All posts by tannachtonfarm

A 13- year homeschooling mom (youngest graduated in May 2015!) who is also a cattle and sheep farmer married to a cattle farmer. My three children and I enjoy traveling and spending time with family and friends. While this blog will chronicle our journey of Faith, Family, and Farm, opinionated articles on frugal living, traveling, recipes, and homeschooling experiences may be found sprinkled throughout!

June Grazing

Pretty good article by Hugh Aljoe, Director of Producer Relations, Pasture and Range Consultant at the Noble Research Institute as published in the June 2019 (Issue 6) of Progressive Cattleman entitled, June:  The most critical forage Month of the Year.


Many of his pasture preparation ideas i would not implement, but his final thought is well said and quite possibly all that needed to be said.

Keep Past Seasons, predicted weather in mind

Recent weather trends – featuring more-frequent fluctuations and greater intensities of extremes across the country (USA) – should influence our management toward a more conservative and intentional approach to our pasture and grazing management.  The greatest probability for a successful forage season comes from preparing operational strategies based upon predicted weather conditions as well as adapting our management strategies to address issues or opportunities carried over from the previous seasons. 

With June being the most critical forage month for most of us producers, our pasture and grazing management strategies should be fully implemented early in this month to capture the full potential of our growing season.

All the best!

tauna

Friday Night Homemade Pizza

A tradition in my family growing up was to have pizza on Friday night.  I’ve carried that through to my family and seldom do we miss having home made pizza on Friday evening, even though the children are adults now and two live away from here.

Growing up, home made pizza was Chef Boyardee from a box.  No matter; Mom doctored up so it was great!.

Here’s my recipe.

For the dough be sure to allow at least 2 hours. (this makes two large crusts, so before the second rise, i stick 1/2 into a Ziplock Freezer bag and pop it into the freezer. Just bring it out of the bag enough time ahead for it to thaw – don’t leave it in the bag because it will rise as it thaws)

Pizza Dough - Wall Street Journal

PIZZA DOUGH

THE INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups all purpose or bread flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoon sea or Real salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 1/3 cups warm water

THE STEPS

Add flours, honey, yeast, and salt to the bowl of a food processor or electric mixer and process to combine  (i just put it in the bowl of my Kitchenaid Artisan bowl and mix by hand briefly).  Add water and 2 tablespoons olive oil and continue to process until dough forms a ball.  If dough is sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.  If dough is too dry, add water 1 tablespoon at a time.

Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until you have a smooth elastic ball, about 5 minutes.  I use my Kitchenaid Artisan mixer.

Form dough into a smooth ball and place in a large bowl greased with olive oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.  Cut risen dough in half.  Knead each half briefly and then shape into a ball.  Place the two balls on a lightly floured surface and cover loosely with a clean towel or plastic wrap.  Let rest 1 hour at room temperature or in the refrigerator up to 24 hours.  If refrigerated, let dough come to room temperature before continuing.

Use a rolling pin to roll out and your hands to stretch each ball into a circle or whatever size your pizza pan.  If dough becomes too elastic, place it in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to relax before continuing.

The toppings:

That’s wide open and just your favorites.

If you want stuffed crust – Usually, but not always, i roll out the dough large enough that i can place thin slices of cheese along the edge of the pan and cover with dough for stuffed crust.

I top the dough with home made pizza sauce (still perfecting it, but it’s pretty good) or whatever commercial product you like.

Top with Parmesan or Parmesan mix shredded cheese.  I use 4C Homestyle Brand Parmesan or Parmesan/Romano Mix both of which i buy at Wal-Mart.

Next on is previous cooked, drained, and cooled 1 lb of our home raised ground beef (or i plan ahead and turn it into beef sausage – i don’t eat pig).

Thick sliced Portabella (Babybella) mushrooms and sliced natural olives.

Shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese, but often i add Cabot Extra Sharp White Cheddar in the 2 lbs package which is also available at Wal-Mart. 

