Posts Tagged ‘Farm Girl Friday’


It’s kind of funny.  On one of the blogs I read, they were talking about getting itty bitty eggs from their hens.  Well, guess what’s been turning up in our nesting boxes the last few days?

I had an even smaller one, but it broke when I was washing them.

Farm wives throughout history have always had to look for ways to make a little spending money.  Things haven’t changed.  Eggs have always been an easy way.  Another way is with hand work.

I have a merino/cashmere blend shawl for sale.  It’s a beautiful crescent/heart shape that clings well around the shoulders.

Here’s a close-up of the lace.  I’m asking only $50 plus shipping.  Email me for details and shipping costs.

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Not too much happening here on the farm so Farm Girl Friday has been rather quiet too.  Eastern Ontario has been in the deep freeze for most of February.  Actually it’s warmer in the deep freezer than outside.  It’s this time of year that I really don’t miss selling pork.

Our house is an old (1905) farm house.  It has no insulation.  There is a layer of bricks, then a gap of air and studs, then another layer of bricks.  Needless to say this time of year it’s hard to keep the house comfortable.  My kitchen cupboards where I keep my pots can actually get below 0 C (32F).  Colin had the great idea that if he drilled a hole or two into the bottom of the cupboard then heat from the basement would come up easier.  So he set to work and this is what happened…

Yep, a hole in my kitchen floor.  Apparently the stone foundation comes under the kitchen much farther than Colin thought.  It’s not a total disaster.  Colin’s going to get a register cover and we’ll have a bit more heat in the kitchen.

This cold weather also has a negative impact on my egg sales.  People just don’t like stopping and coming in when it’s -30 C (-22 F).  So the eggs get a bit back-logged.  What’s a farm girl to do?

Use an entire dozen to make chocolate angel cake!!  And then…

Pasta with the yolks.  I put them on cookie sheets to flash freeze for future use.

Chocolate Angel Food Cake

3/4 c flour

1/4 c cocoa

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cream of tartar

2 cups egg whites (mine took 12)

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 c white sugar

Sift flour, cocoa, salt and 1/2 c sugar.

Start beating the egg whites and vanilla.  Add in cream of tartar.  Slowly add remaining 1 cup white sugar.  Beat until whites are soft peak.  Keep beating while SLOWLY adding the dry ingredients (2 tbsp at a time).  Just until mixed.  Pour into an ungreased tube pan and bake 350F for 40-45 minutes.  When done, invert pan till cool.

Noodles/Pasta  -2 pounds

12 egg yolks

3/4 T water

1 t salt

6 c flour

Mix together (I just do it on the table).  Knead well, 10 min.  Roll and cut.

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For Farm Girl Friday.  This is very true!


9 Life Lessons Everyone Can Learn from a Farmer.


1. You don’t get anything you don’t work hard for: As Thomas Edison once said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it’s dressed like overalls and looks like work.” Farmers don’t get anything they don’t work from sunrise to sunset on.

2. Be Patient: Who better to teach the lesson of patience than farmers? They wait seasons to see if their crop will turn out; or if their livestock will turn a profit much less break even.

3. Never hope for it more than you work it:“Farming is a profession of hope,” as Brian Brett put it. However, with that hope comes the knowledge that it won’t turn in to anything without working tirelessly to make it happen.

4. When you feel like quitting, remember why you started: When the temperatures are below zero and nothing seems to be going right – Farmers know that the end product is worth the work and the struggle to get there is worth the fight.

5. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you: Our farmers deserve praise not condemnation. Knowing where your food comes from is incredibly important, however, without Farmers there would be no food. So organic, conventional and anything in between, thank the farmer for what they do and don’t criticize for how they do.

6. Love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life: There’s a reason farmers farm until the day they die – it’s not work to them when they love what they do day in and day out. As Wendell Berry once said, “Why do Farmers farm?…Love they must do it for love.”

7. Always look on the bright side: A Farmer has to be an optimist otherwise he wouldn’t be a farmer. Farmers know to always look on the bright side of things even when there wasn’t a bright side to be found. Whether it’s when a new-born calf doesn’t make it through the night or when mother nature wrecks a crop, for farmers there is always next year.

8. Live a life of frugality and thrift: “What I learned growing up on a farm was a life centered on hard work, and on faith and thrift.” – Rick Perry. Farmers make the most of what they have because they have to. With markets unpredictable and equipment as expensive as it is, every little penny is treated as gold.

9. How to live a life to be proud of: Farmers will be the first to tell you, there is nothing better than seeing the product of your hard work. What better feeling to have than knowing your job is one of the most important ones there are.

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For Farm Girl Friday this week I have a puzzle for you:

What does a farmer do when the ‘professional’ barn salvagers half tear down a barn and steal all the good stuff?  And then all the people on Facebook who promised to come and take the rest don’t show up or take just the remaining good stuff??

You take care of it yourself – farmer style!!

Keep shoving stuff into the fire to try and keep it ‘under control’.

Lunch with the pyromaniac Colin.  He wonders why Ella gives us goofy faces!?  I had to move the truck, it was getting a little too warm.

Colin kept the fire good and hot so there was minimal smoke.  I was lucky.  Even though it was blowing towards the house, it headed more toward the barns.  I couldn’t even smell the smoke in the house.

Most of it was gone by 3:30.  Colin could finally come in to warm up and dry out.

