Open House – Saturday After Thanksgiving

Hello beautiful peeps,

We are inviting all of you to come and visit us on Saturday, November, 26 between 12pm and 4pm. That’s Saturday after Thanksgiving. Bring the family. We will have baby goats to visit, chickens, and calves. We will have cheese for tasting and all sorts of jams, jellies, salsa and relishes available for purchase. Christmas gifts for the hard-to-shop-for person. Grass-fed beef and lamb will also be available for your holiday dinners. We’d love for you to shop with us instead of those boring chain stores. Or just come out and have a good time on a Saturday afternoon.

How about some homestead updates? 

HOMESTEAD UPDATES

Sheep, Goats, Finn, Charlotte and Mack 

It has been six months since I last sent out an email. How do I know? Because in the last email Finn had disappeared and not returned. Well hallelujah, he showed up again — after six months. He is a little worse for wear, but doing well. He is in charge of the two doeling goats we recently purchased. And doing a fantastic job, I might add. He is not really trying to escape. I’m not sure what has changed and it may not last. Right now I feel blessed to have him back and satisfied to stay home.

Mack is hanging out with the main cow herd and doing well. Charlotte does not stay contained where I put her. She goes pretty much wherever she wants. Fortunately, she wants to stay pretty close. I actually like that she can go where she needs to in case a predator comes too close. She’s not waiting until they are right there in the pasture.

Not much to say about the sheep. They are all doing really well. We have one ram lamb that is keeping company with the buckling we recently purchased. The does are too young to be bred so we have to keep him separate for a few more months.

The goats are the Kiko goats that I’ve spoken of in past newsletters.

Cows 

The cows finished the artificial insemination process a few weeks ago. We had such a problem getting them pregnant via AI, we finally purchased a bull to get the job done. He is a gorgeous Guernsey bull. We may have three that were artificially inseminated. The final results will be revealed in the first week of December. Ferdinand will take care of the rest of the girls. Calving is going to be late next year. It’s always rolling with the punches on the homestead. 

Chickens

We no longer have quail. The chickens I hatched have been reduced to 7 American Bresse and 8 Black Copper Marans. We had 8 Bresse, but Mack played with one a little too hard. That’s why he is with the cows at the moment. I’m not getting nearly as many eggs as I thought I would. Look for changes in that situation in the spring when we start hatching chicks.  

Creamery and Scott’s Other Stuff

Scott is getting closer and closer to finishing the creamery. We can hardly believe it has been nearly six years since we broke ground. It’s a beautiful and very functional building. I hope you’ll come on Saturday and take a look at all of his hard work. The electrical is about half done. The floors are nearly completed. The plumbing has yet to be started. That’s a job Scott is not looking forward to doing. He was going to contract it out, but the one bid he was finally able to obtain was way outside of our budget. Scott is a trooper and he will make it happen whatever it takes.   

Garden

The garden is put to bed for the winter. Nothing to say there. It produced well throughout the summer. Which is why I haven’t been putting out emails. I simply did not have the time.  

That’s it for farm news. 

Our Locals.com Community

Though I have been AWOL, Scott has continued to make regular posts on our community page https://peacefulheartfarm.locals.com. This platform is designed to be a community and to be able to support itself. Not only will Scott and I post, but as a subscriber, you can post as well. You can view content without becoming a subscriber, but there are significant benefits to taking the subscriber route. To get you started, here is the promo code for a 30-day free trial. FREE30 is the code to enter when registering.

I have a few areas of subscriber-only content that I am in the process of creating. Right now two are still only “in the mind” stage of development. One is short presentations of various types of cheeses. The other is short presentations on various homestead medicinal herbs. I do have one “subscriber only” playlist started. It will be three different mental exercises to improve your mental health. Concentration, memory, and imagination are the areas I address.

