NO BOOTS!

Things are getting rough: in order to keep my sanity, it has come time to enforce two new rules that I’ve been putting off for awhile. Here’s the first one: I made this nifty little sign and taped it up on the door between our entryway and kitchen. I couldn’t think of a better way to get the point across! The second rule is no dogs on the couches. We never let them on our bed but love to cuddle with them on the couch. However, I want this to be a nice house and it isn’t very nice when the couches smell and shed like dogs. I’d love to show you a picture of our two new (used), dog-free couches but they won’t fit in our door so right now they sit in the shop. I’m thinking we may try to bring them in through our big bay window. Oh the joys of farmhouses with narrow doorways! I am looking forward to not having dirty floors (or at least not as dirty). I have tried for a long time to keep shoes off of our nice wood floors but we didn’t care about the linoleum until now. I just

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Wide Awake!

Isn’t it funny how I hit snooze 5 times on workdays and can still barely get up when I have to – and then this weekend I bounded out of bed by 7:30 AM all on my own, with no alarm at all!? My husband likes to say that he can work 14 hours on the farm and not feel as tired as after 8 hours on the clock. This promises to be a productive day and I’ll be back later on to post about it. Just thought I’d stop in and wish every one a good morning! Enjoy your day! 🙂

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My Take On Forward Contracting

This is a little more technical than most of my posts and refers to grain farming. Not sure how many readers raise grain but this is something I learned about that I’d like to share. So basically, we grow the corn, we take it to the elevator, and then we either sell it right away (if prices are good) or we start to incur storage costs on it and don’t sell it until prices come back up. Supposedly, this is the first year in the last 10 where a farmer didn’t make money by storing grain until after the 1st of the year. Of course that would happen during our first harvest year, why not!? So since we are beginning field work and need $$$ to buy fertilizer and seed, we really need the money from last year’s corn. Plus, we don’t want to pay to store it much longer. However, prices are still low enough that I’m not convinced they will even cover the cost of growing that corn. So, there is another option available: forward contracting. Basically, we sell the corn today and a check is mailed to us. The check is for the current price ($3.42/bushel) times

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Pigs?

Okay Abbie – this post is your fault! So my interest in pigs has been sparked due to some strong recommendations in the comments section. Plus, to be honest, if I pick up one more book about lambing problems or starting seeds I just might go crazy. This lifestyle is enjoyable but even fun things can get monotonous. Since I can’t bring myself to bring home any animal without reading at least one book about it I’ve purchased a great one about pigs titled Dirt Hog. You can read all about it over at The Beginning Farmer‘s blog because he just got done reading it. Basically it is the only real book I could find that focuses on raising pigs in a more natural setting. I’m not sure that our first pigs will be raised that way but I need to know how pigs might fit in to our farm since we’re in the process of rebuilding our facilities. I am so excited to read this book. Like I said, I just need a change of pace. In other pig-related news, I did call around to see what is available for heritage pigs in Michigan. I found some great folks

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Farm Update

I’m still here! Haven’t posted much this week due to the time change (I think!). I seem to be stuck in my old schedule and going to bed much later which means I’ve been dragging and tired all week. We’ve also been pretty busy, so I thought I’d fill you in with what we’ve been up to: I know the video is a little dark but can you hear the little lamb sounds!? We had twins born yesterday. The mama had me worried as she started to have a vaginal prolapse a couple weeks ago. We fitted her with a harness truss, which is basically baling twine tied around her in a way that encourages her insides to stay in. The harness truss worked well, so well in fact that it was trying to hold the babies in! Brian came home to find feet poking out, cut the twine, and helped to deliver the first baby. Then, when he had me on the phone, another set of feet appeared! Both mama and babies are doing great, and she is showing great natural mothering instinct. So, we only have one ewe left to lamb and I think she’s getting close. She

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Lamb #2 !!!

Look what I found this morning! Lily, one of the first two lambs we brought to the farm, now has her own lamb. This one is a ewe lamb, and she is jet black. I thought the other baby was black but she is more like gray compared to this little girl. Who knew!? I’m off to work, just wanted to share the good news!

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I Started My Seeds!

I’m not exactly sure if this was the right time to do it, but I did it. The weather will never be exactly right in Michigan anyway. Here’s what I started on Sunday: Snapdragons – 9 cellsBaby Dolls – 9 cellsPing Tung eggplant – 9 cellsLong Purple eggplant – 9 cellsAmish Paste tomatoes – 36 cells I used equal parts of peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite as a starting mixture. The plastic cells and trays are being reused from last year. I’ll be starting another batch of tomatoes in a few weeks as well as some other flowers, my herbs, broccoli, and some others I’ve forgotten. Right now I have the tray down by our corn burner to stay warm. This next goal is to get Brian to hang up my new lights so the seedlings can go under there once they sprout. It feels like spring it finally here!

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Git ‘Er Done Update

I got quite a bit done during the week to make up for not doing much last weekend. We had a nice day where I opened up all the windows and stained a new batch of trim in the basement. Then I took advantage of the nice weather this weekend and took all that trim out on the porch to polyurethane it. Today I finished the trim in the kitchen, all but one piece that I need to do on a jigsaw so it fits around the countertop. Speaking of the countertop, Brian & I finally put the endcaps on. Now you can’t see the old butcher block counters that are underneath. It doesn’t quite cover everything from this angle but unless you’re 3 years old it looks pretty good when you walk through the kitchen. It was not a fun project – you have to cut and file it to fit and then heat it up so it sticks. I have enough pictures to do a step-by-step tutorial, let me know if you need that info. Remember me talking about painting the window frames? Here’s a pic of what I painted (the reddish brown part). Now here’s how it

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Knitting Fun

My Mom, knitting happilyJust thought I’d share a few pictures from that sock knitting class we took. Last Saturday was the last of 3 sessions. We were all sad that it was over! We all had our socks finished or almost finished and felt confident enough to start another pair on our own. I’ve already knitted a baby sock for my cousin and started on a pair for Brian. The project I’m working on in the picture is a large felted tote bag. That was technically a Christmas present for Brian’s Mom only it still isn’t quite finished. MeThis afternoon I’m started a new class to make “felted clogs”. They are like thick slip on slippers. The class is only two sessions and I thought it would be a great way to replace all the slippers Brian had that Maci chewed up. I’m also hoping to meet some new people since my Mom and my friend Steph were the only other people in the sock class. Here’s Steph! What activity do you use as an excuse to get together with those you love? Have any knitting projects you want to share?

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Brian’s Tater Tot Surprise

Here’s a great, and quick invention that Brian made up for dinner the other night. He was really craving nachos and we didn’t have any chips. So instead… First, he browned some hamburger with seasonings to taste. Then he spread out a layer of tater tot hashbrowns on a cookie sheet. He sprinkled the whole pound of burger over those and then sprinkled a generous amount of shredded cheese on top. Then he baked it in the oven I’m not sure that the picture does it justice. It really looked quite appetizing even though I’m too picky to try it. He topped it with ketchup and had two helpings so it must have been good. I love it because it is so easy and quick! Plus, it was really fun to watch him make up something that he liked. I’ll have to experiment with fresh shredded potatoes and see how that goes so I don’t have to make a habit of buying the tater tots. Any quick meals you want to share? Or substitutes to calm your cravings?

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