Looking Skyward

This past month has been filled with so many activities that this is the 1st day I can catch my breath and take inventory of farm stuff. The seven new lambs are growing and are weaned and eating grasses and grain. I am sure the moms are grateful, although some will try to sneak a drink but the moms are having none of it. I am assessing the lambs before I register them so I can record as accurately as possible the fleece colors. I believe that I have a pure black in Hawthorne and his brother Pecan would be a fawn. Hickory and Thistle are moorit and Zinnia is white.  Heather is a question. She was a very light fawn at birth, but she is so close to white. Not sure how I will decide. And our Wally man is dark brown changing to pewter or grey. All are sound sheep and so I deem this breeding season a success.

Heather is the same color as the pasture!
Brother ram lambs, Pecan and Hawthorne
Thistle-becoming a beautiful moorit ewe.
Wally, if you separate his fleece-you will see pewter coming in.

The weather lately has presented many challenges. I have no memory of so many 90 + days strung together coupled with so little rain. The entire pasture has gone dormant except for some areas closest to the pond. See the pics? My pasture is beige and crunchy. So I look skyward and study weather maps for any sign of moisture. Yesterday there was a rain shower over the pond, but it never moved over the pasture or my gardens. I watched as the drops left numerous rings of ripples. I could smell it in my anticipation of the relief that would never come. I think God is playing with me.

My moonscape of a pasture-surreal looking!
Wally and Hawthorne are playing ram games…

 

…head butting with a vengeance!

 

My barn is now filled with hay so my sheep, goats and rabbits have a substitute for grass. And I have to work in thoroughly watering my garden into my schedule.  And a twice a day visit to the rabbits to provide frozen water filled 2 liter bottles to help beat the heat.

Everyone has pitched in to keep up with the watering of our kitchen garden. The reward is a banquet of tomatoes along with peppers and beans. Following is my recipe for stewed tomatoes with peppers that I worked on yesterday. We use them for Chili recipes or to put over black eyed peas. It is full of flavor…much more than store bought. Try it and see what you think.

Ingredients:

About 4 quarts of tomatoes….1/2 cup chopped onion…1/2 cup peppers (we used jalepenios and chili peppers from the garden) …4 tsp sugar…4 tsp celery salt…1 tsp regular salt.

Gather your tomatoes and peppers and wash them.

I use Roma and Celebrity tomatoes

Chop your onions and peppers. I use a nifty tool from Williams and Sonoma to remove seeds and core from the hot peppers-be careful not to rub your eyes!
Blanche tomatoes in boiling water for about 2 minutes to loosen the skins.
Peel the skins from the tomatoes and put the peeled tomatoes in a stock pot. (I put the skins in compost.) Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes.

 

Ladle stewed tomatoes into sterilized jars-I use 7 pint jars with new lids.
Clean off rims and gently tighten 2 part lid onto jars and place in processor.
Boil for 40 minutes for pint jars and 45 for quart size.
After 5 minutes, carefully remove jars and set on a towel overnight. Make sure jars seal well. And enjoy the bounty of your garden in the winter.

 

 

 

 

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