February 24, 2017
It has been a wonderfully busy couple weeks! We have seeds in the soil! Actually, about half of our greenhouse is filled. It is spring in the greenhouse. Here is a picture of some cute little kohlrabi springing out of the earth. Aren’t they cute!
The beginning of the season isn’t all as beautiful as these kohlrabi plants though. We started 170 flats of romaine lettuce and kohlrabi for the Minneapolis School District and put them into our germination chamber (also known as a cooler with two heaters in it). This germ chamber worked so well that the plants sprouted very quickly. This is wonderful and exactly what we want to happen except when it is negative degrees temperature outside and the moist germination chamber is warm we have learned that the door gets frozen shut. By the time we got to them, this is what they looked like. It is so sad to see all that work planting, money for the soil and the seeds get overgrown and turn into compost. We had most of the seeds repotted the day after we were able to check on them but we still lost about a week in the plants’ development. We still have things in the germination chamber, peppers, onions, kohlrabi and a couple flats of lettuce from our next planting but I think we will open that door 500 times a day to prevent it from getting stuck if the weather gets extremely cold again. Ugh, that wasn’t fun to find.
Our lambs are as adorable as ever. We set up a photo shoot with the lambs. In the approximately 200 photos I got these were my favorites. If you want to see more of the ‘oh no, where is that lamb going’ photos check out our facebook page.
February 18, 2018
There is no good way to know if last year’s seeds are going to germinate unless you test them. Here is a handful of the wonderful seeds that sprouted in the plastic bag we were doing the germination test in. It is so absolutely wonderful to watch a seed slowly turn into a plant and then even bear fruit and veggies that are so tasty and good for us. What a miracle I was holding in my hand. So amazing!
February 8, 2017
We did it! We now have 150 flats of romaine lettuce and 20 flats of kohlrabi planted. It is so fun to get our fingers in the soil again. Our problem this time was even though we had our bags of soil in our packshed for 3 weeks prior to planting they were still pretty frozen when we chiseled the soil off the block to plant. Luckily we had enough around the edges to fill our flats and cover the seeds. So crazy that it takes so long for soil to defrost. Our seeds were planted in flats in our pack shed, we then carried them to our cooler which we put two heaters in. Our cooler is now our makeshift germination chamber. We will move them to our greenhouse sometime this week so they can start to get sun after they poke their little heads out of the soil. It will be great to see green plants on the farm again!
We had another set of twins! It is crazy we now have 11 ewe lambs and 2 ram lambs. We are wondering if the Lord wants us to increase our flock! Lots of potential mommies around here.
February 3, 2018
What fun! Our baby chicks are in. These are all female bantam egg laying chicks. There are two different kinds in this picture. There are barred rock bantams (the black ones) and silkie bantams (the white ones).
February 2, 2018
We had another cute little lamb. That makes 5! We now have three ewe lambs and two ram lambs. We are having a lot of fun spending time with these little cuties! It is starting to feel like spring!
Speaking of spring, we are beginning to plant this week! Yeah! Lettuce, kohlrabi, and onions will tuck into the soil this week! Now if only the onions seeds would arrive, that would help with the planting! 😉
January 30, 2018
It is a full moon and the babies are coming full force! We had a new calf yesterday and a little ram lamb last night. I feel like our herds are greatly increasing. We have been having a good run of wonderfully healthy little stock. That is so wonderful.
Speaking of delivering, congratulations Marie on new baby Theodore “Teddy”. May your family be greatly blessed with your new little addition!
Jonny and Ellie were out with the lambs yesterday holding and walking with them. It is so cute for this mommy to see my little ones loving these animals. So adorable!
Our chickens are slowly picking up on the egg production. Way to go girls! We are planning on running a delivery on February 19th, Presidents day where we will hopefully have lots of eggs and we are running a meat sale too! More details to follow!
January 28, 2018
Way to go Amy! Our sort of favorite ewe, Amy had two adorable little girls. My husband went to drop off his sister and the other Honduras missionaries at the airport at 2 am. When he got home Amy’s water had broke. When he was up again in the morning the second lamb had just been born.
January 22, 2018
We have loved not having inches of snow to move away from all of our building’s doorways, walkways and driveways but that will change today! We had to cancel our rabbit bowl practice and our farm financial manager meeting will happen another day. Other than that life is normal just a lot more work to get where we need to go. This will take Dean about 3 hours to plow off of our driveways, walkways and places we go to feed all of the animals.
Even though it makes things a bit more challenging, we are greatly appreciative of the temperatures. I love weather that stays above zero day and night. Thank you Lord for that!
January 20, 2018
I went out this morning and the lamb took more of the bottle. Yeah, hopefully he will be great!
When I went out later in the day he had a bit of spunk and didn’t want the bottle. That is what we want! Yeah!
We added an addition to our farm today. One of our friends at market was offered a ‘real’ job with insurance, benefits, a year-round paycheck and all those other wonderful things we no longer take for granted. Because of this he needed a buyer for his flocks of 60 ducks and 150 chickens. Well our chickens are sort of on strike right now because they are 2 years old and it is cold and we don’t have ducks. We discussed it with our children to see if they wanted to pick up an extra enterprise. They were very excited about the ducks. They would occasionally treat themselves by buying duck eggs from Ed at market. So today we brought home new poultry and we will be selling duck eggs at market and on the website if we get enough, soon! (If the kids don’t eat them all.)
