Farm News, Herd Share Pickups, Market Info: 10/14/2021

Hello beautiful peeps,

Hope you are all doing well. We are well here at the farm. I’ve canned lots of salsa. There is even a hot version. It’s made with serrano and jalapeno peppers included for lots of heat. You’ll be happy to know that I’ve included cilantro. You can’t always find that in the grocery store brands. But what is salsa without cilantro? Tomorrow I’m making another batch of spiced pear jam. I love mom’s recipe so much. A subtle blend of ginger and allspice does not overwhelm the cinnamon and nutmeg. I hope you will give it a try.  

INDEPENDENCE MARKET: We have completed this season of the outdoor market. The next outdoor market will be May 2022.

The new covered facility is coming along nicely. The timber framing is complete.

I have all of my products listed on the online market webpage. You can find it here. Sign up for an account, place your order, and pick it up on Wednesday afternoon between 4 and 6 pm. Herd share pickups have also moved to Wednesday to help with only one trip to the market per week. Herd Share pickup time is between 3 and 4 pm. 

HOMESTEAD UPDATES

Sheep and Mack — Plus Two More

The bad news first. We lost Lambert the ram. I mentioned in my last newsletter that he was having problems with his hooves and a very high worm load. Sheep are incredibly resilient creatures. Very often when you notice something is wrong, they are already on their last leg. Lambert was not able to come back from the anemia that arose from the worm load. One day Mack was barking and running to where he was laying in the woods. Lambert was too weak to get up and Mack laid down nearby while we checked on him. He was protecting his flock. That’s a good thing. In the end, we had to put Lambert down. We thanked him and bid him goodbye.

We have added two more dogs to our farm. Finnegan, alias Finn, and Charlotte. Finn is a cross between Anatolian shepherd and great Pyrenees. Charlotte is great Pyrenees. They are still being acclimated to the farm. Soon we will be introducing both of them to Mack. Right now they can see and hear each other but have not formally met. I hope they get along okay. We need to arrange a meeting on neutral ground where none of the dogs have marked the space. All of these dogs are territorial thus meeting on neutral ground is best.

Because we are now quite protected with dogs, Scott is going to look at a couple of young ewes and possibly a young ram. We are ready to build the flock back and just need to find the right animals. These particular animals are registered stock. More expensive, of course, and should ensure that we get healthy and productive breeding stock. 

Cows 

The cow girls are all nearing the end of their lactation cycles. Soon we will separate all calves and dry they all up. That ensures they will have plenty of energy for the new calves that are developing in utero.

We are back on the hunt for new Normande breeding stock. The Normande is our breed of choice. And while we love our Jerseys, they will eventually move on to another farm or homestead that can care for them and will appreciate their Jersey milk. In the end, we will be a 100% Normande farm.

Quail

Out of 40 eggs we hatched 16. That’s not a very good ratio but we will have to live with it. You never know what you are going to get when you order online. I now have a local person who breeds coturnix quail. We met at the farmers’ market. It is always nice when a plan comes together.

The current plan is to keep roosters out of this small batch. We have zero roosters right now. In the spring I will get new eggs from my new contact and we will save the hens from that batch. All together we will have replaced all of our genetics.

We are getting lots of eggs from our 29 hens. I’ll be making more pickled eggs and bringing those to the market in Wytheville and offering them in the online market for Independence.

Creamery and Scott’s Other Stuff

Scott radiation treatments continue to go well. The side effects are accumulating. Eating has become a chore — just something that needs to be done. That’s how he handles it. Scott is the most stoic person I know. He takes one day at a time and handles the task that is in front of him.

Yesterday and today Scott is getting those washable and waterproof panels installed in the milk room. That means he won’t get his nap this afternoon. He didn’t get a nap yesterday afternoon. He seems to be doing okay. We shall see.  

Garden

I mentioned last time that the peppers were blooming again. Yesterday I filled a five-gallon bucket plus with green bell peppers. There was 1/2 a 5-gallon bucket of pepperoncini peppers and a 2-gallon bucket full of banana peppers. Looks like I will be making more salsa. I do have a lot more jalapeno peppers to use as well. I purchased a lot from some of the other vendors at the farmer’s markets. I had everything else I needed from our own garden. The frost will take them all out soon. I may get a few more — or I may not. That frost could happen any day now. 

That’s it for farm news. Now on to the farmer’s market update. 

INDEPENDENCE AND WYTHEVILLE FARMER’S MARKETS

As mentioned earlier, the Independence Farmer’s Market is now online only. The Wytheville Farmer’s Market continues on Saturdays 8 – 12 through the end of this month. Then the winter market begins. That will be the 2nd and 4th Saturdays from 10 to 12. .

ITEMS OF NOTE AT THIS WEEK’S MARKETS: Mild, Medium Hot and HOT Salsa in pint jars, sweet and sour pepper relish (also in pint jars), and the spiced pear jam I mentioned above. And I have pickled quail eggs in 1/2 pint jars.

I still some have apple pie filling, peach pie filling and blueberry pie filling. A deep dish pie requires 48 oz of filling. I’ve got you covered. Two 24 oz jars or a quart and pint jar.

The pickled pepperoncinis are in pint jars. I have a variety with red pepper if you like a bit of spice. And there is one jar of pickled banana peppers. Those are great on sandwiches (think Subway).

As far as jam, I have pepper jam in 1/2 pints. I also have strawberry jam, that wonderful spiced pear jam and apple pie jam in pint jars. These make great Christmas gifts

I will have quail eggs by the dozen and quail meat in 1 lb packages.

