Saturday, October 4, 2014

Fall... Time for farmers to take it easy ...

Lol!!!!! Yeah right!
There's no taking it easy here... Every year... Spring and summer I tell myself I'll get more free time when fall gets here ...
What a laugh!
This week along Had been so busy with getting livestock ready for winter.. My husband & son have built me a ton of new raised beds which I have been informed every square inch better be planted!
We had 2 litters of Baby guinea hogs born this fall! 
I still have 17 baby muscovies and 10 other ducklings growing out ...2 king squab have hatched..
Keeping the ram happy has been a challenge to say the lest...
Today alone I cut up 2 lbs of marinated lamb stake for jerky.. Juice 1 gallon of apple cider , planted 240 onion bulbs.. A pound of garlic and made a nice winter squash soup...

And I still haven't done my daily chores ....
Having a healthy body to keep up with all this is a blessing and that glory goes to The Lord ! 
Thanks for the healthy nutrient dense food I am able to grow !
Have a great weekend everyone ... Eat your veggies ... Fried in duck fat Ofcourse ;-) 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Once again,,,there be goats !

The such is over! The long 4 year search for Utility king pigeons.. Is done!
I have 2 proven pair and 5 squabs I'm hoping to get another 2 pair from.

Pigeon has long been in my brain because it's soooo tasty. I was starting to lose hope I would have the chance to raise my own squab plus enjoy the benefits of owning these guys! 
This is a blessing ... 

And I did it... I said never... Never would I ever have goats again.. Dairy goats were just to hard to raise , to rowdy and destructive , to expensive to feed and broke my heart to many times .... Losing my Nubian/sannan Miss Jackson was the last draw...I was done! But....
I now have 1 very myotonic buck and 4 beautiful myotonic does... Aka. Fainting goats !
They will serve the purpose of eating browse and weeds sheep won't eat..and young bucks will be used as a healthy meat source .. As well as leather! I think my body misses the high iron in goat meat honestly! It is a super healthy meat very high in iron,, which I always seem to be low in...and makes the best sausage I've ever had when mixed with our guinea hog ground pork.. Yum, I have missed that!!!
 I owned a small herd of fainters before and I really liked how calm and non destructive they were compared to my dairy goats .. But at the time my main focus was on milk and fast growing meat.. Myotonic are slower growers..said to dress out better and grow on pasture only... And Ofcourse not a dairy animal! Although I did milk my favorite fainter ,, she gave me a quart a day for about 3 months... Not bad for a meat goat ... still not what I was looking for at the time...you can bet one or two of my new girls will probably end up on the milk stand at some point if they have a nice udder and it look milkable!

These guys are exactly what I'm looking for this time around.... More on my does later.. For now enjoy my picture of buck T-pain ... In the rut.... And be thankful you can not smell him!!!!
Y'all have a blessed weekend :-)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Harvest & the rut

Canning season in full swing is taking up a lot of my time these days!
The garden is slowing down ... Of course now it's time to plan the fall/winter garden!
The boys are getting rowdy ... Rams can be extremely dangerous during the rut! I had 2 ram lambs together ... As you can see it's time to start running them seperate! 
East Friesian ewe lambs... I've been blessed with some beautiful sheep!

Trying to figure out what to do today... The list is long!
Hope everyone has a blessed weekend! 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

More random farm days


Happy to say I've got 3 hats & glove sets done for the farm store ,,, when I'm not to brain fried in the evening that's what I like to do ,,, crochet with my handspun yarns. I make up my own patterns for almost all my fashion items... I thought of doing a small book of my patterns, but they are so horribly written I dont think anyone but me could understand them!
While cooking down blackberries to can I worked on some speciality yarn for an order...
Draining sheep cheese!
Wild blackberry red wine jam! 
Soooo good!
All this, plus I've had a ram with a limp for awhile... It's not foot rot ,,, so confused I searched the internet and after another closer examination I found what the problem is,,, infected scent gland between his toes... Learning everyday! Let the treatment begin. It will not be pleasant ...,,
Random pic of our dogs, sheep and some geese,,,, 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Beautiful day for a harvest

