Bountiful Acres Farm

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Farngirl to gymnist in 3 easy steps

Posted by Sue on July 8, 2015 at 4:55 PM

I hear Blogging is all the rage these days! I am taking business classes that tell us that if you want your business to grow you MUST blog.  So I am blogging about blogging.  HHmmmm....  I don't think this is what they meant...  OK, would you like to hear how a farm girl becomes a gymnist?

So Monday, I am feeding the sheep.  Which now number in the upper 30's.  (Nature! WOW!)  Anyhow, I am feeding the sheep and because I love my sheep so much I sometimes decide that they just haven't had enough to eat so I'll get a third bucket out of the feed barn and offer them some more.  After all, If I am fat and sassy then my sheep should be as well.  (HA!)

I have a shed that has a regular house door that I walk into and then a 'barn' door that opens out into the field through which I exit with the feed to the delight of my sheep.  And delighted they are!  For surely the way they act they have not been fed in decades.  Though in reality it has been less then 24 hours.  I wonder if sheep days are like dog years... but I digress...

After I filled all the troughs this Monday I went in for one more.  That was the beginning of trouble for me.   I knew that when I came out the sheep would be there...so being as smart as I am...I backed out.  Seriuosly? What the snot was I thinking? 

Oh..I should tell you.. out that door is a wooden pallet since it tends to get muddy there...and on that pallet is a large cinder block.  Placed there by a genius! YEP! ME!!  I am a genius!

So ..here I am backing out..and there is of course a sheep there...and so I am backing up quickly..into the cinder block..with a bucket full of feed...and a sheep nudging to get in said bucket. 

From there...I am not quite sure what happened....

Except I went from Farm Girl to Gymnist is several quick steps.

I am falling backward over the cinder block, get my other boot caught under the pallet, somehow manage to turn myself around in mid air since I know I don't want to land on my back.  Oh no.... I landed on my chest..in the bucket.  And the 'twins' were screaming!!!  I also used my left wrist to somewhat break my fall.  As soon as I landed I knew I had to get up...sheep are relentless...they were already surrounding me for all the free food I had scattered about...

tears

instant tears

But I got up and composed myself enough to pick up the bucket and get back into the shed...and sit down on the milking stand and cry. oh I hurt.

50. 

My first thought....I am too old to be doing this.  And I hurt. All Over.

Composure.

I have goats to feed.  So off I went to take care of the rest of my duties. 

Oh .....I have taken inventory of the battle wounds..(LOL) and they are many. 

I moved the cinder block...in case you were wondering.

Have a groovy day!!!


Ready or not...here's a new post.....

Posted by Sue on August 23, 2011 at 10:40 AM

Lately we've been busy.  And that's a good thing.  :-)  I kind of mentioned on the front page how we have recently headed towards the sheep and wool full time ...and I should say how I have headed that way. 

You see I'm the one that is scattered!  Like I'm a wild flower out in the pasture and the winds blow and suddenly I'm blowing seeds EVERYWHERE.  Do you know what I mean?   You see, I've been incredibly blessed with creativity.  I can see something in a craft store, fabric store, or even a retail store and then if I like it or think I can sell it...I go home and make it.  I don't really need patterns or directions..I can just see it in my head.  I've always been like that and while it's good it's also not so good.  Because I make everything.  And my house and poor husband bear the brunt of that! LOL  I have one entire bedroom filled (FILLED) with craft supplies for everything from painting, sewing, quilting, knitting, multi media work, scrapbooking, altered art, jewelry, etc..,  and it's spreading...like leporasy...throughout our home!!!  I need serious help...like a support group or a therapist for OCD (over crafting disease)...  And, my family needs a FOTOC(family of the over crafted)group.  They don't intervene. They just enable me. They tell me how great the 'stuff' is. And "Oh it's so pretty"  When they mean..."ARE YOU KIDDING? WHY ARE YOU MAKING THAT??? WHICH HOLE WILL THAT GET STUFFED INTO????"  I'm kidding...but it's true.   Finally last fall my Aunt came to visit and she said.."All the stuff you make is nice, but don't you think you should focus on one or two things?"  WOW- at first I was mad.  She OBVIOUSLY  just doesn't understand.  But then slowly..and I do mean S L O W L Y, my eyes were opened.  I was a jack of all trades and master of NONE!!  And my home...well... it could really use a a crafty goodness clean out! 

