Oct 30, 2014

Just like that...They are off!

After  6 months of watching this amazing little seed be planted, germinating, growing into a beautiful green plants and then dry and die down, the soybeans have been harvested. Rain is coming the guys worked near round the clock to get these beans harvested and in the grain bins.

So we watched these plants grow what now?

This particular field of soybeans yielded around 70 bushels per acre.  (this is pretty good)

They had around an 11% moisture level. This is important because the bean has to be dry enough to store in the grain bin on the farm or be taken to town and sold at the grain elevator. You will get docked on price for too high moisture or the beans will rot if you put them in the bin too wet.

The price of soybeans now is around $10 per bushel.

Each semi can hold approx. 1,000 bushel of beans that is about $10,000. Talk about a precious load that semi is carrying down the road.

Now that $10,000 is not a profit, in fact with commodity prices being as low as they are and the cost of fertilizer, seed and fuel prices being so high, farmers are seeing a much smaller profit margin than would be liked.
Farmers have lots of overhead to take into consideration and lots of risks too. Project #watchthemgrow


Oct 28, 2014

Barbasol Blowout!

In 1919 a gentleman by the name of Frank Shields a former professor at MIT developed the first shaving cream that did not have to be worked into a lather. He wanted a product for men that could be used in a tough beard and on sensitive skin like he had with little effort.. In the 1920's and 30's even through the depression the company Barbasol continued to grow with nearly 400 employees. They got famous celebrities, athletes and musicians to endorse their product. Barbasol even ran ads in the 50's stating that men who used their product were more likely to get the ladies! You could have all this for merely 75 cents. There were marketing geniuses even back then.
  When Frank developed this product I think it would be safe to assume he never had a thought in his mind about this product being used on cattle.
Last week I helped some friends get their sale cattle ready for their farm open house. They have shorthorn cattle and have a beautiful farm, Turner Shorthorns check them out to learn more about shorthorn cattle. I am now officially trained in foaming cattle using non other than Barbasol. Getting calves ready is a pretty time consuming process. This is an old technique that can be used to add some body to the cattle's hair to make it look fluffy  (in simple terms) and it costs much less than some other products.
I am a sheep girl not a cattle girl but  have learned a lot about cattle in the last few years. It appears my children have a hankering for cows. I never thought I would become a seasoned pro at using shaving cream on cattle.  Here is the beautification using shaving cream works.  

This is a serious blow dryer for livestock. It blows heated air
on the animal to dry the hair or wool. We do use this on sheep too.


All the hair is brushed up and towards the front of the heifer.

Using a stiff brush you brush the shaving cream into the hair.


Final step is to blow out the hair to be fluffy!

Oct 24, 2014

Project #Watchthemgrow Week 24

Week 3
May 9th the soybean seeds were planted in the ground. 6 months ago they were not event a little sprout and now they are ready to be harvested. It should be in the next few days that the fields dry out so the combine can get into the field. The beans are ready but with the wet chilly weather we have had here in Ohio, the field conditions have been a little set back.

Week 9 Plants are getting a little foliar feed aka (vitamins for the plants)

Week 14

The beans are ready for harvest. Week 24 

Oct 18, 2014

These are a few of my favorite things...

This will be a new mini series I will run on the blog. There are some things that I just love and want to share. This could be a product, app, article of clothing, kitchen gadget or product I find to be fantastic. 
I am by no means a product junkie. In fact I have said many times the kids heifers (young female cows) use more products in their hair and get more pampered  than me.
I randomly picked up this hairspray at TJMaxx a few years ago and have used it ever since. It has a stong hold but doesn't  have a build up and make your hair feel stuck in one place. Its name fits it well #w8less. It has become a must have on hand tool for my hair. #Rusk 

Who Says you Can't Have Everything!

