ornery streak in him!!! I learned that day that it is hard to get a calf to go where it's suppose to go, even with 5 people working together at it! We were all running around trying to get it to go with all the other cattle. Then I see Ethan running after it again, and the next thing I saw, (could have been on Funniest Home Video's!) He took a flying leap and caught the calf Jacob and Ethan put the calf on the Kabota and over to the pasture it went! That was a tiring chase! The second cattle drive went very good, got all the cattle across the road and into the pasture without any problems. So Leah and I left to do other projects. Ethan and Gary were busy getting more fencing done around the pasture and Ethan turned around and here all the cattle had gone through the electric fencing, which the guys hadn't had a chance to turn it on yet. The cattle seem to have a 6th sense about knowing if the electric fences are on or not! They were all over the road, heading north, heading south, and heading right into the neighbors corn!! Gary said he could hear them ripping off ears of corn and chewing them!! Not good! Well, I am not sure how the two of them got them all back into the pasture, but they did. Hope the next cattle drive goes better than these did!
Today, Gary and Jacob butchered a few turkeys and a few chickens. Actually, these chickens had the chance to be laying hens, but no, they had grander plans, to see the world, or the farm anyway. We really got tired of putting them back in their pens and then next thing you know those 8 or so would be back out running around, in the garden, up on my front porch, you name it, nothing was off limits to them!! So it was time to fight back and I guess you could say we had the last laugh!
Tomorrow, Gary will be trying out our new meat grinder, it should work a lot better than the tiny little hand grinder we have been using. We have been offering ground turkey and with the demand getting bigger for ground turkey, this will be a very helpful piece of equipment.
Well, those are a few stories for you to enjoy at our expense!! Being a farmer / rancher!! There is so much that is out of your control, weather, animals with there own agenda, long hours, to name a few, but you know, there isn't any other place I would rather be!! I am blessed to be able to be with my hubby every day, and spend time with our sons on the farm. To also help my mother out, who doesn't drive anymore.
On a more somber note, I had to run Gary to the E.R. around 2:30am. a few weeks ago, he wasn't feeling good and I was praying that it wasn't his heart. Praise God he hadn't had a heart attack. They didn't really find anything, so we came home around 9:30am. Gary will be going in for a stress test next Monday. I pray that all goes well on Monday.
Sorry, once again to get so far behind in my blogs, I am working at trying to do them on a regular basis! Hope you all had a wonderful labor day. Gary got in around 2pm and then was in the house till about 5:00pm. and now went back outside to do a few more chores. I was just thinking the other day when he says hes going out to do the chores, is that suppose to be a shorter amount of work than if he says he's going out to work on the farm? Because, sometimes, chores seems to be the same thing as just working on the farm!
Here is a very easy and yummy recipe to share with you. A meat and potato dish, it dosn't get any better than meat and potatoes!! Its a good dish to fill the guys up with, especially if it's cold outside!!
Sausage and Potatoes
1 lb. sausage links (or you could use our turkey links too, the turkey sage, preferably)
6-8 medium potatoes
2 Tbsp. flour
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
pepper to taste
1 cup milk
Cut sausage in 1/2-inch pieces. Chop onion. Fry meat and onion. Add water to cover. Cook 10 minutes. Quarter potatoes. Add to meat plus seasoning. Cover and cook until potatoes are done. Make a paste of flour and milk. ( I usually double the flour and milk, we like lots of gravy!) ( I even use corn starch, if I don't want to use flour, it works great.
Add to mixture and cook until thickened. Enjoy!