And so it began.... the focus started to become clearer.  God had given me a dream of Sheep and all things sheep...and I had let the dream get side tracked and buried under a mound of crafts.  Well, the pile is being cleared and I'm putting stuff on Ebay everyday.  Let someone else use it up (Or store it at their house! LOL)  And, I have more time to hang out with the sheep (and the goats) in the pasture, and more money available to build things..like a new buck pen yesterday.  

Do you ever get 'lost' on your way to your dream?  What do/did you do about that? 

And speaking of the bucks...BOY!! There's a LOT of blubbering going on around here these days!!!!  Our girls(Goats) are in heat (not me and my sister!!!:/)  and they are making the boys NUTS!!!  Yesterday they broke out of their pen and that led us to build a new one last night out of cattle panels (I dare them to try to get out NOW! HA!)  And for those that have no idea what that's like...STINK STINK STINK!!!  That's the best way to describe it.  You see a male goat (Buck) pees all over himself (head, chest, belly, legs) to make himself more attractive to the girls.  (I for one am SO Glad we are not goats!! :mad:) And  they blubber.  They stick out their tongue and wiggle it..making a blubber sound. And one of our bucks actually sounds like he is barking when the girls get really close.  So funny to watch.   Maybe a video will make it's way here soon. ...

Have a fabulous day everyone!!

Sue

50????

Posted by Sue on December 10, 2010 at 8:10 AM

WooHoo!! This morning I stepped outside to see what the day would hold as far as weather.  It is quite balmy!  YEA!!!  I listened to the weather and it is supposed to be 50 degrees today!!  YAHOOO!! And none to soon as I've started developing a cold and my ears are quite achy.  (I used my Garlic Mullein oil last night..they are getting better) 

BUT....the weather is about to get worse.  So today will be busy trying to get the barn cozy for the goats and making some weather safe water buckets. (bucket in an old tire lined with straw to keep the water from freezing quite so fast).  The weatherman tells us rain tomorrow and then snow overnight and temps in the 30's Sunday and the 20's Monday with blustery winds.  ICK!  I hate when a middle TN weatherman uses words like BLUSTERY!  Not gonna be good.  Reminds me of living in Chicago.  We know blustery winds up there!  Can't say I miss it though.  As a matter of fact...I don't miss it one iota!!  LOL   I'm just wishing they'd keep north of here!  Ok..starting to get a little whiny so it's time to get about my day..goats, sheep and a cow need to be fed and rabbits (and everyone else) need water.   And I need more coffee..........

 

Have a fabulous day!

Sue

Ok, so I got a little busy...

Posted by Sue on December 9, 2010 at 5:47 PM

It has been a long hard summer for us and I finally have some time to devote to the website since it's been frigid outside.  Today though seemed like a heatwave! It got above freezing.  YEA!!!!  The goats, sheep and cow and I were all out in the pasture doing a happy dance.  Have you ever seen a goat doing a happy dance??  NO??? Really???  Well, have you ever seen me, the non dancer, do a happy dance??  I think it might rival the goats!!!  HA!  But none the less...we were all happy.  I, because it meant that the water didn't stay frozen all day and I didn't have to lug buckets of water to the barn and the buck pen and the ducks, geese, and the chickens and yada yada yada.  Back to the happy dance!!!  Oh yea, and I also had to do some fencing yesterday as the goats had figured another way out. (when your a farmer you have to do all kinds of stuff no matter the weather) and today they stood there by the new fence post and seemed to be having quite the discussion about what they were to do now!  After all they only have 3 acres of pasture and clearly the grass on the other side of the fence IS GREENER!!!  And all the while, I'm standing on the berm around the pond watching and I can feel my feet start to dance..the happy dancer!!!!  As John Belushi once said "Because I"m the dancer!!!"  (Have you seen that skit?)