We have ground goat (approx 1 lb), grass-fed ground beef (approx 1 lb) and ground lamb (approx 1 lb). I also have a very limited amount of lamb cuts. Loin chops, rib chops, stew/kabob meat and two lovely petit legs.

Herd Shares

Herd Share Peeps, Independence market pickup is now on Wednesday 3 to 4 PM. — I’ll send out another email to you specifically as a reminder until we get into the swing of the new schedule. You will find me in the parking lot behind the new G.A.T.E center just across from the new courthouse.

I’ll see you in my usual location at the Wytheville Farmers’ Market.

Add on as you desire. Yogurt, milk and all cheeses and butter are at your service. Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday, Tuesday and/or Wednesday. 

Current pickup locations and times:

  • Independence on Wednesdays 3 to 4 pm, parking lot behind G.A.T.E. Center
  • Wytheville Farmers Market on Saturdays 8:00 am to 12:00 noon
  • Our farm Saturdays 3 pm to 5 pm or Tuesdays 10:00 am to noon.

    Email me to let me know if you want anything extra this time. I still have raw milk cheese shares and a couple of milk shares available. Contact me via email (melanie@peacefulheartfarm.com) or phone (276-694-4369).

    Please go HERE to learn all about Herd Shares.


    Let’s Get Together

    As always, we love meeting you in person.  You can find us at the Wytheville Farmers Market on Saturday from 8:00 am to Noon.   

    As always, you may visit us at our dairy farm in Claudville, Virginia Tuesdays from 10 am to 12 noon and Saturday afternoons from 3 pm to 5 pm. Find out how we raise our animals and why you will love the taste of tradition that is inherent in all of our products. Herd share holders will be able to see up close how their cows are cared for and the cheese operation and where it is stored. 


    Peaceful Heart FarmCast

    In this week’s podcast I’m giving you details on getting the two cows to freezer camp. It was quite the fiasco with the neighbors calling at 9:15 at night for us to come and get them out of their yard. “Homestead Update and Health Update” also has more information about Scott and I as we journey through cancer treatment.  


    Free Downloads

    I want to follow up on my previous FarmCast, The Taste of Cheese where I talked about developing your expertise with using descriptive words. The FREE downloads of Classifying Cheese by Type and Category and Expand Your Cheese Vocabulary are still available at our website. Please stop by and get your FREE resources. 

    You can LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HEREOr, if you have an Alexa device, just say:Alexa, play podcast Peaceful Heart FarmCast.

    And don’t miss an episode! Subscribe to the Peaceful Heart Farm podcast on Apple PodcastsAndroidTuneIn, Stitcher or Spotify


    Farm News, Herd Share Pickups, Market Info: 9/30/2021

    Hello beautiful peeps,

    I know I missed last week. Sorry about that. Life is very hectic these days. I’m stilling canning something every week. This week it was spiced pear jam. I love this stuff. I learned it from my mother. A nice subtle blend of ginger do not overwhelm the cinnamon and nutmeg. It’s fabulous if I do say so myself.  

    INDEPENDENCE MARKET: No word yet on my place for tomorrow. No doubt I will be in a similar location. This is the second to last market. After October 8th I will be switching to Wednesday. That is to support the online market and Herd Share Pickups will also happen on Wednesdays. Also, I will be there for both Christmas Markets. I don’t have those dates right at hand but will keep you informed. 

    HOMESTEAD UPDATES

    Sheep and Mack

    The vet was out to preg check the cows and we had her look at the sheep as well. It was as good thing. That growth on the ewe was really big and gross. She fixed her right up and that ewe is nearly healed. Lambert, the ram was a different story. He was having problems with his hooves. She checked that out and recommended we give him foot baths. We did that two of three times. Actually all of the sheep got the foot baths, just in case.

    We also took time to worm them all. It has been several years since we had to use a chemical wormer. However, the stress of the coyotes and dog attacks must have weakened their systems. All had some worm load and Lambert was in really bad shape. He is still weak. Hopefully, he will turn the corner soon and be back to normal. The worms made him extremely anemic. We don’t like to use chemicals, but there are times when the life of the animal depends on it. This was one of those times. 

    Cows 

    The vet has preg checked all the girls and we had mixed results. Six were artificially inseminated and three are pregnant. A fourth, Cloud, was pregnant but miscarried. The vet said not to worry. If it was a late-term abortion there could be a problem. But early on it is common to abort if the fetus is in the least compromised.

    Buttercup got some pain meds for her injured leg. She is not pregnant and is going to need to be replaced. The vet says she is overweight and as she ages it is less and less Likely that she will conceive. At this point she is already 11. Cows begin to wind down after 10 or so years, though they can continue to have calves past 15. It depends on the cow.

    Claire, Butter and Luna were all positive for pregnancy. Everyone is healthy at the moment and we look forward to the spring births. We don’t milk through the winter. The cows need a break to make calves and we need a break from milking everyday, seven days a week. However, we are considering breeding Rosie for a fall birth next year. She did not take this time round and perhaps we will try what is called calf sharing with her next fall.

    Calf sharing is when the calf gets to drink milk all day. Then we separate them (they can still touch noses but no nursing) overnight. In the morning, we get the milk and put them back together again for the day. It’s a lot more management but we may try it as an experiment. As long as the calf is nursing, we can even take a few days off and not milk at all. The calf will get all the milk, day and night.   

    Quail

    Remember last time I was saying we had the the quail eggs. They will be hatching on Saturday. I’m excited as usual to have babies again. It is a little late in the season. The weather is much cooler. However, these birds are hardy and will be fully feathered after two weeks and completely capable of handling the cold.

