Sunday, March 30, 2014

Small Town Country Life

Small town life has so many charms – so much “realness” that living in a large city misses.  The level of trust, from being able to let your kids play out to leaving doors unlocked on your truck to the feeling of being in a small town shop.

You can go into the Ace Hardware (which has two separate buildings) – and need to buy say paint and some bolts – which happen to be in two different buildings - they will trust you to walk out the door with merchandise and cross the parking lot – trust that you are going into the other building and that you are going to pay over there.  No car alarms, house alarm, metal detectors.  Trust – that is something that was completely missing where I came from. 

The pleasantness of knowing folks from all over town, knowing the cashier in the grocery store, the meat processor (that’d be the man who comes out to put down your cow or pig when you are ready to harvest them), the mead man… ah, mead – even if you are not a Viking – you have got to try it - visit my favorite is Choke Cherry – it’s like drinking candy – very dangerous!

I love running in to folks all over the place that you know, and having folks know me.  I like having neighbors who jump in help and who we know well enough to know when they need help – and being able to do that.  Real community.

Walking out the door and having the beauty of God’s creation take your breath away – rather than seeing man made things everywhere you look.

Living in the country – raising your own food – living a simpler life and yet one with far more work and satisfaction.  Having a common connectedness to all of life – being more connected to the food supply, and to other folks.

Having things happen seasonally – fair time, harvest time, hatching time, poultry processing time, haying time, even winter time where time seems to slow down.

So removed from the suburban life, where kids in any house are relatively doing the same things or types of things – kids are gone to soccer, baseball, gymnastics, mom’s are busy with suburbia life.  There is some of that here – but not so many city folks, city activities.

One day fishing the Bitterroot River, one day hunting or archery practice, one day riding horses in the woods, one day skiing or snowboarding, one day trapping or hunting, hatching chicks, watching the lambs give birth, bottle feeding a baby goat and then watching it chase the children through the house and laughing ‘til my sides hurt. 

There is a wider array of “different” here…  

Knowing a housewife who has dead foxes in her freezer because her husband hasn’t had time to skin ‘em out.   Or folks who have large animal limbs in the front yard with the dogs gnawin’ on em’.

I have never lived in such a small place. 

I have never known so many people. 

I have never felt so full. 

One of our favorite artists wrote a song entitled, “Fuller Sense of Place” you can download and listen to it here – I recommend that you do:)

Posted by The Farm Girl’s Mom

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Trixie Playing Piggy-back with the Buck

My little bottle baby, Trixie, loves the buck we had over here to breed our does!  She would get up on his back and balance there for awhile, and he loved it too, he'd be like "oh, scratch some more over here!"  The buck also helped the does to get used to Trixie - they don't knock her around as much. :)

Take me for a ride!

Land Managment

In this case, that's just a fancy term for "we was burnin stuff".  Yesterday we burned my grand-dad's pasture next door so it can have a fresh start this summer.  Burning off bad things such as wolfs tongue and unpalatable vegetation, as well as boosting pasture productivity.  Blah, blah, blah enough about why we was doing it - we were having fun together as a family:)

We had a crew of 6 people - me, Dad, my sister and brother, grandpa and our neighbor.  We all had a great time and it feels so good to have that done!


Our neighbor brought his big Kabota tractor to make borders for the fire so that it didn't spread to somewhere we didn't want it to be.  Me and Caleb (my brother) also went ahead of the tractor picking up rocks and throwing them in the bucket - and then we used those rocks to build a dam for Caleb's muskrat pond for trapping.

Hannah having a great time!

Dad with his torch lighting fires

Caleb hiding from the camera

While Caleb was taking a break, he layed down in a big rut the tractor made and he was talking to me when he suddenly jumped up and started brushing himself off frantically!  Apparently he had layed on a fire ant hill!  Ouch! :)  Sorry, no pictures of the jumping up and down.

Nap time!
Burning the cattails

My Grandma said that you could see the smoke from the other side of the valley!

Me with Hannah riding piggy-back

It was a very satisfying day and we all slept good that night!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Chicks out to Pasture

Our chicks have finally been moved out to the pasture.  They are in a chicken coop with a little run made or 1' by 1' wire.  Once they get a little bigger they don't have to have the 1' by 1' wire but now they are still small enough to get out of the poultry netting that is around the chicken yards.  When you first give them access to the outside they won't come out for several days, then they start to peek their heads out and by the 1st or 2nd week most of them are playing and flapping around in the sun.

We have about 70 to 80 birds out there that we are raising up for replacement breeding stock and part of this winters meat supply.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Wolverine

Aren't brothers cool! :)

Spring Lambs!

Our Barbados ewes have started to lamb!  We had one ewe (named Gertrude) give birth on the 23rd while we were at church.  She had three ram lambs, so we will have plenty of winter meat.  This might be her last year as she is getting older - we will have to see how she is doing by breeding time.  We were suspecting that she might have triplets because she looked like a whale!  The 3 rams are all pretty big for triplets and are all very healthy.  Gertrude seems to like to have triplets a lot - she had triplet girls last year, and all those are pregnant now also.

Hungry Babies!

Puppy Pile!

 We have 6 more bred ewes and we will keep you updated on their lambing! 

Napping in the sun

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

My Bottle Baby

 A couple weeks ago we brought home a little 5 day old baby doe, named Trixie.  She is a pure bred Nigerian Dwarf goat.  We are bottle feeding her and she is doing pretty good now but at first she has no idea what the bottle was.  Now she will drink so fast that she foams at the sides of her mouth!  When she wants to eat she makes this little baa that hardly sounds like a goat but more like a chimpanzee :)

Mmmm a cardboard box!

My Little Girl

Since she is just a little baby we have had her inside in a kennel at night and in a dog playpen in the daytime.  But now she is big enough that she prefers to be outside with the other goats.  We have their yards set up right next to each other so that they can get used to her from the other side of the fence so they don't knock her around too much.  Even after that they will tell her who is boss, but at least through the fence they can get over most of that.

Looking for milk :)

We plan to breed her next year and pull the kids so that we can milk her.  Nigerian Dwarf goats are excellent for milk as they are small and easy to handle.

 I wonder what the floor tastes like......

 Sleepy Baby

Trixie taking a nap next to Dottie