I haven’t blogged in a while as we have been so busy here at the farm. I’ll tell you why. Well, we bought a cow named Rosie. We raise our own beef for the freezer. The friend we bought her from said she isn’t breeding so best to let her come to us for our freezer. Well, low and behold she is ‘bagging up’. That means she is pregnant (she ran with a bull all last summer). So, we should be getting a calf here soon. We much prefer this option as we have grown to love Rosie and though she is HUGE and SHY…she is getting used to the routines of the farm and likes to go into a stall to get grain and be around us. Every time she hears the 4-wheeler she runs up from the lower pasture and knows good things (aka grain/hay) await her.
Additionally, our mare Smuggler was bred last summer to a donkey in order to get a mule. I had two vets come out and say she ‘didn’t take’. Well, low and behold, I am looking at her about three weeks ago and am thinking ‘this girl looks really round’. She is always a barrel-y horse but this was bigger and different. So, I had the vet come out and low and behold, she is ABSOLUTELY with foal. I was then informed (we aren’t from East TN) that here in these parts grass has fescue (which I did know about) and mares can NOT eat fescue in their final few months of pregnancy. It will cause their milk not to come in. Apparently, there is something to do with something that grows on the fescue that causes lactation to be a problem. So, we have been rushing around to find hay that does not have fescue for her and we have no idea when her foal is due since she was with a stallion for three months last summer. The foal could arrive as soon as next week.
So, along with all the baby goats and sheep being born this spring – there’s been the surprises of calf and foal planning. We’ve had tons of vet bills just to assure all goes well. But, it’s worth it in the end.
We have all of our family coming out for the 4th of July so we are working hard to make the farm everything it can be for kids ages 5-14. With Covid and kids on lockdown for so long, we believe life on the farm is a great escape. Thus we are swimming in planning of acquiring all the toys (swimming pools, slip and slides, slack lines, tee pees) etc. along with the farm life – to make kids enthralled with the life on the farm.
Other activities of the last few months have been installing the raised beds gardens and also putting in the in ground garden. Mike built these beds last year but we put up these trellises and I painted everything. I think they turned out gorgeous.
The flowers are in the pots, the riding ring barn is ready with 60 tons of more sand added for when the foal arrives, and finally I got my tack room all organized with 20 years of tack unaccounted for. Now, we have the order I have always aspired to. We have been here at this location for six years. Previously, we had a ranch in upstate New York. So, we moved all these belongings from NY on a 1000 mile trek. As any of you know how have farms, building the infrastructure to house all the farm things takes a TON of time and money and or energy. We have done all the building ourselves. So, after six years — I finally have a new tack room in a new barn with a beautiful riding ring – organized.
Did I mention I am also milking out seven goats a day and collecting up to a dozen eggs (from turkey, ducks and chickens) each day? I have been so busy it almost makes me want to cry. Sometimes out of sheer exhaustion and frustration; other days out of euphoria and pride with all we are getting done. I have to say we wouldn’t be so busy if we weren’t on a self imposed deadline with the family visiting. It is a great motivator.
But on top of that my husband and step daughter are building a tiny house on the property that is almost done. It is gorgeous. I’ll get photographs soon. And, we are milling all the lumber ourselves up in the mountains. So, yah – that is a big job too.
All in all, it’s been a spectacular spring. We are working so hard and it’s been so productive, but I have been too busy to blog. I am sorry about that.
I’ll do better starting now.
Here are a few lovely photos of spring at the farm. I’ll leave you with that for now.
Until later, ~ Lori