Tuesday, November 18, 2014

More on Latte the Calf

I was able to get Latte the newborn Jersey calf to stand still for a few seconds.

Strike a pose, Latte!
Latte is a sweet, energetic, rambunctious lil' gal.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Brand New Calf!

Bridget had her baby this past weekend!!!!!

It was a healthy baby girl. We named her Latte.

Latte the Jersey calf, a mere 4 minutes old and yet unable to stand.
The chickens looked on in bewilderment.
The delivery was fast and smooth. She went from first presenting (in the front yard) to birth (in the barn) in under 2 hours. Thing #2 got to witness the whole thing. I caught most of it, as we were preparing for company later that evening.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


This weekend, we had piglets!!

They are so small and so cute and so pink-ish.
 Mama Piggie (aka, Poomba) gave birth to two healthy, happy, squeaky little pig babies. They are just about the cutest thing ever. Well, definitely top 2.

Mama and babies are doing great.

Guinea Fowl: Take 2

This week, i got 4 free guineas:

buck-WHEAT! buck-WHEAT! 

A friend of ours got them in the spring, and they're getting into his neighbor's flowers and causing a good deal of hi-jinks, or something like that. I have them in with the pullets, where they'll stay until December. By then, I hope they're trained to stay and roost behind the shed.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

HC Stats

This is my 240th post.

To date, 15,381 people who are not myself have viewed my blog. Last month, 1,043 people viewed a page. The most viewed page I have is the first installment of my chicken coop on wheels project. It has been accessed 931 times. Besides the other chicken coop post, my homage to homestead donkeys is the only page that's topped 200 views.

All the stats that's fit to print.

Today's been a big day - 77 views. That's tops for the last few weeks. I had 63 in September one day. I think it's because of the metal roof post, which sits in 6th place. In my tag cloud, the words "Catholic," "chicken," "garden," and "food" dominate (and are intentionally not tagged in this introspective). And good ol' US of A Google searches are by far my biggest pipeline of visitors.

So what does this all mean?

Well, I've (potentially) touched over 15,000 people. I have 240 distinct, written thoughts to leave for the entire created world. Most of my thinking, at least as evidence by my posting trends, has been around ,my mission of achieving holiness through the transformation on my land into a giving source of food. And at least somebody's seen it beyond Wife and David.

I haven't hit 10 posts a month. But that's OK - this blog is serving its purpose. And also, 26.

God bless,

Recap of Chicken Butchering Weekend

On Sept. 20th of this year, we took 23 meat chickens from coop to freezer. By "we," I mean myself, the wife and kids, Wife's 7 siblings, and some of the siblings' significant others.

The experience exceeded our wildest expectations.

Two chickens, mid-pluck, proudly displayed by six volunteers and led by Thing #1 (lower right).

It was a beautiful day, everyone was excited, and we accomplished our goals.

WARNING: Very graphic depictions of chicken evisceration to follow.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Catching Up: Bees

Not much to report on the bees, other than they're still thriving and being fed a dissolved sugar water syrup.

The bees with their feeder.

Greeks vs Persians: LEGO Water Battle!

I love homeschooling. For Thing #2's recent history project on the Greek empire, he did a water battle between Greece and Persia. He modeled the boats and dress after depictions in several books he read.

The Persians, left, are no match for the mighty Greek long boats!
The ships are very detailed for 3rd grade work. It even has a galley.

Nest Box Upgrades

Due in part to our apparent egg eating epidemic, and just to upgrade in general, I decided to add some extra padding and such to the nest boxes.

Right: Nest box with 2 layers of green astro-turf base.
Left: Wood shavings on top of the the turf, with dummy wooden eggs inside.
Previously, I'd been using hay on top of the wood. I upgraded this week to astro-turf under wood shavings.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Trade and the Myth of Self-Sufficiency

I remember dreaming, three years ago, how cool it would be to be self-sufficient - to close our little 5.4 acres off from the would and live in a complete cycle according to nature, giving back to the land and being given everything from it in turn. To draw my water, my power, my food, my herbal remedies, my fibers, and my joys from the earth.

In other words, I dreamt of being completely self-sufficient.

I'm glad I woke up.

Yeah, I don't ever want to feel like this guy.
In reality, self-sufficiency is a myth. We humans are simply too needy.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Catching Up: Gardens

Oh, the gardens. My Achilles Heel this year.

