Saturday, March 24, 2018

First fermenting class was a success!

Very happy to relay that our first Texas fermenting class was an astounding success! The crowd was smallish, which is good. But everything went off without a hitch. Here are some of the results:



This was a sample of jalapeno fermento carrots with dill. Yum!

We will be repeating the class in a week or two after Easter, and maybe even setting up a monthly fermenting club to share recipes and try new things.

Onward!

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Tools set up finally

Where there is a will, there is a way!

No shelf units, no workshop, no storage at all... Nothing but a pile of random boxes from the move... Until today!



The old bug barn bug bins turned out to be a perfect tool organizer! It when rolls on 4 wheels for easy accessibility. In fact, all the tools we have left actually fit right in the bins. Workshop in a corner!


Here is the rest of the shop, better known as the front porch.


posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Piglets!

Our first sets of healthy Texas piglets arrived! These two moms truly knew what to do! The first set had 4, two black and two spotted pink. The other mom... 12! And she kept all 12 healthy and strong.


Here is the 4, very cute!


And here are the twelve!


Both of these mom's did a fabulous job of separating from the herd and protecting the babies. Soon they will rejoin with babies in tow.

posted from Bloggeroid

Quick n easy pig shelters - stand up to Texas wind

The winds here in central Texas can be quite fierce! Back in Oregon, we simply used tarps for shelter roofs. Not so here! Normal duty tarps can barely stand one afternoon wind, much less an evening storm. So a new answer was called for.

There is a resource here that is golden... Oversized pallets! Several local companies give these jewels away periodically. They are about 10 feet long and 4 feet wide. Some are nearly solid in boards. Heavy, but what a great building resource!

I have toyed with a few designs using these pallets, the last being the easiest and portable!




Then, I threw one together especially for the small piglets. The pallet laid flat is a great hiding place in bad weather. Plus... Mom has a dry lean-to close by!




These were thrown together as the last storm's clouds were rolling in, so they aren't pretty, but solid.

As time goes, more improvement is in the works for these pallet structures.

posted from Bloggeroid

Welcome To Rosebud!

We are finally settled in... mostly. Beyond the piles of boxes yet taped shut, and the disarray of farm equipment littering the property, and the confused animals trying to figure out their new home, we are HERE.

Wow, what an adventure! The last several months have been a experience never to forget. Moving is always a hassle, but moving a large family is that much more... moving a long distance (2100 miles) is even more, moving an operating business is yet more, and on top of that.. moving a few hundred animals of various species? WOW. I will say at this point.. this was accomplished only by the grace of God. It was a miracle that we even held on to our sanity through it all!

But we are here.. and life is starting to come together again. Very soon we will have products for sale again (lamb sausage, honey and honeycomb, and even our famous pork bangers).

It has not all been good. Honestly, we faced a deep tragedy. One animal in particular suffered more than anyone. In fact he is no longer with us. Our beloved llama, one of our very first farm animals... that has been with us through the years of trial and error learning. He was just not up to the long journey and became weak during the transport. When he arrived, he could no longer stand. We tried our best to nurse him back to health, but in the end he was too old and frail to make it. A very sad ending indeed.

But, the tears come and go, then life goes on.

We also suffered a loss of most of our bee hives. They handled the transport just fine as far as packing and bumps. However, the night we spent in Albuquerque... that was a problem. The temperature dipped down that night into single digit area. Four of the hives could not handle the cold, and the bees literally froze in place. Most likely there was just too much open area in those particular hives and the bees could not quickly adjust to keep the temp up. Very sad indeed. But the ones that made it, are busy  making their new home in the woods behind the farm.

We are finally able to set up some semi permanent pens for the animals, some Texas weather worthy shelters, and a routine of care instead of constant emergencies. The farm is becoming stable again. Soon we can start milking the goats and offering our special extra creamy goat milk to the community!

The stories of our journey are many, and I will attempt to relay them here as time permits. The intention was to blog as we went, but sometimes in life we find that life moves faster than the documentation of life. That's what we discovered! As things calm... we have STORIES for you!

Stay tuned...

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Waiting for the animals to arrive



Here we sit, almost midnight, waiting for the arrival of our final load of animals shipped from Oregon.

