Monday, October 09, 2006


There are many little daily occurances that make me think, "That would be good to write about on the blog!" but the thought is always easier than the sitting down at the computer at the end
of a busy day and composing an interestsing story. There has been plenty going on since we got back from vacation, so let's see if I can relate a few of the hi-lights.

It's calving season. Who
knew there was such a thing?! The typical ratio of girls (heifers) to boys (bulls) is 1:1. So far this fall, of about 16 calves born, only 6 have been heifers. The bulls are sold when they're about a week old, but the heifers are raised to become our milkers in two years. In other words, baby heifers are our future livelihood. Come on, girls! We're counting on you!!

Seems like it's alwa
ys kitten season on the farm. One of the gray cats in the milk barn has 2 new, fat, furry babies. We have named them Shag and Mo'Hair:
Kit Carson has had another baby (in the junk yard, of course) and her name is Kitty Carlysle:
You might remember one of Carson's spring babies, Sonny, who fell in the bucket of oil. Well, he has recovered handsomely! Here you will see him curled up on the hay barn floor, with Groucho snoozing in the milk pan behind him. Creamsicle, the only one of the Soda Shoppe Kittens who hasn't been adopted by a loving family, has fun playing with her mom in front of the milk barn.
Tripod, the quintessence of
motherhood, is picutred here with 5 babies wrapped around her. Two of them are her own, but all of them are too old to be nursing. Don't tell Tripod that!

With some help from family and friends, Weldon has cho
pped the corn and got it stored in the silos. He grows the best corn in the county and probably the state and maybe even the nation! Although the corn wasn't as tall as last year's, the yield was better. The chopped corn (silage) is the staple of the cows' diet. One field of "tropical" corn remains to be chopped after the first frost.

This past week, Weldon and I went to his uncle's and picked about 5 gallons of scuppernongs. Here's what Wikipedia has to say about them:

Some muscadines in a bowl; the green ones are scuppernongs
Some muscadines in a bowl; the green ones are scuppernongs

A scuppernong is a large type of muscadine, a type of grape native to the present-day southeastern United States. It usually has a greenish or bronze color, and is similar in appearance and texture to a white grape, but rounder and about 50% larger.

Its name comes from its original place of production, Scuppernong, North Carolina, where it was first grown during the 17th century, a name itself tracing back to the Algonquin word ascopo for the sweet bay tree.

Several small green seeds are found in each grape. The skin is very thick and inedible. To eat a scuppernong, one must put the grape between the front teeth, stem end pointing into the mouth, then squeeze gently to burst the grape. The pulp is thick and viscous. The seeds, which are very bitter and unpleasant tasting, can be extracted or spit out. Some people choose to swallow the seeds.

The part that says the skins are inedible is not true; it's just that they're very tough and bitter. Last year I made a scuppernong pie, including the skins, and it was delicious. This year I made jelly and preserves, both of which turned out quite ymmy. I froze 5 or 6 quarts of juice and also have enough grapes left to make a pie ... if I can get up the gumption to go to all that work again :-)

It sounds like we work a lot, doesn't it? We do, but, for the most part, we enjoy it! Plus, we squeeze in a little entertainment every now and then. Yesterday we went to see a college production of the musical "Beehive." I had never heard of it, but it was cute and fun ... the music of the female singers of the 60s.

The fall weather is upon us. Although I don't like the cold weather, we have the beautiful colors of the changing leaves to look forward to. Also, the cold weather isn't as cold as Minnesota and it doesn't last nearly so long. Ahh, there's always a bright side.