Winter (Spring) Update and an Easy Recipe – Potatoes, Broccoli, and Bologna

WOW!  The weather the past couple of weeks certainly does not feel like February in Iowa!  This afternoon it was 72 degrees and I was skimming some leaves off of the top of the pool with a T-shirt on!  I think that is about to change tomorrow.  Oh well, I am not quite ready for yard work yet!  Today I am including a few of the happenings on the farm this last month.

Jacob doing some serious thinking.  (This was obviously not today as he would have roasted in his coveralls!)  Are the markets up?  What do we need to sell the group of cattle for next year to make a profit?  How much corn do we need to keep for feed?  Who will buy our Holsteins(black and white cattle)?  (Tyson, a large cattle  buyer has not been buying Holsteins for a few months!  Not a good thing!!)  We know our black and whites make just as good if not better steaks and hamburger as any other breed of cattle!!

jacob-computer

Last month we received a new group of pigs!

pig-building-picture-jan17

On the day our new pigs arrived we had the opportunity to do a Farm Skype with a 4th grade class in Waukee ( west of Des Moines).  I think Farmer Jacob did a good job of answering the students’ questions.  They wanted him to pick up a pig; so he did. (I need to practice my technology skills.)

pig-farm-skypepict2

When the roads and fields were dry we were able to haul some natural fertilizer (cattle manure)  for our crops that we will plant this spring.  Speaking of hauling manure – today Kevin attended a class this afternoon in order to receive a required certification to haul and apply manure.

manure-jacob

It has been so nice outside!  This weather makes it so much more enjoyable to open gates!

west-hoop-feb172

Saturday morning  – when Jacob hollered in the house, “Mom, what are you doing?  I need a gate opener.” –  I must admit, I let out a groan as I had just started a project; however, after enjoying the warmth and beauty of the morning, I was glad I was able to open gates while Jacob put in cornstalk bales for bedding and hay in the hay bunks.

calves-at-barrsfeb17

                                                      The sky really was that blue!

calves-feb17

This is what a whole beef and 1/4 looks like when it is ready to be consumed!  Thanks to our local locker we have fresh beef.  The newlywed were happy to get their first 1/4 beef with their name on it!  The back sacks are meat we canned in quart jars.  It is so handy for beef and noodles, BBQ beef, or hot beef sundaes!

beef-in-car

Well, we moved Jacob out in November, and we moved Emily back home as she is student teaching in Newton.  She keeps busy working on lesson plans.  30 years ago I did not use a laptop to do such things!  Snickers thinks Emily needs a study break!!

snickers-emily-computer

Today I was working from home – so I wanted a quick dinner.  I had some broccoli that needed to be used.  Thought about baked potatoes, but it was too hot!  I have not made this for quite some time (Jacob acted like he didn’t even remember it)!  So here is a quick, easy recipe.

POTATOES, BROCCOLI, AND BOLOGNA

Potatoes – one per person, cooked and mashed,

Broccoli – cooked (fresh or frozen)

Bologna – one ring, chopped finely (The original recipe I have says to grind it.)

(Today I used deer bologna. I know I usually use our own beef and pork; however, in a way we feed the deer too!  The guys take the opportunity to do some hunting the first week of December – they call it “crop protection”!  Yes, we usually see a herd of deer crossing the road each day!  They were extremely hard on one section of the sweet corn this summer.)

Combine potatoes, broccoli, and bologna, and add some (lots of) butter!  Season with salt and pepper.

poatatos-broccoli-and-bolonga

You see chunks of cheese in the picture, because the bologna I used had cheese chunks in it.

One last update for today.  On Wednesday afternoons I have had the opportunity to help out with our STARS program at church.  Currently I have a crew of children that I  lead to Bible memory, a Bible story, and an activity.  Today our activity was constructing robots.  Here is Conner, one of my crew members with my friend, Karna, who is also a crew leader.

stars9

Have a great rest of the week!

Julie

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