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February 28, 2014

Spring is springing!

We have so many exciting things to share with you!!

First, I participated in a class or women farmers/ranchers in Texas offered by Holistic Management International which was phenomenal! What does this mean? It means that we have set a holistic farm goal, re-evaluated all farm enterprises, reviewed finances, time management, grazing plans, soil biology, marketing and much more to the end result of a clear path to real sustainability for the farm!
10 acres is not too little to accomplish our goals, in fact it is just perfect!

As a result, our offerings and endeavors have changed: 

*We will be offering a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) for farm produce this year! (email or contact for more info/contract) What is a CSA?

*Grass fed beef! We have purchased 2 young mini Hereford cross heifers for our breeding stock, with the intent to purchase 1-2 more. The goal is to be able to offer grass fed beef on the farm, by the cut in 2 years!


*Farm Shares: we currently have a waiting list for the farm share program; we will not grow it beyond what Butter can accommodate. We may retain Louise, if we get a multitude on the waiting list (and if she breeds back this spring). We have purchased a mini Jersey bull "Mr. Nikola" to get the job done! He will also be covering the beef girls when the time comes.


Mr. Nik

*Eggs!! We currently have 21 laying hens (no more ducks), and have 30 Buff Orpington chicks in the brooder--they should be laying in 6 months! All hens will be on pasture all year! We finally have a viable solution to predator control, pasture access and ease of maneuverability! Eggs will be available at the farm.

*Egg handling: we will no longer be washing eggs in water, nor will they be stored at standard refrigerator temperatures. See the article here: Traditional Egg Handling

*Sustainable pasture rotation: all cattle will eventually be on a rotational grazing plan, the provides the ground with intentional hoof weight, fertilizer, builds soil diversity, provides for drought protection and allows for rest periods for each area to recover. The long term goal is to get off hay completely, with the only input being minerals and ocassional alfalfa. Thankfully we live in a part of the country where this is possible!

*Farm Tours and Labyrinth: Always available by appointment! We installed a labyrinth just east of the garden. What is a labyrinth? I can't explain why I was driven to build a labyrinth, but I was and it is at the least a symbol of personal growth and centering. I am eternally grateful to Dave for his understanding and assistance! Later in the spring/summer the areas between the path should be blooming with bulbs and wildflowers!

Ready for spring pictures? ;-)
chicks in brooder!

peas emerging!

Repurposed hen pen (900 sq ft!), now planted with 250 potato starts.

We hope to see you at the farm in 2014, and we hope that we can meet your needs for healthy real food!
Be Blessed Friends!

August 25, 2013

Time and Traditions

Time and traditions, they march on, they carry us.
Dreaded August was actually spectacular in some ways. The ability to travel to see family and friends and talk, laugh and cry was amazing.
Beautiful and devastating things occurred this summer.The garden has to die off at the end of its cycle to bring forth new harvests next year. The academic calendar starts to remind us that summer cannot last.
Seasons, traditions, soon it will be fall and winter holidays, time will pass, children and grandchildren will grow; I do not regret it nor will I try to halt it.
I am overwhelmed by the love and support Dave has given me this summer, and the ways in which our relationship have been enriched. Thank you my love.
The weather, the calendar, and me--we are all at the cusp of a new season, ready, so ready to plunge forward after this interlude of retrospect.

July 30, 2013

Gosh Dang!

Gosh Dang!
My apologies for not updating more regularly or frequently!

Farm life has been busy, lots of gardening and grass mowing happening this time of year!

We waved goodbye to Rylee a few days ago--our 8 yo granddaughter that has been here visiting for nearly eight weeks. What a blast that was! Her parents James and Heather drove down from Iowa to pick her up--Bonus! We had a great visit with them for a few days too!

Josh is still at the Army base, completing his AIT. Graduation is in about 2 weeks, words cannot describe how glad I will be to see him! He left April 29th, 3 months ago. I found this pic of him online at What a great surprise!

Char took a 5+ week long walkabout in Europe. She saw Dublin, Edinburgh, London, Palma Majorca, Amsterdam and Brussels. From her descriptions and pictures I think it was a great trip, though one she was glad to be home from. (Above is a pic she took standing on a bridge in Brugge, Brussels, with her iPhone!)

All the critters on the farm are doing well: piggies will be going to freezer camp in a month or so, the Jersey girls have been bred and we are waiting on results, Daisy the Brangus will be bred soon too, as soon as we can get a squeeze chute constructed. She does kick and she is huge--I am not going to attempt to AI her without some safety features!

As we get ready to brace ourselves for August heat, and potential hurricanes I really just want August to pass. It is typically the hottest month, and in my mind the longest. Despite the good and fun things happening there has also been upset and unsettling events, resulting in my rhythm of life being "off". I am determined to find that healing few minutes daily and get a new rhythm and sync with the farm, job, business, home, self.

I have applied for the Holistic Management International's Beginning Women Farmers program, and hope to find out in the next few days if I have been accepted. Their website is here.
My goal is to learn the processes and acquire the tools to grow the farm to support at the least itself, and eventually, us too. Working off the farm is truly for the birds.

We still have a couple of farm shares available and usually we have excess eggs for those that just need eggs (stop by the black fridge and leave a payment in the receptacle).

Please note: We can no longer offer freebie produce or eggs to folks not enrolled in the farm share program.  All ungraded, mixed eggs are 5.00/dz and other seasonal items will be priced individually (as they ripen and as we have excess).

Wishing you all a great day!

June 29, 2013

Dog Days

The dog days of summer are definitely here.
It's been at least 100'F every day this week, sigh.

