Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Dehorning and Wethering Goat Kids Manna Pro

Check out my latest post on raising goat kids over at Manna Pro. This one focuses on Dehorning and Wethering.

Dehorning and Wethering Goat Kids.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Turkey Depression and my New Boyfriend Tom CC Post

This post is filled with romantic gossip, the struggles of lost love and the emotional ups and downs that relationships can bring. Check out my new post, Turkey Depression and my New Boyfriend Tom

Thursday, June 25, 2015

When to Add a Harvest Box, KBB

Check out my latest post over at Keeping Backyard Bees to learn a bit about bee colonization and when is the best time to add your Harvest Box!

When to Add a Harvest Box

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Farmyard Tree Swing

I've wanted a swing like this since I was a little girl. And over the weekend, Zach made me one!

It was a pretty easy project too, and fairly inexpensive.

We already had the 2x8" board. It was left here by the previous owner along with some other miscellaneous lumber that we've put to good use around here.

I got the 3/4 inch, natural rope at Family Farm and Home for $.64 a foot. We needed 34 feet, so it was around $22.

A synthetic rope will last longer in the elements, but I like the look of the natural fiber. 

First off, you need a good sturdy tree with substantial limb somewhat parallel to the ground.

Our big Sugar Maple provided a perfect limb, right outside the farmhouse covered porch.

We measured from the limb down to an approximate seated level.
Which was 12 feet,
times 2 for each side of the swing = 24 feet
We added 10 more feet to go around the branch and for knots, which gave us five extra feet per side.

Zach had to trim a few low branches so that the swing would have a clear trajectory. 

We also found a great knot tutorial for a Double Running Bowline Knot over at Handy Man How To. This type of knot will expand as the tree grows so it won't damage the limb.

We mad a knot in one end of the rope, swung it around the tree limb and snaked the long end of the rope through the loop.

Then Zach made another knot on the other side and swung it over the limb as well. I cut the rope hanging down at the halfway point, and we snaked the cut end through the second loop. This created two ropes hanging down from the limb.

Then Zach cut a 2x8' board at 30 inches. Then we marked 3 inches in from each side at the center width of the board (this photo shows 2 inches, but later we decided to bring it in an inch more.) 

And he drilled a hole using a 3/4" cut bit.

Then all there was to do is snake the rope through the holes and tie a good knot.

It took a couple times untying the knots to get the swing board level, but in the end it made a perfect swing!

I love sitting on it waiting for Oliver to go potty, or waiting for Zach to come home from work. It's perfect!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Raising Kids- Nutrition, Udder Care and Digestion Manna Pro

Check out my latest post over at Manna Pro. All about raising goat kids. This segment focuses on Nutrition, Udder Care and Digestion.

Raising Kids- Nutrition, Udder Care and Digestion

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Skirts in the Strawberry Patch

Yesterday, I spent the morning picking strawberries with my good friend Stacey. We both agreed to wear the skirts that we made together.

A few weeks ago we spent the evening sewing and measuring, using the pearl dotted pins from my tomato shaped pin cushion and holding fabric for each other while the other marked out the pattern with chalk.

It's becoming a tradition between the two of us. A bit of a skirt-wearing rebellion in our own way, against the unfeminine fashion of today. And as I watched my friend standing in the strawberry field, with her Navy blue prairie skirt and her white top with the lace trim, she just looked...right! Beautiful... like she belonged in that strawberry patch. She became part of the essence of the day. Her skirted silhouette with a box of berries on her hip was as much a part of the experience as the smell of the berries as the sun crept higher in the sky. It was empowering! Like we had pulled one over on the ugly clothes of our times. 

I too felt as though I belonged.

Working from home and running a farm doesn't require any sort of dress code. I admit, my yoga pants get a lot of use. But I never feel pretty when I wear yoga pants, and I want to feel pretty.

There's a reason why black and white the images of women from the 20's and 30's get circulated around the internet with quotes about "the good life" and the nostalgia of times gone by. There's a reason those images get shared and commented on and "liked". There's a reason we all love Downton Abbey. Would it have the same appeal were it not a period piece?

And I understand that there is a lot of festering feminist issues that want to encompass the skirted female form, and there's much negative history that goes against the romantic idea that those were the "good ole days". But I'm not interested in that right now. I'm interested in feeling pretty. And a skirt makes me feel pretty.

I decided to do something about this last year so I made a trip to Salvation Army and bought a few skirts for a $1-something each. I didn't want to spend a lot of money on them as I planned to work in them. It felt funny the first time I put on a skirt to muck out the goat pens. I felt as though I was pretending, or wearing a costume. But I reminded myself that this uniform is no different than wearing a pair of plaid shorts to the golf range...(one's that might make the Easter Bunny envy.) Or a cowboy hat to a country music concert (How many Garth Brooke fans actually own cows?)

So  I wear skirts now. A lot...I'm a skirt wearer. There I said it.

I can't help but wonder when I look at a gorgeous dinner dress from the Victorian period and wonder...how did we move away from this. I'm not suggesting that we all return to wearing corsets, lace trimmed gloves and the like, but can we do better than yoga pants and jeans? I can.

Back at the berry patch...

We bounced along in the wagon as the tractor pulled us out to the field. Our skirts ruffling over the bales of straw used for seats. We talked about our gardens and the plans we had for the berries. I promised to send her my Strawberry Pie recipe if she sent me her Freezer Jam recipe.

Whether we like it or not, the clothing we choose to wear reflects something about our personalities. Even if we don't care about clothes, that too might be reflected to the outside world by the tops and bottoms that cover our body.

Each of us has a different message that we convey to the world through our appearance. I'm working on changing my message.

I hope that if the current styles and fashions don't reflect the message you want to share, that you're brave enough to take a stand. Be yourself, don't let popular society tell you what you should look like.

So...aprons. Yes, Aprons are next. I haven't wore one in public. But it's coming...oooh it's coming.  

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Virtual Farm Tour

Photos around the farm!
Turkey poults, Narragansett, Bourbon Red, Black Spanish

Pilgrim and Toulouse Geese

Peony in bloom

First hive inspection

Seeds for my new hummingbird garden

Barn Swallow in flight

Polish chicken blending in with the dandelions


Buff Orphington Pullet

Canada Geese in flight