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!


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)
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
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

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Farm implements on consignment

Again.. Bittersweet... Those are 10 years of farm implements going up for sale on consignment. We are keeping the two main ones we need right away... The tiller and the chipper. The rest, are for sale.

If anyone wants a good deal on good equipment, contact rogue valley farm equipment.

Yes there was a tear in these eyes as we drove away today. Silly? Yep. But still...

posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, January 15, 2018

Farm on a trailer

Bittersweet day.

Today we loaded up all our farm implements to take to consignment sale. You can see here:

Driveway scraper
Seed spreader
Posthole digger
Brush hog mower

All we are keeping to take to Texas are the tiller and ripper. All these other tools will he sold and repurchased in Texas.

So much history... Some of these implements were purchased years ago before we even knew what we were doing. It is sad to see them all piled on to a trailer ready to leave. It feels like 10 years of life represented on that trailer. The foundations of a farm.

Bittersweet indeed.

posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, January 14, 2018

"But Why are you moving to Texas?"

The obvious question we hear daily since the announcement came out that we are moving Little Sprouts Farm to Texas is:

"But why are you moving to Texas?"

That's really two questions in one...

#1: Why are you moving?

#2: Why Texas?

That's becasue FIRST we made the decision to move.  THEN we chose the spot for the next chapter of our lives. 

The answer to #1: Why Move? can best be summed up in this... to serve more hurting people. No, it is not that we seek a larger market for the farm. Not directly.Our goal is to reproduce Little Sprouts Farm over and over. "serving more people" means launching more farms. We have a model here, that is unique... a reproducible business model and farm model that allows a small farm to be launched and become profitable within 2 to 3 years with low risk. That is absolutely huge! Everyone know that "small farms cant make a profit"... and "all small farms must be supplemented with other income to exist". But is that really true? NO! This model that has been produced here in Southern Oregon disproves that.

The problem we face is, "Where's the proof?"  It's currently all theory becasue our farm here in Southern Oregon has been used to Produce the model. In the business world we would call this R&D (research and development). Therefore our financials do not reflect the USE of the model to make a profit. We never stopped investing in "building the model" to just exist and prove that it works. And the bottom line is, THAT makes it tough to convince investors to commit the amount of cash required to take this nationwide. So... we must produce proof. We must implement the model from scratch, just as a new farm would do, to prove that it works.

That obviously can not be done here in our home town... Little Sprouts is much too well known to be a valid test. Potential investors could easily claim that "you already had a name, so of course it worked, that doesn't prove that a new farm can follow and succeed". and  they are right.

So, we must move to a new area, start over where no one knows us, build a farm from scratch in  a totally new market and thereby prove that this works. That is why we must move.... to serve a million customers through launching of a thousand farms like this all across america serving their own local community. 

The answer to #2: Why Texas? is a mix of business and personal reasons. At the top of that list is the fact that I have family in Texas who our 7 children hardly know... sometimes in name only. This is a grand opportunity to connect our children with the side of the family that is mostly just names and pictures. Building a multi generational connection to a family's roots is, in our humble opinion, a necessary part of moving forward.  So, since we must move to move forward... why NOT Texas?

There is also the reality that Texas is an easier state to deal with in respect to health and food laws. We can do more in less time there, which accelerates the process of #1 greatly while reducing cost.  Yes, there is a political side to this question... applicable food production and safety laws reside mostly at the state and even county level.  Some areas are easier to deal with that others, sometimes to a great degree. Right or wrong, it is a fact that there are parts of America where is is very difficult to bring good healthy food to the public due to local food laws. Our goal is not to change any laws, but to tweak the model to fit in whatever laws exist.  That is a challenge! But the first step is to get going. And getting going is most practical in a "freedom first" type of governmental environment.

Research has shown Texas to be such a place, especially certain counties.

In addition, certain parts of Texas are suffering from a "good food desert" effect. Organically produced foods, especially variety meats, are few and far between. Beyond organically produced foods...  the foods that promote true health through healing... are virtually nonexistent. Most people have little to no choice in truly good local foods.  This creates a deeply under-served market. Great place to launch a good food business!