    We are starting to get lots of eggs. We get the normal amount from the breeding crew but are now getting eggs from the group in the penthouses. We will be keeping as many as 20 hens from that group. So lots of eggs are coming. When the babies from the current incubator set are two weeks old, we will have to rearrange everything. I have no idea how that will look. It depends on how many chicks hatch on Saturday.

    Creamery and Scott’s Other Stuff

    Scott radiation treatments are going well. He is starting experience side effects. The doctors warned him about all of this and there are various treatments to assist him throughout the process. He usually takes a nap every day. We are about two and a half weeks into the process. All is going as planned.

    Scott has determined that he needs to put up some waterproof panels in the milk room. The are held in place with glue. He needs to get them installed before the weather gets too cold for the glue to hold well. Also, he noted that before putting in conduit, there are some walls that need to be painted. That also needs to happen before it gets too cold.  

    The electric plans are forming in Scott’s mind. He is watching lots of YouTube videos and making plans. Over the winter we hope to make significant progress there. We shall see. 

    Garden

    My garden is finishing up. The peppers revived with the rain we got. However, I am so done with peppers. They are actually blooming again. This is typical for peppers. They are a perennial plant in Mexico. Here they just keep going until the frost takes them. I have a 5-gallon bucket full of pepperoncini peppers. That is a task for next week. More pickled pepperoncini. Anybody need that special Christmas gift for the person who has everything? I have lots of pickled pepperoncini to help you out!!

    The basil is still waiting for me to cut it and hang it to dry. The parsley also needs to be harvested and dried. It really took off again after the rains. The oregano and thyme are in my strawberry patch. I will want to cut some of that and dry it. Herbs dried at the end of the year are wonderful for restocking my spice jars.

    That freezer full of tomatoes is still waiting on me. .

    That’s it for farm news. Now on to the farmer’s market update. 

    INDEPENDENCE AND WYTHEVILLE FARMER’S MARKETS

    I will be at the Independence Farmer’s Market on Friday 9 – 1 and at the Wytheville Farmer’s Market on Saturday 8 – 12.

    ITEMS OF NOTE AT THIS WEEK’S MARKETS: Mild and Medium Hot Salsa in pint jars, sweet and sour pepper relish (also in pint jars), and the spiced pear jam I mentioned above. And I have pickled quail eggs in 1/2 pint jars.

    I still some have apple pie filling, peach pie filling and blueberry pie filling. A deep dish pie requires 48 oz of filling. I’ve got you covered. Two 24 oz jars or a quart and pint jar.

    The pickled pepperoncinis are in pint jars. I have a variety with red pepper if you like a bit of spice. And there is one jar of pickled banana peppers. Those are great on sandwiches (think Subway).

    As far as jam, I have pepper jam in 1/2 pints. I also have strawberry jam and apple pie jam in pint jars. Again, these are great Christmas gifts

    I will have quail eggs by the dozen and quail meat in 1 lb packages.

    We have ground goat (approx 1 lb), grass-fed ground beef (approx 1 lb) and ground lamb (approx 1 lb). I also have a very limited amount of lamb cuts. Loin chops, rib chops, stew/kabob meat and two lovely petit legs.

    Herd Shares

    Herd Share Peeps, no word yet on my location at the Independence market. I shouldn’t be too hard to find 🙂 — look for me in any of my previous places.

    I’ll see you in my usual location at the Wytheville Farmers’ Market.

    Add on as you desire. Yogurt, milk and all cheeses and butter are at your service. Looking forward to seeing you on Friday, Saturday and/or Tuesday. 

    You can pickup at the Independence Market on Fridays between 9 am and 1pm, the Wytheville Market on Saturdays between 8:00 am and 12:00 noon, at the farm Saturdays 3 pm to 5 pm or Tuesdays 10:00 am to noon. Email me to let me know if you want anything extra this time. 

    I still have raw milk cheese shares and a couple of milk shares available. Contact me via email (melanie@peacefulheartfarm.com) or phone (276-694-4369).

    Please go HERE to learn all about Herd Shares.


    Let’s Get Together

    As always, we love meeting you in person.  You can find us at the Wytheville Farmers Market on Saturday from 8:00 am to Noon. We are at Independence Farmers’ Market on Fridays from 9:00 am to 1 pm.  

    As always, you may visit us at our dairy farm in Claudville, Virginia Tuesdays from 10 am to 12 noon and Saturday afternoons from 3 pm to 5 pm. Find out how we raise our animals and why you will love the taste of tradition that is inherent in all of our products. Herd share holders will be able to see up close how their cows are cared for and the cheese operation and where it is stored. 


    Peaceful Heart FarmCast

    In this week’s podcast I’m giving you details on getting the two cows to freezer camp. It was quite the fiasco with the neighbors calling at 9:15 at night for us to come and get them out of their yard. “Homestead Update and Health Update” also has more information about Scott and I as we journey through cancer treatment.  


    Free Downloads

    I want to follow up on my previous FarmCast, The Taste of Cheese where I talked about developing your expertise with using descriptive words. The FREE downloads of Classifying Cheese by Type and Category and Expand Your Cheese Vocabulary are still available at our website. Please stop by and get your FREE resources. 

    You can LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HEREOr, if you have an Alexa device, just say:Alexa, play podcast Peaceful Heart FarmCast.

    And don’t miss an episode! Subscribe to the Peaceful Heart Farm podcast on Apple PodcastsAndroidTuneIn, Stitcher or Spotify


    Homestead Update and Health Update

    It has been a while so how about a homestead update and health update. I republished a couple of podcasts. I hope you got a chance to listen for the first time or relisten if you were interested in the topic of cheese.

