~BARN DANCE Tomorrow night July 11, 2014~

 

Almost ready for the dance.  Need to empty out the extra junk and use the shop vac.

Almost ready for the dance. Need to empty out the extra junk and use the shop vac.

 

Lots to celebrate this year.  We had a new baby in the family.  Congratulations to Peter and Frenchy who were blessed with a little girl, Josie June.  Looking forward to Jessi and Lukes new baby that will arrive the end of this month!

We’ve never had a barn dance this “late” in the summer so it should be interesting how it turns out.  There will be plenty of live music with most of our kids involved.  Frenchy and Jessi, will be doing a few songs each if their little ones cooperate :)  Clayton will be singing several songs including a song he recently wrote.  He had to come out to our farm to practice at night after putting in a very long day of horse training.

Evening practice on the hay rack!

Evening practice on the hay rack!

I’ve been practicing a few new ideas for pot luck snacks and finger food that everyone brings.  I made my usual White Pizza already…… and tried a few new items which I can’t actually make till tomorrow morning. See photo below of samples I tested out on the family.  They are pepperoni jalapeno wraps, meatballs in a blanket and jalapeno hotdog tidbits.  The favorite so far were the meatballs.

Pot luck snacks I am working on.

Pot luck snacks I am working on.

HAPPY 4 th Year Anniversary to Peter and Francesca today!  I can’t believe how quickly the years have flown by.  Life is good by golly and I hope everyone feels the same way about it.

 

 

Posted in BEE NEWS AND UPDATES | Tagged | 3 Comments

~A Few Photos~

 

 

I love this front yard view.  God is good to us and Life is beautiful!

I love this front yard view. God is good to us and Life is beautiful!

DSCF4886 The apple blossoms are gorgeous this year.  I’m so thankful they didn’t freeze! 

One set of our bee hives out near the hops yard with Peter and Frenchy's place in background.  More beautiful blossoms!

One set of our bee hives out near the hops yard with Peter and Frenchy’s place in background. More beautiful blossoms!

We let the sheep out for the first time a few days ago.  They were so happy.  This is the view from our front yard!

We let the sheep out for the first time a few days ago. They were so happy. This is the view from our front yard!

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This sow farrowed out 12 babies. Too bad she accidentally killed one by laying down on it.

The sow in the next maternity pen had 9 babies, all of which are alive thanks to our "midwife", Marisa.

The sow in the next maternity pen had 9 babies, all of which are alive thanks to our “midwife”, Marisa.

We are waiting on four more to farrow soon. I just love all the new life this time of year.

Our cute little puppy.  Hope he turns out half as good as Rowdy is :)

Our cute little puppy. Hope he turns out half as good as Rowdy is :)

Isn't this little jersey calf a real cutie?  We have 4 babies and Maggie is in charge of feeding them warm milk fresh from the cow.

Isn’t this little jersey calf a real cutie? We have 4 babies and Maggie is in charge of feeding them warm milk fresh from the cow.

Two goats born last night on Jess and Luke's 6th Wedding Anniversary!  Happy Anniversary to a great couple.  I think we are naming them after Jess and Luke too!

Two goats born last night on Jess and Luke’s 6th Wedding Anniversary! Happy Anniversary to a great couple. I think we are naming them after Jess and Luke too!

Spring gardens and kitty on the post!

Spring gardens and kitty on the post!

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This is my best news of all.  Fred bought me a 30 Quart Hobart mixer!  I am in love with this unit....and my husband for getting it.

This is my best news of all. Fred bought me a 30 Quart Hobart mixer! I am in love with this unit….and my husband for getting it.

Hobart meat and cheese slicer...thanks to Gina who saw this at a garage sale. It works terrific!!!!

Hobart meat and cheese slicer…thanks to Gina who saw this at a garage sale. It works terrific!!!!

Pizza on the grill...fast food at it's best.

Pizza on the grill…fast food at it’s best.

Is this pork or beef?  Take a guess.  Pork the other red meat!

Is this pork or beef? Take a guess. Pork the other red meat!

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Now that the warm weather has arrived we can use our Redneck fire ring. Loved Luke’s so much, had to copy his. Waste not, want not :)

Life is good by golly!  Enjoy each and every day and count your blessings.

 

 

Posted in EVERY DAY FARM LIFE | Tagged | 4 Comments

~Moving Bee Hives~

 

**Welcome……..May God bless your day!**

Fred Moving Hives The End Of The Day!

Fred Moving Hives At The End Of The Day!

