~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!

 

 

 

 

 

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~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!

 

 

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~Sheep Shearing On The Callens Farm~

The sheep have been sheared by Clayton again this year.  Silvana  filmed a video of him shearing so check it out below.  Not sure how anyone can  bend over and work so hard.  He sheared 62 ewes and 2 bucks.  I enjoyed watching him work and I’m always amazed at his technique.  Also, I’m very grateful that he doesn’t charge us to shear!!!  Thank you Clayton.  Lambing has begun as of this morning.  It took a bit of snow to get that ball rolling.

 

 

 

 

 

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~Winter On The Farm~

Straw and hay for the livestock.

Straw and hay for the livestock.

I started this post back in January.   Hard to believe February is gone.  Winter keeps us busy here on the farm.

Our girls singing Our Father

Meet Ruby, proud first time mother of 11 piglets!

Meet Ruby, proud first time mother of 11 piglets!

The cute piglets take after their father......Ruby is much better looking.

The cute piglets take after their father……Ruby is much better looking.

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Marisa keeps us well fed with her delicious apple pies!!

Frenchy, Maggie, Marisa, Mario (below) Bella, Silvana, Caleb, Sandra and Fred. Christmas Eve 2015

Frenchy, Maggie, Marisa, Mario (below) Bella, Silvana, Caleb, Sandra and Fred. Christmas Eve 2015

Sandra and grandson Blasé on Calebs snowmobile.

Sandra and grandson Blasé on Caleb’s snowmobile.

Christmas Eve, elderberry wine made us rather warm....so we headed outside for fresh air !!

Christmas Eve, elderberry wine made us rather warm….so we headed outside for fresh air !! MISS YOU JESSI !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Three birthdays celebrated on one day. This one we sang for Jessi who is in Ohio now. Trick candles didn't want to go out!! Happy birthday to Silvana, Marisa and Jessi.

Three birthdays celebrated on one day. This one we sang for Jessi who is in Ohio now. Trick candles didn’t want to go out!! Happy birthday to Silvana, Marisa and Jessi.

You can't work all of the time so some of us took a long road trip to Nebraska, via every dirt road we could find, to attend her first bridal shower.

You can’t work all of the time so some of us took a long road trip to Nebraska, via every dirt road we could find, to attend Angelica’s bridal shower.

Nothing quite like the back roads of Nebraska. Travel at your own risk. My Durango goes through pretty much anything!!!

Nothing quite like the back roads of Nebraska. Travel at your own risk.  The Durango goes through pretty much anything!!!

Beautiful Organic corn for the pig operation. From Carmen Fernholz farm.

Beautiful Organic corn for the pig operation. From Carmen Fernholz farm.

 

 

Bella turned 14; she's an angel.

Bella turned 14; she’s an angel.

 

 

My "new" jeep. Family shrinking, drivers growing, so good bye vans, hello four wheel drive rigs.

Our  “new” jeep. Family shrinking, drivers growing, so good bye vans, hello four wheel drive rigs.

Caleb enjoying a Sunday on the frozen pond.

Caleb enjoying a Sunday on the frozen pond.

Wild game of Fox and Goose on the ice. Dangerous for those of us over 50!

Wild game of Fox and Goose on the ice. Dangerous for those of us over 50!

Best husband ever hands down and Frenchy enjoying a Sunday afternoon.

Best husband ever, hands down and Frenchy enjoying a Sunday afternoon.

 

These supply us with yummy RAW milk.

These supply us with yummy RAW milk.

 

Can you find nine little piglets?

Can you find nine little piglets?

Life is good in spite of our imperfections!

 

 

 

 

 

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~New Meat Grinder~

 

Sanitary Meat Grinder.

Sanitary Meat Grinder.

Fred and I bought this beast of a meat grinder recently.  It was actually white and Fred sanded it a bit and painted it John Deere Green.  This baby can grind 50 # of meat in 2 minutes….or less.  I freaked out though the first time he ran it because it looked dangerous.  By golly it WAS dangerous!!!  Not to worry though, after a bit of planning and scavenging around the farm Fred came up with a design to make a stainless steel meat tray on top and a hand guard!!  So proud of my farm guy.