After the FREE30 days, it is $5 per month to become a subscriber. Subscriber status gives you access to ALL content, including the subscriber-only content I just mentioned. Additionally, Subscribers can make posts and comment on our posts or any other post in the community. Start conversations around local food, homesteading, cheese or any other topic of interest in this realm. Maybe ask a question about an issue you are having with your home and/or homestead. Get feedback from me and the entire community. Think of it like Facebook groups without the trolls. I post and we all comment. You post and we all comment.  

The pay wall does more than support your local food chain and our farm, website and podcast, it also keeps out those trolls. Anyone who wants to post in the community pays a nominal fee. Those who only want to be angry and destructive will not usually invest any money to be able to post their tirades. There are too many free ones, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok, and who knows how many others, where anyone can make any comment without fear of coming in contact with a real person. You know what I’m talking about. People saying things they would never say to a person in a face-to-face interaction.

In any case, check out Locals and let me know what you think. Here’s the link again: https://peacefulheartfarm.locals.com

ITEMS OF NOTE FOR SALE AT THE OPEN HOUSE:

  • Medium Hot Salsa (pint jars)

  • Various cucumber and squash relishes (1/2 pint jars)

  • Spiced pear jam – a hint of ginger and cloves (pint jars)

  • Apple pie jam (pint jars).

  • Cherry Jam (pint jars).

  • Pickled pepperoncini (pint jars). I have a variety with red pepper if you like a bit of spice.

  • Pepper jelly in 1/2 pints. One hot and one super hot.

  • Eggs by the dozen

  • Grass-fed beef (Roast, Steaks, Brisket)

  • Grass-fed lamb (Chops, Roasts, Leg of Lamb, Frenched Rack of Ribs) 

Herd Shares

Pickup locations are at the Independence Farmers’ Market on Wednesdays 3 pm to 4 pm or at the farm Saturdays 3 pm to 5 pm or Wednesdays 10:00 am to noon. 

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

Please go HERE to learn all about Herd Shares.


Peaceful Heart FarmCast

The latest podcast “I’m Back From My Podcast Vacation is an update on goings-on here at the homestead. Per usual, there are lots and lots of changes. This podcast covers a lot of ground. Listen to this latest one to get many more details on what’s been going on around the homestead.  


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 Musings – A Day in the Life Podcast Episode

Hello beautiful peeps,

I have a new podcast episode out there. Please give it a listen and share with others who you think might enjoy my content.

I have two beef quarters available. Let me know if you are interested. It is 100 lbs of packaged and frozen grassfed and finished beef. About 40 to 45% is ground beef, the rest is ribeye, filet, NY strip, and sirloin steaks, various roasts, brisket, short ribs, soup bones and liver. I probably forgot something in that list. This is very high quality beef from our Normande herd. 

PODCAST DETAILS

How about a brief look at a day in my life? I also give a few homestead updates. It’s short and sweet. This is the first time I’ve created a podcast while making cheese. It actually worked out quite well. I might try it again.

I’ve finished my series of podcasts with very basic information on growing your own food. Next up for podcast series will be all about herbs used for herbal medicine. Most of that will only be available in my Locals community. You can find it at peacefulheartfarm.locals.com. 

My Social Media Community

My social media platform of choice is Locals.com. Our Locals community can be found at https://peacefulheartfarm.locals.com. This platform is designed to be a community and to be able to support itself. Not only will I post, but subscribers can post as well. You can view all of the content without becoming a subscriber, but there are significant benefits to taking the subscriber route. To get you started here is the promo code for a 30-day free trial. FREE30 is the code to enter when registering.

After 30 days, it is $5 per month to become a subscriber. Subscriber status gives you access to ALL content, including the subscriber-only content. Subscribers can post and comment on my posts or any other post in the community. Start conversations around local food, homesteading, cheese or any other topic of interest in this realm. Maybe ask a question about an issue you are having with your home and/or homestead. Get feedback from me and the entire community. Think of it like Facebook groups without the trolls. I post and we all comment. You post and we all comment.  