Enjoy and Shabbat Shalom!

tauna

 

 

 

 

Comfort Food

Wowzer!  the wind has been blowing like a banshee all day and temps dropped from 75  to 45 in about 2 hours this afternoon.  Will spring ever arrive in earnest?!  Vina’s Brownies to the rescue.

VINA’S BROWNIES

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Cream together the softened butter and sugar, then add eggs one at a time.  Continue mixing and add remaining ingredients then bake in a greased 9×13 inch pan.  Bake about 40 minutes at 350°F oven.

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I sprinkled some dark chocolate Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Baking chips on top this before baking.  Turned out pretty good!  Chips available at many venues, i got mine online at Wal-Mart.

 

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One Millimeter At A Time

One of my favorite storytellers is Paul Marchant, who publishes short essays in Progressive Cattleman magazine, amongst others.  His May blog is apropos for our time as a reminder to take one day, one moment at a time.

His tongue-in-cheek humor may not relate to someone not familiar with raising, calving, caring for cattle, but for the most part – his messages are clear and straight forward.

A note i will add is that we often make decisions which make life more difficult than it should be.  Calving in the winter is not a good decision for neither man, nor beast.  In nature, those calves will largely die due to cold – when do the bison calve?  Mid-April to June in north central Missouri.  Where ever you live observe natural processes.  This will also demonstrate that huge calves will also result in pain and death.  Pain and death is a sad part of our fallen world, but there is no reason to encourage or perpetuate bad situations and decisions.  (bearing in mind, that nature being what it is, sometimes big calves just happen, but usually not).  Part of the flooding (much is just too much precipitation all at once) is also bad decision making, much of it out of the hands of we the people, but rather those made by government ‘professionals.’  But, all we can do is govern our own selves and decisions.

Shabbat Shalom!

tauna

 

 

Irons in the fire: One millimeter at a time

Paul Marchant for Progressive Cattleman Published on 24 April 2019

A happy and healthy post-prolapse pair enjoys an evening meal.

It was shaping up to be a good spring day. The snow was pretty much gone, and the mud was drying up. It was one of the first days of the year that dared me to attack it without the aid of muck boots or snow packs on my feet.

The light gray clouds in the sky danced with the wind and the sun, a ballet that enticed me to leave my coat in the pickup if not in the closet back at the house.

We were a couple of weeks into calving and were getting several calves a day. For the most part, luck had been on my side. Apart from a couple of bitter cold nights to start things off, we’d survived to that point without anything I’d classify as a wreck. I’d doctored a few for scours, so I was a little on edge, but we weren’t losing them.

I stopped in at the house for a quick lunch before we set back out to string up a hot wire around a corner of the southwest pivot where we were keeping a little bunch of heifers. Before we started with the project, I figured we should make a quick trip through the biggest herd of cows just to see if we needed to tag one or two new calves.

As the old pickup bounced across the ruts and brush, my eye was drawn to the far corner of the field, where an ominous scene was unfolding. I’d noticed the big old Simmy-cross cow earlier in the day. I expected her to calve that day. What I didn’t expect was what I found. She was one of the marker cows: big, black, white-faced with the old traditional Simmental markings you don’t see much of any more. She never raised much of a calf, but I kept her around, thinking she may someday produce a show-worthy 4-H calf.

As we approached, I could see my anticipated yet unwelcomed wreck had arrived. The old cow lay there on her left side, legs outstretched and a 120-pound calf shivering behind her. What distressed me was the full uterine prolapse that accompanied the calf. My heart sank as I beheld the scene.

“Do you want to call the vet?” my dad asked.

I answered in the negative. It was Saturday afternoon, and I figured Trevor, the ever-patient vet, would be at a roping in Pocatello or anywhere else where he could catch his breath and a break from his country vet dream life. As much as I wanted to outsource this burdensome project, I figured I could at least save a dollar or two, since I figured she’d die anyway.

There is no metaphor or simile or analogy to properly describe a full-blown bovine uterine prolapse and its treatment. It’s what you use to describe some other unfathomable task. When Sir Edmund Hillary asked what ascending Everest would be like, his Sherpa guide no doubt told him it was akin to fixing a prolapsed cow.

