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Spring…

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Springtime on the road

As many of you know, Ron and I are most often on the road for his work. We would love to be home at Stone Creek Farm, but for now we travel from job to job spending nine months or more at each job. So when spring arrives I do what every gardener does, I plant my garden. One nice thing about this job in New Mexico is that spring has arrived already. I watched my weather app for weeks waiting for the night-time lows to rise above freezing and now I am good to start gardening.

Gathering my supplies

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Since we travel back and forth all over the United States constantly I make it a point to collect old buckets and resin type flower pots for my garden on the road. I love terra-cotta pots, but it breaks my heart when they are reduced to shards because of all the bouncing on the road. I have even built wooden boxes for my garden in some of the places we have been, but I have to leave those behind when we leave because we don’t have room to take them with us. Although the neighbor I give it to is usually pretty happy.

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This year’s humble beginnings

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Final thoughts…

Take it from me… as one who struggles with depression. There is just something in the very act of getting your hands in the dirt and planting a garden that fills you with hope!

I will leave you with Audrey Hepburn’s words

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”

 

 

 

Homemade Yogurt

Today is the third time I have made yogurt. My first attempt a couple of weeks ago was delicious, but runny. My second attempt, last week was a disaster. I added gelatin as some of the recipes suggested only to end up with gross gelatin lumps that ruined the texture and it was still runny!

I am hopeful that today’s batch will turn out. I used whole milk instead of 2% and added tapioca powder and powdered milk, all the things that I read would make thicker yogurt. I won’t know for another five hours, that’s how long it has to incubate.

What I did today…

Here are the ingredients:

1/2 gallon of whole milk

1/2 cup sugar

1 container plain yogurt

2 tablespoons powered milk

2 tablespoons tapioca powder

1/2 of a vanilla bean

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Here are the steps

1. Prep all the ingredients.

I powdered the tapioca in the blender. The tapioca then goes into the pan with the milk to get heated.

I cut open the vanilla bean and scraped out the insides, then mixed it into the 1/2 cup of sugar. I also added the 2 tablespoons of powered milk to the sugar.

Set the container of store bought plain yoghurt out to warm up a bit.

2. Heat the milk and tapioca in a heavy pan. I used my enameled cast iron Dutch oven.

I stirred constantly to bring the milk to 180 – 183 degrees. I also threw in the empty vanilla bean that I had already scraped the insides out of.

3. When the milk reached 180 – 183 degrees I stirred in the sugar mixture and vanilla extract. This is when I removed the vanilla bean pod. I removed the pan from the heat and set it in the sink that I had filled with cool water.

4. I continued stirring until the temperature dropped to 110 degrees then I stirred a cup of the warm milk mixture into the store bought yogurt and dumped it back into the pan stirring the mixture well.

5. I put the lid on the pan and stuck in in my oven with the pilot light lit. I also read that wrapping a towel around the pot and turning your oven light on will keep it warm enough as well, if you don’t have an oven with a pilot light.

Now to wait six hours for the yogurt to incubate. If everything goes right I should end up with some yummy yogurt ❤️

…and the results are in!

It turned out nice and thick, yay!

I’m calling this batch a win, it is thick and tastes great. Adding the powdered milk changed the texture a little, it’s not quite as smooth, but it is far better than having it runny.

Look how cute and yummy all my little pots of vanilla bean yogurt are…

One final picture, breakfast ❤️

Stone Creek Farm “Vintage”

I’m back in New Mexico, but my heart is still at the farm.

Today I spent time creating a “vintage postcard” graphic for Stone Creek. I have always loved the way these look, so I decided to try and make one. All in all I’m pretty happy with it. I think I’ll put it on some t-shirts to start with.

Bunnies

While I was home we ended up getting baby bunnies ❤️

Kelsey and Sam get the responsibility of taking care of them… I get to hold them and love them when I’m home, then leave the work to Kelsey. It’s a pretty sweet deal for me!

They are Lion Head bunnies. They will have super long, fluffy manes. Super cute. We are going to try raising them to see if we can make them pay for themselves. If nothing else they are a great addition to our petting zoo.

New creations

I posted this sugar and creamer on Social Media, so some of you will have seen it already. I’m working on making more of them to sell.

Also, I tried my hand at making a vase.

It’s different from my usual style, but one like it caught my eye online, so I had to try and make one ☺️

Did I ever post pictures of my tulip crates I made last month? I can’t remember if I did… so here you go…

Next week…

I think my next blog post will be about making yogurt. I’ve made it twice this week and I LOVE IT!

Until then…

Willys update

She’s up and running!

I picked Ron up at the airport at about 11am and by 2 pm he had the Willys running. Did I mention that included the hour drive home from the airport?

I think we are going to have a lot of fun with this wagon. However, I think Ron may have forgotten that he bought it for me😉 The four wheel drive even appears to be working !

The grand babies love it too! Papa took them for a quick ride around the property.

Inspiration photo

for restoration

Okay, I realize we have a long ways to go to get my wagon to look like this wagon, but the fun is in the journey, right?

Big news at Stone Creek Farm!

We broke ground!

Today a great group of guys started grading for our house.

It’s pretty exciting to see this kind of progress. We might just get to realize our dreams here on the farm.

Here is a drawing of our house/barn that we plan on building.

They definitely found a few rocks while digging out the house pad.

It seems crazy that in order to make a house pad all the dirt has to be dug out and then put back and packed down. We have mountains of dirt waiting to go back into the pad.

In other news…

My birthday and Ron’s and my 38th anniversary are coming up on Valentine’s Day ❤️

Ron got me an early present for our anniversary/my birthday.

I am now the proud owner of a 1958 Willys Wagon! I’m hoping that at some point in the future I’ll be able to drive it to the farmer’s market filled with flowers and herbs grown here on the farm.

Now, just for pure cuteness 😊

We stopped at the feed store today to get alfalfa pellets for the goats and nearly came home with bunnies. We aren’t quite ready for bunnies yet, but it was sooo tempting ❤️

Until next time….