Monday, April 13, 2015

Chance

The days just get busier and busier!
This weekend we had perfect weather for working outdoors, so we decided to tackle the garden bed mess.


First we moved a raised bed to another spot, in order to make parking the tractor easier. Then Devin lifted all of the half barrel planters and dumped them into the raised bed. There was nice planting soil in the barrels and I am through with any large gardening. I will only be using my 3 raised beds and a few pots on my porch.



With the barrels gone and the beds cleaned up, it looks much nicer now. I may or may not plant many vegetables this year. Honestly I feel like I am at full capacity, as far as what I can do. I might plant some annual flowers and just patron a local farmer for vegetables.

I also finished class 3 of 4 of my Kid Embroidery Class. Rose did a fantastic job and will be hanging her embroidery art up on a wall...as soon as I can locate the picture nails.
This class was an embroidery of their handprint, a gift for Mother's Day.


When you get a call from a farmer friend wanting to sell a most beautiful and healthy heifer calf, you just say , "YES!"



We loaded her up into the back of our favorite stock trailer van and brought her home. She is a very healthy calf, born last November, and will make a fine milking cow one day.


She is the same age as our baby steer and she is happily out grazing the pasture with all of the other cows.


Saturday we burned her horns, a chore we always dread. It must be done however! Horns can be dangerous to not only other cows, but to any person who is milking and caring for the cows.

Of course this beautiful Jersey needed a name, so the kids all thought long and hard about what to name her. They decided to name her after the family cow in the show The Waltons.
They named her Chance.

Welcome to the farm Chance!!!!

Happy Monday Ya'll!!!




Wednesday, April 8, 2015

21 Day Myth

There are always interesting emails that come through my inbox. I get many from people who are thinking about making a move to the country and others who are on land but need advice getting a *farm* started. Well, this email was sent to me in hopes I might know someone interested in a new television idea. The latest is one I agreed to share with all of you.

There is a casting call for folks who want to try the farm life for 21 days. Take a look and if you are interested, go ahead and shoot them an email. If you are cast, let me know!!!

                                             *Rose and Cow Milking 101! *

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN MOVING YOUR FAMILY FROM CITY TO COUNTRY?
 
Looking for city families who are interested in making a change and moving their family to the country! Are you the quintessential city mom who cannot survive without her Starbucks Lattes, mani-pedi’s and Ipad?  But are you afraid of what this luxury city life is doing to your children?  Are you ready to instill the meaning of a hard days work and a more rugged lifestyle?  Magilla Entertainment and a major cable network are looking for families who are interested in testing out a change from big city living to rural farm life for 21 days.  Following the “21 Day Myth” in which people can mentally and physically make changes after this specific time period, this docu-series will capture the excitement and the fears of the family as they test out this new lifestyle change.  If you and your family are ready for this challenge, contact us ASAP at cscarpelli@magilla.tv with “COUNTRY LIVING” in the subject along with your names, ages, location, occupation, contact numbers, recent photos and a brief paragraph about why you want to relocate your family from city to country.



Monday, April 6, 2015

My Marathon Day

Today is my marathon day. I don't run, at least not since my young sport days when my coach made me run.
My marathon day today consists of a mom/farmer/cheese maker kind of crazy day. I am sure ya'll all know what those days are like!

It started at 6 am when the post office called to let me know my baby chicks had arrived. WHAT???? I knew they had shipped yesterday, but it usually take 3 days to arrive.
I had no brood box ready, no food ready, nothing.


Thankfully it was only my few pullets that had arrived and not my huge order of meat chicks. We will keep these guys inside the laundry room a few days before moving the brood box out to the barn. I ordered a mix of brown egg layers, so the kids really enjoy holding the babies and trying to guess what breed chick.


Of course my biggest project I started was taking in a mam dog and her puppies. No we are NOT keeping any of them! (Did you hear that my children???)
I am simply fostering these guys until a local rescue can get them adopted out. The puppies are 3 weeks old and will stay here until they wean. At that point the rescue will come get the pups, have them seen by the vet and then adopt them out.
The mama dog will then be spayed and adopted out. I will care for her through that entire process.




