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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The New Birds In Town

  A few weeks ago I mentioned that a baby chick purchase had fallen through. Well, sometimes those disappointments work out for the best as I found some adorable ones that I think will be a better fit for our farm. A local farmer had some Lavender Orpington chicks for sale, and I got her last batch of the year, five straight run chicks. I had asked for eight, but it didn't work out that way. I'm happy with five though, I just hope they aren't all roosters. O.O We'll see...
Day old Lavender Orpington Chick
 Lavender Orpingtons aren't your average run-of-the-mill egg layers. They're very docile and fluffy as a marshmallow. I hope mine look this good in a few months.
Since I wanted eight chicks I chose three Buff Brahmas that were also the same age to raise with the Lavender Orpingtons.
Lavender Orpington and Buff Brahma Chicks

Here's a short video of the chicks in a brooder in the kitchen near a window. Notice the one on the right looking longingly toward the window like it wants to be outside. Most of them are asleep by the end of the video.

 Here's a look at how the Buff Brahmas should look like by next summer.
I've done just a bit of crocheting...

a new bathmat for one of the bathrooms.

 A couple of regular visitors.

 The winter storm (It's still autumn. O.O) has arrived here in the South, too. Stay warm, Y'all!

Wishing everyone a Wonderful and Happy Thankgiving!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Dandy, Just Dandy

Southern Direction
This post on Dandelion Coffee was featured at the Good Neighbor Blog Hop
                                                     And Wildcrafting Wednesday

It's that time of year, again, when the frost is on the pumpkins and I sprinkle sunflower seeds on the deck rail...
Carolina Wren

For the greedy, early morning visitors. I could sit and watch them for hours, but alas, there are other things to be done.
I was reading a post over at The Deliberate Agrarian site the other day about dandelion tea and immediately knew I had to try making my own, but I call it coffee since it's roasted, dandelion coffee. It's aroma and taste is not like coffee, but it's not like tea, either.

 I found several in my raised beds and dug them up then...

Cut the tops off and washed the roots...

Cut them in 1-2 inch pieces then...

Whizzed them in the food processor until they resembled brown rice according to the directions in the youtube video mentioned in the post by The Deliberate Agrarian.

Then I dried and roasted the roots to a rich, dark brown (darker than the photo below) according to the directions on the videoThe chopped dandelion roots can be dried naturally for a few days or in the oven at 220 degrees for about an hour then roasted at 350 degrees until dark and just beginning to smoke. See video.

This photo shows the color much better. Four good sized roots yielded 1 cup of roasted dandelion root. It should stay fresh for several months if kept in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid.

Time for the moment of truth. Is it palatable or not? I'm an avid coffee and tea drinker so I think I'd be a decent judge of whether it's drinkable or not. The first thirty minutes in the oven they had smelled like green beans do while they're cooking so I wasn't sure they'd make a good coffee... O.O

However, I'm not one to chicken out so I added 2 tablespoons of the "coffee" to 24 ozs. of  hot, but not quite boiling water, and let it steep for 5 minutes.

 I strained it into a cup with sweetener and a bit of milk to soften the bitter taste I'd heard it has.

*sips*  ....
I'm not sure it needed the milk and sweetener. It IS actually pretty good - it has a roasted, slightly caramel bouquet. Goodman and I were pleased that it wasn't weedy or weird. BUT the good part I haven't even mentioned yet... Dandelion root coffee is LOADED with vitamins A, B complex, C, and D as well as a host of minerals. It aids digestion by breaking down fat and helps your body rid itself of harmful toxins. O.O
Not bad for a pesky yard weed I say.  I hope you will try dandelion coffee as it is a powerhouse of vitamins. Also, in this uncertain economy we may not always be able to purchase our favorite normal coffee. I love my regular coffee and plan to drink it still, but dandelion coffee is far and away better for our bodies so I'm adding a cup in mid afternoon for the health benefits. Cheers...

The socks are coming along slowly as I'm practicing the organ for a couple of hours each day. I've learned two songs  - When The Saints Go Marching In and Ode To Joy/Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee.  
Have a great week, Y'all!
Linking to... Homestead Barn-Hop, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Encourage One Another, The Thankful HomeAcre Hop, Frugal Ways, Sustainable Days, Real Food Fridays, Farmgirl Friday, The Art Of Home-Making Mondays