Goats, rabbits, chickens (pages)

Thursday, August 9, 2018


  How To yellow

The first time I saw Florida strawberries growing in the field I was 18 years old.  My jaw dropped.  Not only had I never seen a commercial strawberry operation, I'd never seen berries this big. Or tasted berries this good.  They put the berries in my little Missouri garden to shame.

Be that as it may, Missouri berries are tasting mighty fine this spring!  And, what else is there to do with all the extra but make strawberry jam.  Who doesn't like strawberry jam?!

This is so simple and so yummy, you have absolutely no excuse NOT to make it.  I have a laundry list of allergies so I am always on the alert for recipes that won't put me into the ER.  My husband is my best source; he scours the web for dairy free and glutin free recipes, then puts his own special spin on it.

 I am allergic to pectin so no worries with this jam.  I was reading an article about pectin and it said unless you have a corn or apple allergy pectin won't bother you.  Well, I am allergic to BOTH corn AND apples so I need to take the cook cook cook road.  But, even with all that cooking, this jam is so easy breezy.  And, it's the way my grandma made jam, so I love it.  I was even tempted to pour the wax on top the way she did but didn't know how that would fare in the freezer.

 4 cups strawberries   cleaned, cut and squished
4 cups sugar  (A professional jelly-maker friend of mine says NEVER use more sugar than berries)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Mix together and heat until sugar dissolves.  Bring to roaring rolling boil.  Stir. Stir. Stir.  If you have a candy thermometer boil until it reaches 220 degrees or the soft ball stage.
Skim off the foam.
 Pour into sterilized jars, seal with flat and screw top.  Cool 2 hrs in frig then pop into the freezer.  We've already tried ours on rice cakes, dairy-free ice cream and the best gluten-free pancakes you'll ever taste.
This recipe made 7 pints of yummy jam.

FLASHBACK!  Is our new feature of delving into the archives for posts that just beg to be shared more than once.  And, since it's SUMMER Strawberry time, here ya go.  Enjoy...:)

And, you know what this is GREAT on.....PANCAKES.  I'm all about Mary Jane (my sourdough/Amish Friendship Bread).  She make excellent pancakes...  More about her in another post.


Combine in large bowl:
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

Combine in smaller bowl:
2 TBS oil
2 cups sour dough/Amish batter *
1/2 cup milk (plus/minus 1/4 cup)
1 egg

Add ingredients of smaller bowl to ingredients of large bowl and mix on medium speed.
Spoon batter onto greased griddle.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

It's Never Too Cold For Watermelon...

Farmboy Gary painted up the propane tank:

 Don't tell the gas company...haha.  We are going to plant....what else.....WATERMELONS around it this summer.  Woohooo..pass the salt!

The red barn in the background is our new eating, meeting place.  We call it the B Q Barn.
The patio is laid with bricks we have been hauling around FOR YEARS.  Some date back to my childhood--my dad was an avid COLLECTOR of stuff.  The "outdoor kitchen" is on the far side.

We will be holding mini-classes here during FARM FAIR.  Go here for FARM FAIR DETAILS

PS If you look closely you can see "Bucky" the tire horse swing in the back left.  Elli, our granddaughter "feeds" him all winter!!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Never a Dull Moment...

What a blessing I had yesterday morning.  I woke up to 18 degrees outside (that's not the blessing, haha)...that low temp does not bode well for seedlings in an unheated greenhouse.  I had covered them with an extra layer of plastic--the hightunnel has two layers already.

This is last years pic but you get the idea of the size.
I held my breath when I lifted off the plastic and held fast to my faith in the prayers offered the day before.

The tiny seedlings had ice on them and I couldn't tell whether they were dead or not.

When I got home from work I immediately went to check on them and they were up and perky and enjoying the 90 degree heat in the hightunnel!!  God is good.  :)

A couple of days ago my faithful farm dogs woke me up to a coyote prowling in the yard.  He was HUGE.  I let the dogs out and they promptly reminded the coyote he didn't belong on this side of our mountain.

