Buy American, and Christian if you can

I have committed both Mychael and myself to using vendors and products who originate or do most of their business locally, or at least in America. If you want to feed the families of your fellow Americans, you have to do this. Even if the cost is a bit more for whatever reason, its worth it. So here are some of the products and vendors we have used, or currently use to make Ljubomir Farms work.

The pot we use to sterilize our jars is from Graniteware.  Located in Illinois, they are making products that are superior to standard non-stick surfaces, opting instead for glass-based pots and pans.

No strangers to controversy, Hobby Lobby is American, Christian and stands up for what they believe.

Ball (and Kerr)  are the jars we use for canning. Also made in America.

Locally, while living closer to San Antonio, we  have loved Struttys. We will be sad to leave the area, and we hope if you are local you will use them. They are very good to their customers, and don’t make you feel stupid if you are new at farming!

Closer to our place up near Fort Hood, are D&D Feed and Hill Country Feed and Supply.

We have adopted from and support Crossfire Equine Rescue here in central Texas as well.

And who can forget Sweetberry Farm, in Marble Falls, Texas. This is a great place to pick your own fruits, and a wholesome location to spend pumpkin hunting for Halloween.

Try to keep it local, and Christian if you can. It’s really important.

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She’s only eight

I was out on the farm doing some work today, and I didn’t realize my daughter had my phone. She took some pretty good shots, considering she’s only eight.

From inside the new goat area.

Our LGD, Jack.

From inside the chicken coop.

Random pullets

Broody chicken on eggs

Our other LGD, Faith

I think its the perspective. I would never take a picture from inside the chicken coop, because I’m not 4 feet tall. Nor do I ever sit on the ground in the goat pen playing with the goats.

Anyway, here’s what I was up today, another Mychael-at-work day:

Hope you enjoyed whatever you did on Memorial Day.

Canning day has arrived!

Today we spent all day canning jelly and ajvar.

Although the day started yesterday with washing and sorting all the jars and lids. Mychael worked at the ER all day, so this job fell on Scott:

We got off to a late start because there was a problem with the water/well. But eventually, we were off.

You have to boil the jars to sterilize them. You have to take them out of the boiling water pour the hot jam/jelly into the jars. Then you have to put them BACK into the boiling water for about ten minutes to cause them to seal.

After hot water bath, out they come.

When you hear the popping sound, it meas they sealed correctly:

They get lined up according to flavor:

Then you get to taste:

We took a few more pictures and videos but realized they almost gave away the recipe!

Here’s where you can order the 8 oz and the 16 oz sizes:

8 oz Grandma Leaches Preserves

16 oz Grandma Leaches Preserves

Edit– Almost forgot! In general, we try to do everything with products made in the USA:

How ’bout that Briggs and Stratton?

This summer has several adventures in the works for the Ljubomir clan. We’ll be headed up to the Montana property and camping on site for the first time since I bought it. But, the power company is so far behind they cannot  install the underground cable and step down transformer in time for our trip.

So, plan B it is.

I have a Briggs and Stratton generator that peaks out at 6875W. It’s part of our preparedness plan. It’s been sitting for two years since the last time I ran it, but I’m going to haul it with us to Montana and back-power my utilities– most importantly my well.

So far, so good. It also has no issue with the slide out, even when the air conditioner is running at full capacity:

If you know anybody over at Briggs and Stratton, tell them they’ve got a free commercial over here.

Our Nest

Since the beginning of our relationship Scott & I have found about 15 birds nests around our home. Today I found one on the sidewalk when I was out with our middle son. It was there on the sidewalk as if it was placed there intentionally for us to find.

Some of the other places we have found them are inside of Scott’s motorcycle helmet (Martinez, GA), in our BBQ grill when Scott was deployed (Kempner, TX), under a saddle that wasn’t being used (Kempner, TX)…. on and on they go.

When I saw the one today I knew it was going to be a good day. Shortly after I received a call about two goats that needed a new home. I had so much to get done today but the goats. Who could say no. So I called Scott & asked him if we could take in two more mouths.

 

Since our beginning at Ljubomir farms so much has happened. We adopted a donkey, Maggie, who turned out to be pregnant. Maggie was named for the Serbian word Magarac = donkey.  So now we have Maggie & Mary.  We also adopted Ginger an owner surrender older arabian. We love her freckles.

We’ve had countless birds hatched both in our incubator & with our broody birds. Thanks to Laurie Neverman I learned how to give a bird a water bath. To this day, Helen still recognizes my voice. Also, Sunshine Thiry has patiently helped us with advice from how to identify orphaned ducks to pollination of our garden.

We’ve also been to a few county fairs & rodeos. Mutton bustin’ is a must if you’ve never experienced your little one on the back of a sheep. It over quick so don’t blink.

Through it all we’ve learned so much from our friends that are further along their path of farming/homesteading/prepping. Stick with us. We’re in it for the long haul & one great adventure.

First outbound shipment!

Alright, even though we have “shipped” a few T-shirts, they actually come directly from the factory that makes them, so it doesn’t count.

But today, I packaged up the first two customer orders:

And I got a kiss from my sweet husband:

Thanks to our first two online customers, Christine and Liz! Your stuff is on the way.

 

Family and faith. What else is there?

This weekend, Scott’s brother Alex came to visit. We haven’t seen him in a few years, so he has never met our youngest son, Aleksandar, who is named after him. He brought his very sweet girlfriend, Cherrie, who took most of these pictures.

Alex and Aleks Klajic.

He finally got to see our farm and get acquainted with our version of Ljubivoje’s dream.

Kenna shows uncle Alex the greenhouse.

Uncle Alex teaching David to use his new slingshot.

Pushing Kenna on the rope swing.

Cradling one of our pullets.

And holding a goat.

Alex is the oldest living Klajic male, thereby making him the family patriarch, according to our tradition. He and Scott spent some time catching up.

Ljubomir farms boys.

The next day, we went to church together.

David sits on uncle Alex’ lap listening to Fr. Drago’s homily.

Brothers sharing Serbian plumb brandy after church. Ziveli!

And I got to visit with him too. He is a softer spoken version of my husband. But the resemblance in mannerisms and demeanor is striking.

A snap shot of all of us this afternoon.

And this last one is a bit of an inside joke. All of our children sit exactly like their uncle–on their back with legs folded in this manner. (Even little Aleks started doing it but he had already gone to bed). Nobody ever taught them this, because they all started doing it before ever meeting “veliki” (big) Alex. So we quickly snapped a photo of the power of genetics!

We call this “doing the Alex.”

And then he was off. Back to California. And it was the best weekend we have shared in a long while. So long uncle Alex. We hope to see you again, much sooner next time.

Next new product on the way!

One of the great treasures of Serbian cuisine is Ajvar (pronounced “eye var”). It is a bell pepper based paste/topping that can put on pretty much anything. Its pretty hot, so if you like spicy, this will work for you. This product will be in the inventory and ready to start shipping in about a week.

Ajvar with garlic toast.

Also, we are so sorry for the delay on the jellies! Mychael cut her finger pretty bad with a sharp knife while washing it and had to get stitches. This made it pretty impossible to can or sew for about a week. She’s pretty much healed up now and will back on the job after my brother comes to visit this weekend.

Speaking of which, I thought it was pretty cute that Mychael made the camper into a little hotel room on wheels for my brother. She is a very sweet wife and sister-in-law:

The card reads “Welcome to Ljubomir Farms. The Wi-Fi password is xxxxx”

Keep an eye out for the ajvar and the jellies. They should be visible and ready for purchase in about a week.

Ljubomir Farms online store.