Horse
Llama
Chickens
Pigs
Sheep

When they arrive, our move will be complete! What an experience!

posted from Bloggeroid

Bees barely make the 2000 mile trip

Today we unloaded the bee hives after their long 2100 mile trip. Unfortunately, 3 of 5 hives didn't make it. The bees seemed to have frozen, most likely during the night we spent in Albuquerque. That night it dropped to an unexpected 15 degrees!

Oddly, the two hives that survived we're the two in the new style top bar hive. Not sure if that is a coincidence, but certainly seems interesting. Maybe something there?

The good news is, we were able to harvest a lot of honeycomb for candles and even write a bit of tasty honeycomb!


posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, February 23, 2018

The end of an era, the beginning of an era

There are no words to describe the emotions that this picture conjures up.



the boy that became the catalyst for all that has transpired over the last decade... The boy that once upon a Time could not speak a complete sentence. The boy that made coconut oil chocolate to sell on delivery route, the boy that has an ever climbing you tube testimonial, the boy that became the best salesman for little sprouts... That boy took down the sign today as we drove off.

All of the sprouts are very special, each in their own way... But Hunter symbolizes what little sprouts farm is all about. It was only fitting that he pull down the sign himself, and load it into the trailer.

Goodby for now to southern Oregon!

Hello to Central Texas!

posted from Bloggeroid

Emptiness

As I lay here in the dark on our last night, there is a strange emptiness in the air. A quiet that seems odd. No roosters crowing way to early, no distant call of young goats, no sounds at all. The farm that sustained us for 10 years is empty.



All the animals loaded except for the barn cats and 2 dogs... All on their way to Texas. The farm is still and quiet, resting from the hustle and bustle of the last decade. There is a hint of sadness in the air, but mostly it is a feeling of completion. Our mission here is complete.

We came to this place with no fragment of an idea of our own future. Yet this place is where our life changed forever. The last 10 years has transitioned us from a standard American family, reliant on modern medicine and not even comprehending just how sick we were. Slowly we saw the light, we came to understand what health is. We saved our three oldest children from a sad fate of suffering. It started with a book called"cure tooth decay" and a set of you tube videos showing autistic children healed from their miserable condition.

At the same time our eyes were opened to the whole of modern agriculture... A system based on abuse and poison. A system that leaves the land dead and barren. A system not of life and production, but draining and reliance. This realization started with the movie Food Inc, slamming us into the reality of food that isn't nourishing, of feed lots of sick animals living in manure piles, of animals over bred to barely be called alive, of focus on efficiency and profit, not food and health.

Then we connected with the local Westin a Price group. These kind and caring people served as a conduit to a body of knowledge that seemed foreign but made sense. We learned and grew , this group bringing together the worlds of agriculture and nutrition and health. Slowly we discovered the gaps diet, back before it was cool. And we began to see miracles happen... Across the entire family. Success at last!

The farm grew, people flocked by word of mouth to something that worked. Then interviewers, videos, articles and from all this a farm emerged to share our success with the community. Every weekend for several years we pulled our "little sprouts trailer" around the county delivering fresh foods produced by loving care to people that depended on us for health, for a path. We grew from 12 customers to over 200.

But then a new mission emerged. There was more. Agriculture, even organic and beyond organic, was still not right. We spent huge sounds of money on feed, shipping things in to sustain it all. It seemed we were not producing, but consuming! And then the biggest Revelation hit.... There is a way!

The circle of life... The foundation of health. Land. Animals and plants coexisting in harmony in a sustainable ecosystem, a virtually closed ecosystem. Instead of consuming vast amounts of energy and feed, the land itself can provide. The land, the life within the soil, and the sun is all that is required. And suddenly farming became profitable! It became reproducible!

Not one farm serving thousands... But a thousand farms each serving hundreds. A reproducible farm model that produces more than it consumes, is financially sustainable, and produces the food that people so desperately need to find health and healing.

All that... Across exactly one decade of time, and all directed by the Creator who is calling us back into old wisdom, to respect his ways and his creation. Man's wisdom is simply no match for the reality of creation itself. Working with nature, it all comes together. That is the lesson.

So tonight this little 10 acres sits quiet and empty. It is time to graduate from school... To move on and prove all this to the world, to reach people all across this land, to offer hope to the suffering, relief to the hurting, financial stability to the next generation of Farmers.

I love this place. It hurts to leave it. This plot of land is where God saved our life, showed us how to live. But it is time. Our work here is done. As painful as it is in this last night to move forward, the promise of success for this mission is motivation to push through.