This is such a great recipe to serve a crowd if you want a hot sammy but do not have the time to make individual servings for a crowd.  Make your bread if you are an over achiever. I like to over achieve from time to but lets get real right... it is not always possible. Go to your local bakery or grocery and pick up a fresh loaf or two.  I do some canning and I used my hot pepper pickle mix to substitute the pepperoncini slices.  Another shortcut is instead of using fresh herbs from the garden use an Italian dried spice blend. Your taste buds will water on this one and you will appear to have Everything Together including the bread, even if you used some shortcuts.
Italian Toasted Sub
1 loaf Italian bread (I used an everything bread)
1 C mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley
4-5 basil leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
1 T pepperoncini brine from the jar
1/4 C red onion, sliced
1/4 C pepperoncini pepper slices
Assorted salamis
Sliced provolone
Sliced mozzarella
Sliced muenster cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Slice the bread at 1-inch intervals, but don't slice all the way through the bottom.  Mix the mayo, onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, and the pepperoncini brine together.  Spread this mixture down in between the sliced parts of the bread.  Alternating the cheese varieties, shove a slice of cheese into each cut.  Then alternating the salami varieties, shove about five slices into every other cut.  Shove the pepperoncini slices and red onion slices into the remaining cuts, meaning the cuts with no salami in it.  Wrap the whole thing tightly with foil and bake about 25-30 minutes or until the outsides are a little crispy and the cheese is all melted.

Get Fresh in your Kitchen

This is my favorite tomato soup recipe and it is so simple and freezes well. I make this soup when the tomatoes are ripe and can enjoy it all fall and winter long. Serve this up with your version of toasted cheese and you have a meal that not only comforts but tastes like a Fresh tomato straight from the garden even when those tomatoes are not in season. The excess onion and carrots are perfect to add to tomato sauce and it great flavor instead of tossing when finished.

Tomato Soup
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1½ cups chopped red onions (2 onions)
2 carrots, unpeeled and chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
4 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, coarsely chopped (5 large)
1½ teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
¼ cup packed chopped fresh basil leaves
3 cups chicken stock 
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup heavy cream
Julienned fresh basil leaves, for garnish

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and carrots and sauté for about 10 minutes, until very tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar, tomato paste, basil, chicken stock, salt, and pepper and stir well. Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are very tender.

Add the cream to the soup and process it through a food mill into a bowl, discarding only the dry pulp that’s left. Reheat the soup over low heat just until hot and serve with julienned basil leaves and/or croutons.

Oct 12, 2014

Back to the Basics

Over the years I have developed a list of things I like to keep on hand in the kitchen. This list ranges from pantry items to freezer and the refrigerator. If you have anything to add I would love to hear it and add it to the list.
I hope that you find this helpful useful.

High Fructose CORN Sryup Facts

A bushel is measured by pounds, that is 56 pounds of shelled corn. There are approximately 72, 800 kernels of corn in a bushel.
That is around 40-60 ears depending on ear size.
The U.S. is the largest producer of corn.
123.4 bu/acre is the average bushels harvest in 2012.
 Things you may not realize that are made with corn










shoe polish



rubber tires



High Fructose Corn Syrup us also made from corn. There is lots of mis information out there about HFCS. Here are some common myths.

Myth: Sugar is healthier than high fructose corn syrup.

Reality: Afraid not. High fructose corn syrup is basically the same as sugar—both in terms of composition and in the number of calories they contain. Since high fructose corn syrup and sugar are so similar, the human body absorbs them the same way.

Myth: High fructose corn syrup is to blame for obesity and diabetes.

Reality: Nope. There is no scientific evidence that high fructose corn syrup is to blame for obesity and diabetes. In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture data shows that consumption of high fructose corn syrup has actually been declining while obesity and diabetes rates continued to rise (see chart). Around the world, obesity levels are also rising even though HFCS consumption is limited outside of the U.S. Many other factors contribute to rising obesity levels including changes in lifestyle, diet and exercise and are unrelated to HFCS.

Oct 10, 2014

Clownin Around

This has been a busy week. We are home to the last county fair in Ohio and fair week brings all kinds of fun. There was a rodeo and I snuck  over in between fitting sheep. If you are not from the sheep world that is a  glorified  name for a sheep wool (hair) stylist.  Each sheep is washed dried and then carded (fluffing the wool) then we trim it.
I got to meet the rodeo clown. And he was indeed quite the  clown. I decided my life is part civilized  and part refined red neck but I love it. It's not every day you run into an Amish rodeo clown called "Showtime". 

Oct 8, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

I love this photo! Campbell is being judged in her first pee-wee showmanship for sheep. Such determination at a young age.

Oct 7, 2014

This Bud's for you!