Watermelons, cantaloupes, green beans, tomatoes, okra, and cucumbers.
The pigs and chickens have done a great job tilling and rotating through. We've had lots of sunflowers and melons grow, and our tomato plants have done fairly well.

But, there's a long way to go yet.

Friday, September 5, 2014

How to Start Homesteading When You Don't Have a Clue

Three and a half years ago, a 20-something father of two, with an expectant wife, answered a phone call. It was HR, following up: he was offered a job out of state.

He was raised in a fast-paced metropolitan suburb, and went to a blue collar college town where he experienced dorm and apartment living, even after having graduated. Having bounced around from house to house for years, and even back to his home state for a time, he never set down roots, never planted a garden, never owned a dog. Heck, he only had a lawnmower for about 8 months before moving back into a apartment.

But that phone call changed everything.

I received a job offer by phone on my birthday in 2011.
I started a new job, moved 10 hours away, bought our homestead,
and we had Thing #3 that year.

This was the time. This was the chance to start over. This was the chance for he and his wife to realize their longtime, yet seemingly crazy, dream: to live in the country.

With no experience. No family nearby for support. No knowledge. No tools. All he had was a new job and a dream.

Fast forward three and half years, and he's built an orchard and a half-acre garden zone, rescued and re-homed a donkey, learned to mow hay by hand, tended sheep, butchered chickens, designed and built a movable chicken coop, milked a cow in a homemade stanchion (and learned what the diddly a stanchion was in the first place), befriended some pigs, and become a beekeeper.

With no experience, yet a dream to produce all of my family's food on our land, I have come very far in three and a half short years. The majority of this has happened in the last two years.

How did I get this far? Simple: plan and research.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Bliss Through Farming?

On LinkedIn this week, I saw this little graphic:

The happy intersection of passion, mission, vocation, and profession?
It's a nice cross-section and compartmentalization of different types of work. The point, of course, was to encourage people to find a career that satisfies the little blue star in the middle. Then, we would all achieve supreme happiness, live debt-free, rescue puppies, and live happily ever after.

Except, that just isn't reality.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Catching Up: Rabbits

The rabbits have been beyond disappointing thus far. Since acquiring the original buck and two does five months ago, we have yet to produce a single litter.

I've tried every trick in the book. I tried breeding at different times of day. I swapped the buck and doe cages so them could smell each other first (in fact, I did this every day for a week with no success). I took her to his cage, and him to her cage. I took them to a neutral, unused cage. I changed their feed. I restrained the does. I did everything but crack a bottle of wine and turn on some Barry White by the fireplace.

No kits. Zero. Nada. Niet.

I really wanted to be enjoying some rabbit dinners by now. So, yesterday, I bought a new buck. Meet Cap'n Jack Sparrow:

Cap'n Jack Sparrow is our new New Zealand white buck.
He's 2 years old, proven, and has only one eye.
I also bought two extra does in an apparent rabbit close-out special.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Last Milk

Well, until November, anywhoozles.

Bridget chows down her last bucket of oats before I milk her out for the last time
until after she calves.
It was kinda sad, but I'm also ready for a break.

Catching Up: Sheep

Not much to report on them. They stay in the electro-net, eat grass and bushes and stuff, and baa at me every morning when I bring them water. We interact for about 4 minutes a day. They are, BY FAR, the easiest keepers on the homestead.

Pot Pie, right, Meatloaf, middle, and Meatball, left saying "hi" this morning.
We baa back and forth each morning.
The biggest challenge and time investment I have is when i switch the netting.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Catching Up: Pigs

The pigs have been quietly rooting their pen, working in manure, and making bacon.

Well, quietly, that is, unless they're hungry. Then they oink til Kingdom (or food) comes.

They have a happy little life, basking in shade, wallowing in their pits, visiting the chickens next door, getting excited over buckets of food, and digging and tilling up their land for me.  :)

I turned loose the water for them on one particularly hot day.
They wallowed for hours. It was funny.
There's really not much to report on them, so here's some pictures.

Chicken Problems (and Potential Solutions)

Chicken problems. We've had 'em all. Let's start with the older chickens and work down, shall we?

Problems #1 and #2: Food Ran Out and New Pecking Order...At the Same Time

About a month ago, I had a small 4-day interruption in layer pellet availability at the same time I introduced the 8 new Araucanas to the flock. The 23 laying-age chickens had been laying between 14 and 18 eggs pretty regularly for the previous month, but then sharply went down to around 8-10. The food interruption and the new pecking order disruption were blamed for the egg drop.

