We have been so busy here at HiBar Ranch that I haven’t even had time to blog. So, I am doing catch up on all the things we have been doing in the last month. With the Corona Virus hitting the world, it put us into fast and furious mode. We typically are busy this time of year, but doubly so this year. We grow our own food, but we ratcheted it up big time in prep for what could be a rather significant shelter in place.
So I am going to go through in pictures what we have been doing in prep for spring but also in prep for the corona virus quarantine.
End of February we had beautiful snow after the daffodils were up. Here you see the green grass coming in and daffodils coming up with snow on the foothills. The Smoky Mountain National Park is on the other side of those hills. One of our barns is down there nestled in the valley awaiting spring.
I am milking our does once a day and letting their babies nurse on them throughout the day. We let them graze in our gardens and yard during the day to keep them away from the bucks and to let them get as much nourishment as possible with the new green shoots coming up. With the Corona Virus hitting about this time it sure is awesome being able to go to our livestock barn to load up on milk and to our chicken coop to load up on eggs.
We wanted to get a larger buckling for our does so we can expand the herd with some bigger does so we bought Ragnar. He is two days old here. He is our bottle baby and is a Nubian dairy goat. He will be our new grand sire for our Nubians and Boer goats.
We are also building a tiny house with our daughter Laura here at the farm. This is the beginning of that project. Since the end of February we have done a ton of excavation to clear the land to get the grade right, put in gravel drive, received all the materials for the build, seeded the lot, dug the footings and put up the fencing and gate for the lot.
Well, beginning of March the whole Corona Virus thing really hit home as all of us started coming to terms with how serious this virus is. We started doing a great deal of scratch cooking and baking. We are making homemade bread a couple times a week (and pies/cakes too).
In these interesting times we find that we are all going online to watch our church services with our home churches. At our farm we spend a lot of time in prayer and scripture, praying for our country and our family that they are safe and stay healthy.
I had just put this temporary table top on a rolling stand a month ago but who would have thought I’d be using to make bread so much? Goodness……my family loves fresh bread so we are using this butcher block table for bread making ALL the time.
I have started a ton of seeds under grow lights and heat maps to start our garden early. Here I am also saving seeds for my final winter squash we just ate – these are spaghetti squash and butternut squash seeds. We will be growing a lot of these two varieties as they store in a cold room up to five to six months and may well be necessary if Corona Virus stays with us all for an extended period of time.
We seeded Laura’s tiny home plot and the grass is coming in nicely. She’ll have a pretty view of the foothills and be surrounded by farm animals.
Chloe, our youngest daughter, already lives on the farm in a cabin on the property. She is therefore quarantine-ing with us and is learning how to make homemade bread in our wood cookstove in cast iron cookware. No time like the present to learn such fun things that taste so good and are necassary in times like these.
Well, besides hatching out 12 chicks, purchasing six baby turkeys and now hatching out a dozen duck eggs — and Ragnar — plus our seven baby goats and three baby lambs……we are now the proud grandparents of seven little puppies as of last night.
We raise Australian Shepherds as well as many other livestock and our girl Ruby had her first litter of puppies last night. She had a total of seven.
We apologize for not being more up to date on our blog. We usually post daily. However, the fever pitch at which we have been operating has been crazy. Our next big initiatives will be getting our gardens all the way in and many other spring projects.
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Have a great Spring and STAY HEALTHY!