Happy New Year I think!

Greetings to all you wonderful farm followers! Forgive me for my absence on this farm blog. I know that in order to keep folks informed I need to share information a bit more. So hopefully 2019 will be a year with more information shared. Time is precious and the Lord reminds us to always be in the state of redeeming it. So when I waste it, it is truly the forsaking of a special gift. Social media and the internet in general can be a real time stealer if I myself am not careful. I am guilty so many times of “wasting God’s precious time”. My desire is to be a person who adds to your life not takes away from it. So please if what I share is of no interest do not waste your time reading my words. Like I stated above it is a precious commodity. This post is an update post of what is going on around here on Didaskalos Farm. The focus topic for this post is Sheep, to be more specific our sheep the Gulf Coast breed. Some call them Gulf Coast Natives nevertheless they are what we raise here. This is going to be quite a lengthy post so be prepared. :-)

Gulf Coast sheep are a very endangered breed of sheep. Critical status according to the Livestock Conservancy. Here you can read about them: https://livestockconservancy.org/index.php/heritage/internal/gulf-coast After I pondered that information about five years ago I decided to do a bit more research and then perhaps try my hand at being a Shepherdess. Now I was new to sheep and sadly there are not very many mentors available so what I have learned has mostly been by reading extensively, interacting with other sheep owners and my own trial and error. We like to do things very naturally around here. Which in the world we now find ourselves in is no easy feat! Any grain fed here is always organic. We try to work with the animals immune systems first before we reach for a chemical of some sort. It is not always easy but we are convinced it is right. We try and give our livestock the best we can provide for them and in turn they provide for us. We try based upon their genetics to get them back to as natural a state God made them to thrive in. It is a constant challenge.

Late last summer we traveled to Connecticut to pick up a new ram for our small flock. I kept seeing the same genetics over and over again on potential herd sires and decided that I wanted some new genetics in my flock. So working with another breeder we made a trade on yearlings. She received one of my ewes and I one of her rams. My youngest son Brian, his son Braxton who is one of my 19 grandchildren and I traveled up to Connecticut to make the trade. Not wanting to tow a large trailer I had a travel cage custom made for the back of our Ford F-150. Off we went! Our trip went well, the Kramers were awesome folks and Titan was now heading to SC to start another generation of Gulf Coasts!

In early October I was informed by a lady who was a Shepherdess but gave up her farm that a fellow breeder was selling out and that she had some ewes that she thought would be good additions. I made the contact and after reviewing the registrations of her available animals and viewing photos of them I decided on two ewes. After a Vet check on both, travel paperwork completed I set out to Georgia to retrieve these two. They were very skittish which is not necessarily abnormal for sheep but nonetheless we got them loaded and I headed home. They appeared heavy in wool and I could not adequately assess their condition so I inquired as to the date of their last shearing. Apparently for whatever reason they did not get sheared in 2018 so they were carrying two years worth of fleece. Bear with me as I share this information for in hindsight this information could have been a big help to me in the future. They were also left with the owners ram so we did not have a confirmation of their breeding status. My desire was for them to not be bred so I could breed them to our new ram since their ram was related to my ewes here on Didaskalos Farm. So my only option at this point was to isolate them till I could observe estrus and go from there. By December neither showed signs so I could only assume they were indeed pregnant. The one ewe I was told normally has twins. Now I have a big ewe who has given me to this point three sets of twins. So I saw no reason for any issues but in my ignorance it would be a major factor in the weeks to follow.

On January 9, 2019 the one new ewe lambed a good size ewe without any problem. We jugged her and attended to her needs as we do with all our sheep mommas. Baby was given the once over after birth and they were left to bond as they should. So at this point we knew that the other ewe was not far behind. On January 13, 2019 this ewe did not rise in the morning to feed with the others. Acting quickly I checked her body temperature and praise God it was normal. I decided a call to our Vet was needed and sadly he was on vacation. He gave some phone advice and I did as instructed and gave the ewe some corn syrup and water. He suspected pregnancy toxemia so I frantically called Vet after Vet to find some help for this poor ewe. Now I have experienced milk fever in one of our heavy producing milk cows in the past. But pregnancy toxemia was new to me. Finally located a Vet and she arrived about an hour later. My husband had been comforting this ewe, he had wrapped her in a heavy blanket and spoke sweetly to her to keep her calm. Vet arrived and we discussed potential scenarios. The ewes blood sugar was checked and it was on the low side so we decided at this point that a hospital evaluation was necessary. We loaded her up in my SUV and headed over to UGA to have her evaluated. Several hours later we were given the diagnosis of pregnancy toxemia. Her blood work was abnormally low in some areas and at this point my medical mind just could not rest. I got on the internet and did some research and what I witnessed in this animal was like milk fever in my cow. Her calcium was very low and quite unstable. She was also pregnant with twins and they did not know if she was going to survive. I made the decision after praying with my husband that we would let them stabilize her and make a decision about the baby lambs in 24 hours. The next day I made the decision to bring those lambs out even though they were a bit premature. So on January 14, 2019 in the afternoon two baby ram lambs were born via c-section. They were a bit premature and the hospital staff gave them their full medical attention. Fast forward to today, rams are alive and thriving , being bottle fed since no bonding with their momma. They are growing well because of the Lord’s gracious hand. Their momma is still in recovery mode, still has a residual weakness in her left back leg. Her future here is being carefully evaluated since we incurred well over $2600 in Veterinary bills. So what did all this experience teach me? I am quite ignorant in so many areas. I need God more than I really understand and farming is both wonderful and hard. The best thing I am learning is that as God teaches me I can then impart these precious lessons to help others. Hopefully our painful experience will be a blessing of knowledge to other struggling young farmers.

