Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Garden Time

We are so excited to be starting our first garden! We purchased some heirloom seeds from a few companies and have gotten them started indoors.  This is recommended up here because of the cold weather.  If you plant directly in the ground and another frost comes, the plants can die.  So about 2 weeks ago we started our seeds.

About 5 days later our first seeds sprouted!!

And they keep growing!!

We will be planting them into boxes next week.  We do not want to dig up the ground here being that this is not our property.  Jason found some great old wood boxes from an old cotton mill that we will fill with good dirt and put them in....a box for each veggie and herb!  The kids  have picked out which veggie and herb they want to be responsible for.  They will add compost weekly, weed, water and prune.  A great learning experience for all of us!!

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Chicken Tractor

We have prepared our farm for broilers (meat birds)!  The farming books we have been reading have a protective enclosure that allows the chickens to graze on green grass the way God intended them to. 

The breed we will be getting is called a cornish rock cross, aka the broiler.  They are a meat bird, ready for butchering at only 8-9 weeks!  They are bred for this.  Did you know the chicken breasts you buy in the supermarket, unless it says pastured & organic, is fed so much hormones that it's ready for butchering in 5 weeks?!  They are fed the hormones to fatten them quickly, then because they grow at such a fast rate, their young legs aren't ready for the weight.  So then comes the antibiotics because they get sick and weak from just laying around since their legs can't walk them around!  Not only that, commercialized chickens are grown in houses with no sunlight available and in overcrowded situations.  

  **If you are buying "organic" chicken without "pastured" on the label as well, it doesn't mean much of anything!  They are still grown in chicken houses with dirt floors, over crowded conditions and no sunlight.  They only difference is their feed is organic.  That may be a step in the right direction to better chicken, but the best are those which are allowed to be on pasture, pecking at bugs and grass.  The safest way to get the real deal is to KNOW YOUR FARMER!!
Our chickens will be out on green pasture!  Moved a minimum of twice a day by the boys, they will have constant access to bugs and grass.  Plus organic feed, lots of sunlight and all while being protected from predators :)  They will be some happy chickens!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Baby Goats

Today we had the privilege of visiting a friend's farm, Whispering Pines, to see baby goats born yesterday!  They are pygmy goats.  The momma goat was so kind to let the kids handle the wee ones.  

There were two other goat breeds, boar and nubian.  Our farmer friend told us one of the nubians is pregnant and is due to give birth in June.  The babies would be ready to leave their momma in December and....we get to have some!!!  We are super excited about that!  We will visit the farm a few times a week once the goats are born to allow them to become acquainted with us...then take them home in December!  Once the females are old enough to have babies we will be able to have fresh, unadulterated, raw goats milk!  That means cheese, yogurt, kefir, all sorts of wholesome goodness for free!!!  And not to mention all the fun that goes along with having goats :)  Below are the nubian goats...the pregnant one is laying down behind Ben.

Ben and Cait holding a nubian goat
There were also baby sheep that the kids got to play with.  Sheeps milk is very sweet, we were told.  That would be fun as well to get some sheep!