There is nothing quite like making time to break away from the normal hussle and bussel of every day work of being a Grandma and enjoy the great outdoors. You can tell from her face that Grammy loves to do the chores. The day got away from us with many unexpected tasks to accomplish. There was an announcement made at lunch letting the family know that we needed to work together to tend to the animals. Grammy spoke up first, "Want me to help??!". Of course, thankful for her delighted spirit to help, we are most thankful to be present to see her wonderful smile and witness first hand her love for caring not only for her family, but for these wonderful animals the Lord has given us!
Monday, April 28, 2014
Sunday, April 27, 2014
We have been waiting for our strongest hive to swarm, and they finally did today. We found the swarm on one of the bushes near the front hives.
Unfortunately the new top bar hive we had waiting to receive them was not assembled yet, and as I was assembling it I discovered a missing piece. So.... No spare hive!
Instead, I built a temporary hive out of a cardboard box and the extra top bars. To protect from the rain we raised it up and put a table over it. That should hold them till the missing piece arrives.
One of the huge benefits of the family farm lifestyle is being able to teach out children useful skill and principles firsthand. Hunter spent a day learning about the physics of pulling tposts from the gro7nd with a tractor and chain.
How many wraps does it take to hold the post?
What angle should the chain be at relative to the bucket and post?
Is slack or tight a better starting position?
What is the most efficient manner to run through the motions?
What is required for safety?
It may be one skill, but it is a host of principles and concepts to learn. By the end of the day he was proud of his accomplishments and could pull a post safely and efficiently in about 30 seconds.
The project was on the foothill property, moving the sheep pen for fresh grass for the new arrivals. Pictures soon!
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Our second litter of pigs have arrived! They are so tiny, so cute. These are put large black... 8 born today and all look perfectly healthy! Great time to come visit.
Soon we will be taking reservations for whole and half hogs.
Monday, April 7, 2014
Toby (who is now 5 months old) has been sidekick to the baby ducklings since they first started popping out of their eggs. He has been seen as a shadow for the individual bringing ducklings from the incubator to the brooder, and also with his nose inside the brooder sniffing and getting acquainted with these adorable animated puff balls. Taking on the protective big brother role, naturally he joined us in the grand adventure outside this afternoon. In the pictures below you will see him looking after and protecting these precious babies. Good boy Toby, its a BIG world out there!
The last picture is of Oliver and Everett on second guard shift. Toby has taught them well!
It looks like our strongest hive is readying for an early season swarm. There are Lots of bees outside the hive preparing for.... Something. Must be time.
Problem is, we just filled all our hives with packages so we have no place to put this swarm if it launches tomorrow. I would hate to miss it, this is the best colony we have ever had.
We shall see what tomorrow brings. Too late to do anything tonight but watch. I suspect at sun up will be a cloud of bees.
While bringing a few ducklings out of our in home brooder area to get some sunshine this afternoon, our 3 year old son Everett noticed one of them unable to open one of their eyes. Unsure if it was slightly gummed up or if it had been a victim of a sibling pecking at him, I suggested we problem solve how we might help this little creature. Our first attempt was for him to put a tiny amount of water on his finger and gently place it on the closed eye. His face lit up like a Christmas tree when the precious duckling opened his eye! "It worked! He can see!" We were so thankful. What a blessing to be here to serve.
Here is also a picture of us enjoying the babies take a dip in the children's water table. Although we only let them swim for 5 minutes at this age (they get cold), they are thoroughly enjoying themselves.
To my delight, Uncle Bradley has installed a new piece to the puzzle for the ladies to contemplate for the next while. Order has once again resumed in the milking barn.
Take a look at his design, we will be sure to let you know not if, but when they challenge us with their crafty nature!
Sunday, April 6, 2014
Saturday, April 5, 2014
Duck season is in full swing here, with cute little ducklings hatching daily. The kids love ducks, wholly different personality than chicks. Ducks are cuddly, loving, and will happily follow anyone. Levi and everett spent the morning with some lucky little ducks
We happened upon a golden opportunity to purchase some bees this year to repopulate our hives. These bees are retired from a busy season pollinating some orchards in California. Now they live at little sprouts to bring you the best tasting honey available!
Tomorrow after deliveries we will be moving the new colonies into the old top bar hives as their new homes. Hopefully we will get some great pics to share!
The first batch of silver appleyard ducks have hatched! We are excited to bring these fine heritage meat birds to little sprouts. Soon there will be a flock of twenty or so running around the farm.
In a few months these buyers week provide a very unique collection of pastured poultry products, all soy free, organic, free ranged, and heritage. Stay tuned!
Turkey season is upon us ! Well... The starts anyway. We collected all the Turkey eggs we could find (some from under sitting turkeys) and placed them all in the incubator. Right at 200 eggs total in the first batch. It is likely a lot of these first eggs won't hatch though, so we'd be happy with a hundred from this first batch.
After a week we will candle them and remove any that aren't maturing to make room for there second batch.
Turkeys on the way!
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Uncle Bradley is the architect and builder of many of our structures / fixes around here.. He is an accomplished carpenter, who can go from a tiny smart phone picture to full size finished piece in days with no plans! WE deeply appreciate his efforts over the last few years.
Even though he is not an official employee, I'd like to recognize his invaluable help over the last few years. Uncle Bradley is part of the reason little sprouts can exist!