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Herd Highlights ~ Wonka

Posted on September 18, 2019 at 11:20 PM Comments comments (0)

HERD HIGHLIGHTS

She’s beautiful. We really like her color and her character. When the sun reflects off her coat, she looks like she’s glowing.

Wonka is calm and observant. She watches our every move so we can rarely sneak anything past her. She plays gently with the calves.

She will be calving soon too. Her first. So excited. Wonka is full blood Angus, and we are blessed to have her in our herd.

 

Blossoms Update 09.10.19

Posted on September 10, 2019 at 9:40 PM Comments comments (0)

The experiment

I have always wanted to grow Delphinium. I’ve failed miserably, but I have not surrendered. Yet.

This year a bit more research under my belt and I’m ready to try again.

Delphiniums are perennials grown for their showy spikes of colorful summer flowers in gorgeous shades of blue, pink, white, and purple.

I knew the seed needed cold treatment (stratification), but I still was not getting germination.

Now, I’m experimenting with presoaking the seeds in wet coffee filters. 5 days. Then they should start to sprout. Once sprouted I can gently transfer them to seed trays and watch in fascination as they grow. Will keep you posted! And if anyone has a trick to get these stubborn seeds to germinate - please share!

 

Blossoms Update 08.20.19

Posted on September 10, 2019 at 9:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Dahlias

Just saying the name makes my heart beat faster. They are GORGEOUS! Everything I researched says Texas is too hot for them. Texas is too hot for a lot of us! LOL. But I love Texas and I love flowers. So there had to be a way to grow them here.

 

In January 2017 our regional director (ASCFG) at the time, Rita Anders, invited fellow flower farmers to her farm in Weimar, TX. She shared her secrets! One of her secrets – planting Dahlia tubers in August in your high tunnel. What?!?!

 

So, guess what I did this past Sunday. Planted 50 tubers of Dahlias. YAY! Now, hopefully they will sprout and in early spring we will have GORGEOUS blossoms. If successful, of course, I will have to plant more, lots more. ��

 

Blossoms Update 08.05.19

Posted on September 10, 2019 at 9:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Wait a minute....

We're supposed to start Cool Flowers now AND continue to harvest AND continue to succession plant sunflowers AND continue to sell at Farmers Market AND continue to weed/cover crop/ mow/ water / water/ water AND plan for 2020?

 

August used to be the month I hid in the AC. Now its up at dawn, drain the coffee cup and rush outside before the heat becomes unbearable.

 

I am trialing a new plant. Hibiscus Mahogany Splendor. Fantastic foliage with deep burgundy, maple-shaped leaves. Well-suited to the landscape, this colorful, drought and heat-resistant plant makes for excellent bouquet filler. I’m excited to see how it grows!

 

Farm Escapades 09.09.19

Posted on September 10, 2019 at 9:25 PM Comments comments (0)

The Incident

Well, as most of you know, there was a collision last week.

It all began quite innocently. Labor Day morning we started our routine of letting sheep and goats out of their pens. This morning the goats were going into the north west pasture with our bulls, Peace and Rohan. You see, Peace is on a little bit of a diet. We need to get him slimmed down for his ladies. He gained a tad too much weight, so his hay portions are rationed. And this is where the trouble starts.

I let out the goats thinking they would follow me past Peace and his breakfast. Well, fat chance. They were snatching hay away from him and I just knew a goat was going to go flying if Peace decided to defend his breakfast.

I quickly ran back to their pen, leaving the gate open, and started calling. The goats, hungry, and excited at the prospect of a treat came running. I was in the middle of the pen. I see a flash of brown headed for my left leg, shifting, I put my full weight on my right leg, and the brown changed directions at the last second.

BAM! POP! AYIEEEEEE! Falling to the ground, goats scatter, and I knew it was bad. I also knew I better get up or the goats would be climbing all over me. Hobbling to the fence, I was relieved to see my hero headed towards me. He quickly helped me out of the pen, retrieved the RTV, and delivered me safely to the house. My knee should heal fine with time and rest.

The offender, BB, aka Booger Bear, will reside happily ever after here at the farm. Hopefully, she will bless us with many healthy kids in the years to come.

We have been truly blessed by the outpouring of support, prayers, and offers of help. Thank you thank you thank you.

 

Farm Escapades 08.12.19

Posted on September 10, 2019 at 9:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Its hot. The grass has turned to a golden crunchy brown. Tiny dust devils whirl around powered by the blistering wind. Its August. In Texas.