The flock flocked for fresh feed.
Turns out, those factors were not entirely to blame.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Catching Up: Cows

Part 2 in my catching up series is on the cows.

First, in case you missed it, Bridget is pregnant and due the first of November. Her belly swells daily, and I felt the calf move last week. It was a small rolling motion, and very awesome.

I have cut back to once-a-day milking since August. I will stop altogether and dry her off by Labor Day weekend. Hard to believe that my milking will come to an end. It's been a daily thing since February.

Cow selfie. Because, why not? Even with the oats all over her nose.....
I will miss milking toward mid-October, I'm sure, but I'm ready for a break.

Catching Up: Chickens

My blogging has really taken a downturn these last few weeks. There's been a lot going on that I should report out on, and I figured the best way to do that was through some individual catching-up posts.

And where better to start than with our chickens. Oh, the chickens. They have been driving Wife and I CRAZY this past month.

After the raccoon attack, I took the 8 new Araucanas and introduced them to the existing flock. Every went very much according to plan, very smoothly, etc. Some of the Leghorns even jumped into the chick introduction pen with them. It was pretty funny. I topped out at an 18-egg day about a month ago.

A cool day's dozen seems a distant memory, what with the molting, pecking ordering,
and feed-running-outing going on.....

Then, the egg production took a SHARP turn down. We went from 13-16 eggs a day to fewer than 8. I believe the reason was a perfect storm of them running out of pellets while I had no car to get more for 5 days, a poorly-timed molt from our Australorps, and a disruption of the pecking order on the lower end due to the new Araucanas. At least that's the prevailing theory.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Internet is a Fractal: A Hare Tale

My three rabbits are simply not breeding like ... well ... rabbits.

Coconut, on the right, just doesn't get it.
It's a double entendre. 
This weekend, I'm going to be restraining my does so my buck can have an easier time. I've bred them, all together, on at least 7 different occasions, and have no litters to show for it. I think the buck was too young, and I need to help him figure it out.

This has of course led me into a rabbit hole: the internet.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Baby Chicks, Round 3

2014 has basically been the year of the chicken.

From the first January chicks, to switching to fermented chicken feed, to the impulse Araucana buy, to weathering raccoon attacks, to focusing on integrating birds of different ages, to processing my first chicken for dinner, to this latest endeavor: 25 new egg layers and 23 new meat birds.

The dark ones are egg layers, and the light ones are meat birds.
So yeah - we have about 50 chicks now.

I, Beekeeper

This past weekend, I got some bees.

One of five new frames of bees I installed this weekend.
I've been wanting them for a while, but my original bee source had a few hive collapses, so I had to go to another friend. It's funny that some other homeschooling friends of mine are into beekeeping, and one split off a nuc for me.

Reinforcing Combo Panels II

In the first installment of reinforcing combo panels, I took some 2x4's and nailed them onto the metal panels. This worked great - they were stronger and more easier to manipulate.

Unfortunately, time (and animals) worked many of the nails out, causing the boards to flop and the panel to bend. So, last week, I took some scrap metal cuttings and some heavy-duty screws and reinforced them....again.

The metal pieces wrap around the panel wires and screw into the wood.
I also overlaid it across the chicken wire to add extra durability there.
 The panels are now 10 times stronger, at least.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Liquid Theology, Part 2

Another aspect of the theology of liquid that I thought worth exploring was liquid's role in the natural order of world. We looked at the concept of vessels and how the can be filled and poured. We also looked at grace being liquid-like.

And hope confoundeth not: because the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts,
by the Holy Ghost, who is given to us. For why did Christ, when as yet we were weak,
according to the time, die for the ungodly? For scarce for a just man will one die;
yet perhaps for a good man some one would dare to die. But God commendeth his charity towards us;
because when as yet we were sinners, according to the time, Christ died for us;
much more therefore, being now justified by his blood,
shall we be saved from wrath through him. -Romans 5:5-9

In the natural world, this still holds true. Grace is poured over the earth as is rain, and it affects different areas differently.

That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, who maketh his sun to rise upon the good, and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust. -Matthew 5:45

The diverse beauty of nature speaks to this spiritual reality. Just as God blesses some more than others, so other have the ability to use these blessings differently.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Theology of Liquid

This is something I've been pondering for a while, and I admit up front that it is something that is NOT fully developed. But I wanted to at least begin getting my thoughts about it "out there."

