Friday, December 27, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Sometimes your heart is so full it's hard to put into words how you are feeling. This year I am feeling overly blessed! Sometimes it's so easy to look at all the hard and difficult, stressful and consuming things in your life and lose sight of what really matters. When you let go of all that, and just live in the moment soaking up the little's so rewarding!

I hope this finds you all with full and happy hearts after the Christmas Season! 
From me to you I am wishing you all the best!!

Merry Christmas!  From me and the Ladies!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

FarmHer Dilemma #42

FarmHer Dilemma #42: Work wear does not come in maternity sizes. Somewhat of an issue when your big preggo during the nice cold winter months!
Dear Carhartt,
                         You need a maternity line!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

FarmHer Dilemmas

This morning I felt like I waddled through morning chores 38 weeks pregnant, and the real eye opener came when I realized I couldn't squeeze through the people walk way in the parlor. Yes it was comical, luckily I didn't get stuck! ;-)

I realized that we as women face numerous "dilemmas" as farmers, things that are unique to us as females. And well it's a part of our everyday glamorous life. From awesome work outfits, to amazing hair days, creative bathroom stops, fashionable footwear, hazardous laundry duty, literal child mud wrangling, the array and extent of these dilemmas is vast! And with the number of women counted as U.S. farm operators growing, I thought quite a few of you out there could relate.

So Welcome to a new series..........FarmHer Dilemmas

From the comical to the somewhat irritating I'll bring you things that I might find I run into as a FarmHer.

So what have you found is one of your FarmHer Dilemmas? 

P.S. I get no credit for the term FarmHer. Seen it floating around facebook and blogs for some time and think whoever came up with it is a creative genius!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Year of....

Another year......another year flown pretty much the speed of light!!!
A year whose theme should simply be: behind

Ok please tell me I'm not the only one sitting here wondering how in the world it's only 15 days till Christmas! While I could blame my behindness on  many things, I mainly think it's just lacking spirit. I usually love decorating and getting into the spirit of all the Holidays, but this year it's just been missing! :-( And that makes me sad!

First it was my son's 2nd birthday that I had fun plans for, but pushed those all aside as I fought back morning sickness. That seemed to last for far longer this go around and then I was suddenly looking at Summer. Summer flew by as if nothing could stop it. Add in an extra two cow related road trips and I felt like May to September passed in the blink of an eye! We didn't even get a garden planted this year! Technically I guess it's still Fall, but where October and November went I am still wondering.

And December, here you are! I had big plans for you! Mostly I feel this time crunch because well my due date for baby number two is 19 days little over two weeks! I was going to be so organized and get everything for Christmas done early, so just in case this little decides on an early exit, and also to enjoy this last time as a family of 3. But alas I still have the majority of my shopping to do, as well as decorating.

 I will give myself this pat on the back, I got our Christmas cards out early this year! The earliest they probably will ever be, they were done by Thanksgiving and I think I got them in to be mailed that following Monday. I love sending and receiving Christmas Cards! Probably one of my favorite things about the season!

And this weekend I finally felt a little Christmas spirit as we visited Santa and his reindeer. Well really just his reindeer, my animal lover son refused to go see Santa, but insisted on several trips to pet the reindeer. We also had a freezing, but at least dry, trip to get our tree.  Now to decorate, finish our gifts, and still have time to focus on our impending new arrival. So many blessings in this year, I just feel like it flew by! New Year's Resolution; to put this year behind me and find my Spirit. Wouldn't hurt if you told me you've had years like this as well?!?

*Also another New Years Resolution, get faster internet! Supposed to be getting installed on Monday, so maybe I can finally share pictures with you all again!* Woohoo, so far it's faster, so I'll add some pictures!*


Friday, December 6, 2013

There's Truth in That

I am seriously blown away by the response and support for my last post! To watch my tiny blog, and one little post reach over 15,000 people and growing in the last 48 hours seriously blows my mind. That's half again more people then live in my little home town!

