Farm Photo Tour & Recipe: Zucchini “Pasta” Salad with Tomatoes, Torn Basil and Walnuts

The nutty, fresh flavors of August in this recipe, will knock your socks off! Yesterday I made this light and wonderfully fresh recipe and I cant wait to share it with you! It is the perfect lunch or supper side and it is made with vibrant, fresh garden veggies!

 Muggy warm mornings and hot humid evenings, signal that it is truly the dog days of summer at Fargo Holstein’s Farm here in Wisconsin, making chore times the inevitable shirt covered in sweat, face red from work, twice a day routine. 

The month of August is a busy and rewarding time of year for farmers, and gardeners, but the work is hard and hot. Crops are being harvested and hay mows and silos are being filled, while gardens are at peak production for produce.cows and sunset

August on the Farm:
Did you know that traditionally the farming season began on “Plow day” which was January 1st in England, and it ended on the first day of August also known as “Lammas Day”, or the “Old World Thanksgiving Day”. – I bet you didn’t!

I sure didn’t!

Lammas Day was celebrated with great fervor in the rural communities of this country until Lincoln declared a National Thanksgiving Day in 1863, and with it came the disappearance of Lammas Day from our calendar’s, a tradition our English and Scottish forefathers enthusiastically celebrated.veggiesandbarn

      “Dry August, and warmth doth harvest no harm”
August is also known as the “drought month” in agriculture, a hot dry month of harvests and hopes of rain to help finish out crops. Here on our farm, the pastures are holding out for now, but the cows would rather eat hay out of the feeder, than work that hard walking down to the lower pastures to graze.

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Yes, that is my husband straddling the ridge of the milk house roof on a ladder. I wont even tell you how he painted the tippy top, peaks of the tall sides! My husband often has a quote he says, something about “Never getting anything done if you don’t take a few risks”…or something like that. All I know is that his “getting things done” gives me grey hairs watching him take those risks!

We started off the month with a big project!

 

Ever since we bought this farm 13 years ago, we have wanted to fix up the old falling apart dairy barn, and finish the restoration project with a fresh coat of beautiful barn red paint and pure white trim to put the icing on the cake, if you will!

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(Above) This was our barn about a year ago….rusty roof, leaning sides and in desperate need of paint! Not to mention, it was in no way ready to be a working dairy barn yet!

(Below) Now here we are in August, almost a year of dairy-farming later and the BIG RESTORATION PROJECT nearly complete!

10B61B61-E4E9-49CE-A157-66BFCA457F53There’s still a few barn boards that need to be replaced after pulling the barn back onto its foundation, and there’s still some hard to reach trim, that needs a fresh coat of white paint. But we are so happy with how much we’ve been able to fix on this great building!

I finally feel a sense of the project being finished! It’s been a long year full of hard work, and adjusting our life to fit around the dairy-farming, and to have accomplished this big project and visibly see the results, brings me so much joy! Which is silly considering all that we have done this last year! But I guess it kind of completes the look of the farm!

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Before I share my recipe with you, here are a few more pictures I snapped around our farm to give you a little “tour”.

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             Apples turning red, a daily reminder of that next season that is around the corner!                    ” No! No! Autumn go away! I am not ready for you yet!”
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My view from the veggie garden.
Chipand Nasturtiums
We have a new puppy on the farm too! He came from a sweet family in Iowa, and the kids and I had a fun day road tripping over there to get him! We named him Chip! He is a smart, sweet Rat Terrier and he has learned to “sit” “lay down” “beg” come” and “shake” on command already! I just love this glam shot of him!
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The chickens eating a giant over grown zucchini! I don’t know where those monster zucchini’s come from, but all of a sudden there they are!

 

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                                                  Laney wishing she could swing all by herself….                                                    Doesn’t this kind of feel like those horrible slide shows that some of us “might” remember having to sit through at a family gathering?                          Next picture please….
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Our beef calf keeping an eye on the dairy cows.
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Carter and Shena in the pasture. I call her Barbie! She’s so pretty!

