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Featherfoot Farm Journal Spring 2007

And the idiots still ask why it's come to this, as they lean on their missiles and polish their pistols. Oh, give me one more goodnight kiss.
--Gregg Brown, One More Goodnight Kiss

On The Farm
It's the little things in life that make it so enjoyable, like getting your mozzarella cheese to spin, spreading the garden with home-grown composted manure and pouring that just-bottled maple syrup on a hot waffle.
Five goat kids came this spring. Sugar had triplets and Peanut delivered twins. That means the milk is pouring in again and we're scrambling to figure out what to do with all the stuff. So far the milk has gone to make copious amounts of mozzarella, French Chevre, yogurt, soap and a very happy bunch of cats. We have sold one female kid with four to go.
All it took was our friend Tim to suggest taking a look at the old manure spreader in the barn to see if we couldn't get that thing working. After filling a flat tire and finding the pull bar to tow it off the back of the tractor we were off and running, and what a beauty it is! Using an ingenious ground-driven conveyor system, it throws manure in an impressive rooster tail pattern resulting in perfectly uniform spreading. Putting compost on a garden gives one a sense of closure, a certain come-full-circle feeling. The vegetables we picked last summer, the shells from the eggs we have enjoyed all winter, the grass now manure thanks to the animals and
anything else organic that we've thrown in, all rotting in a curious heap out back of the barn for those many months now completes its journey right back to the earth for another cycle. There is something intrinsically satisfying about witnessing that process.
While we're on the topic of intrinsic satisfaction, having a bowl of oatmeal or a pancake with syrup that we've so painstakingly collected, boiled, watched over and bottled, really does the trick.
So that's it for this season, we're into summer mode full on, no more grain for the animals; they're grazing in the pastures now. Bushhogging, weedwacking and generally keeping the growth back as well as preparing and tending the garden are the orders of the day as well as the occasional swim and fishing expedition. Hope to see you on the farm!

In the Kitchen
Steel Cut Oats
After eating whole or steel cut oats, it's really hard to go back to grocery store rolled oats, there's just no comparison. If you don't have the time to cook whole oats, steel cut oats make a fine substitution. 4 c water, 1c steel cut oats; Boil water and slowly add oats, keep a slow boil and when oats begin to thicken turn heat to low and watch closely to prevent scalding. Top with brown sugar, syrup, honey or whatever!



Laddy and Max admiring a full bucket of sap.


How sweet it is! Homemade maple syrup.


Potatoes!


Tim filling the New Idea Manure Spreader.


Cornelia doing some pond-side browsing.


Ma and Pa Kettle

Kid Watch


Haley 10 years 9 months


Laddy 9 years 4 months


Max 7 years 2 months


Ruby 2 years 10 months

Comments

Hey Everybody, I hope all is well.The place looks great and it sounds like you guy's are enjoying it. Dan, how many trees did you tap? and how many gallons of sap? To get all that Maple Syrup? Wow! That's cool stuff.

Hi Dan,
Great to "take a walk" with your family around the farm. What do you suggest to get the lilacs blooming? I have healthy bushes but very little flowers. Enjoy our short Maine summer!
Becky

Wow, I have said it before and I will say it again you folks are living life the way it should be. The children are growing so fast and it saddens me that I have not even met Ruby!!!
What great animals. Thank you both so much for sharing your wonderful lives with me. I still hope some day to find time to come visit the Farm! Love, Jacqui

Hi Dan,

Our thanks for keeping the website up-to-date with the happenings on the farm. Amazing to see how fast the kids are growing. As we are steel cut oat nuts at our house, I would like to add a little spin on the oats for the folks reading the board. Hope to see you and family soon.

Chris, Jessica & Shaela

Saturday morning oats

2 cups steel cut oats (sometimes sold as Irish or Scottish oats)
4 ¬‡ cups water, boiling
1 cup milk (buttermilk if you wish for something sweeter)
2 tablespoons salted butter
1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
Brown sugar, to taste
Ground cinnamon, to taste

Over medium-high heat, melt the butter in a large, deep omelet pan/skillet (12’Äù or larger and about 3’Äù deep). Add the oats and toast until lightly browned ’Äì approximately 5 minutes while stirring frequently. Once oats are toasted to your liking (we shoot for a nutty smell coming off the pan), add the boiling water to the pan and reduce the heat to a high simmer. Simmer until liquid is mostly absorbed ’Äì approximately 20 minutes. Add milk or buttermilk and reduce at a simmer for an additional 10 minutes or until the oats reach desired consistency. Season with the blackstrap molasses, brown sugar and cinnamon and serve. This makes enough for 6 ’Äì 7 adult servings. Enjoy

Hey Gang,
Wow! The kids look great! Glad to hear all is well.
Dina xoxo

Ma & Pa Kettle and Kids -
Great to hear about the doings up at the Farm. The pictures are great, especially the captions under each! Look forward to a visit and a jump in the Pond. Yippee!

mjk

ma and pa kettle and gang looking darn good

kudos to you!
wish you a good summer
jake

Nice pictures. I like your new on-line high-tech journal.
Good use of the NIMS. Better to have it burn out than to rust.

Great stuff Guys. Things here at PHS are moving towards another year done. Hope all is well. Rocco

Hi Dan,
Many thanks for keeping me on the mailing list. I love getting the Journal as it always reminds me of what's important in life. It looks like all is going well.
Take care,
Dave Beane

Hi Dan
Wow!! Been a while. So nice to see pictures of your family and farm. I hope to see you one of these days at a job or a meeting!!! Take care.
Michelle Eaton

Many thanks for recent visit & the walk around the trails. I completed 3 installs today after I left your farm so that's good. The photos all look good!

Sandy

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