The good news is that the mosquito population is down, not-so-good news is that tomatoes stop setting fruit at 100'F. What is on the plants will continue to ripen, but we won't have any more new fruit until the temps drop (Sept-Oct if we can keep the plants alive).

The herbs, flowers, peppers, melons and cucumbers continue to thrive.

Lots of canning and pickle making in the days ahead, as well as drying herbs and putting up for later. No complaints here, I love our own garden goods and it provides a project during "siesta" hours when it is too hot to be outside gardening.

Butter and Betsy are doing well, and growing fast!

 Wishing you all well and a Happy Independence Day next week!

February 16, 2013

February Farm Update

We did it, we made determined and distinct strides towards being seasonal milkmaids. The goal is to milk when the grass season is in (early spring through late fall), instead of trying to milk all year. This plan also allows for time off for us, and if we are able, the flexibility to travel. Party was being bred to have a fall calf so she did not fit the plan, nor could we conceptualize keeping a dry cow on for a year.
Partytime has moved to LA to be the milker for a family farm--she has 7 kids to teach to milk!
Her bon voyage was bittersweet, she is getting a great family and we will miss her!

 The very next day Natalie and I drove to Mississippi to meet up with Damon to pick up a bred jersey heifer, ButterCream.

Damon and his son Elliott do a fantastic job of raising heifers. Butter is extremely user-friendly, sweet, tractable, and beautiful too!

Butter is due to calve in April, and as of now Louise is a week past due. Argh! Starving for fresh milk!
When they are both in milk (March-November or so), we will have many shares available. Contact us via this blog, FB or through Real Milk, a project of the Winston A Price Foundation (WAPF), at 

In other news, Spring has sprung in Texas! We have purchased seeds for most of the garden, the rest of the produce will be from local seedlings or seeds we saved from last year.

As always, share customers will receive one dozen eggs per month, garden produce as available each month and free rein (with prior notice) to take cuttings, clip herbs, or cut flowers for their table.
This year egg shares are available too, contact us for more info or to sign up.

We wish you a very happy Spring and look forward to serving you some awesome local food this year!

January 5, 2013

Oh By Gosh By Golly!

Wowzers, another holiday and New Year has passed, time certainly does march on whether we like it or not!

The holiday season found us with the college adults home, fun food preparation, a few quiet moments, and lots of laughter. I am thankful for every minute.

We have added to the pet family this holiday season, please welcome Pirate a 4 yr old Smooth Collie that came to us via Texas Collie & Sheltie Rescue. He is a sweetie!

The holiday also brought the inevitable freezing temps that require turning off and draining water pipes to the barns and livestock, not an enjoyable part of the season!

An idea, a spark of a plan has been gnawing at the back of my mind for awhile, it is time to set it free.
We have decided to move our milking herd, and our labor to a "seasonal dairy" schedule. This means in the next year we will work to change our herd and our schedule to milk in the months when grass is more readily available, ie: warmer weather, more fresh grass, more nutritious milk, faster growing calves and fewer freezing milking sessions for us. (We would still have to turn off water to save pipes, but we do not have to milk or wash up in freezing temps.)

The plan is simplistic: cows are bred to calve in the early spring, dried up in early winter and during the worst of winter they are on "dry cow" schedule, thus the cows and calves get the best pasture to grow/produce on, and we are not milking in the worst weather of the year.

Previously we have scheduled breeding so the calves come opposite each other, allowing us to have fresh milk all year. This is not really the most natural for the cattle, though it is a good  plan for those of us that love fresh milk. We have already notified the share holders of the potential change for next year. Our offer is to allow share holders to pick up a certain amount of additional milk in the last few months of milking so that they can freeze it for the dry time use. This is precisely what we will be doing, (because commercial milk is an abomination), we don't have room to store all our milk and the share holder's too. The replies have been mixed. (Our current contract states that there will be a dry time, and boarding fees are year round, just as cattle care is year round.) I know some will drop off and buy store milk, some have asked if they can just join for the fresh period, a few have been supportive and a couple have not responded at all. Oy.

What this means for the farm is that we need to sell Partytime (because she is on a fall calving schedule). That is a tough lump to swallow, as she is so personable and enjoyable and several share members state she has the best milk. The alternative is to keep her, keep milking her, or dry her off and then breed in May (the time to breed for Feb-March calves); the risk is, will she gain too much weight (if dry), and economically is it smart or feasible to carry a cow that isn't producing at all for a full year?  I do let my emotions get wrapped around every issue and this one is no exception. It is hard, but for our farm, the cows health, our sanity...we all need some down time.

She has been listed for sale, if you or anyone you know are interested, let me know or forward them the blog or my email.

Wishing you a great day, and an early Spring!

December 26, 2012

Garden Update

Pictures form the barn roof on Thanksgiving weekend:

The garden is, as always changing and evolving. At this time of year we are putting fruit trees in the orchard, growing a few little spots of cool weather veggies (broccoli, carrots, radish), everything else that is covered will have a short season to recover and rejuvenate for spring. 

The garden porn catalogs have started rolling in, which in another month I have no doubt, will have me feverish wanting to plant seeds!

Planting starts in late February, though the last frost can be quite a bit later than that.
For now, we concentrate on building the compost, building the soil, and making repairs. Other fun things we do this time of year: sharpen, clean, oil tools; organize seeds (test for germination), plan additions to the garden space, plan areas to plant in (rotating crops), and dream about spring and warm sunshine!

Wishing you all a very happy holiday season and a Happy 2013!