Hot Damn! I can!

Well the garden is in full swing! We are collecting the fruits of our labor! We have more stuff than we can eat! So, it is time to start canning it up!

I really feel like canning is a lost art and skill! I feel a little nervous every time I do it because I am hoping no one dies from eating this if I don’t follow the step exactly! I am about three years into this and everyone is still living so that is a good sign! This week I worked on canning peppers! My husband likes it hot! Hotter than hot actually.

Last years peppers:

Me: Bryon are they too hot?

Bryon: NO!

(( I look over and he is sweating with hiccups ))

Me: Bryon? Really?

Bryon: What? they aren’t too hot. I just need to remember to use less of them next time!

My son-in-law also likes it hot too! So, I made a batch for him as well! I also threw in some banana peppers for my oldest daughter.

My advice on canning……. 1. Do it! Its a great skill to have! The food taste great fresh and it is so beautiful going into the cans! 2.Research it, we don’t want people getting sick! 3. Be careful and don’t always trust those pinterest recipes for this type of stuff.

 

-Chas

Lettuce Begin…..

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow”- Audrey Hepburn

Our garden at Farnash Creek Ranch (FCR) has started to produce and we have began harvesting several of our meals. We love this time of year when you can go out to the garden and pick your dinner. The spring garden is in full swing. We have a total of four garden patches this year so we can beef up our rotational gardening program. Garden #1 is planted in peas and beans primarily to replace the nitrogen depleted by last years crop. Garden #2 is coming along nicely but not producing, yet. Garden #3 is where the action is happening right now and the one I will highlight  today. Garden #4 is still in progress but I better hurry up and get my stuff in the ground because it is getting late.

First, I would like to give a little props to that fall spinach plant that produced for us all winter even through a few pretty good frosts. It was still growing when I was planting for the spring. For a new gardener wanting to try out a few plants – spinach is easy to grow and is very versatile. We eat it raw in salads and also cook it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It grows well in containers and keeps growing after it is picked. I would suggests when planting in pots to use good quality potting soil such as miracle grow potting mix. I bought the cheap stuff one year and it turned into rock soil in the pots. Secondly, speaking from experience, there is a big different between potting mix and garden mix but the bags look exactly the same. Make sure it is potting mix.

The spring garden has really took off well after much planning and cultivating. Garden #3 has lettuce, cabbage, kale, yellow squash, cucumbers, few interspersed onions, broccoli, and cauliflower. The garden is flagged by dill and marigolds in an attempt to ward off pests.  The first thing produced was a ton of lettuce. Literally, one ton! Ok, almost a ton. This year we really concentrated on companion planting and staggered planting to keep a steady harvest and minimize pests. The lettuce loves it. I have had zero damage (knock on wood) to my lettuce from pests. I planted marigolds at the ends of the rows which I think was very beneficial or maybe our pests haven’t found them yet. Shhhhhh……. We planted butter lettuce and romaine lettuce. The butter lettuce was from seeds started in the ground and it is loving our alkaline soil! I think it is the softest most palpable lettuce I have ever put in my mouth! The romaine lettuce I started in pots and it is growing but slowly- I think my pot selection may have been too small. Luckily, we will be eating butter lettuce until the cows come home. Well really longer than that since the cows are home actually. Note, if you have not invested in a salad spinner please do so. The little device allows me to keep lettuce up to 2 weeks.

lettuce

Lettuce move on to another lettuce like plant. The Kale! The Kale has been the beauty of the garden! It is so vibrant and colorful with burst of deep green and purples. We have a little Dinosaur Kale and a ton of Red Russian Kale. This plant is also very versatile, healthy and has multiple uses. We eat it raw or cooked. This week I experimented with Kale Chips! They were delicious. This is a good healthy snack for us late night snackers! Even my son liked them. Maybe he is turning over a new leaf (he he he) since he has a brand new baby boy. May I introduce, our newest grandbaby at FCR. Holden Harrison:

Holden

Now, back to Kale. This too is an easy plant for beginners. We planted in the ground this year from seeds and they have done really well. They grow fast and are low maintenance. I have also planted some in pots and they have done really well. Although, this year the plants in the ground seem to be doing better. I have had problems in the past with not having enough to last us throughout the season. However, this year I may have over planted. So, tell me if I can send you some Kale! Also, the salad spinner works well for this too or a lettuce keeper.

LET’S GET TURNIP! These turnip greens are out of control and I love it! I have thinned them twice and was able to have a huge harvest just from thinning. The leaves were young and tender which tasted amazing. The turnips were small and I haven’t decided yet if I will roast them separately (found a delicious recipe on pinterest) or add them in with the greens. I froze the turnip part for now until I can decide. Just a side note, the turnip leaves or greens will have prickly points on the leaves so I don’t eat them raw but once they are cooked they go away and you never even knew they were there. I could eat greens at every meal. My only problems is that you can’t eat greens without cornbread and I probably shouldn’t have so much cornbread in my life. One pan won’t hurt, right?

