Thursday, August 25, 2011

Preparing for Fall

036Fall is right around the corner and with it come beautiful colors, harvesting from the garden, and many fun memories. We prepare for each season differently. In Spring, we prepare for new kids and lambs along with the possibility of flooding. We normally muck out the barn during this time of year too. We also talk with all of our customers that have reserved livestock and make sure they are prepared. In Summer, we prepare for the extreme heats. We make sure all of our water troughs are clean and ready for use again.  We make sure all the animals are healthy, bright eyes and bushy tailed. We also check each of our herds and see if there are any we should cull out. And now we come to fall… one of the most beautiful times of year but not lacking in work either.

When someone mentions fall many memories come to remembrance.. Jumping in leaves and water puddles, planning, and sore aching muscles that tell of a day’s hard work. Today, I would like to share with you how my family prepares for fall.

1st. Clean out the barn… We clean the barn from top to bottom. making sure that each of the animals will have a cozy place to sleep. We must wash the shelves, dust the equipment, and make sure that everything will be tucked away safely until it is needed again.

2nd. Downsize…If there are any tools that we are not using we either put them on craigslist or give them away. If there is extra livestock that is not needed, or not useful for our farm we post them for sale…we go through every part of our barn (and home) and make sure we are not keeping any unneeded “treasures”.

3rd. Check Feed Supply…We enjoy seeing our animals happily feast through the fall and winter months. In order for them to eat well and stay healthy we must plan ahead. We talk to our local feed suppliers about the quality of the feed and if we should purchase more. There have been times we have been unable to pick up feed because of snow or flooding so this is something that is very important!

4th. Repair… We use this time of year to repair any stalls that may need a little updating, fences that animals maybe have broke through, or equipment before putting it away.

5th. Plant Fall Garden…I just love our fall garden! The fresh salads, delicious vegetables and so many other wonderful garden gifts. We will plan and plant our garden in the Spring and Fall.

6th. Decide what animals to breed…I like this part of the year because I get to be a little match maker. I get to decide which bucks and rams to breed to which does and ewes. I first decide off of conformation, then color, and then personalities.. this is the way it normally works, “he has the colors and markings but that one has the conformation and what he is lacking in color the doe makes up for..hmm” ect.

So that is most of what our family does to prepare for fall. We would love to hear what you do for your farm! If you have any questions or suggestion feel free to comment or email us through our “Contact us” on the sidebar.

To God be the glory.

Beth Joy (on behalf of everyone at Covenant Ranch)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Goat Named Grace…

Recently, we had some kids born. It was some twins(a little doeling and a little buckling). The mother liked the first born buckling the best through and decided to stomp on little grace (weighing in at 3 lbs.) and the adoptive mother decided Grace wasn’t very good either so she kicked her across the birthing pen. I (beth), on the other hand was quite silly that day and was enjoying spending time loving on Grace. So, Elisha (the main caretaker of the goats) had a choice that day, he could put Grace with the neglectful mother, the overly aggressive adoptive mother or the slightly loony adoptive mother (just kidding but he did decide to let me take care of Grace).

Grace (the little doeling), was taken into our laundry room and given very careful care. Grace started growing and became quite a lovely little doeling. She is only 3 weeks old, but she thinks she can conquer the world and also thinks she is a human and belongs in the house.

Matthew and Gracie had a wonderful day of play this week. They enjoyed playing “tag” and learning to jump (most kids learn to jump at about three days of age).

Here  are some pictures of their “play day”. matty and grace

matty and grace 1

grace and matty 3

That’s the end of this adventure…

Until our next chat…

Beth Joy (on behalf of everyone at Covenant Ranch)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Beat the Heat with Lavender Lemonade

Lavender1This is a truly wonderful recipe! It is one of our family’s favorite recipes. I hope you all enjoy!

Lavender Lemonade

8 cups of water

1/4th dried lavender flowers

3/4th cup dried Lemon Balm leaves

1/4th cup dried Peppermint leaves

In a glass or stainless steel pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil: turn off heat. Add the dry herbs and cover tightly. Let stand 8 hours or overnight; refrigerate when cool. Strain.

Zest of three lemons

2 ½ cup water

Remove zest of three lemons with a paring knife. Chop coarsely and combine with water in saucepan. Cover and simmer 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool until lukewarm. Then add:

1 tsp. Stevia Powder

1/4th cup Agave syrup or honey, plus ½ cup water

1 1/4th cup of fresh lemon juice

This will make the lemonade base. Adjust sweeteners to taste. To serve combine equal parts of herb tea with the sweetened lemon base. Add more water . Chill and serve in glasses or punch bowl with edible flowers in ice cubes. Garnish with lemon slices. Can be stored in refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Until our next chat…

Beth Joy

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Artichoke Spinach Dip

artichoke dipOne of my favorite dips that my grandma makes for me is artichoke spinach dip. I often hear people complain about artichokes or spinach but I think that they just don’t realize what they are missing out on!