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Yesterday I made this light and wonderfully fresh recipe and I cant wait to share it with you! It is the perfect lunch or supper side and it is made with vibrant, fresh garden veggies! If you like anything with pesto in it, this has a hint of that taste in it, but sooooo much more going for it! 

The nutty, fresh flavors of August in this recipe, will knock your socks off! zoodles

Zucchini “Pasta” with Tomatoes, Torn Basil and Walnuts

What you will need:

8 ounces Cherry Tomatoes sliced in half
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1/4 cup of chopped walnuts                                            

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3 Tablespoons of torn fresh basil leaves
3 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt to taste
1 Large Zucchini
Step #1. In a medium size bowl, combine sliced tomatoes, sliced garlic, walnuts, torn basil leaves and the olive oil.
Add Sea salt to taste. Let stand while you make the zoodles!
Step #2. Thinly slice or use a zoodle maker, to make your zucchini “pasta”. Toss all ingredients together and serve!

zoodles3                  I hope you liked your “tour” and give this recipe a try! You will love it!

Let me know what you think! And boy it feels good to be blogging again! Thanks for reading! Much more to come soon! More blogs, more pictures, more RECIPES! 

AND the Fall edition of “Your Best Magazine” and something else I can’t tell you about yet!!!!!!! eeeeeeeeekkkkkkk!

love -J

 

 

All pictures on The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill blog were taken by and are the property of Jessica Rogers. You must have written permission to use any image/photo. If you want to share the blog post or pin an image to Pinterest please include: https://theyellowfarmhouseonthehill.wordpress.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full credit is given to The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill Blog with a link to the original content.

 

 

 

The Week Before Christmas Challenge: DAY #2: Take the time to de-stress.

Did you listen to that beautiful song I posted on the blog post yesterday? Are you taking the time to de-stress, this busy week before Christmas? Well, today I want to share with you one of my favorite scene’s from (only the BEST CHRISTMAS MOVIE EVER) and one scene that I can watch over and over again! But first let me tell you about my goofy hens…..

It’s time to let go of all the stress, and focus on the reason for this season. Come back to the basic’s and dwell in the sweet, simple moments of this week before Christmas.

The first real snow fell last week and my young hens, who have never seen a winter before, had no clue what had happened all around them.  I had a million things to do inside, and several chores to finish up outside this morning, but as the chickens started to peek their heads out of the coop, noticing the snow and cackling up a storm at the sight of it, I paused. I stood there for a good ten minutes and waited in the cold, all the things I had yet to do, slowly started to retreat from my mind. The sun warmed my face and I watched as the confused hens pecked at the cold, sparkly white snow, but still they refused to step into it.

DSC_0691Then the first few brave hens stepped off of the stoop, and into the snow for the first time ever in their life, and their reaction was hilarious! (Well, if you find animals amusing like I do!)DSC_0704

They didn’t know what to do and they started trying to fly over the snow instead of walking through it.DSC_0720

It was pretty funny. They did not like the cold snow and I actually had one chicken who I found ten minutes later, just sitting down in the snow back behind a planter, all by herself….just sitting down in the snow, like she was just done. She refused to move or do anything! Probably thinking to herself she was done for….”just go on without me!” hahaaaaaa…. And the rest were huddled together standing like flamingo’s, one foot up out of the snow.DSC_0736

Well, anyway it was so funny and I am so glad that I took the time to wait out in the cold, when I had so many other things to do. It was fun and therapeutic to just pause and watch nature for a while. So that is my challenge for you today! 

Pause!

Take the time to de-stress.

Look out your window and take in some nature, or even better go for a walk and absorb some therapeutic sunshine and fresh air, or watch a good old-fashioned Christmas movie with the family tonight, all that other stuff can wait a while longer. It’s important to take time to let the stress go, and make time for special moments for yourself, and for you and your family this busy week.

Did you listen to that beautiful song I posted on the blog post yesterday? Well, today I want to share with you one of my favorite scene’s from White Christmas (only the BEST CHRISTMAS MOVIE EVER) and one scene that I can watch over and over again! 

Have a peaceful stress-free evening!

