We (the Four Country Gals) have entered a contest called “She Can Pitch” sponsored by Grow America. We have 15 days to garner the most “votes” via social media platforms to win $10,000. We’re absolutely, positively, sure you and your friends and families will propel us to the top of the votes.
We plan to use the winnings for the Cajeta project. While we are personally funding the goats, and all the research, development, product testing, and licensing, we are seeking funds to assist with building the commercial kitchen.
The commercial kitchen will be housed in a 20 ft shipping container. That will help keep it clean and sanitary here on our windy, sandy desert. It will have electricity, and water, as well as an electric stove, refrigerator, all the required sinks (3 compartment, hand washing, and mop sink), and suitable product and supply storage.
So what is cajeta?
It’s that incredibly delectable concoction made from fresh goat milk, sugar, Mexican Vanilla, and backing soda. The very long (a little over 2 hours) cooking and stirring process create a silky caramel that melts on your tongue, and makes you want more, more, more.
You can use it for most any desert application, from a filling to a topping. Use it on pancakes or waffles. Add it to your coffee. When no one’s looking… eat it straight from the jar!
We’re fortunate to have the goats. I am willing to milk them. All we have to add is the cane sugar, Mexican Vanilla from Blue Cattle Truck (a Utah company) and baking soda. After that, we load it into jars, label it, and sell it at our local Farmer’s Market, as well as in local gift shops, and via the Internet.
Here’s how you can help us. Go to Grow America each day and vote. Be sure to post to twitter that you have voted and encourage others to vote. Post to your Facebook page and do the same. Do this every day from April 15 through April 30. We’ll appreciate it for sure.
If you missed these guys last year, don’t miss them this year. They are “Farm to Fork” personified.
I (Shari) got hooked on them last year, and believe I’ve watched every episode. Eight brothers, one sister, and one Mama all working together to bring fresh, vegetables and fruit to folks in western Pennsylvania.
Tonight they’re guests on #AgChat, so be prepared… if you follow Shari (FourCountryGals) on Twitter, or on Facebook, there will likely be a lot of #hasthag notes on each, especially noticeable on Facebook.
Now, aside from the fact that these young men are total hunks, they’re also very good farmers. They follow the ideals of Joe Salatin, using bio-dynamic methods. They’re raising pigs, chickens and beef this year in addition to the acres and acres of vegetables.
Get hooked on Farm Kings by going to GAC April 11. You can watch a marathon of last season’s shows all day long. The premier of this season is on at 9:00 pm ET.
Incoming search terms:
- farm kings organic
- freedom farms farm kings about them
- story behind freedom farms farm kings
Damn! We’re so tired of the below zero mornings while doing chores, only to have to repeat the process with the windchill below zero in the afternoon. Mind you, this is an area that routinely hits 100+ degrees in the summer time.
Let me share with you exactly what we do on a typical week day in this weather..
Mom usually starts the day shortly after 5 AM. It’s lights on in the kitchen and check the coffee pot time. Even though the machine is on automatic, Mom doesn’t trust it. We don’t trust that Mom set it right, but that’s another story. The kitchen is her domain until she gives it up.
Bev is next up about 5:30. By shortly before 6:30 she’s out to pre-trip and start the school bus. In below zero weather, all kinds of things can happen. She’s already had two dead batteries, the fuel filter has frozen up twice, and her brakes have been frozen. For a while it was a real problem for her when the school district, which includes the Dixie area of Utah had 3 minute idle rule. That was before the deep freeze, and the kids were bringing blankets on the bus.
Cindy is stirring about the time Bev leaves. Since Mom has generally returned to her room to read, all the dogs are still quiet. It’s all about Mom as to when the dogs begin their day. After all, she’s the “treat giver”. Mom takes Cindy’s coffee in to her. That’s ok with all of us, as Mom is really Cindy’s mom. Chewy, the Border Collie knows she gets first treats, and is waiting on the foot of the bed. One small beg out of Chewy’s mouth, and most of the other dogs figure it’s their turn, too.
I’m the sleepy head, as is my dog, Sarah, the Finnish Spitz. About time Bev comes in, I’m crawling out of my warm bed. Sarah, generally asleep on the couch also welcomes the morning with her famous Finnish Spitz “lecture”. Some day I’ll get a recording of it.
