Saturday, May 30, 2009

Animal Updates

I started out writing a general farm update but then decided that it was getting too long. I needed to break it up into smaller segments and add them to the blog a little at a time.

Today we'll talk animals!

Our newest addition to the farm arrived just a week ago yesterday...5 Khaki Campbell ducklings.
In one week they have almost doubled in size! It's amazing!!

These ducks are Kelsey's. She will raise them and try to earn some money from them selling their eggs. They will make GREAT garden protection against slugs. Sometime soon I'll show you my great slug traps that I am using until the ducks can go outside, in another week or so.

With just a little help from me, Kelsey is building a duck house out in the goat yard. We choose the goat yard because it's already fenced in and they'll be protected from the dog. We hope to train them to go to the garden a couple hours before sunset when the slugs are just coming out of hiding. Ducks don't need much in the way of shelter just protection from predators. In fact, we read, that they prefer to just be outside. But we thought that if they would meet a masked bandit in the night they'll be happy to have the shelter.

The goats are doing great. Butter is doing much better and seems very healthy now after her feed mistake and illness. She back to giving over a gallon a day. My mom (she's here visiting while James is in Uganda) and I have been fine tuning my cheese press and hope to get to making cheese soon. I'll have pictures of that when we get to it. I did make yogurt in my crockpot like Arielle talked about on her website. I pretty much did it like her, even bought myself a digital thermometer. I've been meaning to do that anyway because it will be very handy when making cheese! We made the Thienes Family Power Smoothie for breakfast. I used frozen blueberries.
Singeli and Pepperjack are 3 1/2 weeks old now, or maybe it's 4! wow! Time flies. Before I know it they'll be ready to ship out. Anyone want a pair of goats...Singeli will make an excellent milker some day. The picture below was taken by Kelsey and is awesome!!! Pepperjack is on top and Singeli below.

The chickens continue to lay an amazing number of eggs. My customers are very happy that they are. I'm constantly trying to device ways of making it possible to add more.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Butter, our mamma goat isn't well.

Silly as it may sound, right now I just would like some prayers that we make it through THIS and the children won't be too devastated if it doesn't turn out and I won't feel like such a miserable failure.
If it doesn't turn out.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009


...Singeli and Pepperjack

Yes, I know I told you of their birth but I didn't officially introduce them by name.
So here you have it...Singeli is the little doe that has less white on her mid-section. In the picture above she is on the right. Below, she is on the ground. Singeli comes from a story we read recently in an Elves and Fairy book called "Singeli and the Silver Slippers". In the story Singeli is a goatmaiden and makes cheese and butter aplenty.

Pepperjack (or Jack for short) is a favorite cheese of James' and just fit well. He is on the stump in both of these pictures. Most likely Jack will be sold.

Here is a funny picture of mommy goat smiling at the camera.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Wow! I cannot believe it has been over a month since I have posted anything about the farm!
Much of the month of April was taken up with activities that were not farm related. I posted about all of that over at my other blog, if you are interested.
Over on the farm though, it has been a busy place, as usual. Spring has been in full swing along with all of it's glory. Oh , how I love spring! Changes, beautiful changes; some drying out, more sun, longer days, new things growing, old things blooming, garden digging and planting, and new life coming forth.
Joseph was ready to help me garden.

We have been slowly getting the garden beds ready to plant seed. I am ahead of the game compared to last year but there are things that could have been in the ground already, such as potatoes. But they'll get there. :)
I borrowed a tiller, a big, heavy duty tiller to till up my beds. After spending a whole Saturday doing this I am not convinced I actually like it. I don't think it does as good of a job as the old standard shovel. For one, with raised beds you aren't suppose to walk on them but with a tiller you walk behind what you are tilling up. I'm thinking you are defeating the purpose as you walk.

Here is my garden beds all tilled. I had lots of compost to add to the garden beds this year so I thought the tiller would be good. But...hmm...I'm not sure I'll use it next year.
The winter snows damaged my green house. I got it fixed so that it is half the size it was but much sturdier and hopefully ready to keep some hot peppers, bell peppers and watermelon nice and warm for the summer.

Kelsey is planting squash in the old tires. We have 3 varieties: zucchini, acorn squash and yellow crooked-neck called "super-pik" a prolific summer squash that should have us eating squash daily once it starts producing.

Kelsey is planting cabbage between these cages that I will be growing pole beans on. I made a ton of these cages out of fencing last year for tomatoes but since I'm pretty much giving up all hope of ever having tomatoes for canning I decided to try the cages for growing beans up.

Charissa has always taken an interest in mowing lawn, but since she isn't very big I've always hesitated letting her by herself. But this last week I was very sick all week so I gave in and let her. I helped her get it started and there she went. We don't just mow the lawn we harvest it for the chickens. She she mowed and emptied the catcher into the wheelbarrow and got it going again on her own. She filled several wheelbarrows full and Kelsey emptied it to the chickens.
This area she is mowing in the picture is an area I'm currently digging up for potatoes.

We welcomed May in on a perfect note, well, actually May 2nd, but close enough. Butter went into active labor Saturday morning and welcomed these two beautiful kids into the world between noon and 1230PM.

The first born was a buck. I just love this picture above of mama and her boy. I think we've already sold him to someone who wants a companion for her horse.

They we welcomed a little doeling. Yeah! I'm already hearing, "Can we keep her?"

Here the girls are teaching the cuties to bottle feed. I really was hopeful that Butter would let her babies nurse this year (last year, her first freshening, she wouldn't let them near her) but we had to take them from her and not let her even try because she has a nasty dermatitis infection on her udder right now. So bottle feeding was a must. It does make for much much friendlier goats.

Little doeling trying to walk.