Friday, February 27, 2015

At the feed store

Yesterday was a great day! I got to meet up with my best friend from highschool and her husband.  Actually her husband and I planned a surprise lunch for her, she had no clue! So we all got  done eating and decided to go to Tractor Supply that was close so I could pick up the meat chickens, for our farm. This is our first year raising and butchering our own chickens so we are excited about this experience.

So we get to the store and looked around. I looked at all the cute chicks (and yes thoughts of sneaking some other chickens and a few of the ducklings there, did pop in my head. But then Tom popped in my head and those thoughts went away haha). So I asked the Saleman if he could give me 13 of the Cornish rock chicks. He boxed them up and took me to the register, and told me to have a nice day. I thank him and told him to have a nice day as well. So while waiting in line there was a lady in front of me. My friends and I were looking at the different magaizines while we waited for my turn.

The lady in front looked over and said oh what kind did you get. I said, " oh the meat chickens". she stared at me with a  confused look. She said what do you do with those? I said, " you butcher them." Once again gave me a confused look. Then her look turned to disgust. I could tell she was not happy so I went on looking at other things while she finished checking out.  I could hear her under her breathe saying, " that is just cruel!", " If you have to do those kinds of things it is time to find a job". Yes I kept my composer( let me tell you I wanted to tell her a lot), because I really felt what good would it do? The mind set that woman had I really didn't feel if I said anything it would have made her change her mind.  So the lady left with her bags and still mumbling things under her breathe and the last thing she said I didn't hear.

The cashier looked at me in disbelief that the lady had said all those things. She couldn't understand why the lady was that rude either. She said," where does she think her chicken from the store comes from?",  Apparently the last thing she said to the cashier was, she wasn't going to shop their anymore because they sell baby chicks ( like meat ones) and that is just horrible.

I guess the reaction of the lady today made me really think, about wow am I really a cruel person for doing this? Am I a horrible person for wanting to raise our own food?

The answer is "NO!". We are a family that enjoys the farm life and likes to know what our animals eat, do , etc. We are thankful and we are sure to thank God for them . Are we weird to do this, to grow our own food, to raise our own meats? Well depends on who you are? haha Personally I don't think we are, we are just wanting to go back to the days when this was normal. Everyone would have chickens in their backyard, families would have their own gardens and survive on that till the next summer harvest. Back when making your own laundry soap, seasonings, hanging laundry, and not using electronics that often was normal. That is the life we thrive for and we hope that someday, even if we have one person start planting a tomato plant, green beans or lettuce in their backyard. Or someone who gets the passion to try canning or freezing their own garden veggies. Or even to go and support a local farmer who grows and sells their vegetables, eggs or meats. Every little bit counts, then I can have a 100 of those ladies talk about me that way.

So for now we will enjoy the cute little fluff balls that have taken residence in our home, until it gets warm enough for them to go out in the chicken tractor and then in April we will pray and thank the Lord for letting us raise these chickens and for the blessing they will be to us and others

Just another day on the homestead......

~ Katie


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Is it Spring yet?!

Oh Spring, where are you?! There is still snow on the ground but the sun is coming out this morning.

My mind has been drifting these days of garden plans and seed starting. Fruit trees to plant and berry bushes to buy.

The snow is still here but my hear and mind are in spring. The laundry flying in the warm spring breeze and the chickens digging in the warm dirt.

I got my seed order back in December! haha  I am so ready for Spring to be here!

I wanted to share my seeds for our garden this year with you. So here is what we will be planting:

And before I forget, we purchased our seeds from Baker Creek Seed Company, if you haven't seen their site I would totally recommend it! They have so many seeds, I would buy them all but I don't have enough land! Ha!

Okay back to business.

Peas- Improved Maestro

Pepper- Horizon Bell (purple)
              Golden Cal Wonder ( yellow)

Tomato- Amish Paste
               German Pink (great for canning)
               Mortgage lifter
            Blue Lake Bush 274

          Little Finger (good for eating!)


               Squash Alligator or Jacare ( great for pumpkin pie, keeps really well)

              Waltham 29

               Cucumber Muncher (Burpless great for eating fresh or pickles)

          Red romaine

             Fordhook Zucchini (freezes well)

Corn- (this will be our first year growing corn, we will be purchasing another kind as well)
         Country Gentleman (shoepeg type corn) Freezes well

      Early Wonder

So there are the seeds for this year! Excited to see how they all do.