Welcome Fall!

Greetings all you farm followers and welcome to any new friends. I am so very sorry that I have been absent for almost two months! So many family situations are in the works that my time seems to have been stolen away! The cooler temperatures here in the Upstate of SC are very welcomed by our family. Born in NYC and raised in NJ I was quite accustomed to the cooler temperatures most of the year. We did endure our share of hot summers but nothing like the southern heat and humidity. However, that all being said I love it here. Most of the folks I meet are kind and considerate, not being hurried along like so many of the dear folks in the North. We still have family up in that area and when I return for a visit I can understand the higher levels of stress they seem to be carrying upon their shoulders. So it is a quick reminder of the privileges I have been given by God to live in peace and serenity here.

We have purchased a new Gulf Coast ram from up in Connecticut in late August and we also picked up two ewes on Saturday from a farm in Georgia in a flock dispersal. We hope to raise a good size flock for meat and fiber with this very endangered breed. We will be updating the web pages over the next few weeks to reflect the seasonal changes and the new additions.

Our milk cow Summer is nearing the end of her lactation so our milk supply is decreasing it seems daily. It is funny because it never fails that when supply is low, demand is great and vice versa. But I do enjoy the slowing down of the work pace on the farm. We do not advertise our milk for sale since we have not jumped through all the so called legal hoops and in no way do I desire to become a raw milk dairy. There are enough good farmers struggling in this country but we do help a few folks who through whatever crisis they find themselves need grass fed A2/A2 raw milk. Being a retired Nurse I use the utmost aseptic techniques I know to provide a safe and healthy product. Our cows are routinely tested for disease and we maintain a closed herd here. There are no areas that are off limits to all who visit here, we are transparent as can be. Bio security is important but we work around what we can to give folks an understanding of what we do. We do not allow ignorance on this farm. We make sure folks are fully educated and responsible for their own health.

The Bake Shop has been sadly inactive for these past few months, though I bake privately for some so I continue to bake in that capacity. Reasons are numerous but I refuse to put out any product that I cannot truly say is excellent. Time is important with artisan baking especially with the Ancient grains I use so I cannot in all good conscience put out inferior products. That being said Thanksgiving will soon be upon us and Lord willing I will open the shop to supply the necessities for all those who desire our Einkorn products.There are sooo many great things to bake for those who either due to time constraints of their own or simply not skilled enough desire to have. So watch the Bake Shop inventory to see what is available under the SC Cottage baking law.

So if you have hung on till this point in the blog post then I say “Thank You”! Please feel free to respond to this post. We have so much vying for time these days and we live in such a mean society that my desire is to offer a place to learn and be shown kindness and respect no matter who or what you are. I will include a recipe for a lovely Pumpkin Spice Bundt cake recipe courtesy of Jovial Foods. It is DELICIOUS!

Einkorn Pumpkin Spice Bundt cake

8 tbsps (113g) butter, melted

1 c. (225g) pumpkin puree

1/4 c. (50g) olive oil

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground ginger

pinch of nutmeg, cloves and cardamon

1 3/4c (210g) Einkorn all-purpose flour

2 tsps baking powder

1/2 tsp each of baking soda and sea salt

4 large eggs

1 c (200g) sugar

You can either dust this cake with confectionary sugar when COMPLETELY cool or use the following glaze recipe.


1 c (120 g) confectionary sugar

1/8 tsp ground each of cinnamon and ginger or 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

2 tbsps water

Grease and flour a 12 cup bundt pan. Preheat over to 350 degrees.

In a medium sized bowl whip together the melted butter, pumpkin puree, and the spices. In a small bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the 4 eggs. Mix at low speed till eggs are beat well. Add the 1 cup of sugar and beat on medium high speed till eggs are pale yellow and fluffy. Detach the bowl from the mixer and fold in the dry/wet ingredients alternately in 3 separate additions using a spatula. Make sure all the ingredients are blended well. Pour contents into prepared bundt pan and bake for 35-40 minutes until tooth pick inserted in comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Then flip onto a wire cooling rack and let cool for an hour or till completely cooled. Dust with powdered sugar or make the glaze from the recipe above. If cake is not completely cooled the toppings of choice will be absorbed into the warm cake so let it cool not matter how hard you are tempted! Or if you do not need icing go ahead and grab a slice!

