Friday, September 19, 2014

Fall Garden Cleanup

It sure seems like just yesterday that I was writing and taking pictures of the spring garden we had just planted.  Then I wrote in my winter prep blog about turning the geese loose in there to eat all the overgrown forage.  Well, those geese did their job and now it's time to write about how we are getting the garden ready to try our hand at our first fall garden.  

Everyone tells us it's time to plant beets, onions, kale and cilantro, among other things.  We are lucky here in South Carolina to have a fall growing season, so with a little help from our draft horse Mags, the garden is just about ready to plant.  More to come as it (hopefully!) grows! 

We had a few small, unproductive fruit trees that had been damaged
in last winters ice storm and were taking up valuable garden space.
Mags had no problem pulling those out for us!
Mags has some strong horse power for pulling out trees!
Time to take a break!

All the girls followed as Mags pulled the big debris to the woods
Putting that horse power to work to till up the entire garden!
After a little additional help from the tractor and drag,
the garden is all
tilled up, smoothed out and ready for fall planting!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Farm Into Fall ~ issue 6 ~ Decorating

One of my true indicators that fall has arrived is when I take down the summer and put up the fall decor.  I don't do a lot, but there is just enough of a color change from my summery red-white-and-blue, to the warm tones of autumn to make me remember we are in my favorite season.  Here are some pictures of how I decorate around the homestead-

Just a pumpkin....and Gracey Coal getting in on the action
The farmer scarecrow
A little added fall color to a back porch table
Welcome! (this is just after we prepared for winter by
giving the porch a new coat of paint) 
The front door with a simple fall wreath nearby
Ceramic pumpkins and a fall colored placemat in the kitchen
Wooden fall leaves decorate the pantry door
This vintage bucket holds leaves and a scarecrow
Family and Friends get a warm, fall, backdoor greeting, 
and a reminder to Give Thanks for all of our blessings.

Easy Soft Cheese from One Ash Farm Recipes

You can make your own soft, spreadable cheese in a flash with this super easy recipe!  It's best made with Raw Cows Milk, but other milk can be used. 
 Hope you enjoy!

Raw Milk Soft Cheese from One Ash Farm Recipes

1 gallon raw cows milk
1/2 cup white vinegar
salt to taste (about 1/2 tsp.)
other seasonings to taste

Bring the milk just to a boil, stirring consistently to avoid scorching.  
Remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar. 
 Let sit until curds develop, stirring gently.  
Pour mixture into a cheesecloth lined strainer and drain off the whey (liquid).  
Pulling the corners of the cheesecloth together, form a cheesecloth bag 
around the curds and gently squeeze off the excess whey.  
Continue this process until you have the desired moisture level 
in your cheese, or hang your cheesecloth bag of curds to drain.  
Pour the cheese curds into a bowl and salt to taste. 
Spices and herbs can be added to taste to create spreadable, flavored cheese.
Mix thoroughly with a spoon or pastry blender.   
Spread on your favorite cracker, or a slice of our French Bread!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Farm Into Fall ~ issue 5 ~ Plowing

It seems like just yesterday that I was writing about the excitement of the garden being planted and starting to grow (How Does Our Garden Grow), and now it's time to plow it for the winter.  We have gone from harvesting great amounts of tomatoes and making fresh salsa, to letting the garden grow wild and turn to additional forage for the goats and geese in preparation for winter.  

With the addition of Mags, our belgium draft horse, the plowing of the garden will be done via true horse power this year.  Here are some pictures of Mags helping us to Farm Into Fall !

all dressed and ready to work
ready to get started
time to dig in deep
the first round of plowing is complete!
time to relax

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sweet Garlic Crock Pot Chicken

Cooking a whole chicken in the crock pot is easy and a super time-saver.  
This recipe gives it a wonderful flavor that your family is sure to enjoy!
Sweet Garlic Crock Pot Whole Chicken

4 tsp. minced garlic
4 TBS. brown sugar
1 TBS. olive oil
1 TBS. soy sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl until well blended. 
Spoon the rub onto the whole chicken and coat well.
Spray the inside of your crockpot with spray olive oil.
Place the chicken in the crock pot and cook on low for 7 hours.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Snickerdoodle Cookies from One Ash Farm Recipes

Last night, I wanted an easy (but yummy) dessert to make. After digging around on places like Pinterest and, I finally found a perfect recipe. The only problem? I didn't have all the ingredients I needed. Since I was pretty desperate, I made do and changed a few things. I'm glad I did, because these cookies came out marvelous! Check out the recipe below:


1 box of White Cake Mix
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup shortening
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbs sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

(makes about 50)


  1. Go ahead and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Take out your cookie sheets and grease them. Set these aside.
  2. In a medium size mixing bowl, mix together the cake mix, butter, shortening and egg until a bread-like dough forms. Make sure all the ingredients are well blended. 
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon.
  4. Shape the dough into 1/2" balls. 
  5. Roll the balls in the sugar and cinnamon mixture, making sure the entire thing is well covered.
  6. Before you put the cookies in the oven, take a fork and mash each ball down flat, creating the criss-cross pattern on top of the cookie.
  7. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
  8. Let cool on wire racks for about 5 minutes.
  9. Enjoy with a nice big glass of milk (preferably raw!) 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

New Roof On The Old Barn

It seems like there is always a project to be completed on the homestead, some are just a little more challenging than others.  That was the case with the roof on our old barn.  For years we have watched it get worse and worse, and watched a few more drips inside every time it rained.  We even started finding pieces of it after strong winds.  It has been obvious that the roof needed replacing, but the "professionals" kept telling us that the entire roof structure would need to be rebuilt, and it was "dangerous" for anyone to go up there. This is an old barn, and we just couldn't find the value in replacing the entire roof structure, especially at the prices they wanted to charge!  If you are a homesteader, or any kind of DIY-er, you know this kind of thing just makes you want to figure out how to do it yourself.  So, after many years, One Ash hubby and a hard working young man from our church did just that.

After much observation and discussion, the determination was made that the young man could safely start removing the old roof to see what the beams looked like.  It turned out that he was able to work on the roof without encountering any of those issues the professionals "warned" us about.  And just two work sessions later, the entire back side of the barn is re-roofed with long lasting metal. No one got injured, and the workers were well fed to support their efforts.  Now the feed will stay dry, the building won't rot and fall down, there will be a place for the Berkshire Pigs to raise their babies when the time comes, and oh-so important is that the barn cat "Avi" will now have a dry castle.

I have to say that I believe wholeheartedly in the enterprising and hard working spirit of farmers and homesteaders.  Some times a professional is needed, but whenever you can do it yourself the results will not only meet your standards, but you will also be rewarded with knowing you have the skills needed to take care of yourself and your family.

Here are pictures of the roof-raising progress.  I am so proud of these two men for accomplishing this task, and love the new barn roof!

The old barn

Part of the old roof is gone!
Betsy and Juajita are wondering what's happening
Betsy enjoys being a part of the project
Getting there
Looking ahead to the next days work
Losing daylight
The end of the first days work
At it again, and moving faster
One final discussion

Almost done