So much happening on the farm this spring! We are raising pigs again, three this time. I bought these pigs when they were just 8 weeks old, and they are super tame now. I trained them with hard boiled eggs. They come running whenever I call them!
Seven of our calves have been successfully born, one more is due in July. So far, we have 5 bulls and 2 heifers. The only problem birth was our heifer, Josie who had her calf in the middle of a March snow storm. The calf was born early in the night and was chilled by the time we found him. After a day of warming u in the barn, and then some help learning to stand and nurse, the little guy made a full recovery.
Finding the Calf
Learning to nurse
This year we decided to plant the 2016 Christmas tree near the pond. The tree groves we started in the back yard were filling up, so we decided to find a new spot . Up the small hill behind the pond was a large cherry tree that was growing to close to the cattle fence. We decided to take that down and use the hole for this year’s tree.
The day after we planted the tree, Thelma and I headed back to the pond with a couple of 5-gallon buckets to water the tree. The winter has been mild, with temperatures well into the 60’s. After filling the buckets from the pond, I headed back to slowly pour the water around the tree roots. After pouring out most of one bucket, I saw a dark wiggly thing on the ground. It was a large tadpole! And there were 2 more in the bottom of the bucket. So back to the pond to empty the tadpoles back into the water!
We moved the herd of 14 (8 cows, 1 heifer, 4 calves and Leo, the bull) to the house field yesterday, in the rain. With the fields struggling because of nearly 2 months with little to no rain, we decided to give the front field a much needed break. The herd will hang out behind the house for a couple of weeks then we will rotate everyone back to the front just before Dr. Amanda comes out to do the pregnancy checks.
I just love to look out of my kitchen window and see the cattle!!
Well, maybe not actually spring, but the temperatures got above 50 degrees today so I was able to feed and check on the bees. Both hives survived and seem to be doing well, thank goodness. This year, the lower hive is stronger than the upper one. I took a one day advanced bee class last weekend, and learned how to strengthen a weaker hive, or just add brood to a hive with too few bees. I am thinking of doing something to the lower hive in a few weeks. With any luck, spring really will arrive soon.
I really wish he would have been a girl this was my best chance of adding a red cow to my herd! But he is really adorable, and will be named Bullie.
Meet our first calf, a girl (I think, just born this morning)! I will make sure of the gender tomorrow when I get back to the farm. Bertha, our red cow, is Mama!
My 2015 goals for FarmetteLife include a couple of new products, and I have finally found some time to work on them.
First are Lavender Soy Candles – scented exclusively using essential oil for a wonderful, subtle lavender fragrance, similar to my lavender soaps.
Making Soy Candles
And hand balm,
which is still in the development stage. I love the oils that I have finalized on , but am looking to add a starch to reduce the slightly oil feel.
And for Valentine’s day, several spa baskets for that special, soaking-bath-loving person,
Small Heart Basket
Large Heart Basket
Square Spa Basket
So a month or so ago, we discovered that there are two old, mature pecan trees along our driveway! This year there were pecans everywhere. hb was so excited that he spent hours collecting bowls full of them. During football games, we cracked them open then roasted in the oven for 8 minutes. Amazing how much better tasting a pecan pie is when fresh, homegrown pecans are used!
So much has been going on this fall at TurkeyCrest! My neighbor, Spruce Rock Farms, invited me to stock my FarmetteLife soaps and honey in their Christmas shop. Each weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas the shop is open. The first weekend, I sold all of my honey, which is good and bad. Next year with the 2 additional hives, my honey supply should last through the winter.
Thelma joined me at the shop on Sunday. Dressed in her Christmas sweater, she was the perfect greeter. Thelma had a great time, welcoming the folks out to cut their trees and amusing the kids.
Over thanksgiving during the first snow of the season, we watched a fox running through the fields.
Always something interesting to see at Turkeycrest!
Fall is the season for picking apples and canning applesauce!