A few minutes later he was back....Wiley Coyote thought he'd give it another go.  The chickens and ducks were still safely tucked in their coop.

Once more the dogs showed him who's boss.  I've had tales of my neighbors dogs being attacked by coyotes recently so I was a little nervous.  But, I figured there is safety in numbers--two dogs: one coyote.

Cassie..she loves riding on the tractor.

Cassie forefront; Toby rear.  They're not napping, they're planning and plotting their PREDATOR WATCH.

The dogs are Miniature Australian Shepherds.  Lovely and sweet and VERY HIGH ENERGY.

So, today, I'm transplanting some seedlings into larger pots...getting ready for  FARM FAIR

2018 Herb Classes

HERE IT IS!!!    I've had so many requests for this years schedule that I stayed up late getting it ready!!   It is posted here but will morph into the post scroll so it is also posted ABOVE in HERB CLASSES.   Please contact me with questions or comments. :) See you in class.

Class Schedule 2018

As a general rule I suspend classes a few times a year to accommodate my other life: Spring (busy planting) December (busy preparing for the celebration of our Lord) and January (short days and too cold).
Otherwise we always have something going on in the classroom (inside or out).
Classes at:
Rocky Creek Valley Farm
37009 W. 156th St  Rayville
Summer/Fall 2018
10 am to noon  approx.

FEES:  MOST classes are $20 each or two classes for $35 if registered at the same time.
PRE-REGISTRATION APPRECIATED.   This helps me in preparing your handouts and assures you a place to sit!!  Some classes have optional “Make and Takes” which vary in cost according the class—usually between $5 and $10.   THE RESPIRATORY REMEDY CLASS IS $115.

PAY HERE: Paypal buttons on the right side of the page.

 Sorry, NO REFUNDS; if you cancel you are given class credit to use on any other class of the same value.

As always, if you have taken a class before, you can take it again for free but you will not get another handout.  And if you take 3 classes in one calendar year, the 4th class is half off.
Rain checks (NO REFUNDS) for inclement weather (for outside classes like weed walks.) 
Classes with Make ‘n Take have additional fees.

REGISTRATION/ payment:  Pay Pal buttons on the right side of the page OR  by mail,  email or phone.   

ONLY THOSE WHO REGISTER BEFORE THE DAY OF CLASS WILL RECEIVE HARD COPIES OF THE HANDOUTS.  If you come to class and have not previously registered you will be EMAILED the class handouts.  In other words—I make as many handouts as I have people registered.

Also, ONLY THOSE WHO REGISTER BEFORE THE DAY OF CLASS WILL BE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE” MAKE AND TAKE”.  I prepare as many Make and Takes” as I have people signed up for them.

TIME: Most classes are 2 hrs long --add an additional 20-30 minutes if you sign up for “Make and Take” unless the Make and Take is a kit, then it will only be 10-15 minutes longer as you will assemble the kit at home.

Kids classes – 90 minutes.

 Sat 5/26  FARM FAIR 10 am to 4 pm
 This is our semi-annual plant sale with free mini-classes, activities and Farm Store.
Sat 6/9  Spring Weed Walk I  $20    10 am to noon
This class covers 11 plants.  This is a WALK-ABOUT-THE FARM. Dress appropriately!  You will be taking plants home with you with instructions on how to use them.
Sat 7/7  Soap Class  $20  10 am to noon   Make a batch of soap to take home.

Sat 8/4  Soap Class  $20  10 am to noon   Make a batch of soap to take home.

Sat 8/18         Elderberry Solutions   $20   10 am to noon
Elderberries are loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties which supports and strengthens the immune system and the respiratory system.   Elderberry remedies are also excellent for use by children. You will spend time in the classroom (studying), in the field (harvesting) and in the lab (making remedies).  Wear clothing suitable for walking in weeds.  (long sleeves, pants and boots preferable).  $5 materials fee to cover remedy ingredients/jar.   Please register in advance in insure everyone will have class materials.

