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Quitting is not giving up!

In all honesty, I do I say my fair share of “I quit!”, “I’ve HAD it” and “I’m not doing this anymore”. Especially when I find myself trying to wrangle some creature more stubborn than I – and faster and sometimes much bigger! Or when it’s hot and humid and I’m outside sweating. Or whenever…

The quest for purebred Valais Blacknose Sheep!

Let’s not pretend. The Valais Blacknose Sheep are the M&M’s of the sheep world. You can’t just get one. You want perfection on 4 legs of incredible cuteness. You constantly want to breed up to get as close to 100% as possible. Which now is completely possible due to us being allowed to import embryos…

Slightly Crazy

I don’t think it matters who you are, life will inevitably turn crazy at some times. At the present, I think much of the world is crazy in it’s own way. I’m heart broken over the war Putin is waging, and scared about how it could escalate. Still, life is pretty normal for at least…

Taking the plunge, again and again!

Starting a farm is hard. Starting a Valais Blacknose Breed Up Program AND a farm is even harder! There is a steep learning curve to go from non-farmers to having sheep, pigs and chickens. And there are a LOT of things you need to learn and learn fast to make 5 acres into fields, pens…

Lambing season

I should probably call it lambing weekend, not season, but since I had one that was bread almost 2 months later I’m still calling it season! Since we are AI:ing (artificially inseminating) we have the luxury of being able to pretty much pinpoint when our ewes are due. In spite of that, the official due…

constant change

I have found that farming basically means “figure it out”. There is always things that happen that you need to fix or change, and I frequently find myself questioning my choices. Scott and I were driving home together and were discussing and prioritizing the “farm – to – do – list”. One of the big…

Easter Chicks and miracles!

Easter is a time of renewal and of life. Spring has arrived with daffodils and other spring flowers, the lawns and pastures are slowly turning greener, the leaves are budding on the trees, and in my incubator lay 21 eggs ready to hatch. There was 22 but one just never developed and I took it…

The chicken… then the Egg!

The old question actually goes; “What came first? The chicken or the egg?” In my case, it’s the chicken. Baby chicks, grown up hens, all kinds, breeds and sizes. And not until now have I actually attempted to hatch out eggs in an incubator! Swedish Flower Hens come from Skåne/Sweden which is exactly where I…

BEing a (hobby) farmer

It’s the strangest of things.. how easy it is to fall in love with a goat, or a sheep, a little pig and some chickens. The idea gets set in your mind that it would be so much fun to have some livestock. Chickens- easy to raise, inexpensive to purchase – small fluffy little chicks…

Happy New 2021!

All the animals were settled with new bedding and clean pens in time for Christmas Eve so we would be able to have a relaxing Christmas Day. HA. How does that saying go? Fate laughs when you plan? Or something along those lines. Christmas Eve came and so did the rain storm and winds. When…

Seasons

With the changing seasons come different tasks on our little farm. We’ve been owning livestock for over a year now and have experienced farming in every season including my least favorite one, the mud-season (which frankly covers much of fall, winter and spring). Mud makes everything just awful and well, muddy. Pigs naturally churn the…

” To eat or not to eat… meat… that is a question”

I’ve been asked more than once if I’m really going to eat any of the animals we have or will raise. It’s an interesting question. Last fall my daughter Annika, my mom and I drove to southern Virginia to visit SVU, one of the schools on Annika’s college-list. The trip was fun, the area amazing,…

First comes pigs, then comes……RATS!!!

The saying that someone “eats like a pig” makes perfect sense once you have heard a pig munch on something. They smack.. loudly! Although it’s adorable in the pig pen, it’s not quite as adorable at the dinner table. They also make a mess when they eat, rooting for the best pieces. Even if they…

Mother’s Day!!

