Sunday, September 21, 2008

It's a grind...

Thanks to our wonderful local Pennysaver(that Mike reads cover to cover nearly every week), we are now stocked with grain for at least the next year. We met a local farmer who sells grain to the public, and we now have 100 pounds of wheat, 150 pounds of corn, and 50 pounds of oats. Cool, huh? Since all of it is in its natural form, we'll mix in some food grade diatomaceous earth to take care of bugs, and store it all in food grade buckets, courtesy of the local bakerys. at $7/50#, you can't beat the price, and in the inflationary market current gripping the country, it doesn't hurt to be prepared!
So. What are we going to do with all this stuff, you ask? Well, I've been wanting a grain mill for years, but never could find a source for the whole grain that was reasonable. that we can get the grain, we got a grain mill. Here are some shots of Mike and I giving it a test run Tuesday evening....

First pass of corn through the grinder. You have to crack it, before you can grind it.....

After the second pass...a somewhat coarse cornmeal. I might have to pass it through again for some recipes, but that'll be a matter of trial and error.

And here's a couple of cups of fresh ground wheat flour. That wasn't bad at all. The grain mill we chose is a "Family Grain Mill", and is german made. It's incredibly easy to turn(we're manual for the time being, but will probably mechanize the process at a later date). The mill is incredibly versatile, and we ordered a flaker attachment to work with it as well, so we can make our own oatmeal. Of course, before we can do that, we have to figure out how to hull the oats!!!

Arrivals and Departures...

Well, we've had some arrivals and departures since the last post. We butchered our second litter of rabbits(Lily's first litter) this past monday, and her second litter arrived Friday evening. Her first litter was 6 - this one is 10!! She's very proud, and happy to be unpregnant, and we're very happy with her! We won't know colors or anything until later this week, but once their fur starts to come in I'll take some shots of them. Cocoa's second litter of eight is growing well, and they'll be graduating to the growout cage later, and we'll be breeding her back this coming Wednesday.

Other arrivals are these little fuzzballs! They're nearly two weeks old now(the pic is from the day they arrived), and are peeping, pooping and eating!

Yesterday was a day for running errands, today, for chores and tasks. We got the new chimney cap on - a LockTop Damper, that will hopefully help us battle the amazing winds we face living so close to Lake Erie. While up on the roof I took care of a piece of the trim that was a vicitim to one of our early spring storms as well.

We also took care of getting two grow out cages built for the rabbits, and hanging them in the barn. Cocoa's litter of eight will be moved into it when I go out to feed them this evening. All told, I think it took us more than two hours to build the cage, and probably an hour and a half to get it hung in the barn. We had to do a bit of rearranging/renovating to put them were we planning, but a pleasant side effect is that the chicken area is not much more secure, and looks much neater.

Now I'm off to work on apples - we were lucky enough to find a guy looking for people to take care of all the apples on his five trees, and came home with two 50# feed bags full, as well as a box full. So...applesauce, applebutter, and all sorts of other things apple are on the way!

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