So, with that disclaimer out of the way,  here goes.

It's no secret that liquid is absolutely essential to life on Earth. Water, blood, milk, and even sweat and saliva are all forms of liquids required for daily living. Without even one of these, life as we know it would be radically different.

Liquids even take on more extreme and wondrous forms, in different sweeteners (honey, maple syrup), poisons (rattlesnake venom, harvest mite saliva), oils (olive, coconut), acids (hydrochloric, vinegar), body fluids (rennet, cerebralspino fluid), and so on, each one taking on a more incredible and specific form than the last.

We also know that "The heavens shew forth the glory of God, and the firmament declareth the work of his hands." -Psalm 19:1

So what do fluids reveal about God?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Getting Ahead of Food Prices

I read recently that for some families, food prices have doubled in the last few years. I believe it. I don't have figures of our own family, but I do know that food has taken a disproportionately larger and larger percentage of our money each year. It is the fastest growing expense.

Even the national news outlets are coming around. See here, here, and here.

These are only gonna keep on climbing.

So with that, I believe there are 4 major things that influence food prices (listed after the jump), and none of those are in my control.

What IS in my control is my land, time, energy, and effort to produce my own food.

Chicken Collection

We integrated eight new chickens, all various colors and varieties of Araucana/Americauna, into the flock this week. We now have 31 chickens.

To the left are seven of the new chickens.
To the right are 2 Red Stars from the original chicken purchase.
Outside the pen (behind the T-post) is the chicken introduction pen.
It's a very diverse and colorful flock. We now have the following breeds (and quantities) "in stock":

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Thoughts on "Prepping"

Don't prepare to survive hard times, prepare so that you don't even notice them.
-CajunSunshine, from homesteadingtoday.com

I think this statement above perfectly sums up my thoughts on the prepper/survivalist topic. Some of the agriculture and livestock sites I frequent are also hang-outs for some hardcore prepping types, so I see a lot of comments involving doomsday predictions, a sense urgency on stockpiling silver, links to nuclear-safe 55-gallon food-grade teflon-coated stainless-steel storage tubs, ammo discussions involving where to buy the cheapest 10,000 rounds, and so on. Topics like WSHTF, TEOTWAWKI, solar flares, magnetic reversals, global economic crashes, UN takeovers, biological warfare, and so on.

It seems there are 100 different ways in which the fabric of Western society will break down and collapse in the next 5-10 years.

My goal is to carry on so I don't notice any of it.

Basically how I feel.
So how am I preparing to not notice the hard times?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

First Blue Egg!

Yay! One of our Araucanas finally started laying. We got blue egg #1 today!

Our first blue egg ever adds a great splash to the daily collection.
And, as chance would have it, Thing #2 decided to catch that very chicken this weekend.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Flora of Middle Tennessee

The heavens shew forth the glory of God, and the firmament declareth the work of his hands. -Psalm 19:1

God also said: Let the waters that are under the heaven, be gathered together into one place: and let the dry land appear. And it was so done. And God called the dry land, Earth; and the gathering together of the waters, he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. And he said: Let the earth bring forth the green herb, and such as may seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after its kind, which may have seed in itself upon the earth. And it was so done. And the earth brought forth the green herb, and such as yieldeth seed according to its kind, and the tree that beareth fruit having seed each one according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day. -Genesis 1:9-13

Since I've been traversing the nether-reaches of the entire property to tether the cows to graze this year, I have noticed a TON of really cool plants that I've never really seen before. Some are recurring nightmares features, and some are brand-new to me. It's amazing to see the work of creation all around, and to notice some absolutely stunning works of God's art.

I do often take the time to stop in the stillness of the morning (post-milking, usually) to appreciate the season's splendor. I am richly rewarded with the smalls, the sights, and the experiences of the majesty of God. The perfection amid the imperfection makes St. Therese's "Little Way" come alive right here on the homestead.

I do hope to make this a series, as new species show themselves and I catalog them. I'll lead off Part 1 the series with this gem:

These stunningly beautiful flowers are only open before 5:30 AM.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Bye Bye, Overgrown Garden Beds

I moved the old raised garden bed frames to a new spot, and am going to clear out the area for the kids' pool.

Dude, where's my raised garden beds?
I now have several already-built beds to re-prpose.

