Monday, November 10, 2014

The Pre Winter Farm

Boy has things been busy around here.  We are getting ready for winter.  I'm glad we're still having some really nice days.  Good working days.  We've been cutting wood, making sure the cars are ready for the snow and ice, and we've been getting the animals ready for the cold.

Today I started feeding the rabbits hay.  I start out with a little at a time so that it doesn't mess with their stomachs.  At first, the hay scared them.  Only one of my rabbits have ever had hay before.  Then slowly, they started to nibble on a little.  Then, it was like someone had given them candy.  They loved it! Giving the rabbits good hay will cut our feed bill more than half.  Plus come winter, I use hay to line their cages so that they can make little holes to get in to protect themselves from the wind.  The rabbits are outside, up against the old house.  This helps with some wind but not all of it.  The hay will help them with the rest.  Their cages have roofs on them so I don't have to worry about the rain and snow.

After a few days, I'll clean out any hay that's left.  There is usually poop on it and it needs cleaned out.  But as soon as I clean it out, I put a bunch back in.  The rabbits love this set up.  It's more like their natural habitat.  We have thought about doing cages on the ground, but with our predator problem around here, not to mention all of the cats, our rabbits wouldn't last any time at all.  So I figured this was as close as we can get. It seems to work for them.

We have finally started chopping wood for winter.  I know, I know, we are REALLY late.  We have some trees down on our fences and we are going to use them before we go looking somewhere else.  We are friends with a few loggers, hopefully we can use some of the tops and butt cuts from the trees they down.  The wood may be green, but it's better than no wood.  The green wood will be mixed in with good seasoned wood that we have.  It should be fine to burn. I think we will be okay this winter.  Everyone talks about a bad winter.  I'll believe it when I see it.  I don't put much faith in the prediction.  I just get ready for a bad winter and if it happens it happens.

I'm still kicking around what to do with the farm. Still thinking about getting sheep.  I probably will, but it won't be until next year.  I want to make sure we have a place made for them.  Good fencing and good shelter.  I don't want to just jump into them. I want to make sure I'm getting the right breed for what I'm wanting, plus I want to make sure I'm set up for it.  I have a habit of just deciding that I want something then jumping right into it.  Then after that, I regret not being prepared.

I have some other things that may be going on here on the farm.  I want to make sure everything is going to work out before I tell you all.  Only a few people know, but a lot of people could be involved.  More to come on the later.

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, Making the farm better  

A Friend's New Blog

Hey guys!  I have a friend who is getting her blog up and running.  She lives on a small farm and she just bought her first goats.  She has been making goat milk soap for a while.  AWESOME goat milk soap.  She also makes skin care from goat milk.  I can honestly say it's some of the best skin care that I've ever tried.  And, with me being in the beauty business, that's saying a lot!!!  Drop by and check it out.  Plus, leave her a comment just to say hi.  Go easy on her though, she's new at this blogging thing. lol  Her blog is called Journey's Edge Farm.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Cleaning Of The Farm And A Change, Maybe

This time of year I always look at the farm and try to see what's working and what's not working.  Then I will have the whole winter planning on how we can change the "not working" parts of the farm.

One easy thing that we are going to do is get rid of some chickens. We have too many.  I normally would sell the eggs, but so many of the people that I was selling eggs to, ended up getting chickens for themselves.  I'm happy about that.  We were actually just covering the cost of feed by selling the eggs.  Instead of having 29 chickens, I think we are going to downsize to around a dozen.  Plus, Hubby is working on our new chicken coop and it will be a little smaller than the one we have now. Oh by the way, it's almost done!!!!!  When we first started to build it, we just had a few chickens.  Then we had a lot of people ask us about eggs for sell.  So this spring, we went and bought some chicks. (Who can resist baby chicks in the spring time? Not me!)  I was hoping to keep selling some of their eggs.  Now, I'm over loaded with eggs!!!   I have a least 10 dozen eggs in cartons right now!  I like to eat eggs, but not THAT much. lol

The rabbits that we have?  Well, I'm not real sure about them yet.  I tried putting our does in with the buck for a little while.  They wanted nothing to do with him.  Yes, they are does.  I checked.  Three times.  I'm gonna try it again soon.  If I don't get them to breed this time, I'm done with rabbits.  I told Hubby if we get rid of the rabbits I was NEVER to get rabbits again.  For a person who grew up on a rabbit farm, I can't grow rabbits to save my life!!!! If they don't work this time, I'm going to cut my loses and move on.