-J

 

 

 

The Week Before Christmas Challenge DAY #1 & Christmas Gumdrop Nougat Recipe

It’s one of those old classic recipes, that has been somewhat forgotten.
It tastes like a soft saltwater taffy, with a creamy marshmallow and spicy gumdrop flavor, it is a wonderful addition to any dessert table and  was a huge hit at the last family gathering I brought it too, for young and old alike.

It’s the week before Christmas and the stress is mounting. Can you feel it? Are you more of a Grinch this Monday morning than full of Christmas cheer?

I am here to help you and to tell you, you’re not alone! This week I am going to be sharing with you recipes and cheer to get your heart and kitchen ready for Christmas this coming weekend! DSC_0001WHY I WANTED TO SKIP CHRISTMAS THIS YEAR.

So far, this December has been the most stressful month of my life. I have had so much going on that its been an absolute blur! The somewhat still new schedule of dairy-farming has me tired and cramped for extra time during the day, and the upcoming tax season for our township, that I had to prepare for, had me up until very late several nights trying to get the envelopes stuffed and everything ready to send out right in the midst of working on a Christmas magazine and I had to upgrade my work computer at the same time, techy stuff….not my thing!

The Christmas YOUR BEST magazine I was being featured in with 8 recipes and 15 pages that are my pictures, to bake and take, left the house and kitchen a huge stirred up mess! christmasmag2017

To say I’ve been busy, is an understatement. Adding to the stress, our little 7 month old daughter has decided she wants no one but Daddy and Mommy holding her, so there has been no break from baby for over a month, and I am at a loss for how to fix this, when we don’t really see many people all week-long to help her get used to others holding her.

Tax bills got mailed out and then the deliveries for all of the magazines to friends and family who ordered one from me, 80+ magazines started. While online Christmas shopping, children’s commitments to sports and family photo sessions needed to be squeezed in.

Then, you can add all of that CHRISTMAS stuff, like decorating, school and church programs, cards and EVERYTHING and you may see why I have been STRESSED and ready to skip Christmas as much as I can this year!

And I know I am not the only one who’s felt this way.

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I love Christmas! I love decorating for it. I love working the Christmas sale at the furniture décor store in town every year. I love baking and cooking for family and friends during this season. I love buying loved ones personal gifts, to share some love and joy with them. I love it all. I love the Christmas programs and church services. I love the bible study Christmas parties and fellowship times. I love reading and discussing the story of Jesus’s birth and the reason we celebrate this season with my children. I love watching old Christmas movie classics while wrapping presents and writing out Christmas cards. I love it!

But this year I was ready to skip Christmas all together. I AM TOO BUSY FOR IT! And that’s not me at all!

I am so excited for this week. I am ready to do my Christmas thing, and be all festive and in the Christmas spirit! It’s going to happen, and it’s going to be great! Time to let go of all the stress and focus on the reason for this season. Come back to the basic’s and dwell in the sweet, simple moments of this week before Christmas.

The GREAT WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS CHALLENGE, is a challenge for myself (and anyone who wants to tag along with me) to take the time for including the most special parts of the Christmas season this busy week before Christmas.

Peacefulness, togetherness and most importantly for me, reflection and reverence on the birth of Christ, the reason for the season.

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Take time to be TOGETHER today.

  • Enjoy “together time” with your family today by either making or just eating this together for dessert!

It’s one of those old classic recipes, that has been somewhat forgotten.

It tastes like a soft saltwater taffy, with a creamy marshmallow and spicy gumdrop flavor, it is a wonderful addition to any dessert table and  was a huge hit at the last family gathering I brought it too, for young and old alike.

DSC_0014CHRISTMAS GUMDROP NOUGATS 

2 Tablespoons Butter

2 bags mini marshmallows (250g) per bag

2 bags white chocolate chips (225g) per bag

2 cups gumdrops

Melt first three ingredients together until smooth, mix in gumdrops (I roughly chop them a bit first) Spread onto parchment lined 9×13 pan, Chill for four hours before cutting and serving. ENJOY!

  • Take time to reflect on Christ’s birth. 

