Archive for March, 2008

27
Mar
08

Lots to do and company coming…

We have been really busy around our homestead the past couple of weeks/months. 

Garden:

We are putting the garden in and some of the things are getting off to a late start due to a lack of fencing.  We needed to fence our free-range chickens out of the garden, but instead they are on a short break from their free-range status until we can get fencing around the garden.

So far we have potatoes, onion, peas, greens, beets, radishes, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower planted in the garden.

Randy borrowed a roto-tiller from our neighbors and was tilling the garden (and before you say anything I don’t like deep tilling the garden and suggested not turning the soil anymore than necessary).  Eh hem, so he was roto-tilling the garden and the engine locked up, piston broke, etc.  $150-$200 and a few hours of labor later the roto-tiller should be purring like a kitten again.

Yard work:

I managed to get the fruit trees sprayed with an organic dormant oil spray from Gardens Alive.  It has to stay above 45 degrees for 24 hours in order for the spray to work.  Sadly, yesterday was about the first calm day with a predicted low above 45.

Pasture:

Dad came down with the tractor and disk and worked up a bottom area of our pasture that seemed to only grow poke, devil’s claws, stickers, and cheat.  Yesterday evening, I headed down there with a big bucket of turnip seeds and my little lawn fertilizer spreader to throw some turnip seed around.  The plan is to have turnips for the sheep to eat soon and follow up by planting grass.  We’re a little late, but that’s kind of our theme this season.  I have no idea how many seeds got thrown, where they got thrown for sure, if they will come up, and what it will look like if they do, but it is done and we got a tiny bit of moisture last night and today to help the little guys grow.

Tonight we will be docking tails and doctoring sheep.  Luckily a friend of Randy’s and my Dad will be there to help.  They will also start an hour before I get home, so hopefully they have it covered by the time I get home from work.  Randy’s mom and fiancé are visiting this weekend, so I have plenty of tidying up to do before they get here.

I know we eat differently than a lot of people, so I always panic when we have company and meals will have to be prepared.  I don’t want to freak anyone out with the meals we eat, but I also don’t want to completely change who we are for someone.  So, I will make some slight compromises which some are more of a convenience for me anyway (i.e. store bought tortillas). 

We will probably go out to eat once or twice.  His mom can’t sit still for long and insists on going “shopping” a lot.

Otherwise, on the menu:

Dinner:

*Fajitas (venison, shhh!) with homemade salsa, homemade yogurt, store bought ww tortillas (compromise/convenience), and homemade Spanish rice

*Roasted Chicken (raised on our farm) with baked potatoes, veggie, and homemade bread

Breakfast: 

*I hope to make ww pancakes one morning while they are here and maybe kefir smoothies another morning if anyone is feeling daring.

Snacks: 

*Organic raw veggies (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and celery) and homemade Ranch dressing

*Organic apples with organic peanut butter

*Organic bananas

*And possibly no-bake cookies if I’m feeling froggy!  I know they aren’t healthy, but man are they tasty.

We are supplementing a bottle lamb right now, so it will be fun for his mom to get to feed the little cutie.  Our blue heeler, Ash, can always squeeze in a game of fetch.  And our cat, Spooky, can always stand to be held and loved on.

I’ll try to take some pictures over the weekend, so I have some more interesting posts next week.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

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26
Mar
08

Easter and Springtime…

Things are busy, busy here on our little chunk of the globe.  We celebrated Easter with family and lots of wonderful food.  We have Randy’s family coming in this weekend, so there is lots of housekeeping and food preparations to get finished up before they arrive.  Hopefully the weather is nice, but they are already calling for rain here on Saturday.  The rain will be good for the pastures and we need pastures desperately right now.

Chas has a Giveaway!  So go check it out.  She has a wonderful blog and the giveaway is great too!

So far I only have potatoes and onions planted.  My peas didn’t come up and our garden isn’t fenced yet, so our free range chickens will eat the seeds if I plant them.  Hopefully this weekend I will get the majority of my seeds planted. 

I know it’s late, but this is a wonderful recipe for Blarney Stones for those of you intrested in some fun Irish food.  One recommendation is to use salted peanuts.  I made half with raw unsalted peanuts and the other half with regular salted peanuts and they were MUCH better.

Have a wonderful day!

19
Mar
08

Done lambing…woohoo & Grandma’s surgery

It’s just another one of those days here at work.  My co-worker is on vacation so I am all alone today. 

