Cricket Song Farm

Cricket Song Farm

Monday, November 25, 2013

Shoulda, but didn't......

Well, been down south again.  On November 2nd, I  received a call that there was an opening in a Julie Rogers portrait painting class.  I was the first person on the waiting list, and sure enough I wanted to zip down to St. George to take the class (I'll post pictures later).   So I quickly packed my bag and hopped in Wilma and away we went.  The weather was beautiful as I left, but as I got closer to Southern Utah (where it is warmer than here....NOT)  I hit snow.

I spent a  couple of days in Sunny St. George, where is really is warm, and then drove up to the farm.  The snow had melted over the past couple of days while I was in class, and could only be found here and there.

                The days were beautiful, crisp, the sun shining, and the wind decided not to blow.

I  stayed in 
 my little vintage camp trailer
 for a few days

Here is a list of things and projects I SHOULD have gotten done

  • water all the trees
  • roll up all the hoses
  • sort through all the stuff we cleaned out of the barn
  • get the gardens tilled
  • pull out all the dead, frozen tomatoe vines from the big greenhouse
  •  plant and mulch garlic in the greenhouse
  • plastic up the windows on the little red house
  • haul a load to the storage unit
  • get the last of my books out of the little red house------sorry it's taking so long, Rach
  • winterize all the taps and pump houses
  • finish the wall on the outdoor bath and hang the old door
  • spread the old hay over the tilled gardens
  • till the composted goat manure into the gardens that are not composted with the old hay
and the list goes on and on.......
I did accomplish a few things, but this is what I spent most of my time doing

 You see, I kept tracking mud and leaves into "Gypsy Rose" 
so I decided that something needed to be done

 So I drove up to the little red house, gathered up a load of hoses to drain
 and put away in the shed for the winter
a big pile of flat rocks......
( well at least I can check one item off my list)

spent a couple of days working on a pathway and  a redwood platform
leading to my little home......instead of all the things I should of been doing.
I will plant low growing herbs in the spaces between the rocks this spring
of course admired a beautiful sunset every night.

Nope, I didn't accomplish anything I shoulda...........
Really, I woulda
I just didn't
I need an excuse to run away again to the farm!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A real CLASSIC worth reading


I love to read the classics,
anything written by Thoreau, Cather, Steinbeck, Dickens,
 Poetry by Browning, Wadsworth,  Keats, Longfellow......

What country kitchen doesn't have a copy of  this old book?
Mine didn't until just the other day.

This CLASSIC cookbook was published in 1953.

I have been reading it the past couple of weeks.

When I was young, this was the cookbook that my mother used.   It was placed in a drawer at the edge of the  ORANGE counter.  The drawer would be pulled open, the book opened and propped up on an angle between the back of the drawer front and the bright orange counter top.  As recipes from other sources were acquired they would be tucked into the pages of the book.

As the holiday season approaches, I will prop my newly acquired,old, cook book open, and placing it in a pulled out drawer with the spine lying against my vintage (not orange, but swirly designed) counter top, I will bake and cook  up some of my favorite childhood memories.
Sharing the taste and smells of traditions (old fashioned fudge and popcorn while we watched a Disney movie on the old black and white t.v.........divinity, peanut brittle, toffee, and gingerbread cookies, etc.) with my family and friends.

Then as fate intervened, I found this cookbook just the other day.
  Now I have all the best of the best since the first book was published back in 1930.


Life is like that sometimes.  Good things come in threes.  Well it did, but I passed up the first edition of the Betty Crocker cookbook this summer, wasn't really paying  enough attention as I was skimming through the books at the thrift store.  After getting home (a 45 minute drive) I thought about it and realized I should have snatched that book up, but hopefully I left it there for someone who had been hunting for it for a long, long time.  That it will bring back fond memories  for them of time spent in the kitchen learning to cook from it's pages.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Cattle Panels make a sturdy Chicken Run/ Hoop Coop

As the growing season comes to an end, it is time to put projects around the farm at the top of the priority list.  One of the fall chores is putting the old hens in the freezer (keeping enough laying hens until the new chicks start laying), or selling them.   I like to order my chicks in the fall.   They will begin to lay around March or April, just in time for the new CSA season.  For over 30 years I have had beautiful chickens running around the yard regardless of where we lived.  Sometimes the coops and runs were simple structures, but years ago when we bought the farm we put in more permanent  and sturdy facilities.

This run has protected my hens for many years.  It is made from cattle panels arched and staked with T posts.  Chicken wire was placed over, and wired securely to the panels.  This keeps the hens in and the hawks, eagles, skunks, coyotes and dogs out.  If you have predators trying to dig under the panels line the edges with large flat rocks.  We graze animals alongside the run and wanted to be able to attach fencing to the T posts as a barrier to keep the grazing goats or sheep from climbing on the run.   

This is our fancy "RED NECK"  door latch

Our large hen house hotel is home to about 100 hens.  I wanted a larger run and so we used the cattle panels length wise, stabilizing them through the middle with 2x4's.  


I do not like this run as well.  It is not tall enough to stand up in, however the square footage is much  greater than arching the panels.  We also graze animals along side this run without any additional fencing.

