Monday, March 26, 2012

Our new American made Holland Gas Grill

I went on a search for a good American made grill. I love this thing! It is a gas grill that just has on or off. It has a steel plate above that burner that gets hot, distributing the heat. Above that is the drip pan, so no flare ups burning up your food. The drip pan also doubles as a water resivoir to steam vegetables! It also has a drawer for wood chips, so you can add that lovely smoke flavor.

It has a lifetime warranty on most parts and a 15 year on the rest. Now that shows confidence in your product! Check it out for yourself on the Holland web site.

Cooking perfection that is fool proof! I have had everyone cooking on this grill for their first time grilling. Glenn made us Hickory smoked chicken, roasted potatoes, and steamed broccoli. It was the juiciest chicken I ever had off a grill. Somehow this grill works a bit like a convection oven/steamer, it just holds in the juices. No more dry chicken or shriveled up burgers!

I cooked brats and burgers the next day. Daniel, my ex-Amish kid, cooked baked potatoes and grilled steaks on it. No charred fat on the steaks from high flying flames!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dangerous Weather!

It's that time of year when everyone on the farm gets excited about Spring. For Duane and I there is the normal farmer reaction.....hurry we have a lot to get done!

Glenn is excited to get done with school and go outside in the sunshine.

So why is this weather so dangerous you ask? Because I won't let Sadie have her sweat shirts! This leaves her arms with an uneasy feeling of nakedness. Nothing can turn her attitude like a change she can actually feel. So far this very morning toast has been tossed, a chandelier has been swung, tears have been shed, and the neck of the offending short sleeve shirt has been stretched. My quick reaction is all that kept that shirt from being tore right down the front. Yes, she is just that strong.

For now, she is back to telling us she loves us, telling us she is pretty, and using you usual sweet toddler voice. Sadie is almost fifteen and still talks like a toddler in verbiage and tone. It is really very sweet. I will take while it lasts. The funny thing with Sadie is that this could last for an hour or a day. We just have to be aware and ready for when something triggers her frustration of not having her arms covered and it all starts over again.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A day for a Picnic

What a beautiful day! It is so nice to open all the windows and let the fresh air flow threw the house. Jeana, the nanny, took Sadie and her own daughter, Hollie to the park with a picnic lunch. The girls will sleep so good after a day in the fresh air. What fun for them. I on the other hand, have to enjoy the breeze from inside the house. I am getting much over due paperwork done today. But the breeze and sound of birds makes any job more pleasant.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

High Quality Milk

I am pumped up with pride right now! This is our second year running the farm and we just received our second award!

My first goal on this farm is to have happy employees and cows. I think this award is proof that we are achieving that goal.

We give our employees a percentage of our quality bonus that we get on our milk check. At first we gave out a rare tiny check, but now we get a substantial amount every month. By sharing and educating our employees, I have made them serious team players on our farm. That works better for them, me and our cows. Cows need to be happy and healthy to give good quality milk. Employees need to feel like a part of the team to give their best effort.
I really do appreciate my employees efforts on our farm! We have a great group of guys.
When I see stories in the news about farmers abusing their cows I am amazed at the stupidity. Not only does it appall me that anyone could be so cruel, but it costs them money. A cow that is even a little stressed by being moved to a different pen will slow her milk production down, and that's when it's done with calm quiet hands. Now, what must happen if a person is loud and abusive to one of these docile creatures? Her production drops and her milk can lose quality. Call me crazy, but I have so much respect for the cows and horses in my life.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sadie and horses

I just love the fact that we have horses for the kids to enjoy. We have gone on the "shore to shore" ride a few times. That is crossing Michigan from Empire to Otsego on horse back. We did it with the buggy. What an experience for the kids. Talk about a history lesson.

One thing we all noticed is that Sadie talks a lot more after every crossing. So a couple years ago we asked Laura Steenrod of Fieldstone farm to give Sadie riding lessons. Laura is an absolute angel! Sadie spit on her and acted like a crazed child for the first few lessons, but Laura stuck with it. Now 2 years later Sadie is as good as any girl can be, she rides her pony at a trot and talks up a storm.

This particular picture is of Glenn's pony Summer that he broke to the cart himself. What a good pony! She obviously is willing to haul as many people as he can squeeze on his cart.