Sunday, May 22, 2011
I am so amazed how busy I get and then forget to blog! It's Sunday today and I thought that it would be good to go out and help Gary and Ethan with getting the sheep herded together. I also got Leah, our 19 year old daughter to come out with me to help. Gary needed to get the sheep all together so that he could pick a couple to go to the butcher tomorrow and to take the rams out from the group. The rams are going to another pasture. Luckily, they are not aggressive and are used to people and to being moved around! Gary thought it would be better getting this done today since they are suppose to get them to the butcher, by 8am Monday morning! My thought was I'll go out, it's 9:30 am. and we can hurry up and get them herded and I will come in and get ready for church and get lunch started! Obviously, I had no idea what a project herding sheep is! This morning I learned several things, first, sheep don't like to be herded, second, I don't like herding sheep, third, sheep herding takes a lot of time!
Well, the sheep herding process went more like this! Ethan, Leah and I hopped on the Kabuta and went out to the pasture. Stopped picked up corral fencing, which are tall and awkward to pick up, although Ethan could do it by himself, he's also 22 years old! We then got back on the Kabuta, headed down the pasture, turned off the electricity and then went on to set up the gates. Got them all set up and Ethan decides that we should make the corral bigger and that we should go back and get those two other gates! So back we went, put two more gates on the kabuta and then went back to finish the corral. Got those up and then went back to the very back part of the pasture to get the sheep. I now know for sure sheep are not the smartest animals, instead of them being on the right side of the fence where theres all kinds of green pasture to eat, where are they? They are on the side where theres mainly just dirt where the farmer is waiting to plant his field! So here we go again, with the saying the "grass is always greener on the other side of the fence"! Except, where is the grass? So Ethan decided to leave those there, he thought most of them had babies anyway and would get them later. I get on the kabuta and got behind the rest of the sheep, to get them moving, Ethan and Leah were along side of them with a wire that the sheep know is electrified, except of course this wasn't! So things are going really good and we get closer, so I stop the kabuta and start walking them too. One thing about sheep, you go very slow and don't startle them. Now Gary has arrived and all 4 of us are getting close to getting them in the corral. We have the wire behind and beside them. All of a sudden one sheep freaks out and turns around bolts through then wire, it tears and all the sheep go crazy and take off running. So now I take off running to stop them from heading all the way back to the back of our pasture. Okay, got them stopped. Let's start over again. Before we start, Ethan goes and gets another type of fencing to put up on one side of the fence, so they at least won't get out that way again! Gary and Ethan got that up and now it's time to herd the sheep again. The four of us, surround them and slowly and I mean slowly herd them in! This time Success!! Gary needed to find 2 sheep to go to the butcher. Well, we only found 1, the others all had babies. So Ethan and Gary got it out and put it in the trailer. Next, time for the rams, got both of those in the trailer. Next, Gary said we need to get the sheep that are on the outside of the pasture and in the field. Off we went to get those, so we got those up to be put in the corral with the other sheep, Gary opened the gate, and we were starting to chase those in and guess what happens. The sheep in the corral bolt out and now all the sheep are out again! Are you kidding me! So I ran after them to make sure they don't go to far. We stopped them and then slowly herded them back into the corral! Finally, all the sheep are in the corral! We didn't find another sheep that could go to market, so we were finally done! Ethan and Gary picked up the one fence and Leah and I headed back home. I started on baked chicken, homemade french fries, and cooked up some green beans, and broccoli and cauliflower. Leah had to get to work at the nursing home that she works at, so I made a quick lunch for her. Then we ate our Sunday dinner at 2:30!!
Getting married at 19, I had no idea all these farm adventures were in store for me! I didn't know how much work a farmer does each day either! Especially now, Gary works 7 days a week! Trying to not work as much on Sundays, but usually something comes up, like today!
The guys really do know what they are doing, unfortunately, the animals usually have other plans! Well, that's just another day on the Luginbill Family Farm! P.S. I sure hope you enjoy your Lamb Chops!