Think about the gift we have been given by God. That He would send His own son down to earth, for you and me.

John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

John 1:29  “…the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”

 

  • Make time for peacefulness today.

One of my favorite ways to do that, is by listening to beautiful music,  and here is my favorite rendition of my favorite Christmas carol, it is so beautiful and will bring you peace trust me!

No matter how you choose to spend your week before Christmas, I hope you have a blessed Christmas with the ones you love!

-MERRY CHRISTMAS

-J

 

Buttermilk Cranberry Bars & Embracing Change

 Change is GOOD! I always want to be progressing towards change. Growing in all areas of my life for the better. Learning new things, trying to reach goals and polishing skills that I have been blessed to be given. So why is it so hard?

“Still round the corner there may wait a new road or a secret gate.”

– J.R.R.Tolkien

  I find myself driving the back roads of Vernon County Wisconsin where we call home, more than usual these cool October days. I cant help but grab my camera, and head out in search of a few images to capture the feeling that the colors of the season paint all around us, before they are gone for good!

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We live in a truly beautiful area that is always changing so vibrantly with each season! These are a few pictures taken within a few miles of our farm.

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Lower Hornby Hollow, just down from our place.

 

Amish horse

Amish school

With the change in season’s, and the cold rainy weather that has already brought snow with it, it has left me struggling to adjust to the thought of what comes after fall!

 WINTER!!! I am not ready to hibernate for the winter yet!

I am doing better now and I have adjusted to the inevitable season that is coming.  I started up the wood stove, and brought out the mittens, scarves and hats in final surrender.

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We are working on the barn every day, getting it ready to milk cows in. It is a work in progress, but it is coming along good and we are on track to start milking in a week or two.

 With all the changes happening around here lately I have been dwelling on the concept of change, and why I rebel against it so. I love AND hate change. I guess that is because of fear, I am afraid of the uncertain.

I happened to catch a part of a sermon the other morning that hit on the subject of change, as well. The pastor talked about when he graduated high school, and how a friend wrote in his yearbook, “Don’t ever change, Dude!”, he went on to say how silly of a comment that is to make to someone! Don’t ever change? Why would you want to stay the same? Like an old mud puddle,  all stagnant?

Stagnant: showing no activity; dull and sluggish: inactive · sluggish · slow-moving · lethargic · static · flat · depressed · declining  · dying · dead · dormant

 Change is GOOD! I always want to be progressing towards change. Growing in all areas of my life for the better. Learning new things, trying to reach goals and polishing skills that I have been blessed to be given. So why is it so hard?

Some may see this as not being content in life, always wanting to progress towards change and growth.  They are kind of right! I am not content to sit back and watch others do things that I want to learn myself, and I am not content to sit stagnant instead of growing in a skill! And the challenge with any skill is, that though you practice that skill over and over, often you grow little or very slowly.DSC_8040

I remember once, a very close friend of mine had moved back after packing up and moving several states away for a job, they eventually returned home and after spending some time together again, she told me that I had changed. I remember thinking, “of course I had changed!”, it had been years since they had moved away, and I HOPE I wasn’t the same as I was that many years ago.

Now she had meant that I wasn’t the same person, not as good of a friend. And I HAD changed a lot, I was a stay at home mom now, homeschooling my kids and I had a few little side businesses going, like my produce stand, and I was doing in home daycare for a family and I had started blogging!DSC_6303

I had developed a focused drive to make it all work. And it did all work! With God’s help and my husbands! I was determined and focused, but to my friend, I was not as fun or as approachable as I used to be. Now I had seen the growth I had made in those ventures as progress, and a good thing, but it took away from my time with my friends, and changed who I was. This is something I am still trying to work on.

For me as a Christian, I desire to always remain in God’s will for my life, and when I am working towards growing in different areas,  it is not always easy to balance that with everything else. I also have to be careful that I am wanting to be better in something for the right reasons! ( Colossians 3:23) As well as being careful to make time for everything.