    It’s going to be close, but I think I can get this podcast published today. Let’s hope all goes well and I am able to accomplish it. If it doesn’t, I am likely to abandon the effort for another week. My life is topsy-turvy and I only have so much time each day to take care of any given task. When things don’t go well, they get pushed to the next day. It’s my method of reducing stress. Let’s pause a moment.

    I want to take a minute and say welcome to all the new listeners and welcome back to the veteran homestead-loving regulars who stop by the FarmCast for every episode. Thank you for hanging in there with me. I appreciate you all so much. Let’s have a homestead update and then a little info on the status of our health here at Peaceful Heart Farm

    Our Virginia Homestead Life Updates

    The cows are coming up first.

    Cows

    Last night at about 9:15 we got a call from the neighbors across the street. Two of our cows were in their yard. Who could they be? There were two groups of cows with two animals. I knew it was most likely the two that were scheduled for freezer camp this morning. Sure enough, those two guys were out there wreaking havoc in the neighbor’s yard and trying to get into the pasture with their cows.

    It was a little harrowing to be trying to work with two very large boys in the dark. However, all of our cows are fairly docile. They were upset and confused of course. I believe that I’ve mentioned before that a cow does not like anything out of the ordinary. They want things to be the same all the time. Routine, routine, routine. So needless to say, everything about this situation was out of the ordinary.

    Perrin is Secured

    Nearby, just 20 or 30 feet down the driveway, was a gate to a paddock. Scott opened that gate and Perrin almost immediately went inside. Rocketman was a different story. He went back and forth in front of that gate at least three or four times, never venturing inside. Finally, he started down the driveway and Scott herded him that way and away from the neighbor’s cows. I followed with the car. Of course, once we got him down the driveway the next challenge was finding a way to get him into a pasture.

    Scott chased him up and down one fence a couple of times. I opened up a couple of gates. One was a gate back to where he escaped. The other was into the field with our nursery girls. It was a little risky letting him in there, but we needed some way to get him into some fence somewhere. Once he was back inside our perimeter fence, there were many options as to how to move forward.

    Rocketman is Secured

    Rocketman eagerly went through the very wide-open gate into the pasture with the girls. The girls themselves were way out in the field. We needed to get him contained before he joined with them. That would be a disaster if we had to single him out from that crowd in the dark. Scott quickly contained the girls in paddock number one. Perrin was in paddock number two. And Rocketman was in the travel lane that joins with all paddocks.

    The goal was to isolate both boys in the small holding area just inside the gate I opened for Rocketman. He had already walked most of the way down the travel lane toward the other paddocks. Scott met him coming the other way while herding Perrin down the travel lane toward the holding area. I was over in paddock number four which runs directly alongside the travel lane. I wanted to be close but not in the travel lane. That would have just confused everything and possibly herded them back out into the field in an attempt to get away from me.

    Chasing Cows Around Paddock Four

    Now for the next debacle. There are two gates at the bottom of a hollow. One opens into paddock four where I am and one opens or closes the travel lane where Scott and the boys are walking. I’m a little way up the hill in paddock four, just monitoring how they are moving. Everything looks Ok. Scott is coming down the travel lane headed toward the holding area. I just happened to mention that the gate into paddock four is open and they might come in there instead of continuing up the hill into the holding area. And you know what? That is exactly what they did. Now we are reduced to chasing them around paddock four, still trying to get them to go back through the gate and up to the small holding area.

    All Ends Well

    At some point I went down and closed the gate to the travel lane. No sense in letting them run back up that way. Now all we needed to do is get them to go through the other open gate out of paddock four and into the holding area. Somewhere along the way in this process, I noticed that part of the problem we were having is that they would go wherever the light was shining. Our headlamps and flashlights were actually confusing them. As Scott brought them back down the hill for the third or fourth time, I had just finished latching that travel lane gate. I shined my flashlight in the exact place I wanted them to go. It worked. Right through the gate they went. The travel lane gate was closed and now the gate into paddock four could be closed.

    Whew what a trip. It lasted about 45 minutes. Shortly after 10 o’clock we were back inside and grateful for it.

    The Girls

    The girls continued to happily exist up in paddock number one until the next morning. After loading the boys into the trailer, he opened the paddock gate allowing the girls access to the pond for water and cooling baths.

    Last week we had our vet and AI tech out checking to see who is and is not pregnant. There was good news and bad news. Three are pregnant and three are not. We are going to roll with that for the spring.

    Buttercup

    The vet gave us health information on the entire herd. Buttercup did not conceive. This is two years in a row. The vet talked to us about her weight. Too much fat is not a good thing, especially in an aging cow. I won’t go into the details, but her opinion was that, not only had she not conceived, but it was going to be harder and harder for her to conceive as she ages more. She will need to be replaced.

    Cloud

    Cloud was pregnant but miscarried. The vet was not too concerned about this. A late term spontaneous abortion would be a different story. But aborting early in the process is not so uncommon. We decided against trying to start over with any of our girls. Cloud is also marked to be replaced. Not because of her miscarriage, but because she kicks so much that we cannot milk her. Due to her strong angus genetics, she is also not really ideal as a milk cow. She simply does not produce as much milk as the others. Not by a long shot.

    Claire

    Claire appears to be pregnant but the vet could not 100% confirm it. She did mark her as pregnant but noted that she could not move the uterus to a position where she could know for sure. However, the fact that she could not move it was a good indication that Claire is pregnant. We shall see. Claire is also marked for replacement as she is getting on in years and is prone to mastitis. Her udder is in bad shape. She produces enough milk for her calf and not much more.

