Morning silence…

It’s Sunday, 8am. We just finished our morning chores. 

I love Sunday. 

It’s the only day Mike and I get to sleep in. The rest of the week he works and we get up at 5am for the morning chores. 

We sit on our back porch overlooking the farm. The sun is hidden behind a few clouds and the ever present gentle breeze stirs the sycamore trees surrounding our home. Mr. Rod, the original owner of this property, planted them in purposeful manner, so they cast a shade over the house.  Here in Florida, you need shade!

While we sit here in silence, enjoying our morning,  we relax and sip our hot coffee. Today, would have been hard to get up. I worked in the garden yesterday and cleaned the entire house, did laundry and made dinner. I sat behind the computer researching and learning about essential oils. By the end of the night, I was toast. My sciatica was ragging and I had a pretty intense headache from working in the sun. 

We believe in growing and raising what we eat. Because everything we do is about getting back to basics, we naturally inclined to use as much of nature’s medicine as possible. It’s why we have a farm.

Since, I received my first essential oil kit I asked Mike if he could massage my back. He said of course and so I blended a few drops of doTERRA deep blue with some organic extra virgin olive oil. 

Mike is a former weightlifting representative for Czechoslovakia, he knows massage! Let me tell you, for the first time in a very long time, I got up this morning without pain! The oils and massage together helped me so much, I didn’t have to do my pretzel stretching at all. I was able to clean Elsie’s udders without getting up like a beatup MMA fighter. I can not believe that I am sitting in this chair without shifting all the time to release pressure off of my lower back. 

Needless to say, I am happy!

Of course we have a full day ahead, but that is ok. I feel great!

If there is something out there, to help your ailments, making your life manageable wouldn’t you try it? I wish I did sooner!

Anyone interested in the wonderful healing properties of doTERRA essential oils should let me know! Let’s see how we can help you! 

Disclaimer: Mike is not included with any essential oils! Lol.

Please take a moment and visit my website for more information on the best essential oils out there!

Happy Sunday to all!


Good morning…

‚ÄčI love sleep. The warmth of my bed, hugging my body tightly, wrapped in my comforter with ten pillows propping up various parts of my body. Sweet peaceful sleep.

But, I am a farmer and waking early is part of the job description. My husband wakes me every morning with a kiss on my forehead and a sweet “wake up baby”. Then, he lingers in the room, making sure I am awake. He makes his way down to the barn first and I follow about fifteen minutes later. 

I walk to the barn in the dark. The path is worn and the moon lights the way. Our Florida sand glitters and our two catahoulas and four cats lead our little procession to the barn. As much as I love sleep, I enjoy our morning chores as well. I get a good morning hug and another kiss from husband and ask him what else needs tending to. 

My favorite, as of this past week, has been checking on the baby rabbits. They are absolutely the cutest things on our farm right now. 

From there I fill their water, replenish their hay and move on to preparing the water for washing the cows utters before milking. I set down my blanket to sit on and prepare the utter lotion and Mike goes to clean the cow stall and bring the cow. He feeds Teatime and gives her hay as well. While I wait, the cats gather on my sitting blanket and Daisy the catahoula lays down in the middle of the barn walkway, where she waits for Elsie, the cow. Leo, our oldest dog-child, does has rounds around the farm.

I hear the clinking of the gate chain and walk over to the stancion and wait for Elsie. It’s best to stay out of the way, she doesn’t understand what “easy” means haha.  

I give her the spa treatment, while she eagerly munches on her morning hay and then we milk. Tag team from both sides because our inexperience with purchasing cows, got us here. We didn’t know about teet size and proportion and hers are, well small and uneven and she can only be milked by a machine and ours is not as powerful, so we have to hold the cups until proper suction is established. Usually about one minute. 
This is when Lilly, my cat, climbs into my lap. She sits down and kneads at my legs, stomach and anything she can. She meows and walks around me and repeats. Elsie is done, Mike goes to open the gate and I wash her udders again and apply udder cream and release her from the stancion. Daisy waits for Elsie to pass and comes to lap up the milk we squirt out of each teet before milking. She doesn’t share with the cats! That is only her treat!

