Archive for March, 2009

26
Mar
09

Weather and a Weekly Update!

According to the weather forecast (that changes oh-so-frequently), we are going to have rain tonight turning to snow by early morning and throughout the day Friday and Saturday.  Yuck!  We laid new straw in the buildings for the mamas and babies and are hoping and praying the weatherman is wrong.

 

I found a piano on craigslist.com for free as long as we load it and haul it off.  It doesn’t have a bench, but is an upright and looks okay in the picture.  It is first come, first serve and due to the weather it will be Sunday before we can pick it up.  We will see if it was meant to be or not.

 

My mom always wanted to learn how to play the piano and never did.  I always wished I knew how to play the piano and have tried to teach myself off and on. 

 

If someday we have children in our home I plan to try my very best to afford them lessons and help them learn how to play the piano if not other instruments as well.

 

I received yet another box of plants from Gurney’s last night.  Randy was so good to help me get 2 cranberry bushes, 2 dwarf blueberry bushes, and a cherry bush in the ground last night.  I also have two coffee plants that need to be potted inside.  I’m short on pots, but do have some I have been meaning to paint and decorate.  We’ll see if the two tiny plants setting on my counter are incentive enough to get them done.

 

We still have 37 baby lambs as of this moment in time.  Last night we discovered one of our mamas with a bad half (udder) and twins had gotten a split in the back of her udder.  Once we got her penned up and started to clean up the cut and milk her out I realized her bag was enormously full.  Not sure how this happened with two big healthy lambs nursing her, but it did.  She is now off food and water for at least 24 hours to try to get her milk production down and her udder healed.  We will supplement the lambs if needed and dry her off completely if she does not heal soon. 

 

We also lost a hen this week.  Randy found her dead in the coop.  Not sure what the cause of death was, but we suspect it could have been from ingesting the Styrofoam insulation on the ceiling of their coop.  It’s tricky for them to get to, but we have noticed areas where it has been pecked.  Hopefully she will be our only casualty.  The insulation is so nice to hold heat in in the winter and keep heat out in the summer.  We may end up having to cover the Styrofoam with wood, but our to-do list is so incredibly long right now the thought of adding to it is less than favorable.

I am looking forward to a 4-day weekend.  I am always off on Fridays and also have Monday off for a dentist appointment.  So, I will be getting our neglected house back in check.  It is all we can do to keep up with regular chores, lambing issues, and feed ourselves.  Housekeeping is kept to a bare minimum during lambing season.  We are just above “safe” and “livable” in our home right now.  Hopefully after this weekend we will be in the “clean” and “comfortable” zone.

 

Have a great weekend!

26
Mar
09

Weather and a weekly update…

According to the weather forecast (that changes oh-so-frequently), we are going to have rain tonight turning to snow by early morning and throughout the day Friday and Saturday.  Yuck!  We laid new straw in the buildings for the mamas and babies and are hoping and praying the weatherman is wrong.

I found a piano on craigslist.com for free as long as we load it and haul it off.  It doesn’t have a bench, but is an upright and looks okay in the picture.  It is first come, first serve and due to the weather it will be Sunday before we can pick it up.  We will see if it was meant to be or not.

My mom always wanted to learn how to play the piano and never did.  I always wished I knew how to play the piano and have tried to teach myself off and on. 

If someday we have children in our home I plan to try my very best to afford them lessons and help them learn how to play the piano if not other instruments as well.

I received yet another box of plants from Gurney’s last night.  Randy was so good to help me get 2 cranberry bushes, 2 dwarf blueberry bushes, and a cherry bush in the ground last night.  I also have two coffee plants that need to be potted inside.  I’m short on pots, but do have some I have been meaning to paint and decorate.  We’ll see if the two tiny plants setting on my counter are incentive enough to get them done.

We still have 37 baby lambs as of this moment in time.  Last night we discovered one of our mamas with a bad half (udder) and twins had gotten a split in the back of her udder.  Once we got her penned up and started to clean up the cut and milk her out I realized her bag was enormously full.  Not sure how this happened with two big healthy lambs nursing her, but it did.  She is now off food and water for at least 24 hours to try to get her milk production down and her udder healed.  We will supplement the lambs if needed and dry her off completely if she does not heal soon. 

We also lost a hen this week.  Randy found her dead in the coop.  Not sure what the cause of death was, but we suspect it could have been from ingesting the Styrofoam insulation on the ceiling of their coop.  It’s tricky for them to get to, but we have noticed areas where it has been pecked.  Hopefully she will be our only casualty.  The insulation is so nice to hold heat in in the winter and keep heat out in the summer.  We may end up having to cover the Styrofoam with wood, but our to-do list is so incredibly long right now the thought of adding to it is less than favorable.

