Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Got my big winnings from the auction!

I've been a bit under the this ridiculously cold weather so let's short hand this...

 Nicholas. Not sold at the auction.

Gas up to the far away auction: about $20
Time: most of the day but it was superfun
Fees to the auction:  $16.50

Total big winnings: $133.50

Getting rid of no-good-nicks and the Loudest Goat Ever: Priceless.

It looks like they sold Darla alone ($75) and the two little ones together ($75). 

So I'll go with "good enough." Wish it was more, glad it wasn't less, and still totally worth it.

Happy Thursday everyone! Looks like we'll get a break in the weather on Saturday. What a week!

Monday, November 17, 2014

First real snow.

Here it is... the first real snow. I'm noting this because it's kind of early and entirely annoying.

But hey! I get to use my "snow only" coffee cup!

The dogs are over joyed by the snow. Zander and Kai don't want to be inside at all. Zander has been woofing for me to hurry up so he and Kai can get back to goofing in the snow.

Kai couldn't be happier about the snow.

At this writing it's still snowing but should clear off this afternoon - then things will get dicey. Tomorrow will be a crippler with possibly record breaking cold - windchills will most likely be below zero. I'm expecting the barnyard will have an inside day.

The goats are extremely angry about being cooped up together but that is their tough too bads. Unfortunately that is also my "I guess I can repair that later." They are destroying the inside of the Turkey House and have busted thru all the latches. I needed the dog and my husband to help keep them in so I could feed and water them yesterday.

Sure I could let them out - where they would promptly start bawling about how cold it is and what is this snow and will I pah-leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze let them back inside that nice warm Turkey House? Goats. I need to tell them how shockingly easy it was to dump those extra ones off at the livestock auction...and I didn't even say goodbye.

I think Zander is going to help me with them this morning. I'm pretty sure those goats won't be so lippy with The Black Death giving them the stink eye.

Happy Snow Monday everyone! Are your goats inside? Are they mad?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Goat Notes: who is in heat.

We are still gripped by our cold snap and it will only get worse in the next couple of days. This morning all of the remaining goats were chilled. We ended up putting them all in one side of the Turkey House. This should be interesting....

Nibbles, back in the salad days of early summer when everyone was happy.

We'll see who and what is still standing out there tomorrow because as far as I can tell... most of them are in heat. Like I said... should be interesting. They haven't killed each other. Yet.  And so far no one has busted out looking for a man....er... buck.

Which leads me to my yearly griping and complaining about goat breeding season. I don't know why I do this to myself.  You you will recall, keeping a buck did not work out for us at all. Altho he was delicious, I am not putting myself thru that again. Good thing Nibs turned out to be just fat.

I need to look around, begrudgingly, and find another buck - who will be here for a limited time ONLY. I have a line on a couple of options so we'll see what happens.

Today, Sunday 16th:
Nibbles = in heat
Debbie = in raging heat

Which puts their next heat about Dec 7th or so.... so more May babies.

I'll have to see how Dahli and Daisy are doing but they were not acting like loons this morning. I had to get the dog to get ahold of Debbie. She gets an F- for today. The dog gets an A+. 

I'm pretty disappointed that none of the ladies were interested in that little buckling. But I guess they just thought he was some kind of upstart and didn't want anything to do with him.

And now that I have my goat notes done I'm going to make a monstrous, meaty bolognese and sit around by the fire.

Happy Sunday everyone!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Do you vindaloo?

Do you vindaloo? I do!  Actually while I love Indian food I don't like to make it.  I get turned off by the extra long list of ingredients - especially when some of the spices are hard to find. Let's face it - most ethnic food is just better at restaurants. Unfortunately around here.... it's hard to find a real Indian restaurant.

That's why I was so glad to find this recipe for vindaloo!  I made it for dinner last nite with pork. It was really really good - and easy to make.  

And here is the best news - if you make pickles.. or pickle just about anything... then you probably already have the ingredients.

