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Showing posts from July, 2012

Walk Around the Farm

Wayne and I have always taken drives in the country even before we were married, dreaming about the day we would have a little place like the one we have now.  It's been a long journey that has brought us to where we are today.

Three years ago we were building our farmhouse, today we have finished building our farm.  Our family has gone from living in a neighborhood with two dogs and a swimming pool to having an old fashioned farm with all kinds of animals.  Life has changed so much.  We have grown in ways I never would have imagined!  It's been hard work because life is not all dreamy on a farm.  Animals get sick, fences need to be repaired, painting is endless!
The rewards, however, are great ~ simple but great ~ greater than I ever could have imagined. Listening to the rooster crow while drinking coffee
on the front porch, eating a prime rib from a steer we raised, hand spinning yarn from our own sheep's wool, sharing fresh farm eggs with anyone that comes to visi…

Jacob Fleece Flock

Since getting our first Jacob Sheep last fall and then me learning how to hand spin their fleece, we have decided to focus our flock in a new direction.
Unlike most breeds of sheep that have a very strict "standard", Jacobs have traits within the breed that can be emphasized within a flock.  Over the past few months we have set goals to grow a flock primarily for fleece.  Stong horns and leg markings are important to us as well.  We plan to focus on these traits while staying true to the heritage breed itself.  Doing this means making hard decisions about who stays and who goes.
In keeping with our new goals, we selected 3 ewe lambs and 1 yearling ewe that would remain at Rockin' S-Squared Farm.  The rest of the girls and some ram lambs have been moved on.  Some went to a small Christian school that has an agriculture program for kids to experience farming first hand. We were so happy about that! The others went to a guy who saw the breed years ago and has wanted some s…

Bombproof Bobbi

It's nice to have a horse that anyone can ride.  Around here, Bobbi is the girl.

Recently, J1 sold his horse and took ownership of Cowboy, our 2 year old paint.  Cowboy was to be J3's horse but he is comfortable with Bobbi.
As a former champion penning horse, Bobbi has the moves with an experienced rider.  However, she prefers an easy slow pace.  He rides her bareback with a halter & reins most of the time but sticks to the round pen and arena.  Since switching horses, you will find him most mornings out there "working her".

This week they have been working on ground tying.  That's when you "tie" your horse to the ground and they stay there.  Here he is gathering up the lead rope and putting it in a pile.  Then he tells her to stay.

They have gotten pretty good at ground tying. If she happens to walk away, she gets backed up.  Horses don't like to back up so it's a punishment.

He has actually come in the house before to get a snack with her…

Canned Pico De Gallo

Did you know Pico De Gallo means "beak of the rooster"? Hmm... I wonder who came up with that! There are no beaks in this recipe
and it is oh so good.
I haven't made it in years but we had a bumper crop of grape tomatoes so it was time to break out the jars.  Chopping the peppers and onions can be a tearful process but those tears will turn to joy when I pull a jar of pico out of the pantry. 

Never canned anything?  Come on, you can do it!  It's not that hard. There are only a few tools you need to make it really easy.  A jar lifter and a canning funnel and jars and lids of course.

After the veggies sit in salt in the refrigerator overnight, they are rinsed, mixed with a little vinegar, water, and sugar, and cooked.
I know, pico de gallo is not supposed to be cooked but this has to be hot when it goes in the jars.  We will still call it pico.  No one will know.

Spoon into the jars, put on lids,

and into a water bath to seal.

Did you know Ball makes labels that di…

Meat Chickens Venture Outside

The two week old chicks have taken their first steps outside. They have been cooped in a small pen inside the sheep shed.  The little door in the side is just right for them to go in and out.  This yard is not very big but will be just right to raise these guys.

We held the chicks the first day but haven't handled them much since then.  Being detatched is going to be important when it comes time to butcher.  
It makes my heart happy that we are able to raise them this way enjoying fresh air and freedom.  They are growing so fast!

What a Day!

The peaceful pictures of the calves that I took today do not reflect the kind of day we have had on the farm but still we count ourselves blessed.

This picture almost looks like a watercolor but it was just out of focus on my iphone. The rancher was bringing up the cows with calves for us to choose our 10 steers. Then the rodeo began.
Once the calves were seperated, we had to sort them out according to which ones we wanted.  One bull calf was not happy at all and wanted to take us out. Everyone got pushed around but Wayne took the hardest hit ending up on the ground with the calf trampling on top of him.  Thank goodness he wasn't hurt.  We didn't bring that calf home!
Shots, eartags, and banding proceeded and then to the farm we went.

All the calves checked out their new pasture.

They didn't stay together for long though.  One got out of the four strand barbed wire fence and was nearing the Expressway near our house when we found it.  There is still another one not accoun…

Finished First "Sheep to Shawl"

I have finished my first project.  A "sheep to shawl" is a work of fiber that is handmade from sheep's wool.  In this case, it was from our ewe, Ziggy.
Of course, we had to have a special photo shoot in honor of the occasion!

Remember this fleece? So crimpy and soft and straight off Ziggy.

I skirted it, washed it, spun it, plied it, & then crocheted it, to make this gray and white messenger bag.

I ordered a button made from a Jacob ram's horn from Kenliegh's Acres.

Ziggy didn't know her fleece could be made into something so useful. She thinks she needs a small bag to carry animal crackers in!  Guess I will have to work on that.

 And now I am on to making something else,  a coordinating item for the bag.

For this I decided it would be fun to spin roving that has been processed at a fiber mill. I bought 8 oz of beautiful medium gray from Meridian Jacobs.  Just look at the size of that ball! I will spin and crochet this and trim out my next project with t…