 

We also enjoyed a great cream of broccoli & cauliflower soup & modified shepherds pie from the garden harvest! Finally, I will close with this wonderful cocktail made with fresh mint from the garden. I call it a “Barbara Bush” in honor of the recent passing of FLOTUS # 41.

Barbara Bush

It is muddled lemon juice and mint with one part Blanton’s Bourbon and one part gingerale. I know I shouldn’t mix that Bourbon with anything but i was living on the edge!

-Chas

Women in History- “Hussy”

In honor of Women’s History Month I would like to introduce one of our famous Women around here! Meet our little “Hussy”.  She is ranch legend and icon. We all know her by name and give her the due respect and caution. She makes history every year on the ranch!

Hussy.jpg

She has earned her name by always doing what she wants when she wants! She is one of those women who are always getting into trouble. She doesn’t care what the other cows and heifers think. She is not afraid of anything. She might charge or chase you if needed. She doesn’t even care what the horses think. She routinely breaks into the barn and steals the horses hay! She just bellies up to the hay bar and helps herself. She is a key player in the Bovine Women’s Suffrage movement. She is feisty and rowdy at times and always seems to find trouble. Even when she is in Bovine jail, she remains composed but fearless!

hussy in shoot.JPG

Someone advised us to not sell our ugly cows because they are good producers of calves…… and she is ugly! But, she is the best momma. She produces a calf every year and guards it with all her fury. The first calf she had we named “Baby Huey” because he was almost as big as her and he would run from the dog and hide behind her. She would charge the dog every time this happened. We later noticed that “Baby Huey” was actually female. So her name is “Baby Henrietta” now.  Good thing the ranch went Bovine transgender not too long ago. Sometimes the cows pick their gender and sometimes we do! Baby Henrietta and Hussy are both still with us and consistently produce calves that grow into food for your tables.

She reminds me of the woman in the Ashton Shepherd song “aint dead yet”. The lyrics go something like “I got a baby at home, a to do list a mile long…….its my responsibility……. I am usually in bed by nine……. BUT I STILL LIKE A COLD BEER AND A LONG DIRT ROAD”. That’s our hussy! She’s got babies on the ranch and takes care of them because its her responsibility and she usually does what she is suppose to but she still likes some GOOD HAY IN THE BARN!

We love our Hussy, but in all seriousness there are some really amazing women in ranching history. If you have not had the chance to read Texas Ranch Women: Three Centuries of Mettle and Moxie by Carmen Goldthwaite it is a great read. She talks about women in Texas Ranching history in a chronological order including ranching Giants such as the King Ranch Queen- Henrietta King. In addition to but not limited to Margaret “Peggy” MCCormick, Manuela Ramon and Patricia de la Garza de Leon. I hope you enjoy and would love your feedback on the read!

– C

Sunrise on the Ranch

It’s been a long week on the ranch. Popi has been recovering well, but we can’t keep him in the bed. We find him in the barn piddelin’ or looking for stray metal in the yard. It’s a full-time job looking after him, but we are grateful that he is doing better! 


Gramita has been taking control of the ranch this week. She rearranges the barn constantly, wakes up at 5am daily to feed and grain the horses, and started making cherry jam. She mows daily and we count the cows and calves every evening. 

Seydi has been very sassy this week, but she loves helping us water the dogs and horses (as long as she gets to play in the water!) she can’t wait until Popi gets to feeling better so they can play together! She doesn’t like seeing him in pain! 

We are waiting for the apartment in the barn to be ready. It was suppose to be finished last week, but they are a little behind. It will be finished soon, then we can start working on bigger projects. We have our rainwater collection system set up and are only waiting on the tank now. Next we will build a greenhouse and bigger chicken coop! Our project list goes on and on, but if you stick around I’ll update everyone on our newest projects and ideas.  

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Roundin’ up the Herd 

We started this week by rounding up some of our calves and tagging them! Gramita was looking like a professional this week! (Her books and YouTube videos are paying off!) Guess I can’t call her a weekend rancher anymore! We had to step up our game this week. Popi has been out sick! (That’s why I’m posting late.) He is doing great now though and will be back to hisself soon! Until then it’s just Gramita and I running the ranch! Here are some pics from this week!

Pumpkin Takeover!

This week it seems like our pumpkins plants, that we grew from seed, are taking over the garden! They have tripled in size this week and are full of blooms! 