We have them situated in the basement, and although the first couple of days were quite *smelly*, they are better now.
We gave mama a bath and wiped her babies down. Yesterday we treated the babies for worms and coccidiosis . Today I am happy to say worms are being eliminated and the poo is smelling more normal. My goal is to keep them safe and healthy and to make sure they are well socialized.

The mama is a very young shepherd looking mix. She is very smart and trains easily. We are keeping her away from our other dogs for a while so she can feel like her pups are safe.
I am glad to be working with A Paw and A Prayer Rescue. Any locals interested in adopting can contact the recue. I will keep posting pictures as they grow and start moving around more.
 
Finally, I am working on laundry, dinner, school and making cheese. We are planning to take the kids to a local trampoline park later this afternoon so I am working to get everything done!
 

The boys are playing card games and I am stirring and heating milk for cheddar. It's gonna be one heck of a day, but I think I can...I think I can...I think I can!

Happy Monday Ya'll!!





Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Color Green

It is a glorious color!!!! Green means that winter is headed out and spring and summer are headed in!!! I love it!
Thankfully it arrived just in time, as my hay has run out!




We have been keeping all the livestock loose and free ranging so they can feast on the green. This also allows their regular paddocks to recover and grow some green.


The calves in particular love having the free space to socialize and graze.


Dandelions mean the bees have some food for their hive. Please don't spray these beauties with weed killer!


The hens are fenced up with the egg mobile again, well half are fenced up. It has been difficult rounding up and catching all of the free rangers, but Hilda has no problem crawling under the fence and socializing with the hens...or rather cleaning up feed from the ground.


It was perfect weather yesterday for a walk down the drive to collect special rocks and to hunt for wildflowers.

It will be time to shear the sheep this month and Whiskey Creek has quite a load of fleece! He spends most of the day in the shade and will be happy, I am sure, to get a hair cut.

I have been busy these last 2 weeks deep cleaning and de-cluttering each room and closet in the house. To say this was a major feat is an understatement!
All I have left to do is clean the porches outside and also do something with this eyesore of a garden.

Before dairy cows I had time to garden. I used 3 raised beds and these half barrels to grow quite a bit of flowers and food. Milking cows and making cheese have decreased my ability to garden and now this spot is an overgrown eye sore. I plan to clean this up and at least get some flowers planted, even annuals would be nice.
I will likely only keep a few half barrels for a couple of tomato plants and I will buy the rest of my summer bounty from local farmers.

My first thought on cleaning up these raised beds is to burn them. I might spread cardboard and shredded paper across them and light them up to burn the new growth of weeds. After they are scorched I will go to a local garden center and get some rich planting soil to add to the beds.

My meat chicks ship out Monday so I will spend some time this weekend getting brood boxes ready. The actual chicken tractors will need some repair, though, before we can get any birds out on pasture.


The cows have been using the tractors as scratching posts! The poor pens couldn't hold up to an 800 pound animal scratch so Devin will be busy fixing these the next couple of weeks.
I am impressed that the tractors held up so well this long. This will be the 4th year to use them, and remember they were built with mostly scraps we had lying around the property.

Green!!!! It is a glorious color and always was my favorite! Bye- Bye winter cold and hello warm sun!

Happy Spring Thursday Ya'll!!!!







Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring! and a Gift Card Winner

It's here!!!! I think spring has officially arrived! The ground is losing its drab brown color and turning green! Even the puppy, Delconno, is happy to see grass again!


 
 
My week of spring cleaning has kicked off and I hope to have a nice, organized home in a couple of weeks.
 
 

 
BUT, today is all about my Dog Fencing post and how successful ya'll made that post! Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who left a comment and/or shared the post on FB! It generated quite a bit of talk about fencing for dogs and I think most everyone who has used underground fencing found it to be effective.
 
 

I promised a drawing and a drawing I delivered!

Congratulations to the winner of the $50 Amamzon Gift Card : Ruth Ross!
Ruth doesn't have dogs, but she shared the info with her sister who owns sheep and Pyranees.

Ruth, I need you to email me within the next 24 hours at mybarefootfarm@catt.com to claim your gift!


Thank you again everyone who participated! Thank you also to Willow, my #4 child, for all of the pictures on the blog today!

I hope everyone is enjoying nice weather today and can get outside to soak up some sun!

Happy Spring Ya'll!



