Thursday, July 22, 2010

Shepherdess Duties

Today I need to prepare Paddock #1 for the sheep to return to it. Right now they are in the north woods which is several acres of plentiful trees and brush. Hard to find there. Once moved to the paddock, they'll have fresh grass, a shed to hang in and around, and we'll be able to catch them easier when needed. Less stress for all of us.

Also, they will be seperate from Bubba, the ram. The breeding season for sheep starts about late August and runs through the Fall. We don't want little lambs born in the cold February weather, so we'll keep the ram elsewhere until Thanksgiving Day. The lambs start coming mid-April. All of this means we need to prepare the paddock and get them moved in within the month. This year's lambs go to market end of September. Lamb meat, anyone?

I was at a Farmer's Market last week signing up customers for lamb. Some came ecstatic to find local, Icelandic lamb meat; a few ladies politely said they just couldn't eat a cute little lamb. :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

BH&G Here I come

I'm remodeling the Shop! Well, to say remodel isn't exactly right. Nor can I say redecorate. Nonetheless, the shop is getting a much-needed new look. When we moved in yearend 2008, all the woodworking equipment, tools, and later the tractor all got hung, arranged, stored, etc in the shop as it was. Its a very useful, good building. But ugly!

In May the outside got a facelift with new white siding; now the inside is getting the facelift. The walls have a variety of color and texture along with too many odd, mismatched cupboards and shelves. And Nails! And Screws! All over the place. Karl, my handy-dandy helpful son, and I moved everything away from the north wall and started removing unnecessary things (almost everything) and are painting it white. The walls are chipboard plywood but it still looks better white-washed. It already looks much better, however I doubt Better Homes and Garden will be out soon for a 2-page spread in their next issue. :) I'll call just in case.

I like being organized. I like things to look good. So does Bob. When this shop project is done, I know he will enjoy the look and the functionality so much more. I'll be scoring good wife points on this one!
Sorry, no pics. The camera is at camp with Elizabeth. This weekend we'll catch up.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


The turkeys are growing! For more than a week they've been able to fly over the fence in their coop's backyard, so we just opened the front door and gave them free range of the farm. They move as a pecking mob grubbing up whatever they find worthy. I am recognized as the source of feed; when I come with my "turkey, turkey, turkey" call, the birds answer with gobble, gobble, gobble as they run pell mell to me. Its a frenzy in the small coop pouring feed into the long rectangle metal feeder while they are trying to peck, peck, peck. It is fun to watch their antics and see them grow so fast.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Gourmet Locavore!

Tonight we reaped a delicious, purely satisfying harvest. Supper consisted of our own farm products, and it made for a great family event. Our cull dairy cow from several months ago provided tenderloin steaks that Karl grilled to perfection. Bob and I walked to the garden and collected new potatoes, a couple radishes, and cherry tomatoes. Elizabeth had lettuce and herbs leftover from yesterdays Farmers Market. We threw the herbs in the food processor with some chicken stock and olive oil (not from our farm) for a tasty, fresh sauce to pour over the potatoes.

To know that this meal came from our own farm just made it tast all the better. And inspires us to press on growing and sharing the good, fresh, nutritious taste of local food

Rock-Pickin' Machine

What is a rock-pickin' machine? On our farm anything with two arms, two legs, and 2 hours to sweat! We continue to develop and improve our paddocks from horse pens into lush green forage pools.. This means clearing out lots and lots of fist-size rocks so the mower doesn't get too chewed up. Two wonderful, hard-working neighbor kids came to help; their willingness and cheerfulness helped make a toilsome job quite doable.

Now the weeds are mowed down. The next step is to drag the paddock and then plant grass. Oops. Before planting grass we'll have to remake the fence to keep the cows out when the newly-planted grass starts growing. Paddock 1 was planted last Fall and is looking much better. The ewes and lambs enjoyed the grass there this Spring.

What does one do with all the picked rocks? The first place they went was filling in large holes left from the old fence we removed last year. It'd be bad for a cow to fall in one and break a leg. Next, a pile got dumbed under a gate where there was a low spot. Sheep would slide under there to get into the paddocks where we didn't want them right now. It seems to be working.

And so a problem in one spot (rocks in paddocks) became a solution in another area. Isn't that how life is? God uses our problems (weaknesses) to do good things. It definately works.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bloom where you are planted

I was inspired by the creative landscaping I saw at Inspiration Point Bible Camp a few summers ago and decided I could do something similar. I bought flowers and potting soil and headed out to the big hole-in-the-tree.

A little problem arose when filling the tree hole with dirt; the dirt kept falling out. Nearby is our firepit with stacks of logs and sticks. I used small sticks to build a sort of two-tiered wall to hold the dirt. Its been working so far and the flowers are looking bright and colorful inside the dullish tree.

Do you see the wall of sticks? Looks a little like a fort or stockade. It holds well.