    Luna

    Now on to one we will keep for a little while, though we may offer her up to anyone looking for a family cow. Luna is pregnant. She is a heifer which means this will be her first calf. We do not expect her to produce lots and lots and lots of milk. Her mom is Cloud and Luna exhibits a lot of the angus coloring traits. We don’t really know how much milk she will produce, but it is likely that it will be substandard for what we are looking for in a milk cow. However, it may be perfect for someone looking for a little milk for their family and a good beef calf every year. We shall see. At this point, her fate is still up in the air.

    Violet

    Just a brief note on Violet. She did not make it into the rotation for artificial insemination. And we did not expose her to the bull. She is not pregnant and will remain open for the coming spring birthing season. In June next year, she will make it back into the breeding rotation. Violet has really good Normande breeding genetics. She has the BB kappa casein genetic trait that we want for cheesemaking. I asked about her weight and the vet said that even though her belly is really big and round, she is not overweight near her ovaries and therefore does not have Buttercup’s issue with weight. She’s a keeper for now.

    The Jerseys, Butter and Rosie

    Now on to the Jersey girls. Butter is a champ. She is pregnant and looking good. No issues there. Rosie, on the other hand, is not pregnant. The vet had already warned me that this was the most likely issue with a heifer having a calf when she was so very young. Getting pregnant again might take a little time.

    Scott and I were just discussing this morning that we might want to have one cow that gives birth in the fall so we have some milk year-round. Right now, we dry them up in November and have no fresh milk products until March or April the following year. Rosie might be an ideal candidate for a fall delivery. We shall see. There are still a couple of months ahead of us before we would need to make that decision.

    Special Cheeses

    Any cow that gave birth in the fall would be completely out of the rotation for making cheese. Do we really want to give up that milk? It’s still under consideration. It would be nice to have a very small amount of milk to make cream cheese and yogurt throughout the winter. And perhaps a bit of camembert, reblochon or other cheese that we might make in smaller quantities for personal use.

    Calf Sharing

    If we decide to do that, we would do what is known as calf sharing. That means the calf stays with mom. Anytime we want to have milk, we simply separate them overnight and milk in the morning. For any of you thinking about having your own milk cow, this offers tremendous freedom. Normally, cows get milked twice a day. But if you are calf sharing, the calf takes care of the milk during the day. Overnight mom makes lots of milk and we get to keep that part. The calf rejoins mom and gets all of the luscious milk throughout the day. As I mentioned earlier, even Luna would produce enough milk to make this work. And if the day comes when you don’t want to milk at all on any given day, just leave calf and mom together for the entire day and night. It’s a win-win situation. The calf really appreciates the extra juice and the homesteader gets a break from milking every single day, seven days a week.

    Well, that was a lot of cow updates. On to the sheep. I won’t be as long-winded here I promise.

    Sheep and Mack

    Mack is doing a good job of protecting the few sheep that we have left in the flock. We had one ewe that had an abscess on her chest. The vet drained it and gave us instructions on how to care for it. She is nearly healed already. Lambert, the ram had deeper issues. We don’t really know the cause but he had some pretty severe hoof issues. The vet seemed to think it was perhaps related to running around trying to get away from predators that precipitated this issue. His feet were really sore. She tried trimming his hooves but there wasn’t really much there. We treated all of the sheep for hoof scald and hoof rot. This is a problem that we are aware of but have never encountered. It usually happens when their hooves are not in top shape and they are exposed to a lot of water. And it appears, that lots of stress on the hooves can caused problems.

    Worms Again?

    In addition to the hoof problem, Lambert also had an enormous worm load. He had lost lots and lots of weight. He is still actually quite weak. The worms suck the blood out via the stomach. The animal becomes very anemic. It does take some time to heal. Hopefully, Lambert will turn the corner soon and regain his weight and strength. He was pretty far gone and his health is still up in the air.

    The remaining two seems to be in relatively good shape. We wormed all of them just to be sure. Lambert’s worm overload was also likely precipitated by the enormous amount of stress they all endured during the predator attacks. Stress can weaken their systems enough to give the worms the window of opportunity they need to begin to multiplying uncontrollably.

    It has been a good long time since we had any issues with worms and we may have been a little lax. Going forward we will be keeping a closer eye on these guys. Hopefully, they will all stay relaxed and continue to live peacefully on the homestead.

    We are also still looking to add a few more ewes to the flock soon. Rebuilding will take some time and we want to get started on that process. Two more dogs are lined up to help us out as we rebuild from the disastrous spring and summer. More on that later.

    Personal Health Update

    Before closing today I’ll give a brief health update for both Scott and myself. Scott is doing very well with treatment. He is two and a half weeks into seven weeks of radiation treatment. No chemo, thank the Lord. He drives an hour each way to receive the treatment, Monday through Friday. I will be accompanying him in the coming days.

    He is managing the treatment very well. A sore throat makes it more and more difficult to eat. There are lots of treatments to help with that as well. Taking daily naps is a way of life for him. Sometimes for a couple of hours, but yesterday for only a half hour. We are still fairly early on in the treatment so we will see how he progresses.

    Treatment Side Effects

    At this point in the treatment, the worst side effects start to manifest. I already mentioned the difficulty in getting food down due to the pain in his throat. Add to this that his taste will change. Doctors have let him know that everything will begin to taste horrible. Their experience has shown that the taste issue will continue for a month or two or even more past the time when the treatments are complete. As you can imagine, this adds insult to injury. He already has trouble swallowing. How much worse will it be when he has to force himself to even put anything into his mouth?

