living a smalltown texas homestead inspired life
06 Apr · Mon 2020
I want to make folk aware that I no longer sell hens, eggs, or farm goods. I wish you well in search for local sustainable goods. Be safe. Be smart.
Posted by hippychick @ 08:27 PM CDT [ Comments  ]
03 Aug · Tue 2010
ooh mama it is feeling like texas.
today will be day two of triple digit heat.
so far the creatures have been doing well. a good great number of the chickenychicas are moulting. bunbun is placed in the shade and comforted by his very own whirling fan while the kitty creatures and myself seek shelter in the shaded parts of the homestead place.
i am busy on project this morn in hopes of moving the project on to the next phase later this afternoon. moving the project on would make time for honey extraction of the frames from hive one and honey pulling from hive two but all in good time. first things first.
i had an interesting live active culture bread experience here just the other day. i set out a jar partially filled with an organic flour and water mix. no yeast was added just the flour and water. i let the mix set for a few days, feeding a bit more flour and water each day until naturally formed culture bubbles were witnessed. the bubbles were present day three, a sure sign that natural yeasts and bacteria were captured and in process of turning the flour and water into a lovely sourdough starter. or so i thought.
as the days passed, the starter began to smell cheesy-ish but looked fine. there was no mold growth, nothing looked odd in color, everything seemed good. i thought hmmpfh, that must be what bastroptown yeast smells like. five days in, i decided to make bread as it was bubbling real good and the homestead bread stores were down.
again, while rising, i sensed the cheese-ish smell. cheddar cheese i thought or rather cheddar like. interesting. and sure enough once baked and sliced there was a deep cheese flavor to the loaf. deep enough to fool anyone who might not know it was a cheese-less organic loaf. so i got to wondering which got me to searching for what might be going on. i was sure it was something that magically occurred in the fermentation process. i was not sure what the magic was until i came upon the following.
the lack of a.c. in our hot hot temps helped to create a most excellent
growing environment for the microbes and yeasts to grow. interesting
fact though is that i used no salt nor campden tablet. the process
happened all on it's own.
Posted by hippychick @ 10:13 AM CDT
an interesting day so far...
a profitable day so far...
a sweet sweet day so far...
i had been a bit concerned for the out back honeybee hive the past few days. i was not seeing the same great numbers of bees setting off for flight as i had in previous weeks and it got me to wondering.
well there is no better way in finding out than to take a good look inside i thought so this very morning, i got to it.
i put on my new "bees cannot climb right in this veil" bee veil and jacket. i put on a pair of thick jeans. i put on my rubber boots and gloves and i was on my way. i got the smoker smoking. i gathered my tools. i set up a large swath of heavy weight plastic and a single empty super for the placement of hive parts while working.
the hive was sealed tight. these bees were serious about keeping things airtight and secure from the elements and from unwanted visitors which might include me, the homestead beekeeper. upon my first view in, i knew the deal. happily, it was time for this season's second honey harvest. amazing what a bit of healthy "keep the blooms blooming" rain will do for your colonies. outside of the frames being full of honey, the colony looked great. they were all busy and possibly keeping tight inside in order to keep cool.
super by super i pulled full frames out while transferring yet uncapped honey frames and brood frames (brood are future baby bees tended by nurse bees) into supers that would be returned to the hive structure. there were several moments when i got a bit too close to the queen and the guard bees got right to business. i took a few hits to the thigh which in light of my recent stings put me at caution. i rubbed out the stingers and kept working. calm and slow, calm and slow.
side note - for those who know about or do not know about my recent bee sting events
back to the honey collection report. the key is to stay calm at all times. the bees know when you are stressed and they will act up. if you remain calm and move with a slow steady pace, you have a pretty good chance that the bees too will remain calm. long story short - i pulled honey, the bees played mostly nice and all is well.