This is not an end, but a beginning... A graduation. Will we be back here? Time will tell. I have learned in my 50+ years that life is unpredictable. Grandpa used to say... " Bend like the Willow, or break like the oak". We are bending...

With God's grace, we say goodbye for now, and March forward into the promised Land....

Stay tuned!

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, February 22, 2018

It is finally here! Final moving day

Wow, after an unexpected 2 week delay, untold challenges and costs, we have finally reached the final move day! The second load of livestock will be picked up this morning, leaving the rest of today to load our final trailer and hit the road!



Lots had been happening over the last 2 weeks since Brenda left, to much even to list out. Some good, some not so good. In fact we have been so busy i could not find the time not energy to write about it. I will try to retell the story after things settle. This should be a reality TV show!

Let's hope and pray today goes well!

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

First births of 2018, Texas babies!

The first birthday of 2018, and the first Texas babies was a set of triplets. They were born just 2 days after the long journey to Texas! Everyone is healthy and growing nicely in the drier Texas winter.

Meet the first Texans in the herd





posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, February 10, 2018

First load on its way

What a long day! We succeeded in getting all the goats, and about a third of the sheep loaded Friday. Wow what a rodeo! We ended up with a few battle wounds and some very sure muscles, but job done!

I was incredibly proud of both Hunter and Levi. They worked hard, stuck with it even in the dark and cold night air, and had great "can do" attitudes! They worked harder then many men three times their age. As a father, I couldn't be more pleased it more proud of my young men!

Now the shipper is driving to the Texas farm, to drop off work Brenda and return asap for the rest. The hurray? All the sheep and most goats are pregnant, expected to give birth within a month! We must get them landed before those babies arrive! So he will unload and return for the second batch quickly as possible.

Hosts are definitely harder to handle in this situation than sheep. Goats are more stubborn, more resistive, more resourceful than sheep. If a goat didn't want to load... It's quite the ordeal to convince them otherwise! At the end of the day, getting the goats on the top level of the two deck trailer was only accomplished by Hunter and I picking up each goat one by one and placing them there. Those girls are heavy after lifting a dozen or so! To collect the last few, it also meant catching them by hand in a confined space and hand carrying them to the trailer.

I am sad we didn't get any pics... But there just wasn't time. It took all our efforts of everyone present to do this.

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Bee transport trailer

I finished modifications on the trailer for safe bee transport.

We built runners as a second deck for the hives to sit on, with the Combs parallel to the direction of travel. Then we cut a 2x4 to fit on top of the bars of the hive and strapped it into place. This holds the bars steady to prevent vibration and bumps from knocking the bars and Combs around. Last step will be teaching the legs and slide the hives on the rack, held in place with more straps.

Cork the hives at night, and we are good to go!





posted from Bloggeroid

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

All animals cleared!



We finally have all the animals. Cleared for travel!

Woohoo!

The myriad of checks, tests, paperwork, etc... All completed so they can travel to rosebud. It's been a long journey of discovery, negotiation, 3 different vets, dozens of phone calls, and a good amount of cash. But... All done and legal!

posted from Bloggeroid

More delays...

Well.. yep. More delays.



The livestock shipper had troubles and didn't make it here today. Best case is now late morning Thursday.

The difficulty here is that Brenda and kaelyn will be gone by then, flying to Texas to receive the already shipped equipment. That means that loading all the animals will be just Hunter, Levi, and I. Well, the shipper himself will help, but with these animals... It may well be a small rodeo.

Oh well.nothing can change at this point, so as grandpa said... We will "bend with the Willow". We will get to Texas!

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

When it rains, it pours!

Sometimes things don't quite go right... And other times trouble just pours in!



We face an unexpectedly busy day tomorrow due to some situations out of our control. The livestock shipper ran into issues on his preceding run and couldn't make it today as expected. So...this causes a snowball of issues.

The vet is due tomorrow noon to do the required check and vaccination of the pigs.

I need to build a second deck on the stock trailer to load the bee hives.

We need to get the final paperwork on the chickens from the vet in Ashland.

We need to load the pigs into the trailer by evening before Brenda leaves for the airport and we don't have enough hands to load the pigs.

I need to pack "the buggy" with the remaining items that didn't go yet, which is still a full can load.

And now we also get to load all the sheep, goats, horse, llama, plus build a pen within the livestock trailer to hold the chickens, then load them.

