Archive for July, 2008


To Be Humane…

We have made some decisions on our farm for the years to come.  Saturday, Randy and I had to take 9 ram lambs to the sale barn to sell.  It was hard for us to drop them off at the sale barn having some idea of what their future has in-store.  By Sunday we had made the decision to buy a grain cart to store bulk grain in, buy more alfalfa than the previous year, and feed our lambs to butcher weight before taking them to the sale barn.  In doing this we will eliminate the need for them to go to a feedlot and undergo the stress and cruelty these facilities tend to generate.  We also backed out of taking our cull ewes (ewes that have bad udders on one or both sides or are sickly, in our case they just have bad udders and aren’t actually sick) to the sale barn and decided we would keep them indefinitely, buy 1-2 dairy goats in the spring and either graft baby lambs onto the goats to allow them to milk directly from the goat or milk the goats and feed their milk to the lambs via bottles to supplement our milk replacer and hopefully cut costs.  We don’t want to be like the conventional farmers all around us.  We want to raise our animals in the humanist way we financially can. 

We hope to own more pasture land one day so we can subdivide and rotational graze to an even larger extent than we do now.  In time we will hopefully be able to provide our own hay and grain or at least supplement our needs.

For now we will strive to make the changes we can to ensure our animals are healthy, happy, and with us as long as possible.

Although the irrigation systems are sucking us dry, chemical fertilizers are seeping through every piece of soil, and hunters are overrunning us, we hope to maintain a tiny piece of the earth where life is simple and kind and as pure as possible.

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!


The Last American Man…

I am reading The Last American Man by Elizabeth Gilbert and am so inspired.  There is some harsh language in the book, but if you can overlook this it is a great book.  He is the owner/operator of Turtle Island Preserve.  Randy and I hope to visit for a tour, class, or maybe even the five-day camp sometime soon.

We’ve been busy taking care of sheep, gardening, and just tending to the day-to-day duties of our homestead. 

Prices of everything continue to rise, and we continue to discuss what changes can be made and where we can cut cost.  We are preparing to put a new roof on our house and are very discourage with the cost, but it has to be done.  We are recruiting helpers and trying to wittle away at the expenses the best we can.

We will be headed to Ohio and Michigan soon for two wedding and to visit my in-laws.  Gas is considerably more expensive up north, so we are preparing for the expense of this trip as well. 

Never thought all my reading on “frugality” and being “conservative” would ever come in so handy!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful day!



Has anyone seen this?

I saw the video here and now want to see the movie.


Fresh produce…

I ran to the Farmer’s Market the other day and picked up these.

I love new potatoes, and my potatoes have apparently all gone to the plant and not the seed.  We had a feeling our ground was too rich.  This is our third failed attempt at potatoes.  Good thing there is a Farmer’s Market across the street from where I work.  I try to by local or grow food myself as much as I can.  Good for them, good for us, good for the earth!

We woke up Saturday morning very early to the roar of wind (75 mph), pounding rain, and hail.  Gotta love the Midwest!  The storm lasted about an hour and the rain lasted until noon.  We layed around inside all morning.  Something we NEVER get to do.  I read and got a little nap in, Randy napped, and the dogs snuggled with us and napped on and off. 

Once everything had cleared (especially the lightning) we went out to assess the damage, tree limbs, a filthy pool, and my garden had some serious damage. 

We repaired fence that afternoon and still have a little left to do before the sheep can be moved over to new pasture, but we are closer.

Grandma was back in the hospital, so I was on boysenberry duty.  I picked five more quarts for her freezer and two quarts for fresh eating at our house.

We have vowed to take it easy on Sunday afternoons.  We just need to start forcing ourselves to set things aside and relax a bit.  Our pool was too chilly to swim since the storms had blown the solar cover off on a 60 degree night, plus all the rain water.  So, we just hung out and did some mowing and gardening.

Monday I had to take my parent’s dog to the vet for them so I didn’t get home until noon.  However, I got busy and got the house dusted, cleaned the skylights, kitchen, and vacuumed.  Then I tackled my herbs and some cooking.

Chives, dehydrated in dehydrator overnight.

Cucumber Salad:

2-3 Cucumbers

1/4 c Real Mayo (no Miracle Whip)

1/4 c White Vinegar

2 T. Sugar

1/4 t. Dill (used fresh and just eyeballed it, is there such a thing as too much dill?)

Mix all together and chill before serving. 

We love this!  Is it summer without cucumber salad?  It might be for us since our chickens destroyed most of my cucumber plants yesterday.  The Banties (my good children) have never messed up anything while free-ranging in the garden.  The Rhode Island Reds, however, demolished the plants and ate all the cucumbers.  Did I mention they haven’t started laying eggs yet, so they aren’t technically a productive aspect to our farm and better tread lightly :  )

I also got two cabbages out of the garden over the weekend and made sauerkraut (Nourishing Traditions).

And Pickles.

Fortunately, my echinacea survived the storm and still looks nice.  It was really windy, so the pictures are a bit blurry but you get the idea. 

Hope everyone has a wonderful Tuesday!

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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July 2008
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