It’s been a busy Spring so far and especially for my husband. He puts in some long days off the farm, making money to support his family and our farming operation.  Last night he got off fairly early and he and three of the kids loaded up some of our hives for the move to his grandfathers old farm again.  They burned the grasses last year and the clover looks promising.

Marisa and Maggie plugging the holes with grass so that the bees would not escape while being moved.

Marisa and Maggie plugging the holes with grass so that the bees would not escape while being moved.

Sheep would rather eat then observe the late day activity!

Sheep would rather eat then observe the late day activity!

Our lawn is full of dandelions and honey bees.  It would be nice if people would not spray their dandelions since the bees need them this time of year.  The world needs honey bees.  Most of you have no idea how much chemical is used for food production.   It’s a fragile existence and people need to take the shortage and death of the honey bees very seriously.  The more people who raise bees, the better.  WE NEED TO PROTECT THE HONEY BEES!

A couple more hives to load and we ask God to bless the bees and away we go.

A couple more hives to load and we ask God to bless the bees and away we go.

The hives this year will be divided up into three safe havens.  We can only keep so many here on our home farm.  Especially with all the grandchildren out and about :)  If you see honey bees in your yard, thank God for them.  Take care not to step on them or harm them in any way.  They are precious to mankind……and needed for pollination. They don’t go after people to sting them so do not be afraid of them.  Bees literally give their lives for us.

A new shipment of our Callens Honey Farm honey is in at Brad’s Market in Minneota. Stop in and pick some  up today and check out our new labels.  They moved the honey so if you can’t find them just ask!  Thank you to those who support your local small farms.

 

 

 

 

Posted in EVERY DAY FARM LIFE | 2 Comments

~Make Parmesan Cheese At Home~

 

This is the cheese I made inside of a used container from the store!!

This is the cheese I made inside of a used container from the store!!

I accidently stumbled upon a very quick way to make Parmesan/Romano cheese at home.  I’ve made five batches so far and they have all been extremely delicious.  My parmesan  shakes out harder than the town parmesan cheese does but that’s because there is cellulose in the town parmesan that keeps it from caking!  Who needs that?

This is the cheese after it is ground up in the processor.

This is the cheese after it is ground up in the processor.

Here is how to make parmesan for your home use.  This is probably only of interest to my cheese making friends!   In a nut shell………Warm 4 gallons of milk to 88 degrees.  Put in a 1/4 teaspoon of Lipase culture.  Let it sit for a couple of hours. Make sure it is still at 88 degrees.  Warm if necessary.  Next put in 1 teaspoon of rennet diluted in a cup of warm water.  Let sit until a large curd has formed.  Cut the curds, let them rest, dump out half of the whey, then warm the curds stirring gently to 98 degrees.  Let it settle for about a half hour. Strain into a stainless steel strainer and salt the heck out of it.  I use the Himalayan Pink Sea Salt and it doesn’t look pink when it is done!!

The ground cheese is poured on to a cookie tray to dry out for about a week.

The ground cheese is poured on to a cookie tray to dry out for about a week.

Turn the cheese a few times to make sure it is drying/draining.  When it looks like it is dry, I just grind it in my food processor and then dry it on a tray for a week.  This smells strong but is the right smell for cheese.  It tastes like I shredded a real chunk of Parmesan or Romano cheese.   Go ahead and experiment with what works for you.  As long  you are “clean” it should make a good cheese to sprinkle.

This is how the cheese looks on the tray to be dried.  You can lay paper towels on top lightly.

This is how the cheese looks on the tray to be dried. You can lay paper towels on top lightly.

When it smells perfect and looks dry throw it into a shaker.  Save your old containers or use a glass one.  It’s a good feeling making things that are healthy with no additives!

Life is good by golly……….

 

 

 

 

Posted in FARM KITCHEN | Tagged , | 5 Comments

~”Cookie” An Important Position On a Farm~

Quick homemade mozzarella, pepperoni, garlic melts.  Made in a hurry for very hungry kids!

Quick homemade mozzarella,oregano, pepperoni, garlic melts. Made in a hurry for very hungry kids!

Anyone who lives on a farm knows that the food is as important as the actual work being completed. If you’ve been on the working side you know how nice it is to come in to a warm kitchen with wonderful smells.  On the other hand, what a let down to come in half-starved to an empty, unprepared kitchen!  I admit I’m not always on time, by any means and I often don’t come in till the last-minute to scrounge up a quick meal:)

 

Yummy Himalayan Sea Salt helps make our food delicous with added trace minerals.  From Salt Works............