I know its not just me that struggles to find a balance between work and life, and that this isn’t a new concept to you. We all naturally want to succeed, and be better at the the talents  or hobbies we have, while still maintaining focus on what is most important in life. So I guess this blog is a reminder to myself that change is good! And to keep reaching towards goals, while still making sure to keep friends and family close! 

Do you ever struggle with this?

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Buttermilk Cranberry Bars

I have one of MY FAVORITE recipes to share with you today! This is the perfect recipe for you to try out on one of these cold, fall days!

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…SOFT… CHEWY… TART… SWEET… CREAMY…YUMMY…GET IN MY TUMMY!!!

Wisconsin grown cranberry’s, the zing of orange zest, frothy buttermilk in the batter  and cream cheese frosting, add incredible flavors to this dessert!

I have held onto this recipe since I started the blog, waiting for just the right time to share it with you all, and NOW IS THAT TIME!

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I always try to have dehydrated orange slices in the freezer for zesting the peel into recipes. But you can use a fresh orange too!

Buttermilk Cranberry Bars

prep

cook 35 

Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • the zest from 1 orange
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour (set aside a few tablespoons of flour to coat the cranberries in)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries, coat in some of the flour before adding to the batter.
  • ½ cup buttermilk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Cream butter with orange zest and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla, beat until combined. Toss the cranberries with 2 tablespoons of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt in a seperate bowl.
  3. Add flour mixture to the batter, a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the cranberries.
  4. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. Bake for 35 minutes, then check to see if it is done by touching the top gently or by inserting a toothpick. If necessary, return pan to oven,keep a close eye on it.. Do not over bake.
  5. Let cool completley and frost with cream cheese frosting!
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 8 Oz cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Cream cheese frosting: Beat together butter and cream cheese until smooth then add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth and creamy. 

SERVE & ENJOY!!!

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All pictures on The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill blog were taken by and are the property of Jessica Rogers. You must have written permission to use any image/photo. If you want to share the blog post or pin an image to Pinterest please include: https://theyellowfarmhouseonthehill.wordpress.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full credit is given to The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill Blog with a link to the original content.

BIG NEWS! Buying a herd & The blog in print!

OUR BIG NEWS! Each fall we have projects that are at the top of our list that we want to get done before the weather turns cold, and the frost and snow comes. This year we have more on that list than ever before as we prepare to start………

 

rooster1“Come on out girls, time for breakfast! Here chick…chick…..chick” We have some BIG NEWS! It has been all about chickens and cows over at our farm the last few weeks and I will tell you why!

fallchickenspumpkinFall is officially here and it is starting to look like it in the barnyard. Pumpkins and squash are being harvested and the gardens are tapering down now.muddy piggyThe preparations for the winter season; like bringing fire wood into the basement, finishing up canning projects and clearing up gardens, naturally start to take priority as the cool weather reminds us of the next season that is coming.

hogs n cowsOur pastured hogs have been butchered and friends and family who ordered from us this year are picking up their meat bundles now. Our freezer is full to bursting, with Angus, pork and veggies, all raised by us or family, and the pantry shelves  are getting full with jars of home canned tomato sauce, jams, jellies, veggies, salsa, sauces and pickles.

steersFeeder steers are fattening up and we are feeding hay to all the cattle already since the lack of rain has the pastures dry and eaten down, another sign of the season.barnyardThe perennial garden flowers are already drying in the warm breezes of this early October and getting in “fall” picture sessions are a must with the beautiful colors outside now. I am taking more and more pictures for friends and family and it has been so fun!

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Our beautiful niece, who I can’t take enough pictures of! She is SO cute!

OUR BIG NEWS! Each fall we have projects that are at the top of our list that we want to get done before the weather turns cold, and the frost and snow comes. This year we have more on that list than ever before, as we prepare to start milking cows on our farm!

The list of jobs to get done before the cows arrive, seems to be endless. But with the generous help of family, we are on track and making big progress in the barn. My husband is excited to have his own cows to milk before and after work each day, as he will keep working full-time at our township as a patrolman. Some of you will probably think he is crazy to “look forward” to milking his own cows each day, but then you wouldn’t realize what a true passion he has for it. Right now he milks at a few different farms several times a week just because he loves it so much.This is his dream come true to milk his own herd at our farm.