    Scott is a trooper. He is a stoic individual. I fully expect he will plow through this just like he does any other issue that presents itself to his world. I am here to support him in any way that I can.

    My Health

    My state of health is stable. That is the best way I can describe it. The time prior to the treatment starting was more stressful. I can say that at this point. Who knows what the future will hold? I could be off-the-scale stressed next week. The uncertainty of what the future would hold, one appointment after another in preparation for treatment and my own insecurity about whether I was mentally and emotionally up to the task of caring for Scott was wreaking havoc on my normal schedule and making me a little cray-cray. Now that we are settled into a routine, I am handling it much better. I feel much more relaxed and confident in my ability to respond to Scott’s needs as they arise.

    We are blessed to have all of you praying for us. Thank you so much. Please continue to pray for us and we will pray for you.

    Final Thoughts

    That’s it for today’s podcast. I know the cow updates were long and perhaps too detailed. I didn’t even get to the quail. Well, too late now. I need to get this podcast published and then on to the evening chores. It’s time to wake Scott up from his nap so he can start on his evening routine. The regularity of routine is a life saver when your life is topsy-turvy.

    Again, thank you so much for your prayers.

    And I will add the shameless plugs because we need your support. If you enjoyed this podcast, please go to Apple Podcasts or Google Play whatever podcasting service you use, SUBSCRIBE and give me a 5-star rating and review. If you like this content and want to help out the show, the absolute best way you can do that is to share it with any friends or family who might be interested in this type of content. Let them know about the Peaceful Heart Farmcast.

    Thank you so much for stopping by the homestead and until next time, may God fill your life with grace and peace.

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    Farm News, Herd Share Pickups, Market Info: 9/16/2021

    Hello beautiful peeps,

    We are doing well and hope you are as well. I’m getting lots of things done these days. I still have a long way to go but this week I canned pepper relish, salsa, and cream. It seems like there was something else I canned this week but I am not recalling at the moment. I still have a freezer full of tomatoes. I’ll be canning lots of salsa in the coming weeks. I’m also looking to make some spiced pear jam. It was a favorite recipe of my mother and we loved it as kids. I can’t wait to pass it on to all of you.  

    INDEPENDENCE MARKET CHANGES: I’m still waiting to find out my place for tomorrow. Perhaps I will be in the same place three weeks in a row. We shall see. On another note, we have just 4 more markets including tomorrow before closing for the season. The last outdoor market will be October 8th. I will be moving my products to the online market just ahead of that. Herd share folks, I will continue to meet you in the same general area even though there will be no other vendors. 

    Sheep and Mack

    I was wrong about the sheep with a growth. It is not really a growth. It looks more like a bag of accumulated fluid. The vet should be here tomorrow to drain it and give us her opinion on what is going on there. Everyone is still hanging in there. Coyotes just showed up on the game cameras — again. I’m sure Mack has this under control.

    Cows 

    When the vet comes tomorrow another of her tasks will be preg checks on all the girls. I’m so excited to find out who is and is not pregnant this go round.

    Buttercup has injured one of her back legs. Likely she got it stuck in the mud by the pond and sprained it while pulling it out. Goodness knows I have trouble keeping my boots on when I walk back there. The mud sucks onto the boot and out comes my foot while the boot stays firmly stuck in the mud. I carry a walking stick to lean on to keep from falling face first into the mud. Anyway, the vet will take a look at Buttercup’s leg as well.

    The rest of the crowd are doing very well. The steers are really growing. I’m amazed at how much they’ve grown. Princess was born first but is smaller. She is a Jersey and the others are Normande. The size difference is to be expected. Still Princess is nearly as tall as her mom, Rosie. Remember Rosie was very young when she had Princess and therefore quite small. She still hasn’t grown much. She may always be small. The early pregnancy may have stunted her growth. We shall see. Violet had a calf nearly as young as Rosie and she turned out to be quite large. She is so large that I call her fatso. Being a cow she doesn’t take offense. She likes being big and round.   

    Quail

    Last time I was Debbie Downer about not getting the new genetic stock for raising quail. Just goes to show you, patience is a virtue. I got a notification on Monday that the eggs were on the way. We got them yesterday and I immediately put them into the incubator. That thing is humming along nicely right now. A little over two weeks from now we will once again begin hearing the cute peeping sound.

    I’m looking for the first eggs from the youngest group currently hanging out up there in the penthouse. Over the next few weeks we will be inundated with eggs. I’ll be making lots of pickled eggs. Look for them at the market. I’ll be bringing some pickled eggs to the market from earlier in the year.

    Creamery and Scott’s Other Stuff

    Scott has started his daily radiation treatments. All is going well. He is getting into the routine. It is an hour each way to drive into Winston Salem. Besides the time cost there is the cost of gasoline. We never paid much attention to our personal use of gas, only the business side. It was eye opening. We are estimating this additional cost to be about $100 per week. In the old days — the days before we stopped working for someone else — we never gave a second thought to the amount of gas we went through driving back and forth to coastal South Carolina. These are the seasons of our lives.

    The electric plans are about to be put down on paper. Scott was talking about it just this morning. He is ready to make those drawings. I can’t wait to see his artistry with this task. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned the beautiful structural drawings he created. Over and over again he drew out on paper the plans for the barn, milking parlor, creamery and commercial kitchen. He’s really very good at it. The detail is exquisite. 

    Garden

    My poor garden is drying up. We haven’t had any rain for weeks. The pepper plants are starting to droop. I’m not too concerned with because I’m so done with peppers.