Yummy Himalayan Sea Salt helps make our food delicious with added trace minerals. From Salt Works…………

 

 

Our own pork, Biscuits and Gravy.  The kids love this. Secret ingredient is sage:)

Our own pork, Biscuits and Gravy. The kids love this. Secret ingredient is sage:)

 

 

Grilled pork chops, farm fresh.  These are juicy!

Grilled pork chops, farm fresh. These are juicy! Quick and no pans to clean.

 

Over the past several months and weeks, I have taken photos of the food we prepare here on the Callens Farm……… Honey farm, beef farm, dairy farm, poultry and egg farm, hog farm, sheep farm, turkey farm, etc. You get the picture.  We are definitely a diversified place.  The Honey Farm title on this blog was set up to market our honey.

Sometimes being stuck in the kitchen seems like a thankless job, boring and not very much fun. It’s worth it though when you hear the compliments on a meal well prepared. Nothing like fresh air to create a hearty appetite. 

Pork Chops, Sauerkraut bake.

Pork Chop, Sauerkraut bake.  Most of us didn’t like this new recipe because it had apple sauce in it.  But, it was worth a try.  We love Kraut and make a ton of it each year!  The cabbage plants are growing up in my bedroom window…..one of the two south facing windows.

We put up a ton of apple sauce, frozen.  Just warm and serve. Tastes as fresh as the day it was made.

We froze a large amount of apple sauce and canned some too.  Just warm and serve. Tastes as fresh as the day it was frozen.  I hate to waste freezer room but the frozen does taste better than the cooked canned stuff.

Baking Powder Bisquits add to many a meal.

Baking Powder biscuits add to many a meal.  Quick and easy especially when we’re out of bread and in hurry!

Homemade Dumpling soup with cream, butter, ham and eggs from our farm.

Homemade Egg Dumpling  Potato soup with cream, butter, ham  from our farm.  The kids love dumplings and it’s a great way to use up eggs and extra milk!  Boiling the dumplings takes time but is worth the effort.

Once again it becomes apparent how important each and every person is in a family unit. The person with the meal preparation job is like “Cookie” on the cattle drive!  I suppose the hungry cowboys would lay down their lives for that trail cook:)  Now isn’t that a comforting thought?

When you think of it, since so much time is spent on food production, from the gardens to all the livestock, to all the canning, freezing of produce and butchering of the meat; there’s no good reason why anyone shouldn’t be fed well right?

Summertime will bring more of the crock pot meals and quick sandwich type lunches so that we can all be outside in the sunshine spending less time in the kitchen.  Over the winter months is the time when our kids learn how to cook and bake because time allows for it. 

 

Got the munchies? Make Calebs homegrown popcorn.

Got the munchies? Make Calebs homegrown popcorn.  “Mom approved” snack with our own butter.  Caleb has been planting our popcorn for years and it’s really good.

Green Bean with Parmesan, butter and garlic.  Hands down kids favorite, our own beans!

Green Beans with Parmesan, butter and garlic. Hands down kids favorite vegetable, using our own beans!  The last several years we freeze the green beans raw and unblanched and really like the way they taste, very fresh. 

 

Caleb baked this bread.  I'm a firm believer that the boys should learn how to cook and bake!  Yummy

Caleb baked this bread. Boys should learn how to cook and bake! Yummy, great for dipping in roasted red peppers or a tomato salad…..see photo below.

 

Roasted Red Pepper dip for the homemade bread.  Yum, Frenchy made us this one!

Roasted Red Pepper dip, olive oil, garlic for the homemade bread. Yum, Frenchy made us this one for a party.

Maggies Eggplant Pie.  Wow this was out of this world.

Maggies Eggplant Pie. Wow this was out of this world. A first time recipe that was quickly added to our favoite list. 

It’s a challenge to cook food from scratch as much as possible; all of this takes time. In the winter, of course, there is a lot more time to make things special in the kitchen. I like the kids to test out their cooking skills as well.

Turkey from our farm is mainly used for pot pie and sandwiches.  Amazing flavor....free range meat.

Turkey from our farm is mainly used for pot pie and sandwiches. Amazing flavor….free range meat.  By the way, we have a whole bunch of Bronze Turkey’s for sale.  Hens and Toms…….great proven breeders.  I know, because they are all over the place!  Come pick some out.

 

Sausage, peppers, onions, garlic, tomato, salt and pepper.  Serve with Calebs bread.

Sausage, peppers, onions, garlic, tomato, salt and pepper. Serve with Calebs bread.

Honey corn bread for breakfast.  Also works great for lunches during lent. Served with our own milk!

Honey corn bread for breakfast. Also works great for lunches during lent. Served with our own milk and honey!  I love the crunchy ends.  Also a family approved recipe.

