Ch…ch…ch…changes…

The good kind of changes. This August, it will be five years since my wife, Keba, and I moved back to Innisfree on the Stillwater and I restarted my coffee roasting business. Since then, we’ve changed and grown, and now is time for the next change: Starting today, I am changing my business name to […]

The good kind of changes.

This August, it will be five years since my wife, Keba, and I moved back to Innisfree on the Stillwater and I restarted my coffee roasting business. Since then, we’ve changed and grown, and now is time for the next change:

Starting today, I am changing my business name to The Roastery at Innisfree to better align what I am doing as a roaster with what I am doing as a farmer. The coffee won’t change. The small batch roasting won’t change. The personal service won’t change. But this change will help us focus even more on what we are doing at Innisfree.

Enjoy your coffee!

DLH

Meet Fiona

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Our newest acquisition (catquisition?) to the farm – Fiona. She simply appeared in the driveway one afternoon and hasn’t left (or stopped eating) since. Thankfully, she has all of her claws, although by her behavior, she was an indoor cat – she’s very loving, and isn’t afraid of dogs (she head-booped one of the Goldens, to his great surprise). Fiona is also quite chatty – I’m hungry, pet me, feed me.

We’re currently at 2 indoor cats, and I really didn’t want a long-haired indoor cat, so she now eats and relaxes in the pottery studio – the hair will burn out when I fire the pots! She stays outside most of the time, though, and follows me around pretty much everywhere.

Did it myself

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This is one of our new mineral feeders for the cows. We were looking at purchasing one, but they run about $150 or more for a decent one. My reaction? There must be plans out there to build your own, and for much cheaper. And – I was right!

Don’t be afraid to ask around to see if people have stuff lying around that they want to get rid of for free or cheap – I called our local tire repair place to ask about the tires (fully expecting to pay for them), and he said come take as many as I wanted for free. He has to pay to have them hauled off, so that was money he would save. That sure beats $30 each on Craigslist – and having to drive to Ft. Loramie!

Moral of the story? If you even think there might be a way to do it yourself – there probably is. Do the research to see if you have the time, skills, tools to make it, and compare that to what it would cost to go buy the same thing. Sometimes you’ll make it yourself, and sometimes it’s more economical to go buy it (I bought my beehives, because I don’t have the woodworking skills yet to build them).

COST BREAKDOWN:

Blue barrel – $10 off Craigslist (plus driving to Englewood)

24.5″ semi tire – free (plus driving to Covington)

4 bolts/4 nuts/8 washers – about $15 (plus driving to Menard’s, buying the wrong bolts, and stopping by the hardware store in Covington on my way home from teaching)

Labor – about 1 hour for 2 feeders

A little bit of electricity to drill 4 holes in each barrel, and to cut out the 18″ hole

Instructions – YouTube

 

A breakthrough

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Yes, that is Lucy. Outside. Without a leash.

Lucy loves to be outside, preferably in an area that has no fences around it to impede her progress. With a road, river, neighbors, and coyotes, this was a problem – she would bolt through the door and be on her merry way, with us slogging after her. She would eventually come back, but it wasn’t a good situation.

After a visit to Skyview K9, we learned a few things to help calm her down, and added those to our own things that were working. And since it’s warming up out, and we are outside working, it was the best time to start the experiment.

One morning, I let her out, went about the morning chores, started doing some other work. She was tearing around the fields, and I noticed she would stop and look for me, or even come up to where I was working – just checking to see if I was still there.

We’ve been doing this almost every time we are outside and it’s been going great. She’s getting to run around, we don’t have to chase her down – winning on all sides. I keep a pocket full of little dog biscuits (yes, homemade!) as an occasional reward, as well.

She’s still hyper, but we’ve noticed a definite increase in calmness – she knows she’ll be able to go outside and run around.

Dogs can learn. Even hyper, baggage-laden ones like Lucy.