It’s A Busy Life!

I forgot how busy the Spring and Summer time months can be on a farm. Yesterday, our day consisted of butchering and processing some of the meat birds we have raised, picking beans and cucumbers from the garden, making pickles, canning the green beans, making yogurt and cheese and somehow, Emma and I found time for the pool and reading! It should be no surprise that we get up early and go to bed late!

We have been eating lots of very yummy hot peppers and our tomatoes are delicious so far! The green beans are amazing. Emma ate tons of them last night. Thanks to my husband, I am now addicted to all the yummy hot peppers he is growing. My breakfast is now an egg white omelet with a variety of peppers, onions, greens and tomatoes form our own garden. Then I top it off with some homemade salsa with Don’s habanero sauce. Delicious! It’s such a wonderful feeling to know that I can make meals for my family with the ingredients being 100% form our own farm.

We decided to raise our own meat birds (Cornish Cross) and processed some of them last night. The only part that continues to be very difficult for Don and I is the killing part. Luckily, my husband does that part while I hide inside until he is done. We do it as humanely as possible, and I know that if we are going to eat meat, this is the only way to do it. I told Don last night that if I had to do the killing part, I would just be vegetarian again!

Emma got our her loom the other day and decided to make her first potholder. Here she is!


And then she decided that my hair needed to be prettier:



We have lots of fun together!


Last year Emma and I found a beautiful bi-color tomato in the garden that had the most amazing sweet/tangy flavor! The only thing is…. I have NEVER planted a bi-color!!
This was some sort of genetic fluke and we had no idea what plant it came off of.
I saved a few seeds from it and shared it with people from all over the world so we could grow out every single seed and see if we could duplicate it.

I told Emma that if we could stabilize it I would name it after her.

Well, here is “Emma Kathryn”, almost TWO pounds!!


Well, we have been super busy, as always, during the spring and summer months. Super busy in the gardens, and trying to have some fun since Emma and I finished her school work in May. We have been doing lots of fun things, including a trip to Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun, paid for almost entirely by the company I work for! I love that place. We also have a trip to Florida planned this August, and it will be our first family vacation together.

Here are some pictures of our summer so far.

We grew some amazing beets this year and made pickled beets with all of them. YUMMY!!!!! Tonight we are harvesting peas, garlic, carrots, cabbage and broccoli. Lots of goodies to store in the freezer! And we are making saur kraut – can’t wait.

SO glad it’s spring time!

I got about 1/2 an acre roto tilled, planted TONS of plants, and even had time to roast a goat! 🙂

Wild Blue Phlox from our field and forest… we have TONS of it, and you should smell it!! Smells like lilac!

Our newest garden!!

Some of the garlic in our “kitchen” garden.


The trade off with Emma was, that if we can eat her goat she get’s a pet gecko…..
Meet “Thunderbolt”

OUCH !!!!!!!!!!!

C’mon SERIOUSLY…. how does a normal hen lay THIS and still walk upright!?!?!?!? This is not joke, I found this in the barn yesterday!

It is a great feeling knowing we can go out on our property and gather any number of wild edibles!
Kim makes an AMAZING soup from the dreaded stinging nettle plant.

I also harvested wild garlic, and some turkey 🙂
I am not one of those hunters that cherishes the actual kill. In fact it still makes me feel bad. BUT… knowing that our food lived wild, un-caged, and pharmaceutical free certainly makes me feel better. Besides, then I am not supporting the cruelty that goes into mass produced meat. And the flavor of wild turkey breast leaves store bought turkey in the dust!!




No Moss growin’ on the Pratt family!

Sometimes I look back at what we cram into our days and it makes me tired just thinking about it.

Kim got a new milking doe (Tinkerbell) I could take or leave goats, but “Tink” is really cute. It doesn’t hurt that she has a crush on me and follows me around like a lost puppy.



We are also putting in a new 1/2 acre garden, and the first year is always the hardest because you have to deal with whatever is already growing there. The peas are up, garlic is HUGE, all the salad green, and spinach are doing great. Potatoes have been planted, cabbage is up, onions are up, beets are “beetin” and all of my tomatoes and peppers are a foot tall indoors waiting for warmer weather. Below are some of my peppers. (no that’s not a new fertilizer, that is a HUGE bottle for size comparison.
The beginning of the new garden.

As if that was not enough, Kim and Emma are painting Emmas bedroom.