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Drew jack-hammering out the old stanchions and curb.
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New curb being poured.

We had to kick the chickens out of their place in the barn to make room for the cows and my parents and I have moved this old coop from their place to our farm as the chickens new digs!

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Before we took it down to move it here……

My plan was to sell half of my 26 young hens, I have five more to sell on Saturday and then I will have met my goal and have twelve left for us. I have done this several times over the years, ordering extra chicks to raise and then sell, helping to pay for the raising up of our own flock.

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Mom and Dad working hard on the “new” coop. We are going to put in a big window on this side!

This fall has been super busy for us so far, as we prepare for our herd of registered Holstein’s to arrive at the end off October. Buying pipe line, finding a barn cleaner and moving chickens around, is all part of this race to have everything in place and ready on time. We have had so much help from our families and it has us feeling so thankful that we live in a country were we can chase our dreams, living and loving life on our farm! On we go towards our goal!

MORE BIG NEWS!!!

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I am collaborating with Best Life Ministries, YOUR BEST magazine again for the Fall edition! With recipes, pictures and an article, from The Yellow Farmhouse On The Hill!magazine

I hope you take a minute to check out this wonderful ministry,  Best Life Ministries  and for those of you who are local, you can order your own copy of the magazine straight from me and I will get it to you!

Thanks for reading for all the support you always give with such love!

-J

All pictures on The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill blog were taken by and are the property of Jessica Rogers. You must have written permission to use any image/photo. If you want to share the blog post or pin an image to Pinterest please include: https://theyellowfarmhouseonthehill.wordpress.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full credit is given to The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill Blog with a link to the original content.

 

 

 

The Corner Cafe Where I Fell In Love…

As the summer days shorten and that crisp autumn season seems to emerge from nowhere, I am reminded of a favorite summer full of charm. I was nineteen and I had just been hired at my first job. It was a corner cafe in a sleepy town right off of a busy bike trail. Most of our customers were on summer vacations and they would peddle up for a nice lunch or just a slice of our iconic square pie, on their way down the bike path.

drew swing.JPGCall me old-fashioned. If you know me well, it is easy to do, I don’t try very hard to hide it at all, I am truly an old-fashioned soul.

The charm of era’s past call to me and I can’t help but be drawn in by the mood and comfort that old music, movies  or even antiques evoke. My sister is the same way, we love “old stuff”. Summer is nearing its end, my day’s are filled with canning and picking produce but when I can, I try to slow down and enjoy the charm of summer.

As I am writing this, Dinah Shore is crooning Johnny Mercer’s “Skylark” on my Pandora station, warming my soul with those “old-fashioned feelings”!Angel

“Oh skylark,
Have you seen a valley green with spring
Where my heart can go a-journeying
Over the shadows and the rain
To a blossom-covered lane
And in your lonely flight
Haven’t you heard the music in the night
Wonderful music
Faint as a will o’ the wisp…..”
 
-Johnny Mercer , Skylark.
Take a listen, you’ll see what I mean about that “old-fashioned feeling”.

The corner cafe, where I fell in love with cooking

As the summer days shorten and that crisp autumn season seems to emerge from nowhere, I am reminded of a favorite summer full of charm. I was nineteen and I had just been hired at my first “real” job. It was a corner cafe in a sleepy town, right off of a busy bike trail. Most of our customers were on summer vacations, and they would peddle up for a nice lunch or just a slice of our iconic square pie, on their way down the bike path.

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I am in blue, this was my last day! Moving on to a new job to manage and help open the Cold Stone Creamery in  Onalaska, WI.

The cafe was an old general store, that served as both antique store and cafe. The walls  on both sides lining the restaurant and the upstairs were stacked with antiques. Eclectic style was personified in both the antique pieces in the booths and the wonderful people who I worked with there.

