Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Halloween has always been a pretty low key holiday around our house. We are not really big on the whole dressing up and decorating thing. Odd... since Fall is my favorite season of the year. I guess for me the BIG Fall holiday is Thanksgiving so all my energy goes into preparing for that.

Regardless of that... I LOVE carving pumpkins! This year was the first year that our son Evan (he's 4 1/2) carved his own pumpkin. You have to have a Mother's eye to see the scary face he cut into the pumpkin but he had so much fun! But, the best part of carving pumpkins is roasting the seeds! Yummy!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

This and That

We spent this past weekend at the Roxboro farm! Spending time there is so rejuvenating for Neil and I. Just being there, visualizing and talking about our goals for our future farm makes it easier to come back home to our hectic lives here in SC. Work and school is just something we both have to do for the next seven months to make our dream come true.

Neil finished up the railing of the deck. The deck looks so nice and big now. It even got compliments from our neighbors! I can just imagine us relaxing on this deck after a hard days work on the farm overlooking our beautiful alpacas and gardens. The other big job Neil got done was the mowing of the lawns to keep the house "lived in" for a few more weeks. Once we move there a large part of the current lawns will be converted to my raised bed garden and our small fruit orchard so it should not take so long to groom in the future. We brought two trailer loads of our things with us this trip. A large part of that was kitchen items that we can live without or was never unpacked in our current location. It was fun to unpack and find homes for it all in my new kitchen.

We had intended for this to be our final trip up to the farm this fall/winter. But, as the day went on we knew that we just had to return at least one more time before closing it up for the winter months. We are not sure when but we will be returning in the next 2-4 weeks.

Back at home I have been moving forward with our homesteading goals. We now have a second Irish Dexter cow! Cherry Blossom of LBI is a four year old RED cow that is due to calve in April from a polled red bull! She is currently in Ava, MO and will be transported here next month. Well, not to here, but to the farm of one of the vets that I work with about 25 miles from us. Blossom will stay there for the winter and calve in the spring. Our livestock family is growing!

Speaking of livestock... the turkey that Neil has named Claribell at the farm is still doing great! She is wandering onto the neighbors property to forage but they don't seem to mind. When going through the "stuff" in the barn that was left behind by the previous owners I found a bit of corn scratch. I spread it on the dirt floor of the barn in hopes that she will find it and supplement her insect/seed diet. Still worried about her over the winter.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Garden Dreams

I'm not sure why it happened but I pinched a nerve in my lower back yesterday and I have been immobile since it happened. I actually had to call into work this morning to tell them I couldn't make it in. I never call in sick!

On the bright side, a bunch of books arrived yesterday from Amazon.com that I had been waiting for and I actually had nothing else I could do but sit and read for 12 hours. I have read or skimmed through all of them and had been pleased with them all. These are the books I got:

  • Goats, Small-Scale Herding for Pleasure and Profit by Sue Weaver
  • Chickens, Tending a Small-Scale Flock for Pleasure and Profit by Sue Weaver
  • Keeping a Family Cow by Joann S. Grohman
  • The Family Cow by Dirk van Loon
  • All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew
  • Fruits and Berries for the Home Garden by Lewis Hill
So, all day today I have spent planning out our future cow & goat barn and have a plan for our homestead orchard all laid out! I feel so productive! I just wish I could order the plants now and get them in the ground so they would be rooted in by the time we moved up to the farm. Alas, the timing is not right and the trip we have planned next week doesn't give us enough time to order or plant. As with all our other grand plans I am just going to have to be patient.

Monday, October 02, 2006

How now brown cow.

I sent the check off for an Irish Dexter cow this week. She is a dun heifer from here in South Carolina. We got to name her which was really neat. Neil and I wanted an Irish name for her and settled on ST Riona Cailin. The "ST" part is the breeding farm code and had to be included at the beginning of her name. She is currently horned and I have asked the breeder if she could find a vet to dehorn her before she gets much older. Haven't heard back about that yet. She will be hanging out at the farm we purchased her from for the winter until we move to the farm in Roxboro, NC next spring.

ST Riona Cailin
Next spring.... only seven more months before we are free to move to our new farm. Neil and I get so excited when we talk about it! I am just overflowing with ideas and plans for the place.

We are planning a trip to the farm in a few weeks. Neil needs to finish building the topcap on the railing of the deck on the house. I hope to start getting the barn (this is a loose term we call what is currently a large equipment shed but will someday be our alpaca barn) cleaned out. Right now there is a lot of trash and bird droppings (chicken, turkey and duck) on the ground inside it from the previous owners. On one end is a chicken house and I hope to get that cleaned out as well.

We will have to see if Clarabell is still there too. Clarabell is a turkey that was left behind by the previous owners this past summer. She has been eating bugs every time we have gone to the farm but now that Fall is here and Winter is not far off I worry if she will make it through on her own. We hope so because we have become fond of her and would like to have her around the farm next year.