When you say Clydesdale often times what comes to mind are the famous Budweiser Clydesdales. What started as a gift from two Busch brothers to their father has turned into a time honored American icon. In 1940 they started breeding  Clydesdales and today there are over 100 horses in the breeding program.

The requirements to become a  Budweiser horse is pretty specific:
  1. Age: four years of age or older
  2. Height: at least 6 feet tall from ground to shoulder
  3. Weight: between 1,800 and 2,300 lbs.
  4. Appearance: Bay coat, four white legs, white blaze, black mane and tail
These are some pretty massive gentle giants but they sure can put away the feed. Their food is usually delivered to the event location via UPS prior to the horses arrive. Each Budweiser Clydesdale hitch horse will eat as much as 20 to 25 quarts of whole grains, 50 to 60 pounds of hay, and drink 30 gallons of water per day.

The Fairfield County Fair is pretty proud to have the Clydesdales at our fair this week. A lot of work was done by local business owners, distributors and the fair management to make this possible to bring them to our fair.  Ten horses are transported in three 50-foot tractor-trailers. The first rig that pulled in was driven by a female which was pretty impressive, then she jumps out of the cab and she is the tiniest cute little thing maneuvering this big tractor-trailer, like it was nothing.  What a fun job! The team stops each night at local stables so the horses can rest. Each trailer is equipped with air-cushioned suspension and thick rubber flooring to ensure a smooth and comfortable ride.

Clydesdale horseshoes measure more than 20 inches from end to end and weighs about 5 pounds - a regular horse's shoe is about 10 inches and weighs about a pound.

Meet Clyde the Dalmatian mascot. He was such a friendly dog, loved the crowd, the people and even took a little self guided tour around the fairgrounds.

Oct 6, 2014

Take a hop back in time

I like to think that I a techy but I am really not. I like gadgets but I also need to keep things simple and easy. I came across this app called Timehop I thought I would share with you. This application  will allow you to log in with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare, Dropbox, Google+ and your photo Gallery.

 It pulls from your offline  folders from each application you link to timehop. It will show you photos that you took one year ago on that day. It uses the embedded date stamp from the photo to remind you of what you were doing on that day.

This only takes a few minutes to get up and running and more less is a walk down memory lane. The great thing about this is it is private to you. Only you can see what was happening one year ago on that day, unless you choose to share with whomever you choose.
Another cool feature is it will randomly give you a fact about something that occurred on that same day on a random year.

Oct 5, 2014

Save the Best for Last

The one the only Fairfield County Fair gets underway today. I realize that not all of you will have the chance to attend our great county fair in Ohio. I wanted to highlight some of the best things that represents my county fair. Let me know what you enjoy most about your county fair. The fairground consists of 65 acres, was founded in 1850, and is the oldest fair of continuous operation in Ohio.  After gas was discovered in 1889, the Fairfield County Fair was famous for “Racing by Gas Light”, and the “Lake of Fire”. Can anyone tell me what the Lake of Fire used to be? I am not familiar with this one.

10. We have some really old buildings that have been maintained. The most famous is probably the Round Cattle Barn. I appreciate mixing in the old with the new buildings.

9. Mt. Pleasant overlooks the fairgrounds....it is just magical!  It is a striking and picturesque rock formation rising abruptly almost 300 feet above the surrounding plain.  The view from the top has been described as “sublime”.  Much Indian lore is attached to Mt. Pleasant and the surrounding country.  Mt. Pleasant aka Standing Stone  was a well-known and famous landmark to the Indians, traders, explorers and early settlers.

8.The camping. While you may not spend every night in the camper, having a spot is a must. To get a spot is difficult. We all joke that if you end up with a good spot someone must have died or moved out of the county. We have a great spot but it didn't come easy. I slept in a lawn chair overnight in the rain so I could be first in line to secure this spot. For the record, it was completely worth it!!

7. Mule Races, who doesn't like to see adults bouncing on the back of a stubborn mule around a sand track. It never fails to be entertaining.

6. Combine Demolition Derby is where retired combines and their drivers bash one another until there is only one moving Combine left.  This is something I have always wanted to participate in and it on my bucket list. There are sparks, parts falling off and pure redneck entertainment.

5. Fair Food: Everyone has their preferences. I must get a Madison's Fish Sandwich, a hot ham and Cheese sandwich from the Bloom Carroll Lion Club, pork tenderloin sandwich from Rubes and the Cider slushy from Hugus Fruit Farm is a staple.

