Around the farm we have a nice variety of fowl. Let me introduce a few to you. Smack is our only remaining duck. I’m afraid the coyotes carried off the rest of his family. He sticks around and beautifies the place, but he is lonely for a lady. I may try to pick up one at an auction for him. Our guineas are funny little things. Noisy, too. Have you ever heard them chattering together? They are a flighty group, but always stick together. We have far fewer bugs because of them,… Read More
Occasionally one of the pigs will develop a problem that requires us to harvest the meat prematurely. We keep a close eye on them so we can act quickly. Last week, we had a pig with a rectal prolapse. Ugly and painful, but not infected. Once the meat was cooled, we needed to find a way to prepare it–but what fun is there in eating a whole pig by yourself? So DP cut it up, I made pulled pork and we took it to a Rocky Top Concert potluck dinner where Deborah… Read More
Last year we raised 100 or so Freedom Rangers on about two acres. Each day we moved their coop to a new spot and opened the door to give them the run of the place. At the end of the season we gave them a short ride to the butcher and the next night bagged and froze them. So when I handle a chicken I get from the freezer, I remember how they all did their chicken run to the feeder when I came out to the pasture last summer. I remember… Read More
Since the cold weather has prohibited gardening, and since I have a request from a reader, I’ll write about an electrolyte drink I make for us in the summer as well as a tea we learned to make this winter. In 2011, I visited Essex Farm for a farm tour and an introduction to using draft horses in farming. Mark introduced me to a great alternative to a sports drink. He filled a quart jar with water and added about 2 T apple cider vinegar, 1T real maple syrup, 1/2t ginger powder,… Read More
The kids were excited to see their cousins come for a visit today. They played some ball, visited the animals and played pig rodeo–a delightfully funny game to watch. Until next time….
The trouble with Spring is that it gives you the feeling you can do anything. So when an opportunity comes along to expand, you usually jump at it. We want to add sheep to our farm, but we aren’t ready to add a flock. Our compromise is to try a few males we will have only for a season. We started with three yesterday. Allie is thrilled out of her socks.
What can we do with 97 acres, an old farm house and a lot of hard work? Anything! Land and Animals These two are so interconnected, I’ll take them together. The health of the soil depends as much on the animal as the animal depends on it. Managed properly, these two improve each other indefinitely. The animals give as much back to the ground as they take from it and the ground gives to the animals the improvement it has received from them. We call that sustainability. the birds are a fantastic… Read More
Penelope is the model on our front page. She came to us a year ago and gave us 16 piglets in her first farrowing. Unfortunately, her second farrowing involved some serious complications and she is no longer with us. We miss her, but we have been enjoying her chops. Penelope’s first litter for us–16 piglets The author of this blog. Rachel I am loving this country life in all its hardship and satisfaction. I’m learning my poop, as they say. Bovine poop, Porcine poop, Avian poop, Ovine poop….you get the idea. How… Read More
In 2009 a friend read to us a passage from a work by Wendell Berry. We were intrigued by its quiet beauty and began to soak up book after book. During that time and as a result of research initiated by our concern for our food allergic children, we began to remember the importance of growing our own food, caring for our soil, supporting our community and producing for ourselves and others. our suburban garden I say remember because in each of us there has always been a desire to farm. Our… Read More