A day in the life of Sackmann Cattle Company.

The pictures, stories, and crazy times in our world.

June 27, 2015


Yes, we are farmers.  Farming is not just what we, but who we are.  If you even want to start a conversation with a farmer/rancher and aren't sure where to start go to weather.  I guarantee it is too dry/wet, cold/hot, windy, something!

This summer I'm following the ETHAN Project online.  A new challenge for every summer week for life with kids.  This week is water.  What this challenge means to me (daughter of a dryland farmer married to an irrigated farmer/cowman) is probably a little different than most following ETHAN project.

This summer for agriculture and now even non-farmers (in some locations) water is of the utmost importance.  California and most of the west is DRY.  Dryland crops don't look good, some irrigated farmers never got water or are loosing water earlier than normal.  Other areas are drowning.  Good 'ole Facebook shows me pics of corn dying of excess "dihydrogen monoxide" in the same feed as dry pastures and fields.  We have a friend fighting fire in Alaska and fire is of huge concern in our state and its not even July.

We are spoiled and blessed to be in the Columbia Basin Reclamation Project.  Thanks to the Columbia River we are still getting irrigation water as planned.  And with temps in the triple digits we've got lots of water on - except on the hay fields that are now officially in second cutting.

Needless to say our world revolves around water.  The first and last project for Jeff every day is changing/checking/fixing water.  Our kids get to spend time with dad in their irrigation boots and our yard certainly enjoys the benefits of multi-horse pumps.

Jeff sent me a video of tadpoles in a shrinking puddle (in a draw of an alfalfa field that was cut today).  The little guys' house was quickly disappearing.  So we headed over to play in the mud and try to move some tadpoles to the overflow pond at our house.  Hey - I'll take some muddy kids in favor of the hopes of a few less bugs and being serenaded at night.

Nia was the funniest.  She kept telling us every time she saw one.  She even caught a few.

Life's pretty good when you are a kid chasing tadpoles in the alfalfa field!!

June 5, 2015


Beware, my attempts at a food blog entry (& I might be drinking some wine, Washington vintage of course)!
Image result for pinterest logoI love to cook.  I rarely give myself enough time to actually make dinner though.  My kids are known to say something about it tastes better than it looks.  When our hired man eats with us pretty sure he expects an "experiment" or "refrigerator clean-out".  I spend way too much time looking at Pinterest.  I don't pin that much, but basically guaranteed if you see something remotely crafty or cute from me I got the idea from Pinterest (we won't talk about the execution of someone else's cool idea!).   

We also live far enough from town I don't just run in when I am missing a key ingredient or two (or six) so I improvise.  More than once I've told Jeff how I altered the "new recipe" and just don't think the experiment in question is a "keeper" recipe.  At which point Jeff says something about can I really blame the recipe because I may have made some pretty major alterations.  OK, point taken!

Apparently it is summer now (low seventies earlier in the week, expecting 100 Monday).  We are starting to harvest stuff out of our garden.  I feel salads coming on; lots of lettuce and hot weather.  For some reason the kids eat their veggies so much better when they come out of our garden.  Another blessing of farm life is lots of space to plant edible goodies.  If half the stuff in our garden grows this summer we can run our own fresh food pantry!

Another part of our farm life is freezers brimming with meat we raised.  This often means plenty of ground beef.  Nothing against chicken but I rarely buy it and most main dish salads (need meat in our main dish) include chicken not beef.  Thus begins my improvising. 

Lettuce and ground beef in hand I head to pinterest and find The Country Cook.  An Italian Chopped Salad with Grilled Chicken.  Looks nummy and I have "most" of the ingredients.  Some didn't make it out of the pantry before the starving natives NEEDED dinner.  But we did enjoy a few green items out of the garden, ground beef out of the freezer and other items I had in the fridge or pantry.  Added some Italian Dressing spice mix/base to the beef and I cheated with bottled Italian dressing.  I liked it and 1/2 the kids ate it (I left the ingredients in separate bowls because I have a olive and tomato (unless they come from our garden) hater.  The other 1/2 used part of ingredients to make tacos (used tortilla shells - we're not that loyal to food nationalities).

So goes another dinner at our house.  Jeff may or may not eat the same thing - hours later than the kids and I.  We have dinner in rounds here pretty much whenever water is on (March - October).  You name the hour and pretty sure I'm getting ready to feed somebody, something - and there's still wine left.

Happy cooking (& improvising)!