the bees are in great health. woohooo! the population is not for want as i feared, in fact, the population is booming as evidenced by the brood frames in hive which means that our queen is strong. knowing my bees are strong healthy bees cheers me to no end. something you might not know about my bees is that i, as keeper, use no chemicals or medications on my bees. i purchased my two colonies from an aviary that practices organic chemical free beekeeping, has always practiced organic chemical free beekeeping and preaches the importance of doing so for the long term health of honeybees and for long term survival of the honeybee. i will continue to raise my bees as such with joy and care and that's that.
back to the harvest. the harvest is good. the harvest is heavy. i have not uncapped and extracted the load quite yet but i imagine this mid-summer harvest will prove at least as strong as the spring harvest's happy 50lbs. and this is just one hive. i'll not go into the front hive for a few days as projects outside of the farming universe need finishing first.
that said, the full mid-summer honey report is yet to come.
the timing of this harvest is perfect as the honey stores remaining at the bastrop producers market are quite slim. sales are good, real good and this harvest will certainly fill our little slice of shelf space without a stitch.
one detail i have noticed is that my honeybees very much dislike the black plastic frames. they avoid them like the plague and turn to them sometimes not at all and sometimes as last ditch effort. but for the most part, they ignore them. so i as keeper, want them gone. this means building more frames and fitting them with natural beeswax. i've got the parts to do so. it's now up to me to make the time and get it done. i think, for now anyway, i'll have enough frames to keep the bees busy with the frames i'll return once extracted. the frames will return with either fresh wax foundation or as spun frames ready for bee cleanup.
the cleanup frames (those extracted but not fitted with fresh foundation) provide the bees with a natural food source and a base foundation that they will "clean up" and build upon for future honey stores. the fresh frames will be those that might have experienced a bit too much stress in the extractor and prove in need of new and better supported structure. honey is heavy. you don't want your frames falling apart in the hive or upon removal from the hive as either situation could prove most messy and troublesome for both the bees and the keeper.
until i extract, i won't really know the condition of the currently pulled frames. for now the honey frames lay quietly in two large plastic totes with covers. i hope i hope i hope, to extract in the morrow.
until then folks - happy day to ya!
Posted by hippychick @ 10:12 AM CDT
Posted by hippychick @ 10:10 AM CDT
10 Jul · Sat 2010
topic – brew your own kombucha tea
skills shared between grasshoppers
hippychick’s kombucha experience
hippychick seeks to share practical skills enabling folk to live more happy and healthy lives. hippychick hopes to exemplify that baby steps, in practice, are in fact giant leaps toward living a more sustainable lifestyle. hippychick believes that learning is a daily experience. we are all grasshoppers, few are masters and the road is ours for the traveling. life is to be lived with eyes open. experience is to be shared. please join hippychick for this and for future skillsharing experiences. cheers!
sign up now at the bastrop producers market!
Posted by hippychick @ 01:10 PM CDT
27 Jun · Sun 2010
Concerned about maintaining the benefits gained from delicious healthy kombucha tea?
Hippychick is ready to offer private in home kombucha brewing classes for you and/or for a larger group of like minded health concious folk.
Sound interesting to you?
Classes are immediately available for scheduling in the Austin, Bastrop, and Smithville area*. Kombucha brewing materials and starter cultures will be provided. Gallon brewing jars are sold separately.
Private in home sessions - $35
Group sessions - $35 basic demonstration fee plus $7 per group guest fee
*I am based in bastrop - a small travel fee may apply for further distance areas.
contact me at email@example.com
the above photo is credited to spooning online mag
Posted by hippychick @ 11:55 AM CDT
hippychick's wildflower honey is now available at the bastrop producers market! get it while it lasts - there's only so much to go around and you'll be sorry if you miss it.
hipppychick's wildlower honey is
give it a try!
hippychick wildflower honey
ah come on, you know you want it!
Tues-Fri 11:00am - 7:00pm Sat 9am - 6pm Sun 1:00pm-6:00pm
977 Hwy 71 -- bastrop, texas
between FM20 and Hwy21
Posted by hippychick @ 11:52 AM CDT
31 May · Mon 2010
hippychick's super-d-lovely eggs
cheers for local organic fed chickeny egg sellers! the chickenchicas at hippychick's gardens provide beautiful fresh eggs daily. *i feed the ladies coyote creek organic feed. they also enjoy organically grown greens, tomatoes and the occasional melon from the garden, along with any goodies they can scratch up with their own two chickeny feets.