Since we both really liked this dish we'll be making it again. I need to jot down a few notes so I remember it for next time. Also I kind of got lost in a few of the steps as I had to improvise. I also prepared all of the spices, in their correct measurements, in little dishes so I could do all the steps without having to dig around in the spice rack.

It helps me if I can break up the ingredient list to go along with the steps, so this is what I did.

About a pound of meat
A couple red chile peppers - but I should have used hotter ones and not just the mild jalapenos.
White vinegar to cover.

Next time: marinate for longer (I only had about an hour so I should have started earlier), use hotter peps or add a few red pepper flakes. Two whole cayenne peppers? Zoikes! Not on your life - I'm more of a 1 or barely a 2 star girl. 

The meat is browned and then removed from the pan. Keep the marinade for later.

Cumin, mustard seeds, and cinnamon sticks go into the pan until fragrant. I broke up the cinnamon sticks but next time I should keep the pieces bigger so they are easier to take out for serving the final dish.

I did not have black mustard seeds but I used the yellow ones that I had for pickling. I'll remember to get the black ones the next time I'm up at Penzey's.

Next into the pan:
Onion - minced in my little handy chopper.

Fried until soft and translucent. 

Then add:
Brown sugar

Now add the water, the left over marinade, and any peppers that didn't sneak in with the meat.

Bring to a simmer and then add the meat and any drippings.

I mostly covered the pan and let it cook for about 40 minutes. It would have been better if it would have cooked for longer but by then the house smelled like heaven and we couldn't wait any longer.

See? That wasn't so bad. And having everything " mise-en-place" made it much easier.

Our sweet Peep - she is kind of spice colored....

So where are the pix? Um.. yeah so... we ate it all. Next time I'll take pix of the steps but for now we just really wanted to make sure I got these notes down we can do it right next time.

Happy Saturday! Do you have a favorite Indian recipe? This could be mine but I'm going to be trying his recipe for butter chicken next.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Dog selfies gone wrong. And we had snow yesterday.

The Big Cold is upon us and looks like it will be parked here until mid next week at least. Yesterday we even had some snow flying around. Last nite there were a few flakes stuck on the car. We should have our first "stickable" snow this weekend.

 I tried to take some dog selfies.... it didn't really work. 

I'm noting the weather because this Big Cold is kind of early. Normally we don't have a recordable snowfall until later in November and honestly these temps are more like January. 

 Bubby kept squirming around.

The only real problem is that I have a lot of work to do outside and so I might be a little stuck.  It's one thing to work when it's cold and damp and about 40*.... but with a current windchill of 18*? I think I'll get some inside work done. But I really needed to finish staining the deck. Rats.

And Kai is so darn cute.

Also I went out for some greens this morning and they were frozen solid. I'm hoping I can get a few more salads from the late lettuce I planted.

Little Mo knows how to rock a selfie. That's our Mo!

Right now I'm really enjoying a salad of pears and blue cheese - with whatever greens I can find. And yes.. I put some beet eggs in there too. I brought in the last of the pears. Nothing out there is going to survive this cold.

Happy Friday everyone! Are you noting the cold? This is ridiculous. I need to get some work done!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Auction, adventure, and fried chicken.

Yesterday was amazing. I went on an epic adventure that involved "auction, adventure, and fried chicken." It was a day of days. It was probably the best day I've had in a long time. But first, do you hear that sound? Yes.... it's the sound of peace and quiet. I took some of those no-good extra goats up the livestock auction. Yes I did.

I am the reason we don't have nice things. Part 2. Not really an acceptable use of our "new" car. Bubby checks it out. There were goats in our new car.

Despite a long patch of weird things occurring around here - one really great thing happened to us. We happened upon a used car that was screaming our name. It was for sale at one of those "buy here, pay here" places not too far for us. We snatched it up for nothing.

Mostly I just couldn't take the stress and crying involved with trying to put Zander in my big truck. Our Bubby is 130lbs of "No, I don't think so" coupled with the vertical leap of as old, fat man with bad knees. He just couldn't get up in my big truck. So we needed some kind of easy-for-him-to-get-into wagon. And we got it. Then it turned into my husband's commuter....and then it fell to it's final disgrace.... that new-to-us-car became the Goat Wagon.