    The basil has gone to seed. It is past time to cut those down and hang them up to dry. I’ve also got some parsley that needs to be cut and dried.

    That freezer full of tomatoes is still waiting on me. I cleaned out a lot of the onions and green peppers to make the salsa and pepper relish. But those tomatoes are still sitting there. Currently I’m using fresh tomatoes from the stash I still have on the ripening shelves in front of the windows next to the wood stove. I’ll need to make another batch of salsa with those before getting into the freezer.

    Scott cleaned the tomato plants though they haven’t made it to the compost pile. There are piles of tomato plants in between the raised beds. The only other thing to be left growing in the garden is the crowder peas. They put on a bumper crop and it will be a couple of weeks for all of those pods to mature.

    That’s it for farm news. Now on to the farmer’s market update. 

    Independence and Wytheville Farmer’s Markets

    I will be at the Independence Farmer’s Market on Friday 9 – 1 and at the Wytheville Farmer’s Market on Saturday 8 – 12.

    NEW ADDITIONS TO THIS WEEK’S MARKETS: Medium Hot Salsa in pint jars and sweet and sour pepper relish, also in pint jars. And finally, I have pickled quail eggs in 1/2 pint jars. There are three flavors; curry, sweet & sour and pickling spice blend.

    I have apple pie filling, peach pie filling and blueberry pie filling. A deep dish pie requires 48 oz of filling. I’ve got you covered. Two 24 oz jars or a quart and pint jar.

    I’ll have the pickled pepperoncinis in pint jars and a couple of jars of pickled banana peppers.

    As far as jam, I have pepper jam in 1/2 pints. I also have strawberry jam and apple pie jam in pint jars

    I will have a couple of dozen quail eggs and definitely will have quail meat in 1 lb packages.

    We have ground goat (approx 1 lb), grass-fed ground beef (approx 1 lb) and ground lamb (approx 1 lb). I also have a very limited amount of lamb cuts. Loin chops, rib chops, stew/kabob meat and two lovely petit legs.

    Herd Shares

    Herd Share Peeps, my location at the Independence market is still unknown, but I will be there — somewhere close by some of my previous places I’m sure.

    I’ll see you in my usual location at the Wytheville Farmers’ Market.

    Add on as you desire. Yogurt, milk and all cheeses and butter are at your service. Looking forward to seeing you on Friday, Saturday and/or Tuesday. 

    You can pickup at the Independence Market on Fridays between 9 am and 1pm, the Wytheville Market on Saturdays between 8:00 am and 12:00 noon, at the farm Saturdays 3 pm to 5 pm or Tuesdays 10:00 am to noon. Email me to let me know if you want anything extra this time. 

    I still have new raw milk cheese shares and a couple of milk shares available. Contact me via email (melanie@peacefulheartfarm.com) or phone (276-694-4369).

    Please go HERE to learn all about Herd Shares.


    Let’s Get Together

    As always, we love meeting you in person.  You can find us at the Wytheville Farmers Market on Saturday from 8:00 am to Noon. We are at Independence Farmers’ Market on Fridays from 9:00 am to 1 pm.  

    As always, you may visit us at our dairy farm in Claudville, Virginia Tuesdays from 10 am to 12 noon and Saturday afternoons from 3 pm to 5 pm. Find out how we raise our animals and why you will love the taste of tradition that is inherent in all of our products. Herd share holders will be able to see up close how their cows are cared for and the cheese operation and where it is stored. 


    Peaceful Heart FarmCast

    In this week’s podcast I’m re-running a previous podcast I did a couple of years ago. “Cheese Makes You Happy” is all about the brain science surrounding cheese. And yes, it can affect your mood. It is a fascinating look at how this age-old food helps maintain the brain.  


    Free Downloads

    I want to follow up on my previous FarmCast, The Taste of Cheese where I talked about developing your expertise with using descriptive words. The FREE downloads of Classifying Cheese by Type and Category and Expand Your Cheese Vocabulary are still available at our website. Please stop by and get your FREE resources. 

    You can LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HEREOr, if you have an Alexa device, just say:Alexa, play podcast Peaceful Heart FarmCast.

    And don’t miss an episode! Subscribe to the Peaceful Heart Farm podcast on Apple PodcastsAndroidTuneIn, Stitcher or Spotify


    Farm News, Herd Share Pickups, Market Info: 9/9/2021

    Hello beautiful peeps,

    We are doing well and hope you are as well. I’m still lost when it comes to time. I’m trying to review my week and determine what I have and have not experienced in the last 7 days. There have been more doctor’s appointments. All of that went well. Tasks on the farm keep getting done. I spent most of the day canning peppers and getting ready to can salsa. Scott has been out and about around the farm, still bush hogging the fields. We have 14 paddocks that need to be maintained. He spends a lot of time in the summer bouncing around on the tractor. 

    INDEPENDENCE MARKET CHANGES: I’m not sure where I will be in the market arrangement tomorrow. My thought is that I will be in the same place as last week. We shall see. 

    Sheep

    Scott talked to the vet today. One of the sheep has a very large growth of some kind protruding out from the brisket area and upward. The vet will be here next week for lots of animal care. She was not too concerned about it. Per her experience, she indicated that most of the time it doesn’t bother the animal and is not usually dangerous. It may drain on its own or we may lance it and drain it manually. In any case, I’m glad she will be here soon to take a look at it. 

    Another of several tasks she will be doing for us is getting Mack up-to-date on his heartworm meds and a booster shot for something I’m not recalling right now. Maybe rabies? Scott knows what it is but he is not here at the moment.