I am looking forward to a 4-day weekend.  I am always off on Fridays and also have Monday off for a dentist appointment.  So, I will be getting our neglected house back in check.  It is all we can do to keep up with regular chores, lambing issues, and feed ourselves.  Housekeeping is kept to a bare minimum during lambing season.  We are just above “safe” and “livable” in our home right now.  Hopefully after this weekend we will be in the “clean” and “comfortable” zone.

Have a great weekend!

25
Mar
09

37 and still going!

We have 37 baby lambs on our farm as of this morning.  The girls have done so well.  We worry about them since we are gone during the day, but we have a wonderful friend who stops in throughout the day  to check on them and my dad goes down there throughout the day to look in on them as well.  We have 17 boys and 20 girls added to our flock since March 13th. 

They are really blowing through the alfalfa.  We are anxious for spring to get here, so they can head to pasture.  The first calm weekend we plan to burn our pasture, start tearing down the old fence on the east side, and replace it with sheep/goat fencing.  The fencing is on order and should be here in a week.  We would like to burn this weekend, but there is a chance of rain, snow, and strong winds, so it’s not looking too promising.

We have a handful on bottles and buckets of milk for one reason or another and a couple we are helping supplement.  Other than that everyone is happy and healthy.  Hank (our llama) has got his hands full.  Last night Randy caught the kids playing follow the leader.  They were running in a circle and jumping on and off Hank, who was laying down trying to catch some shut eye.  He would groan as the little ones jumped on and off of his back.  Poor guy!

Hope everyone is having a great week!

25
Mar
09

Reconsidering…

Long story short, we need land for our growing sheep farm.  We hope to make it a source of income someday so it is a priority.  However, we are reconsidering jumping back into our adoption if we can get our land situation figured out once and for all.

Our adoption agency is willing to hold a spot for us if we get our I600-A sent off asap. 

We have already ordered 12 rolls of fencing for the pasture behind our house (that does not belong to us, it is my Grandma’s).  So, we will possibly lose everything we are going to invest in the pasture, but with 37 (so far) lambs we have to ensure they are contained and not able to get out on the road where they can (and have once) get hit.  Investing the time and money into a pasture that is not our’s is just a chance we are going to have to take to ensure our sheep are safe.

A land auction is coming up near our home, so we will be taking a day off work to go to it and possibly bid on 160 acres just down the road from mom and dad.  It needs A LOT of work ($) before our sheep could ever step foot on it, and we’re not sure it’s something we want to do, but we are getting desperate for land that belongs to us for our animals to call home.

With the market the way it is we would be unable to sell our home right now, so would have to be able to buy the land at a price that would allow us to continue living in the house we are in at present.  Wish us luck!

Ideally, we would like to stay where we are since it is the house I grew up in, and we have put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into it.  Whatever happens, happens because it is what is supposed to happen. 

We are still planning to adopt from Nepal if we can get everything else worked out and get our paperwork in on time.  Our dossier would be sent in 2010, but no word on how long the wait will be from there.

25
Mar
09

37 and still going…

We have 37 baby lambs on our farm as of this morning.  The girls have done so well.  We worry about them since we are gone during the day, but we have a wonderful friend who stops in throughout the day  to check on them and my dad goes down there throughout the day to look in on them as well.  We have 17 boys and 20 girls added to our flock since March 13th. 

They are really blowing through the alfalfa.  We are anxious for spring to get here, so they can head to pasture.  The first calm weekend we plan to burn our pasture, start tearing down the old fence on the east side, and replace it with sheep/goat fencing.  The fencing is on order and should be here in a week.  We would like to burn this weekend, but there is a chance of rain, snow, and strong winds, so it’s not looking too promising.

We have a handful on bottles and buckets of milk for one reason or another and a couple we are helping supplement.  Other than that everyone is happy and healthy.  Hank (our llama) has got his hands full.  Last night Randy caught the kids playing follow the leader.  They were running in a circle and jumping on and off Hank, who was laying down trying to catch some shut eye.  He would groan as the little ones jumped on and off of his back.  Poor guy!

I will try to take some pictures over the weekend if it’s not too crazy.  Hope everyone is having a great week!

19
Mar
09

Lambing Time…

The babies are dropping on our farm this week. 

 

We started last Friday (March 13th) and haven’t

 

really caught our breath yet.  We have 22 babies on the ground which may not seem like a lot, but when you are working a 40/week and both commuting 2 hours/day each (making it a 48-50/hour week); it can get a little crazy.

 

Yesterday took the cake for craziness.  Our registered Texel ewe (June) had a baby girl at 10:00 am, Dad pulled a big baby boy out of a first timer for at 12:00, and when I arrived home at 5:00 pm we had one in labor with twins (the first one with a leg back and I don’t even remember how the second one came).  We also had a beautiful ewe who had stopped laboring, so we knew she was going to need some assistance.  Her first baby came backwards, the second baby was a tangled up mess with what we later found out was the third baby.  This girl didn’t even look like she was carrying twins, but produced three nice-sized little lambs.  We finally got all of them, 4 mamas, and 7 babies situated and at 8:00 pm made it inside for dinner.  We showered, went out to check on them at 9:00pm and had to change back into our chore close rearrange a baby that was coming with a leg back, come inside, shower again, and finally made it to bed at 10:00 only to get back up at 4:00 and start all over again.

