~Bees~

img_0833 img_0828 img_0831

The honey harvest this year was good!  We were blessed with a good crop.  Our honey is now being sold in three local stores here in Minnesota…..  Brad’s Market in Minneota, Jim’s Super Value and Moberg Meats in Canby, MN.  We are happy to provide good, pure honey locally. 

Silvana and Marisa

Silvana and Marisa

Silvana

Silvana

Marisa

Marisa

For better or worse, we go into the winter with 22 live hives.  It will take nothing short of a miracle for the bees to survive.   Our hives are not winterized yet.  The Organic Valley hogs have been keeping us busy but hopefully all of the bee work will be finished soon.  Never a dull moment on the Callens Family Farm!! 

Life is good by golly!   Lord have mercy on us and on the whole world!

Posted in BEE NEWS AND UPDATES | Tagged | Leave a comment

~Piggy Heaven~

img_1565 img_1560 img_1562

Happy piggies on the Callens Farm.

Happy piggies on the Callens Farm.

The months have gone by quickly.  We sold our first two loads of Organic hogs in the last two weeks.  It’s been a busy, chaotic summer to say the least!  Lot’s of planning and paper work with lots of regulations to meet.  So far we are very pleased with how this new business is going.  It takes a ton of chores and plenty of planning.

Marking the big ones for shipping.

Marking the big ones for shipping.

 

Getting ready for shipping on a rainy day.

Getting ready for shipping on a rainy day.

 

Posted in LIVESTOCK | Tagged , | 1 Comment

~Certified Organic~

 

It is official; we are certified organic for the hogs!!!

It is official; we are certified organic for the hogs!!!

I can’t take any credit for the paper work, time and effort that it has taken to get this certification completed.  I’m so proud of our girls,  for their patience and persistence.  We proudly display on Fred’s old Ford the sign which reads, “We are your Organic Valley Farmers.”  How cool is that?  Another chapter in our life on the farm.

Are you my mother?

Are you my mother?

Silvana, Bella and Marisa, Organic Hog farmers!

Silvana, Bella and Marisa, Organic Hog farmers!

For those of you who wonder if the organic products you purchase in the grocery store are really organic, look no further.  Organic Valley /Organic Prairie is a company that has integrity!  When you purchase their milk, cheese, butter, cream, eggs, meats, etc. you are getting the real deal.  They have very strict standards for their producers.  We have learned so much from our friends, Rick and Helaine Fonder who are Organic Valley dairy producers.  They’ve helped us along the way.  You would be amazed at the methods and procedures that go into the production.  Nothing allowed right down to fly spray.  Not allowed.  

Taste the difference next time you go to the grocery store!  Their cheese is remarkable by the way, worth every penny and that is coming from someone who makes her own cheese.

Life just keeps getting better by golly!  Thanks be to our Great God in this Year of Mercy!

Posted in EVERY DAY FARM LIFE | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

~Two Became One~

Mr. and Mrs. Clayton Callens May 21, 2016

Mr. and Mrs. Clayton Callens May 21, 2016

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on here.  So much has been happening and life somehow passes by so fast.  We now have a beautiful daughter, Angelica.  Her family put on a wonderful wedding which will go down in my history book as one of the most fun weddings ever!  There was a 9:30 a.m. wedding mass followed by two meals and two dances with two separate bands.  All celebrated with a beautiful moon to add to the festivities.  All I can say is that I won’t be forgetting that day for a long time. 

Outdoor dance floor right next to the church hall. Clayton and his beautiful bride, Angelica!

Outdoor dance floor right next to the church hall. Clayton and his beautiful bride, Angelica!

 

As we were on May 21, 2016 Happy wedding day!

As we were on May 21, 2016 Happy wedding day!

Go in peace to love and to serve the Lord!

Go in peace to love and to serve the Lord!

 

A kiss for luck.....one for the road!

A kiss for luck…..one for the road!