But more than that I am loving the feedback from others who have felt the same! Both here and on our Facebook page. Who loved their own Mercedes and carry those favorites in their hearts forever. I just might have to compile all the stories that have been shared in feedback, it just goes to show that farmers really do care!  And that care isn't just for dairy cows, but all sectors of agriculture!!

That was my mission in my last post, the raw, unedited emotion that we farmers truly feel for our jobs. Because farming isn't just a job, it's a way of life, it's in our blood, sweat and tears, all the way down to our core.

And there's nothing more truthful than that......
Me, me, ME! Mercedes -- Scratches for me, right?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Today I Cried Over a Cow

Today I cried, ok honestly bawled my eyes out over a cow.......Yes, she was a favorite cow, Yes, farmers do have favorites, Yes, she will be greatly missed!
These are the moments I wish every consumer could see. The raw, real, true, emotion of dairy farming. Every time a another "animal rights" video catches someone abusing a dairy cow, every time a consumer assumes that is the norm, every time a company makes a claim in their advertising that they are farming better, I wish they could view these moments. The literal, blood, sweat and tears that truly goes into dairy farming.

And I'm not just claiming this as an "emotional woman".
I would show you my father, who's been a farmer from the day he was born 58 years ago, as he fights back tears and anger after having to put a respected Lady down, a Lady we just spent countless hours/days/weeks over trying to make better, exhausting every resource possible before having to give her a peaceful end. I would show him tired, sweaty, with a bandaged finger that's missing a finger nail and hurts like hell headed back out to the fields in the summer heat and sunshine to make hay to feed the calves through the winter, after just literally working 16 hours straight for the last 10 days in a row. Those same hours that ravage his body year after year.
I would show you my husband, the newbie to this life, who's embraced it to it's fullest, tired and cold, with aching legs from a disability, not stopping for a break as he doctors a calf again, only to loose her that night, I would show you his frustration and disappointment in not being able to save her. I would let you hear the true cuss words that portray that emotion when he finds her gone that morning .I would let you see his panic and frustration as we try to breath life back into a calf that we thought for a brief second had a heartbeat.  I'd show you his hands, with countless cuts, his back with aching sore muscles and his tired body as he gets out of bed again at 4:30 am for morning chores.
I would show you my mother, who chose this life to be with her high school sweetheart, in the milking parlor on the hottest day in the summer, the coldest day in the winter, milking diligently and carefully every Lady. I would show you her disappointment when a Lady hurts a teat, as she tries every trick in the book to get her milked out and keep her from getting sick. As she juggles keeping up with paperwork, worry over bills and literally not enough hours in the day to get it all done, getting it all done.

And I would show you me, the one who grew up in this life, knows it's every in and outs and still chose to stay, with tears rolling down my face as Mercedes the cow pictured above gets her lasts scratches from me before she leaves our farm for the auction. I would let you see my memories of Mercedes being born, of growing up friendly and sweet, having her babies and joining the milking the herd.  I would show you her unique personality that set her apart. I would let you see the connection I had with her, the care and true love I have for all our Ladies.

I would show you the tears on my keyboard as I write this............Yes, today I cried over a cow, because dairy farming is much more then a job to's my life.   

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Flat Aggie

I volunteered to host a very special guest on our farm this month all the way from Kansas! Flat Aggie is part of a super fun and educational school program that introduces classrooms to different sectors of agriculture. We had a lot of fun showing Aggie our farm and this is the report for the classroom to enjoy! If your interested in hosting a Flat Aggie or starting your own program, I can put you in touch with the mastermind behind this project from Tales of a Kansas Farm Mom.

 Welcome to Oregon Flat Aggie! 

And more specifically the foothills of the Cascade Mountains that border the Eastern side of the Willamette Valley. The area of the Willamette Valley is one of the most agriculturally diverse in the whole nation. On a drive past our neighbors we can see everything from grapes in a vineyard for wine, grass seed, food crops like; corn, beans, peppers, cauliflower, orchards of apples, cherries and hazelnuts, berry fields full of every kind of berry; blueberry, blackberry, marionberry, boysenberry, ornamental flowers, hops for beer, Christmas trees and so many other crops. The Valley's temperate climate, not too hot in the summer and not too cold in the winter allows for all this variety. But we are a different kind of farm. Oregon is also home to about 350 farm families that do the same thing we do, Dairy Farm!