Back in the house I have been sewing felted slippers and am putting my sheep fleece in between the liner and the outer material.  Should make for some wonderful slippers.  Watch for them on our products page.  Did you know that wool is so cool? Pure wool is legendary for its ability to perfectly regulate temperature, so that you'll never feel too hot or cold, making it suitable for year-round use just about anywhere. (Wool has traditionally been the material of choice of insulation for this reason) I can't wait to get my feet in these slippers.  I made a bed pillow out of my wool and my sister and I have been taking turns sleeping on it and it is wonderful. 

Did you know wool-filled pillows help regulate temperature so you sleep warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Breathe easier and sleep soundly cradled in luxurious comfort.  They also help with allergies. Wool naturally repels dust mites, mold, mildew and bacteria, so it's the perfect choice for your sleeping environment. Although wool will compress 1/3 its size with use, it's springiness and resiliency is much better than cotton batting. In addition, the lanolin is a natural deterrent for dust mites.  And have you seen the price of a wool pillow??  WOW!!!   I have so much wool that I may consider making a few for sale.  I covered mine in an organic cotton pillowcase that I made.  I truly is a wonderful thing.

Gotta get back to it!  Soups on the stove and I have a winter hat that I need to finish sewing.

 

Have a fabulous day!

Sue

Is it really March?

Posted by Sue on March 10, 2010 at 9:01 AM

Really?  Where does time go?  Where's the nice weather?  Ok, I know that it has been nice the last few days but all in all it has been a brutal winter.  Or maybe my world has changed so much in the last few years that even though it's 20 degrees out I still have to go to the barn and take care of all the critters.  (What was I thinking??  80+ animals and a crops to boot??) 

But I must admit....I L O V E it! :D  And, I feel like I'm living a dream.  Yep, I've dreamed about this for years(over 30) and each time something new comes to live here or a new oppurtunity presents itself I mentally can see the check list of things to accomplish in my life and another check is added to the list.  Lately it sounds like "check check check check". 

 

Since I've last posted (Feb 18th?  REALLY????) we've added some new life here.  Our new bucks came.  We bought a LaMancha Buck and a Nubian Buck.  Both are bottle babies and I'm beginning to think that they think that they are human babies! LOL.  We named them Hawk and Bear.  (My sis and I are from Chicago...Blackhawks and the Bears)  Hawk was less then a week old and Bear was about a month old.     This is Jil and Hawk.

 

I'll post some more pics soon of the two new guys.  

We have been keeping LaMancha's and one thing about LaMancha's is that they have tiny ears.  When people aren't used to seeing them they ask us "What happened to their ears?"  Sometimes I want to tell them.. "We ate them!"  Just kidding........    Anyhow, we brought Bear home and he has HUGE ears (should've named him Dumbo) and the adult LaMancha's came over to him and Bigsby our weathered buck walked right up to him and bite an ear.  As if to say, "What the heck are these buddy?"

 

We've also added two Nubain Does.  Shannon recently kidded so she is in full milk and Lauren is just about at the end of her lactation.  We are getting just over a gallon of milk per day from these two girls.  Our adjustment with them has been the talking(read:bellowing) these two girls do.  Our LaManchas are quiet and so very friendly and these girls just talk talk talk.  Maybe once they settle in they will quiet down. 