Is this all scary? YOU BETCHA! It is a journey almost beyond our ability to comprehend. Leaving the community that walked through this first chapter with us, the friends, the customers, the people depending on us, the people willing to come out on weekends and pull weeds by our side... that's tough. We cry, we worry, we second think everything.. BUT... at the end of the day we know this is the next step to accomplish the mission that God has laid on our hearts. This is the path before us, we must follow it even when the going gets tough.

Will it work? We hope and Pray so! One truth our family stands on... "God pays for what he orders" and "God empowers the warriors He sends into battle".  We are not called to fail at our God given mission. Sometimes, it just takes faith... faith to step our of that boat into the stormy waters.. while fear says NO! Stay in the BOAT! but Jesus beckons us to come to Him. The walk Peter did that day (yes, Peter walked on the water!) was in a stormy ocean of wind and waves, not on a peaceful calm sea. Our walk is often the same.  To combat the fear that naturally rises within us, we just keep our eyes fixed on the goal... getting to Jesus where HE is. Only when we concentrate on the wind and the waves and the "reality" that we shouldn't be able to walk on water... only then are we in danger.

Besides.. I believe in the model that has been produced here. I have bet my entire life savings on it working. I am personally convinced that this is the answer to food, health, and the healthcare crisis in America. This is the answer to rebuilding our food supply from the ground up. This is the answer to children living daily in pain and suffering due to various conditions beyond their comprehension. This is the answer to our elderly suffering from side effects of one pharmaceutical after another to hide symptoms. This is the path forward not just for our family.. but for our nation and the next generation.

It must work, so it will work.

Let's do this!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

It Is Time! - Little Sprouts Moves to Rosebud, TX !

It has been a long and difficult 2 months here at the farm. Two months from our decision to shut down the farm in preparation for a move to today. Two months filling with phone calls, paperwork, planning, searching, praying, house repairs, all on top of keeping all the now pregnant animals happy and healthy.  Did I say two months? It feels like 2 years!

But, today is the day things change. Just last night we reached a verbal deal on a perfect rental property in the heart of Texas. 20 Acres just outside the little town of Rosebud, Tx. This will become the new home for Little Sprouts Farm for at least the next year.

Rosebud, Tx is a little town Centrally located between three fairly major metropolitan areas: Waco to the north, Temple/Kileen to the West and College Station to the south. This location will allow us to serve a city market area of almost 700,000 people plus all the surrounding areas, all while belonging to a tiny community of less than 1500.

If all goes well, we will be set up at the new property by Feb 1, 2018. Almost exactly 10 years and a month  after our move to Oregon.  Is it possible to move an entire farm in only 3 weeks? Ask us in February!

You can follow our journey here on the blog. I am committed to documenting this momentous occasion every step of the way. The silence of the last two months was intentional, to allow us to focus on finding our path forward. Now that we have a destination, it is all about execution.

I'll throw this out there... if you feel so inclined, we would welcome any manual labor you can offer to assist in this seemingly impossible task. We already are indebted to a few individuals who stepped forward over the last two months to offer their services on certain things we needed. We can not offer cash compensation for your efforts, but can reimburse in whatever products we have available and credit into the future.

Speaking of the future, Hunter has become quite the expert on shipping. This is great news for you, our loyal customer. Through his skills we will be able to efficiently ship product back here (as well as across America). Yes, at the age of only 15 Hunter has mastered the world of shipping, freight, online retailing, and customer service. And yes, this is the same boy that less than 10 years ago could not complete a sentence and spent much of his day lieing on his back in bed playing with the imaginary illusions his challenged mind created. How far he has come on this journey to find true health!

And that... my friend, is why we do this. Looking back over where we were, how we almost lost 2 of our children to neurological disorders that medical science offered no hope for, how we as adults suffered from a long list of various illnesses we called "aging", how life was such a challenge, looking back gives us the drive to move forward. To bring this message to more and more people, to save one more child from a life of pain and challenge.

We must succeed in this mission, to return health to America's children and elderly by restoring Grandpa's farm... before chemicals and artificial life substitutes took over the food industry. We must succeed because we know first hand the misery of status quo. We have a message of health, food, farming, life... and we must bring that message to the nation. But... one step at a time.

Rosebud, TX here we come!