Aggie is greeted by Jen, who requires scratches on her nose and behind her ears!
On our Dairy Farm, Abiqua Acres, we milk around 85 registered Guernsey cows are brown and white in color and produce milk that is high in protein and butter fat. This rich milk is used to make your favorite products like yogurt, butter and ice cream! First things first I introduced Aggie to the "most important" job on the farm, giving the Ladies their daily dose of love! Each cow is a special individual in our herd and we identify them by name. I think Aggie would have liked to give every cow special scratches, but we had work to do!
Sunset welcomed Aggie with a
big slobbery kiss!

Hello Baby Bull!

While Aggie was here, we welcomed two new baby calves. Aggie got to meet the bull (boy) calf when he was just a few minutes old. The bull calf will go to another farm to grow up. Aggie helped feed the other new baby a bottle, a heifer (girl) named Sunset.  We are always excited to get a heifer calf because we will keep her to grown up and become a milk cow. A big part of our daily chores is the twice a day feeding of all the calves. Currently there are over 40.

Newborns move into individual stalls that we call the nursery, here we can monitor their care closely. They continue to receive milk until they are about 4 months of age. We learned our lesson with Sunset and Aggie stayed a safe distance from curious calf mouths! Besides milk the calves are also fed a special mix of grain that is formulated to help them grow. Once old enough the calves join a group pen of other calves their age. In these pens they are also fed grass hay that we grow and bale here on our farm in the summer.

With all the calves taken care of, Aggie learned just how much you have to feed a producing dairy cow. To make wholesome delicious milk for you and me, a dairy cow will consume a bath tub full of water and eat over 100lbs of food a day. On our farm our cows are fed grain in the parlor where they are milked, and then corn silage and top quality alfalfa hay. Aggie arrived just in time to see our hay barn almost completely full. In the Fall we purchase 350 tons of alfalfa to feed our Ladies through the winter and into the next growing season. These alfalfa bales are 3' tall, 4' wide and 8' long and weigh over 1,500 pounds. To feed them we use a skid steer loader.

Where's Aggie?

Nom, nom, nom, The Ladies enjoying their alfalfa hay!

Aggie helped drive the skid steer!

Aggie even got rained on shutting the gate!
Aggie arrived just as we shut the cows in off of pasture. For as many months as Oregon weather will allow us, our Ladies also rotationally graze fresh green grass from our fields. This is usually from March to about October. This Fall was especially dry so we didn't close the pasture gate until November!

All that food that dairy cows consume of course goes into their producing milk, and the heart of every dairy farm is the parlor where the cows are milked. Every cow is milked twice a day in one of our six milking stalls in the parlor. Here they enjoy their ration of grain and the relief of being milked. Their teats are washed and dried and then a milking machine is attached. The machine has a sensor that knows when the cow is done and takes the machine off. The milk travels through food grade hoses and then stainless steel pipes to the milk tank where it is cooled. Our milk tank is big enough to hold over 12,000 lbs. Currently every over day the milk truck is picking up over 7,200lbs, that's over 830 gallons! We sell our milk to Darigold cooperative and after it is on the truck and leaves our farm it is up to them to decide what delicious product to use our cows' milk in. Milking of the cows takes about 3 hours and the feeding chores about another hour. So just in daily chores we spend 8 hours caring for our cows. That definitely keeps our schedule full and almost makes the days feel longer when we go through the time change in November. It's dark when we start chores at 4:30 in the morning and dark again when we start chores at 4:30 in the afternoon! 
aggie parlor

November is a bit of an "off" season for us, in that the weather slows things down. Besides all the above and more that has to be done every day, twice a day, even Thanksgiving, we find ourselves trying to catch up on some extra projects in the Fall. This year it was replumbing our milking parlor and cutting down some trees in the barnyard that had died. Farmers are also continually expanding their knowledge and Aggie had the chance to join us for a dairy meeting with fellow producers.