4. The Panorama When you are in 4-H and FFA this is the main event to kick off the fair. The new Queen is crowned all the state winners are recognized and the outstanding 4-H'ers are named. Over the years there have been corny skits, flash mobs and lots of entertainment, always a great way to start the fair off and let the livestock competitions begin.

3. The competition of the kids. Seeing the 4-H and FFA kids show off their year of hard work and watching the excitement in their eyes is something that can not be described. There is an element of everyone is a winner but a love of good competition. Win or loose there are so many life lessons to be learned from both experiences.

2. Time of Year Fall is a perfect time to have the last fair in Ohio. The leaves are turning and for the most part the temperatures are perfect. It just sets the mood and welcomes in the fall fashions and boots.

1. The people, when asking some of my friends what their favorite part of the fair is, the majority said "The People" It really takes you back to some pretty darn good memories of 4-H and FFA. You do not have to stroll very far to see a familiar face. It is a sort of Homecoming and the perfect time to reminisce the good ole days.

What are you county fair favorites? I would love to hear.

Oct 4, 2014

Irons in the Fire

What a day! Today was move in day at our county fair. There is 35 minutes left in this day so I am barely getting my blog in today, but by golly I am getting it done. #write31days

It is after 11pm and I am ironing a turtleneck if that tells you anything, and trying to think about what to write. When you resort to ironing after 11pm on a Saturday night it tells you something....you need more time and a friend willing to watch you iron so you can catch up.

So when you are short on time and have a list of to-do's longer than when you began your day you need  wine....just kidding but not really.

We all have crazy days  so keep what you can simple and don't stress about the small things. Enjoy this recipe that is nothing to stress over and it will keep your kids bellies full, smiles on their faces and time for you to catch up on ironing turtlenecks.

Heavenly Ham Sandwiches

6 pound bone in ham
8 ounces yellow mustard
1 pound brown sugar
24 dinner rolls

Cook ham in a crock pot (be sure to use a crock pot liner for easy cleanup). Cover with water. Cook 8-10 hours on simmer. Remove and cool. Shred  ham and put back in crock pot. Stir in sugar and mustard. Cover and cook on low just until heated.  Serve on dinner rolls.

In honor of this ham recipe take a few minutes to watch this fun clip to learn more about who is raising the ham you buy in the grocery.
Meet an Ohio Ham Farmer and my friend Mike!

Oct 3, 2014

Project #WatcthemGrow Week 21

These plants were planted 21 weeks
ago and will be harvested soon.
 Soybean harvest is under way here in Ohio. These soybeans were planted 21 weeks ago. Where has the time gone? It seems as if we were just getting these seeds in the ground and now we are just weeks away from a harvest. The beans are now brown but they are not quite ready be to harvested.  

These little soybeans provided me with an opportunity to travel all the way to Beijing, China last week. I traveled on behalf of the United States Soybean Export Council with three other farm moms to chat GMO's  with Chinese women. This is a very important market for our U.S. soybeans. Every third row you see in the field is exported. Stay tuned for more writing on GMO's. This is not just a hot topic here in the U.S. but mom in China have lots of questions too. We will get to the bottom of the GMO debate.

The pods are not quite dry. When ready
to harvest the soybean will be completely
round. The beans on the left is what is
inside the pod on the right.

Here are some fun facts about the soybean!
  • The soybean was first cultivated in northern China and from there it spread into Japan, Korea and the rest of southeast Asia
  • The soybean is a legume
  • Elevators in the Statue of Liberty use a soybean-based hydraulic fluid
  • Soybeans are an important ingredient for the production of crayons. In fact, one acre of soybeans can produce 82,368 crayons
  • Soy crayons have been created to replace toxic petroleum-wax crayons. Soy crayons are safer to use, brighter in color, and less expensive to produce
  • The FDA approved soy as an official cholesterol-lowering food
  • Soybean oil is the most widely used edible oil in the United States; you can find it in mayonnaise, salad dressing, processed cheese products, dessert frostings and much more
  • Some of the better known soybean products include soymeal, soymilk, tofu, meat alternatives, tempeh, miso, soy sauce, soy cheese, soy cream cheese, soy flour, infant formula, biodiesel fuel and animal feed

  • Oct 2, 2014

    Getting Saucy in the Kitchen

    This is a Cortland Apple. It has a red
    peel and a very white center.
     It has been a long standing tradition in my family to make applesauce when the apples are in season. This helps you to enjoy a taste of fall all year long. Today is the big apple saucing day.
    This is such a healthy nutritious fruit or as my kids call it dessert. I prefer to freeze mine verses can. Pull it out a little before you wish to enjoy, it is a frozen applesauce slushy and we serve it as dessert.