Sunday, March 15, 2015

Dog Fencing

***The following is a sponsored post. I was compensated for the use of my blog but my statements and opinions are my own. Also, the photos are my own and of my wonderful dogs!***


When you move out on land there is one major universal need and that need is fencing. Fencing is also a huge expense. Around here we put up a new section of field fencing every year, when the budget allows.
Thankfully cattle can be contained within moveable electric wire. Dogs are an entirely different issue. When we lived in a subdivision we had an underground electric fence system for our dog. We only had one dog at the time and the fence worked great.
Now we have several dogs who act as yard and livestock protectors, but Duke has been known to wander off at times. There have been many times I considered an electric containment for him but I never knew if one existed.
Today I have a sponsored post that is all about dog fencing systems, including one that has a coverage range of up to 100 acres! I would LOVE to know if anyone has used a system such as this on their property.
**Leave a comment or share this post on Facebook or other social media. If you share the post, let me know in the comments. There will be a drawing Friday, March 20th for a winner amongst the comments and sharing. An Amazon Gift Card for $50 is the prize! Who wouldn't love that? If you are like me, you have a list of books on your Amazon Wish List.**





The Pros and Cons of an Invisible Dog Fence for Your Farm

There are many uses for invisible dog fences on farms. You can use an electric fence to keep
your dogs away from your crops and out of your garden or flower beds. You can stop your dogs
from disrupting or hunting your chickens around their coop. You can prevent your dogs from
entering the barn, bothering other livestock, or falling into a pond or well. Why would you choose
an invisible fence over a more traditional fence, such as wood, PVC, or chain-link? There are
several advantages to invisible fences, so let’s take a closer look at them, along with the
potential disadvantages of the system. Alternatively you can use versafence  if you are
struggling with critters such as raccoons, bunnies and other pest trying to attack your vegetable
garden.

Pros

Large Capacity

Invisible dog fences have a greater capacity than most people realize. Some underground dog
fence systems can enclose up to 100 acres of land. There are also wireless dog fences that can
enclose up to 25 acres of land. The cost of a traditional fence rises dramatically with each
additional acre needed, but the cost of additional wire for an invisible fence system is minimal. If
you want to allow your dogs the run of your entire large acreage farm, a single invisible fence
system is still a viable option.

No Obstruction

One of the biggest advantages of an underground dog fence is that it doesn’t obstruct the path
for anyone besides the dogs wearing the e-collars. When you’re frequently moving about your
farm, especially when you’re carrying supplies, it can be a hassle to open and close a gate. With
an electric dog fence, you can effortlessly cross your dogs’ boundaries to get to where you need
to go. An electronic dog fence will not obstruct the view either, so your ability to see beyond
your dogs’ area to the rest of the land will not be impaired.

Reliable Protection

Traditional fences are exposed to the elements, making them vulnerable to environmental
damage. With lots of acres on a farm, it’s inconvenient to examine the entire length of your
fence after every storm. It’s necessary, however, or else your dogs’ could escape unnoticed. An
underground dog fence offers reliable protection. Damage is rare, but if it does occur, the main
system will notify you immediately of a break in the wire. Determined and stubborn dogs are
also better contained by an electronic dog fence, because they’re unable to dig under, jump
over, or push through like they might with a traditional fence.

Custom Zones

The size and rigidness of traditional fences make them difficult to install in unusual formations or
spaces. An electric dog fence allows you to fully customize the shape and location of your dogs’
designated zone. A wireless dog fence can also offer radial protection. Electric dog fences can
also be repositioned as necessary. If your farm is busy and your space is already limited, an
invisible dog fence will help you maximize your dogs’ play area from the space you do have.

Inexpensive

One of the most attractive aspects of an electric dog fence is that it’s so inexpensive. If you set
up your own invisible fence, you’ll save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on installation.
Especially with multiple acres, traditional fences can cost thousands of dollars, but an electric
dog fence can cost as little as $300 total. It’s comforting to know that your dogs’ safety won’t be
compromised due to a modest budget, as the invisible fence cost is so low. A DIY invisible
fence is a project anyone can tackle in just a weekend’s time, and your familiarity with the
system will allow you to fix any future problems (rare that they are) without needing to pay for
service

Cons

One-Way Containment

While the unobtrusiveness of an electric dog fence is nice, this also means it does not function
as a catch-all fence. Other animals on your farm will be able to freely cross over the boundary
wire and enter the dogs’ area. If wild animals are a concern for you, then an electric fence will
not hinder their access to your land. If you need to keep livestock or children inside the yard, or
other animals out, an underground dog fence may not be sufficient. However, traditional fences
and invisible fences can be used together for maximum protection.