We enjoyed having Aggie tag along with us in November! And we hope Mrs. Piatt's entire class learned a lot about dairy farming in Oregon in the Fall. Here's a few more facts about dairy farming and November in Oregon:

-Dairy Farming in Oregon-
*Oregon is known for excellent milk and consistently ranks in the top 5 states in the nation for milk quality.
*Milk is Oregon's official state beverage.
*There is over 120,000 Dairy cows in Oregon, with the average herd size over 350. We are a very small dairy at our herd size of 85!
*Oregon's most popular breed is Holsteins, with Jersey's coming in second and other breeds, including Guernseys, making up a small percentage of the rest.  The other three breeds represented are Ayrshire, Brown Swiss and Milking Shorthorn.
*Oregon Dairy farmers produce roughly 2.2 billion pounds of milk annually.
-Weather in November in Oregon-
*The daily average high temperature drops at least 10 degrees over the course of November from 57 to 47
*We see an average of  over 6 1/2 inches of rain in November.
* Our first "storms" of the season blow in from the Pacific Ocean with high winds and lots of rain.
*We also see our first freezing temperatures
*And lastly HERE'S a great visual map of the agricultural diversity in Oregon*

Thanks for Visiting Oregon Aggie!!

While Aggie was with us, we also welcomed 11 baby chicks! Could you help us name them? There are 7 yellow ones, 2 black ones and 2 brown ones!

Friday, November 29, 2013

As the Pasture Gate Closes

We've come to that point in the year where the Oregon weather has made the ground wet enough that it's time for the Ladies to come off the pastures and into the barns for winter. We rotationally graze our herd for as many months out of the year as the weather allows. But once the rain starts it ultimately becomes too wet......soggy ground + over 80 cows stamping around would = ruined pasture for next year. One of the many steps we take to ensure we are making sound decisions for the environment and land that helps support our Ladies.

So while we would love to see the Ladies out on the fields year round, it just isn't a sound decision. So as we close the gate for the year and they are confined to the barn for winter we make every effort to ensure they are extra comfortable and well cared for. So what are some of the extra steps that go into winter care:

The Ladies have a nutritionist that works with us to make sure they are getting everything they need in precisely the correct portions. When they come in off of pasture that ration has to be reworked to adjust their diet to the absence of fresh grass. They are fed grain, top quality alfalfa, and a corn silage. They get all this year round, but consume more of course when not also getting fresh grass. And that consumption is huge; the average cow eats approximately 100lbs of forage a day. So in the fall, the end of the growing season, we purchase 400 tons of silage and 350 tons of alfalfa hay to feed our Ladies through the winter and into the next growing season.

Clean Up
A big part of dairy management and the other side of these large animals consuming that much feed, is that it all has to come out the other end, in manure form! And confined to the barn that manure builds up quickly. So every day, twice a day, all alley's are scraped clean of manure. This provides a clean environment for the Ladies which is important to their health and clean milk production. It also provides us with the opportunity to utilize that waste as fertilizer for the pastures.

Our barn also provide a comfortable place for our Ladies to lay down. Called free stalls, these beds are padded with rubber tires and also bedded with sawdust, the perfect bovine mattress! Each Lady is free to choose when and where she wishes to lay down. Confining the Ladies in close quarters we also try to make sure they're not only comfortable, but also content.
They also have areas where brushes are set up to scratch and groom their winter coats. There is often a waiting line at the brushes!

Besides extra scratches, because they are in the barn and we are interacting with them more then when they are out to pasture, the Ladies also routinely see our veterinary once every month. Our vet is checking up on the cows that have just calved, checking for cows that are pregnant and just helping with general cow wellness. Really the Ladies probably see their doctor more often than the average person! Veterinary care is routine no matter the weather, but hoof care becomes even more important in the winter. Our hoof trimmer, or bovine pedicurist, routinely comes every 3 months to make sure the Ladies feet are in pristine condition. Sometimes throughout the winter we will have him come an extra time for any Ladies that aren't dealing with being inside as well as they should. The hooves are very important to the health of a cow as they must carry all of her weight. A cow with sore feet, is a cow that doesn't want to walk, which results in not wanting to move around to eat and drink and ultimately affects her production. So hoof care is a very important part of winter management.

