Why Are Barns Red?

Do you know why barns are traditionally red? 

Once upon a time, barns were painted red because commercial paints were expensive. Farmers needed a cheaper paint they could use for large products (like their barns). The result was standard red paint.

Old-fashioned barn paint was made from: lime, linseed oil, red iron oxide, oil, turpentine & skim milk.

 

From Farm Show Magazine.

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Real Life Farm Wife:

Do you really know to what temp to heat your meat?

Originally posted on Chico Locker & Sausage Co. Inc.:

How many of you out there know what temperature your ground beef should be cooked to? What about pork? Chicken?

As producers, it is our duty to provide consumers with the safest possible product we can. And in the scheme of things, I’ve said before that I think our food system is pretty darn safe. See post here. But even if we produce the safest product possible, the responsibility at the end still falls upon the consumer to be the one to cook it and handle it properly.   How am I the one responsible for someone getting sick when they didn’t cook their meat all the way through, or that they cross contaminated using raw utensils on cooked food without washing them? Sounds crazy, but the meat industry all the time gets blamed for improper consumer handling when people get sick. Not to say that we don’t take responsibility…

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No Trespassing: Random Photo Friday

See where the 365 Project has me going?


The Steers Say, “Moo.”

Actually, they don’t say much of anything, which according to Farmer D is a good thing, unless you’re in the barn around supper time…then you’re serenaded by a bunch of lovely guys with beautiful baritone voices.

The boys in the barn.

Is that too weird for you?

It’s a little weird to me, and I’m the one that just wrote it.

DQ wishes I was carrying the curry comb instead of the camera.

Anyhow, the cattle are doing fine. The oldest of the bunch will be one year old in February; the youngest is a little over six months old.

Since the weather is cold and endlessly wet here, I’ve been spending a lot of time reading about raising beef and about the processing process.

In the food world, the grass-fed vs. grain-fed thing—and which one is best—is a huge (non) issue. Many proclaim that grass-fed beef is the only way to go…but read what Jeff Fowle, a California beef farmer and agvocate, has to say about Grass vs. Grain.

For the record, Farmer D subscribes to the “grass-fed, grain-finished” school of thought.

Milton showing off his good side.

As for the processing part (though I have no desire to do it myself), I’m fascinated with Megan Brown’s article, Brown Ranch: From Pasture to Plate. Ms. Brown is a 6th generation cattle rancher, and a strong voice in the agvocate world, who loves to share what goes on in her family business.

T couldn't be bothered to come over and visit.

If you want to learn more about your favorite meat, and how it gets from the farm to your table, read everything you can from Jennifer Dewey at Chico Locker & Sausage Company, Inc., and follow @KYFarmersMatter (on Twitter.) You’ll find amazing ladies in both places that really know their stuff.

(And by now, you’ve probably noticed that I love to read and love to research.)

I’m sure I’m missing more great info out there, but it’s time to go outside and check on the boys in the barn.

Baby's my fave he loves to snuggle (and there's nothing more attractive on a woman than cow snot in your hair).

What other beef-related  sites do you think I should check out?


Random Photo Friday: Snowy Path

Enjoying the Riverwalk and just about to take a photo...and Annie dog decides to get in the frame.


Our Winter Weather: What the Heck?

Though now is the time I’m supposed to be getting things done inside the house, my recent obsession with Pinterest, the 365 Project (and more than a few games of Hotshot on Facebook) have  left me behind on the projects I thought I’d get around to while trying to avoid this weird, wet winter.

After an exceptionally soggy spring and fall (which made harvest a bit of a challenge), winter in our corner of Ohio has been more of the same—gray and wet.

Thank heavens this isn't one of our fields...but there are many around here that look like this.

But as The Farmer’s Almanac predicted, it’s been warm.

Yesterday the daytime temperature reached 55°F , which is nearly unheard of for January in Ohio, and nearly 20 degrees warmer than the January average.

It also rained cats and dogs. Everything (including the car I took to the car wash on Sunday) was muddy, including the yard, the dogs, and my kitchen floor.

Thanks, guys.

And this morning, I woke up to a scene like this:

What winter normally looks like.

What the heck?

I wish the weather would just pick a season and make up its mind.


Random Photo Friday: Bashful Dog

Either Annie dog's feeling shy, or she's tired of me following her around with the camera.


Baking Day: Easy Dog Biscuits

Farmer D is always excited when he walks in the house and sees that I have the oven on.

“Mmmm, I smell garlic,” he said today

“Yep,” I answered.

“How soon till it’s done?” he asked.

“Shortly,”  I replied, “but they’re not for you.”

He looked sad, as if I he caught me making dinner for some other man, until I explained that I was trying out a recipe for dog treats for our indoor and outdoor security staff (a.k.a., Ike, Rodeo and Annie).

The following recipe is simple, and you can use whatever “meat” you have on hand. (I used chicken stock. I strain, skim and freeze the drippings whenever I roast chicken)

EASY DOG BISCUITS

2 c. Whole Wheat Flour

1/2 c. All-Purpose Flour

1/2 c. Milk

1 tsp. Garlic Powder

1 large Egg, beaten

1/4 c. Beef or Chicken Stock (you can also use bacon drippings)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit; lightly spray or grease a cookie sheet. Lightly flour a surface to roll the dough out on.

I cheated on both of these and used silicone mats — sprayed one with Pam to bake on, and rolled the dough out on another.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flours, and garlic powder. Add the milk, egg and your stock of choice. Stir.

This dough is very stiff. I started stirring it with a wooden spoon, but ended up kneading it with my hands.

3. Roll out the dough to about a 1/4-inch thickness. Use a pizza cutter or a cookie cutter to cut the dough into the desired shapes.

My mini rolling pin works great for small jobs like this.

Though I have a bone-shaped cookie cutter, I wanted smaller treats so I used circle shape.

This is where silicone mats come in handy - nothing sticks!

4. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool thoroughly before storing.

These look good enough to eat (and you actually can - if it makes you happy).

And remember, every good dog deserves a treat!


What Farmers Do on Their Days Off

I’ve caught Farmer D’s cold (thanks, honey), so I’m taking it easy today and catching up on my computer work and reading.

And according to Susan Cowell, at Farm and Dairy’s Social Silo, I should appreciate that I have a day off, because most farmers (and farm wives) aren’t so lucky.

Please read her article: Sometimes Farm Life is Just Manure Madness. 

You’ll think you’ve got it easy.

 


Random Photo Friday: Red Barn

This old barn is down the road from us.