Monday, March 7, 2011
I was wondering how many of you can say they wake up to turkeys squawking! I thought our chickens can make a lot of noise, well, they don't! I was wondering why Gary has both the turkeys and the chickens so close to our bedroom windows!? Even with the windows closed you can hear them, can you imagine how good I can hear them when the windows are open! Who needs a alarm clock with turkeys to wake you up each day! :)
Today on the farm was business as usual. Gary and Ethan had to load up a lamb and a cow this morning to go to the butcher. Then Gary was back to milking the cows. He really enjoys the cows and how calm they are. They have a good life on the farm, as well as the rest of the animals. I got a good laugh the other day when a guy said to me, your animals have a great life, they just have one bad day! Well, if you didn't get that, I think I will pass on explaining it to you!
Last week the Post Office in Toledo called and said our baby chicks were in, but that they would have to be either shipped to Lima and we would have to go pick them up that day or wait another day and they would get them to Pandora's Post Office. I said we are not able to go to Lima today, and feared that we would lose some chicks waiting another day, and I voiced that to him. He said sorry the truck that goes to Pandora already left. So we thought well, we have no choice we will hope that that some don't die before we get them. Well, to our amazement, the Pandora Post Office called later that day to say our baby chicks had come to the post office! They made it in one day, that still amazes me how baby chicks come through the mail service! Now, I know spring is coming, we have baby chicks.
The robins are back too, another good sign spring is coming! I will have to say that Gary beat me seeing the first robin of this spring! We usually have our little race to see who sees the first robin each spring, I know it's rather silly, but what can I say.
We had lots of rain lately and we too experienced some issues with it. We went to bed that night not even knowing how much rain we were suppose to have. We woke up the next day looked out our bedroom window to see that our three pigs, which I named Laverne, Shirley and Squiggy, were almost in the water. Do pigs now how to swim? I never thought about that before! We have a ditch behind the farm and it decided to come way up to their home! So Ethan let them move up farther in the pasture. Then I look out the kitchen window and see Ethan and Gary carrying like 2 to 3 chickens in each of their hands. They had to put them with our other batch of laying hens. Their building that they can go into to lay eggs was flooded.
So now we have two different groups of chickens that don't really like each other and some have had to pay the ultimate price if you know what I mean! Poor things. It has also cut our egg production down some as well. How unfortunate! Of course, there is no way to separate them now, how could you ever tell the younger ones from the older ones, its not like they get gray feathers once they get older!
Gary has been busy making a fence for the milk cows so they have more room to roam!! It is up by his milk room and it's looking very nice! I can actually watch him build it out my kitchen window. I love my kitchen window!! So many adventures I can watch as I am getting meals ready, or baking cupcakes!
I wanted to share with you Gary's favorite Cheddar Chowder soup recipe. Actually, all our kids love this soup too. It's fun to see what recipes your children want to make after they grow up and have a family of their own. This is one of those recipes!!! :)
2 c water
2 c diced potatoes
1/2 c diced carrots
1/2 c diced celery
1/4 c chopped onion
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 c butter
1/4 c flour
2 c milk
2 c cheddar cheese
1 c cubed ham (if you cook our ham slice up and cut it up or it may just fall apart!, it taste wonderful in this soup)
Directions: Combine water, potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, salt, and pepper in large kettle. (pan) Boil for 10 to 12 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, make white sauce by melting the butter. Add flour and stir until smooth, about 1 minutes. Slowly add milk. Cook until thickened. Add grated cheese to the white sauce and stir until melted. Add white sauce and cubed ham to vegetables that HAVE NOT been drained. Heat through. Serves 6. ENJOY!
I will be back soon to share more adventures on the farm and another recipe!
Saturday, March 5, 2011
I know it's been awhile since you have seen me here. I guess you could say I was trying figure out what direction I am taking with my blog. When the winter months hit, I decided it was time to leave the outdoor stuff to the guys. I'm not much of a cold weather gal!! I am doing a lot of answering emails, phone calls, and running eggs to different towns each week. Also, I help wash eggs in a warm building! I work with Gary getting orders ready for our customers that come up from Columbus, Ohio. Gary and I also run to Perrysburg twice a month and deliver orders to our customers and drop off eggs at Kazmaiers Grocery Store.
