~The First Honey Run 2014~

Maggie, Marisa and Silvana getting ready to work.

Maggie, Marisa and Silvana getting ready to work.

Our first honey harvest of the season yielded 320 pounds which is a good start and a very pleasant surprise! We pulled off 9 supers and tested out our new equipment.  Fred purchased a Dakota  Gunness 200 Decapper and Dadant 60 Frame extractor and we were very pleased with the way they worked.

Our Dakota Dunnick Wax Decapper.

Our Dakota Gunness Wax Decapper.

Decapper and 60 frame extractor in the background.

Decapper and 60 frame extractor in the background.

The honey is very light and super delicious!  I’m not sure when we will be harvesting again but at least now we know how to run the equipment.  Enjoy the photos.

Marisa prepares the smoker using hay which we kept going for awhile.

Marisa prepares the smoker using hay which we kept going for awhile.

 

Loading the  12 gauge just in case the Badger shows up.

Loading the 12 gauge just in case the Badger shows up.

This is our best hive this year.

One of our best hives this year.

 

Beautiful hive near our garden.

Beautiful hive near our garden.

 

 Brushing off the bees gently before we load the super.


Brushing off the bees gently before we load the super.

 

Hauling the 35# box to the car.

Hauling a very heavy, medium sized super  to the car.

 

Checking the super to make certain all the honey bees are gone.

Checking the super to make certain all the honey bees are gone.

This is a bee escape board which is placed right below the supers we plan on removing 24 hours before we harvest.  This allows the bees to travel down but not come back up into the honey super.  Most of the bees are out making it much easier.

This is a bee escape board which is placed right below the supers we plan on removing 24 hours before we harvest. This allows the bees to travel down but not come back up into the honey super. Most of the bees are out making it much easier.

 

Transporting honey home to be extracted.

Transporting honey home to be extracted.

 

A field of Sweet White clover.

A field of Sweet White clover.

 

More Sweet White Clover for the bees.  Beautiful!

More Sweet White Clover for the bees. Beautiful!

A second 60 frame extractor which is stored outside.

A second 60 frame extractor which is stored outside.

We ran a few frames through the new wax decapper and Fred made some adjustments.

We ran a few frames through the new wax decapper and Fred made some adjustments.

The frame of honey enters the machine.

The frame of honey enters the machine.

The frame comes out the opposite site with the caps removed.

The frame comes out the opposite side with the wax caps removed.  It took a couple of times to set the spinning chains properly.

60 Frames are loaded into the extractor.

60 Frames are loaded into the extractor.  This starts to spin slower and picks up speed rapidly forcing the honey out.  Works really great!

Beautiful honey being extracted. Light and delicious!

Beautiful honey being extracted. Light and delicious!

Raw, unfiltered honey enters a holding tank.

Raw, unfiltered honey enters a holding tank.

The honey gate is opened and the raw honey is filtered.

The honey gate is opened and the raw honey is filtered.

 

We’re looking forward to a good honey harvest at the end of August or so.  There was plenty of rain in the beginning of the year and things are looking good.  Now as I prepare this post we are receiving a very much needed rain of more than an inch or two.  Talk about feeling blessed.  WOW  The hives located at our home farm here are thriving on the clover which is taking over :)   We are thankful to have some good equipment to make the work easier.  Soon we will haul a shipment of honey into Brad’s Market in Minneota.  Stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

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~Hops ~

*Cascade Hops Vine
Hops vine looks like something in Jack in the Beanstalk!

Hops vine looks like something out of Jack in the Beanstalk!

Rows of hops soon to be turned into beer.

Rows of hops soon to be turned into beer.

 We live in the land of milk and honey ………….and hops too! Aren’t these beautiful?
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Have a wonderful day.
Stay tuned for the honey extracting photos.
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~We Have Two New Grandchildren~

Luke with his newborn baby boy.  Life doesn't get much better than this !

Luke with his newborn baby boy. Life doesn’t get much better than this !

Congratulations to Jessi and Luke who were blessed, yesterday, with their fourth child.  He is beautiful with a full head of hair, a little less than his momma who came in to this world with hair long enough to need cutting.  Shawn Kelly Dougherty, 8 pounds 1 ounce and 21 inches long, named after his grandfather, Shawn and great-grandfather Kelly.  May God continue to bless Luke, Jessica and their children in many ways.

Little Shawn Dougherty just several hours old!

Little Shawn Dougherty just several hours old!

Cael is very happy to finally have a little brother!

Cael is very happy to finally have a little brother!

Francesca and Peter also welcomed a new baby to their family on July 3.  They had a beautiful baby girl Josie June Ryland.  She weighed in at 6 pounds 11 ounces.   What a little sweetheart she is.  Thanks be to God for safe births and healthy babies.  She was already baptized last weekend.

Josie June Ryland just before her baptism.

Josie June Ryland just before her baptism.

 

Baptism at St. Leo with Andrew, Frenchy, Peter and Josie.

Baptism at St. Leo with Andrew, Frenchy, Peter and Josie.

Francesca and Josie at the party.

Francesca and Josie at the party.

When two people fall in love a whole new world is opened up.  Fred asked me to marry him just 24 hours after having met him.  I said yes, of course, and now it’s so much fun seeing the fruits of our marriage.  Not to mention the grandchildren born into loving families.

If you are married or about to be married I hope you will consider being open to life.  If you are a parent or grandparent, you can encourage young couples to be open.  Just being open doesn’t necessarily mean you will have a large family.  There may not even be any children but at least you will know that you have been open to God’s will.

Josie June Ryland baptized at St. Leo.

Josie June Ryland baptized at St. Leo.

Looking forward to little Shawn’s baptism some time soon !

 

 

 

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~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.

 

 

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~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.

 

 

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~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……….

 

 

 

 

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