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Not too much happening around the Farm this week.  Eggs are piling up a bit because customers have been scarce, but that will change.  Colin’s trying the ‘good’ corn today.  Still going to not make grade, but it’s at least dry enough to store and burn (hopefully).  Not sure what’s going to happen with the 150+ acres of corn but we’ll worry about that in the late winter/early spring after it has dried all winter.  Worst comes to worst and that’s why you buy crop insurance.

One of my girlfriends is starting a photography business.  Maureen ran a contest on her Facebook page and guess who won a photo shoot??  I never win anything!  It was a cold and frosty day when Maureen came to do the pictures.  But Ella was a trooper and they turned out beautifully.  I’ve only a couple to share for now.  I’ll show you more when Maureen’s done the editing.

Who knew a pile of dead weeds in the barn yard could look so picturesque??  Nibbles came along for part of the photo shoot too.  Ella was great with Maureen and didn’t give her any troubles. I have such a hard time getting her to smile some days…

I love this picture, though her eyes are so dark in this one.  Maureen asked for Ella’s ‘funniest face’ and this is what she got.  I love my funny girl!

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Just a quick Farm Girl Friday this week.

This will be the last day combining the soy beans for 2014 -if the snow ever stops!!  We keep having these lines of squalls coming through.  Funny thing is nothing is happening here at the ‘home’ farm, but this is what it’s doing up at the ‘Dennison’ farm.  Wouldn’t mind so much if it was the other way around.  It’s just enough and wet enough to make it difficult.  Haven’t heard from Colin since lunch, so that means they must still be going.  During harvest season no news really is good news.

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This is what happens when it is very wet in the spring and you get a bad killing frost early in September:

Your pumpkin harvest looks like this.  Six measly little pumpkins.  Oh well, there is always next year.

Speaking of rain, we’ve actually had a couple of days without rain.  Colin and Dad are trying the soybeans here at the house.  Must be going well, I can hear they are still at it.  Spoke too soon, Colin just came in and a large bearing is busted.  They are done until that gets fixed.

Today was Isobel’s birthday, miss you!

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Folks who work for a company like to complain because of the cost of gas and the time they waste commuting, all the while they get to pick up a guaranteed paycheque every week.  If you told them they had to PAY their employer $50,000 just for the privilege of coming in to work AND that they may or may not get paid AT ALL, what do you think they would say??  I know what they would say and I can’t repeat it here -ha ha!  Well, that’s what farmers have to do all the time.

You might be asking yourself what does $50,000+ look like these days?  Well here at Fletchington Farms it looks like this:

This is our “new” Case International Magnum 8910, 135 horse.  It’s a 1998, so it’s even, almost from this century!  These seem to be very popular tractors.  Everyone Colin has chatted with on his Combine Forum (Farmer FB as I call it) love this line of tractors and wish they were still being made.  They are very basic inside, as in no GPS, no remote steering, or fancy electronics.  This is a tractor that Colin will still feel comfortable fixing himself.  There aren’t a million sensors to stop working and shut down the tractor (like in the brand new ones).  This tractor has been described as ‘bullet-proof’, which is just the kind of machine we need.

And even though Colin doesn’t like going into debt:

He’s one happy Farmer.  He’s even washed and waxed the tractor already.  Though there are some spots that will need the paint touched up.

The only disappointing part was the new tractor didn’t have the instruction seat (buddy seat as most farmers call it).  But at least this tractor’s cab has much more room for the Farm Girly to ride along with Daddy.  And no, helmets aren’t required in the tractor Ella was bike riding when Daddy came along.

Ella and Daddy doing stuff together just makes me so happy.  I never had that.

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For Farm Girl Friday, the Farm Girly and I walked out to the ‘pasture field’ to see what the Farmer has been busy doing all week (on the days with no rain).

He’s down at the far end by the swamp and very glad it’s not spring!  In the spring this job would be nearly impossible (or at least very unpleasant) because of the mosquitoes.

Colin’s been busy digging a 300 ft trench for some tile drainage.  Soon the tile (long tube) will arrive and he will bury it in the trench.  Then the water will run here and drain off towards the swamp/river.  Hopefully this will help with the wet spots in the field.  As you can see, the field is starting to drain even without the tile.  You can also see the ‘lovely’ white clay that Colin has to contend with every year.

The clover is coming up well in the wheat stubble.  All waiting for plow down -just what this old clay ground needs.

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For Farm Girl Friday this week I’ll share some pictures from the neighbour’s hay field:

Take note of how tall they are standing beside the round bales of hay!  Round bales are about 6 ft.

It’s going to be very hot here on the Farm today.  Can already feel the humidity creeping into the house.  So I’ll share an easy lunch.  It’s very easy to increase to the amount you need.  It’s like a Mennonite version of French toast and I can see why.  Could you imagine a Mennonite mom trying to make individual French toast for a family of 8 (or more).  This way you get the French toast taste but can make if for everyone at once.

Oiya Brote (multiply as needed)

2-3 slices of bread per person, cubed
2 Tbsp butter, per person
2 eggs, per person
2 Tbsp milk, per person (just to loosen the eggs)
salt & pepper to taste

Brown bread cubes in butter, till they are crisp but not hard as croutons. Beat eggs and milk together. Pour over bread and cook until desired consistency. I don’t like ‘wet’ eggs so ours are well done.

I’ve also added leftover potato slices (cook them with the bread) and bits of crumbled bacon.

And yes, pickled beets sometimes function as a vegetable for me  🙂


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