We are officially done lambing.  It ended with a bang, of course.  Our favorite lamb, Ma, had a major ordeal delivering her single ewe lamb.  I’ll spare you the details, but we are doctoring mama and baby and praying to avoid infection for the mama and pneumonia for the baby.  Things are looking good so far, so hopefully we have a completely happy ending.  So, it is safe to say this now without having to “knock on wood,” not including our aborted/miscarried baby lamb that started off our lambing season, we had no fatalities this season.  Any of you who raise livestock will appreciate this.  We had 18 ewes lamb this year and have 26 babies to show for it.  We didn’t have the highest percentage ever, but we are grateful for the healthy babies we have.  Two have already been sold and one is spoken for, so we are pleased.

In other news my Grandma had surgery to have her gall bladder removed and is doing really well.  Randy brought her home yesterday afternoon and said she looked really well. 

We have decided to buy her car from her since she is buying a new car.  With both of us commuting we put so many miles on our cars everyday.  Randy’s car is a really old, worn out car and may go at anytime.  Hopefully by this time next year we won’t need two commuter cars, but for now we are on the treadmill and contributing to pollution, the need for Middle Easter oil, and an empty house all day.  We’re working on it though.

Randy has been working with Ash, our blue heeler, in the sheep lots.  She is still a long way from independently herding sheep; however, she has made small progress in the form of not devouring sheep poo as soon as she is through the gate.  Baby steps!

I am off to a vet 1 and ½ hours away Friday to get a second opinion on our other dog, Koal.  He has allergies in the form of a rash and also has a small bump on his back we need to have looked at.  So, him and I are loading up (without Ash, she will heartbroken) and heading to a different vet to see if we can come up with something.  I will also be ordering CLO to supplement both of the dogs from here on out and also contemplating making Koal’s food.  I found a recipe that uses lamb which is in great supply here.  I’m just not sure I can keep up with it at this point in my life.  He’s always done really well on the food he is on now.  So, unless they have made changes to their food I can’t imagine it being the problem.

Other than that things are pretty normal here.  We placed an order for 25 Rhode Island Reds which should be here the beginning of April.  We lost another Bantie hen in our stock tank and are down to three.  It was decided to go with a larger chicken that can reach the stock tank without jumping up on the edge, so hopefully we have better luck with these.  Did I mention we are excited about having normal-sized eggs too!

Have a wonderful day!

13
Mar
08

Just a quick post…

I haven’t posted in awhile, so I thought I would real quick. 

Here are some pictures of my Dad’s Icelandic sheep’s babies.  They are the cutest little things!

And of course, what would a post be with out the cats involved.  They just happen to be the most photogenic critters on our farm.

This weekend we will be selling our two bottle lambs.  Yea!  We are also hoping to possibly burn our pile of limbs leftover from the ice storm and mow around our pasture so we can get it burned off soon.  Oh, did I mention build more lots and fence in the garden to keep the chickens out so I can plant seeds?  We’re going to need a long weekend :  )

Have a wonderful day!

06
Mar
08

It’s been awhile…

I know I haven’t posted recently.  There isn’t a lot going on at our little farm.  Lambing season is winding down.  We had a wonderful season with no casualties thus far.  We still have two more ewes to lamb; one is our absolute favorite, so we still worry about them.

Our black cat, Spooky, has found a new place to sleep and if I can get a photo I will be sure to post it.  He likes to sleep in the nesting boxes in the chicken coop.  Every evening we have to go retrieve him from the coop and put him in the pool house for the night.

We have once again decided to work more with our Blue Heeler and allow her to go out with the sheep more.  She has so much energy; maybe it can be put to good use.

Isn’t she cute?   hahaha

Spring seems to be slowly creeping in.  I have a few seeds started, will start more this weekend, and I’m also trying to get some black berries started from cuttings.  No luck yet, but I was told to cut near the main vine and try to start those cuttings.  This weekend I will cut a few more and see what happens.  I also need to trim up the crabapple tree this weekend.  I can’t wait for crabapple jelly!  The grape vines, boxwoods, apple tree, and black berries have all been trimmed.  I need to go through my herb garden and see what need to been cut back and get them situated.  I’ve been cleaning out lambing pens and using it to much the beds and garden.  Peas are in the ground, so hopefully they start pushing through soon.  I will get my potatoes this weekend so I can get them cut and curing.  I might even try to get some lettuce going in a small box near the house.  Spring is in the air!

Have a wonderful day!




Adopting one child won't change the world; but for that child, the world will change.

I am the wife to my wonderful husband and joint care giver to the many animals we have acquired on our small farm here on the prairie. This is a bit about our life on our farm. We are striving for simplicity and self-sufficiency, determined to become debt-free, trying to live in tune with the natural cycles of this earth, and challenging ourselves to transition to a diet based on traditional foods. It isn't always easy, and we don't always succeed, but it is a fun learning process. Join us as we stumble through learning how to provide for ourselves, get off the treadmill, and work toward a simpler way of life.

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