Can You Handle the Cuteness?

Who doesn’t love baby animals? Baby calves have the most precious little faces with big eyes and long lashes. We had a weekend full of brand new baby calves and I just have to share the cuteness. Get ready to say, “awwwwww”!

One of Scott’s responsibilities is to check all of the expectant momma cows. The whole family decided to tag along on Saturday, and boy are we glad we did.  All six grandkids got to witness a baby calf being born!

Then we headed back to the barn to visit two more calves who were about a day old. The babies of our family, Claire and Clayton, enjoyed meeting this sweet baby.

We continued driving around looking for calves and witnessed this sweet moment of a momma nursing her baby.

The next morning, Grandpa, Krisie, and Claire rescued two calves that had been abandoned by their moms. One of the babies was still wet from being born, so Claire helped dry her off.

What do you do with abandoned baby calves? You take them to your house and bottle feed them! It started to rain so we moved them to the shelter of the patio. Grandpa gave Eli a lesson on how to hold the bottle. The little bull calf was shaking, so he was wrapped in a towel while Krisie fed him. The kids had so much fun (I’m pretty sure the adults did too), and they learned a lot.

Just to push the cuteness factor up a notch, we had a baby bull calf born a few weeks ago that was so teeny tiny. He was about the size of a dog! Can you handle all of the cuteness?!

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Butter Me Than You

Have you tasted homemade butter made with fresh cream? Oh. My. God. It is so delicious! We have excess cream for sale at the dairy, so if you have been entertaining making your own butter, now is the time!

Homemade butter is so much better than store bought, and you know exactly what’s in it– just cream and a little bit of salt. You can even make a giant batch and freeze individual portions. Just look at how pretty and yellow it is!

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So how do you make butter you ask? It always sounded like a big undertaking to me, but it’s really not that hard. The first time I made butter with my mother-in-law, Elyse, I couldn’t believe how easy it was.  It was such a great bonding moment for us too.  Knowing that I would be moving to the farm soon, I realized that she was teaching me one tiny lesson on how to be a dairyman’s wife. I will always treasure that memory.

Okay, enough of the mushy stuff, let’s get down to the details. All you need is cream, a food processor or blender, a little salt, and a wooden spoon. **Let the cream sit out for a bit before making butter. This will allow the cream to churn faster.**

1. Pour cream in to the food processor approximately 2/3 full.  Run the food processor for a few minutes. You will notice the cream becoming thicker and eventually separating into fat (butter) and liquid (whey). You can also hear the difference in your processor. This should take a few minutes. If you are a visual person, check out the prairie homestead for pics of the stages the cream will go through.

2. Strain off the liquid. This is old fashioned buttermilk. You can save it for baking or discard it.

3. You will need to wash the butter in order to remove as much buttermilk as possible to prevent premature spoiling. Place butter in a large bowl and add a a few cups of cold water. Press butter with a wooden spoon in order to remove as much buttermilk as possible. Discard the liquid and repeat until the water is clear. This will take about 4-5 times. Use very salty water for the last wash.

4. Place butter in small containers and refrigerate or freeze. Enjoy!

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Chasing Chickens

One of our daily chores on the farm is collecting eggs. The twins and I frequently participate in this job. Head out to the chicken coop, open the back of the boxes, and deposit the eggs in a bucket for collection. Easy enough, right?

 

Well, not when you have crazy chickens who like to hide their eggs! The boys and I have a real life Easter egg hunt on our hands. Just when you find their hiding spot, they move to a new location.

With Grandpa’s help, the boys raided their newest stash–under a tractor in the tall grass.

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Well, at least it keeps them busy! On a side note, aren’t the eggs just gorgeous? And with all of the roaming our chickens do, they are simply delicious!

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Breaking Barn

So you’ve heard of a barn raising before, right? Well, have you heard of a barn moving?!

Gene and Scott, with the help of three other guys, drove to Mississippi, disassembled a milk barn, loaded all of the parts on to two trailers, and drove home, all in three days! Talk about hustling!

The day after getting home, the guys starting unloading the trailers at the dairy.

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The plan is to install the milking equipment in our current barn between milkings. Since the cows are milked twice a day at noon and midnight this will be quite a feat!

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