Monday, December 15, 2014

I Was Bull Riding.......

At least that's what I'm telling everyone.  Bull riding sounds soooo much more interesting then what really happened.  What am I talking about?  Well, this incredibly clumsy woman stepped off of the porch of our old house and landed wrong.  By doing this, I sprained my ankle, bad.  Yep, I'm down for the count.

For a few days, I was on crutches.  In fact, for one day I was in a wheelchair.  The day after I sprained my ankle we went to the zoo.  My sister had gotten tickets for us in advance.  There was no way I was going to pass that up.  Plus, they had wheelchair rentals! Woooo Hoooo!  Anyway, I did find out that you can't see much when you are in a wheelchair.  Well, nothing but butts.  Lots, and lots of butts.  And on that note, I don't care how well you are built, please, PLEASE don't wear workout tights as pants. Trust me on this.  Ok, thanks.

Well, with me down for a while, we are going to have to put a few things on hold.  Getting a building for the workshops is one of the things on hold.  I don't know where this will lead us, but I'm sure everything will work out for the best.  Maybe this was a sign to slow down.  Maybe this was a sign to look into a different direction.  I don't know, but it was a big blow.  Time will only tell. One thing at a time.  And right now, I'm concentrating on getting my ankle better.

So for now,

Small Farm Girl, down for the count.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Up And Coming Changes At The Farm

It's been a little wet around the farm, as you can tell by this picture of our horse Fancy.  I swear our horses can find ANY burrs that we have on the place.  I think it's like a magnet for them.  We even mowed the pastures this year so there shouldn't be any of these aggravating suckers. You can tell by this picture that is was starting to get foggy and cold.  Snow will be flying soon.

This rabbit, and another one just like him, are going to be butchered any day now.  We are just trying to find the time. It shouldn't be too long now.  The two that we are getting ready to butcher are squeezing through a hole at the top of the wire that divides their hutches.  That wouldn't be bad, but they get in together and fight.  Ya, it won't be too much longer and we won't have to worry about that problem.   

This pretty girl is finally pregnant.  Actually she and her sister are pregnant.  We are expecting a batch of babies around Christmas.  Hopefully it won't be too cold.  It usually isn't for rabbits.  They are really good at keeping their babies warm.    Plus where I fill their hutches with hay, they burrow right down into it and all is warm and cozy.  That and a nice nesting box should do the trick.

On another note, we have been busy around the farm getting everything cleaned up and organized.  I hinted around in one of my recent posts about something going on here at the farm.  Ever since I have been writing this blog, people have come up to me and asked me questions about homesteading: how to can, how to raise and butcher your own rabbits, how to shoot bows, how to use herbs for healing and so on and so on.......

Well, Hubby and I have decided we will be having homesteading workshops here at the farm! Things that people have always asked me about in the past, now they can come to the farm and learn hands on. I've been kicking this idea around for a many years.  I was wondering about if I should do this, or just stay and do what I'm doing now.  Then I read a friends blog about just go and take the leap. That kind of kicked me in the pants.  I'm going to be 42 this March and I need to switch from "planning mode" to "doing mode".  So since I've been wanting to do this for years, I decided to take the leap.  What do I have to lose?

We will be getting a small building here on the farm so that I can have the workshops in.  I've got sooooo many ideas of what I want to these workshops to be about.  If I can't teach the class, then I know people that can teach them.  It should really be fun!!!  I already have some local people excited about them and willing to sign up!!!  

I'll be putting the dates on here for the up coming workshops. Maybe some of you in Blogland can come to the farm!  We will be putting up a building after Christmas so once we get it up and running, it shouldn't be long until the first workshop.  I'll keep you all updated.

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, taking the leap.

P.S.  I would like to hear from all of you in Blogland about what you would be interested in coming to learn about.  This is going to be fun!!!!!!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!!  I know I haven't been on here in a little while, but I have been very busy getting ready for this big day.  I just love when we all come together.  Oh who am I kidding, I just love to eat!!!!!!!

So have a turkey leg for me!

Happy Thanksgiving,

Small Farm Girl,  soon to be stuffed like the turkey.

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.