That's what tomorrow looks like! Stay tuned to see how things go. Right now.. time for a good night's sleep.

posted from Bloggeroid

PODS leaves today! Glamping starts

There it goes.. with all our household stuff... All of it... Crammed as tight as possible. Man.. literally not a inch of free space floor to ceiling, edge to edge.

This truck system they use to pick up and deliver these things is nothing short of awesome! Every farm should have one of these! The crane part comes off the truck bed and can drive around by remote control. It picks up, carries the pod around and places it on the truck bed. Very cool setup!







Now we are "glamping" (glamour camping) until we arrive at our new home.

posted from Bloggeroid

Resourceful farm kids!

Kaelyn and I where at the new rosebud property last weekend setting up the fencing for our animals when they arrive. During the work, we had to set up an electric fence for Samson, the horse.

The challenge was, our electric fence rope is stored on a large spool. This spool is mounted on a pallet with sturdy arms and a pipe that allows the spool to roll and unroll easy. But I took the mount off to save weight on the trailer and just brought the spool. That presented a problem for kaelyn to roll the heavy spool up the driveway from the parked trailer.

But no problem for a farm kid!



Next thing I know, she is happily walking her "pet spool" which followed along nicely on the "leash". Which was a strap from the trailer. Easy peasy!

One big advantage to children growing up on a small operating farm is that they get to solve problems daily... Things that stretch their skills and build in some old fashioned ingenuity. I am constantly amazed by how these kids just figure out and do things on their own.

Farm kids!

posted from Bloggeroid

Safety delay



If you are at all mechanically inclined, you will recognize that this is not what one wants to see right before a long road trip!

The torsion arms broke on our 4wd extended can that we call "the buggy". The driver side broke clean through, the passenger side broke about 3/4 through! Not a safe vehicle to drive down the driveway let alone on a road trip half way across the country pulling a stock trailer!

Since this is an aftermarket 4wd mod, the part must come direct from the factory... In Pennsylvania! We overnighted them in, and fortunately the neighbor mechanic agreed to squeeze us in today as an emergency.

Just one more delay.... But by tonight all should he back on track, and safe.

posted from Bloggeroid

Chicken checking

State laws govern the transfer of farm animals between states. It is for good purpose (protection of existing flocks) but can be quite a hassle! Chickens are perhaps the most difficult animals to move!

Each individual chicken needs two blood tests! The tests themselves are very low cost, but getting the blood from the chicken to test is... Well.. challenging! Even finding a vet willing to draw the blood is a challenge!

We did find a vet happy to help in ashland, but of course that meant transporting all the chickens to the vet clinic!

So there we we're, waiting with our oversized dog carrier in the vet office, leaking straw all over the floor.



Turns out chickens are not easy to draw blood from. Tiny veins that easily "blow". This took forever! Kaelyn had the pleasure of being vet assistant for her birds.



At the end of the day.. mission accomplished! Then ship the samples by courier to the state lab, and wait.

posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, February 5, 2018

The farm without a tractor

Yep.. that's us. No tractor as of today. It is bound for Rosebud. The truck came and in three hours we loaded the tractor, rtv, implements, and even the bug barn racks. We won't see them again until Thursday night.





posted from Bloggeroid

Tractor ships today

Today's big event is the equipment shipping. The tractor and rtv leave on a hauler bound for Rosebud, including the implements we are keeping.



What we decided to keep is:

Tiller (though currently needing repair)
Chipper
Ripper
Generator (because it didn't sell!)

The tiller and chipper are necessary right away to get the land planted with some animal feed. And the chipper was such a good buy p plus so vital to our farm model that it didn't make sense selling it and just rebuy. It is crucial for dehydrating the animal feed and producing bedding for the animals.

The generator, we probably don't need but it is brand new and didn't sell, so best to just take it along.

Everything else is at the local tractor store, rogue valley farm store, for sale.

Now, hopefully we won't be needing to use these pieces for the remainder of the week!

posted from Bloggeroid

Final week is here



It's been a frantic month of arranging, packing, paying, selling, negotiating with shippers, vets, buyers, realtors, etc. So much to do that I honestly have not had the time nor energy to keep you up to date. My apologies.

We have arrived at our final week! This well the equipment is shipped, the house is shipped, the farm supplies are shipped, the animals are shipped, and we ourselves drive on to our new home in Roseburg Texas! Once we get settled, I promise I will update you on all that has transpired lately in this seemingly impossible experience of moving a full working animal farm across state lines. And what stories we have to tell!