 

The other thing that is going full force here at the farm is the planting and planning for crops.  It's been to if-y to put things out yet, but the seedlings in the trays are all looking mighty fine!  There are over 720 plants in my kitchen (Yikes!) that I started from seed  and more outside.  I've also been doing a lot of networking lately and learning sooo much and meeting some great people!  I attended the Tennessee Organics Growers Association (T.O.G.A) conference this past weekend and really enjoyed that.  I met with our UT Extension Agent yesterday and got some good leads from him, though part of that was frustrating.  For example: if I want to sell plants (herb and veggies starts) and if they have been in the ground I have to spray them before I can sell them.  Spray them?????  With chemicals????  Then how can I call them organic?????????   That seems to defeat the whole purpose.    How do we educate the state on the dangers of sprays??

 

Well....I've rambled on and on and it's time to move on to things outdoors.

 

Have a most fabulus day!

Sue

Can you ride a goat?

Posted by Sue on February 18, 2010 at 1:17 PM

Kind of a silly quesiton, no?  Well let me tell you about my day...............

It started out as a beautiful sunny day.  A little cool and muddy muddy muddy...but I was choosing to look up and think"Ah, sun!"

 

So I decided to go check on the goats and see what's up with them.  They are all sunbathing and just looking content.  I decide "Nonsense!" Let's stir it up...I'll trim their nails.  Goats are not like people.  They do not enjoy a good pedicure no matter how much treats they are given.  At least mine don't.  I have to carry the trimmer in my pocket...so as to sneak up on them! HA!  I, believing I'm so clever, come up next to Bigsby and start to pet him and then reach for his front leg and work my way down, I bend up the hoof and start to trim.  "So far, so good.  He must be in a good mood today"  (A little background here...most folks do this on a goat stand.  We don't have one yet and we do it on the fly! Usually two or three of us and we hold the goat while the other trims.  Well not today...after all I'm Super Sue!  LOL)

Back to Bigsby.....

 

While I"m down there trimming the hoof he starts to get restless, so brillant me...I decide to put a leg on either side of his neck to hold him in place.  Bigsby is a BIG goat.  He is also a silly goat.   And, I can hardly imagine what he was thinking! :D

Up went Bigsby's head and up I went onto his shoulders!!!!  I was suddenly sitting ON MY GOAT! And, yelling Bigsby! Bigsby!  To which he assumed I meant "RUN ....RUN FASTER"  So being the good goat that he is....HE DID!!!  I'm trying to reach the ground on one side so I can hopefully stand up and GET OFF....but NO! So I'm thinking "I'm gonna have to fall off!"  I'm trying not to make too much noise at the point because 'farmer across the street' (that's his name.:dry:) is there and I sure don't want to look like a fool..I know...TOO LATE!!! 

Well. after picking myself up and looking around I gather my composure and congratulate Bigsby on job well done!  I will not trim his feet or anyone else's today.  I will go shopping! Hmph!  So off to Barnes and Noble I go to get "The 5000 year leap".  And maybe a Starbuck's to soothe my wounded ego!

 

I LOVE GOATS!!!  

 

Have a most fabulous day!

 

Questions answered

Posted by Sue on February 15, 2010 at 10:10 AM

Hello there!

 

We've been getting several questions about how our animals are fed.  I wanted to post that here so everyone can see at once.

 

Our birds(chickens, ducks, turkeys, geese, and gunieas) are all free ranging.  That means that they have full access to all 8 of our acres.  They also wander onto the 12 acre hay field next to us.  No chemicals are used on any of those 20 acres.  We use no chemical fertilizers, treatments, nothing.  They are also supplemented with scratch grains.  That means that they get some millet, oats, sunflower seeds, and other grains.  They only get that when the ground is frozen and the land is barren in the winter time.  There just isn't enough plant life and bug life to support them without some supplemental (organic) feed.  Sometimes in the winter months I'll cook up some beans and quinoa and millet and rice and give that to them to make sure that they are getting the nutrients they need.  And, we put some cider vinegar in their water to provide them with the health benefits from that.