Yesterday day morning I loaded up the completely useless Darla, that little buckling, and the doeling and headed up to the Mt. Hope Livestock Auction. It is a long way from here. Of course, stupid Darla who has screamed every second of every day of her annoying life didn't utter one peep the whole way. I would not be deterred. There was no redemption. I kept driving.

Eventually the main roads end up in a rat's nest of small, hard to figure out smaller roads and I was completely lost. I tried following a guy who was loaded up with hay - I assumed we were going to the same place. But he turned quickly and I lost him! Fortunately my friends guided me by phone, turn by turn, until I reached the Mecca that is the Mt. Hope livestock auction. It was a frenzy and I was completely in the way.

Talk about a newb. There I was - gal in a pony tail, in a station wagon, with GOATS. They all rolled their eyes and glared at me trying to wind my way around all the "real" farmers. I very nearly got out and screamed at one of them boys that not only my truck was bigger than his, but I could butcher anything he had in his stock trailer. But I just smiled and waved...and tried to get out of the way.

Someone finally pointed me to the load-out dock and I backed in. A horde of Mennonite guys snatched the goats right out of the back of the car and before I even turned around those goats where gone from my sight. I didn't even say goodbye. The loader guys handed me a receipt and I sauntered away counting all that money I was fixin' to make from the sale. I'll find out next week how much when they send me a check.

Then I met up with my pal and one of my favorite farm kids. We had a terrific day. We drove around all over the country side and visited all kinds of out of the way places, we took Lehman's by storm, and checked all the roadside farm stand signs for beets. We found all kinds of good scores. Bulk food items, gardening supplies...and the fudge bar at Lehman's can't be beat.

We made our way back to check out the flea market and the auctions. The livestock auction was incredible. They had all kinds of stock - huge bulls, an enormous boar, tons of sheep, and some piglets. The packers were buying dairy calves for upwards of $400! Unlike our small produce auction this professional sale went fast and without a lot of arm waving. It was amazing.

They also had a poultry barn. I was under orders to come home chicken free.... otherwise I would have loaded up some of their 24 week old Golden Comets.

After our minds were boggled by the auction we headed directly to the world famous Mrs. Yoder's Kitchen. Oh yes...veni, vidi, vici. So much chicken.... it was delicious. Stunning in fact. Rookies load up on all the salads and stuff. Not me. Chicken, chicken, and more chicken...and maybe a few tablespoons of veggies just for show. I got my money's worth for sure.

When we got back to the cars we swapped farm gifts and I received riches that I am not worthy of... such bounty!

I drove home in the new car smelling like goat pee but deliriously happy at such an epic adventure. Now that I kinda know what I'm doing, and once I see how much the sale check is, I'll be heading up there again. While I might be tempted to drive my work truck up there to show them boys what I'm really made of.... that sweet gas mileage in our new little silver bullet makes it much easier to do that big drive.  I'll just have to dazzle them with my farm swagger.

Happy Thursday everyone! Are you going to the livestock auction?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Last days of working in the garden

Tonite we'll start getting that polar vortex of doom. But today I have one last day to work in the garden. Yesterday we were outside the entire day. It was sunny and beautiful. I got a lot of work done. Then there was this.

That damn mower. It's like an albatross around my neck.

Yep. I killed it again. In my defense, I'm pretty sure that the wingding is all wonky which caused some kind of catastrophic failure of the flux capasitor...or maybe the cardboardmeter. I had to text my husband that the mower was leaking oil...from when I had to turn it upside down to verify that, yes, the new blade he just put on was bent. Then I started kicking it because I think that mower is doing it on purpose.

So I turned my thoughts to happier things......

Like my favorite garden helpers. Note the tiller is not broken.

And finding a stash of potatoes!

And this huge pear. (Kai for scale.)

Today we are working to get the rest of the upper garden cleaned up in preparation for the on-coming doom. We will have at least five days of cold weather. So today we are going to enjoy the warm sunshine.

Happy Tuesday everyone! What are you finding in your garden clean up?

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