 

We have really been focusing on our nutrition up to this point and although we have gotten worn down and different times throughout the week.  I think it has played a part in keeping us healthy and somewhat able to cope with the disrupted sleep and physical labor we have subjected ourselves to.

 

I have been trying to implement eggs, kefir, and/or raw milk into our breakfast schedule.  With the onset of spring I have been able to include a fresh vegetable (broccoli, cauliflower, or asparagus) with almost every dinner.  Now that time is a factor I am resorting to frozen soups and dinners I made up ahead of time, and have substituted Bolthouse and Naked juices in place of kefir smoothies.  I realize store-bought smoothies are a far cry from a healthy, homemade smoothie with coconut oil, flax seed oil, vitamin c powder, and homegrown fruit.  However, we aren’t perfect and are doing what we can to improvise some quick meals and still stay as health conscious as possible.  Our latest love is to make hash browns or NT cottage fries with organic potatoes. 

 

For the hash browns I just run them through the food processor peel and all throw them in my cast iron skillet with some butter and olive oil.  Five minutes on each side, a sprinkling of sea salt and you have the most fabulous hash browns ever.

 

I hope to get some lacto-fermented foods back into our diet.  NT salsa and sauerkraut are at the top of my list as soon as the tomatoes hit the garden and I find an organic cabbage at the store.

 

Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying some spring weather.  We are in for thunderstorms all weekend.  The rain won’t be all that fun for lambing, but will help my new planted trees, bushes, and vines.

 

Just planted:

2 pecan trees

8 blueberries

3 raspberries

3 cherry bushes

2 apricot bushes

2 cranberries

And 2 coffee plants (for inside the house) for fun

 

That’s all for now.  Hope everyone has a great day!

19
Mar
09

Lambing Time…

 

The babies are dropping on our farm this week.  We started last Friday (March 13th) and haven’t really caught our breath yet.  We have 22 babies on the ground which may not seem like a lot, but when you are working a 40/week and both commuting 2 hours/day each (making it a 48-50/hour week); it can get a little crazy.

Yesterday took the cake for craziness.  Our registered Texel ewe (June) had a baby girl at 10:00 am, Dad pulled a big baby boy out of a first timer for at 12:00, and when I arrived home at 5:00 pm we had one in labor with twins (the first one with a leg back and I don’t even remember how the second one came).  We also had a beautiful ewe who had stopped laboring, so we knew she was going to need some assistance.  Her first baby came backwards, the second baby was a tangled up mess with what we later found out was the third baby.  This girl didn’t even look like she was carrying twins, but produced three nice-sized little lambs.  We finally got all of them, 4 mamas, and 7 babies situated and at 8:00 pm made it inside for dinner.  We showered, went out to check on them at 9:00pm and had to change back into our chore close rearrange a baby that was coming with a leg back, come inside, shower again, and finally made it to bed at 10:00 only to get back up at 4:00 and start all over again.

We have really been focusing on our nutrition up to this point and although we have gotten worn down and different times throughout the week.  I think it has played a part in keeping us healthy and somewhat able to cope with the disrupted sleep and physical labor we have subjected ourselves to.

I have been trying to implement eggs, kefir, and/or raw milk into our breakfast schedule.  With the onset of spring I have been able to include a fresh vegetable (broccoli, cauliflower, or asparagus) with almost every dinner.  Now that time is a factor I am resorting to frozen soups and dinners I made up ahead of time, and have substituted Bolthouse and Naked juices in place of kefir smoothies.  I realize store-bought smoothies are a far cry from a healthy, homemade smoothie with coconut oil, flax seed oil, vitamin c powder, and homegrown fruit.  However, we aren’t perfect and are doing what we can to improvise some quick meals and still stay as health conscious as possible.  Our latest love is to make hash browns or NT cottage fries with organic potatoes. 

For the hash browns I just run them through the food processor peel and all throw them in my cast iron skillet with some butter and olive oil.  Five minutes on each side, a sprinkling of sea salt and you have the most fabulous hash browns ever.

I hope to get some lacto-fermented foods back into our diet.  NT salsa and sauerkraut are at the top of my list as soon as the tomatoes hit the garden and I find an organic cabbage at the store.

Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying some spring weather.  We are in for thunderstorms all weekend.  The rain won’t be all that fun for lambing, but will help my new planted trees, bushes, and vines.

Just planted:

2 pecan trees

8 blueberries

3 raspberries

3 cherry bushes

2 apricot bushes

2 cranberries

And 2 coffee plants (for inside the house) for fun

That’s all for now.  Hope everyone has a great 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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