 

Our sheep and goats are fed hay and alfalfa and are on pasture 24/7.  We use a supplemental grain mixture that is mixed especially for us to support the pregnant ewes/does as they get closer to giving birth.   Their water is also enriched with cider vinegar and/or rosemary.  Rosemary keeps the water fresher longer.

 

As our does give birth the goat milk will be flowing.  And that's when we will start to offer goat shares.  I'll keep you updated on that as we are in the process of having our contract written through the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund so that everything is done legally and no one can get in any kind of trouble.  The state and officials are very strict with this.

 

Our seeds that have been planted in the flats are all starting to sprout and are giving me the hope of spring...and then I look outside and I think..."Spring?  When" Where""  It snowed again last night and it's in the 20's here today.  I got up at 3:30am just to look outside and watch the snow and the winds blowing the snow sideways...it was peaceful and beautiful.

 

Stay Warm wherever you are-

Sue

Anticipation

Posted by Sue on February 5, 2010 at 9:08 AM

Good Morning!

 

Today holds many possibilities for our farm.  Jil and I (Sue) are heading to the meeting I breifly mentioned yesterday.  The local PBS station is hosting it and has invited some big (possible) customers for local producers.  From what I understand there will also be some insurance folks there and other business type of resources.  This is such a great contact for us to make..who knows maybe someday we'll be featured on Volunteer Gardening or Tennessee Crossroads. 

 

As our farm continues to evolve we see new oppurtunities open to us.  We are talking about planting some Christmas trees and offering a U-Cut option for some of our CSA members and other local folks.  I also enjoy making wreaths, so to grow evergreens and make fresh wreaths is another area that we are trying to develop.  Our grapevines will need to be cut back as they grow so there's another source for wreaths. 

 

Our hoophouse continues to be something we are working on.  I have a (A) hoop up and keep trying to get that accomplished.  It was supposed to up last fall.  Hmph.  It's amazing how many other things can take priority when you hadn't planned on them doing so.  BUT- we NEED this so be done within the next month.

 

Today I'll be starting the Leeks and Celery in some flats.  It's time to start getting those seeds started! YEAH!  Gardening is right around the corner.   Of course I've been thinking about since last December when all the seeds catalogs started pouring in.  I've placed two LARGE orders for heirloom and rare seeds and can not wait to start the planting FULL speed.  Patience.  Patience.  (We are suppose to get more snow tomorrow and next week).  If anyone knows a good source for some golden beets I sure could use some direction.  Everywhere I've been ordering has been OUT of those already. 

 

Have a geat day!

A La Nina Winter

Posted by Sue on February 4, 2010 at 10:20 PM

We've been told time and time again that this is a LaNina winter.  oh yea.  It is raining again here at the farm and the pasture is mushy.  Or sloshy...if that's even a word.  First it snowed here last Friday, then it iced.  Then it melted and now it's raining.  If you know anything about goats...they are NOT happy.  Poor Enya.  She stays in the barn most of the day.  The others come out and it almost looks like they are tip toeing.  And, then they head back to the barn also.  I like to go down there during the day and just hang out with them and give them back scratches and head rubs.  And, I have a lawn chair that I keep down there.  When I sit in it the goats will rub on the back of the chair.  I call it a goaty backrub.  It's the most relaxing part of my day. 

 

Tomorrow we are headed up to Cookeville to meet with some folks about possibly providing fresh produce for the school district there and the big hospital up that way.  That would be great for our bottom line.  We'll see how it goes....

 

Have a great evening!

Sue

Cooments are off

Posted by Sue on

It would appear that creepy creeps are everywhere.  I had a guest comment area and the creeps went there to leave cryptic messages, so I deleted that page.   Now they are leaving comments on this blog.  Fine! Disabled Comments.  So Sorry, ya'll, I will not have them junking up my pages and will disable them any chance I get!!  

GO AWAY CREEPS!!!!!




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