Sat 9/8  FARM FAIR   10 am to 4 pm   $20 10 am to noon
This is our semi-annual plant sale with free mini-classes, activities and Farm Store.

  Sat 9/29    Weed Workshop II – Roots  $20   10 am to noon
Mark your calendar; grab your gloves; find your pen/paper; it's time to the get to the bottom of things during our annual autumn herb root class. We will go on an outdoor digging expedition--weather permitting—for dandelion, burdock, horseradish, poke and elecampane. We will explore how these herbs can have a positive effect on your health and also how to make them into remedies.   Optional herb kits available--$5 - $10.

Sat 10/6  Soap Class  $20  10 am to noon   Make a batch of soap to take home.

Mon 10/8 and Wed 11/7   BOTH CLASSES AT 2:30 PM   Respiratory Remedy Class

This was formerly called the Plague* Remedy Class.

This is a two-part class: October 8 and November 7.  Oct 8 is a compounding class/Nov 7 is a decanting class.  On 10/8 we will be compounding two separate tinctures (A SET) which are good for various ailments such as flue, colds, pneumonia and all manner of respiratory issues but which are specifically formulated to counteract the plague*. These two tinctures-formula 1 and formula 2, are a "set" and must be used together.

The 2 tinctures are made with nine herbs in a menstruum of Everclear.  The herbal actions are anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-pyretic, anti-viral, anti-oxidant, anti-septic, anti-inflammatory, diaphoretic, alterative, vulnerary, antispasmodic, hypotensive, febrifuge, carminative, astringent, hemostat, diuretic, expectorant, anodyne, mucilaginous and cholagogue.  The herbs are beneficial for the respiratory, immune, lymphatic, endocrine, circulatory, nervous, digestive and cardio-vascular systems. They support the liver, kidney, bladder and entire alimentary canal.  They are high in mineral and nutrient content. I can’t say enough about the healing properties of the combined herbs.
 One set is for one person for 10-11 days.  Each person will receive ELEVEN SETS.

This class is open to TEN PEOPLE.  The cost of the class is $115 per person.  This covers all your herbs, the menstruum (Everclear) to make the tinctures and the jars.
After compounding the herbs on 10-8 you will LEAVE THE TINCTURES AT THE FARM to macerate. It must remain in the quart jars for four weeks—from one new moon to the next.    During this time I will tend them by monitoring the temperature/light control, shaking/stirring them daily and bringing them out of the dark and into the light at the proper time.

The second part of the class is on 10/8 at which time we will decant the tinctures (straining out the herbs) and you will be taking them home in your quart jars.  If you wish to put your tinctures in dropper bottles, they will be available for purchase or you may bring some with you. 
ENROLL NOW as the class is limited to only 10 people. Your money must be paid by Mon 9-17 If it is not, you will be dropped and I will go to the next person in line.

Summary: Enroll now TO RESERVE YOUR SPOT.   $115 due no later than 9-17
Formulating Class 10-8   2:30 pm --leave tinctures at farm
Decanting Class 11-7   2:30 pm--take home tinctures

Call, email or private message me with questions. :)

*Of course, we have no way of knowing how well the remedy will work for the plague as none of us has actually experienced it.  But, the herbs used are very potent healers and will work for respiratory issues.

Sat Tue 11/3       Herbal Antibiotics/Making Remedies   $20 10 am to noon
Germs can run through a generation in 20 minutes.  Is it any wonder that they develop resistance to antibiotics so quickly?  Learn about herbs natural antibiotic properties, which ones do what, how you can use them and how you can make them.   Instruction on making herbal remedies: salves, tinctures, liniments.   Optional make and take: $5 - $10

Sat 12/1                   DIY – Home  $20  10 am to noon
Don’t you just get tired of all those chemicals in your cleaning products?  And the anti-bacterial products are just contributing to the world-wide issue of antibiotic resistant bacteria.  Come learn many natural solutions for home care--makes great gifts!!  Optional make and take: $5-$10

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