Welcome Summer!

Good day to all of you dear sweet farm followers! It has been a busy few months around here! We have a new A2/A2 mid sized Jersey calf growing like a weed! Her momma makes some rich milk for sure. Summer Thyme we believe lacerated her left rear teat with her dew claw several weeks back. At first we thought the poor calf (Zoe) was the guilty party but after reading some trusted organic Vet books the type of injury indicated dew claw. It is fly season! When she came in for milking one morning I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I said, Lord, this is beyond me! After He calmed my spirit down He gave me the courage to get to work cleaning it up and start the process of healing. Apparently it happened during the night so suturing it was out of the question. The swelling I understand would just cause the sutures to tear out. It was extremely painful for her so we quickly gave her some arnica and garlic tincture.That combination did the trick and she was a bit more comfortable. We then began rubbing some herbal infused olive oil on that quarter. We unfortunately could not milk her in that quarter at all without a potential injury to ourselves so we did the best we could. We are weeks down the road now and the laceration is completely healed but we do have some mastitis in that quarter. Thank God it is mild since the milk strains perfectly her CMT is barely reading a + 2 We are milking her twice daily and using some products from a company out of Pennsylvania called Synergy Animal Products. We expect a full recovery. Thankfully cows have an udder that keeps each quarter somewhat self contained. So mastitis in one quarter does not transfer to the other three unless you are sloppy and do not keep clean equipment. We milk that quarter totally separately and discard the milk. I cannot say enough about proper handling of raw milk. Milk as aseptically as you possibly can. Keep your cows clean and where they bed down as clean as you can. I have made myself a mini lab and I can now test my own milk for aerobic bacteria and coliforms. We do not sell raw milk as a certified dairy but we do want to make sure that our milk is a healthy and safe as possible. We work hard on our soil and do our best to strengthen our animals immune systems so they themselves can fight off any potential infections.

We have acquired some Narragansett turkeys! Yay! Three hens and two Toms. As well as three poults! We also have some Beltsville Small White turkey eggs in an incubator hopefully will hatch the first week of July. Also have some Silver Appleyard ducks eggs in another incubator due the hatch the second week of July. All of these poultry/water fowl breeds are very endangered. We hope to raise a few for our Thanksgiving table this year. Busy time here on the farm.

Last but not least we finally have a bee hive that survived the winter. It is getting so big we have to split it. I am so excited. we take a completely hands off approach to beekeeping. We check on them periodically but we use no treatments to keep them alive. We have plenty of pollinator friendly plants for them to thrive on and thankfully most of our neighbors garden organically. Lord willing we will be selling this farm before years end and relocating in the area to a place with much more pasture land and a lot less HOUSE. This beautiful old place just is too big for us. We need to downsize for sure and that is our prayer. We have a few sheep to sell so if any one is interested in a few Gulf Coast native sheep please email the farm. Enjoy your summer!

Welcome surprise new calf!

Greetings all you farm followers! I am happy to report that our standard A2/A2 standard Jersey-Summer gave us a beautiful new heifer calf on Wednesday May 1st!! YAY!!!!!! Summer has what I would call “silent heats”. We have our Middy Jersey Bull here in a separate pasture. Apparently he visited Summer in early August on one of his break outs and failed to notify Farmer Craig or I. So needless to say Summer did not come up for milking and she did not appear very pregnant to me but lo and behold she gave me the new title “The Dumbest Farmer in S.C.” Now sadly I do not consider myself a novice and I have been working on trying to decipher her signals so we could get her bred. But she apparently never sent me the memo of “no thanks, we got this”. Nevertheless we have a beautiful little heifer calf. We are going to send tail hairs off to UC Davis to make sure she is genetically what we say she is. Summer is now giving milk again which I will be sending a sample off to be tested just to make sure she is healthy and so is her milk. So that is my good news for the beginning of this month. Hopefully we will get back providing fresh wholesome grass fed milk to the folks who desperately need it.

The Gulf Coast lambs born this year are all growing like weeds! We for the first time in our sheparding have three bottle babies. Through no fault of their own their mothers developed health issues making it impossible for them to rear these little lambs. They are all healthy and beautiful and hopefully will have wonderful fiber filled lives ahead of them. We will seek out special homes for these little rams simply because we want to make sure they will be fine and so will their future owners. Bottle babies are very friendly which can make the rams a bit more dangerous. A good healthy fear of humans keeps them safe and us as well. Now we do handle our animals but the males of any species are treated with caution simply because many of them can be very unpredictable. Any animal weighing more than me is dangerous so when animals get up near 180-200 lbs I am very cautious. Our bull weighs probably 800-900 lbs and he is a mid/mini. Jersey. Caution is always a thought when I enter any area with livestock. Be careful folks but enjoy your farms, take no risks that would endanger your life but appreciate every day. It is a gift from God!

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.