~ Katie

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Why do I do this?

As I am sitting in the office, I can hear the wind whipping outside. Another cold night and time to go do the feeding. I dread it, just like I do every night it is cold like this. The  everyday going outside to break the water in the  troughs that froze over (even during the day).The hauling of buckets filled with cold water, as your hands feel like they are about to fall off.  Making sure the animals have extra bedding and are locked up for the night to stay warm. Check the heat lamp is working for the baby kids.  Some nights I come in and think to myself, "Why in the world am I doing this?! I could just not have animals and be able to stay in my warm house snuggled in a blanket with a good book!".

It is because I love it!

 Love going into the barn to be greeted by all the goats running to me , saying their hellos. And the babies as they run and jump off me in excitement. It's going into the chicken coop, after running from the harsh snow that is stinging my face, to hear them talking quietly amongst themselves. It's feeling a warm egg in my frozen hands to give me warmth on my walk back into the house.  To see my boys out with us hauling water and food to the animals in this weather and hearing them laugh and talk to the animals even though it feels like single digits.

That.... that is why I do this.

To be able  to use those fresh eggs from our chickens to make a delicious meal for my family. To cook vegetables that I sweated and took hours to prep, can and freeze to feed my family.

That is why I do this.

To feel the dirt between my fingers once the ground has thawed in spring. As I begin to plant a small seed that will produce delicious, nutrient rich vegetables for us to enjoy through the long winter months.

That is why I do this.

To feel closer to God in all the nature that is surrounding me. To feel so blessed with all that we have been given. To want to be a ministry to others as we live this way.

That I why I do this.

~ Katie

Friday, January 30, 2015

2015 goals

I know it is already the end of January and I am now just getting to post our goals this year for the homestead.

I have made two other separate goals of Marriage and personal. As well as Tom and I have made Financial and Homestead goals.

Okay so here are our 2015 Homesteading goals:

1) We would like to look into solar for running our fences off of to lower electric use.
2) Raise more chicks (6) for laying hens.
3) Install fencing around our garden ( we have a major deer problem, if you have an helpful hints I would love to hear them!)
4) Raise and butcher meat chickens( starting small with just 6 or so this year to see if it is something we want to continue to do)
5) Plant some berry bushes and fruit trees ( this is a maybe depending on if we can find a bargain or not)
6) Grow a large garden ( can and freeze as much as possible!)

I am going to continue to strive for making a lot of things from scratch food wise and using my laundry line to cut our electric bill down. I would like to look into a propane or wood stove for our upstairs living room as well for next winter.

There they are , our goals for this year. We didn't want to make to big of a list, since this will be our first spring and summer on our homestead.

Do you have an homesteading goals for this year? I would love to hear them!


Monday, January 26, 2015

We have babies!

As I sit at our dining room table writing this, I look out the back door and see a new coating of fresh and fluffy snow. All is quiet and enjoying the time to be with the Lord in my devotions.

Cupid our one doe had triplets on Jan. 14th during the night. It was a rough night to say the least. Tom was recovering from a stomach thing and I went out to check on everyone as usually, like I had done for the last month and half to see if anyone had started labor. ( I was anxious if you couldn't tell ha!) So when I went out and Cupid was talking to me, she doesn't do that much, and laying down and get up again a lot. I had a feeling something was happening. So I gathered our kidding kit and made camp out in the barn. I came in to make a quick dinner for the boys and Tom, then headed back out with my snack of animal crackers.

When I got back out to the barn Cupid was starting to lay down and do pushes! yay!!! While I was on my computer, with some amazing women who know goats and were helping me prepare for the delivery, I felt something in my pocket. Yep you guessed it a goat head! My mom's goat Eli , decided that he should eat my animal crackers since I was getting to them fast enough! haha. I needed a little humor at the time and now I know his favorite snack.

Anyway back to the labor...... So it was time to get the other goats their dinner , while I was doing that and Cupid's water broke and delivery was on, or so I thought. The ladies on the goat chat were asking did I see a nose or a okay wait a little. So finally one lady said if you feel comfortable to go in and feel the do so... So I gloved up and felt around,"A hoof !"I thought. Oh wait... that was a hoof that was a tail! As I typed in I have a breech, the ladies all jumped in giving me advice. I ran in to ask Tom if he could come out, because we had a breech and I couldn't reposition it correctly. So he came out and tried , but couldn't. We were about to call the vet, but I kept thinking I don't want the baby or Cupid to die,  so I went in a again and repositioned the baby's legs the correct way. And a beautiful buck was born at a whopping 10lbs!