This special place  was called Gina’s Pies are Square. After a half hour drive through Amish country to get to work in the mornings, I would help open up this quaint shop with friends, a cup of freshly brewed coffee and the sound of Frank Sinatra playing on the radio, filling the old store front with the warmth only music  can bring, floating  all the way up to the pressed tin ceiling.

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A postcard tucked in my recipe scrapbook of Gina’s Pie’s R Square. This picture of the old store front in Wilton, Wisconsin was drawn by one of my favorite people who I worked with there, Rochelle!

I had so much fun working at Gina’s and I know that the atmosphere  and the people I worked with was why it was  so easy to fall in love with cooking there. Gina ran her cafe and managed her employees with love and laughter and she taught her passion for simple, delicious food to me, with patience. The menu was homemade  soup and sandwiches, and pizza’s, coffees, Italian soda’s and homemade, from scratch pies, that were baked in square tins. Old fashioned favorites like sour cream raisin and blackberry pie, along with more unique ones like Oatmeal Guinness Stout Pie! She had a nick-name for every local who walked through the door and you felt like you knew them from the lively stories she would share about their lives in the little town of Wilton and beyond!

This was the summer I got engaged! I started buying antiques for the first time that summer as well, many from the shelves at Gina’s and just about every surrounding antique store, for my future house and life with Drew. And this was the summer I learned how to cook new exciting things I had never tried to make before, I fell in love with cooking. 

It was such a great summer!

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 Remember those old Country Time Lemonade commercials way back in the 1990’s (some of you younger readers have probably never seen) the ones that made you just want to hang onto summer forever?

“Due to the scheduling of fall,  Summer will be a short ninety-four days…… So while there’s still time, take the long way home…..For these day’s are best enjoyed slowly……”

Those warm and homey feelings  are echoed in the simple moments these late summer days here on our farm. Drew working down in the barn, the sound of the milker on the cow at evening chores, the kids playing on the tire swing after school, the sideways light of dusk hitting them in golden streaks and the clip clop of our Amish neighbors driving by in their buggy, going home after a day of work down the road. These congenial, summertime habits are so beautiful to witness.caleb swinging.JPG

I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.  -Laura Ingalls Wilder

 Enjoy the rest of summer!

Thanks for reading,

-J

 

All pictures on The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill blog were taken by and are the property of Jessica Rogers. You must have written permission to use any image/photo. If you want to share the blog post or pin an image to Pinterest please include: https://theyellowfarmhouseonthehill.wordpress.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full credit is given to The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill Blog with a link to the original content.

 

 

 

 

Fargo Creamery Open For Business

That is much of the draw to living the country life and you really do end up living out those peaceful moments in your day to day on the farm. But it is also the security one gains from NOT relying on others to feed or provide for their family and this creates a distance from the chaos and demands of the world and a place for your kids to explore and learn in nature.

brian2Near most small rural towns here in Wisconsin, there used to be a creamery just about every 10 miles down the road. Dairy farmers had a place to sell their milk to and families had a place to buy dairy products if they didn’t make them at home already for themselves. Right down the road was the Fargo Creamery and the Liberty Pole Creamery past that and the list grows from there as you drive through the small towns you can still pick out the old creamery buildings that are now houses or businesses.

 Around these parts you don’t have to look very far to find someone to talk with who’s family owned one of these country creamery’s. It is a big piece of our local history and I am thinking I should re-open the Fargo Creamery! Buy Drew a herd of cows and just start making cheese and butter to sell! What do you think?Video Camera Pictures 156.jpg

Noooooooo…..Opening a creamery is not really a dream of ours…Right now anyway! But never say NEVER right? With our own family milk cow we are running our own farmhouse kitchen creamery everyday!waterbath