We gather the milk can and turn off all the light and make our way back to the house. Dogs first, us and followed by all the cats. The sky is beautiful and full of stars. Most mornings there is fog covers the pastures and behind us we hear our roosters crowing away. 

I do love sleep, but such mornings make it worth while. After we process the milk, sanitize the equipment and I make Mike his lunch, I send him off to work, feed the dogs and cats and quietly slip back into my still warm bed. 

At 7:30 I wake to get our daughter ready for school.


To do lists…

It’s no secret, every farm has has an endless to do list. There is a daily list of chores and then the list of things which need to get done now, some are near future and then there are emergencies, which push everything else down the list.

Some things are simple and require only time and labor. Some, need a little spending and most have you digging deeper into your pocket and work ethic.

Sometimes, you just want to take a nap, because you went to bed late reading a great book and had to wake up few ours later to milk the cow, process the milk, make breakfast and lunch for the husband who has to work a ten hour day so you can eventually, dig deeper to pay for those items on the to do list! Ha, now I feel bad! Nap does sound good though.

I regress, the to do list. Ok, so our current list has this thing called the garden. It moves up and down the list, sometimes gets crossed off and then is back on top. 

One of the awesome things about living and farming, in Florida is the soil. Yeah right!!!

Sand, it’s nothing but sand! The bane of my existence! Sand in the yard, sand in the stalls, sand in my garden and sand in my house! I sweep everyday and by now, could have a beach right next to the drain field. Yup, that is a constant item on the to do list!

So, we have been composting our various types of poopies, created by our most loyal farm workers – the animals! I love them and their poop, well not the chicken poop, that’s gross and it’s everywhere. Did you know dogs love to eat freakin poop?? All of it, any of it, anytime! 

Glorious horse poop. I like this poop, it smells good to me. Don’t judge me man!

With the said poop, we add spent hay and leaves and small twigs, used coffee grounds and when I had lots of milk, before acquiring customers, whey. We do not add vegetable scraps to it, because those go to the pig. 

I was feeding our horse, yesterday evening, and noticed the covered area she uses as her potty, has completely decomposed. I got so excited, I nearly peed my pants! Note to self, don’t run to tell Mike, and God forbid, don’t you dare sneeze! TMI, LOL, SMH!!!

Stupid camera on the stupid phone

So, I checked out the compost pile and it looks awesome as well!

Needless to say, the garden is back on top of the list for this weekend! 

My beds are (cough) not ready, I have been layering used coffee grounds, pine needles, grass cuttings and egg shells. The final two layers will be the composted chicken, horse and rabbit poop and spent hay thingy from the barn. I will, probably buy some soil too, just to add a little more goodness!

I won’t lie, this is sad

The list also includes, the mentioned drain field, smoker, slaughter the pig, weeding and fixing of the garden wall around the pool enclosure and everything else, that happens in between!

And, this just in. As I was sitting on my back porch, drinking coffee and writing this post, I looked up over the pastures and noticed an odd thing. Elsie decided, she wanted to eat the better grass in the off limits pasture, so she gently opened the gate. Now we need a new gate. See what I mean? Tested husband, this will need to be fixed first! Lol, I can’t even. Oh, I need a new phone. The camera on this one is horrible and I am a blogger, dang it! 


So, on with the to do lists, scribble and all that jazz. 


Nature’s fury…

Hurricanes are a part of life, in Florida. The last crazy Hurricane season was in 2004. I was in my last week of pregnancy when Charlie hit. Power was out for a week and we needed chainsaws to get out of our community. With gestational diabetes, it was hard keeping the insulin cold and ice was no where to be found. We survived, as Floridians always do, and a week after I gave birth, Jean came barreling into town. Not as bad, but blue tarps covered much of Central Florida for many months to come. My daughter, 12 asked me why we didn’t name her Charlie and if she could change her name. Lol, I said no!

 When Matthew came calling, everyone wanted to prepare. The news stressed evacuation of barrier islands, most complied, but some did not want to leave their homes and many simply had nowhere to go. Within hours, there was no gas, water, bread and ice! 