Stainless steel meat tray.

Stainless steel meat tray.

 

Front view of old military Sanitary meat grinder. This baby is one of a kind!!

Front view of old military Sanitary meat grinder. This baby is one of a kind!!

This unit is mobile and low enough not to be a back breaker.

This unit is mobile and low enough not to be a back breaker.

Fred hand carved the plunger from a Maple log he found in the wood pile.  The meat actually gets fed under the curved guard, the hole being used only for the plunger.  He used a hammer to shape the stainless steel and some rivets to secure it in place.

 

This was our first test of the grinder before Fred built the safety tray.

This is Alan during our first test of the grinder before Fred built the safety tray.

Our new meat scale for precision seasoning measurements.

Our new meat scale.

This scale works swell!!  When you are making seasoned meats of all kinds, you need to have an accurate scale or you can blow a batch of meat really fast.  Alan Ferber has been really helpful in teaching us new methods and little tricks to the trade. 

Allen explaining his methods to his students!

Alan explaining his methods to his students!

 

More instruction.

More instruction.

Alan located the scale for us to purchase and came over again to teach us more meat processing techniques.  He’s coming over again when we do more hogs to teach us yet more techniques that will make the processing quick and efficient.  Having been in the field for so many years, he is truly a professional meat cutter.

An eager student!

An eager student!

We have been processing meat for many years and yet are still learning important details.  Farming and the skills that go along with it are never boring.  I think it’s so important for people to know not only how to process their own food but also where that food comes from. 

 

 

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~Winter video THE CALLENS FARM ~

Here is a link to a short Callens Farm video.  Click the link below and enjoy.  Happy New year!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xK88OmRNN4

 

 

 

 

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~Let It Snow~

 

Wishing this snow would last until Christmas.

Wishing this snow would last until Christmas.

We have had a beautiful snow and it helps make this season bright!!  We finished all of the butchering and the bacon has been smoked and packaged in the freezer.  Yum!  It turned out really good.  It’s been fun cooking with a whole variety of meats.  As you can imagine, there have been a whole lot of potatoes served as well.

Fred smoked 50 pounds of bacon using apple wood.

Fred smoked 50 pounds of bacon using apple wood.

Fred’s red neck smoker unit.  Don’t laugh; it works great!  He likes to make things out of just about anything laying around the farm.

Fred was smoking the bacon late into the night after a long busy day on the farm. To him it is fun!!

Fred was smoking the bacon late into the night after a long busy day on the farm. To him it is fun!!

My girls are busy making our Christmas treats and the house has smelled simply terrific!  I’m bound and determined not to test anything until Christmas Eve and day.

Christmas baking, stuffed donuts.

Christmas baking, stuffed donuts.

Ginger bread cookies will taste delicious with a good cup of coffee or cocoa.

Ginger bread cookies will taste delicious with a good cup of coffee or cocoa.

The girls and I took a four hour road trip down to Nebraska last week.  We were blessed to see Clayton’s fiancé, Angelica, perform at her Senior recital at Wayne College.  What a fun trip and it was really an awesome performance.  Can’t wait for the wedding in May!

Angelica, deep in concentration at her Senior recital.

Angelica, deep in concentration at her Senior recital.

Talk about farm fresh! Tomorrow we are going to shuck some of the popcorn below and turn it into popcorn balls to be enjoyed on Christmas Day.  It’s nice and dry on the front porch and has served us well as a healthy, organic treat.

Pop corn on a winter porch.

Pop corn on a winter porch.

Silvana is home again for a while at least! We had such a fun time out in Wyoming in spite of the snowy weather.  She gave us a tour of the ranch and we were amazed at how lovely it was.  There were Elk everywhere.  It was a rare occasion….Fred came with us and I think he actually enjoyed himself.   There is no place he’d rather be than at home on his farm.

Elk hanging out on the side of the road.

Elk hanging out on the side of the road.

A happy reunion! Fred, Silvana, Marisa and Frenchy out in Wyoming.

A happy reunion! Fred, Silvana, Marisa and Frenchy out in Wyoming.

 

Life is good!

Decking the walls with bells.............

Decking the walls with bells………….

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