Thursday, November 17, 2016

Fixing up our old barn

          Our barn is quite old and was not in the best shape. There had been some previous repairs, but let's just say they were not the best. Also, the barn had no plumbing or electricity, so we decided to change that. Last week we started our repairs. We got our friend Fernando to  help, which means he did almost all of it. The first thing we did was fix up a corner of the barn that was leaning. When we started taking some of the boards off  the whole corner dropped about four inches. We had to jack it up to repair it, all that was holding it up was the siding. The support beams were completely rotted on the ends and the bottom support beam was so rotted that you could just rake the pieces out with your hand. We had to buy new support beams but we were able to reuse some of the siding from our shed we tore down so that our barn still had the same look from the outside. We also decided that we needed to run electricity to the barn and put in some lights. If we forget to shut up the chickens and it gets dark we can turn on the lights from inside the house. The lights will make a trip out to the chicken coops much safer, we don't have to fumble around with a flashlight. We also decided that we should run water to the barn so that we don't have to go to the faucet on the house or drag over the garden hose. Having water at the barn  makes giving the chickens and ducks water much easier, Also when we get more animals such as goats it will be easier to give them water too. In order to run electricity and plumbing to the barn, we had to dig a deep and long trench from the house to the barn.  Fernando said the job would be much easier if we rented a ditch witch. It is a big machine that can dig a deep narrow trench so that we could lay down all the pipe and wiring underground. We spent a long time trying to figure out where the pipes and wiring ran back to the house from the well. The last thing we wanted was to hit pipes and wiring with the ditch witch.  When we were confident we had a clear path to the barn we fired up the ditch witch. We had gone only about three feet when the trench began to fill with water. Yep! you guessed it we had hit the pipe from the well!!! Of course, we also cut through the wiring! I mean why just do plumbing repairs when you can repair electrical as well. Don't most people have to stop their plans to repair what they mess up. It seems like we always do.  After a trip to the hardware store and more hours of work than we had planned on we now have water and lights at a barn that does not lean as much as it did. There are still a lot of repairs to do on the barn, but this is a great start. We are always so happy when things are getting fixed up around the  farm. We would love hearing about your barn repairs and welcome any advice.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Grand's Apple Pie

Grands apple pie is awesome. It's great anytime of the year but really good in the fall made with fresh local apples. Grand has been making this pie for over forty years. It's definitely a family favorite.

4 to 6 cup of sliced apples
1 cup of sugar
3 tablespoons of cornstarch
3 tablespoons of frozen orange juice concentrate
1 teaspoon of  grated nutmeg
2 piecrusts

1.Mix together the sugar and the cornstarch set side

2.Mix your frozen orange juice concentrate with your nutmeg

3.Gently stir orange juice concentrate and nutmeg mixture into  the apples

4.Sprinkle the sugar and cornstarch mixture on top of your apple mixture and stir

5.Place your bottom pie crust in your pie plate and pour filling into your pie plate and place your top pie crust over your filling

6.Then crimp your pie crust however you like, and cut several small cuts in the top.

7.Bake at 375 for 45 minutes

                                                        Hints from Grand
Check out our pie crust recipe Grands Best Pie Crust Ever recipe. Grands favorite way to seal the two pie crusts together is to just use a fork. You just have to take your fork and press the two pie crusts together, all the way around the pie. Grand also likes to brush the top of the pie with a beaten egg white and sprinkle it with sugar. It makes for a very pretty pie.