*A picture's worth a thousand words: I have pictures for all these categories, but my internet has been so dreadfully slow, they are not cooperating in uploading. I promise to repost as soon as I can make the pictures happen! One of the many joys of living in the "boonies"!!*   

So while some of the Ladies do continue to look longingly out at the pastures, they definitely are content with the spa like treatment they receive while shut in for the winter. And in a few short months when the weather allows, the gate will be reopened to rejuvenated green grass

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Christmas in the Country!


I am so excited to be joining CountryLinked and ThisUnchartedRhoade for Christmas in the Country! They came up with such a fun idea!  Really looking forward to a wonderful event with fellow "aggie bloggers'!  I feel like my Holiday spirit (how in the world is Thanksgiving already here?!?) has totally been lacking all year long. Maybe this can jump start my love for Christmas!

Are you a blogger? I hope you'll join us too!!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My Favorite Thing about Dairy Farming

I have several posts sitting in my blog that are waiting for a final edit before I publish them. Ok in all honesty there is over a months worth of drafts staring me in the face. And as I was writing all of them something more important kept nagging at the back of my mind. It just so happens to be my favorite thing about Dairy Farming:

As I am writing these posts about our farm and the way that we choose to do things I want all readers to be clear on one thing:
Each Dairy Farm Is Unique! 

 And I LOVE that!
We all live in different places, climates and areas of the Country as well as the World. We all have different facilities, whether newly built or 100 years old. We all have a different herd of cows, from difference in numbers, breeds and personalities. There literally are hundreds of factors that are unique to each dairy farm that dictate the management and decisions that each dairy farmer makes.

So I want you to understand and learn how we do things on our farm and all dairy farms. Where besides those differences, we are all united in a common cause to produce a wholesome and quality product.

Sometimes those factors that make us all unique result in different management or decisions than what I might write about. And that is my favorite thing, that although we are united as an industry we have the freedom to makes choices that best benefit our situation and ultimately the cows within our care.

So whenever you read one of my posts, know that you are reading about our farm as an individual as well as part of the greater dairy industry. Those challenges that we all face as dairy farmers are in every day decisions, and we meet them with arsenal full of information and technology that is always growing and helping us to take the best care we possibly can of the lovely Ladies that produce for us.

And in the end I think for all Dairy Farmers it simply comes down to love! We love what we do. And that is my Favorite Thing about Dairy Farming. 


Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Two and a Half Year Old!

I know, I know I was promising some awesome farmie posts, but pregnancy hormones have been demanding nesting and reflection. I think every Mom has a little spell when they are getting ready for their second child that they really take a look at their first born. I will be honest that I am having a hard time not seeing him as my baby, but every day he amazes me with how big and grown up he really is! I think it is also hard for me to get my brain wrapped around two kids. How will I love another baby as much as my first, what will he be sacrificing with my attention on a newborn, how is there enough time for two kids! I know it's doable, and I know it will come naturally, just having a hard time getting my brain to wrap around the idea.

Also can't believe I have a 2 1/2 year old! Where does the time go! Seems like just yesterday he was born and trying out those lungs of his, something he still does on the daily! To say my Little Farmer has been a challenge would be an understatement, he still manages to test and push the limits every day. Two has definitely been a hard age for him and seems like this week especially he has really been struggling (I think we are going through another growth spurt!) It's times like these that really make me take a deep breath and try to remember all the things I love about my two year old as he screams "No Mommy!" for the hundredth time in the last minute!

