Thursday, February 27, 2014

Rendering Lard in the Crock Pot

My pigs cam home to freezer camp a couple days ago. I have more than I know what to do with, so if anyone is interested in pork chops or sausage, let me know.

I decided yesterday to render some of the lard. First my son and I cut it into about 1 inch pieces.

These we put into the crock pot with about 1/2 a cup of water.

We turned the crock pot on high and let it work for a few hours. When some of the fat had started to render out, I took a potato masher to it to break it into smaller pieces.

When most of the fat was rendered out (after about 6 hours), I strained the contents of the crock pot through cheesecloth.

The cracklins I put into a pan and slowly fried until they were golden brown and crispy.

Hubby has been talking about "cracklin cornbread" as long as I've known him. Now I can make him some.

The lard cooled to a nice pure white. I promised the boys I'd make them an apple pie.  I still have several packages of pig fat to render.

Here Kitty Kitty

A working barn= lots of feed= lots of mice. You may recall that back in December, we brought home Hubby's cousin's cat. We didn't realize how skittish this kitty was.

After 3 weeks of living in my garage, he finally decided that he liked me and would come out of hiding when I visited. I decided it was time to let him out.

"Roady" hit the road. 

I realized that I would have to start with kittens and let them grow up in the barn. 

Here are our new babies. Sam Adams "Sammy" the tabby and little white "No Name Yet". I was joking about naming him Cracker, but that doesn't seem fair to do to the little guy. "Revere" maybe? 

They will be moving to the barn when this cold snap passes. I'll set up a crate for them to keep them safe when I'm not out there and for them to live in for a little while they grow and accept this as home. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

To Market, To Market

I'm taking the plunge. Beginning April 1, I will be selling at the Loconomy Farmer's Market in Columbus GA on Tuesday and Saturday afternoons.  I will try to attend most of the markets, but some of the spring markets may be tough with Cole's grueling Northern Little League schedule. The Market director was kind enough to ask that I just let him know if I won't attend a particular day.

These girls need to start kidding so I can get some gouda in the works. It's better with at least 30 days in the cave.

Monday, February 24, 2014


I heard cheeping when I let the silkies out this morning and found a poor little bird in a half-smashed egg. I brought her inside and started to gently pull the shrink-wrapped membrane off with plenty of warm water. 

Once released, the boys and I put the baby in the incubator and quickly heated it with my hairdryer. She's up and about now and nearly dried off. I really hope she makes it. We have had the worst luck with silkies. I'd estimate that 80% of the chicks have died in their first 48 hours of life. It gets so depressing throwing out so many dead peepers. I hope this little one makes it!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

I'm Still Here- Promise

Hello blog friends. I promise I haven't dropped off the face of the earth. Instead, I've had trouble with Photobucket, which has hindered my ability to upload pictures from my phone, and I've taken a week-long vacation to Utah. Hardly something I care to announce online beforehand.

While I was braving the snow and ice of the Wasatch Mountains, spring sprung in Georgia. My peaches and apple are blooming which worries me. We have a forecast for some lows in the 20's again this week and I really don't want to lose all my fruit like I did last year.

I managed to finish the redo of my elephant sock and completed half of its mate. I had to rip the first one out when I discovered that it was too tight. I am so proud of them and can't wait to finish, but have been too busy to work on it at all since I got home.

Friday, Mom and I got all the spring seeds started and yesterday was spent weeding and mulching the garden while Hubby and Dad worked on the new garden fence.

While I was in Utah, the director of a new farmer's market emailed me and asked me to be a vendor. I'm very excited about it. It will be Tuesday and Saturday afternoons. I am planning to sell milk, cheese, soap, and produce.

I sold Ike, the Alpine buck this morning. I'm very glad he's off to a good home. Only about two weeks until kidding begins for us!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Two Days of Sun....

....and I can crack one eye and sneak out of hibernation. It is truly a blessing that I don't live somewhere colder than Georgia.

The snow that shut down Atlanta last week shut us up at home. The young bucks (human, caprine, and canine) loved it. I was content to watch through the window.

It was interesting to see all of the tracks from the various vermin we have in these parts. I especially could not believe the sheer number of coyote tracks.  There were at least two animals up by the chicken tractor. I am doubly glad to have Asher protecting my goats.

Now I know who ate all my onions.... Can you identify these tracks?

Poor Onyx's back feet hurt her in the cold. She refused to get on the stand for her breakfast. Her hooves are fine and she has no swelling. I'm at a loss.

The chickens and deer all got processed, so I have a freezer full of meat. The pigs should be done soon!

I am nearly done with my second pair of knit socks. These came out so nice!

I started a "Colorwork" pair. It's a challenge to hold two yarns at the same time. Unfortunately, it's too small and I'm going to have to rip it out and try again. At least I was able to learn to knit "Continental" style on it. To knit with two colors, you feed one yarn from the left hand "Continental" style and the other from the right hand "English" style. 

I laid it over machine-made sock. You can see how much too small it is.

Now I'm just waiting for spring and baby goats! A little over a month to go now.