Then she started to push again about a half an hour after delivering the first. She had no problems with that delivery and had another gorgeous buck at a whopping 11lbs.! And last but not least she delivered a doeling at 9 lbs.

Buck #2


Buck #1

Well they are almost 2 weeks of age and the boys are thriving. Bouncing and romping around like crazy! The doeling who the boy have named Caitlin , had a set back. Cupid wasn't feeding her and pushing her away. Saturday we had quite the scared and thought we were loosing her, but thankfully she is doing great now. She is for now residing in our kitchen ( which the boys are loving), we are currently bottle feeding her to get her weight and strength back up. The 4-6 hourly wake up calls for us to get up. If really does feel like having another newborn in the house. Though we are all really enjoying having her in the house and seeing her thrive, we do have to keep reminding the boys when she gets strong enough we have to put her back in the barn. Which they are sad to hear, especially Kyle he is a real animal lover ( just like his mom), but I know I will enjoy the snuggles while I can!

~ Katie

Monday, December 29, 2014

The waiting game

That is what we have been calling it. Cupid is due we think any day, honestly I don't think she can get

 any bigger! So through out the day I walk out to the barn and check on her. "Wait she is away from

the others, she is laying down differently!" I think to myself. Then she gets up and comes over to me

acting just as normal as the last time I came out to check on her! Ugh!  so we will have to just

continue to wait and be patient for the first arrivals on our homestead ! I was hoping she would kid

while Tom still has off from work, but it isn't looking that way. So I may have to help her out solo if

she decides to kid during the day.

On a sadder note, one of my mom's goats named Annie. Was acting very strange for a few days. She

would try to pee and only a little would come out. Then she would get wobbly and her balance

thrown off. So my mom and I thought it would be a good idea and call the vet just to check she was

okay. We thought maybe a stone or bladder infection. So the vet came out the next morning around

 10 am. She looked her over and thought she might be pregnant so got the ultrasound machine to

check it out. Well I really wished she was pregnant, but the vet found infection all in her uterus. The

 only cure would have been surgery which costs a lot of money. So my mom made the difficult

decision to have her euthanized. Annie was a sweet goat, very spunky and wasn't afraid to show

Elijah ( my mom's whether pygmy goat) who was boss.  So that was a sad day for us, but knowing

she was out of pain helped a little.

              Trying to think of anything else new on the homestead.... Oh I know! Tom put up my Amish

 wash line! yay! So excited about that it goes from our deck across our yard and attaches to the barn.

Love it! that will help not using the dryer as much now! Was ready to start saving money on that

again! Do any of you have an Amish wash line? Do you have a normal one? How often do you use


            Well, I have to finish organizing the office and get things set up for Tom and I, we are going

over our personal  financial goals for 2015, our business/ homestead financial goals and the

homestead goals of things we would like to build, make , animals to get, etc.

       Are you working on any goals for the new year? I would love to hear them!


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Our girls

 Just wanted to do a quick update on our girls : Today we had the vet come out and check on our girls. Everything is great with Cupid, who the vet  said will be  kidding probably  within this month or the beginning of next. Yay! We can't wait for babies!

Clemmy had an okay check. We have been worried about her a bit. She kept getting gunk ( like scabs) in her nose and we  would go out and moisten them off. Poor thing. And 2 days ago noticed her limping on her front leg. So the vet took a look and said she seems to have a  upper respitory cold. So she is now on penicillin for 5 days. Her foot has an area that has foot rot. UGH! ( it has been so wet and yucky out here) So the penicillin should help take care of the infection and we will be putting some Kopetox on it to help dry and heal the hoof. She has to also be separated from the rest of the goats and off pasture,till it is healed.   I felt so bad for her. So just to see if she was pregnant , which we didn't think she was, the vet did an ultrasound. And guess what.......SHES PREGNANT TOO! She is due around or a little after Cupid!

We are so excited! There will be babies coming soon to Daisy Hill Homestead and we can't wait!

Well sorry for such a short post! Will be getting our 2015 goals typed up and ready! Then will try to post about the garden and the animal additions we will be adding!