Another busy day on the farm,,,,Morning milking... Here's sweet Annie.. Such a sweet ewe, she's my oldest girl , originally from Karras farm in NC. She is a joy to milk! And I love her fleece!
Time to move the ewe lambs! They love fresh pastures and browse . Friesians are such easy sheep to work with when you have good ones,,,and so pretty to look at,,,
Then is was time to fertilize the garden,,, some of my plants where running out if steam... Then had to shred and freeze the over grown squash from yesterday's harvest,,,
Random pic of one of our ponds. We have duck paradise here ....
While I worked on freezing the squash and some tomatoes the husband picked more blackberries! It's about time to can some red wine blackberry jam!
I had to package up another order from the farm store,, then I had to pick! Last night we got a large bag of dragon tongue green beans for fresh eating and the freezer,,, but this afternoon I  picked more providers ,,, so time to can more beans..maybe tomorrow.... quite a few tomatoes and peppers where ready ,,,, 
I have quite a bit of damage on some of my tomato plants now that I need to address ,,, always something else trying to eat the garden we've spent so many hours to grow,,,,
Late afternoon, I need coffee and to make some sheep cheese!
Then the usual chores.
The husbands got dinner tonight (and most nights) thankfully! Lamb burgers and fresh veggies!

Monday, July 7, 2014

So you wanna be,,,,

A farmer,,, homesteader,,, more self sufficient ,,,, well get ready to work,,, get dirty,,,sweaty,,, fight ticks, bees and other crawly things !
No romancing the farm life here ,,, I'm to tired lol!
Got up today around 6:30... Had lots of coffee and sheep milk,,, sheep yogurt,, milked the girls, checked to make sure everyone is alive and well,,,by 9 am we drove over to our part of the land that has massive amounts of blackberry brambles,,, picked for an hour,,, got over a gallon! Also picked off 3 ticks, treated multiple torn scratches and some poison oak.,,,
Then,moved my adult sheep and lambs to another area with dogs.... Let out ducks... Gathered eggs from all but a broody girl that hissed at me! 
Got lard and lamb tallow out and started rendering .... Sold Out of soaps again... And this stuff doesn't render itself.... More work than ordering processed oils... but makes way better soap and shampoo bars!! Animal fats are better for the skin ... Esp. Problem or sensitive types . 
The cracklings from the strained lard are a bonus! 
Picked some over grown zucchini and squash.... I didn't check my plants for 3 little days! So they will be shredded and used in breads, cakes and brownies. One little pepper too :-) 
Walked over gardens and checked to see if anything else needs picked ,,, it does ,,, also some things are needing a shot of fertilizer ,,, some need insect control ,,, some are so damaged I need to pull up the plants and plant something else,,, still time in TN to plant late beans and winter squash,,,, if I can find the time!
I have 15 Muscovy duck eggs ready to boil! I have to wait atleast a week to boil these eggs or they are just to hard to peel... I can't wait!
Little pic of my baby Muscovy flock foraging ,,, they are very very good foragers!

All this and it's just past noon,,,,
The rest of the day I will need to strain my fats... Package an order,,, pick a ton of beans and fertilize some droppy plants... 
Feed 50 ducks, 7 rabbits, bring the sheep ( I only have 12 sheep) and dogs back to the main pasture and barn areas  ( my husband feeds the dogs & hogs) 
It's dry this week so some plants may need water,,, fix dinner! ( I'm lucky my husband can cook!)
Praise God for the strength to get through it all,,, ask Him for the strength to  do what needs to be done tomorrow .

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Garden Greats & Romantic Notions

Harvest is here sooner than I expected... I have a run of provider green beans to can ,,, some dragon tongue beans, tomatoes , peppers and zucchini to eat ! Much more to come as long as i can keep the pests out of the way!
So I am beyond thrilled and highly motivated to tackle the next garden project now that most all main garden mulching is done...
Edging the raised bed section of the main big garden with old low tunnel plastic and torn tarps ,,, then mulching over that! Can I just say praise God for the saw mill and cheap mulch down the road again!  There are 4 raised beds in this part of the garden .
I am truly blessed that my prayers have been answered for the stamina and strength to get these gardens in check this year... A big part of that strength is my husband is home to help this year! Huge blessing! 

High tunnels and a more productive strawberry garden are on the list before fall gets here....
Gonna need more prayers for those projects too. 
Gardening is a huge project. It's so hard... Esp. The way we want to garden!
But it's something I have wanted to be good at for along time .... 
It's worth the work,,, even in the hot humid TN summer weather ... It's a thick humid day .... So I told my husband today , 'while we're working this morning let's just think of the outside today as our own personal sauna' lol!  We often giggle about the romantic notions people have about farming... So our own personal sauna,, yes, complete with dirt, dust, sweat bees and a few annoying biting flys! 
So romantic ! Lol! 
Not! 
But it's good :-) 
And I am thankful to be able to do it!