Monday, September 28, 2015

Crazy, Busy, Wonderful

I am here. I am still here. I have been unbelievably busy.

The farm responsibilities have been one reason life has gotten hectic these last few weeks. Milking cows and moving pastured chicken can eat up some time.
We actually built a new chicken tractor to move the chickens in and I have been quite pleased with it too!

 This tractor will hold 100 birds and I can move it with my lawn mower. It has a rope that I loop on to my ball hitch and I slowly pull it forward. It is tall enough inside that Willow can move with it, making sure no birds get squashed in the process. It has, so far, been a great tractor with lots of ventilation.

These birds had been in a barn stall for WAY too long! I was glad to get them on grass and get my stall mucked out. After I cleaned it out, I spread a fresh bale of straw down.

I also moved my sheep up to this paddock near the house. They will be ready for shearing in a few weeks, but I did notice their eyelids look a bit pale. This, of course, means they likely need to be wormed. I will get some natural worming remedy on order so that I can take care of it sooner, rather than later.

The new calf Annie is 2 weeks old now and doing great, AND she now has a friend.

Yesterday we were preparing for Fletcher's birthday celebration when I noticed Belle was in active labor! 12 minutes later she had a new heifer calf! This one is also part angus, but she has some white on her belly. Such a cute calf!
I let the middle girls name this one, so they named her Twilight.

This brings me to milking 4 cows in the morning and 2 in the evening. I have one more cow due this fall, but she will not calve until early November. (I think)

I was glad to notice Belle in labor so that I could call the kids outside to watch. It was quite a busy day!

Of course the increased amounts of milk we are getting is requiring that we step up the cheese making. I bought Indiana her own set of turkey roasters so that I could teach her how to make cheese. She started by making her first wheel of Havarti. I made a batch of Camembert and together we used up 12 gallons of milk! It will be nice to have some cheese making help.

In addition to the increased farm chores, we have been busy with school. Journee has officially started nursing school and Quinn has started duel enrollment.
I admit that I was scared Quinn would really struggle with her classes because at home she was not a super dedicated student. However, she has done quite well and really enjoys her classes. I write this as an encouragement to any home school moms who worry about their kids doing well in college. Quinn has seemed to embrace her education and has taken great responsibility with her assignments.  Perhaps she was bored at home and needed a challenge?

Finally, I am in a local theater play that opens in October. I haven't done any theater in a very, very long time but decided to start back, or at least try. I was given a great role and am very excited to be doing something outside the farm and house. Of course this means I am very busy several nights a week at rehearsals, but it has been well worth it!

This is why I have not been updating as I should. So much has happened that I wanted to share, but I am exhausted by the end of the day. Hopefully, now that some cow calving is done, I will see a slight slow down to my daily routine. ( I just made myself laugh out loud!)

Here's to a great week for everyone!

Happy Monday Ya'll!

Friday, September 11, 2015

A Good Day

There are days that home schooling is just plain overwhelming! It is difficult enough on its own, but if you add in a farm and a milking cow (or two or three) it can be a daunting task to accomplish anything some days.

Then there are days like today when it all becomes clear again. You remember why this path is the right one and the tasks at hand are worth the effort.

 It's not everyday that you can wish outside with all of the kids to witness a new calf being born. Then you have all of the topics that come up for discussion such as colostrum, afterbirth, milk fever, engorgement, and umbilical cords.

Hands on science.

 Lucy finally had her calf, an Angus cross baby. A heifer. I have not named her yet.

She is a strong girl and is up jumping around and playing and searching for her first meal. This is the biggest challenge too, as Lucy is quite old in age and her teats are very low to the ground.

She is an attentive and protective mother, though, so I am leaving them alone for a few hours.
The world is a classroom and a farm is the only place I would want my kids learning their science and math and reading.

It is a good day.

Plus, we can always have lots of opportunities to learn about the various bugs while we wait for the new calves to appear.

Happy Friday Ya'll!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

How Does Your Meat Grow?

Oh beef! Do you know what's in your beef? Unless you buy locally from a farmer, there is a good chance your beef has more in it than you want.

There is a new Consumer Report hitting the stands next month, and it contains results from samples of ground beef from all over the US. The findings are not all that shocking to those of us who raise grass fed beef, but there are some surprising elements to the article.
You can read the article online HERE!

This has brought back to the surface many questions and debates regarding grass based farming, organic beef and vegetarian diets. I have joined in some of the discussions and have been answering some emails regarding all of these topics.

I think there is a HUGE disconnect in this country between ourselves and the foods we eat. As long as the food is packaged pretty and readily available at the store, we don't give much thought to the actual process required to supply the food.

If someone discusses home butchering or processing of an animal, many people get squeamish and grossed out.  In general, folks just don't want to know how their food was raised or how it is slaughtered.

How is this picture even legal? If you buy pork from a store, there is a very good chance that this is the farming model you support through your dollars. This is NOT humane.
We are accustomed to not thinking about the life of the animals we consume.

Imagine that we all decide not to support this farming model and decide we want to buy from local farmers. This would require that more people farm, that more people get back to the land. There is plenty of land for more farmers too if we only utilize it.

American Meat is a documentary worth watching regarding the American farming system and how we can change it for the good of the consumer, the animals and the land.

I realize that not everyone can farm or even wants to farm, and that's okay. I am not insisting that everyone move out to the land and start raising their own food, however, I do think we all need to step back and consider the implications of supporting a commodity farming model. Take some time to find a local, grass based farmer and support a sustainable farming method.

It's time we take responsibility for our health, the health of our children, the well being of farm animals, and it's time to take care of the land.

Here is a video soapbox regarding the topic!

Happy Tuesday Ya'll!

Buy Local and Grass Fed

You can read the Consumer Report article HERE.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...