Saturday, December 4, 2010

Another record for the Halpern's Happy Hens!

Today the girls blessed us with 21 eggs! Another record for Halpern's Happy Hens. Fantastic. Although, this also means we are now up for new customers again in the Spokane area. So if you are interested let us know. Here is a link to our CL post. The search for reliable customers on CL is not always easy. We always get replies from potential customers but most will never come through and purchase eggs. We are hoping for the best because our egg production is out of control!

Also it was night four of Chanukah tonight and we had dinner at Kelsi's sister Crystal's house. We received a sweet drying/storage rack from the family and it will be used for years for onions, potatoes, garlic, and much more. I put it together right when we got home. I will take a photo once it's all loaded up. It has nine sliding drawers and is over 5ft tall. Seems like something we will use for years to come! More photos soon!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Mousing, Halpern Homestead record, and winter madness.

Since the addition of a silly cat named Henry awhile back, the mice have been on high alert. He is a master hunter! We often find mousicles in the yard or see him throwing them around. He brings them to the house to show off, then him and Julies throw the mouse around for awhile. 
How about a play by play.......
He waits in the bushes before slowly creeping out.
Looks around for prey.
Licks his lips in anticipation.
He then enlists the help of his hired 'Muscle'
He marks the spot.
 She digs.
No luck here
 Hi dad.

Winter gave Spokane a huge blast this past week or so. It is so cold, the birds are reluctant to come out if the coop. Usually just the webbed footed ones are brave enough to test the cold. It was -8 degrees last week. Brrrr.
 The birds know how to keep warm though. They make big bird piles at night and huddle up together.
 They also set a Halpern Homestead record yesterday. A 20egg day! That's a lot. We have been getting over a dozen a day for more then a week, and the productivity keeps increasing. Each day another egg more than the last.

It's also Chanukah right now so we have lots of family dinners to attend. We hosted the family at our house last night. We served free range turkey and a vegetarian spaghetti. Everything was so good!
 We tried to take a family photo, but Henry wasn't having any of that.
 That's better.
 Grandpa and Grandma Halpern.
 Some photos of the snow mess.

 We bought this 300gallon stock tank on CL for $125. We plan to us it as a bigger pond for the webbies this spring. Just need to flatten some ground for it. We will also use it for livestock when we move to our forever home.

That's it! Thanks for reading

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Free food!

Kelsi and I came across a sweet deal on apples and grapes yesterday. They were free! A friend of my parents is moving out of state this month and they had grape vines and apple trees that were loaded, and the fruit was going to stay that way all winter. So we went and picked some! I picked 80 pounds of apples and 50 pounds of grapes. My mom and dad picked 112 pounds of grapes and 193 pounds of apples. If anyone out there has any suggestions for us on how to us all of this, let us know!

The unfortunate thing about grapes, is that they are on a vine. We diligently separated the grapes from their stems for a couple hours. We had some help from our animal friends to. 
It was hard work!
This is the end result. The grapes are in a 7.5 gallon pot. 
 Yumm! This is what 114cups of grapes looks like! But, we couldn't have done it without all of the help we received from our four legged friends

Thanks for reading!

Free food.

My parents are in the relastate

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Busy fall

We have been absent from the blogging a lot this fall. This is supposed to be our winding down time where we plan our garden for next spring. Not so. I started nursing school this past August and it has taken up most of my time, what time I have left is spent working and getting the farm ready for winter. Kelsi has also been very busy too, she took at full time position at her job a few months back which keeps her very busy. 

So I have a bunch of photos to show all that we have been up to
 We recently harvested 18 of our meat birds. We did 8 one day and 10 on another day. We have decided that we aren't going to raise meat to sell to other's. The line between profit and loss is very thin in the meat business. Plus I really don't like having to harvest the chickens. Taking another creatures life is not a very rewarding experience. In these pictures you can see the difference between a standard commercial variety(Cornish Cross, left side of photo), and the kind we raised(Right side of photo). Very different
 Redstar Rooster
 Cornish cross rooster
  Pierre has become very friendly these past few months, he follows me everywhere and lets me pick him up. 
 He's pretty silly

 He gives hugs

 We also recently adopted a cat that we named Henry. The mice have been terrible this summer. They ate all of our potatoes, some melons, and a few squash. We are hoping to fix this problem with Henry's help. He is pretty helpful around the house already.
 He keeps my seat warm when I get up
 He checks for leaks in the dishwasher
 He gives a thorough inspection
 He asks us for our opinion
 He checks the laundry to ensure they are dry throughout
 We have also been doing quite a bit of preserving. These are our tomatoes. 
 We had a lot of extras, so we decided to can them.
 Kelsi dellegently stirs the pot

 We gathered nearly 5 gallons of green and purple peppers from the garden
 They look so small here, but there is a lot there

 We also went to the farms market and bought more fruits and veggies. This 37 pound box of tomatoes only cost us 20 bucks! Sweet deal
 This is the extent of our canning so far. The table was nearly covered.
 Looks pretty good!
 Hot cinnamon apples: 6quarts
 Applesauce: 7quarts
 Peaches: 12quarts
 Pickles: 18quarts

Crushed tomatoes: 20quarts
Pickled green tomatoes: 7 quarts

That's it for now, thanks for reading!