We had a small thrunderstom at the beginning of the week. I’m pretty sure that contributed to the size of our pumpkin plants, too! I love storms out here on the ranch! 

There was a photo shoot on Sunday for baby Seydi! She was diggin’ it! This sassy girl was made for the camera! 

Saw a few of our sweet calves today! They are growing fast! 

Well that’s about it for this week! Next might be more exciting! Hopefully we get a few more additions! I’ll keep everyone updated! Thanks for reading! Follow us on Instagram @Farnashcreekranch and subscribe to this blog!

Keep moving forward and be open to change!

New Addition and Summer Fun!

Zans Double Parr a.k.a. Cisco is our newest ranch addition! He is a male Palamino. He stands about 15 hands tall, four years old, and loves working cows! We got ourselves a catch! 

We’ve had a few injuries this week too! First, Cisco got caught in the fence on his first day here. Next, Clause got a snake bite. They are both doing great and Clause is all smiles after we wrapped him up! Thanks to the vet for all of his help!

Summertime ready! We have our cattle trough pool up. We put pool noodles around the edges and a few chlorine tabs to keep it nice and clean for the hot summer days! Baby Seydi will be having so much fun! 

Happy Fourth of July! We are about to have a long night of fireworks and quality family time! Everyone be safe, open to change and always move forward! Check us out next week for more updates! Subscribe and follow us on Instagram! We love sharing our story!

Gettin’ tagged!


Baby Buttons got her first ear tag today! She was very timid, but she will get used to it soon! This is the first time we’ve used our Priefert shoot on the calves! It worked great! 

We may have been a little underdressed for our impromptu tagging session, but at least the job got done! 

Gramita even had time to mow with Baby Seydi on the mower! Future rancher right here! 

All in all, it’s been a great week here at Farnash Creek Ranch! Right now we are getting our rain water collection system set up, having one of our steers processed, and getting the barn apartment finished up. I’ll give updates and pictures when our when we get it all finished! Updates are every Wednesday! Subscribe to our blog and follow us on Instagram! #opentochange #alwaysmovingforward

Farnash Creek Ranch

Well, Farnash Creek Ranch just got a blog! Yay! We are so excited to share our story with everyone! FCR is a cattle ranch in Hamilton, TX. We are on a journey to build our ranch and share our daily life with everyone who wants to know! I guess this first post should be the introductions. First, we have our Popi. He is basically the “boss man.” Popi does everything and you’ll rarely find him sitting down on a break. He is our handyman, chicken killer, fence builder, porch builder, and professional Ranch Rambler maker. Popi is married to Gramita. Gramita is our planner, do-er, idea-Woman, organizer,and our wine connoisseur. Next, we have Baby Seydi. She is Popi and Gramita’s very first grand baby. She is our cat chaser, dirt eater, morning cuddle-er,and (when she doesn’t have a nap) our hair pulling, screaming, scratcher and pincher. Lastly there is me! I guess I’m the normal one…. Just kidding! I am the self-appointed Ranch Manager of the family. I am Seydi’s mom and Popi and Gramita’s daughter. I basically try to talk them out of most of the more strenuous chores that we have, (but they always win!)

Let’s not forget the animals! Chip (Chocolate Chip) is our oldest puppy dog. He is a chocolate lab. Bindi is a Australian shepherd mix that was found. She makes sure all the cows get barked at on a regular basis. Last, but not least is Clause, he is a springer spaniel/ blue lacy (state dog of Texas!) mix. He is our newest addition. Born on Christmas and is a cow-barker in training. Cat-Man-Do is our kitten. He’s pretty chill and spends most days running from Baby Seydi. Next up are the chickens. Three hens, two roosters, and 1 guinea. The hens and guinea all lay eggs! We get around 4 a day! The roosters are getting ready to be processed! Sugar, Crowe, Rodie, and Cody are our horses and they ALL have big personalities. Lastly, we have the cattle. Big Chief is our bull (all the ladies love him), 4 steers, 28 heifers, and 12 calves. Oh! AND TINA! She is our “Corse,” her mother was impregnated too early and Tina was born very small and short. Its been a year and she still looks ‘calf-like.’ So, we let her stay in the pasture with the horses!

Well, this is us! We aren’t perfect and we are still learning! Hoping to grow and expand one day, but for now we are taking it one day at a time and enjoying our simple, fun, happy life! I hope everyone enjoys us!

Now that the intros are over next will be more “farm-ranch” related. I’ll keep everyone updated on our projects, plans, gardens, and just funny stories to we accumulated throughout the week! See ya’ll next time and remember to always be open to change and keep moving forward! Check us out on Instagram! @farnash_creek_ranch

-A

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