The pay wall does more than support your local food chain and our farm, website and podcast, it also keeps out those trolls. Anyone who wants to be part of the community pays a nominal fee. Those who only want to be angry and destructive will not usually invest any money to be able to post their tirades. There are too many free ones, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok, and who knows how many others, where anyone can make any comment without fear of coming in contact with a real person. You know what I’m talking about. People saying things they would never say to a person in a face-to-face interaction.

In any case, check out Locals and let me know what you think. Here’s the link again: https://peacefulheartfarm.locals.com


Homestead Updates

Cows

We are in the process of artificial insemination with our cows. It is not going well. In fact, it is going so badly that we are seriously considering keeping a bull. We used to keep a bull but got tired of feeding him through the winter. A full grown bull can eat a lot of hay. He only provides a benefit to the farm about two months out of the year. We shall see. There is still time to make a different choice. 

Mack and Charlotte 

I can’t remember if I mentioned that we lost Finn a while back. He escaped one last time and never returned. It was bound to happen. I had just determined I was going to try one of those “shock” collars because we were so afraid something was going to happen to him and to Charlotte. We were too late for Finn. And Charlotte has at least been staying nearby. She still gets out occasionally, but never goes very far. I have the collar now but am not going to use it at the present time. As long as she does not wander far, she should be fine. Finn would roam for miles and miles.

So Charlotte and Mack are getting to know one another. Everything is going well so far. They are both in with the sheep out in the front field. That is where we had a coyote attack earlier this year. I feel confident that is not going to happen again with these two guardian dogs on the job. 

Quail and Chickens

The quail are all gone now. We finally processed them and now our focus is on the chickens. There are 14 American White Bresse that are doing very well. The roosters are crowing up a storm now. Six hens and eight roosters. We will have a few chickens in the freezer soon.

There are nine Black Copper Marans. Better numbers there. Six hens and three roosters. I’ll be keeping all of the hens of both breeds and two roosters of each. The rest will be meat birds for our freezer.

In the spring, I’ll hatch out a bunch more so we can keep the freezer stocked. I expect the girls to be laying lots and lots of eggs starting in about a month. I’ll probably run out of quail eggs about that time so it will all work out well.  

Creamery and Scott’s Other Stuff

The electrical installation is getting ramped up. The ceilings and insulation will go in right after that. I think we are doing one room at a time. Scott tells me the “milk room” is ready for the ceiling and he needs my help with that. He has some of the electrical stuff in place and now I will help hold the ceiling panels up while Scott operates the electric screw driver. It’s easy work and I love helping out. 

Garden

The garden is amazing. This is our fifth year with these raised beds. Each year we have added compost from our farm. It has paid off big time this year. I have the most beautiful plants I have ever seen in any garden. Summer squash, winter squash, cucumbers, Swiss chard, eggplant, tomatoes — it is all amazing. 

That’s it for farm news. 


Farm and Farmer’s Market Items for Sale:

  • Mild and Medium Hot Salsa in pint jars

  • Sweet and sour pepper relish (pint jars)

  • Spiced pear jam – a hint of ginger and cloves (pint jars)

  • Pickled quail eggs in 1/2 pint jars.

  • Apple and Peach pie filling (quart jars).

  • Pickled pepperoncini (pint jars). I have a variety with red pepper if you like a bit of spice.

  • Pepper jam in 1/2 pints

  • Quail eggs by the dozen (limited quantities)

  • Quail meat in 1 lb packages (limited quantities)

  • We have ground goat (approx 1 lb)

  • I’m out of ground beef (approx 1 lb) until the first week of September

  • Grass-fed ground lamb (approx 1 lb) 


Herd Shares

I’ll see you in my usual location in Independence.

Add on as you desire. All cheeses and butter are at your service. Looking forward to seeing you on Friday.  

You can pickup 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 available. Contact me via email (melanie@peacefulheartfarm.com) or phone (276-694-4369).

Please go HERE to learn all about Herd Shares.