January 19, 2018
Mama and baby are doing ok. The little guy is a little lethargic today. Mom doesn’t have her milk in yet and she is laying more than standing which doesn’t make it easy for the lamb to nurse. We decided to give him a bit of lamb ‘formula’ to give him a couple more calories.
January 18, 2018
We are so excited to have our first lamb of the season but it wasn’t without complications. 🙁 I woke up to get my kids and one of their friends ready for our 9:00 AM Feed My Starving Children about 40 minutes away. I went out to check on the sheep and grab some eggs for breakfast and found a cut little lamb out there. Unfortunately, the mama didn’t have such a wonderful glow to her. While she labored in the middle of the night she not only birthed a lamb but also prolapsed her uterus. If you don’t know what this is just add it to your, ‘Another Reason I Am Greatly Blessed’ list. A prolapsed uterus is when the ewe pushes the uterus out of their bodies inside out. Not a pretty sight. I was the vet assistant to Dean while he washed her up and inserted the uterus and then stitched her up. I was glad I made the oatmeal for the family before I came out to get the eggs. I even had 10 minutes back in the house to get ready before we had to be pulling out of the driveway.
Unfortunately, while we were on gone for our two FMSC shifts she prolapsed again. Dean fixed it without his assistant and then she ended up prolapsing one more time in the evening. Dean stitched her up exceptionally well and we are praying for the best.
January 14, 2018
Even though we are crazy farmers without a TV we ‘saw’ the score change on the cell phone and celebrated the win with hooping and hollering. 😀 Here is our funny tribute. What a great ‘feet’ Vikings!
January 14, 2018
“And they came two by two.” Not twins but our babies multiplied today. Now we have a little black baby girl and a little black baby boy. The cold temps and windchill has helped us decide they need to be in an ‘incubator’ in the warm shed tonight. We will return them to their mommies to get their bellies full in the morning. Aren’t they adorable? They seem to enjoy being cuddled up together.
January 13, 2018
Our first sweet baby of the year is born! He is a smart, healthy bull calf born to a heifer. All right, I know some of you out there are saying how can a 12 hour old calf be smart! Here is the thing, when Dean went out to check on the cows after farmers market this morning, he saw that the cow had given birth but he couldn’t find the calf. After quite thoroughly search in around, he noticed a small black ear poking out from under the hay in the feed bunk. A calf at a couple hours old climbing into the cushy warm feed bunk seems pretty smart to me don’t you think?
January 10, 2018
We have fun in winter too when the sun is shining! Just another day on the farm.
January 9, 2018
What a beautiful day! The sun is shining, the wind isn’t whipping and the air doesn’t bite your face.
Taking advantage of this blessing we were given we started the livestock pavilion loft. This will be the ‘upper room’ for our baby chicks to grow and stay warm within in the winter months. Lifting those huge support beams was a bit more of a challenge than it would have been for me in the fall but it was so awesome to get these in!
Our other nice day endeavor was sorting all of the cows and doing vet checks on all our mommies. We have 26 cows that will calf in the next two days to 8 months. Baby calves are so fun! Praying for healthy offspring!
Here is a photo of some baby cows waiting to go back to their mommies after they were preg checked. Aren’t they cute? I love how diversified our herd has become.
January 7, 2018
Yeah, it is above zero! Even almost above freezing. It is so nice how much easier life is when you pour water into the water dishes and the animals get more than a bit to drink it before it freezes again.
Some good news is our calf was not born during the sub-zero arctic weather. Now it could be born anytime. The other good thing is we get to sleep a few more hours in a row because although we still need to check on the mommy, we don’t have to do it every other hour.
I think there is a sheep contracting! I will get pictures up soon if a new little lamb arrives.
January 4, 2018
It is so cold!!! Our chickens are laying less than 2 dozen eggs a day and most of them freeze before we get to them. Farmer Dean has been wrestling with frozen water pans and automatic waterers, defrosting frozen water lines and drain pipes and even dislodging huge blocks of ice from the back of cows tails. There was a large shout of joy when we saw the 30 weather in the forecast.
We have one heifer calf ready to calve. Because of the cold weather Dean has to check on her every couple hours all through the day and night.
Our sheep still haven’t had their lambs but three are pretty close. I will post pictures when we get our first lambs they are so adorable!
Hope you are staying warmer than your farmers! Have a blessed new year.
January 2, 2018
Hello fellow friends! I have an awesome volunteer opportunity for anyone who enjoys serving others. At our church, Friendship Church at the Shakopee campus, we are hosting Feed My Starving Children on January 17-20th.
You will see your favorite farmers there multiple times. If you want to work a shift with us we would love to see you there. Let me know when you want to come and maybe we can work on the same table! 🙂 This is a ministry dear to my heart. I would love to share this spirit of giving to the less fortunate with others.
January 1, 2018
Happy New Year! It is a wonderful time of the year to make those new goals for yourself. We just had an influx of signups and wonder if that has to do with Christmas gifts and New Year’s resolutions. We would gladly support your healthy lifestyle habits!
You can keep praying for our animals. Or sheep are almost ready to lamb and we have two cows ready to give birth. With the cold weather, it is the time of the year where we go out numerous times each night to check on the livestock and make sure any new lives are licked off, warm and being fed by their mothers. It is also the time of the year where small furry lambs make their way to the laundry room between nursings just to stay warm. It hasn’t happened yet but we will see what the month brings. Our first sheep are due to lamb in 5 days from today. Here starts 2018!
Last week one of our heifer cows had a cute little bull calf. He is healthy and getting adjusted to the outside world. The miracle of birth is truly a miracle. What an amazing design.