From the Farm

Shearing Day

Shearing day is so exciting... since it happens only once per year, there is a lot of planning and preparation that goes into the day. We've learned that the best way to prepare fleece is actually by preparing the pasture and their living areas first. A week or so ahead of time, we started raking loose hay, limiting access to the dirt piles that they love to roll around in... and then finally by hand picking "stuff" from their fleece. Fuzzy Butt Alpacas from Berea, KY is the company we use for shearing. Don & his crew take such good care of the animals. We started the day with our p...
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Monarchs and Milkweed Moths

So much of life on the farm is routine... up in the mornings to feed, water, and scoop - and in the evenings to repeat the same. But it seems as though there's always something new to find and discover. Two years ago, I read about the plight of the monarch butterfly, and how their numbers were declining. I planted a patch of milkweed and installed a butterfly house (which will be available for sale in the spring from the online store!) to see if I would be able to attract them. Last summer, I remember laughing at the fact I intentionally planted weeds as a flower garden - and I also re...
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Where are all the pictures?

I love having the farm all over social media - and it's fun being able to use so many different outlets to share S&B with everyone. No matter the day, there is always something new and exciting to me. Just to let you know: if you're interested in seeing more photos, please be sure to "like" our Facebook page, or follow us on Instagram and Twitter! The links are all in the green toolbar at the top of the page, right hand side .
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Rainy days on the farm

My niece and nephew came down to spend this weekend with their grandparents, and now that S&B is around there are usually farm activities planned for them. Unfortunately, this weekend there was also a lot of rain. Playing with the animals isn't as much fun when you're dodging raindrops and mud puddles. But just like rain doesn't stop the chores on the farm, it sure didn't stop them from farm activities! They learned about Camelids when they made camelid cookies. And their baking adventure didn't stop there! They also made some homemade dog treats for Patu and Sharna! One...
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Tuesday

Tuesday was one of those days for us at the farm that didn’t go at all as planned. We took off work for one reason: to pick up Beate! Our friends at Eagle Bend have been working to get her bred, and she finally was confirmed pregnant on Thursday last week. She’s about 2 months along (due summer next year), and we were so excited to finally take her home. Well, Tuesday was hot. And the farm truck doesn’t have air conditioning. And Eagle Bend is almost 3 hours away. So, by the time we got home I was just miserable. We developed a plan that I was going to get a bucket of water for Beat...
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Permaculture

Have you heard of permaculture? It’s a cultural movement, that has its roots in “older” practices. We’ve unintentionally accepted so many of the standard practices of permaculture because they just make good sense. Though we most certainly don’t fall in the “doomsdayers” category, we appreciate and understand how people would want to take steps toward self-efficiency. This year, we made a point to introduce our sheep to the apples from the trees that have been on the farm for many years. That way, come winter, they will be able to enjoy the added nutrition that we’ve stocked away for th...
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Eggs eggs and more eggs

The chickens are such a fun addition to S&B. Though their main job is to assist with pasture maintenance by following after the sheep with pasture rotation, they've also been the first source of income as well as true entertainment. Over the past 6 months, I've seen a lot of eggs. This was our first egg: This is a picture my first customer sent me - she was so excited to get farm fresh brown eggs, she immediately cooked it for dinner and sent me a picture: This was the most eggs my girls laid in one day: I had 5 eggs per day for several days in a row - and was overwhe...
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Kaizen!

A few weeks ago, I was really struggling with the way chores at the farm were being handled. It seemed like we were spending more time taking stuff from one field to the next than we were actually doing the chores at hand. So guess what we did? We had ourselves a good ol’ Kaizen event. When we first set up the farm, to be honest, a lot of it was guessing what we would be needing and where. Water? Hay storage? Grain storage? Everything was outside and sort of close to the final locations – but as time went on, we learned that some of our choices weren’t the most ideal. Now with sev...
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Black Soldier Flies (part 2)

Each morning after the alpacas, sheep, and dogs are watered, fed, and scooped – the chickens get let out to start their day of work. About a week or so after I put that newspaper blanket down, I absentmindedly realized that big mess of gnats and flies were no longer swarming around the BSF bin. I got so excited, and picked up a corner to take a peek. TA-DA!!!!!! Though very small in number, I had some BSF larvae in the bin!!!!! One of the really amazing side effects of BSF is that they emit pheromones, which are a natural fly repellant. The life cycle of larvae to maturation o...
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Black Soldier Flies

A few years ago (before the farm was even thought about), I went out to my composter only to find it was infested with grubs. I was devastated, and could not figure out what in the world had gone wrong. My first thought was my ratio was off – but it couldn’t be: the bin didn’t smell, the consistency was good, I knew that meat and dairy weren’t in there. Thinking my compost was ruined, I put the lid back on, and dejectedly walked back inside to figure out what I was going to do with my mess. My next step, of course, was to consult The Google. “Grubs in compost bin” was my search argum...
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