I raced back to the barn to fetch the umbilical tape and a needle. I had nothing to give for a spinal block, so I could only hope the old girl wouldn’t fight too much. I needed a little fight in her but not so much it made the job more impossible than it already seemed. She did indeed have enough fight in her to stand up and try to trot away. I roped her, got a halter on her and tied her to the back of the pickup. At least she could stand. I’d at least have a little bit of gravity to help me.

Two hands are hardly enough to start the job, so my 82-year-old father gloved up and dove into the fray with me. All you can do is start the job and practice a little faith and trust in what you’re doing. You just keep working, a millimeter at a time, and amid the doubts, anxiety and fear, you eventually see some progress. Really, though, it doesn’t seem like you see any progress until somehow, miraculously, everything is back in place.

The clock said 35 minutes had passed. It was an eternally long half-hour, but we got the job done. The working conditions were just slightly less than sterile, so I loaded the cow up with antibiotics and stitched her up, all the while praying everything didn’t go inside out again. I wouldn’t have bet the farm on it, but the old girl survived. So did the calf. As desperate as the situation seemed, we all came through it.

I couldn’t help but think of this miniature personal struggle as I’ve watched the massive and tragic devastation in the wake of Mother Nature’s powerful theatrics in Australia and America’s Heartland these past months. I’ve been hesitant to mention it in my insignificant prose because I am vastly underqualified and overwhelmed. My finite ability to comprehend the tragedy of it all hardly allows me to lend any commentary at all.

Yet I hear of and see people who have been ravaged and deeply impacted by these catastrophic events rise up and take their own brand of fight to the battle before they’ve even had a chance to put on a pair of dry socks. It gives me hope. Hope in not only their recovery but in all of us and our ability to overcome devastation, weakness and pettiness. They’re fighting on, one millimeter at a time.  end mark

PHOTO: A happy and healthy post-prolapse pair enjoys an evening meal. Photo by Paul Marchant.

Paul Marchant

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Diets Galore!

With the Feast of Unleavened Bread (one of Yah’s commanded feast/festivals for His Set Apart people), it brings to light His enduring love for us.  There are many specialty diets out there, but the one i focus on is the one YHWH defines for us in Leviticus 11.

Many scholarly types wish to change the dietary laws by twisting Scripture in other parts of the Bible (and some even use extra biblical passages as ‘gospel!) to support their ideology.  But honestly,  if God says, why manipulate and contort to in your own mind justify your man-made habits and traditions.

In the popular vernacular – ‘What would Jesus do?’  the answer is for sure He would not eat ham!  Are we to follow Jesus (Yahshua) or not?

Today’s menu includes salmon patties, so i’m replacing crushed crackers or breadcrumbs with rice and smashed sweet potatoes.

Israeli Salad would be another great side dish, but it is too much chewing for June (Allen’s 99 year old aunt) so my sunday lunches tend towards very soft.

On the side are new potatoes tossed with sea salt, olive oil, and rosemary and baked for 40 minutes.  Lettuce bed.  Dessert is our home raised, canned apples warmed with honey from Nebraska, butter from Ireland, and a good dose of cinnamon from somewhere.  Topped with fresh sweetened cream.

Yummy!

The Art of Balance

The best for animal husbandry and land stewardship is often a balanced decision.  These past two years in north-central/northwest Missouri and a bit of southwest Iowa makes grazing management decisions tough to call.  Two years of unusually dry and hot summers each followed by severe cold and long winters has left our pastures and pasture management in tatters.  The following article printed in Midwest Marketer magazine is from Iowa State University Extension beef specialists Erika Lundy and Denise Schwab offers some ideas for consideration.  We live in toxic endophyte fescue country, so it is not a best practice to encourage its growth with the addition of any type of applied nitrogen.  Legumes planted can mitigate the effects by replacing the poisonous grass, but must be managed with proper grazing.

Make Forage Growth A Priority After Hard Winter

 

Forage Growth A Priority - Iowa State University - 2019.jpg