-- $4.00 per dozen (brown, white, blue green, dark brown - each carton is a mixed dozen)
-- fresh ginger lemon kombucha tea - $2.75 pint
-- fresh kombucha tea - $2.75 pint
-- kombucha tea starter kit - $12.oo pint jar w/tea, sugar and kombucha culture
-- home canned peaches $8.oo quart
-- home canned stewed tomatoes $7.50 quart -- $4.oo pint
-- home canned tomato sauce $4.oo pint
-- home made and preserved blueberry ginger jam $3.75 1/2 pint
hippychick gardens is a hand to hand sustainable ad-venture
hippychick gardens is located in historic bastrop, texas
all sales local and sold from the homestead
all sales cash only
Posted by hippychick @ 12:27 PM CDT
25 May · Tue 2010
*i feed the ladies locally milled coyote creek organic feed. they also enjoy organically grown greens, tomatoes and the occasional melon from the garden, along with any goodies they can scratch up with their own two chickeny feets.
-- $4.oo per dozen (brown, white, blue green, dark brown - each carton is a mixed dozen)
also available at the farmstead
-- fresh ginger lemon kombucha tea, kombucha starter kits
-- home preserved and canned - peaches, stewed tomatoes, tomatoe sauce and blueberry ginger jam.
email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org - - all sales cash only -- hippychick's gardens is a hand to hand sustainable ad-venture. come on by!
Posted by hippychick @ 09:08 AM CDT
brought home a few chickiebabygirls today !
here they are checking out the view from their new digs
- future egg layers round the hippychick homestead - thirteen in all and happy little peepers are they. i've housed them up in the freshly cleaned tin shed coop.
what kind of lovelies might they be? i'll tell ya..
the good news for these girls is that now that there is a friendly man in the hippychick universe, the chickies enjoy not only the love and affections of their chickenmama but that of their chickendaddy too.
woo - chickie - woo -woo!
i just checked in on the wee birdies and they are doing more than fine. several were snoozing. others were admiring the fine view and others were pecking away at the tin - i imagine making music or sending out the wee chick rap to the rest of the girls on the homestead.
welcome welcome wee chicks - you are in a good place.
that brings the hippychick homestead chickenycount up to fifty-three.
"one for every week of the year, and then some"
as chickendaddy says.
- - note - -
#53 is our most handsome australorp rooro.
#1 depending on how you look at it.
cheers to that!
Posted by hippychick @ 08:58 AM CDT
well i just finished off the last bits of the fall honey harvest - mmm mmm good. it was a good harvest, not a huge harvest but fine enough to share with family members, good friends and to gift a few very special folk on a job well done.
i enjoyed my bit of honey over a few soft boilers atop of my early morning whole wheat eggy muffins. yup eggs on eggy muffins. there are times in a chickenfarmer's days when the egg supply exceeds the demand. and it is the clever and creative farmer that finds ways to make good use of them.
round here, we
heat your oven to 350?f and/or bake pie crust as per directions on package. bake only half way, you want to finish the baking as you bake the egg mixture in the crust.
while the pie crust is baking, beat eggs, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg together. set aside. remove the pie crust from the oven when baked half way. place any fillings you wish into the pie crust. slowly pour the egg mixture on top of the fillings.
place the pie pan into the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until done. the quiche will rise in the oven and fall once cooled - do not panic. it's a natural process. allow the quiche to cool or risk a burnt tongue. quiche stores well in the fridge and is easily enjoyed hot or cool.
heat oven to 350 ?f. grease or spray muffin pan. mix batter in a blender or food processor, just until mixed and a bit creamy. pour batter into muffin pan filling only 1/2 high. bake for 30-40 minutes depending upon the true heat of your oven. turn out onto a cooling rack. enjoy warm or cool.
and there are other ways too
today's dinner will include these homegrown goodies
all sounds good to me, when's dinner?
there is much to do today - a friend gifted me with a large boot box full of green gage plums. so to greengage jam it is and a few plum tarts i thinks too. sound yummy? let's hope so.
have a great day folks! cheery cheer cheers to you.