It’s the end of Mother’s Day and my heart is full of gratitude! Walking out I am surrounded by my ewes who are proving to be wonderful mothers. When I look at how the sheep love and care for their lambs it makes me think of my mother, and her love for me. I have…

Heartache and fear

In these strange times of COVID-19 where everything is uncharted territory I wish to add my sincere hope and wishes that you, your family and friends all are doing well. And if you are one of the many who are not, I’m adding my prayers to those of many for a speedy recovery. As always,…

shepherds needed

Believing we would have our first lambs due in May we had planned to attend a lambing clinic on March 14th. Our surprise lamb (surprise because mom turned out to be pregnant when we bought her) proved that when it comes to farming it doesn’t always (if ever) go according to plan- Allie was due…

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

Chickens are unbelievable! If you have never had chickens, and live somewhere where you are able to keep them, my advice is: Get some!! Chickens are popular among all sorts of people everywhere and for all kinds of different reasons. Ours just started laying eggs! I had counted on them to start at 6 months…

Running Hot and Cold

My sheep have been running very hot these days, with temperatures in the almost 60’s. They’ve been panting under the weight of their lovely wool. It’s been, for the most part, a very warm winter and their heavy coats have made them stay out of their shed to try to stay cool. After much deliberations…

Counting Sheep

I confess, I’m a “counter”. I take the dogs out and go “1-2-3,” or I will say, “black, brown, blonde, good, I have them all”. It was easier with the kids, since I only had two, it was more a matter of making sure they were still WITH me – Gus, I’m referring to you!!…

What happened to January?

Finding time to enjoy my daily chores with Waffles overseeing my work It’s already the beginning of February and I’m asking myself where the usually long and endless January went. January is my least favorite month; it’s usually cold and dark and dreary and you don’t even have the Christmas lights to brighten things up….

Meal worms? Check. It looked good on paper!!

I love to check off items from a to do list. It gives me such a great feeling, I just love it! I’ve even been known to write a list once I completed something just so I could check it off which probably is a little… oh well it’s who I am! 🙂 In true…

Mealworms: The Other-Other White Meat?

“Looking for the perfect holiday entrée? Something nutritious yet easy on the Earth? Something with a subtle, yet distinctive, je-ne-sais-quoi flavor? Have you considered the humble mealworm?” “Before you click away in disgust, remember that the creeping, shelled, 10-legged crustacean we now so lovingly dip in butter (ahem, lobster) was once considered so repulsive as to be…

OH DEER….

I don’t think I would ever describe my nature as being murderous, however, recent events have proved me wrong. Today I walked out in my back yard/budding fruit tree orchard only to discover that I had several damaged trees. I was devastated and heart broken as I every day look at my trees since they…

Sheep won’t follow an unknown shepherd(ess)

Normal people get a farm and then animals. We are NOT normal people. We decided to start farming without having barns and fencing and places to store feed, and instead we are building fencing and shelters as the animals are arriving. For the sake of your blood pressure and day to day stress levels I…

“MOM- The Pigs are GONE”

I recently had the pleasure of having the house full of my family! My parents came from Sweden and my son and his sweet girlfriend arrived from Colorado. We had a lovely time with dinners and friends and of course some very unexpected events. Having already seen the pigs in their pasture from the deck…

We Have Chickens!

When the message that the chicks had been delivered to our post office came as the clock struck 5 pm I literally RAN up our hill to see if by chance postmaster Steve was staying open late waiting for me. He did better than that, he arrived at my driveway at the same time I…

why I started a Valais Blacknose Sheep Breed Up Program

Many years ago I saw a picture on face book of a Valais Blacknose Sheep, or VBS, and I fell in love instantly. Back then, the breed did not exist in the US- it originates in Switzerland, the Valais region, so I looked at import rules, and there were no imports allowed of these adorable…

Baby Chicks in the Mail!

This is not the first time I have ordered baby chicks on line, but it’s just as exciting. Today was hatching day, and I received my notice that they are in the mail. Their pen (brooder) is set up in the garage and awaiting our new 8 little baby chicks, all of them a different…

Large Pigs Should Not Ride In Your Subaru

I thought I had planned the pick up of our new Mangalitsa pigs so well; I had even checked with the seller who assured me my 4 month old boar and the two female piglets all could ride together in the back of a Subaru. After a very pleasant 3 hour drive through scenic vistas…

The Mangalitsa pigs are coming!!

“A pig resembles a saint in that he is more honored after death than during his lifetime”. Irma S Rombauer This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates. Ever heard about Mangalitsas?…

Why I decided to become a midlife farmer and blogger

I was finally where I “should” be in life. Happily married at last (after 2 failed marriages) to the most amazing man (yes, I am lucky and blessed), a nursing job I enjoyed, great kids and family, good friends and we were closing on our dream house on 5 acres in a few weeks so…

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