"The System"

I was fortunate enough to capture almost the whole "system" in place in one picture:

Left: the first product garden.
Middle pen: The pigs.
Right pen; The chickens.
Foreground left, the cow cart.
Foreground right, Bridget.
Also, that is a hose, not a large green snake.
It's especially exciting because, although this picture doesn't show it, there are a dozen or so "wild melon" plants growing where the pigs just vacated. Although, we did feed them extra watermelon and cantaloupe innards.

I hope for rain this weekend. I'm going to sow the garden with some seeds, but the soil needs to be wet.. I'm thinking carrots, sunflowers, tobacco, green beans - things that can be sown in larger section. The transplants will go to the "old" garden.

Oh yeah, and we reversed the flow of the system. We were heading (from that angle) left, but we're now moving right, and the chickens are going first. The chickens' egg quality declined (paler yolks), and they severely compacted the soil rather than loosen it. So now they lead and scratch/trim the grass, readying it for the pigs to go deeper.

I can't wait until the "system" hits its stride.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Late June Garden Progress

Or lack thereof.  :(

With all of the animal hubbub, the gardens have been a bit....er, delayed this year. We have some great sproutlings going, and some tomato plants and lettuces doing really well, but a lot of other stuff is MIA at the moment.

Tomato plants, round 1. We have a few little tomatolettes growing.

Cow Kisses

I had Brisket in our lagoon system trimming down the grasses. Bridget was tethered to the fence next to him. They shared a moment. It was sweet.

Bridget. right, and Brisket, left, sharing a moment together.
I normally keep them tethered or fenced beyond touching distance. It's nice to give them opportunities to be close, although I need a barrier (distance or physical) between them.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

To Tether a Cow

My property does not have fencing.

There are a few privacy fences, and about 200' of mangled field fence, but all of these end and do not form an enclosed area. In the very back, there are a few lines of barbed wire that the turkeys, deer, and whatever else have made more decorative than functional. I also have the movable reinforced combo panel garden paddocks, and the movable, solar-charged electro-net, but there are not permanent enclosures.

Instead of fully-fenced permanent pastures, I use these tools for an intensive managed grazing system. But the electro-net and paddocks do not account for the cows. The paddocks house the chickens and pigs, and the electro-net contains the sheep.

The cows? They're tethered.

Tethering cows: taking managed intensive grazing to new frontiers.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Hay Day #1

A few weeks ago, I made my own hay using my scythe, some rakes, a tarp, and free child labor extremely wonderful, helpful children.

It was the first cutting of the year, and the first time cutting the complete hay field. Last year, I only got about 2/3 of it done. I did the whole cut in one shot, then the kids and I raked, tarped, and stored it on another day.

We then celebrated by playing baseball in the fresh-cut hay field. It was great.

The older kids helped rake and tarp the hay. I carried the hay to the shed and stored it.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

And Now ... A Bird on a Football

I was out in the yard this past weekend, and a bird was just hanging out on top of a football.

Bird on a football.
I was able to inch closer and closer, and got some neat pics.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Random Reflections

Got a lot on my mind right now.
I just need to say a whole lot that's going on right now without creating separate posts for everything. I suppose that's reflection #1 - I have lots to say and no time to say it in detail. So, I'll just rattle a bunch of stuff off, in no particular order, and with few accompanying images, save a shot of chicken insides (sorry, it's not for the squeamish - you were warned).

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Mastiffs LOVE Raw Cow Milk - Who Knew?

Not I, until we started giving Colt some leftover milk that didn't fit neatly into the containers. He even tried to get in my milking pail a few days ago.

"My excessively large head doesn't quite fit...."
We make him sit and stay and pout it in his food bowl. He goes CRAZY for it. I've never seen him respond with such intensity for any other food except whole-rib cow bones.

And they say humans are the only creatures to drink another animal's milk. HA!

Rabbit Update

I was very much hoping that this update would include pictures of kits from Skittles (which were supposedly due last Wednesday/Thursday). Alas, as it turns out she did NOT have any kits. So, yesterday and today, I am re-breeding her to Coconut.

In two weeks, we'll find out whether or not Starburst (our second Californian doe) is pregnant or not. We bred her two weeks after Skittles, and with a 30-day gestation, we should finally be seeing kits in a fortnight. Starburst is the only "proven" rabbit we have, so I do hope it's not Coconut that is the, ahem, weak link here.

Starburst, left, and Coconut, right, lounging with ice packs.
We've replaced the ice bags with frozen plastics containers. They chewed both.
We now freeze bricks to keep them cool.
It's also been getting quite hot, so we've been freezing bricks to set out in their cages at mid-day. They sprawl out and rest their heads near the bricks like clockwork, so I know it's helping them maintain temperature in the Southern heat.