Peaceful Heart FarmCast

Homestead Musing is now available. See the description above. Please like and share with others on all of your social media platforms. Subscribe on your favorite podcast app. 


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 Updates, Herd Share Pickups, Market Info: 6/9/2022

Hello beautiful peeps,

Once again, it has been a long time since I’ve given you guys an update. My apologies. Live seems to be moving so fast right now. Is it the same for you? Can you believe we are already into June? Scott has been making lots of posts on our community page https://peacefulheartfarm.locals.com. This platform is designed to be a community and to be able to support itself. Not only will Scott and I post, but as a subscriber, you can post as well. You can view content without becoming a subscriber, but there are significant benefits to taking the subscriber route. To get you started, here is the promo code for a 30-day free trial. FREE30 is the code to enter when registering.

I have two areas of subscriber-only content that I am in the process of creating. One is short presentations of various types of cheeses. The other is short presentations on various homestead medicinal herbs.

After the FREE30 days, it is $5 per month to become a subscriber. Subscriber status gives you access to ALL content, including the subscriber-only content I just mentioned. Additionally, Subscribers can make posts and comment on our posts or any other post in the community. Start conversations around local food, homesteading, cheese or any other topic of interest in this realm. Maybe ask a question about an issue you are having with your home and/or homestead. Get feedback from me and the entire community. Think of it like Facebook groups without the trolls. I post and we all comment. You post and we all comment.  

The pay wall does more than support your local food chain and our farm, website and podcast, it also keeps out those trolls. Anyone who wants to post in the community pays a nominal fee. Those who only want to be angry and destructive will not usually invest any money to be able to post their tirades. There are too many free ones, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok, and who knows how many others, where anyone can make any comment without fear of coming in contact with a real person. You know what I’m talking about. People saying things they would never say to a person in a face-to-face interaction.

In any case, check out Locals and let me know what you think. Here’s the link again: https://peacefulheartfarm.locals.com

PODCAST DETAILS

I realize it has been a long time since I updated you on goings-on here at the homestead. There are lots and lots of changes. I’ll hit the highlights here and provide details in an upcoming podcast. There are also more details on a couple of podcasts I’ve published since my last newsletter. My habit is to only send out an email when I have announcements with very brief homestead updates. Podcasts are where to find everything you ever wanted to know about the homestead as well as additional content regarding cheese, raw milk, medicinal herbs and homesteading. 

Honestly, there has been a significant lag with the podcast publications as well. The last one came out two months ago. A new episode will be published in the next few days getting you up-to-speed on as much as I can cover in a 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. Subsequent episodes will bring you more details on the cows, dogs and sheep. There is just too much to get into one episode.

I recently did a short series of podcasts with information on growing your own food. The first in the series is a brief introduction to types of soil conditions involved in container gardening, raised-bed gardening and the conventional row-type garden. In the podcast, I only have time for a very brief description following the homestead updates. Ask for more detailed information on the Locals platform. This will be subscriber-only content. Again, get started with your free trial (FREE30) to see if this is something you want to enjoy in your life.

This newsletter is getting long. Here we go with the very briefest of updates on the homestead. 

HOMESTEAD UPDATES

Sheep, Finn, Charlotte and Mack 

We had 7 lambs this year. Unfortunately, we had multiple issues with keeping Finn and Charlotte contained. The last time they escaped and left the sheep  was about 5 weeks ago. I tethered Finn in the back field as a temporary measure to contain him. We left the sheep unattended in the front field for maybe three days and we lost 6 of the 7 lambs and one of our new ewes. Yet another coyote attack. Bad mistake. We immediately moved the sheep to the back with Finn and Charlotte (Finn was still tethered at this point).

Eventually, having observed that Finn and Charlotte were such a problem with escaping, we decided to change plans and train Mack with the sheep. He had bonded so well with the cows it was logical to try him with the sheep. Yet another mistake was made during this transition and at this point, I am still grieving the loss of Finn.