With all the bad that is going on in the world, sometimes it’s hard to see the positive things.  Life really is good and I hope this post will show you this!

I’ll be back very soon with some of our farm happenings. There are many!

 

 

 

Posted in EVERY DAY FARM LIFE | Tagged , | 2 Comments

~ New Smoke House ~ Upcoming Barn Dance~

Bacon and ham in the new smoke house!

Bacon and ham in the new smoke house!

Once again, Fred turned a junk item into a very good smoke house.  We have it fired up for the first time today and are about to shut her down.  A good eight hours of heat is all it takes.  Caleb cut us a chunk off of the ham to taste and it was super delicious!  It’s way better than the other method which I have always liked.

Gas fired smoke house made from a broken refrigerator.

Gas fired smoke house made from a broken freezer.

This should be easy for anyone to make.  Soon we will be doing Polish Sausage and Hot Dogs.  We never stop learning new things on the farm and it’s never boring.  Fred is working off the farm today and I can’t wait for him to taste test this meat.

Close up, can you smell it?

Close up, can you smell it?

In the house I have started cooking the pork for Clayton and Angelica’s groom supper meal.  My plan is to cook it on low heat over night.  Anyone who knows me well, knows I change my plans all the time, but so far, so good.  I’ve got two roasters going with 36 pounds of meat between them.  Planning on feeding an army and their families!!  Counting down the days till the wedding this weekend.  God is good and we are thankful for His blessings.

 

Alan Ferber and my handsome husband Fred.

Alan Ferber and my handsome husband Fred.

I love knowing where our meat comes from and what the livestock ate as well as how it was cared for.  Supper is in the oven and that is a home-raised organic chicken.   We recently bought in 100 meat birds again and they will also be fed 100% organic feed.  You can really taste the difference, either that or I imagine it.  We are so thankful for our organic farm family friends, The Fonders as well as Alan and Lynda Ferber who patiently teach us how to process meat.

Our meat birds came in several weeks ago and are doing well.

Our meat birds came in several weeks ago and are doing well.

 

Fred making ready our first trial run on our "new" 100 pound stuffer.

Fred making ready for a first trial run on our “new” 100 pound stuffer.

The stuffer works by using the water hose as pressure and worked like a dream.  We stuffed 50 pounds of plain sausage and 50 pounds of breakfast sausage in a very short time.

Waiting with anticipation to see how it will work! Marisa and Fred.

Waiting with anticipation to see how it will work! Marisa and Fred.

 

Packing the sausage with ease.

Packing the sausage with ease.

 

Marisa trying out the new Hobart Meat Tenderizer with Alan talking her through it all.

Marisa trying out the new Hobart Meat Tenderizer with Alan talking her through it all.

Finally, Fred found time to fill the wine bottles for the wedding.  In the end we bottled 72 bottle of home made wine.  Apricot Blush, named in honor of the bride and Frontenac Grape.  Most of it is the Apricot which we think is delicious!  Whatever we don’t consume will be used up at the upcoming 2016 Barn Dance Friday May 27, 2016.  Come one, come all.  7:00 P.M.  until the cows come home, or later. 

72 bottles of Apricot Blush ready for the wedding. Come to the Barn Dance to sample what is left!

72 bottles of Apricot Blush ready for the wedding. Come to the Barn Dance to sample what is left!

 

Getting ready for the barn dance, planning ahead.

Getting ready for the barn dance, planning ahead.

 

Let there be light!

Let there be light!

 

Love this photo of Chief and the grandchildren. They were out stirring up dust while we set up.

Love this photo of Chief and the grandchildren. They were out stirring up dust while we set up.

The kids and Fred planted earlier last month four Peach trees and some grapes.  Then the rains came which will hopefully make them thrive.  It’s been a cold spring so far but the grass is growing great which will be wonderful for the lamb crop of around 70 plus and still coming.

Planting the peach trees earlier this spring.

Planting the peach trees earlier this spring.