The cattle, well, we are still growing our herd.  Working on our fencing is the biggest things we do with them.  That and baling hay.  No big deal.  Cattle are great investments.  At the markets, right now, they are going for $2.40 a pound.  That's not hanging weight.  That's the cost of them walking.  Plus, we have a waiting list of people that want to buy our grass fed beef.  I don't blame them.  Fresh, grass fed beef is soooooo much better tasting than what you get from the store. We will be keeping the cattle.

One thing I'm looking into again, is a few fiber animals.  I'm still not sure if I'm wanting sheep or alpacas.  I'm leaning really hard toward sheep.  They are slightly like goats in their care.  And, I really miss my goats.  I've been kicking around getting sheep for a couple of years now.  Then I asked myself, "What am I afraid of?"  I'll never know if I like them unless I get them.  So that's one of our big projects that I'm doing around here.  I'm getting our little barn/building ready for some sheep. I'll get some pictures of the "before," then, I'll get some of the "after." We will also have to put up different fencing too.  We only have barbed wire right now.  It holds cattle but it won't do much for sheep.  Plus, I don't want their wool all messed up by the barbs. Wove wire fencing is so EXPENSIVE!!!!  It's gonna take a while before we can afford to buy the fence.  Hopefully we will be able to get everything done and set up for sheep around spring or so.

I went to Hug-A-Sheep Day at Equinox Farm this past weekend.  It was like giving alcohol to an alcoholic.  I wanted sheep that much more.Sara from Punkin's Patch, didn't help me any.  She keeps prodding me to get some.  Oh, and a donkey.  We (she and I) decided I need a donkey too. lol!!!!  Hubby, not so much.  This is the faces that were there to greet me at Hug-A-Sheep Day.  I think I may be hooked.

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl,  Sheep farmer?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

500 Posts!

As I was getting ready to write this post, I noticed that this was my 500th post!  Yay!!!!  It's hard to believe that you guys are still here to see what "little ole me" has to say.  Go figure!  This got me to thinking of all the things that has happened since I started blogging.

 I bought goats. I sold the goats.  I had a bunch of cattle, we sold a bunch of cattle, and now we are building our herd again.  We bought rabbits, we sold the rabbits, and we bought more rabbits.  Thinking about selling them again. lol.  We bought chickens, dog killed the chickens, and we got more chickens.  We moved from "The Shack" to the new house.  It's still not done, not even close. I learned to make bread.  I learned how to can many different things.  I learned how NOT to can many things also. I learned to plant a few different ways and, of course, how NOT to plant certain ways. It's been a very active time.

I've made a lot of friends since I've started this blog too. Friends from all over the United States.  Of course, you can only know me, and I know you, from what is written on here. I actually got to meet some of you and good friendships have developed.  I also feel that I have developed friendships on here that have grown because of Facebook.  You get to see the personality, on Facebook, a little bit better sometimes.  I have been blessed with many friends because of my blog.

So hopefully, I'll be able do write many more posts for many more years to come.  I have really enjoyed writing these 500 posts. I hope that you will also be here to read them.

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, writer of 500 more.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Revealing.

I got to thinking the other day.  As much as everyone on here feels like family, we really don't know each other.  We may comment on each others blogs or even on Facebook, but we really don't know each other.  Some of us have even talked to each other on the phone, but still, we don't REALLY know each other. I don't think you can really know a person unless you have been around them physically for some time.  A lot of things can be hidden without seeing the person's face.  A lot of people have surprised me on how they REALLY are once I got to know them in person.

