Monthly Archives: April 2008

Spring cleaning

Sometimes it is really important to take a step back and look at the big picture…

especially when zoom works this good!

We took the screen out of the window to toss some boxes out so Baxter decided he wanted some fresh air. Now that the upstairs is cleared out I need to move all the boxes from our extra bedroom downstairs up there. Then we will actually have a guest bedroom that people can use! It is hard to stay inside and get things done with so much going on outside. Tomorrow we have a busy day planned. Here is our to-do list:

  • Build a pen for the chickens (they are outgrowing their makeshift brooder boxes)
  • Divide up the horse pasture to allow for rotational grazing. We barely got the perimeter fence up last fall so now we need to finish the job. While we’re at it there are a few shorts that need to be fixed.
  • Spread a few more loads of pig manure on the fields. A friend is giving us all we can use but it takes a little over an hour for each load by the time we fill the spreader, pull it home, and apply it.
  • Get the youngest group of calves outside. We having been weaning them gradually and tomorrow morning after they get their last batch of milk we will take them out of their individual pens and put them together. We buy Holstein bull calves from a local dairy and finish them for beef. There are 5 calves in this group. We have 3 more that are a couple months older so we’ll have to see if they will all get along.
  • If there is any more time I would really like to work on the garden. I’ve been digging it my hand using the bastard trenching/deep bed method. It takes a long time but I think it will be worth it. I might break down after this section and use the rototiller but next year I’ll make another section in to a deep bed and so on. I’ll go in to more detail on this in a later post.

Looks like plenty for one day. I doubt we will get it all done but any progress made will be great! I’m looking forward to having 2 day weekends again soon instead of working on Saturdays like I have been!

Not sure how many people are reading this yet (if any) but feel free to offer any input or share what projects you’re working on. 🙂


Gotta Start Somewhere…

I figured I might as well start out here with a cute picture of the newest additions to the farm. These are the two ewe lambs that I purchased from a breeder on Saturday. They are 3 months old. Their mamas are Suffolks and their daddy is a Hampshire. I am hoping to breed them in the fall and sell their lambs to the local 4-Hers to show in the county fair. There aren’t many quality lambs available in our area.

Since I plan to have these girls for awhile of course I had to name them… Gwyneth (aka Gwenny) is on the left and Lily is on the right. I’ve been sitting in their pen every morning and night with their feed pan on my lap to get them used to me. Lily is pretty brave, she will already let me scratch under her chin and neck. Gwenny is still pretty timid but she did tolerate some petting today while she was eating.

I’ve been feeding a 50:50 mix of corn and oats with 2 scoops of sheep pellets added to each 15 gallon batch. I’d feel better feeding an organic mix but it would be hard to justify the expense when their would be no return on that investment. The 4-H kids aren’t going to pay more for an organic lamb, at least I don’t think so. I’m going to check on a few possible sources of organic feed anyway, maybe it won’t be as expensive as I’m thinking.

I’ve been putting off my first post for a couple days now and just reading some other farming blogs to inspire me. I’m a little scared to start this blog because I want it to be great and I don’t want to slack off on it. I tend to get all fired up about things and then lose interest. So, to prevent that from happening I am going to make a list of possible postings that I can create in the future. This way, when I feel uninspired I’ll just pull something off the list.

Possible future topics:
-Chickens: updates, housing, feed, find a processor.
-Starting seeds
-Planning the garden: rotation, spacing, depth, mulching, etc.
-Creating an edible landscape
-Building a farm sign
-Homemade laundry soap
-Marketing, marketing, MARKETING!
-Horses and farrier work
-Importance of vaccinating your small animals!! (I’m a vet tech so I get a soap box 😉 )
-Natural cleaning solutions
-Farm management: software, budgeting, etc.

That’s a pretty good start. If y’all have any suggesions or ideas for things you would like to see me comment on please pass them along! I think this is going to be a lot of fun.