It’s the first day of Spring today, and we have been working really hard in the gardens for the past few weeks. We decided to expand our garden from last year by adding a HUGE garden in another area of our property. So we will have two gardens this year, plus my herb garden. So far we have planted beets, arugula, spinach, peas, cabbage, broccoli, kale and various other lettuces. Don has also started TONS of pepper plants indoors and our tomato plants have been started indoors as well. I just went to the deep freeze today and realized that we will probably run out of tomato products before our new tomatoes arrive. It’s always a very long wait for fresh tomatoes each year.

Here are some pictures of Don and Emma working in the garden yesterday. We were planting cabbage.






We traded computer work from Don on a neighbors computer that he got for them for a dump truck load of their manure. We are very excited to have all the manure this year. Does anyone else get this excited about poo??

And here are some pictures of two of my two favorite hens. The first one is a Jersey Giant hen and the other one is a Salmon Favarelle.



Two of our young roosters that we hatched out:


We didn’t think the one on the left was going to make it after he was born, but we took good care of him and he pulled through, and now is beautiful and healthy as can be.

Still no baby goats yet, and I am concerned that she may not even be pregnant. We’ll see what happens in the next few days.

Yesterday, Emma decided to make Gingerbread Cookies. I knew she was “baking” something in the kitchen, so I let her have at it, and whoa was I surprised at the mess! She did it under the table in the kitchen so that I wouldn’t see her if I walked in there.





We have a new rule in the house…no baking allowed unless mom and dad are there to assist you! Emma did not have as much fun cleaning up the mess as she did making it.

When we went to a friends house last week for a playdate, they reminded me how much fun and how easy it is to make homemade Play-doh. So we have been doing that this week as well.





I Have Waited YEARS For This!

My husband loves me…he really, really loves me. Know how I know this? Well, I have had this crazy obsession to try a Durian fruit for years now. Unfortunately, you can only get them if you go to Asia. I have talked about wanting to try this fruit many times and my husband found a way to get one for me! He happens to work with someone that has friends in Asia that were kind enough to send this to him. Silly to get so excited over a fruit, right? Well, this fruit is known as the “King of Fruits” and also known as the stinkiest fruit on earth, with a very interesting and custard like taste. Here is some information about the Durian:

“The unusual flavor and odor of the fruit have prompted many people to search for an accurate description, with widely divergent and passionate views expressed, ranging from highly appreciative to deep disgust. Travel and food writer Richard Sterling says:

“Comparisons have been made with the civet, sewage, stale vomit, skunk spray, and used surgical swabs.

This strong odor can be detected half a mile away by animals, thus luring them. In addition, the fruit is extremely appetizing to a variety of animals, from squirrels to mouse deer, pigs, orangutan, elephants, and even carnivorous tigers.”

What can I say? I am a sucker for nutritious foods, no matter how strange they may seem.

The Durian is very high in Vitamin C, Thiamin, Fiber and Vitamin B6. It has a high sulfur content, which is also very good for you.

So last night was the night to crack open the fruit. Emma and I waited patiently for Don to get home from work so we could all join in on the fun. The fruit smelled quite good before it was cut open. The outside of the fruit is covered with very sharp spikes that can cut you if you are not careful. The spikes punctured my skin and Don’s. Once it was cut open, it let out this very strong smell. The smell immediately reminds me of how natural gas smells. And an onion. It didn’t turn me off at all, and I couldn’t wait for the first bite. The texture is soft and smooth and very much like a thick custard. The taste is very unique. Fruity at first, but then the aftertaste is a lot like onions. I loved it! The fruit is huge, so we ate a bunch and then froze the rest to put into smoothies. Emma and Don loved it as well. I added it to our breakfast smoothies that I make for us every morning which usually consist of OJ, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, cod liver oil, cacao, and greens of some sort (kale, spinach or parsley). It’s a nutrition packed smoothie.

Here are some pictures of our Durian tasting.







So if you ever get the chance to try this “King of Fruits”, I highly recommend it. It is like nothing you have ever tasted before.

Today was a VERY busy day!

I was busy preparing a gourmet Valentines day dinner for my sweetheart, but I also needed my oil changed. I struck a deal with Emma “you change my oil, and we’ll let you live here for free”…. she went for it!


And then something to “increase the power” that involved chains, jumper cables, and packing gravel into my tail pipe…I’ll let you know if it works!

Happy Birthday, Emma!

We can hardly believe that Emma turned 6 years old already this past Sunday. We had her party at a gymnastics place and the girls had such a blast running around. Then it was out to dinner with her aunt and uncle and she was pretty wiped out by the time we got home.

We are so proud of our little girl and think she is such a wonderful kid. She is super tall and super healthy! Emma is doing a great job with school and loves to be with all of her animals on the farm when we are done with school for the day. She is one of the most affectionate kids I have ever met and I live for her hugs!!!