Stay tuned!

posted from Bloggeroid

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The most valuable $50 bill



Just a normal $50 bill?  Hardly! This bill may look ordinary, but in fact it is invaluable!

Our family is going through very long, emotional days preparing for this move to Texas. We are passed to the limit of physical and emotional strength. And then, this happens...

A very kind and generous elderly gentleman who has helped out farm previously heard of the moving sale this week. He came by looking, searching for something to buy to help us out. But nothing for his needs. As he was leaving empty handed, he stopped and walked over to Brenda. He have her the$50 bill you see above, as a gift. He do wanted to help out that he just donated it asking nothing in return.

Now, we know that this man is not wealthy, at least not financially. He really can't afford to just give money away. It is a great sacrifice for him to do so. Yet he did out of the generosity of his heart.

Like the poor woman in scripture who gave her last 2 cents, this man sacrificed to help our mission. Jesus comment about the or woman in scripture was that she had given more than all the rest, because she gave all she had. The value is not in the amount, but the sacrifice.

This bill meant a lot to our friend, and so it means a lot to us. We accepted it with tearful eyes... Grateful for such faith in what we are doing. The experience is deeply motivational!

We must succeed, we must change the food system in America, because so many good and generous people are counting on us. And with God's help, we will succeed!

This kind and generous elderly man represent all that is good about mankind and our society. He is a light on our path in a dark hour. Such is the work of Angels.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Crazy two days... Good news /bad news



As the sun sets, our initial moving sale is done. What an experience! We have several huge rushes of traffic, I mean so many that I ended up being traffic monitor. There must have been 20 cars in our Circle drive playing bumper cars during the rush periods.

The good news is, we sold a lot of stuff! And that's really good because our income for the two days far exceeded our expectation.several of the big items didn't even sell yet! People who we were very generous and supportive.

We want to thank each of you for coming and supporting us.

The bad news is, the activity caused enough delay to cause me to miss my first trip. We started gathering the fencing to take to Texas but , didn't finish today. And loading has not even started. So, there is no way to get out of here on time tomorrow.

But hey, that's the best reason for a delay!

There are plenty of big items left and many small ones, so we will extend the sale through next week. Some things that need to go:

Bcs rototiller
Brower pasture hog feeder
Hog waterers
Heavy duty chicken nesting boxes
Commercial 8 burner 2 oven propane range
Electric water heater
Commercial fridge
2 stainless 3 or 4 compartment sinks
Commercial dishwasher
Expandable kitchen table
Book cases
PTO generator
Metal hog shelters
Fridges
Chest freezer
Cedar works playset


So much left! Please do come by and browse, or call ahead for details / pricing.

Now rest... Morning off for church, and back at loading!

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, January 19, 2018

Farm moving sale day is here! Support our mission!



It is here! The long awaited little sprouts moving sale! Come out today after 10am to shop a collection of personal items, furniture, farm supplies big and small, fencing, commercial kitchen items, auto tools, woodworking tools, building supplies, and so much more. Whether you are a farm, an individual, a family, an organization... You will find something here!

You can help support or mission of returning America to small family farms by coming by today or tomorrow. All funds brought in today will be used to fund our new farm in Texas, and ultimately a thousand farms through the future small farm franchise opportunity!

(Donations also accepted!)







posted from Bloggeroid

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Need commercial kitchen equipment?

There are a few items that seen like they will be difficult to sell for it move... Perhaps you know of someone who might need these?

8 burner, double oven, propane wolf range

4 compartment stainless steel sink with commercial faucets

Commercial Italian made dishwasher, intended for glassware

Commercial fridge


These are in our farm kitchen, all perfect working order. We can't really take them due to cost of shipping and lack of storage space in the other end. We won't set up a new kitchen for several months, so it doesn't make sense to take them now. We would much rather sell these and then repurchase when it's time.

Available to see at anytime till we move.

posted from Bloggeroid

Farm moving sale this Friday / Saturday



This weekend is the big little sprouts farm moving sale! Everything that we are not taking is up for sale, at great prices. That's a lot of stuff! We are not taking much.

Feeders, furniture, tools, fixtures, leftover stock, way to much to list.

Come on by the farm this weekend!

posted from Bloggeroid