For many years now, I have been "faceless" here on my blog. I feel like a lot of us have become friends.  (Well, as close to a friend as the Internet can let us be.)  So, I decided that I was going to have a revealing.  I'm tired of being behind a curtain and trying to be anonymous.  I mean seriously, you can't hardly be anonymous on the net anymore anyways.  Plus I figured once my articles get out there with my picture attached to them, I would be revealed anyway.  So well, here goes.

This is me.  Well, what use to be me.  I'm 20 pounds lighter now.  Yay me!!!!  And now to let you know more, my name is Sherri.  HI!!!

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, just me. (Well, and Hubby too.)

P.s.  I didn't realize how big my boobs looked in this picture until I posted it.  Well, enjoy.  LOL!!!!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

As Of Late

I promise I am still here!!!  This time of year is very busy for us.  The garden is winding down, but now we are getting ready for winter.  I was hoping to have our house close to being done already.  With Hubby being sick and me working, it has been near impossible to do anything with it.  We really want to get some done on it though before it gets too cold.  We shall see.  I learned not to count  too much on my plans as of late. Something always seems to change them. lol

The chickens are doing great.  They are really laying their butts off. hehehe.  I'm sure they will be molting soon so I should enjoy all the eggs while I've got them.  They usually molt right when it starts to get cold.  I think they do this so that they can line their coop with feathers for the winter.  Just an idea.  Hehe

The rabbits are doing good.  The three young bucks are still alive.  We haven't found time to butcher them.  Maybe this weekend.  It's suppose to be cool.  I don't like to butcher them when it's hot.  The flies are usually really bad then.  It's suppose to be in the lower 60's this weekend so it would be a good time.  I'm also going to be breeding the other three New Zealand does to The Big Guy soon.  And yes, I checked.  They are all does. I'm sure!

The cattle and horses are starting to grow their winter coats.  I like when they start to get all fuzzy.  Makes them look so cute.  I think it's about time we butcher our young bull too.  I think my freezer is calling his name.  He is a pretty good sized bull.  Angus and Limousine mix, he should be really good eating. Hershey, the young heifer born this past summer is growing like a weed.  She'll be a nice cow when she gets older. We've been trying to tame them down as best as we can. The older cows are a lost cause.

Before the weather gets real bad, I want to check all of our fence and make sure there are no trees down and on the fence.  If there is, maybe we can cut some for fire wood.  We haven't done any of that either this year.  We are soooo far behind on things.  Including writing on this blog.  :-)

I know I have said this before, but I'm hoping things will slow down a bit and I will be able to do some writing on here.  I've been writing for the magazine, but I have felt that this is my first love.  You guys are like family!!! Well on that note, I'm going to have to stop.  I will be trying to stay in touch with you all.

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, busy.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Wooo Hoooo!!!

I don't remember if I told you, but this year, I though the garden was a bust.  At first the crows came and pulled up some of the small seedlings so they could eat the corn or beans they were coming out of.  Smart buggers.  Next, we had our rabbit problems.  They were eating the tops off of our beans as soon as they got their normal leaves on them.  After we put up a rabbit fence, the deer decided it was their turn to torture me.  They jumped my garden fence and ate almost all of my green tomatoes plus, they ate my beans down to the ground.  I just about gave up on the garden all together.  That was, until last night.

I went out to see if we had one, just one tomato for a sandwich.  Not only did I find one tomato, I found a whole bucket full!  Plus a gazillion large green tomatoes coming on!!! The weeds were horrible, but I had tomatoes!  I think the weeds were actually hiding the tomatoes from the deer.  There were no deer tracts in the garden at all.  Well, not any I could see.  There were a LOT of weeds.

Not only did I have tomatoes, but I had beans!  The beans that I thought were being taken over by weeds had decided to fight back.  They had climbed the weeds as if that was what they were there for.  There were bean plants taller than my head and they had a very heavy load of beans on them.  Woooo  Hooooo!!!!  Maybe I won't go hungry this year after all!

Now if I can only find time to pick and can them before the first frost.  Looks like it's time for me to take some time off work again.

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, actual gardener.  kind of.....