We have been in full production here on the farm since our dairy cow calved about a two months ago, causing my kitchen to feel more like a creamery than part of our home! It has been keeping me busy every morning and it is a challenge I have learned from so much in the past. As with so many other homesteading tasks like making bread, daily barn chores or gardening, with practice comes efficacy. Thankfully the time spent in the kitchen is less and less these days, as the process has become second nature to me after years of trial and error.calfPrissy our dairy cow is giving 38 lbs of milk per milking, that’s 8 gallons of milk a day and the last few days she has been giving closer to 10! I am trying my best to use up as much of that as possible by making fresh yogurt, homemade butter and buttermilk, fresh mozzarella and other soft cheeses (so far, no hard cheeses in the press yet) and of course milk to drink and bake with. But even with the addition of five piglets to raise up on milk, we are still dumping a few gallons a day.growingup4It is one of my favorite times of the year on our farm when we buy young stock, like piglets and chicks! These cute little porkers are spoken for already and will fill orders as milk-fed pastured hogs that we will sell to friends and family. We buy them from a local creamery that raises them on milk and whey from their cheese making operation and we buy them at this young age and continue to raise them up on grain and milk until the fall when they are fed out and ready to be butchered.may

Ever thought of having your own family dairy cow?

The 8 gallons of milk that our cow gives a day is somewhat exceptional, and a more average amount that you would most likely get from having your own dairy cow would be about 4 gallons a day. Our somewhat “high production” milker is a three-year old milking shorthorn who gets a little grain to get her in the barn and high quality hay. We spend $8.00 a week on feed for her and she gives us wonderful sweet milk filled with high amounts of cream. She is easy to milk and she is a real asset to our farm. Her calves are raised up as future dairy cows or beef. Having a dual purpose breed cow on a small homestead is a great way to raise animals. A family dairy cow is a wonderful way to feed a family with all the dairy products you can make and it brings so much more to a farm than just milk!

Finding and using recipes that call for milk are a great way to incorporate all the milk your homestead cow will give you. You don’t have to learn how to make cheese to have owning a dairy cow be a profitable venture for your family, though I did just go grocery shopping for the month yesterday and saved $50 dollars that I usually spend on cheese, dairy products and milk because we are now making all that again on the farm.breadintheoven I make our bread for the week using a wonderful recipe called Farmhouse Milk Bread, it is a very old recipe that dates bake to the Victorian era and it uses milk just like the name implies. 

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Homesteading Makes Sense.

I think people desire a slower paced lifestyle and ALL the perks that come with it because they can see the common sense of it as a whole. Raising your own food and having gardens bursting with produce and barns filled with animals brings a sense of nostalgia and reminds us of a simpler time that was slower paced and peaceful. That is much of the draw to living the country life and you really do end up living out those peaceful moments in your day-to-day on the farm. But it is also the security one gains from NOT relying on others to feed or provide for their family and this creates a distance from the chaos and demands of the world and a place for your kids to explore and learn in nature.

Beyond the dairy products and the step back from busy life your farm will simply be more productive in all areas by adding a dairy cow to it. Each year your cow will can give you a calf to sell, raise to eat for beef or keep on as your next milk producer, it will also provide manure for the gardens, milk for other farm animals to be raised on and will maintain the pastures. The whey from the cheese making is poured on garden beds for added nutrients. The used bedding from the barn pens goes right back into the gardens and your neighbors will be looking on in envy of all the amazing amounts of vegetables your well nourished gardens produce! Your freezer and pantry shelves fill up with all the production from your farm. The chores done at the same time every day result in well cared for animals that are healthy and grow faster. Farm buildings even last longer when they have animals in them. You also gain a family member as everyone knows a family dairy cow is one of the gentlest animals you can have around kids, gentle and sweet, she is also the boss of the barnyard to the other animals and a companion to you, she will greet you each time she see’s you!

It is a beautiful circle of life on the homestead all because of a dairy cow!image

The amazing productive circle this creates along with the peacefulness and happiness that occurs when you work hard to do things for yourself grows your family together. The results from all that “hard work” pays you back in more than the money saved. Once you get into a good routine and learn how to use up milk it is not hard at all, it becomes second nature!

What do you think? Time to buy a dairy cow for the farm?

Thanks for reading!

-J

All pictures on The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill blog were taken by and are the property of Jessica Rogers. You must have written permission to use any image/photo. If you want to share the blog post or pin an image to Pinterest please include: https://theyellowfarmhouseonthehill.wordpress.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full credit is given to The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill Blog with a link to the original content.