Welcome August!

Good morning farm followers! I cannot believe it is August 13th already! Wow this year is literally flying by! August has proven to be quite hot and very wet just as July has been. God has given me many things to do so my days are filled, but we need to remind ourselves that business does not mean productive. As you read through the information pages of this website you know we raise Gulf Coast sheep. These are a critically endangered breed of sheep simply because folks just are not raising them. They are really great sheep! They have lovely fleeces which can be used in many applications. Their meat is mildly tasting, not gamey or over powering. We keep them as "grass fed"as possible and whenever grain is fed to them it it always ORGANIC. No compromises here simply because we know that grain is heavily sprayed with man made chemical fertilizers and pesticides and it is not worth it. Our health and the health of others matters. We want children to grow strong and healthy. We want to see their beautiful brains develop to be a blessing to society in whatever capacity God gives them. So we farm with a purpose and we trust God continues His hand of blessing upon us to make a difference. The Bake Shop and the Farm Store have been quiet these last few weeks. Baking is happening but on a smaller scale. I never want to bake "just because" I want to create nutritious food, food with a mission to make us strong and bless our bodies with things good for us. I so want to tell the world about Ancient grains and how much they are missing when they do not avail themselves of the pure goodness of them. But I wait patiently for whatever opportunity I am given. Until then I work, and study, and trust! Lord willing we will be traveling up to Connecticut to pick up a new Ram for the Ewes on Friday. It is a 17 hour drive but I trust we will learn much on our journey. We will post new pictures of this special new male on the farm next week so stayed tuned! OK folks have a good rest of your day. May August be a month of joy and blessings to you all.

Summer wanes on...

Good morning farm followers! Wanted to stop in and give an update on what all is going on around here. Summer is in full swing and it has been very hot and quite wet this month. I am thankful though because there are so many dry places across this land they would gladly swap a place with me. Got some fresh organic peaches, Bing and Rainier cherries as well as some lovely organic rhubarb from a company I have been doing business with for well over ten years. Azure Standard in Dufur, Oregon. I am all about buying and supporting local but when local cannot or will not meet my standard and I cannot do it myself then I do the next best thing and that is imitate the Proverbs 31 woman and get it from afar. Azure has wonderful organic produce which the majority is grown by themselves. These folks were organic before organic had to be a buzz word! So when they have fruits and veggies in season I am all for it. Thankfully we have a Co op that delivers monthly so I can get my goods without too much of a hassle. Hopefully some of these lovely fruits/veggies will make an appearance in the Bake Shop before weeks end. Life gets pretty hectic around here. Some days I wish I could replicate myself just so I would have help. :-) My dear friend and food photographer Jessica Gray has finished up snapping beautiful images of all I asked her to do. I will get the new photos uploaded ASAP. The only slow down for me is that the photos she took are so awesome it is hard to choose just one. Been working on some yogurt cultures hopefully I will get the different varieties going so I can incorporate that into my product line. I would ask that if anyone would like to purchase freshly baked Ancient grain bakery products from our shop please message me. I try to be available almost every day so in order to offer the best of the best I would appreciate advanced ordering. You do not need to pay for anything until pick up but I want to make sure Einkorn, Red Fife and Mr. Abruzzi rye look their best! I mailed some goodies to Michigan and they are to arrive by Friday. Will know then how shelf stable these products can be. I have had a few requests to possibly ship some products. This is a test of possibly doing that. Well I have rambled on enough. Looking to continue providing quality to you all so your lives will be quality living!

Cottage Bakeshop Updates

Good afternoon on this lovely Sunday afternoon. We are thankful for Sundays around this farm since we rest from our labors and nourish our souls. Today we celebrated the baptism of our 19th grandchild. Such a blessing, so as I sit here and reflect on the gracious God we have I bless Him for all the wonderful folks who came to the Bakeshop this week. We do so desire to see folks come and learn about how food can be nourishing and good for you once again. Einkorn as many of you know is the staple grain of which I bake and I am excited to add new things to our product line. We are blessed in this nation with such an abundance of seasonal fruits and veggies.  It is such a privilege that their appearance is on the food scene now and I can hardly wait to showcase them in the little Bakeshop. On the Farm store side we will have some fresh organically grown local tomatoes and cucumbers that we would love to get an opportunity to sell. Cherries are very available now so hopefully we can get some cherry type breads and scones baked up as well as a crostata or two! Well enough said today! Thank you for reading my blog and hopefully we can be blessing to you this week.