Wednesday, February 17, 2010

link is back

besides being the hero in the legend of zelda video game our hog also bore that name. she is back and we had breakfast for dinner last night. pork sausage, eggs, biscuits and sausage gravy. it was excellent. pork sausage was our most missed pork item.

we simply go without when we don't have our own meat in the freezer. there are always other types to choose from. we had plenty of chicken and beef. but, this is when we feel the richest. until we eat our last chicken we can go to the freezer and have any type of meat we want. well, we don't have any lamb or turkey but we hope to remedy that someday soon.

it was a big day out driving all over to get stuff. we needed chicken feed and to pick up our hog. the butcher shop was near a fabric store. tabitha bought fabric for several dresses for her and kassi. we also got curtain fabric for the kids room. our little van was laden with over a thousand pounds of stuff. the kids had to crawl over bags of feed to get to their seats. we must seem like a comedy act to most folks.

we took deliver of twenty bales of hay yesterday. the last hay we got from him was a little below our cows picky standards. she wasted most of it. i spoke with mark, the hay guy, and said that this last batch wasn't near the quality of hay we got the first time. i apologized for being picky but that is why we went with him a second time because that first hay was so good. he said he'd riffle through the stack of hay and pick the best stuff that was immediately available. it worked! this delivery of hay is top notch, she loves it.

we just want to get her condition perfect. on that note, we have been researching cow supplements. we have decided to try fertrell's product line. we have some friends, once removed, that are dealers. they also sell organic soil amendments. we place a fairly large order and hope to receive those items soon.

i plan to build a mineral feeder for the cow like this one.

mine will be made out of the bottom of a 55 gallon plastic drum, cement, hardwood dividers and piece of rigid conveyor belt material that i have for the flap. these things sell for $150.00 mine will be free since i have all the stuff. it will be slightly smaller than their version but we only have one cow. i'll post a how-i-did-it entry when the time comes.

we also invested in one of those soil block makers.

we are planning on selling seedlings this spring and this should make a huge difference. we hope to optimize space in our green house and offer a better product. the reasons for employing this method are too compelling to ignore.

our pastured poultry offering is official. we have solicited to several outlets that we will be offering our pastured chicken this spring. several people have expressed interest i just hope that turns into customers, fingers-crossed. it is scary and exciting. we are trying a new hatchery this spring too. they only supply commercial birds and the smallest amount that they offer is 100 chicks. we are splitting that order with tabitha's father. coincidentally he-too will be selling pastured poultry. actually, he is helping differ our risk and has already managed to get commitments for a large portion of his birds. what a fun caper it will be..

i might have to take this link down as soon as tabitha wakes but here is our farm web site using blogger as the platform.
omelayfarm
it is still under development but mostly done. what ya think?

17 comments:

Ben said...

Karl,

we just started with Fertrell's grazier's mix. Our cows are freaky for it. Unreal. I'm very glad we tried it, because it's quite obvious there's something in there that they were previously missing.

Your results may vary, of course.

Best,
Ben

Angie said...

Love the farm blog! The garden pictures are beautiful :)

Teri said...

The farm blog looks great! Congratulations! I hope your new endeavors work out wonderfully.
Cheers! Teri

Ed said...

To this day, I still buy my pork from a local farmer. Nothing tastes better.

Liked the farm blog. I hope that turns into a good business for you.

Walter Jeffries said...

Over on my Sugar Mountain Farm blog on the Second Pig post you mentioned your cow with a fear of blood.

My guess is what you are seeing is a Pavlovian response. Your cow smelled the blood at the same time as the distress of the cattle you recently slaughtered. Their distressed (stress hormone smells, distress calls, other?) trained her that blood means trouble.

This emphases how important it is that the slaughter process be painless. It benefits not just the animal being slaughtered, the people slaughtering, the quality of the meat but also those animals who are still alive afterwards.

This sort of association can certainly be trained and you may have succeeded unwittingly in doing so. It can also be de-conditioned if you would like to take the time. Each time you feed her bring the smell of blood with you. Spend time being gentle, talking with her. Gradually fade in the smell to higher levels. This should eliminate her hemophobia.

Cheers,

-Walter

Renee said...

We use a soil blocker and love it although we have found that the only way we can water with out disturbing the plants is bottom watering it is tricky but you will get the hang of it.

~Renee

Whirliegig said...

Good luck on your new venture! I'm really excited for you and your family. Sure wish we lived closer as we'd be giving you all our poultry business!

Beau said...

Good luck with everything, you sound so organized! Glad you may have some customers too :)

Jessika said...

Love the farm blog and the sign is beautiful! you should put a pic of one of your lovely cooked chickens as well. I've been selling meat and milk locally for 5 years and people love to see pics of the finished products as well as the animals. Also if there is anyway you can have an " open farm " day and have samples, it never fails! Good luck! I'll stay tuned. Good food sells itself. Pretty soon you won't have to advertise and in fact will have to respectfully turn people away!

Kevin and Beth said...

Karl,
The farm site is really good! You may have already visited these sites but here are two really good ones for selling pastured poultry and farm products.

The Georgia farm blog has it down to a science. They seem to be extremely successful and have grown really fast.

Brunty Farm is close to us, he's a really nice, helpful guy...we bought some young turkeys from him last year. I think his website offers some good information for the consumer that is looking for alternatives to the grocery store.

http://www.bruntyfarms.com/
http://www.naturesharmonyfarm.com/grass-fed-meat-farm-blog/

Also, Mother Earth News has a really good article about the health benefits of free range eggs although I bet you've already read it. It's a nice article to quote about the health benefits of your home grown eggs.

Check them out if you haven't been there before.

Beth

(I'm still so sad about Henry.)

The Unusually Unusual Farmchick said...

Fantastic job! The sign is amazing and attractive. You deserve a big back pat for the great work.

Ruby said...

The website looks fantastic! How exciting your y'all.

katrien said...

I love the website: all that information. A healthy product with a story is twice as enticing. I wish I lived nearer to you!

I think selling seedlings is a great idea. If they're in soil blocks, will they be handle-able? I've heard the soil crumbles easily. Will you put the seedlings on the farm blog as well?

good luck!

Polar Bear and The Dodger said...

hey- have you guys started your seeds yet?

Katrien said...

Karl, I just ordered my first package of bees, with an Italian Queen. I am freaked out about it, but I HAVE to do it. It will give me great confidence in myself, and hope for the future. I had to write to you to say you and your family inspired me to go ahead with it. And while I'm on a roll I might also get those chickens!
Looking forward to your next blog entry,
katrien

Homesteading Mommy said...

do you know if the phase of the moon effects time of transplanting? i started seeds early inside on the waning side of the moon because i didn't want to wait. i'm wondering if transplanting them during the waxing period improves growth or if that only helps when starting from seed. any thoughts?

karl said...

thanks everyone for the well wishes.

homesteading mommy,
i think that it has more to do with the germination and not transplanting.

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