    Each bag here is 1 bushel.
    This is so simple it is not even really a recipe. I do use a Cortland apple, this is what my Grandma always used and by cooking the apples with the skins on, the applesauce will naturally be a light pink. You can add sugar or choose to enjoy it its natural state. Did you know that two-thirds of the fiber, and many of the antioxidants, are found in apple's peel? So when possible try to use and eat the peel to gain all that extra goodness.

    To me cooking is not just about cooking, its about memories, remembering the old and making new. Applesauce is something I used to do with my mom and Grandma, now I do it with my daughter and friends. I have shared my simple sauce with many who have now made this an annual tradition. The smell of the apples cooking down  takes me back to a place in childhood that I loved and will always remember.

    On a side note this is a fun apple craft


    Core and slice apples. Place into a pan and place on stovetop. Add about a half and inch of water to the pan. Turn your burner onto medium heat and cook until apples are soft and mushy.  Place cooked apples in a food mill, ricer or colander. Applesauce will come out the bottom and *discard the rest.  Add sugar to your liking.

    *We raise laying hens and they absolutely go wild over the apple peel scraps. Or if you do not have chickens it is perfect for the compost pile.

    Oct 1, 2014


    Here is to a month of what I know best Farm-Food and Fun!
    Excited to be taking art for the first time in The Nester's Write 31 Days.  Like many of you I have no idea how I am going to make this happen but who doesn't love a little challenge.

    I am a mom from a small town in Ohio who lives on a small farm. I am looking forward to writing about the happenings on the farm, what we eat and all the fun things in between. October is a crazy busy time of year for our family and I am looking forward to giving you a little view into our world. I am looking forward to sharing recipes, food facts and maybe even some of the fun things we try to squeak in our busy lives.

    My friend Sara from Saras-House encouraged me participate in this crazy idea so be sure to follow her as she writes about travel tips. I have traveled with her a few times and she has some great tid-bits.

    Did I mention we raise sheep? Here is a great recipe that uses one of my favorite proteins and some of that cider coming straight from the apple orchards.

    Serves 8-10
    1 Boneless butterflied leg of lamb (6-7lbs)
    1/2 cup  apple cider
    1/3 cup Dijon mustard
    3 Tbl Olive oil
    2 Tbl fresh chopped rosemary
    1 Tbl apple cider vinegar
    4 cloves garlic minced
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Combine all marinade ingredients, adding the salt and pepper to taste.
    Sprinkle both sides of leg with light salt and pepper rubbing into the meat. Place in a bowl or plastic bag. Pour marinade over lamb to coat. Cover dish or seal bag and place in refrigerator over night.
    Preheat grill to medium heat. Place lamb on grill brushing some marinade over meat. Grill approximately  15-20 minutes on each side brushing with marinade until internal temperature reaches 135*. Transfer lamb to platter and cover with foil. Let rest at least 10 minutes. Internal temperature of lamb should be 145*-150*.
    Carve lamb at an angle and slice thin.
    The key to great lamb is to not over cook!

    Try one of my recipes or have any comments or ideas let me know!

    31 Days Farm-Food-Fun


     Welcome to 31 days on Farm-Food and Fun!

    Click on the links below, each day will have a new link. Thanks for stopping by!
    Day One  Intro

    Day Eight Clowning Around

    Day Ten High Fructose CORN Syrup

    Day Eleven Know GMO

    Day Twelve Back to the Basics

    Day Thirteen

    Day Fourteen

    Day Fifteen

    Day Sixteen

    Day Seventeen Who Say's You Can't Have Everything

    Day Eighteen  Get Fresh in the Kitchen

    Day Nineteen

    Day Twenty These are a few of my favorite things...

    Day Twenty One

    Day Twenty Two

    Day Twenty Three