My shepherd husband Fred with a bottle lamb.

My shepherd husband Fred with a bottle lamb.

Life is good; enjoy every minute of it!

 

 

 

Posted in EVERY DAY FARM LIFE | Tagged | 2 Comments

~Wedding Pork~

Two hogs are cut and being prepared for Clayton and Angelica's wedding.

Two hogs are cut and being prepared for Clayton and Angelica’s wedding.

The weather took a turn for the worst.  Perfect weather to butcher the hogs for the upcoming wedding.  It is so cold that we had to start the wood stove inside of the house.   The hogs will be cut and frozen for transport to the caterers down in Nebraska.  We are looking forward to the Wedding Feast!

This is how the next generation learns where farm fresh food comes from and how to get it ready to eat!

This is how the next generation learns where farm fresh food comes from.

Years ago most families had a connection to the land and farm.  Read any old fashioned reader and you will see how the kids went to their grandparents or an uncle’s farm to spend time in the fresh air with the livestock.  It was a good life.  This is a good life.  I thank God for all His many blessings in a world that seems to have gone crazy.  We pray and work and put our lives in His capable hands.

We have been very blessed with ongoing lessons and a whole bunch of fun with Alan Ferber.  He has been sharing his skills with us every time we process a beef or pork.  We’ve learned so much and he is passing on his knowledge to the next generation as well.  We all enjoy the time together.

Alan Ferber teaches his eager students when we processed a cow recently. He's fun and amazing.

Alan Ferber teaches his eager students when we processed a cow recently. He’s fun and amazing.

Notice the bottle of vino behind the tenderizer!  We had to sample the wedding wine in between cuts.

Lynda, Alan's wife comes along sometimes to add her cheerful smile and advice.

Lynda, Alan’s wife comes along sometimes to add her cheerful smile and advice.

This beautiful and amazing lady coaches Bella and I on what the cuts are and how to package them properly and in a timely manner.  She delights us with her stories and smiles.  She used to work with her husband when they owned the butcher shop out in Wyoming.  Thanks to her, we had the most delicious and tender Prime Rib Roasts for Easter.  That’s one cut I’ve never used. Again, a blessing to our family.

Prime Rib Roast tied and ready.

Prime Rib Roast tied and ready.

Hopefully soon I will post the photos of the hotdogs we made and the new 100 # sausage stuffer we purchased as well as a commercial tenderizer.   I’ve got a crew of hungry people to feed!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in EVERY DAY FARM LIFE | 4 Comments

~Good Friday Tradition~

No matter what the weather is like, we always plant at least some potatoes on Good Friday.

The tilled land ready for the potato seeds.

The tilled land ready for  potato seeds.

It was very cold, damp and bitter out side, with a wind that could freeze salt water.

Digging and planting.

Digging and planting.

A little snow only on the north side of the garage.

A little snow only on the north side of the garage.

A mix of our own seed saved from 2015.

A mix of our own seed saved from 2015.

Fred, my farmer, loving husband of 31 years, still out there teaching our youngest son how to plant our food.   I find myself recalling back to the time when we were newlyweds; Fred had to teach me how to cut the potato seeds and plant them.  Honestly, I was truly amazed back then and still find it exciting.

Fred and Mario planting a few rows of potatoes to keep our tradition alive.

Fred and Mario planting a few rows of potatoes to keep our tradition alive.

When our kids all leave this place of peace, one thing is for absolute certain, they will know how to raise their own food.  Whether or not they choose to do so is up to them, but it’s a comfort to us knowing we made it a priority…….. living this kind of life!

Happy Easter to one and to all………..a wonderful life.

Bella, Marisa, Angelica, Jessica Kruse, Frenchy and Maggie on Easter Sunday enjoying life!

Bella, Marisa, Angelica, Jessica Kruse, Frenchy and Maggie on Easter Sunday enjoying life!

 

 

Posted in EVERY DAY FARM LIFE | Tagged | Leave a comment