Friday, January 22, 2010

Wow! A LOT going on.

So FINALLY warmer temps and lots of things happening.

Still without a camera so you'll have to use your imagination.

Here's the chicken story

Last week we became aware through my mother law Bessie of a flock of hens whose owner had died. Although there was feed(the man had purchased right before he died) and someone to feed them, because of the cold weather, no one was taking the trouble to feed these hens. So after hearing about this and the hens starting to die off for trying to keep themselves warm w/no nourishment, Billy and my mother in law loaded up and went down there to rescue the hens. Now mind, all we had to haul in was the new 500.00 minivan Billy had just purchased. The jeep has been in the shop. SO off they go, Piedmont is nearly 3 hours from here. When they get down there, the woman supposed to be taking care of them didn't have them penned so Billy chased chickens for 2 hours. He found 7 more dead from starvation. He got them all in cages along w/over 400 lbs of feed and their feeders and started back. He picked me up in Hillsboro at the rental property and we got them home. Yet me tell you, those cages were ripe by the time we got back and he had (not thinking) positioned the cages so we couldn't open the back vent windows to filter some of the smell. When we got here, we counted as taking them out of cages, a total of 72 chickens. There were 8 pairs of white Chinese Silkies. The next morning we found 2 more dead but so far all the rest are adjusting nicely to the addition of food of water to their my brother in law Merle says- "who knew".
Wow, can you imagine being so lazy that you can't feed something that you have food for?
Just think of all the eggs we will have, these hens were all hatched in 2009!

Yesterday, Denise Wissman from Kimker Hill Farm and I returned home from a Acidified Food class that we took at the suggestion of several people including my market master at Schlafly, Hally. While we both were certified along w/Dan from Blue Heron orchard, Stan from Sandhill, Nicola from Ozark Farm Mushrooms and Ivan from Ivan's Fig Farm, and Mary Ellen and Tina new farmers, we all left the course disgruntled and discouraged. We were lectured and tested on certifications that mostly had no bearing on operations our size and more more adapted to canneries. On top of this, there was no real information on how to get our products authorized, just that we SHOULD get them so AND that to do so could cost us up to 500.00 PER recipe and PER each SIZE product of said recipe that we wished to produce. For instance, say I have a great salsa recipe- let's just pretend....(Can ya just hear the sarcasm dripping?)
I would have to pay 500.00 to have this recipe approved in pint size, then again in 1/2 pint size and heaven for fend if I wanted to make a quart. Then lets say ...I ran out of the bell peppers that I grow for salsa usage, so Double Star farms who are always throwing me their leftover produce would sell me some, I would have to RESUBMIT that recipe, pay the fee again and ask for permission to make this salsa recipe w/these new peppers. UNREAL...
Anybody have the number of our congressman?
On a more cheerful note, when we got back last night I had some excitement in the barn. Our ewes Dahlly and Iris lambed last night. It was exciting as Dahlly was lambing in the front up the barn and Iris in the back so I got a little exercise running back and forth. Three girls and a boy. Sadly one of Dahlly's ewe lambs was breach and while I was able to save that one, this malpresentation cause the other to suffocate in the birth canal. This is a sad part of farm life and luckily not one we face often. We have only lost 4 lambs in the 7 years that we have been breeding. The books say to expect a 20% loss but we have had about a hundred lambs in that time so I think that we are ahead of the game. What do you think?
Don't forget that you can comment on posts and we'd love to hear from you...
and to everyone who is wondering, I feel great!

Really, Spring IS coming.


Sam and Bill

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