Day 59 – peeps

They’re yellow (well, some are red), but they aren’t made from marshmallow and sugar!  The red is from a heat lamp we have hanging above the waterer to keep things warm.  They also have two Brinsea brooders (love their products!!) to keep warm under.  The nice things about the Brinsea brooders are that they are adjustable as the chicks grow, and they don’t get as crazy-hot as traditional heat lamps do, so the chicks aren’t in danger of roasting.

This is a batch of 50 Buff Orpington roosters and 25 Rhode Island Red roosters.  I checked them this evening and they are making an incredible racket, and either sitting in the feed pan or under the brooder.  Happy little nuggets!

Day 57 – that’s disgusting

022Someone asked a while back how we keep Minnie, our Great Pyrenees, white.  Note above, the mostly clean, dry puppy (she’s not a year old yet, so she’s still a puppy, right?).

Compare to what was waiting for me today:

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Here’s a better shot of this hot mess.  I took this one in the barn, and no, she’s not stuck or anything – she found an egg behind this mini-gate once, and now has to check every day to see if there is another egg there!

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So the answer to the original question is – hah!  No way we can keep her clean – she loves to be outside, and the rain, obviously, doesn’t bother her one bit.  Don’t worry, she’ll be dry and not as disgusting tomorrow morning!

 

Day 56 – wasted, but not really

056Goats, at least ours, waste a lot of hay.  They tear into a bale, eat through the center, it collapses, then they trample/poo on more than what they end up eating.  It’s irritating, and we could fix it by putting the hay bale in a feeding ring or something, but it’s not all a loss.  The goats are being wintered over in the test garden – there is also a large fenced-off area where we keep the meat chickens while they are growing..

What do messy goats have to do with chickens?  Well, plenty!  There are lots of little wiggly things now living in that big pile of hay the goats are standing in – wiggly things that chickens love to eat.  And there’s poo, which chickens also love to scratch through for little nummies.  Between the goats stomping around in it, and the chickens later scratching and stomping around, this hay will further decompose and become – soil!  Which will be home to lots of little wiggly things for chickens to eat.

So, this looks like a big pile of wasted hay, but in the end, it will still feed the chickens, which will feed you!

 

Day 55 – bonus post

055aI’m shaking, I’m so excited – I just made butter.  I’m a rock star!

1 quart of cream (I used Snowville Creamery), a couple pinches of salt, and about 25 minutes (20 in the Kitchenaid, and 5ish to strain out the buttermilk, then squeeze the rest of the buttermilk out of the butter).

This is so easy – why aren’t we all doing this at home???

 

Day 54 – ouch

053No, it’s not dirt.  This is what happens to my knee when a cow is thrashing around and I don’t move out of the way of her head quick enough.  I’m very thankful for ibuprofen right now.

The lesson?  Even if you’re paying attention, sometimes the animal will get you. Occupational hazard, and I’m also thankful it wasn’t worse.

 

Day 53 – hard day

This has been a plain old rotten day.  It started off reasonably well, with a calamity day from my teaching job due to the ice storm that came through overnight.  It pretty much went downhill after my morning cup of coffee.  If you’ll allow me to ramble on a bit…

Several of our cows decided that a day or two before an ice storm was a great time to calve.  As you can imagine, little newborn calves and ice don’t mix well.  We lost a few, and one is still iffy.  Part of the morning was spent moving the iffy one to a warm place and trying to get it to drink some milk replacer.  We put it back out with momma cow later in the day – we’ll see what the morning brings.

During afternoon feedings, I heard banging and discovered that one of our older girls had fallen down in the barn and couldn’t get her feet back under her to get up.  After much wrangling, we got her moved to a better location and I gave her some hay to munch. We’ll see what the morning brings.

This is the part of farming that isn’t shown on the organic milk carton – the manure covered animals, people and clothes (I’ve done 3 loads of laundry today, and have another couple of loads to go…some of them clothes I washed this morning), the anguish that there’s nothing more we can do for the critter and if it can’t get up on its own, well, that’s what will happen, the soreness and exhaustion of carrying calves and pushing against cows to get their leg unstuck, the wondering if it’s worth the anguish, soreness and exhaustion.

It is worth it.  I can sleep knowing I did all I could to keep my animals comfortable – at the end of it, farming takes a lot of faith.  This calf didn’t make it, but I have 5 more cows due to birth.  That old girl died, but she had a life filled with good grass, fresh water, and she didn’t get shipped to the auction barn when she had stopped calving. We care for every animal on this farm, and grieve when their time comes – they are part of us and part of what makes this farm what it is.

It’s been a long, trying day.  We’ll see what the morning brings.

 

 

What’s in a name? A redux

We received notice from the State of Ohio today that our new registered trade name for the farm has been approved. Henceforth, we will be called Innisfree on the Stillwater, a name that reaches back to the farm’s recent and older history … Continue reading

We received notice from the State of Ohio today that our new registered trade name for the farm has been approved. Henceforth, we will be called Innisfree on the Stillwater, a name that reaches back to the farm’s recent and older history while reflecting the new transitions we anticipate as Keba and I take over operations.

This is more than just a name change for us. In being forced to take on a new name, we’re also being forced to recognize what we’ve been doing since we first moved back to the farm three and a half years ago: we’re taking this place over and making it our own. That means something, and we need to show it.

In keeping with that thought, our full name going forward will be:

Innisfree on the Stillwater
A family-run sustainable farm and nature preserve
“Growing in life by growing our food”

Updated websites, Facebook pages, and email addresses will follow.

DLH

Day 52 – a new leaf

IMG_2899

We received notice from the State of Ohio today that our new registered trade name for the farm has been approved. Henceforth, we will be called Innisfree on the Stillwater, a name that reaches back to the farm’s recent and older history while reflecting the new transitions we anticipate as Keba and I take over operations.

This is more than just a name change for us. In being forced to take on a new name, we’re also being forced to recognize what we’ve been doing since we first moved back to the farm three and a half years ago: we’re taking this place over and making it our own. That means something, and we need to show it.

In keeping with that thought, our full name going forward will be:

Innisfree on the Stillwater
A family-run sustainable farm and nature preserve
“Growing in life by growing our food”

Updated websites, Facebook pages, and email addresses will follow.