Saturday, July 8, 2017

Kidding Season...

Well, another successful kidding season is almost complete.  We currently have ten kids from four does, and are waiting on sweet little Mocha to kid and that will be the last kids for our farm this year.

I brought in one adorable doe kid from the fabulous Alethia Homestead herd this season.  I have had a reservation for an Algedi Farm D Capella kid for a few years and had expected it would not happen since Capella is up in years, but she blessed me with my precious Cassiopea (The Queen) and I could not be more happy.


I have to get out there to tattoo and get kids ready to go to their new homes soon.  I have just one doe left for sale, a few nice bucklings, and two boys that will be wethered shortly.

Addy is as usual, my milk queen. She had been milking over four pounds a day until temperatures climbed above 105 degrees this week. 


I noticed that her udder was not full this morning and saw her allow one of Goldie's kids to suckle from her teat.  That was a BIG surprise as Addy has never before been caught allowing any other doe's kids get near her udder in four years. Just goes to show that people and animals can change.  

We had our herd linear appraisal on June 15th and my entire herd of adults got the best scores that we've ever had I think.  I learn so much from these evaluations and comparisons among my own herd members.  These scores will form the basis of my next breeding decisions.

We are in another historic heatwave right now.  It was 109' yesterday.  Likely to be the same today.  I better head out and check on water buckets again and offer some more orchard grass to keep the herd moving and drinking in this hot, humid weather.

I hope you have a great week,

Heidi

Friday, December 16, 2016

Hello World. I am still here...

It's been a LONG time since I have found the time to post here, and our farm has experienced SO much since the last post.  While I cannot promise to have lots of time to check in these days as farm living keeps me very busy, but here is an update to span the gap.


We have two dexter heifers, MayDay and Buttercup.  We have raised them since We are planning to have one of them slaughtered and prepared within the next 60 days. This will be our first farm raised grass fed beef from our own farm.  I am really looking forward to this.


This year saw continued growth in our small nigerian dwarf dairy goat herd.   We brought home this sweet little gal we call Lacy.  While she is just a baby now, we expect good things from her in the future.  


Our Avalon gave birth to twins, a buck and doe.  This is her beautiful little girl Candy.  She has everyone wrapped around her toes.

The dam of our senior doe Joyful Hearts CB Adelaide (Addy) tied for fifth place nationally on one day milk test in spring.  Our Addy who already earned her dairy star the last time she was on milk test, is currently milking about 4 pounds a day six months after kidding with three fantastic bucks.


We have been plagued by large predators in our neighborhood and made the decision to invest in a few livestock guardian dogs to help encourage the mountain lions and bears to make a wide berth around our property.  This is Ranger, our puppy.  He is less than a year old, and is supervised at all times when with goats.  He is becoming a valued member of our team.


We have lost about 2/3 of our flock of chickens in the last year or so.  Most times, it's our punishing summer heat that takes the girls. We still have our rooster Queenie and about 5 hens.  In March 2017 they will all be five years old already. Wow!  Time flies.


On the homefront, we have been blessed with two beautiful grandkids. Grandma is looking forward to teaching them both about farming and animals.


Wishing you a year of great happiness and success in the new year.

Heidi


  



Friday, May 15, 2015

My BEST Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

My Hubby's batch.  He likes them well done.
Om, nom, nom...
Through trial and error I have finally come up with a gluten free chocolate chip cookie that rises nice and high like a wheat flour cookie and has a perfect texture inside too.  

Here's my recipe... I hope you give it a whirl!


Begin by placing the following ingredients in your mixing bowl and blend til smooth-


3/4 cup (1 & 1/2 sticks) softened butter 
1/2 cup granulated sugar (for my batch I use organic sugar instead 1 for 1)
1 cup packed brown sugar


Next, add in the following and mix well (I use a Kitchenaid, but my Mom used to use girl power *her three daughters and a wooden spoon)-


2 large fresh eggs (room temperature)
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract (mine was made just for me by my BFF Michelle)


In a separate mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients as follows...