This winter this country gal went with my sister to New York City and stayed with my niece for 11 days. What an adventure that was! I thought our farm can sure be an adventure, wow, N.Y.C. is quite a place for adventures! While I was there, I was on the set of the Today's Show, where my niece and I got the set ready for her client, we also got to sit in the green room while we waited to do that, then my sister and I got V.I.P. treatment the next day at the Today Show! Meredith Vieira even told me I looked good in my coat!!! We watched them blow up those huge balloons for Macy's Parade, which all three of us found to be a rather emotional moment, we also ate at some really good restaurants. We had a lot of fun shopping ( a lot of window shopping) I even got to try on a vintage bracelet that cost $80,000.00, that one looked really good on my wrist, I tried on a cheaper one that was only $50,000.00, of course, the more expensive bracelet fit and looked the best, isn't that how it always goes, and no, I didn't buy it! One day, we went to a outdoor market and while we were there I saw a man who was going through the trash and digging out food people had thrown away and was eating it. That was hard to see and I felt bad that he had to be in that situation.
Most of you know, I bake cupcakes, so, I had to go to all the N.Y. C. cupcake places and have cupcakes!! Some where better than others! At one place some of the cupcakes were $3.50 a cupcake!
One day at my nieces apartment, we were watching Julia to Julia and then it came to me, that maybe, I could do something like that on my blog. To share different recipes with you that I have tried and loved with our meats and eggs. So, when there isn't anything exciting going on at the farm, I can always share recipes. If you only knew how many cookbooks I have!!! My mom is the same way, we love to read cookbooks and I also love to try new recipes. So my plan is to share a recipe with each of my blogs.
We did have our share of issues with our electric fences today. We have had a lot of rain lately and I guess rain and electric fences don't do well together!! This morning I got a call from a guy saying our calves are out at another farm, then a get a second call from another guy that said someone who told someone told him, that some calves were out!! Of course, both of those guys new that they were our calves. One nice thing about living in a small community, most people know each other. So our son, Ethan, got the calves back in and then saw that the breaker had flipped off and got that back on. Then he comes in for lunch, and looks out the kitchen window and now there are cattle walking around our lane. They are suppose to be in the pasture on the other side of the ditch! The cattle or sheep have never gotten out from that pasture. I was thinking okay, either they walked down the road and up our driveway or else they went for the more adventuresome way and went down the ditch where the water is pretty high up! My vote is for the latter one! ha So out Ethan goes to round up the cattle, with Gary and Leah's help they get them back in with the rain pouring down on them! They get the fence fixed again and now are heading in for lunch. Gary and Ethan came to the house, one jumped in the tub and the other the shower. I am here blogging and the phone rings, they just wanted to let me know that the calves are out again!!! Are you kidding me! Gary and Ethan get all cleaned up and now, once again, they have to go back outside into the rain and get two ornery calves back into the fenced in pasture. Gary and Ethan got that taken care of and now we pray that they all decide to stay where they belong. Once again, the saying the grass is always greener on the other side must be true. Except, they must not realize that there really isn't any green grass over there at all at this time of year. Oh and I don't believe they ever did get to eat lunch that day!
I have a really good recipe to give you for Steak Marinade, that I found the other day.
We had friends over for supper and I marinated our tenderloin steaks and then the guys grilled them. We all agreed, we will be using this recipe again. Enjoy.
Steak marinade: 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup red wine, 3 T. red wine vinegar, 4 tsp. minced garlic, or 1 tsp. garlic powder, (I used minced garlic), 1/2 tsp. salt and pepper. I just sprinkled some pepper in the bag.
Combine all ingredients, put in Ziploc bag, marinate steak 4 to 6 hours. I actually only had time to marinate them for 3 hours and they still turned out really good. Take out and grill until desired degree of doneness is reached.
If you want to get Gary's favorite soup recipe you'll want to check back soon.
I am ready to blog!