Just some Friday Pictures…


Just some pictures from a little stroll…    Buttercup has a new boyfriend.  She’s dating across species because she’s just really hip like that.  She doesn’t mind that Huldor is a ram and she’s a goat.  She just likes that he sings her little love songs and tries to nudge her all the time to turn around.  Nay, she just likes him for his brain.  And I think to make Sam jealous.  dsc_0951 dsc_0929

We are down to four hogs at the moment.  We sold our last two girl piglets for the year last week.  It was a good thing…  if we kept them, we would have to separate the family group to keep their father from playing the hokey pokey with them way too early.  It’s a good thing.  We retained one boy piglet from the first litter for our spring freezer camp attendee.  He is a big piglet already!  He will be huge in the spring.   We are pretty sure that both of our sows are expecting…  most likely Ebony will be first, due in the next 6 weeks or so.  Cheyenne will be following in the very early winter, perhaps January.  Winter litters are tricky but they work out just fine.  Our sows are very good moms!


Jpeg and PDF are doing great!  Growing like little weeds.  They are just a hoot to watch.  They play and hang out with the others, just an easy addition to our little critter pack. They love Buttercup and she seems pretty fond of them as well.


Hay feeders are working, though the goat need something on the back side to keep them from pushing all the hay through the fence.  We will put up some netting on the back, that should help things very much!

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This is a cute picture…  it three generations of sheep ewes!  Iris, on the top right, her daughter Emma on the top left and granddaughter, Galadriel in the middle.  If Galadriel’s daughter Emerald had been in the picture it would have been 4 generations!!!  dsc_0918

Bonnie and her two lambs, WIllow and Laurel.  They are so pretty…


This is Ruby and Sapphire!  Two of the three lamb girls from this year.  They are starting to get a little more friendly!   They are Finn Shetland crosses.


Ponies eating apples…


We are trying to round up chickens and are having some success.  We have about half of them.  We have to figure out how some of the smarter ones are getting out!   We thought we had it all fixed up.  But about 4 or 5 hens keep getting out.  Little boogers.  We want them in the coop and run so that we can start getting eggs and keep them a little more comfortable in the winter!


The old garden is looking mighty fine now that the sheep are taking care of it.  I think next spring, I might plant some in the two rows of boxes left, but that will be that.  Perhaps put up a little bit of fence around them and then let the sheep and goats keep the rest under control.  It’s a little bittersweet.  I am excited about my new smaller courtyard space, but at the same time, I had big goals for this area.  Maybe someday!  Until then, the sheep will keep it nice for me.


The last zinnia of the season…


Justin and Tim chopped down all the super tall bullthistles in the back corner of the old garden.  Those things are just the worse of our weed problems.  I hope we can keep them down next year with intensive grazing back here.  We can only try!!!


I harvested a few more nice potatoes from my boxes.  I think this was the only good crop this year along with flowers and some radish.  Just one of those things.  Still, it is cool to be able to dig around and find food!  Yah!

Just a few pictures from my little walk about…

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Thursday Product… Week 4


This week’s projects included expanding the hog pen and fixing the pony pasture fence and making a new gate and just other fun things!  Miss Ebony is happy to have a little more room but then again, her favorite place is in their custom built hog wallow!  :-)




Four beautiful cattle panels were added to the pony pasture fence line.  We would love to refence the WHOLE place…  anywhere that there is not panels, we want panels.  But at $20 a pop…  16 feet…  you can only do so many at a time.  Still, we are taking care of the really bad areas first and this stretch here was awful.  The sheep and goats had bust it down and made it almost useless!  But 4 panels made almost the whole side of the this pasture PERFECT!!!!  So nice.  And it will last forever!!!


More posts were added to the Goatopia fenceline, just to make it a little more stable.  Having a bunch of tubby goats standing on the panels, made them bow out a little bit.  But no more!  Yah!



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Maggie started working on our new courtyard gate!  The old one was really in bad shape.  This one will eventually have some pickets on it and a fun purple paint job!  Duke kitty likes it so far!


Yahoo!  The hogs are sure happy to have all this new space opened up!  We went in and cut back the long pokey bits from that dead tree, don’t worry!  They cleaned out all the weeds in record time…


Just a fun picture of Sam’s pretty curls and his amber eye.  We will be trimming the goats pretty soon!  Probably this week sometime.

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Happy pigs!  For sure…  eating down all the yummy weeds.  And grass.  It won’t last long.



It’s a long story and one that makes me a little upset, but through a bit of miscommunication, the gas company that laid our new line last fall thought we didn’t mind if the line went up and over a sidewalk.  So for a year, we have been protecting this dumb line, trying to figure out how to make it right.  The guys thought it would be easy enough to break the little sidewalk and then take out a chunk, bury the line and replace it.

Of course, easier said than done.  They started at it with a sledge, nothing.  It’s so old that it was just pulverizing the concrete.  Ugh.  So we bought a cement bit for our big drill and made some drilled holes in a line, to make a sort of crack…  that really didn’t work either.



Finally, with a LOT of hard work and a couple steel rods, they finally got a little cracking action and a nice big chunk came out!  And then some more and some more…

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Then we could lay that line down and we will be covering it with some dirt and gravel after it is tested to make sure it’s not leaking.  Which is the reason that we had the line replaced in the first place!!!   The madness.  Some days…  I tell you.


Maverick, the rooster, was our OSHA farm supervisor today.  He is such a pretty boy.  And very tame.  He came to us from a lovely family in town that grew him from a chick and could not keep their crowing youngster.  He’s one of our favorites…  So pretty.

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More branches were cut down and of course, the goaties enjoyed that snack.  If goats had wings, all trees would be bare.  I’m quite certain.