 

Carmel rolls also made by Frenchy.  You show up here you may end up cooking or baking something too:)

Man can not live on meat and taters alone……Carmel rolls also made by Frenchy. You show up here you may end up cooking or baking something too:)  These were also for a recent party before Lent!

 

 

 

We put up as much asparagus as possible.  We need our greens!  Butter, garlic, black pepper and seasalt.  Fry down till thickend.

We put up as much asparagus as possible.  Butter, garlic, black pepper and sea-salt. Saute till thick. 

Stromboli!  Dough, onions, pepperoni or sausage, garlic, olive oil, oregano......bake and devour!  Dip in marinara sauce.

Stromboli! Dough, onions, pepperoni or sausage, garlic, olive oil, oregano, seasalt……bake and devour! Dip in marinara sauce.  One last flip and this one was placed carefully on a tray.  These we love.  This summer we’ll be making them out in the pizza oven.

 

Pre cooked frozen blocks of hash browns made from potatoes that were sprouting.  Fry up and serve.

Pre cooked, frozen blocks of hash browns made from potatoes that were sprouting. Fry up and serve.  These were just removed from the tray and then bagged for later use. The plan is to make a bunch of these next fall for fast food!  Bought 50 pounds of new potato seed yesterday to start with on Good Friday.  We plant both our own seed and new to cover our bases in hopes of a good yield.

 

Huge ball of butter ready to be blocked.  Silvana makes sure we skim that cream!

Huge ball of butter ready to be blocked. Silvana makes sure we skim that cream and makes our butter in a blender. 

 

Unlimited supply of our own Mozzarella and Cheddar cheese.  I make 4 gallon batches, grind and freeze for pizza and hot dishes.

Unlimited supply of our own Mozzarella and Cheddar cheese. I make 4 gallon batches, grind and freeze for pizza and hot dishes.  The cheddar  we also use as a table/eating cheese with crackers or bread. 

 

 

This is a delicious Hot Pepperoni Pizza Dip.  This was made by Maggie and Frenchy for a pre-Lent gathering.

This is a delicious Hot Pepperoni Pizza Dip. This was made by Maggie and Frenchy for a pre-Lent gathering.

 

We consume a gallon and a half fresh yogurt every few days.  Wonderful, thick and yummy!

We consume a gallon and a half fresh yogurt every few days. Wonderful, thick and yummy!

This is a real, yet small, working farm. A place where people put in long days making things work. It’s also a place where we like to gather for fun and make special holidays a celebration. The worst thing about eating well and preparing good meals is the kitchen cleaning part.

 

One of our fat/oil sources on the farm.  This happens to be Beef Tallow from the beef processed recently.  That steer was almost a year and a half old.  Tallow even makes great pie crust and also great for deep frying etc.

One of our fat/oil sources on the farm. This happens to be Beef Tallow from the beef processed recently.  Tallow even makes great pie crust and also is great for deep frying etc.  We use butter, lard, tallow, and only keep a container of the”town” Wesson oil for Carla Heningsgaard’s famous brownies and Nonna’s Lemon Sponge Cake! 

 

Steak for breakfast, right next to my morning coffee.  This is living........

Steak for breakfast, right next to my morning coffee. This is living……..

Steak is on the menu lately.  That's my Fred who just finished cutting these steaks!  I love him!!!

Steak is on the menu lately. That’s my Fred who just finished cutting these steaks! I love him!!!

Lemon Ice Cream.  A treat here and there never killed anybody right?  No treats during Lent except for Sundays!

Lemon Ice Cream. A treat here and there never killed anybody right? No treats during Lent except for Sundays!

Life is good by golly.  Won’t you please pass the wine!

Fred's wine, Elderberry/grapes all from our farm.  For the soul..........and digestion:)

Fred’s wine, Elderberry/grapes all from our farm. For the soul……….and digestion:)

PS.  I have been without a computer for several weeks so this post was actually meant to be posted a while ago.  Most of the good food photos are still stuck on my computer which is soon to be returned. It’s been kind of nice to be computer free…….in certain ways.  Happy Belated Easter!

 

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Posted in EVERY DAY FARM LIFE | 8 Comments

~Luke Dougherty and Clayton Callens, Our Shearing Team~

Lovely ladies minus a fine layer of wool.

Lovely ladies minus a fine layer of wool.

 

Luke Dougherty, hard at work.  He's an amazing shearing and you'd be surprised how fast too!

Luke Dougherty, hard at work. He’s an amazing shearer and you’d be surprised how fast too!

Luke Dougherty, our son in law, preparing to shear this ewe.