Here are some birthday pictures Don took. Oh, I made her birthday cake from scratch and Don did the decorating on it. He’s the artist…not me! I am the baker.







Grandma Sharon got her an Easy Bake oven...she loves it!

Grandma Sharon got her an Easy Bake oven...she loves it!

Silly Family

Silly Family

Gifts from Family

Gifts from Family







Tears when the party was ending.....

Tears when the party was ending.....

A Visit With Friends

Last night, we had some friends visit: Kim, Valerie, “Frank the Tank” as Emma calls him and Val and Frank’s 2 month old, adorable baby boy, Jackson. Our cat decided that the bouncy seat must have been brought in for him and made himself right at home in it.


I spent the day before everyone arrived making homemade sauce with tomatoes form our garden last year. I also made homemade meatballs with chevon (goat meat) from the goat we had processed in December and everyone turned out really well. Of course it was served with homemade garlic bread! After dinner, we just spent time hanging out.

Until I have another baby of my own, I will hold my friends babies!


Here is Emma with baby Jackson, and then Emma with Kim and Jackson:



Here is Emma, Val, Frank, Jackson (falling asleep) and I all sitting on the couch:


And then Emma wanted to read an entire book to Kim (and Angel kitty who finally decided to get out of the bouncy seat):



Emma is doing really well with school. She really loves Math and has really excelled in Phonics and loves to read. We are all ready to get outside and patiently waiting for Spring to arrive. We will be starting seeds indoors to get a head start on our plantings. We also will be putting in a new garden, which I am so excited about since it will be about three times the size of our garden last year.

Cora, my doe, is expecting babies in march, so I am nervous and excited. She is getting to be a little chubby, and Emma swears she can feel babies in there. Ptolemy (our other goat) is extremely funny and loves to follow Emma around. They really adore each other. All the other critters are doing well, and I think they are also ready for some warmer spring weather!

Emma’s 6th birthday is this Sunday and she requested a Unicorn cake, so I will be making that from scratch and posting pictures form her birthday celebration.

Christmas 2008

Well, we did our annual trip back to Wisconsin for the holiday. Of course, we had all kind of problems getting to the Wisconsin airport and getting out of the Wisconsin airport! But Emma is a great little traveller, so it went fine. Emma had a great time with her 20 cousins there and loved spending time with her grandma. They had 4 feet of snow while we were there, so that was fun and made for a very white Christmas. Our neighbor here took great care of all of our critters on the farm, so they were all happy and healthy when we got back home.

Here are some pictures from the trip:


Me with my little nephew, Zach


Emma had a sleepover with her cousins and they all took a bath! Especially since her cousin Brooke got some “Glitter Lava” stuck in her hair that I needed to try and wash out before mom showed up for her.


Emma could not wait to make Gingerbread men cookies with her grandma.


Emma and her cousin, Dakota.

Emma and her other cousin, Harrison.


A few presents…

Her favorite present this year was a huge stuffed horse.

Don got some nice hunting stuff for Christmas.




A few more presents….



They had 4 feet of snow when we were there! It was pretty and fun.


Snow fights with dad and her cousins.

Emma and her cousin, Ty, making snow angels

Emma and her cousin, Ty, making snow angels



My newest niece, Emily. This is child #6 for my brother Scott and his wife Julie. I held her a lot when we were there…

So now that we are home, we are starting to plan our 2009 garden. It was almost 60 degrees here today, so we all have Spring fever now really bad. We are in the process of collecting seeds for the upcoming growing season. Seed catalogs and internet seed trading like crazy. My goat, Cora, is looking fat and pregnant, so I am anxious to see how many babies we end up with and keeping my fingers crossed that it all goes well! I am looking forward to fresh goat milk again rather than having to thaw out stuff from the freezer.

We received about 4 seed catalogs in the mail the other day, so now we are starting to plan what we want to grow this year. Our garden will be much bigger since we are putting some of it down below in the pasture. I am looking forward to growing more melons, squashes and all kinds of fun stuff.

Time to get back to those seed catalogs…Happy New Year everyone! We hope that this year brings you lots of love, health and happiness.

Food Matters

Take a minute to watch this movie trailer, and then get the movie. Lots of good information and I hope everyone I know watches it. Very important stuff.


Well, today we hatched another batch of chicks. I tell ya, it’s almost as exciting as christmas!
One thing that makes it so fun is with multiple hens and roosters we never know what they will look like!
One thing is for sure, they are ALWAYS cute!


I know it’s cliche’ to say “they grow up so fast” but they REALLY do!
Where did the last 5 years go?
She does 3 part math problems in her head (taught herself).
And now she is reading, and doing some VERY difficult physics challenges online!