 This was the real deal and Georgia, South Carolina are feeling the rath of this powerful hurricane as I write this. Our coast line is battered, many returning to uninhabitable homes. 

I am so happy that our little farm came out unscathed! My biggest worry was the barn areas, which are shaded by giant, live oak trees. While there is a little roof damage, it’s nothing major. The trees lost a few branches and there are a few danglers. The winds were unrelenting for 24 hours straight! With each gust that braced our home, I feared our roof would fly off. But it didn’t! Bunch of branches and leaves litter our pastures but that is alright. My favorite lemon tree was uprooted, but Mike put it back and hopefully it can be saved. The screen pool enclosure has a few rips, but again that is ok. 

We milked in high winds and torrential rain and even lost power, but our amazing power company fixed it within 1 1/2 hours!

I am so grateful that this storm spared us, but saddened at the same time that our historic St.Augustine has been flooded, beaches and roads are damaged and homes lost. Two casualties too many…

Heed warnings of storms, always be prepared, look out for your neighbors and have compassion.

The sun will rise, we will rebuild!

Farmer’s cheese pancakes

If you are lucky and have excess to raw milk, you are able to, not only, have the ultimate cream of the top, pun intended, but also the main ingredient to many delicious foods. Farmer’s cheese being one of them. This awesome cheese is a fluffy, crumbly texture, which can be used in a variety of sweet and savory dishes. My favorite is cheese strudel and no one makes a better strudel of any kind that my awesome Mom!

I come pretty darn close, but I digress!

Basically, farmer’s cheese is made from soured milk. Leave a gallon of milk out, covered lightly with a breathable cover, like a coffee filter or cheese cloth. Let us sit at room temperature for 2 days. When nice and thick, slowly bring up temperature to 180 degrees F. Once the whey is clearly separating from the solids, strain through a cheese cloth, tie it off and hang to drip. The longer it drips the drier the cheese. I drip only for 30 minutes. Transfer to a container and cover right. place in fridge until ready to use. Will last about 5 days in fridge. Before getting our cow, I bought the Friendship farmer’s cheese at our local super market, and it tastes great!
My kids love farmer’s cheese pancakes! It’s almost like a cheesecake pancake. Yum! Hold, I have to flip them.

Unlike regular pancakes, you want to use oil or ghee (clarified butter).

I use the latter. A heavy cast iron skillet is the way to cook these babies!

1 cup farmer’s cheese

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup vanilla sugar (vanilla bean pods placed in a large jar of granulated sugar makes vanilla sugar)

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4  cup milk

pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest

powdered sugar for sprinkling on top.

Place everything in a bowl and Mix until all is well incorporated. Let it rest for 10 minutes. 

Meanwhile, heat your cast iron skillet and melt butter, pour oil or ghee in to heat up.

Proceed as with making pancakes.

Don’t mind the funky shape, trying to do two things at once haha.

Tada! The finished and delicious farmer’s cheese pancakes.


Chicken talk…

We love our ladies and our small rooster. Our mixed flock of 30 includes, black australorp, silver laced wyondottes, buff orphignons, polish hen, New hapshire and red stars. We also have 3 pulets and 7 chicks. It is a beautiful sight, especially in the afternoon, when they dot the middle pasture. They chase, yes chase, bugs and scratch the ground. The chickens do a great job of spredding Elsie’s cow pies and practically climb in the wallow with  Bacon-bit when she is eating.

Just the other day, I asked Mike if he could imagine his life without all of these animals, and he simply stated, “Not anymore”. I second that. 

Our chickens have free range over the entire property, but mostly they keep to the back 2 acres of our property. Their yolks are a lovely deep orange and everyone who eats them, raves about their delicious taste. 

They say chickens are the gateway drug, err animal and that’s is absolutely true. I am thinking I need more red stars, because I have more customers now, and well I can’t disappoint them!!!

We will also be ordering broilers in the next week, because there is nothing better than home grown chicken!

Look for a post on our Victory Garden Farm Facebook page, we will be taking deposits for your birds soon!