Heat Stress is a concern for us and for all our hooved critters. We head out the door early (sometimes before coffee – GASP!) to check waters, let goats and sheep out, and complete chores before the temps become unbearable. The mornings can be tricky. Cool, soft breezes, beautiful pale blue skies make us think today won’t be so bad. By 9:00am the truth is revealed. The sun is already blazing, cool breeze is now blistering wind and cows are already in the shade.

They are smart, eat late and early, sleep during the heat of the day. But. Its August. In Texas. So even in the shade its hot. We wet down their favorite spots to help them stay cool until the sun mercifully sets. Several of the mommas enjoy being “watered down” and will even let us spray their bellies. The first spray starts before 8:00am. The second around 2:00pm. They see us coming and close their eyes, sighing, as the cool mist gently floats around them. They’ve got it made in the shade, and that’s the way we like it.

Our younger herd is in the south 40 with access to two ponds. They go swimming. Sometimes up to their necks. We are thankful for cool deep waters and so are they. Its August. In Texas.

By noon we call the sheep in to shade. The goats tolerate heat better and are good at resting midday so we leave them out until they let us know they are ready to go up. (We are well trained! LOL) We check waters again and then head in to the necessity of air conditioning. Its August. In Texas. Stay cool ya’ll.

 

Herd Highlights ~ Nova

Posted on September 10, 2019 at 9:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Nova is twin to Bailey. She is full blood boer, shiny black, with a white star on her forehead and white socks. She was born here January 2018.

She is moody to say the least. One day Nova walks right up to you, nibbles your nose. The next day she runs if you get within ten feet of her. However, she is a good girl. She has not caused a lick of trouble.

We have not had to rescue her from getting tangled in fence. She is quick to come when called. Easy going and quiet. We like her even though she’s moody.

 

Herd Highlights ~ Abigail

Posted on September 10, 2019 at 9:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Where to start with Abbie? I guess at the very beginning.

She was born to Cleo in 2017 at our Jarrell Farm. She was special from day one. No fear – of anything! She would run up to us full speed to say “Hi! I’m Abbie” and then run off to greet others. We would laugh constantly at her antics. Jumping and running, trying to get the grown Ewes to play. They were all so good with her.

Then we moved to Walburg. Right before it was time to wean Abigail, she broke her fetlock. (aka ankle) We were puzzled by the circumstances. The injury occurred overnight. So, off to the vet. We loaded her in our van and listened as she bleated the entire 40 minute drive.

Casting for 6 weeks followed. She tolerated it well. Abbie doesn’t let anything slow her down. She healed, but with a slight hoof deformity which we are continuing to work to correct with careful trimming.

She is a big beautiful Dorper Ewe. She had twins this past spring and was an excellent mother. Abigail will come up to us in the middle of the pasture. When we kneel, she rubs up against us resting her full weight. She enjoys our hugs and massages. However, she has a sixth sense of knowing when its trimming time, she avoids us like the plague. Lol!

 

Herd Highlights ~ Cookie

Posted on September 10, 2019 at 9:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Cookie is Boss Momma. She’s not our biggest cow, but apparently, she is our smartest and our leader.

She took control of the herd quietly. There was no major drama. We just noticed one day that all other cows deferred to her.

Cookie is calm and unassuming. She doesn’t terrorize the lower ranking cows. She knows her position is secure.

Her place at the farm is secure as well. She has caused no trouble and leads the herd with quiet confidence.

Cookie is full blood Angus. She is due to calf later this fall.

 

Herd Highlights ~ Bailey

Posted on September 10, 2019 at 9:15 PM Comments comments (0)

She was a tough one to win over. Bailey was born here in January 2018 to Giggles. Her mom was kind of flighty and she, of course, copied her mom’s behavior.

We tried our best to put Bailey at ease. She was resistant to our advances. However, there was a dramatic turn of events and Bailey decided we were decent humans after all.

The goat herd was out grazing and crossed over thru brush to the South 40. All was calm until…Bailey realized she was alone. Apparently, she was busy eating and lost track of her herd. Goats abhor being alone. She started bleating louder, louder and LOUDER. Full panic mode ensued.

If you have heard a goat in full panic mode – it motivates you to do whatever you can to silence them. Seriously.

Running out into the pasture I spotted her. She eyed me wearily, bleating. Speaking softly I called her “Bailey, its okay, follow me.” I walked slowly in the direction to the gate. She was hesitant. “Bailey, I promise, I know where the others are.” Finally, she followed, not to close though. We travelled together thru two gates and half the other pasture to find her herd mates. She was ecstatic to see them – running full speed.

That day sealed it for her. We can now scratch her head, neck and back. We are her humans.

Bailey is a full blood boer Nannie. She will be bred the first time this fall. Hopefully, her kids will copy her behavior and adopt us as their humans.

 


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