Deeper Thoughts, Beyond Farming

As I woke this morning, my mind was overwhelmed with thoughts of…. what lies ahead. Is the direction we are headed beneficial? Is this really what we want to do? Is this healthy for our family? So many questions.

As I sat down to milk, I began to pray.”GOD lead me.” You know, those times you wish the answers were wrote in the sky. You wish God would just appear and grab you up and show you just what to do. When your mind is so foggy from everyday life it’s hard to slow down and listen to your heart directed by God. That lazy feeling of it’s to much work to listen. I’m just sure you know what I’m speaking about. God does to. He sees our heavy hearts, confused minds, worried souls. He is just waiting for us to stop and ask for his guidance. This morning, I was there. I have carried these concerns to long, without any change because I have not ask. The concerns and guidance I have and need seems like nonsense, but to God they’re not. He cares about us. In my deepest thoughts, he’s right there in them with me. What a comfort it is to know this. If you find yourself with millions of questions and concerns, call on Him.

Now on to things happening on the farm.

Today is another beautiful day of life. We are still waiting on a few ewes to lamb. We have had several born in the last couple weeks. All little ram lambs, which is great. Moms and babies have bonded well and lambs are flourishing.

We have turned out the bottle baby ewes that we purchased along with the 2 lgd pups. The pups are really impressive. They have been raised with these orphaned sheep since birth and they really bonded well. Pups are starting to venture futher out into the pasture with the flock. Not wondering far from them. Just what we want to see.

As for our milk cows, things are going really smooth. Daisy has taken on another orphaned calf. She likes him but can’t say that she loves him. 😉 better yet, she just tolerates him. I’am ok with that, he is getting plenty of milk and growing.

Anna joined the farm a week or so ago and fit right in. Her milk is quiet a bit more creamy than Daisy’s, so we milk share with her. She feeds one calf and we milk her for our use, as well. She is the cutest personality.

Something about that sweet face.❤

I’am gonna wrap this up and move on with my day. I realize this is all over the place, but wanted to catch up and share some deeper thoughts with you, as well.

Blessed Day

6C Farm

Breaking ground for the new garden spot

Excited is an understatement. This will be our very first garden below ground. We have always had a few raised bed gardens, but never broke ground for one. Our yard has lots of trees; pecan, walnut, oak, and catalpa. So finding a spot with plenty of sun is almost impossible. We have carefully picked a spot and we have decided to start small incase it doesn’t get enough sun.

So… once we found our spot, we started the search for a tiller. One that I could easily start and run alone. Wasn’t interested in spending a ton on one either. Just as always, husband was visiting a place to buy an old truck for parts, he happen to eye several tillers there. He ask the gentle man if they were for sale. Guess what! They were. He found me an electric start earthquake tiller. It needed a few parts ,but started and ran well. You want to know how much it cost ? 70.00 dollars folks. We did spend another 70.00 or so on parts but that sure beats 500.00 or more.

Husband got parts in and began working on it.

Took him maybe an hour to get it serviced and ready to go. We looked like kids in a candy store when we got to the garden spot and started it up ;)! It’s crazy what brings you joy as an adult.

As I was tilling up the ground, I was feeling so overwhelmed with this life God has given us. The good health we have to be able to do the things we enjoy. The ability and financial stability we have to maintain our desires. Blessed❤

We worked on the ground for awhile, then decided to let it dry out some more. I will be adding rabbit manure to it in the near future. Our meat rabbits come in handy in many ways. We try to make use of everything possible.

We plan to plant strawberries, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce,onions, and green beans this first go around. I have garlic in different areas of the yard. Also have some herbs in a different spot. A simple little cozy garden that I pray flourishes.

“I would rather be on my farm, Than emperior of the world. ” ~George Washington

Livestock Stall (Project 2 and 3)

When raising livestock, its good to have a stall or something similar for many different reasons. We built ours for lambs that need bottle fed, bottle calves, holding or weaning stall. It also can be used for a sick animal but needs to be heavily sanitised once the animal has left the area to return to flock or herd. Some illnesses will linger around.

Right now we are using the holding stall for 3 bottle fed ewe lambs along with 2 livestock guardian pups we purchased. These pups are in this enclosed area left to bond with the sheep. Once they are all turned out, we pray they stay with the flock and work together to protect them.

We chose to build this stall using the open front barn we already had. We extended the stall out past the covered barn so there is more room, and the animal can get some sunshine.

This is the almost finished project..

My favirite part of this stall is the old gate. This gate was here on the homestead when we purchased it. There is so much history here. (1950’s farm house).

The old gate that I Love ❤

Of course its perfect in my eyes. We built it tall enough so nothing would even try to jump out.

Once it was finshed, I started the painting process. White, there is just something about a white stall, fence, whatever it may be. Fresh and appealing to me.

We then decided to add a wood fence around this area. I felt this area needed seperated from our yard. Husband was onboard. We started it after morning milking, and finshed it that evening.

Our daughter loves to draw and paint. She was able to help me paint it all.

Ivory Bell painting…

We also extended it out past the well house to the west. Our garden is located behind the well house.

This area also allows the bottle lambs to get out of the stall and play around. We all enjoy watching them nibble at the ground and jump and play.

Again, our family worked together on these projects. Seeing what each can do is super neat. Ages 2 to 18. They all participated. Making wonderful memories. Also, making our home more usable and appealing.

