Friday, July 22, 2016

My gift donkey didn't work but I'm still grateful

Remember Henna?? 
The big 'gift' donkey??
Well, Im very sad to say She didn't fit in here because she had issues with ducks and geese... Bad issues!! She wanted to stomp them!!
Huge problem since I use donkeys to help keep my poultry and waterfowl safe. They need to coexist in pastures and woodlots because 2 of the 4 areas and the new pasture has a creek or pond that the waterfowl can use better than any other livestock we have. 
Plus my ducks are so excellent at keeping the fly population down.. Nice for donkeys since flies tend to spread disease and make them so uncomfortable!
Such a sweet girl ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ im sorry she didn't work out.
I'm still glad I got her , short time it was, I learned something about donkeys..
And I'm not just talking about her aggressive behavior to waterfowl . Which I admit, really caught me off guard because the other 6 donkeys I've had/have could have cared less about the birds! Who knew??!

Donkeys are such individual, thinking animals.. It takes some of them awhile to trust. 
All of them do not make good guards, or pets or whatever. And some of them do make excellent guards , pets and even excellent dairy animals! ๐Ÿ˜‰
They are just so different from donkey to donkey! And each one needs to be treated and evaluated as an individual. 

Henna had a completley different vibe about her and she much preferred my husband to me. 
Which also surprised me because the other donkeys have always prefered me!

So I learned from the experience and got more comfortable being around a much larger donkey in the process.
I'm happy to say I found her the most perfect home ,,, one without ducks or geese!!!

Learning experiences are always good..
Even if you learn what not to do!

Have a blessed day! 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Farm Foodie

I know... I don't really like the name 'foodie' either. It sounds a bit uppity , maybe a tad pretentious , which my little country self Is neither!! 
But It's way better than calling myself ridiculously picky....
Add that on to my annoying food allergies... I'm just kinda hard to feed!
In Knoxville , Chattanooga and Especially Atlanta where I worked and played for years finding foodie type restaurants with very specialized appetizers and creative entrees wasn't that hard. As I got older and my food allergies got worse.. That was something different. 

 It's really not hard to make home grown food taste good at all.. But when you eat seasonally it can get repetitive at times and bore the taste buds a little. So here's A little summer foodie meal idea...

Every summer we get these wild current tomatoes that pop up everywhere. I have no ideal how they spread like they do! They are resistant to most of the things that wipe out my other tomatoes early. They have an incredible tomato flavor with a pop of well balanced sweetness!
But we can only eat so many tomato Last year I made a specialty ketchup wild tomato jam that just complemented our sweet potato fries so well.

I still have a few jars left so this year I wanted something different.
I had just made a big egg salad with my favorite white cucumbers , fresh dill and 12 big rich Muscovy eggs I found in a very hidden nest ( sneaky Muscovy!)
Rather than just eat with a sliced tomato on the egg salad sandwich for dinner .. Which my taste buds were telling me 'boring!!!' ...
I made another kind of savory jam that would complement the egg salad sandwich. 
So with a new very fragrant basil in the garden I made a small batch of 
Tomato Lime Basil Jam!!
It's Perfect... Any cherry tomato would probably work well in this recipe.
The recipe, I used the blue book preserving tomato jam recipe, added lime basil and lime juice. Easy!
I'm not in the mood to make bread..not in the summer.  It's just to time cumsumming ! And then I'll be stuck with a big ol' loaf of bread to try and eat the next few days.. 
Solution ... Pumpkin Biscuits! Now being southern I could eat biscuits all day long.
Adding pumpkin to them makes them healthier so I feel better about it when I eat them all day long! ๐Ÿ˜‰
There are still some Seminole pumpkins in the pantry farm last year. Roasted up, purรฉed with wheat flour, lard , little salt and baking powder ... Bake!
Topped with our own homegrown bacon custom cured by Bentons bacon in madisonville....
No bored taste buds! 
Muscovy duck egg and cucumber salad, on pumpkin biscuits with cured bacon and tomato lime basil jam ....
No , no bored taste buds here! At all!

I couldn't get anything this good in any restaurant we've been to in the last 6 years. So much flavor! And nothing to cause an allergy for me.

Farming pays off at the table ๐Ÿ˜€


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Don't look a gift donkey in the mouth

I'm happy to introduce Henna! 
A gorgeous bay colored jennet!
She is truly a gift... An unexpected , fell in my lap kinda gift that I almost refused!
She comes to me from a guy who bought geese from me a couple of months ago.. He liked my donkeys so he was inspired to get one to guard his cattle but it didn't work out..
So he texted me a couple of days ago and asked me if I would take her. He only had her for about a month or so.. Couldn't tell me much of anything about her...
I was hesitant ,,, it was so totally unexpected and I felt positive this donkey was probably a hot mess!
A crazy wild donkey is the last thing I want to deal with..I've got a crazy wild Jack already that needs loads of work and I'm training Rani's Jack colt.
But .... He said she was a big ol' pet ...and she looked so lonely and pretty in the picture he sent.
so off we went , we drive an hour and half north to check her out.
I'm so glad we did.... So I will not look a gift donkey in the mouth again!!
She's a sweetheart! And came right at a time I've been considering getting a couple of bigger donkeys. 
She's a lot bigger than the donkeys I've been working with.. 
If fact Henna is bigger than the donkey I sold last year because I thought she was too big!
I feel much more confident around donkeys now so I'm ready! With the  extra 4 acres my husband is fencing I have the room for some bigger donkeys.
My idea herd... 4 small standard Jennets and 2 large standard Jennets. 
Ofcourse a couple of jacks... Gotta have the boys since stud service is impossible to find here unless it's a mammoth donkey ... So not wanting a mammoth... 
At this time!!!๐Ÿ˜‰
Henna still has a scruffy winter coat. She's 2 years old so she's never foaled. I am hopeful she will be a good addition to our dairy donkey herd.
Oh... And she's plenty big enough for me ride!!!
A little added value there. 
She will need some work and I'm so excited to work with her.
Hoping my husband can get me a corral built this month sometime ( please husband please!!!)
I've been working with my wild crazy Jack using some new techniques I've learned and I'm happy to say that for the first time since I've had him for these 9 months he let me pet him today!!! Really pet him!! Pat his back and all!
A corral would make things so much easier though! 
But back to the Jennets... And Henna..
Isn't she gorgeous!! 
On the sad side of this post .. I sold my mini Jenny donkeys๐Ÿ˜Ÿ
Mini donkeys have never really been what I wanted to focus on.. But I love them!!!
Small standards have been my personal idea homestead dairy donkey for us.
Mini donkeys are so great.. Just so nice and non intimidating! 
I can't keep them all though...We decided if I'm going to get some bigger girls the minis must go on to other homes. I'm very happy to say all 3 minis went to fantastic homes!!! 
A lot of good came from the minis!
Im very thankful I had them because A major thing happened with them.. And with my smallest standard Rani...
With them being small I wasn't intimidated and I gained lots of confidence working with them. I wouldn't be here getting into the bigger donkeys if I didn't start with them!!

The ever changing farm... 
Gotta be flexible. Gotta go with the flow..

The work load is heavy, especially this time of year! So it's nice to have livestock I gain so much joy from.
They really do make the farm a happier place for me.
So praise to God for leading me this way .. 
That's a huge blessing!

And I'm still thinking of how close I was to telling that guy thanks, but no thank you on Henna because I was afraid..
I seriously almost looked a gift donkey in the mouth! 

Till next time! Happy Sunday!