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Goodbye Lando

Ah, Lando Cowrissian. It's been fun. Your departure is a bit sudden, but definitely for the best. We have never raised a large steer through winter before, and we will never do it again. What a pain in the butt! Before we took the critters off pasture for the winter, Lando (and Mooku) managed to tear down the fence around the winter chicken run, the orchard, and the greenhouse. Now that they are in the big corral for the winter, he smooshed down more fencing to get into the greenhouse and has completely destroyed our hay feeder. OK, he's just being a steer, but enough is enough. He has not gotten aggressive yet, but is getting close. He's a pain to get into the barn at night, and he starts

Unique Lamb Colors

We just had the cutest little buddy born on the farm. He has very unique coloring - which reminded me of a little lamb born many years ago that had similar coloring. This is Oak, born about a week ago to Princess Celestia. His twin brother is a standard black and white dorper looking ram. From my experience, as he ages, that tan color will fade and be difficult to distinguish, but he's handsome all the same. So I dug through my pictures to find other unique colors we have had over the years. We have had 243 lambs born on the farm, and aside from white, black and black and white - here are the few unique colorings we have seen over the years. Strawberry Shortcake was the first tri-color lamb

Ethical Omnivores

So.... what got us here? Two science-type people from the 'burbs ran out and bought some acres in the rural-burbs. They opened some books, learned about farming, bought some chickens and some sheep, planted some seeds and some fruit trees and tried to make their acres sustainable. We already had a love for food, and I was getting better at learning to cook good food from real ingredients. There are a lot of folks moving through different food journeys. Our growing-of-our-own-food journey started with a few books... The Omnivore's Dilemma is a book that discusses food choices. We recognized that we vote with every dollar we spend. But trying to make the right choice can be hard. Those organic

Food Journey

If you are reading this, most likely you, like me, are on a food journey. I wanted to start from the beginning, to understand how I got to where I am on my food journey. I was that kid in middle school that came home telling my family we needed to recycle, admonishing them if they left the sink running while brushing their teeth, and announcing that I would no longer eat meat. I became a champion for cows. This is no joke. I found this old picture in an album - of some shelves in my bedroom in middle school. There is not a single functional item on that shelf, it is all COWS. Some things I made myself, some things we found in vintage shops, or items we found at craft fairs. It is ALL cows. I

Sometimes, Farming SUCKS

Sorry, I can't seem to use my good words today. I've waited an entire day to bury some of my grief before writing this story. I will second guess and question myself for the rest of my life. I will miss her, too. I work really hard to keep my sheep healthy and safe. Sometimes it isn't enough. X-wing was special. So is her brother Greedo. Here is a little video about them from when they were born through several weeks old. They had a bumpy start. I don't know exactly what was wrong. Most of the vitamin deficiencies should have fixed their neck issues within hours, if not days of treatment. They gained better control, and X-wing was always better from the start. Vet said we did everything rig

Decisions, Hard Decisions

So it's winter. I'm still hibernating, but it is time to start planning for the coming year. This means figuring out when I want birds coming in, when to start hatching, cleaning out the barn to build the brooders, etc. We have a lot on our plate. One of the tough decisions, is deciding which of our ewes doesn't make the cut and gets to leave the flock. This is where our wonderful mutton breakfast sausage comes from. But it's also hard to say goodbye. In years past, the decision sometimes made itself: Shirley and Alice were getting very old and were ready to retire. Velma and Gertude only dropped single lambs and were PAINS in the BUTTS! Always jumping fences and getting into trouble! Troubl

And the focus turns back to lambs...

The round up for Thanksgiving was 192 turkeys processed on the farm in 3 days, and all but 2 were sold. HEY! We got to keep 2 for ourselves! Another huge shout out to ALL of our volunteers this year! We can't do it without you, and Thanksgiving, as a holiday, has become to us a holiday where we thank our animals and all our friends who help us make this happen. I had a hard time keeping up with sales trying to sell 190 turkeys, and the processing folks were way ahead of me, doing the real hard work. In years past, we felt that we were limited by how many birds could physically be processed that weekend, and this year, you guys blew that away! We processed ALL the turkeys this year, so no ext

Boulder Food Rescue

This is a rescue we can really support! Last night, we attended the 5th annual Feast of Fermentation. It was hosted by the Boulder Food Rescue. This is a non-profit organization that "rescues" perfectly good food, that would otherwise be thrown away, and they get it to communities in need. One of the statistics they quoted last night is that every DAY they move, mostly by bicycle, 1500 pounds of food, and get them to communities where hunger is real. Hunger is real. We tried to explain this to our daughter last night, about why this is so important. First, as farmers ourselves, food waste is unexceptable. We continue to discuss with Shannon about how much food she puts on her plate, and that

Chickens can't ONLY eat grass

I've had this question posed to me before. And with an unfortunate listing on a webpage (where we were not asked for authorization of what got listed - don't worry, this has been resolved) our farm was listed as feeding ONLY grass to all our animals. That just is not true. And that is NOT healthy for birds. Yes, chickens DO eat grass. We find it in their gizzards all the time. It's fine for them to eat grass. But it is not fine for them to only eat grass. They are not ruminants, this does not provide them with the nutrition they need. So why do people have this impression or ask me this question? The biggest reason I see for being asked if my chickens ONLY eat grass is an emergence in food a

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