I went to get a load of dirt at the local “dirt factory” today, but the weather took a rapid turn for the worse, so I had to improvise some shelter so my dirt did not become mud.
Six chickens down, 12 to go…
Last year we tried Buff Brahmas as our chicken breed; they were advertised as a “good multipurpose bird, good setters, large and heavy, producing good quantities of brown eggs.”
Well, that’s the experimental part of “experimental, sustainable, reproducible.” Turns out the Buff Brahmas were not sustainable.
Three hens went broody, but out of 3 dozen eggs we hatched 6 chicks. The entire way through the winter, with a dozen hens on feed, we got 2-4 eggs per day. Many days we got no eggs.
We’ve ordered Rhode Island Reds this year, and today six of the Buff Brahmas found their way to the freezer. The rest will follow shortly.
We also pruned our fruit trees today, took down some fence in the garden, and of course cared for our small goat herd.
We have a new renter who moved in today as well.
Now for some home made coconut pie and few minutes of respite before bed.
Spring is finally arriving and we are a bit overwhelmed on the Ridge. We have decided that we would like to offer folks a chance to attend our seminars for free…in exchange for help on the farm.
Here’s how it works: One Big Oak Buck (worth about $7.00) will be given for each hour of labor performed. BOBucks are redeemable for seminars or fresh farm products (as available). They cannot be exchanged for cash. The dates, times and jobs will be listed on the website. We will also include the cost of seminars in BOBucks and as produce becomes available we will list pick up times and cost.
Big Oak Ridge is family friendly but we cannot be responsible for watching small children while you work. There must be one supervisory parent if you bring children.
Workdays will be most Saturdays from 8am -4pm. Check the day’s schedule to decide if the jobs posted will be of interest to you.
Since this is a bit last minute…the schedule for March 30th is a bit shakey…I know we have some roosters to butcher, some goats that needs shots, a chicken coop in serious need of cleaning and fruit trees to trim. We would appreciate a call if you decide to come so that we can be prepared to direct any helpers. 437-1920.
Very crazy and hectic here on the Ridge. In the past seven weeks, we have had 10 new babies. Seven of them are “bottle babies” that need fed three times a day. Sorry for our lack of pictures…the camera is officially dead.
We are currently milking four does twice each day. Toss in new tenants for the rental and a couple of trips for KC and a couple of seminars for PC and the whole month of March blew by.
We are still seeing some snow each day…some days more than others. Although it does look pretty on the trees and bushes, highlighted by a bright red cardinal, we are definitely ready to be done. There is so much to do in the spring and this year seems busier than ever.
Some days we think it would be heavenly to live in town and just enjoy small town life but we know we would probably be discontent because God has given us a purpose and a plan and it is here on the Ridge. Getting ready to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and thankful to be living on the land.
Until we meet~God Bless!
“Celebrate what you want to see more of.” – Tom Peters, author, In Search of Excellence
This is exactly what we are about at Big Oak Ridge; our “talking points” include Microeconomics, Locavoria, “Voting with your dollars”, Sustainability, Education, and Joi De Vivre! – all things we believe in strongly, and enjoy celebrating and sharing with others.
While we are willing to fight for things we believe in passionately, we also like to accentuate the positive – whether in the foods we eat, the activities we promote and participate in, the way we spend our money and our time, or the organizations and causes we support. There is still a lot of good, positive stuff happening out there!
I am reminded of this every time I visit the barn, and see our young goats leaping and doing back flips – just for the fun of it, I assume.
We can all learn a lot from goats. Think of something you can do that has no real purpose – something you can do just for the joy of doing it – and then go do it. Celebrate what you want to see more of!
Tonight was the last game night of the season; thanks to all of our friends and family who came and enjoyed the evening with us.
We’ll be hosting some events through the summer this year, so watch this space!
When: Saturday, March 16,
What: Game Night at Big Oak Ridge.
Contact: Paula 814-437-1920
If your last name begins with A-J, bring a “salty” snack to share, if your last name begins with K-Z bring a “sweet” snack to share.
Please RSVP if you are coming!
This article discusses the fact that Whole Foods Market, a major grocery retail chain, is going to require all foods sold by the chain to be labeled with regard to GMO content.
The reaction from the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the trade group that represents major food companies and retailers, is telling. “These labels could mislead consumers into believing that these food products are somehow different or present a special risk or a potential risk,” Louis Finkel, the organization’s executive director of government affairs, said in the statement.
What Mr. Finkel is really saying is that, as a consumer, you have no right to know what you are consuming – especially if knowing might influence your decision to purchase.
So much for freedom of information, eh?
Know your food. Know your farmer.
With the influx of new babies and the need for some increased safety, we have recently made some improvements to our barn.
I previously mentioned Basil’s new apartment.
He seems to be adjusting to bachelorhood and is actually calmer being in his own space.
This past Saturday we created a new pen for our bottle babies. The twins were getting seriously pushed around by the triplets and the two mommas. We also anticipate having more bottle babies as the dairy does kid so we realized that they needed a separate space. Their new home is 6 x 8 feet with lots of room for frolicking.
The mommas and triplets pen also needed a bit of refurbishing as the big girls had abused the wire pretty severely. We removed the old 2 x 4 wire, installed an upright post and used 2 x 6′s to make a study secure space for the meat mommas to raise their collective brood.
We still have a pile of rough cut lumber to finish the board and batten siding…that will have to be another day.
Our first dairy doe has kidded. Begonia had an enormous buck kid in the early hours of last Wednesday. We have named him Chives. He is a frisky little guy and has a beautiful blond coloring…he reminds me of a Charolais calf. We were hoping to milk Begonia but being a first time freshener, she has very tiny teats…coupled with a slight accident I had involving a large knife, we are having a difficult time.
I ordered a Henry Milker yesterday. I received an email last night that it has already been shipped. We are eager to see if this will help us with Begonia and also prevent the issue we had when Lucky refused to feed her kids.
We have three more dairy does in waiting. Every morning we anticipate a new arrival but so far everyone is just looking fat and bored.