Posted by hippychick @ 08:57 AM CDT
life has been focused in scattered places as of late
- everyone is well -
bun bun, operakitty, mr. t supercat of the universe, the super-d-lovely victory chickens and we the humans who stomp around the place and try as we might to spoil the heck out of all.
thanks for hanging in and waiting on a sometimes occupied elsewhere smalltime farmergirl. i'm off to market to deliver eggs and some good foods to a friend. i'll be back
enjoy the restful image of a spoiled supercat
(a.k.a. termite, a.k.a. mr. t.)
the story of hippychick the double wammy cyclopsegirl is soon to come~
true stories of a girl who was stung by two bees and a hornet
one day the left eye
another day the right eye
all in the time span of a week
it's a swell story
eh eh eh
Posted by hippychick @ 08:56 AM CDT
never imagined such a show
should have known
lovely laced leaves
of course this little lady should shine
so she does
she does so
Posted by hippychick @ 08:55 AM CDT
11 Dec · Fri 2009
rich, smokey flavor
russet in color
a homestead recipe of my own
*use pots sized to those that you have on hand
*i grow, smoke and dry my own. you can purchase dried chipotle peppers at a local market and grind them down in a coffee grinder. Remove the stem and seeds from the dried peppers. Break the peppers up into penny sized pieces. Set your coffee grinder to the espresso/fine setting, then grind them up.
waterbath set up - note the large post hosting the smaller pot - the larger pot is filled with enough water so as to surround the smaller pot but not so much as to over flow. the smaller post hosts the milk.
cut curds now floating in whey - notice the pepper bits mixed into the curds - i am a fan of the golden whey
drained curds now ready for the press
Posted by hippychick @ 09:00 AM CST
09 Dec · Wed 2009
tonight presents another round of freezing temps.
we are at the cusp of winter time conditions here in smalltowntexas.
freezing temps may be no big news for some folk in the upper part the of the states but around here, it's news. some folk love the news of an oncoming chill like myself and others of which i believe there are more others in these parts than the like me folk, prefer the milder, no need for snow, ice, sleet or any related frozen condition thank you very much kind of days. these no thank you folk often freak out when there is or even could be a chance of snow or ice.
i look at it as a chance to wear a favored winter sweater or to pull out the winter running gear. i head out in the morning, steaming coffee in hand to set watch over the heaping compost piles, steaming as well - farm geek that i am. damn proud farm geek too. this morning, upon the looking into the steam, i recalled...
i had a dream last night.
i was walking about another house recently purchased outright - i think from an estate auction which meant that anything on the land was also included in the purchase price. odd though, i remember that i was not able to look around the entire place until after the auction was over.
when looking about i learned that i was the new owner of a creamy milk paint white old style tractor with pale pink and pale blue curly line work and little flowers - borage and forget me nots painted on her nose. oh my gosh! i cried, she's beautiful! i was beside myself happy. i loved the pink, blue and milky white colors (boy am i proving more girly as the days go by).
i woke before having a chance to fire her up but the gift of a tractor surely put a smile on my face. she had an old open style seat that sat high enough for short girl farmer to see over the top. the wheels were hard, the frame sturdy and the axles clean not rusted.
of course upon waking, i learned the she tractor exists only inside the universe of hippychick dreamland but she exists and she is beautiful and she is girly and useful and just the right size. the old style pick up has not yet shown herself but i do believe that once she does, she may need a paint job just like the tractor.
and that is one decision solved. i have always wondered what color, if ever i did invest in an old style pick up, what color she would be - now i know. thank you dreamy land.
at present, we have no need for a tractor on our wee little 1/4 acre but maybe someday our beloved 1/4 acre will grow to a 5 or 10 acre universe... the good news is that i know where to find her. visiting hours always open in dreamy dreamland space and what a nice space to visit.
Posted by hippychick @ 08:42 AM CST