~Life in the Winter~

Fred and Caleb *

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The donkey’s hooves were so badly in need of a trim and Peter was nice enough to trim them for us.  What a job though!!  These hooves I doubt had ever been trimmed but he did a great job.  They looked like they were wearing shoes.

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Life goes on even in cold weather. Everything must be done no matter how terribly cold it is.  It’s hard not to notice the incredible beauty of our surroundings even as we labor.  What a blessing to see what our Creator has made for all.  We dream of spring even as more snow falls:)

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Our friends loaned us a couple of sheep bucks because we found that not all of our ewes were bred.  They are wearing a strap over their shoulders with chalk so that we can see if the bucks have been active.  It was another neighbor who ultra sound, preg checked our ewes.  What a blessing good neighbors are.

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Moon light and one of the milk cows.  You can almost feel the cold in the photo!  The snow crunches and squeaks when it is this cold!  Brrrrr

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A steer jumped out of the pen and had to be escorted back inside.  A three hand job!

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Some of the sheep herd eating fresh feed.  Contrary to what some folks believe, sheep are amazing animals.  Sheep give warm wool without giving up their lives.  Because inputs are lower on sheep, we have always made some sort of profit on them as livestock.   I do think though, the saying  “a sick sheep is a dead sheep” is true:)  They need constant shepherding just like in the bible!

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Fred opens gates for Marisa.  Thank God for the skid loader!  Marisa’s back is saved from carrying a very heavy load of hay!

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Caleb milks one of our family milk cows.  A blessing yes……..some would say a pain in the behind.  When you have milk cows, there is no way getting around a milking and you have to be there pretty much, in a timely manner, to milk the cows every single day.  It doesn’t matter who’s getting married, who’s having a gathering, who’s going on vacation.  The fact of the matter is that someone has to be there, twice a day.  If you weigh the blessings vs. the lack of freedom, I think the blessings win hands down.

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Knowing where your milk comes from these days is very important. Raw milk is far superior than store-bought milk. The economics of it, with a large family, is quite a benefit.  Our cows eat grass in season, alfalfa hay, corn and oats during the off-season.  We give them a mineral block and iodized salt free choice.  The return is greater than the inputs.  Our cows give us enough milk to make cheese, butter, cream, yogurt, ice-cream, milk and creamy soups.  We haven’t bought milk from town for over 25 years.  For a time we had milk goats.

If you don’t want to be tied down to a family cow, you should be willing to pay someone else well for the work and cost of milking cows.  It’s worth it.  ( You all should do some research on the importance of iodine.  Most people are short of iodine and you need to make sure you are getting plenty.  Your iodized salt shaker doesn’t have enough)

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Hauling feed keeps you warm.

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Isabella picks our eggs several times a day in order to avoid frozen eggs.   The kids enjoy their chores of course and being part of the family farm.  They reap the benefits of some really good home-grown food.

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These beauties are lucky to have the best of both worlds. They have the freedom of running around out-of-doors and they also get to stay warm and cozy in their nice straw beds in the barn.  We wouldn’t want them to lose any weight freezing to death out side at night now would we?  These hogs are sold to Niman Ranch and to private customers.  The flavor is absolutely delicious!   Below is our own Side Pork…….salt cured.  Yummy……..

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Winter days are fun.  They are made for relaxing, playing and eating fine foods with family and friends.

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Today we had Stromboli and Marinara sauce.  Caleb made the dough before the Confirmation Mass which he was lucky enough to serve at with our Bishop.  Truth be told, he had two batches of dough made up before I even woke up!  He milks at 5:30 A.M. in my defense and it is Sunday!

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Peter made these delicious Garlic Knots.  If you’d like to make these, here is how he makes them.  Make up some pizza dough. Any recipe will work.  I think his is from The Joy of Cooking book which he has memorized.  Let the dough rise.  Roll out and cut into strips and form into pretzel shapes using flour to make them less sticky and easier to handle.  Alow them to rise and puff out some.  Melt butter, a ton of chopped fresh garlic (I MEAN A TON)……..salt and parsley.  After the knots are cooked, throw them in a large bowl and mix in the buttery mix. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Holy smokes these are sinfully delicious.  They smell so good.

For my local readers, a new shipment of honey has been delivered to Brad’s Market in Minneota.  Grab some for those winter colds!  We will have some nice hogs ready the end of March.  If you would like one, give us a call so we can make an appointment for slaughter.  This is A number one pork.  If you have tasted our pork…….you might mention it to others.  Thanks:)

***

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About Callens Honey Farm

We live on a small family farm located in S.W. Minnesota, near the South Dakota border. The source of our honey is from white and red clover. The honey appears as liquid gold in color. Our honey is extracted using a hand cranked centrifugal force extractor. Then the honey is screened once into a holding container from which we later fill the small honey bottles. We do not heat treat the honey nor add any other ingredients. Pure and natural is our Minnesota honey! What could taste better?
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3 Responses to ~Life in the Winter~

  1. marymoocow says:

    Thanks for sharing all the lovely pictures! 🙂

  2. kathy antony says:

    Peter.. oh you need to teach TodD a) talk him into cooking and baking and b) to make me those garlic knots….i am drooling as we speak:)

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