These beautiful red comet hens have given me wonderful light brown eggs for the past 2 years.  I especially like this breed.  They are hardy, good layers ,fairly calm, but they are not as meaty as the other breeds of brown egg layers.  I usually sell these hens after a couple of years and put the heavier, dual purpose breeds in the freezer. 

from the outside of the coop we gather the eggs several times a day

straw in the bottom of the boxes help keep the eggs clean and unbroken

add the egg shells to the compost pile, sprinkle around the bottom of tomatoes
to help prevent blossom end rot
or crush them and feed them back to the hens to ensure
hard shells in future egg production

original art work of a rooster we had several years ago

Thanks for stopping by!

A couple of earlier post about my experiences and thoughts about raising chickens

Here are a few photos of our beautiful, organic, vegetable farm.

Our Booth at Market

Just picked radishes.

Turks Turban Squash

Heirloom Beets

One of the Green Houses at Cricket Song Farm

Check out all the information you can find about raising vegetables and animals on this blog by using the search box located in the right hand column.
Thanks so much for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tasty Cabbage Stew

Harvest cabbage in the fall and make this warm, comforting, tasty stew


1 pound sausage
1 large onion diced
1 medium cabbage sliced thinly
3-4 large carrots sliced
4 medium red potatoes
2 cans Italian stewed tomatoes
1 20oz. can drained black beans
32 oz. chicken broth
1 quart water

Boil carrots and potatoes in 1 quart water
Cook sausage in a skillet.  Remove sausage and brown onions 
in a small amount of sausage grease.
Remove onions and slightly wilt the cabbage in the hot skillet.
When potatoes and carrots are about done add tomatoes, beans,
and broth. Do not drain off the water.
Add sausage, cabbage, onions, salt and pepper to taste. 
Cover and simmer on low for an hour.

This is absolutely DELICIOUS!

after cooking the potatoes and carrots I pour the soup into a crock pot
adding the canned, stewed tomatoes and  chicken broth
brown the sausage, cook the onions until transparant and wilt the cabbage
then I add them to the crock and let it simmer on low until supper.

 make a stuffed bread filled with diced cabbage, onions, spinach, chard,
 (or whatever green you have in the garden)
 grated cheese
to accompany the meal

Roll dough and place the seam down on a lightly greased baking tray
that has been sprinkled with corn meal
drizzle olive oil aver top and add seasonings of choice

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Who needs sleep?

I can't sleep.  It's genetic I think.  You know, there is a gene, and if you have it you don't require much sleep.  Really I am not making this up.  I think I inhereted it from my grandmother.  A fiery petite red-head that always went a hundred miles an hour.
Yes, I'm sure I've got it, that gene that says 2-4 hours of sleep a night is enough.
Have I been tested for, but common sence tells me that it's there running around inside my head, and it's shouting " time to get up".
This gene and I get along fine when I am at the farm
there is always plenty to do in the middle of the night:

make hand-made business cards
spin wool
knit socks
sew aprons
make my Gypsy Bags 
and refurbished old second hand clothes
 into quirky,unique, one of a kind clothing
oil paint
deliver baby goats
go for moon lit walks
 (hope I don't get attacked by a pack of coyotes)
catch my garden journal up to date
pour over seed catalogs
hunt mice
bake bread
and the list goes on and on.........

but when I am in my home (rental) away from home
I have to be quiet in the middle of the night
so I don't wake the household
I just about go BERSERK  !
 tried to make my (everything second-hand, thrift store courtier)
 room in my home away from home, 
as cozy and calming as possible
hoping to catch some ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
by using subdued colors....

calming, garden inspired furnishings

a vintage cherub lamp with a custom home- made lamp shade
I make and sell these shades at a local shop
 if you want, I will make you one
in the middle of the night of course

old, heavy, gold curtains and tassels
to block out the light from the yard light placed right by the window
I tea stained the vintage lace curtains.  The material took the stain beautifully
leaving the floral pattern bright white while the fine weave turned a light golden brown

the top half of a broken cherub and an old wall hanging from the 70's
makes a unique curtain tye-back

couldn't resist these large chicken feather pillows I scored at the thrift store for only 4 bucks
 cream colored lacy pillow cases and an antique iron bed

 I painted a garden inspired rose painting using muted colors
 and framed it in an antique gilded frame

funky lights from the 50's

antique pot-metal horses (I collect for my handsome man COWBOY)
sit a top his old antique dresser
an old ornate mirror reflects vintage art work on the wall
that is placed above my antique clawed, green velvet love seat
( I know you are all jealous of the paneled walls)

an old velvet bedspread
with a beautiful, rich, tasseled duvet folded at the foot of the bed

This is my room in my home away from home

(I hope)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Fall Leaves

 Last week after I returned to Roosevelt, I ventured out our front gate

 and walked about a hundred yards to the neighbor's lane.

  golden yellow leaves crunched under my feet
the smell of fall waifed around my head
the crisp breeze gently rearranged the earth's golden carpet
and whispered in my ear that winter is on it's way

Fall is my favorite time of year

Monday, November 4, 2013


Good Morning,

made home-made, fresh blueberry muffins for breakfast

this is what came out of the muffin pan