2 cups gluten free flour* 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda


*(I make my own gluten free flour by mixing  2/3 c. almond flour, 2/3 c. coconut flour, 2/3 c. oat flour, and 2 teaspoons of xanthan gum powder to "bind it together" like gluten does wheat flour.)


Carefully add in the dry ingredients stirring slowly until well blended and then spoon in the chocolate chips.  We use 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips in this house


Here's a few tips that will help make YOUR cookies tall and fluffy like the ones above. 


REFRIGERATE the dough for atleast one hour.  If you own an insulated cookie sheet, use it and LINE it with parchment paper. 

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees before baking.


I make my cookies by scooping the dough up into a small ice cream scooper.  Then, I take a spoon dipped in sugar to "squish" the balls a bit before placing them into the oven.  You can of course make smaller cookies and they'll be just as good.  


This recipe makes about 24 of these cowboy size cookies.  It would probably make 36 regular sized cookies. 


GLUTEN FREE flours generally brown faster than traditional wheat flour so check on your cookies often until you have figured out how long it will take to bake these cookies to perfection in your oven.  In my old fashioned Wedgewood propane oven it takes about 10 minutes to bake them, but ovens vary, and newer more efficient ovens may make quicker or slower work of these cookies, especially if you make them smaller than I do.  Check often the first few sheets until you figure it out.

That's all there is to it.  Please let me know how you like them.


Heidi



Wednesday, March 11, 2015

We Have a Dexter!

Yes, you read that right.  Thanks to our amazing neighbors Don and Teriz Mosley we are the proud parents of an eight month old dexter heifer calf.  We are calling her Princess Buttercup because Jerry says she looks and acts like a princess.  I have to agree. Isn't she lovely?


I am so excited that I can hardly contain myself.  


We've been so blessed to have the Mosleys for friends and neighbors.  They're great people. They raise angus, dexters, idaho pasture pigs, a few varieties of sheep, chickens, and maintain a nice orchard and kitchen garden.  They're building a Farm Stay on their property too.   They are as excited about homesteading as I am, and they generously share their knowledge with others.


I could barely believe it when Teriz offered sweet little Buttercup to me.  She has been there at every step of the way teaching me how to halter train Buttercup, how to manage her, and she delivered her here to help her settle in this week.

Jerry is building her a little barn all for herself in our 5 acre pasture, behind our home.

My farmgirl dreams have all been working themselves out.  Our homestead is growing.  Our livestock fencing and housing is almost complete.  Our health has been good.  I've missed gardening so much that I have decided to get back into a veggie garden this year, in spite of the drought.  I need to put up more food.  Digging in the dirt helps me relax.

That's it for now.

Heidi


Monday, January 26, 2015

Jerry's DIY Goat Feeder Plans


Howdy FarmGirls!  

My hubby Jerry is always ready to make my farm dreams come true.  That is especially true when I need another structure to house or feed farm babies.


Last year our herd more than doubled in size and I decided that I needed a strong feeder for my dairy goats. A feeder with a roof to keep the hay dry, and with enough vertical structure to prevent grass hay from slipping through and being stepped on.


Within a few hours Jerry built me this wonderful feeder. He made most of it from scraps and a few lengths of cull lumber from a home improvement store.


This feeder has been a great help.  I have a few more on my list once our new buck barn is finished.  


Here is a drawing I made from my feeder, complete with measurements.  


Please feel free to use the plan to construct your own feeders, and by all means SHARE this post.  I'd really appreciate if you would send me photos/link of your feeder once it's made too.  

DIY IS FREEDOM!  These feeders cost almost $300 around here to BUY.  Jerry built this one using recycled wood, steel, and $7 in culled lumber for the slats.  

Save your money to buy more goats!  That's my motto.  

Heidi