What we’ve been up to in 2014

The lack of posts is not indicative of lack of activity on the farm. From making hay to birthing livestock to processing poultry, it’s been a busy spring. For those interested in antibiotic-free, pastured meat chickens, we are doing our last round of butchering until fall this Saturday, so be sure to get your order in before then so we can add you to our list. They keep well in the freezer and provide 1-3 meals for your family, depending on size. We like to roast it and eat it with mashed potatoes the first day, then make either chicken noodles, casseroles, or chicken salad the next days. But I digress…back to the new babies…

We had four lambs this spring. Two ewes and two rams. We’ll save one of the rams for breeding and raise one for meat. Lucy will get to show one of the ewe lambs at the fair this fall since this is her first year in 4-H. Here’s some nice pictures of momma after giving birth…lambs stand up pretty soon, with some gentle cleaning and nudging from their mom.

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And soon get busy having their first meal.

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After keeping each mom with her baby(ies) for 24 hours or so, they can all go back in the flock together.

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We even did some milking this spring and Andy loved the taste of it. We stored some up in the freezer in case we’d need to bottle feed at some point.

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We had to buy new bees this spring as we lost all but one hive. Andy’s dad came over to help him as he is going to start keeping bees this year too.

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Piglets! Much to my shock we ended up with pigs on the farm again (thank you craigslist). We bred this sow to the neighbor’s boar and ended up with a litter of 12 (after 2 died). They are super cute, and momma is super protective.

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I do love how she seems to be smiling here.

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We also had kittens on the farm this spring, and their momma is an excellent mouser/ratter. We had one loose in the house and we coaxed her in (she is a stray and must’ve been a house cat before us). She found it within minutes and then we coaxed her back out so she could feed her babies.

 

And one parting shot of the sheep out on pasture. The lambs are so cute to watch as the bounce around.

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Again, we’ll have fresh chicken this weekend and currently have freezer lamb and rabbit, and eggs for sale. We’re also taking orders for Thanksgiving turkeys now, as we’ll only raise the number ordered. Feel free to stop on Sundays for farm visits.

Lamb for sale this fall

Our four spring lambs are due to be processed this fall and we are currently taking orders. They are Tunis sheep (part of Slow Food’s Ark of Taste and a very old breed) and have been grass-fed. The meat is very mild tasting (as denoted in this neat article) and low in fat.

Prices are $165/half and $300/whole plus there is a $60 processing fee per lamb. The buyer is able to chose the cuts they desire. We *might* have individual cuts available but prices will vary.

Feel free to contact us here or via email for more information!

The lion and the lamb

Well, almost…our “lion” is our newest farm kitty, a female we named Jane Grey. She showed up a few days after our old farm kitty went to live at the grandparents house (due to his taste for baby chicks). It doesn’t amaze me anymore how cats come and go from a farm. She was just what we needed- super sweet and loving with the kids. And apparently the lambs.

This little guy is in the infirmary with his momma right now and I guess he needed some company.

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Have you seen any unique animal parings lately?

Food blogs (a follow friday #ff post)

On my personal blog I had the idea to share the blogs I enjoy and I thought that you all might enjoy this too. Here is the original post:

Now we come to the most tasty FF- Food! I love food. I love to eat food, I’ve learned to love to cook food, and I’m excited to now be growing and raising food! My fascination with eating good food began in college. Meeting friends from other cultures allowed me to explore true Asian cuisine for the first time. I studied abroad twice and was forced to adapt not only my tastes but also techniques. And I started reading newspaper food reviews and kept a journal so I’d know what was good and hip and fresh. This continued as we made our home in an inner suburb of Columbus where new styles and ideas on food were exploding. The reviews started coming from blogs instead of the paper, which gives everyone a voice (and some are better than others :)

This is the longest list of blogs I follow. As I was posting these I noticed that I had put many farming blogs here too. Because food is farming and farming is food.

Why we do our own butchering

This article from the Washington post was released last week and just came to my attention. It helps to justify the painstaking process of doing our own butchering. Andy had some store bought chicken at his parents a few weeks ago, and is now sensitive to the bleach taste of the meat. If you are a regular customer, can you tell a difference?

Moving out the chicks

Yesterday’s post was actually from a couple weeks ago (April 14). Andy sent me this picture showing Linus helping with the transfer of the meat chickens to pasture. There is an optimum age to move them out, according to Andy via Joel Salatin. So it was time for these little guys to go out. Thankfully, I think we’ve finally rounded the corner and should have warm weather from here on out. With the craziness of spring I keep holding my breath!

Chicks moving out!

Old chicks and new chicks

After living in the chicken house all winter, a quick sale on baby chicks inspired us to get the layers out of the house and into their wagon. All on one Sunday afternoon.

At first I was manning the door, but then Lucy took over. Andy and his dad were catching and trimming nails and wings, and then Linus was carrying them out. These pictures are delightful because it shows that my kids are finally getting into the farming thing. Well, at least the big two.

   

If you can’t tell, Sally isn’t quite sure what to think.

John and Andy bringing out birds.

 

The baby chicks. This is our first time trying the ones from TSC. They were wanting to clear them out so we purchased 46 for a dollar each. The next day we only had 36. We quickly learned that our good barn/mouser cat had learned where he could get a quick meal. Andy stopped this by reinforcing the house and putting screens over the brooder. However, one little guy had to to spend the night in the house to heal from a wound.