Mommy fail; as I feel there are lots of memories I am kicking myself for not writing down or getting a picture of. So I thought I would start a list for every 6 months or so of what Mason is like in this moment!
True Mason Style: I take pictures and only get one out of 100 where he's somewhat looking and smiling!
  • Full blown boy! 
  • Is totally into his animals right now. He's always loved animals, but now he is all about them. He'd play with his animals all day if he could. Toy tigers, horses, farm animals are always his first go to.
  • Wears size 3T clothes! 
  • Eats more then me most days. Seriously I am worried about how much food he'll be able to consume when he's a teenager!
  • Says "I love you SO much!" and truly really means it. And says it in the best voice. Heart melt! 
  • Still LOVES fruit, especially Apples. Kid would eat 5 apples a day every day and not bat an eye! 
  • Calls me Mommy now instead of Mama. I think this change came with his stopping nursing-mamamilk-a couple of months ago. I will admit that I miss being called Mama, but kind of nice to not be identified as a food source. But I also dearly miss nursing him!
  • Wears size 10 shoes! He ridiculously went from a size 7/8 to 10 overnight, not even joking!
  • Still talks up a storm and can carry on a full blown conversation that is mostly understandable with anyone. Isn't shy in the least bit in that respect! 
  • Would watch movies and nature shows all day if I let him. But currently isn't stuck on one movie, thank goodness! 
  • Is convinced there is a baby girl in my belly and that he only wants a Sister! 
So incredibly blessed with my son. He's way more then I ever imagined a child to be, and way more then I ever imagined parenting to be. I know it might be a bit of a rough road with the new arrival on the way, but he also loves to helpful and I think will fill big brother shoes perfectly!  
Mommy Loves You Mason!


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Nesting, Nesting, Nesting

Well crazy to think I am only 8 weeks away from our second babe's due date! This pregnancy has flown by faster then the speed of light! And looking at our  calendar at the start of October I realized a large portion of those last two months will be taken up with Holiday festivities, so I made a push to try to get the ball rolling on some of the projects I wanted to get done before baby.

Number one on the list was moving Little Farmer to his own Big Boy Room! That meant clearing out our "Guest Room" and transforming it into a little boys paradise! I really wanted to get it right and have him start feeling like it was his own so he could have his own space and maybe not feel as displaced when baby arrives! It isn't finished yet, but his reaction has been amazing and totally heart warming to me. He wants to show everyone who comes into our home his new room! So cute and so grown up! And definitely making this Mama proud!

In another life I would love to be an interior designer, and even played in architecture for a while. So projects like this make me happy! My little guy is totally into animals from all around the world right now, so I decided on a global animal theme. The perfect orange color was already an accent wall, so I kept that and worked in some more boy colors of navy blue, green and brown. An Ikea run will furnish the rest of the room in bright white! Lots of fun decorating ideas flowing around in my head too, but for now the goal is to get it organized and finished!  

So here's a little look at what's been accomplished so far!

Finished painting. The one orange wall I carried over across the closet and door and make it flow a bit better. Feel like it invites into the room, without being completely overpowering, it's definitely bright orange!
I've always hated our closets I think I am going to forgo them all in all our rooms! They are always open anyways. His were the first to go and I thought it would be fun to do some stripes in his closet since it would be open. I used the same orange, and the other wall color in the room-beige and white. Math is not my thing, but I knew I needed to measure and map out a game plan on what I wanted.
Yes, I am a plan maker and visual, had to draw this out to even begin to figure it out!
Don't Laugh!
I ended up doing it a bit different then my original plan, mostly cause I hate taping! I used a laser level to assist in the line making. Definitely something you want if your attempting stripes! I used painters tape and saw a handy hint on Pinterest about sealing the edges with a light coat of Modpodge. I thought it definitely couldn't hurt and my track record with painters tape is not good, so I was definitely wanting help in that area!

A good helper dog is essential to every project!
I made my farmer take off the painters tape after two coats of each color of paint, I was too nervous to do it myself! It turned out great!! Not perfect and few spots should have touch ups, but I think I'll wait till we get our organization in to bother with that! I am really happy with how the stripes turned out!
We already had a Queen sized bed, so we just took the frame off and set the box and mattress on the floor. My idea is to create a toddler friendly space that can  also grow with him!
Found the perfect rug with all the right colors at Target on clearance, also scored a body pillow cover in the perfect green, also clearence! Brown, black out curtains, as this room faces east and gets lots of sun, really early. Navy blue sheets, after finding the brown and green I wanted I knew I wanted navy blue sheets, they were not an easy find! Haha. The yellow reading pillow we found at Target clearence, best $7.50 I think I've ever spent, he loves that pillow and immediately wanted it in his new room.(Notice a trend, I frequent the Target clearance sections!) It mostly stays on the floor with the other throw pillows, left over from the guest room, as a reading area.
His Auntie made him this adorable quilt for his first birthday, while the animals are more cartoony then I want to go with the whole theme of his big boy room, the colors and idea tie in perfectly!

