Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Am I Crossing A Line? "Relations" on the Farm

Now don't let your mind get ahead of yourself; this isn't about Mr. Morris and I and our rolls in the hay, this is about the animals.  I have been hauling my gorgeous goats back in forth in my mini-van (my vintage dream truck is still a dream right now) for driveway dates....

  This has been interesting.            Not messy believe it or not.                 But on to the "relations." 

There is a whole process about getting a goat pregnant I had no idea about.  And timing is everything!  I've had to insert hormones vaginally (once I figured out which opening it was), given shots of hormones and drove many many miles to meet Prince Charming.  Except sometimes I gave the hormones too late or once the "insertion" fell out.  See Mr. Charming doesn't just mount for fun.  There is a ceremony.  She squats and pees. He smells.  If he doesn't smell that she's in heat he is not interested!  And so the many many miles.  This last time I left her for an overnight rendevous and viola!  Success!  I will spare you the details how we know she has been bred.  Did you want to know all of this?  Sure you did that's why you're reading it right?  :  ) 

Since I'm not so in tune with the sheep and haven't bonded with them as closely, I totally want to get one of these harness markers for my next ram so I know when he's done the deed.  I just love the Fiber Farm team and want to be the shepherdess they are.

                                  Other little ladies on the farm have been courted so to say. 

                                     Who can resist Monique strutting her stuff around the farm?
Apparently not her sons!!!!  Seriously!  We hatched eggs this spring and of course now that everyone is old enough for us to tell which gender they are, these teenage chickens will stand in line and each take turns with the lady!  Perposterous!  I can't stand this "method" and will not let my ladies suffer all winter cooped up with those men.  So all but one lucky lad will become chicken soup.  That may sound terrible but we are meat eaters and I'm gonna eat chicken from Hyvee or my house so at least I know they were happy while they were alive. 

Well that's all I have to say for now about "Relations" on the Farm. 

On other fronts I have been creating plastic bag wreaths, trying to find a bread recipe I can't screw up (honey oat) as well as plant wheat so I can have my own flour (you know how warm the dirt feels in the summer?  well it's frrrrreezing this time of year) and working on another sweet little project I hope to announce soon.  And there's a little holiday called Christmas coming up and a birthday boy in the house so life has been full but in the best way possible.  Can't wait to start the 24 days of Advent Calender with my boys tonight.

Hope I haven't crossed the line with this post and that you're still a fan!  Oh and I had to pull over and admire these terraces!       They're like stairways to heaven.          Never seen such beautiful terraces.  Obviously since I had that true and honest thought I MuSt bE a FaRmEr!!!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Wanna Be Farmer

This is a picture of me when we first got married and moved into our home 12 years ago.  I've lived within a mile of this house we bought from my parents all of my life.  But until I had my own land I never dreamt of gardens or wanting to do farmgirl things.  I'd helped Dad here and there on the farm growing up.  Once I even had a bottle fed calf but that was it.  Now I can't look out my kitchen window without imagining the sugar maples (that I've yet to buy) all tall and glorious, full of sweet maple syrup.  Or the milking parlour nestled between the goat pen and hay barn with organized shelves of supplies, an industrial gleaming sink and an elegant cooler full of cheeses and milk.  When did I turn into a Wanna Be Farmer?
This past week I decided to forge ahead and buy wheat seed to plant so in the spring I could harvest it to make my own flour.  I went to an agricultural store pretending I knew what I was talking about and bought winter wheat.  I knew that much.  But after showing my dad the 50 lb bag he said don't you need "hard" wheat not "soft?"  So I had to take it back and exchange it.  They don't usually sell hard wheat they said, since I'm guessing not many people want to make their own flour.  When did I turn into a Wanna Be Farmer?!

I thought the little lambs would be here in October yet there's no sign of them.  Determined to be smarter with the goats, thanks to my wonderful mentor, I will know exactly when their precious kids will arrive.  This week I've been drug around the goat pen trying to catch a stubborn lady to give her a hormone shot after frantically calling my mentor 2 weeks ago to double check about the anatomy of a goats backside before we started the hormone/baby making process.  When did I turn into a Wanna Be Farmer?!!!!

Last Saturday I celebrated my 33rd birthday.  I did perform the ultimate girly fantasy of shopping till I dropped but the day wasn't complete without my trying out my favorite birthday gift; hot pink muck boots.  I think I'm officially a Wanna Be Farmer.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Tea & Tinsel

Greetings! We've been busy here on the farm with fall check ups and getting ready for babies!  Still no little lambs but we've almost finished the breeding for our Nubians.  The hens have enjoyed the warm weather and have been laying lots of gorgeous pastel eggs for us.  This time of year as I reflect on what we've accomplished on our farm I am adding to my list of all the things I want to do next year.  Herbs and veggies I want to grow (stevia & okra), animals we want to add (heritage hogs) and of course buildings (milking parlour, green house, arbor in Big Garden...).  I think the hope of Spring is what gets this Outdoor Girl through the winter.  To keep busy during the cold months I like to get crafty and read lots of books.  I am blessed to have friends to get crafty with who constantly inspire me.  Recently some of us got together to make wreaths, ornaments & hoop art. 
For constant inspiration blogs are my favorite.  Check out some super cute ones on my side bar.  Today however I went to an annual Holiday Shopping Experience in a nearby town.  Oh the goodies were endless!  There was the most amazing lady who repurposes items into jewelry full of history.  I couldn't resist!  And a few of my friends who are fun artists had booths where I snatched up this darling crown for my bedroom!  Vintage and lace seem to be everywhere this holiday season!

My boys are busy playing XBox, hunting for deer, wrestling and practicing their drums so mama is nursing her tickling throat with these yummy lemon drops and hot tea with honey while I snuggle under my grey wool blanket dreaming of all the delightful Christmas Tinsel Decorations I want to tackle. 
                                                                  Keep Cozy!!!