Welcome Spring!

Hello happy farm followers! Spring has finally sprung! The pollen count unfortunately has been extremely high and unhealthy here in the Upstate of SC over the last week. Today the humidity is so low we have a fire burn ban in effect warning everyone to not burn leaves or outside debris. Add to that the fact that the wind is very active today and those two factors do not bode well together! I usually do not feel the effects of pollen counts too much but the last three days I have had a terrible sore throat and a dry cough. Treatment: manuka honey, Apple cider vinegar and cayenne pepper with enough water to create a slurry to gargle with and drink. Last night I added some ginger to the mix. If I do not start noticing any improvement I will begin chewing 3-5 cloves of garlic. We have the air purifier on in the bedroom and use a large humidifier in the room as well. All very beneficial.

Looked out my office window and on top of the pillars on the front porch the little birds are building their nests. You know it is Spring when you see them busily working and setting. This is the time I watch very closely for my three barns cats whereabouts so we have no casualties! They are very good hunters I am afraid and no bird is safe around them. Need to give them a bit of extra food during these times so we do not shoot ourselves in the foot! Speaking of birds, I am on the hunt for some Narragansett turkey poults to raise. I have made contact with some folks in Georgia hopefully they will come through for me. When we had our farm in Alabama we raised both Narragansetts and Bourbon Reds. Unfortunatelyy we thought it best to re-home them before the move over to SC. Now I wish to start again. Before long April will be upon us and it will be a busy month here for sure! Will start opening the Bake Shop soon as Spring is always a great time for new beginnings! Thanks for reading this post. Please email the farm with any request, concerns or just overall feedback. Enjoy your Spring!

Happy March!

Greetings farm followers! I think lambing season is almost done. We have one more hold out and truthfully I am not sure 100% she is pregnant. The suspected ewe is named Elinor and she is the oldest Gulf Coast ewe we have. She will, Lord willing turn 14 on April 26, 2019. Wow that just amazes me! Last year she had a pretty rough year, her fleece was just awful. We had gotten an LGD the year before (Great Pyrenees) because we has some issues with foxes and coyotes in the neighborhood. Unfortunately she enjoyed chasing our sheep. No matter how hard we tried to discourage the behavior she just did not get it. Thankfully we were able to re-home her and poor Elinor had to work on being able to just de-stress! This year her fleece is in better shape and she has put on a good deal of weight. That is why I believed she was pregnant. And she still might be, her daughter Amarantos was the last to lamb a few weeks ago so she might yet still have a wee lamb to contribute. Either way she will be the respected matriarch and live out her days hopefully in comfort and peace. I appreciate that she is very tolerant of the young lambs. They run and climb on her. Some just snuggle up against her when their moms are off grazing. It is a wonderful sight! So we have 9 lambs born this year. Five ram lambs and four ewes. Three of those rams are sired by our new herd sire Titan. All the males have horn and thus far the ewes do not. However, that can change :-( Two years ago I had our Vet out to help dock a tail and do some tagging. We were going to dis-bud the females if any had horn buds. The Vet checked a set of twin ewes for me and they were at least two weeks old, no horns. But after several months they did develop some and both have a small set of thin horns. We do not milk them therefore I do not concern myself with the horns. I do believe in dis-budding animals that you work closely with.

Pretty soon it will be shearing time around here! Hopefully our shearer will get here before the end of March. This year I vowed I will process our wool or give up raising Sheep! My poor husband really is patient but I should not let the fleeces add no value to the farm so I promised to get it into high gear this year. Pray for me that I will be true to my word.

The Bake Shop hopefully will be opening up by the end of March. I was trying to get it opened one day a week but my time is so precious that I just cannot seem to dedicate myself solely to baking. And baking like we do here takes concentrated time and effort. However, that said I do bake privately for folks so feel free to message the farm and I can always arrange my schedule to acomodate orders.

I had a lovely lady and her sister call about stopping by while they were in the area. We welcome visitors here but we do appreciate a little advanced notice. It was my fault for not posting our hours clearly and I am very sure we disappointed them. We are limited in what we have for sale so it is best to call ahead. Our raw milk is in limited supply and we are NOT a licensed dairy. We do test our milk for our own purposes just to make sure our cows are healthy but we do not regularly send our milk to labs. Therefore we do not sell raw milk to consumers. Please call if you folks have any questions about purchasing milk. We can help direct you.

Well enough said! Thank you for your time and the patience to read this post. Feel free to comment, ask questions or give some positive feedback. We are very thankful for you all.

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!