    Cows 

    Scott is introducing Mack to the milking girls. Butter does not like or trust him. Whenever she sees him, she lowers her head and acts like she is going to charge. Scott stays between the two of them. Mack does not seem too concerned. He is often distracted by various sounds and smells. Violet just stands there looking at him, completely unconcerned.   

    Quail

    Well it looks like we are not going to get our new genetic stock. I put in an order, but have not heard anything about when these eggs will be shipped. It is late in the season to get fertile eggs. As the amount of sunlight decreases, the fertility of the quail also decreases. Likely when we do hear from the shipper it will be to say that they do not have any fertile quail eggs available for shipping. Well, there is always next year.

    In the next couple of weeks, the newest crop of birds will begin laying eggs. In the end, we may have as many as 35 quail eggs daily. I will begin to make pickled quail eggs again. That is always fun and they look so cute in the jars. Scott loves them.

    Creamery and Scott’s Other Stuff

    Scott mentioned today that he want to complete all of the bush hogging so he can get back on track with the electrical plans for the creamery. When I look at his computer screen, there is always one video or another on something electrical that is queued up and waiting for him. 

    Garden

    We are winding down the garden. There will be no fall garden. We didn’t have one last year either. There is just too much to do with harvesting and preserving what we already have stored all over the place.

    I have an entire freezer full of tomatoes. If you have visited me at the Wytheville market, it is a freezer the size of the one I have there. I think it is nine cubic feet. There are some frozen peppers and onions in there as well. All of that is going to come together into salsa. I’ll be canning and canning and canning until I run out of tomatoes.

    Scott and I will be cleaning up the remains of the tomato plants and adding them to the compost pile. A few days ago, we picked all of the green tomatoes. We are done with growing tomatoes for this year. 

    I still need to cut the basil and hang it up to dry. I also have some parsley out there that will need to be cut and dried. I love my fresh herbs. In addition to those herbs, I will also cut some oregano and thyme. There is so much available  I don’t have to worry about running out. I will toss last year’s dried herbs onto the compost pile and replace them with fresh stuff. The smell is always so amazing. These days, I always have robust dried herbs. Let me know if you are interested in having some wonderful freshly dried culinary herbs. I’m hoping to package some up for the market as well. It’s hard to say when I can fit that into my preserving schedule.

    That’s it for farm news. Now on to the farmer’s market update. 

    Independence and Wytheville Farmer’s Markets

    I will be at the Independence Farmer’s Market on Friday 9 – 1 and at the Wytheville Farmer’s Market on Saturday 8 – 12.

    I have apple pie filling, peach pie filling and blueberry pie filling. A deep dish pie requires 48 oz of filling. I’ve got you covered. Two 24 oz jars or a quart and pint jar.

    I’ll have the pickled pepperoncinis in pint jars and a few jars of pickled banana peppers.

    I’m out of blueberry and blackberry jam but have lots of really fine pepper jam. I also have strawberry jam in pint jars

    I will have a couple of dozen quail eggs and definitely will have quail meat in 1 lb packages.

    We have ground goat (approx 1 lb), grass-fed ground beef (approx 1 lb) and ground lamb (approx 1 lb). I also have a very limited amount of lamb cuts. Loin chops, rib chops, stew/kabob meat and two lovely petit legs.

    Herd Shares

    Herd Share Peeps, my location at the Independence market is still unknown, but I will be there — somewhere close by some of my previous places I’m sure.

    I’ll see you in my usual location at the Wytheville Farmers’ Market.

    Add on as you desire. Yogurt, milk and all cheeses and butter are at your service. Looking forward to seeing you on Friday, Saturday and/or Tuesday. 

    You can pickup at the Independence Market on Fridays between 9 am and 1pm, the Wytheville Market on Saturdays between 8:00 am and 12:00 noon, at the farm Saturdays 3 pm to 5 pm or Tuesdays 10:00 am to noon. Email me to let me know if you want anything extra this time. 

    I still have new raw milk cheese shares and a couple of milk shares available. Contact me via email (melanie@peacefulheartfarm.com) or phone (276-694-4369).

    Please go HERE to learn all about Herd Shares.


    Let’s Get Together

    As always, we love meeting you in person.  You can find us at the Wytheville Farmers Market on Saturday from 8:00 am to Noon. We are at Independence Farmers’ Market on Fridays from 9:00 am to 1 pm.  

    As always, you may visit us at our dairy farm in Claudville, Virginia Tuesdays from 10 am to 12 noon and Saturday afternoons from 3 pm to 5 pm. Find out how we raise our animals and why you will love the taste of tradition that is inherent in all of our products. Herd share holders will be able to see up close how their cows are cared for and the cheese operation and where it is stored. 


    Peaceful Heart FarmCast

    In this week’s podcast I’m re-running a previous podcast I did a couple of years ago. “Cheese Makes You Happy” is all about the brain science surrounding cheese. And yes, it can affect your mood. It is a fascinating look at how this age-old food helps maintain the brain.  


    Free Downloads

    I want to follow up on my previous FarmCast, The Taste of Cheese where I talked about developing your expertise with using descriptive words. The FREE downloads of Classifying Cheese by Type and Category and Expand Your Cheese Vocabulary are still available at our website. Please stop by and get your FREE resources. 

    You can LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HEREOr, if you have an Alexa device, just say:Alexa, play podcast Peaceful Heart FarmCast.

    And don’t miss an episode! Subscribe to the Peaceful Heart Farm podcast on Apple PodcastsAndroidTuneIn, Stitcher or Spotify


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