Luke , our son- in -law, preparing to shear this ewe.

Our son Clayton shearing with son in law Luke behind him.

Our son Clayton shearing one of the ewes, also an amazing shearer……naturally I’d say this:)

The boys arrived early to shear the flock of sheep.  Before I knew it,  they were done just as the early lunch was prepared……..delicious pizza!  This year I never made it out to watch the “boys” work.   Seems like they get quicker and quicker every time they shear.  They average around 2 to 3 minutes per animal.  One can imagine what kind of shape a shearer has to be in to be able to accomplish such a task.  Anyhow, when it was all said and done, in a few short hours, the guys had removed the fine wool from 68 bred ewes.    The kids took the photos for me this year so I didn’t get as many as I’d have liked.  The wool is excellent quality Ramboulet.

Beautiful wool, nice clean job.

Beautiful wool; a nice clean job Clayton is doing here.

 

Wow, imagine how thick the wool is.  Before and after  pictures.

Wow, imagine how thick the wool is. Before and after pictures.

 

Fred and Mario packed the wool.

Fred and Mario packed the wool which will be sold when the truck arrives.

 

Silvana and Caleb helped catch the sheep and pick up the wool.

Silvana and Caleb helped catch the sheep and pick up the wool.  This kept them warm!

Luke will be kept busy shearing throughout the  coming months.  If you need some sheep sheared give Luke a call at 507-829-8546!

Lukes truck......ready to unload some wool.

Lukes truck……ready to unload some wool.

Bagged wool,  ready for sale.

Bagged wool, ready for sale.

Clayton, will be switching over to his horse training profession today when his first of the season horses arrive.  If anyone needs a horse trained, you better call and get on the schedule soon; his Spring/Summer schedule is filling up fast!  507-829-8479!

Clayton in his horse barn.

Clayton, my handsome, talented son! (brag intended if you don’t mind:)

God has blessed these two young men in so many ways and being able to make a living in the country is just one of those blessings. 

Clayton Callens and Luke Dougherty.......my favorite and THE BEST shearers!

Clayton Callens and Luke Dougherty…….my favorite and THE BEST shearers!  I’m a lucky mom:)

Posted in LIVESTOCK | Tagged | 4 Comments

~29 Years of Marriage, Wow……Amazing!~

Love of my life........not sure who's having more fun!

Love of my life……..not sure who’s having more fun!

Happy Anniversary to my loving husband, Fred.  It’s been a fast-moving, wonderful 29 years so far.  Marriage is wonderful vocation and I’m so glad God fixed us up.  All I can add is, thank God I have an extremely patient husband!  (I used a calculator to see how many years it has been; that’s how fast the years flew by)

Fred with some of the grandchildren and Isabella.  Happy Anniversary........29 years!

Fred with some of the grandchildren and Isabella. Happy Anniversary……..29 years!

1400 Pounds  of the finest beef around!

1400 Pounds of the finest beef around!

We took advantage of the good weather and decided to butcher our beef.  This is a Jersey cross beef.  Monday we will package it all up for the upcoming summer barbeque season.  Will you be there to join us?

Splitting the beef in half with an electric saw.

Splitting the beef in half with an electric saw.

A couple of weeks ago we butchered  two more hogs.  Delicious!  We made some Italian Sausage and it turned out pretty good.  The kids tried out a few different recipes.  Next on the list to purchase for our butcher shop is, a large sausage stuffer and a bigger meat grinder.  I think it would be worth the investment.  Having purchased all the equipment over the years has allowed us to save thousands of dollars, and enabled us to  process everything at home.  And I mean everything!

This Italian Sausage took three kids to put together!

This Italian Sausage took three kids to put together!

That's me packaging chops.  I love this job and usually get way too silly before it's half way over!

That’s me packaging chops. I love this job and usually get way too silly before it’s half way over!

Salt brine makes great side pork soaked for 4 days.  We haven't been smoking our bacon lately and really like it for a change!

Salt brine makes great side pork soaked for 4 days.

Side pork cut and packaged with love by me!

Side pork cut and packaged with love, by me!

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We were hoping for a nice heifer calf but instead this baby bull calf was born.  He’s so cute, it’s hard not to be happy, right?  He’s a picture of health all around.  The girls have a halter on him already so that he’ll get used to wearing one.  They enjoy training oxen to pull!

Healthy baby bull calf clean enough to snuggle with!

Healthy baby bull calf clean enough to snuggle with!

I have a bunch more photos to post but it’s getting late and mass is at 8:30 a.m.  I’ll be back with more soon.   Have a wonderful day!

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