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Pappa Onyx and his son Pudge, enjoying the wallow.  It’s just about perfect!  haha…


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Friday Projects… Week 3


Last week, our Friday projects included making some hay feeders for the goats and sheep out of cattle panels.  Basically we got one panel and cut it into quarters and wired a 2 foot by 8 foot section onto their paddock fences.  With a bit of hay baling rope, they angle out a bit at the top and allow the animals to feed a little slower on their hay.  Instead of ground feeding, this should really slow them down a bit and keep their hay cleaner and thus, allow them to eat it more completely.  The goats are really bad about wasting hay!   I love how they are all watching us wire this new feeder to their fence with anticipation!


The pigs were very curious as well.   They have quite a wallow going on !

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So far, so good!  They have been in place now for about a week and are working fabulously!  A lot less waste.  And the best part?  I see hay in there for most of the day, so that means they are eating their fill at first and then lounging about eating more through the day when they feel like it.  Success!   And even the little guys like it.  We made them a separate one that is much lower and they like to go between both feeders for fun.  They are so silly!

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Next up was the ponies!  They are very good at wasting hay as well.  They will grab a mouthful and drop half of it and are just messy easters.   Shadow is not sure but he’s very interested in what Tim was doing.


What a muddy dirty little pony!   I brush them but we have had rain off and on this week and you can just forget about it.  Shadow, especially, he loves to roll and lay down to nap.  He is a silly boy!


The ponies are very watchful.  What weirdness is this?


Shadow loves his new floating hay flakes!  It’s hard to take a good picture but I hope you can sort of see the simplicity of this design.  Just simple wired panels…  attached at the bottom but loose at the top so no one gets hung up.  And if someone were, the twine is easy to cut or might even break under pressure.  We didn’t make it super tough for that reason.  Especially for the goats because they like to climb on things.  So far, no one has gotten stuck at all and we have had FAR less waste!


The ponies, especially, they like to nibble the hay all day, but I find that they are gobbling up the chaft that falls from the flakes quickly.  That is the leafy green bits that is mixed in our hay.  So it’s like win win!   They are eating their hay so much more completely!  And I love seeing hay that lasts through the day.  Most farm animals benefit from slow eating through the day.  It’s so much more natural for them.  Before, they would sort of gobble through and waste a bunch of hay and then want more.  Now, they seem to be more content and eating their fodder so much more completely!  It’s wonderful!!!

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The sheep got two feeders, since there are more of them.  And it’s really cut down on waste.  I think we have a winner!  And the best part?  It only cost $20 for four feeders!!!!   Oh, an a bit of wire.  Okay, $22…  Simple, we did all four in about an hour, and they could be easily moved and such!  Pretty nifty, if I say so myself!


After building and installing the hay feeders, we moved on to the chicken coop.  We have had trouble keeping our hens in our coop and run.  The goats had wrecked the fencing around the run and then got tangled up and ripped our lightweight netting we had up there.  So we got some new fencing, and installed some boards to help keep it firmer along the run.  And we got a much stronger form of netting for over top of the run.  We also did some modification inside the coop, in that big silver topped building we call the poultry barn.  Jessy helped as we measured out and used little tie wraps to make it wide enough for the run.


The guys helped as we fixed the far back end that was just sort of rigged up and needed help.  New posts and some fencing worked wonders!  They also removed that little tall dead tree in the middle of the run that made things difficult for netting.  So far, so good…  we have caught most of the free ranging birds and made the coop and run much more secure.  If there was any advice we could give ourselves five years ago, it would be to build smarter and much more secure.  And don’t go too cheap.  Everything that we have done that was a little on the cheap or rickety side has failed.  Do it right, first.  A huge huge important note for any new homesteaders!!!

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Maggie made a new gate for our courtyard garden!  Yah!  The old one was really worn out and falling apart.  I like how she used a few pickets from the old gate to dress up the new one.  I’m going to paint it and part of me wants to paint it a dark plum color.  We shall see!    It was raining way too much to paint anything so it had to wait a bit…  Still, happy to have a safe and functioning gate again!


Got my first raised bed in the new courtyard garden all done and filled in with good fresh dirt.  We filled the bed about 4/5 full of old straw and composted paddock muck and then topped it with some dirt and composted cow manure!  It should be veggie gold come next year.  I wanted to get at least one bed done so that I could plant some heirloom garlic for next year and maybe a little lettuce!  Just for fun.  I have slowly been adding a few discounted perrienals around the border garden.  I would love to have it all lush and filled in nicely with flowers and fruit!  That is the goal…


This is a little side porch on the east side of the house that we don’t use.  And every year it is overrun with this terrible vine!  There are really several vines I think.  We hacked it back again.  I am pretty sure that we are just going to have to find the vine source and do a serious weed killer dose once and for all.  It’s just not helping the house or the porch.

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Hard to see but Tim climbed up in our one productive apple tree and gave the tree a good shake!  And it released a LOT of apple for the critter gang.  This tree produces a small little golden apple which is fairly tart.  It’s an old tree so we’re not sure of the variety.  The animals LOVE them and even the chickens make the trip out front to get wormy apples on the ground.  A double treat for sure.  We gathered up a whole sled load of lovely goodies and everyone had a big feast!

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Ta da!  A porch again!  Some day it would be nice to maybe put a little deck off this side of the deck, a place to sit and watch the trains and such.  Wave at traffic?  I don’t know.  Just something to utilize this sort of weird area of the house.  Maybe in a few years we will know what to do out here.  Until then, death to vines!!!!

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Everyone sure loved this Friday day chore session!  It was all about critter eating!  Hay, new chicken run with greens, vines and apples to eat!   Another super productive project day.  Trying hard to get caught up before the really cold weather comes!   We have many two or three project days left…  Hope you are all getting ready on your little homesteads, too!

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