Training Required

Placing a traditional fence does not require any training, but an electric dog fence has a bit of a
learning curve. Your dogs will have to learn where their boundaries are located. E-collar training
will take about 15-30 minutes each day for two weeks, and you must be consistent and
thorough. After training, your dogs will not feel the mild corrective shock of the e-collar unless
they deliberately disobey the warning vibrations and cross their boundaries. If you don’t have
the time or desire to train your dogs this way, then the system won’t work for you.

Power Source Needed

An electric fence requires a power source, which may limit your placement possibilities.
However, solar panels can be purchased for about $100 in order to power your fence if it’s not
located near an outlet, and that’s still cheaper than a traditional fence. If your electricity goes
out, your fence won’t work without a backup power source, so this is a consideration also. Many
fences have backup batteries to combat this problem, but not all.
When it comes time to choose and install your electric dog fence, online reviews and
manufacturer instructions will be invaluable resources. The type of dogs you have and the size
of your farm should direct your choice. As long as your dogs aren’t younger than six months,
pregnant, or infirm, they can be trained on an electric dog fence, and the vast majority of
invisible fence users are extremely happy with their reliability and versatility. After all, the safety
of your dogs on the farm is of the utmost importance.

Published in partnership with www.dogfencediy.com. We encourage you to share your
experiences with a variety of dog containment systems in the comments section. Commenters
and those who share the post in social media qualify for a drawing of a $50 Amazon gift card!


************* This contest is closed. Thank you to everyone who participated!**************

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Quicky

It's wet and rainy here. Very wet and rainy. When you head out to my barn, the ground is so thick with mud and muck that your boots just sink. The weekend is supposed to dry up a bit so that it can rain again mid week. I remind myself that all of this rain is why we will have lots of grass this spring and summer.

With that said, it has been a very busy week, but I am going to cover some of the highlights.

1. Devin and I went to a local comedy club on Sunday night. This club has been in Chattanooga for a very long time, but this was our first time to go. We had a blast.
We saw Joe Machi, who was on Last Comic Standing. Great show and a clean one at that! We had such a good time that I bought us tickets for a show in April!


2.  I sent my dark sheep fleeces off to a small mill for processing. House Lamb, Flicka, had some multi colored fleece when we sheared her last fall. I was excited to see what the mill could do, so I had them make me worsted weight yarn.
WOW! Flicka produced a beautiful gray-tan color yarn that is soft and shiny. I have already crocheted a beanie. In fact, all of the yarns were fabulous so I am making everyone in the house a hat for next winter!



3. I bought 3 new books to read. I picked my steer up from the processor and now I have a freezer full of grass fed beef. This is a great thing, but I felt I needed some direction on cooking the beef. I also want to try and make some bone broth and wanted some direction there as well. Finally, I have a new  pressure cooker. Again, more direction and recipes were needed.
I love all of the books so far and my first batch of bone broth, that was made in the pressure cooker, turned out well. It wasn't gelled up, but it was thick.


4. My house is messy. It hasn't been this messy since I had a new baby! I blame the busy days and the winter snow and rain. I guess I could blame the livestock I have outside and the dogs that run through the house. At any rate, it needs a good cleaning.
I decided that we would spend 9 days spring cleaning. Of course we will have chores and some school to complete in the mornings, but the afternoons are going to be cleaning times! I made a list and posted it in the kitchen on a dry erase board.
Now everyone knows what is coming and I can get through my day knowing we will not always live in filth:-)


5.  I will have sponsored post this weekend. This is the first time for a sponsored post on this blog. I get offers weekly from various companies but I always turn them down. Usually it is for a product I don't care about or it's a company I don't care for too much. This sponsor and I went back and forth a bit the last couple of weeks though and I feel like they might have something useful to offer. They are also throwing in an amazon gift card to a reader. Hey, you could buy those awesome books I just bought! Anyway, be looking for the post. This is a rare thing and will not often happen. I think the $50 gift card would be awesome to win!

Happy Weekend Ya'll!!



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