I also worked on getting the rabbitry one step closer to being done.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

When White Eggs are Weird

...you know you have a backyard flock. Our first Leghorn laid this weekend. The white egg seemed very out of place amid the varied shades of brown.

Where's Waldo the Leghorn egg?
It's very exciting to see the newer chickens start to lay. Soon enough, some blue eggs from our three Americauna/Araucanas will appear. We have 8 more of the blue eggers in the chick-u-bator, so by the late fall, we'll be getting a good healthy mix of brown, white, and blue.

All we need are a few olive eggers and some copper marans.....soon......

How Much Milk is 2 Gallons a Day?

A WHOLE FREAKING LOT. That's how much.

This is one day's worth of milk from Bridget the Jersey milk cow.
On the sides are two 2-liter jars (no handles). Inside that are two 1.7-liter jars.
In the middle is a 1-liter jar. For those keeping score at home, this is about 8.2 liters.
That's approximately 2.16 gallons that we got. On Sunday.
It doesn't sound like a lot of milk, until you have to start finding room for it in the fridge.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Metamorphic Experimentation

Our neighbor found a cocoon outside and gave it to Thing #2. We turned it into a science project for him this week.

The cocoon is the large black thing in the grass. We built the environment for it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Sure, All the Healthy Beverages

I am the healthy beverages guru.

As I write this, I just finished my home-brewed ginger water kefir, and am staring down a tall glass of raw paleo chocolate milk from my grass-fed cow.

Left, raw paleo chocolate milk. Right, my empty ginger water kefir cup.

Today, I have also consumed a raw milk kefir smoothie (with banana and cinnamon - YUM!). I also have had glasses of cherry kombucha, strawberry and mixed berry water kefir (made with organic sugar), more raw chocolate milk, coffee (black, with only some Bridget cream added), and some plain ol' filtered water.

It all started when I got a cow. It'll be fun, I said.  :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

It's Official! We Have a Garden

While still starting this year's garden later than we wanted to (and I have no idea why), we were ahead of last year by several weeks, plus sprouting time. So when our big spring garden-starting weekend rolled around on Sunday, it was a whole lot easier than last year.

Laying the infrastructure up front really makes a difference.

Transplanting lettuce seedlings into a garden bed this weekend.
The brassicas in the seed tray went to a different spot.
My legs are killing me and I tweaked my knee somehow, but it was nevertheless a very fun Sunday spent gardening with the family.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

And So It Begins....

This week, I moved the chickens to the second "paddock" area, and the pigs to the third. I then took down the fencing to the first, revealing the garden area below.

Pigs and chickens use their natural abilities to work the land.
The combo panels keep in the pigs. The chicken wire keeps in the chickens.
The end result? Fluffy, tilled, picked clean gardens.
The utter destruction these two species cause in succession is startling. And for a garden, that's a good thing.

Monday, May 5, 2014


(ba-dum ching!)  :: waiting for applause/laughter ::

Our 10-day old new Katahdin lamb, Meatball, is doing great.


For the first few days, I had to help Pot Pie stay still so lil' dude could nurse. She was NOT having it. I used my legs as a head gate stanchion so she'd be still for more than 3 seconds.

I only had to do that for a few days. I moved the sheep into s new pasture area on Friday, and they've been doing great. Pot Pie has slowed down and chilled out a bit, allowing Meatball to finally nurse. He's getting very big, and his tail is constantly wagging. Good things.

One Thirsty Cow

The temps hit over 85 here yesterday, and Brisket got very thirsty. He let me know this fact by head-butting and flipping over his now-empty 17-gallon water bucket. The racket echoed all around the homestead.

Then the mooing began.

So, I filled up the cow cart full of cool water and watered him down.

Brisket Le'Cow slurping up water as it comes out of the tank.
Just like a water fountain for cows!
I took a lot of pictures of the watering event. He was very cute.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Our First Baby Lamb!!

This weekend, our very pregnant sheep Pot Pie had her baby lamb. We named him Meatball.

Me holding Thing #3, who is holding meatball. Thing #2 has a new baby chick.
Meatball is very healthy and doing great. He's nursing well, and as of today I think Pot Pie is transitioning from colostrum to milk. His belly is looking fuller, and he's even begun taking a few small nibbles of grass and sips from the water bucket.