Monday, July 27, 2009


Halle is 7 weeks old today! She is our orphan foal that we ( Or should I say, I) have been raising for the last few weeks. Her mom had to be put down when she was just 24 hours old, due to a twisted intestine. It is an uncommon occurrence, however my vet informed me that 3 mares were lost that same week to the same problem. (That is scary, but I won't even go there now..) The morning we lost her mom was so sad. Halle seemed so small and vulnerable, yet within a few hours had the bottle figured out.
There were many that said she wouldn't make it. Foals die , so hard to raise , blah, blah. I started her on a foal formula mixed 1/2 with goat's milk and within 5 days had her on 100 % goat milk. She worked her way up to 2 + gallons a day and drank every 3 hours around the clock for the first 4 weeks. Then moving to every 4 hours , then 6, and now twice a day. She eats milk pellets and a foal ration and is doing great. Our biggest issue is convincing her that she is indeed a horse, not a dog or even a goat. The goats are her role models at this point. Ah.. hemm.. those of us whom have goats know that this is probably not the best situation. Goats are NOT good role models. However they do have four legs and graze...
So now we are in a learning stage. She is not cute when she trys to jump on you or push you into the pond. Discipline is a must!! My vet said her mom would bite or kick her to let her know what is not allowed. So, since I don't want a mouth full of hair, I am using a switch. After a couple of firm NO's she is content to follow along and graze while I am in the pasture.
AND tonight I don't have to get up and make that trek to the barn in the wee hours of the morn... night ya'll.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Maize Days

The last couple of days have been spent putting up corn. (Not the whole day, but several hours of each, as we still had our other farm chores to complete. ) Our second crop came in. It was definitely not as good as the first, but good all the same. This corn was called True Gold . It is an heirloom yellow corn. My husband pulled while my mom and I shucked, silked and cut it off the cob. We then simmered it for a short while and let it cool before putting it in bags. I finished up the second day and we managed to freeze 29 quarts! I can say that I have finally had my fill of corn but it will be mighty tasty this winter.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sheep ..

Today I de-wormed the sheep. Good grief. One would think I was on a mission to obliterate all of the ovine population. In reality I just want to save them!
I called them up and to be fair most came up and hung out in the holding pen. However, there is always one baaaaad sheep. In our case she is one of our Missouri girls. The biggest, the baddest ewe around. She refused to come in, so I left her out until the end. I have to say the flock was on their best behavior and I suffered no wounds until da-dum.. da-dum.. After several rounds of giving a good chase I had her cornered. I crouched low and in a calming voice told her all was well . Be still, be still. One flying leap and she took me out. Head over heels I rolled, worming syringe catapulted into Neverland. As I steadied myself on my hands and knees her fruitcake daughter decided to use my back as a spring board to escape as well. As I lay face first in the sheep poop,with brusied hands and knees, I swallowed my urge to kill her and her offspring. After all, I am the Shephardess. I watch over and care for them.. Hmmmmm.. on the other hand I do love lamb.

Monday, July 13, 2009


I spent the morning with a dear friend today. She is the most beautiful person I know, both on the inside and out. She is brave and funny and smart and always there for those that need her. She is also dying. Her diagnosis came in January of this year. To say we were shocked doesn't begin to touch on the emotions we all felt. How does this happen? She is 48. We have too much to do yet. We wanted to grow old together. Places to go, things to do and learn.
We met about 13 years ago. She bought sheep from me. We became friends almost instantly and since have done so much together!! We learned about our sheep together. We learned to knit and spin and make soap. We became yarns addicts. She has since recovered, I have not. We made grand plans to get rich selling alpaca poop. I was probably drinking, but I am quite sure she was sober. We went on vacations (and plan to do so again this year) and we have laughed ALOT.
So today we went sorted through some of her things. Loose ends that need to be tied up. I even found one of our crazy projects gone bad that made me laugh out loud. Instructions were given on who needs to receive what now and what to do... later.
In the last few months she has showed more bravery than any person I know. She has been through it all. Chemo, radiation, surgery. She has taught me a wonderful lesson. We are promised nothing. Take today and live it to the fullest. Don't sweat the small stuff and I have realized that most everything IS small stuff! I have come to cherish my family, my farm, my friends in a way I never thought possible. I am grateful for everyday. I am especially grateful for everyday I get to spend with her. We may only have a few months or maybe God will give us longer. Who knows? But for now, we will take it day by day and are grateful for for each and every one of them.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Canning Day

The tomatoes were starting to completely cover all the kitchen counters. After several days of making excuses I bit the bullet today and started sauce. It's not that I don't enjoy it. I do. It is just the getting started part. :o) Today's sauce is a basil garlic. It does smell heavenly I have to say. It will be perfect over pasta or poured over chicken breasts, topped with homemade cheese and baked this winter. With the exception of the olive oil all the ingrediants came from the garden. Our tomatoes, onions, garlic and basil. How cool is that!
The tomatoes are ripening at an alarming speed so more canning will follow this week. It looks like the corn will be ready as well.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

All we have is all we need....

How true is that! Today we harvested our first corn of the season. Slathered with butter, salt and pepper and served with a side of fresh sliced tomatoes and cucumbers. I think I need a nap!

We planted an heirloom called Lucious. A beautiful bicolor that is sweet and old and not GM! We did not spray. The germination was a bit spotty but I can live with that. In the next few days we will eat what we can (gorge, if you will) and freeze the rest. Hopefully, our True Gold corn, another heirloom, will come in soon and prolong the season and add to the freezer.

Our goal this year is to totally commit to local by fall. In canning and freezing from our garden, along with the meat we produce and using our local fish market we are very close. Our biggest hurdle is dried grains and beans. At this point, we buy from a coop in bulk, and feel this one step closer to eliminating our carbon footprint.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Early Morning Musing

I wandered down to the barn at 6:00 am this morning to do a bit of feeding before the goats headed out on their morning walk about. Everyday at the same time they head to the upper pasture to collect leaves that have fallen over the course of the night. They are such creatures of habit! The mist on the pond was beautiful. A blue heron lifted off as I stood at the gate. The peace and serenity was almost overwhelming and I really hated to head back to the house. Head back I must though, since I still had more bread to bake and eggs to wash to get to the country store before opening.

Today may be a holiday but it kicks off the fall gardening season for us. I will be starting seeds today for the fall and winter crops. Brocolli, cauliflower, cabbage and kohlrabi will be started in pots to go out in a few weeks. Lettuce, carrots and greens will be sowed directly in the garden later as it starts to cool. Soon it will be time to plant garlic too. I love all the gardening seasons but fall gardens are my favorite!