God is amazing. He created each one of us with a uniquie talent. Don’t forget to ask him to use you and help you use your talents in a way that brings glory to Him.

God bless ❤

Warm Weather Work

As the weather begins to get warmer, we begin to get busy. We have tackled several large projects in the last few weeks. Watching our family work together makes my heart happy. As I reflect back, I’am so grateful for my family. God has truely blessed us, more than we deserve, forsure.

Project 1 – Milking Stanchion

Our first project was building a permanent milking stanchion for our family milk cow. Ross (my husband) wasn’t home from working off when we started this project. So our oldest son, Dacus and our niece Cloie helped me with this one. The little’s helped with it the best they could. Team work always here on the homestead.

So, we began with this …

An open stall with a chain from the wall to hook daisy to while I milked. This worked fine but, I wanted it to be more sanitary for us. We consume her milk and sitting the bucket on dirt floor just bothered me. I found a very simple milk stanchion design off Pinterest, and we followed it very carefully.

So then it went to this….

Coming along nicely. We sat back and admired our work. I felt it was getting somewhere. At this point I had a concrete floor in mind, but wasn’t sold on it just yet. Also felt we needed to add a few more final touches to it.

After sitting back looking at it we decided to do the floor in wood. I’m glad we chose that. I do have a tendency of rearranging, changing things up often. This will be much easier to move without a concrete floor. 🙂

And its done. One proud young man.

It works so great. She comes right in and is very relaxed. This makes milking very peaceful and relaxing for me.

God has given us the opportunity to make use of a very important animal. Daisy gives us enough milk to feed our family, raise a few bottle lambs, and she is also raising her own beef cross steer that we will be able to butcher and enjoy by fall. By sharing her milk with this calf, it allows me to to take a break if I need to. Im not tied down to milking. I feel this is the easiest way to manage for us.

I like a simple, manageable life!!

Next project will be in a new blog post…

FAMILY MILK COW JOURNEY

 

THE SEARCH BEGINSIMG_20180203_132517_316

Something my family has always desired is a milk cow. We have been through several. Our first one we purchased back in 2012, I believe. Daisy was her name and she had a beef cross heifer on her that we named Cora Beth. Daisy raised us several calves, 4 to be exact. She was the best mother, but as for a family milk cow, not so much. My Husband got right onto building us a milking stanchion and away went to trying to get some kind of routine. Boy was we in for it with Daisy. She was not  into the whole milking thing, even though she had been milked in the past. It just wasn’t one her better qualities. I will never forget a specific time when my oldest boy was milking her for me. I had finished milking the goats and ran the milk into chill. Came back out to check on him and he was all but in tears! She was standing in the milk pail, milk was everywhere, including all over him. She had kicked his arm and worked him over with her tail. Not many milkings after this, Daisy found herself out in the pasture with the beef cows, doing what she did best, which was raising beautiful, thick, healthy calves. In 2015 we went to the farm and couldn’t find her. We searched for her for several days, finally finding her dead under a cedar tree. After further investigating, She lost her life to lightning. She was also in her 3rd stage of pregnancy. Wasn’t an easy loss.

The desire for a milk cow was still there. So along came Tootles. She was what looked to be the perfect one. She came to us fresh and in her 3rd stage of pregnancy with unknown due date. So we chose to dry her off and wait on her to calve. I attended and assisted with the birth of her little bull calf. I just knew this was the start to a great thing. So here I ago, once she had time to bond with her calf, starting our little routine. Mind you, I didn’t milk her prior to her calving. This girls orifices was like size of a straight pin. Absolutely miserable for hand milking. So it wasn’t long till I decided to offer her to a friend who had a milking machine. They loved her and she loved them!

Then, along came Linda. we purchased her from an individual who had purchased her from a dairy and used her as a nurse cow. LOTS OF MILK!!!! She did really well on the stanchion and raised calves good. We ended up putting her out to pasture with beef cows after she raised two nice calves for us. In 2016 we moved to our current farm. Some cows stayed, including Linda at our old farm for a month or so after we moved. One day I went to check on them and Linda was down, unable to get up. We are not sure what went wrong, but she didn’t pull through.

So, you see by now we still have that crazy desire to own the perfect milk that will provide our family with delicious milk. During all these years we had milk goats, but we just didn’t care for the their milk. We enjoyed raising them, but not for their milk.                  We are finally settled into our knew farm. I have sold all goats after trying our a meat herd. Just kinda over them. So we to try our hand at hair sheep, this is for another blog, though.                                                                                                                                                       So, here we were still searching for a milk cow. My husband ran across an ad for one. She was 3 years old, second calving, easy to hand or machine milk. All sounds great to us! To top it off, she was only 3 months fresh with a nice little steer on her side. Her generics or known for not being heavy producers but known for extended lactation. That is just what I was wanting. So, I load up our kids and we off to get the pair. Her owners were the most precious people. I know soon as I spoke with them, it was going to be a perfect thing. They appeared to be very genuine honest folks. At their farm I was able to meet Daisy’s (the cow I went to look at) mother, and her daughter from last year. It’s great to see genetics. I loved what I saw. So we loaded the pair up and headed home.         Arriving home with the new milk cow (Daisy) was such an exciting feeling for us. I just knew this one was the one. She has excelled at everything we have expected from her. she gives us just enough milk. My fridge stays full, none is wasted. God new just what we needed. He fulfilled our wish ABOVE AND BEYOND.cropped-img_20180210_092918_323.jpg

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