The dogs all line up for “pills”. Koda, the collie/shepherd gets her insulin shot, thyroid pill and 1/4 tsp of peanut butter. Mindy, the old30 lab, gets her thyroid and and anti-itch meds along with 1/3 of a marshmallow. The rest of the dogs get 1/3 marshmallow each, even though they need no pills.
By 9:30 AM, it’s time for chores. What’s the temp? Is the wind blowing? Which way and how strong? The answers to those questions tell us what to wear. For the past couple of mornings, at -16F we’re wearing long underwear, jeans, shirts, sweatshirts, bib, heavy farm coats, a couple of hats (I wear a ball cap with either a bomber or duck hunter hood), and gloves or maybe even the glove/mitten combination. Sometimes we put on muck boots, or snow boots. I usually get away with my Ariats and thick wool socks.
Our garb reminds of when I was little in Wyoming and was dressed in a snow suit. I spent all my time walking around with my arms out and prayed I wouldn’t fall down.
On our way out, we pull the water hose from our tub, where it’s been thawing after last night’s chores. We check the “chicken bucket” for goodies. Finally we pick up the filled water bottles for the rabbits, and begin the trek to the animals. It’s been so cold the last few days, that we’ve left Chewy in for fear of frostbitten feet.
First stop for me is the sheep and cow water. I bust out as much ice as possible from the Pygmy goats and from Zena’s pan. I also have to work on Coco the cow’s bucket since she chewed/played with her heater. It takes a couple of minutes to fill the sheep water (it has a heater), and the rest of the water. I disconnect the hose and immediately replace the two containers covering and protecting the frost-free head.
In the mean time, Cindy is trudging north about 400 feet to the rabbit/goat barn. Once there, she’ll toss alfalfa to the goats (outside if there’s no wind or inside if it’s windy or snowy), and feed the rabbits. Then she’ll change out the frozen water bottles and take care of the goat water. Some days that means busting ice before adding enough water for them to drink within the next hour.
I feed the Pygmies and the Dwarf boys, heading over to the sheep. The sheep are going through about a bale a day now. As I toss the alfalfa flakes into their feeder, I count heads and do a visual health check. We have one old gal (we call her blue tag). She has a lot of wool on her face and doesn’t see real well. I toss her a portion, hoping she finds it before the others track it down.
Coco’s next. She’s one big love bug. No matter how cold, she has to be petted and loved before she eats. She’s pregnant as are all the other female animals. While there, I toss a 1/2 flake to Zena, who’s due to kid February 14. Trust me… we didn’t plan that one.
If Cindy is still working the rabbits, i head out to help her. It sometimes takes two of us if we have pans to clean, or bunnies to check. Also, depending upon the condition of the goat water, Cindy may have to empty the barrel. Right now, we’re bucketing water to them as the hose snapped off at both ends. The cold got to it.
Half an hour or so later, we trudge back to the chicken house and aquaponics house. The chickens are so tired of the cold, they’ve all but quit laying, even though we have a heat lamp on them. Can’t say as I blame them. It’s cold in that external nest box. We’ve pulled more than one frozen egg from there. Earlier this week, the aquaponics system froze up, even though we had some heat to it. Not a pretty sight at all. The fish are all at the bottom of the big tank with ice above them.
With chores done, it’s time to head for the house. If we’re lucky, there’s at least one cup of coffee left. Each of us retreats to a computer to blog, study, and play. We’ll relax or if necessary, run into Enterprise for things like clinic appointments. If we have to go, we’ll do several things at one time, like stop at the grocery, as well as the hardware store for things on lists we keep.
Bev is back out on her bus trip by 1:45 and will be home about 3:30. At 4, we begin getting dressed for afternoon chores. Again… what’s the weather doing? You’d think we could wear less stuff in the afternoon, but the wind picks up and the windchill drops like a rock. I think it’s worse in the afternoon than in the morning.
Mom usually has dinner ready by 5. After that, it’s TV time for a couple hours before the day ends about 8 pm. Yeah, we’re in bed early, but then… everything starts again in the morning, no matter what the weather is doing.
We’ve chosen to have livestock and fully understand that no matter the weather, they get fed and watered on schedule. During kidding and lambing season (March-April), we’re up all hours of the night, and sometimes even all night just to make sure everything goes right. No matter how hot it gets, how cold it gets, or even how wet it gets (one summer thunderstorm dropped 3 inches of rain right at chore time), we get chores done on schedule. Only two things chase inside… lightening and blowing sand.
Incoming search terms:
- barrel of peanutbutter feed for dogs or livestock
- livestock peanut butter