It’s a little early to be journaling but it’s a little early for so much to be on my mind. Summer has been challenging, to say the least. It’s a constant balance of work, being a mother, being a wife, being a farmer. I feel pulled in many directions and for those who say this is the “simple life”, you better come visit me for a week.
Lately I’ve found my family giving into the conveniences of technology. A little bit is ok, but to be on the iPad, phone or computer for hours a day is just too much. We moved to this rural town to start a farm and to give our children the opportunity to be kids…to run around without me having to keep a constant eye on them…to be free range children.
The iPad babysitter needs to go.
It’s not my children’s fault. It’s mine. I’m watching the beautiful day pass by without them in it. I’m watching the beautiful day pass by without me in it.
Because of the work I do, I cannot completely give up social media and technology, and I don’t think that is the right answer. I just want to be able to put it down better.
I’ve slacked on cooking healthy meals, spending quality time with my kids, and enjoying the summer outside because we have given into technology too much this summer.
I’m praying for discipline as I give myself some new ground rules.
- Don’t pick up the phone or computer until after I have gotten ready, done the morning chores, made breakfast, and sat out on the porch and had my quiet time. I did this this morning and what a difference! The morning chores were done by 7:00 am, which is unusual on my farm. We usually wander out there about 8:30 am.
- I’m deleting Facebook Messenger App from my phone. My working hours online will be between 9 am-3 pm. After that, I don’t need to be on it until the kids go to bed. This is going to be very hard for me but I’m going to do it.
- I’m going to get better about using a scheduling tool to schedule all my posts on social media. That way, I get all the posts done in 10 minutes!
Other than that which has been heavy on my heart, the animals were all doing good this morning. Sweet Pea (our turkey hen) roosted in the feed room last night for some reason and pooped all over the feed bags.
I’ve given up on the ducks hatching out ducklings. They started with about 10 eggs that they were sitting on and are down to 4. I was hopeful these four were going to hatch, and I do know they are fertilized by the drake. We had some underdeveloped eggs with ducklings in it so I’m not sure why these last 4 aren’t hatching. I’m about to give up on them and throw the rotting eggs away. I’ve candled them and it looks like there is something in there. We shall see.
Thursday we are thinning our goose herd. We have 6 right now and need to process (the nice word for butcher) 3-4 of them. The youngest are about 15 weeks now and they were only intended to be raised for Christmas Goose. Plus having 6 geese is GROSS. Their poop is enormous and they can become big bullies. So, once we do that, I’m hoping we can put the geese back into the duck house at night with the ducks. It’s an extra step to separate them…plus the chickens aren’t too happy they are sleeping in their chicken coop.
Our oldest steer is not quite big enough yet to take to slaughter. He is around 2 years old but after seeing another steer that is headed to slaughter, I think the summer months and early fall is much needed. He isn’t skinny…but he has some weight to put on. Thankfully the rain has helped the grass to grow again and the cows are very happy!
Snowflake was very happy to see me this morning. I went out there early because I knew she would be very full. Yesterday was her first day going 24 hours between milking. She gave me over a half gallon of milk this morning! I’m really hoping we find the right people to purchase our dairy goats. I want to see them go to a great home…and I don’t want to be milking a goat and cow every day.
Speaking of milk cow…we are off to see a potential family milk cow this afternoon!!! I’m so excited and she sound like a perfect fit. They are letting me come milk her to see if she is what we want. I’m so happy we found someone local to us selling a Jersey milk cow!
I’ll check back in after we meet her and tell you all about her!
8:26 pm ….
Meet Holly, our new Jersey Milk Cow!
We are buying her!!!!! We visited her today during milking time this evening, and she is a dream! She is, seriously, everything I could ask for in a milk cow. The current owners use a milk machine on her but let me milk her tonight. She didn’t kick me one time. She stood perfectly still, ate her grain, and allowed a stranger to milk her out.
She has a beautiful udder and large teats (which is a bonus for my man hands). She milks out 2 gallons in the morning and 2 gallons in the evening…4 gallons a day! She has been very well taken care of and is disease free. I loved referencing this post as we were talking with the seller so I knew the questions to ask about Holly.
The owners deliver her to our farm this Saturday and we have a few things to do to get ready.
- I need to make this homemade fly spray to spray on Holly before I milk her so she isn’t bothered by flies. It uses essential oils!
- I already ordered this teat spray. It’s non-toxic but effective against mastitis and I might have thrown this Little House Cookbook into my order. I couldn’t resist!
- My husband is building me a milking area. I’ll be posting pictures as soon as he is done! It’s not gonna be too fancy.
- I need to sell our goats…anyone want a herd of dairy goats?
The owners are very helpful and local, which is ideal when you are purchasing a milk cow…especially if you have never owned a milk cow.
They had this great idea of keeping a 25-foot rope attached to her halter for the first few days. This way I’ll be able to catch her before she runs away from me. I’m fully expecting her to be a little skittish of me.
Ok so more about Holly…she is 2.5 years old. She calved 2 months ago, and they are keeping the calf. She is going into heat this week, and they plan on breeding (AI) her with a Red Angus bull. The calf will be used for meat, which is perfect for us because we have a 2-year-old steer and a 1-year-old steer and would need a steer to follow the rotation. We want to have a meat steer each year to provide grassfed beef for our family.
So that was the excitement for today! I visited with the hogs this afternoon to see how they were doing. Dang those things are vicious at meal time…we need to build a larger trough for them cause they were fighting over the food (I think that’s normal for pigs though).
The one on the far left is pregnant and the other 3 are freeloaders at the moment. One of them is our bacon (not sure which one). My husband is in charge of the hogs. We have our duties on the farm, and I told him that if he got pigs, then he gets to take care of them. I take care of the poultry and goats, and he does the rabbits, cattle, and hogs.
The geese decided to go into the duck house and disturb the broody duck hens. They ended up cracking an egg they were sitting on, and inside was a fully developed duckling. Those stupid geese killed it…I’m sure it wasn’t on purpose, but I’m still upset about it. Good news—I shouldn’t have given up on the broody ducks because those eggs are growing little ducklings! Now if I could get the 6 other ducks to start laying eggs again! Not sure why they are on egg strike.
The 2 broody chickens in the chicken coop are still sitting on their eggs. They are in the nesting box doing it, so I’m going to keep a close watch around hatching day and make sure I move the mama hens and chicks down from the box and into a safe area.
The new Australorp pullets are scared spitless! Those poor chickens…thrown into a world of organized chaos that they haven’t made sense of. Don’t tell my husband, but last night I thought I would count the chickens for S&Gs and we have SIXTY! Seriously why would any farm family need 60 chickens? However, tomorrow is Farmer’s Market day, and I am positive we will be able to sell all 15 dozen farm fresh eggs to our loyal customers!
And how can I forget our picnic today! The kids and I were watching Little House on the Prairie, and they went outside to have a picnic.
Barefoot Boy asks, “Why don’t we ever have a picnic, Mommy?”
And Mommy finished work at around noon and packed up lunch and told the kids we were going outside for a picnic. I made their day! Simple things create such joy in them and remind me to find joy in those simple things again.
I’m spent, as always, and ready to go to bed! Night world!