I decided to make artichoke spinach dip to go along with lunch. I found a recipe, thought it sounded good, didn’t like all their ingredients so I threw that out the window and made up my own  (that is the way I come up with most of my recipes).

Artichoke Spinach Dip:

1 cup grated Raw milk Cheddar cheese (#CH063)

1 pkg. thawed spinach (#FG453)

24 oz. canned artichoke heart (#GY686)

3 cloves of minced garlic (#QP324)

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated finely (#CH028)

1/2 Mozzarella cheese (#CH185)

1/2 tsp. Salt (#BP064)

1/2 tsp. Pepper (#HS263)

Now your going to love this… Simply mix together all your grated chesses, garlic… and everything else and pop in the oven at 400 for 20-25 minutes or until all the cheeses are melted down nicely. I love this dip on pretty much anything but tortilla chips (#SN156) or veggies are perfect for this!

I hope you all enjoy this as much as my family did!

Until my next kitchen creation…

Beth Joy

Monday, August 8, 2011

Milk Time…

Morning milk time at Covenant ranch.

The cats and kittens are waiting anxiously….

050 (3)

The milk jars are ready and cleaned…

milk jars

Liberty, waiting so patiently…

liberty milktime

Yummy milk…

milking

All done… Smile

goats milk

To God be the glory…

The Wood Family

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Covenant Ranch Feed Recipes

047 (2)Here at Covenant Ranch, we try our best to give our animals quality feed. We try our best to avoid anything already packaged and have all our grain and feed mixtures mixed at a local mill. We enjoy seeing our animals thrive and grow. It gives us something to be proud when after all our hard work we see animals with shinny coats, bright eyes and bushy tails.

I would like to share with you our family’s recipe.

Dairy Feed: (This Goes to all our dairy animals, including the males)

Corn Chop medium 0.82 Cwt.

Alfalfa pellets 0.82 Cwt.

Oats 0.82 Cwt.

Kelp meal dried 10 Lbs.

Linseed Meal 10 Lbs.

Peas, Maple 10 Lbs.

Sunflower black 10 Lbs.

Liquid Molasses 15 Lbs.

ADE- 1.5 Lbs

________________________

We are always changing our recipe as we learn more and other grains become available. I would encourage you to look into what you have available in your area and decide what grain recipes would be best for your livestock.

To God be the glory.

Beth Joy (on behalf of everyone at Covenant Ranch)

Friday, August 5, 2011

All in a Days Work…

The boys worked diligently in the barn. Moving hay, fixing mowers, and repairing old tools. It was a long day but full of fun.

papa and fire Papa started a burn pile for us. It made getting rid of a lot of stuff easier.

Elisha workingThe boys work so hard!

zeke sillyZeke showing off for the camera.

violin haybalesAnd I had the job of keeping everyone entertained. It was quite a fun job!

burn pile boys

Have a great day, everyone!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Take Your Boots Off

Papa made this sign for our farm. We have the slightest tendency to bring muddy boots onto the clean carpet so he thought this might remind us. I think he did a wonderful job!

no shoes please

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

2011 Lambs and Kids

Last month marked the end of kid and lambing season. Every year we learn more and this year was no exception. We decided to ‘experiment’ and breed some of our goats and sheep for spring and some for summer. The spring kids were much large and perky than the summer kids. I do enjoy the benefits of having milk year round though so we are going to play around with this some more in the following years.

Please Welcome the new barn additions.

Grace O'mally

Grace O’malley and her brother Honor. Kinder Kids

Victory and Beth.

Beth and Victory

And the sweet little lambs.

2011summerlambs

And that is the end of kidding and lambing season at Covenant Ranch. Keep a eye out on our Livestock page for the upcoming sales.

To God be the glory.

Beth Joy (on behalf of everyone at Covenant Ranch)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Cherry Blessings

With cherries at the peak of their season and Azure picking 5000 lbs. a day, I decided to start using them! Tonight, we made a delicious cherry pie made from organic cherries and whole ingredients. This was actually my first time using almond flour and I really like the way it looks so far. We are enjoying reaping the blessings of these cherries. We have enjoyed sharing them too!

Here are some  pictures.

Cherry Pie

Our sunny little Rainer cherries! Sunny Cherry

The delicious Bing cherries! They also have the nasty habit of disappearing…

Bing Cherry

 

To God be the glory.

Until our next chat….

Beth Joy