So excited about how it's coming together. And totally melts my heart to see his excitement over it as well!
Now to finish the rest of the plans!! :-)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mid-Week Meal

Bacon-Broccoli Alfredo

Hmm wasn't sure what to call this one as it's kind of a throw together meal. Lots of my meals are like that, cause well ain't nobody got time for otherwise round here and it helps keep me sane! Not sure I've mentioned before, but I am big on cooking extra meat on one day so that the leftovers can be quickly used in another dish. Super time saver, and gets dinner on the table faster!

Left over cooked Chicken breast/tenders or even pieces of chicken from a whole chicken would work for this!
Bacon-the more the merrier, I probably use about 6 slices
Broccoli -all my family happens to love Broccoli, so I probably use more then 2 cups, adjust to your liking
1 Jar Alfredo sauce
Whole Wheat Pasta- I usually use spaghetti, but any would work, are you noticing a trend here? ;-)
Fresh grated Parmesan Cheese

In case you don't have leftover chicken, pan saute' enough chicken for your family. I usually throw in some garlic. Or cut your leftover chicken into pieces.
Cook the bacon until crisp

Boil your pasta according to directions. Add the Broccoli pieces to the last 5 minutes of boiling. Drain and return to pot. Make sure your using a large enough one to mix in.

Crumble in your bacon and add your chicken pieces.

Add as much alfredo sauce for how saucey you like your pasta. I usually don't use a whole jar, but I'm only cooking for 3 and my husband isn't a big sauce person.

Mix together and melt in some parmesan cheese!

Just a side note, this is one of those meals I wait to mix together till my farmers at the table. Sometimes I never know when he'll be in from the barn and the sauce tends to make the bacon and broccoli a little soggy if it has to sit!

Enjoy! This Meal is Little Farmer Approved!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Proof that house cleaning is Bad!

Most people Spring clean their homes......I Fall clean my home! Sad to admit, but it's just the lifestyle we live: from about June to September, we don't really live in our house. It's mainly a dumping ground for the 5 seconds your inside in between jobs outside. Ok we also shower, sleep and eat there on occassion, but really don't inhabit our house. Working sun up to sun down doesn't leave much time in the way of real house cleaning, so it's sits and waits until the waether turns and we are back to living in our house.

At this point I usually look around in horror, because you can't continue to ignore a 4 month mess that includes a mountain of laundry this time (our washer broke down) along with the usual 6" of dust from having the windows open and cobwebs in every corner!

Usually I begrudge the Fall cleaning and only really do it because at some point other people like to see us and that means inviting them into your home. Yep, I am a shame cleaner, I can get way more one in ten minutes before somebody shows up then I want to on a regular basis all week! But this year, I think it's pregnancy hormones and nesting kicking in, I really wanted to get it done and organize a little better!

So I went at it full force this week, seriously digging in and getting sh*t done! Pretty darn proud of myself, until I got sick last night! Apparently overdid and now I have a nice cold. Complete and total proof that house cleaning is bad!

So instead of putting off my blogging to clean my house, I will now dig in and get some posts done about awesome farmie stuff! 

Your welcome for the tip and warning! ;-)
~The Farmer's Daughter   

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Family Time

Somewhere in the craziness of this summer, we found some time to celebrate our son turning 2 with a photo shoot. The amazingly talented and super friendly Heidi Helser took these awesome pictures for us. Highly recommend her if you are in the area and in need of a phtographer, she rocks!! 

 To actually get pictures of my little man smiling melts my heart!

 Getting to be such a big boy!

And lastly, I've been keeping a little secret....we'll be welcoming a new 
Little Farmer!