The beauty of farm life is that is has seasons. Some seasons are filled with bountiful life, the pastures swaying with green grass, the garden yielding its fruit, and the fresh newborn livestock. There are seasons of death, livestock that has fattened up and is ready for slaughter, the fields dry up, and the trees are bare with nothing to offer but the sight of their branches bending with the cold winter winds. The gardens sleep. Then there are seasons of planning and hoping, gathering and preserving. No matter the time of year, life on the farm is filled with adventure for the entire family.
This past month has been filled with much excitement. The farm is producing offspring. We have had 3 calves and dozens of lambs born. The kids have been enjoying the game of catching the lambs and holding them. A few lambs were abandoned and the kids have so lovingly taken them in to feed and keep them. It is so adorable to see the little lambs follow the children around as if they are their mothers. The girls had been making bottles to feed them through the night and all through the day. Now they are getting old enough that they can eat 4 meals a day. The little lambs always cry for their bottles of fresh milk.
We have a trampoline and one day some big kids were jumping and one of the bars for the net got damaged. The net caved in so I told the kids they needed to wait until dad fixed the bar.
Junior: "I can fix it."
Me: "You won't know how to fix the bar. Let dad fix it."
Junior: "I have an idea..."
Before I could answer him, he was out the door. In the flurry of getting breakfast made, I must have forgot our earlier conversation because I looked out the kitchen window and saw Junior tying bale twine together. I did not think much of it. Then I see him walking across the yard stretching the bale twine. I followed the bale twine to its source and saw it attached to the net. He did fix it. He had it pulled back in place with a 200 foot piece of bale twine that was about 12 pieces in total. This is a photo I took but since it was hard to see the twine, I marked it in with hot pink. Isn't that just so cute that Junior figured out how to fix the trampoline? Later I asked him what he did and he said, "I fixed it."
Pig Butchering time
Here you see Owen and the boys salt curing the sides of bacon and the hog jowl. He cured them at his home for 2-3 weeks and then hickory smoked them. No nitrates or nitrites, just pure wholesome raised goodness. These pigs were raised on our pasture, fed our milk and whey, and given some organic, NonGMO feed.
I had fun making sausage patties and then pressure canning them. If you are curious on how to can sausage patties, make sure to watch Volume 3 of Homesteading for Beginners. I show a lot on meat canning on there. It is so satisfying to pop open a can of sausage and serve it to my family at mealtime.
The pizza was a hit for everyone. I think we will be making pizza more often now that we have our lovely pizza sausage canned. I canned about 12 pints of it. Each pint will cover several pizzas. What a blessing.
Oh, the Hog Jowl. Did I mention hog jowl? You may wonder what this is. It is the meat from the side of the pigs face. Sounds utterly disgusting, right? Well, you have not had bacon until you tried hog jowl. Hog jowl is a Southern delicacy. I finally got to try it. I must say, the smell was intoxicating. Smoked to perfection! I sliced it country style and put it on a baking sheet in the oven on 400˚F. That cooks the bacon perfectly.