Thursday, March 20, 2014

We've moved!

Welcome to Spring!! As of today, March 20, 2014 you can find our blog and website at at new address! Type into your browser or just go ahead and click here!

We will continue to keep the blog going on this new site so you can keep up with all the farm shenanigans. We hope you'll update your bookmarks and/or RSS Feeds ( This site will remain, but all the new posts will appear on the new site, as will all our old posts. We love our new site and hope you do too!!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Spring is almost here!

Next Thursday is the Vernal Equinox (for the Northern Hemisphere) which means Spring is almost here!!

To celebrate the coming of Spring after this very long winter, we are making big changes with the blog and website. It turns out, that in addition to picking beans, our Tajik Goat Herder does excellent web design. It is looking great and we are so excited to share it with you. We hope you'll like it as much as we do, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, here's a photo of a happy Farmer John:

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

New Hay

Weather rarely cooperates in farming. Last years hay season was no exception. Most years we are able to put up enough forage to feed the Highlands through winter, but this year we were not even close. A summer with very few hot dry days prevented the hay equipment from getting into the field. Our only option was purchasing hay to feed. 
The first batch of purchased hay I thought was a good deal. Turns out it was just cheap. I have slowly learned that with farming a good deal and cheap are two different options. Cheap hay has very little nutritional value so the calves and cows lose valuable weight over winter and don't have the extra energy needed during calving season. 
The second batch of hay I bought was more expensive, but a better deal. It looks green and smells fresh. It is hard to describe the look and smell of quality hay, but you know it when you see it. My cattle should gain weight going into spring.
When dropping off the first batch of the new hay the cattle seemed content. Content cattle stay in fences, look healthy, and have nice calves. Content cattle make for content farmers. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Newest addition

The first calf of 2014 was born yesterday. "Miss Piggy" gave birth to a little girl (heifer). Mom is very protective of her calf and only allowed photos when I was on the other side of the fence. Once I got closer we were able to see the little one trot along right behind Mom as she walked to the other side of the herd. 

Both the calf and Miss Piggy are healthy and doing well. We are hopeful that this will be the first of several more calves this year. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

When you don't have anything nice to say...

We, along with everyone else in the country, are sick of winter. We are sick of all the headaches that come along with winter, but we are sure you have your own headaches, so don't need to hear about ours. 
We have been focused on the farm throughout these cold and snowy weeks. Although, the winter tasks don't lend themselves to photos. Farmer John placed his seed and greenhouse order. I worked on farm expenses and taxes. We painted drywall and shopped for bathroom fixtures. We spent time talking about plans for the spring. 
We also spent a week in California and have spent many evenings at our gym. Although today the farm is buried under snow, the sun is shining. Let's hope the weather breaks soon and we can start working outside once again.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Fence Repairs

Recently, Clyde and a calf have been wandering outside of the fence. Farmer John and I spent a couple cold afternoons fixing the places they were getting through. 

In places where all the strands of barbed wire are intact, we put in "fence-stays", which are the metal twisty things pictured below. They are placed in between two fence posts and twist down over four strands of wire. Fence-stays hold the wires together so that when a cow tries to push through the fence they end up pushing on all four strands - this makes the fence much stronger. They are very easy to install and we hope this will help prevent so much cavorting in the front yard.
There were several stretches where someone (probably Clyde) broke the barbed wire. In those spots Farmer John ran new strands of wire. 
I would hold the wire tight with the fence pliers. 
Then he would staple the wire to the fence posts.
We picked some cold and blustery days to work on the fence, but it is almost easier to do it now while there is less underbrush to work around. So far, the cattle have been staying where they belong.

Monday, February 3, 2014

First Visitors of 2014

The farm has always been a place for family and friends to gather, even before we lived here. This year has been no exception, we've had lots of visitors already. 

Sam, the IT guy, has now become an expert at hanging drywall. He was here for several days and helped us put up the drywall in the cabin bathroom. This job was much easier with three sets of hands. 

Tori (above) and Solomon (below) stayed with us for a while this month. They enjoyed long naps by the woodstove and chewing through all the dog toys. 
We were very excited to see K+A+IX from Little Alexander. They drove from their homestead to ours for a weekend of visiting, good food, and playtime around the coffee table. 
We love having our friends and family visit (and help) us at the farm, we are looking forward to many more visits this year. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Snow Rooster

He was the only one brave enough to come out of the coop during the snowstorm. He's taking advantage of the heated water tank. There is a red disc (with snow on top) that floats in the water. The disc has heated coils attached to keep the water from freezing. Although, the chickens have been known to just eat snow instead. 
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