We took him off the tether and contained him with Charlotte in the “lower garden.” This was to be a temporary place — literally less than an hour — while we took all of the sheep and Mack to the corral and checked their health and then returned them to their original pasture, together as a unit. By the time we returned, both Charlotte and Finn were gone — escaped yet again. By evening Charlotte had returned. Finn has been missing now for three weeks. He has never been gone more than two days. Once we picked him up about five miles away when a local farmer called to let us know he was at his place. He has a collar with our farm name and phone number. I can only hope that he is still out there somewhere roaming around and someone will see him and give us a call.

On the up side, Charlotte is getting along well with Finn. She still pretty much goes anywhere she pleases, but she comes back quickly. It took her about 2 weeks of missing Finn before she would even bark at anything. Now she is more back to normal — which means escaping regularly. He has never gotten lost the way Finn did nearly every time. There is no fence that will contain either of them so I will be trying a corrective collar on her to try and save her from disappearing, never to be heard from again. 

Cows 

The cows have begun the artificial insemination process. If all take, we will have eight calves in March or April. All is going well with that process. Watching for signs of coming back into heat begins in about 4 days. In about a month, preg checks will begin.

Quail and Chickens

A lot has changed with the quail situation. We have decided to go ahead with getting chickens. That means the quail will no longer be needed for our homestead. As soon as our new chicks begin laying eggs, we will be done with the quail. I don’t know if I ever mentioned this, but raising quail is quite expensive. There is a reason people have chickens rather than quail. 

We are still getting lots of eggs. For the most part we get 24 to 27 eggs a day.

I hatched out two batches of chicken eggs. We now have 14 American White Bresse chickens and 10 Black Copper Maran chickens. More on those guys in the next newsletter. They are about 8 weeks old and doing very well. For more details on some of our plans in this area, listen to the latest podcast.  

Creamery and Scott’s Other Stuff

Scott finished ordering construction materials to complete the entire building. There are still a few items on backorder that will show up at some time in the future, but most is here waiting for him to complete the assembly.

I have been helping him put up the roof. Everything slowed down with the coming of spring. We have both been working on getting the garden planted. Scott got the orchard in order and all of these things have superseded working on the creamery. Such is life on the homestead.   

Garden

It’s past the first week of June and we finally got the bulk of the garden planted. Yesterday I really did myself in with too much sun in one day. We were planting the rest of the vegetables I had in 2″ pots. Whatever was left of my plant starts after the last farmer’s markets ended up in the garden. I held off planting our garden to see how many plants would be available. As usual, God has a great plan and I had almost exactly what I needed to fill out the entire garden. We have brussel sprouts, onions, chard, tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, lima beans, parsley, winter and summer squash, eggplant  and I will fill in any spaces with flowers, bachelor buttons, stocks, and painted daisies. 

That’s it for farm news. 

ITEMS OF NOTE FOR SALE AT THE FARM AND INDEPENDENCE MARKET:

  • Mild, Medium Hot and HOT Salsa (pint jars)

  • Sweet and sour pepper relish (pint jars)

  • Spiced pear jam – a hint of ginger and cloves (pint jars)

  • Apple pie jam (pint jars).

  • Apple pie filling (quart jars).

  • Pickled pepperoncini (pint jars). I have a variety with red pepper if you like a bit of spice.

  • Pepper jam in 1/2 pints

  • Quail eggs by the dozen

  • Quail meat in 1 lb packages

  • Grass-fed ground goat (approx 1 lb)

  • Grass-fed ground beef (approx 1 lb)

  • Grass-fed ground lamb (approx 1 lb) 

Herd Shares

I’ll see you in my usual location in Independence or here at the farm.

Add on as you desire. All cheeses and butter are at your service. Looking forward to seeing you on your scheduled pickup days.  

Pickup locations are at the Independence Farmers’ Market on Fridays 9 am to 1 pm or 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 available. Contact me via email (melanie@peacefulheartfarm.com) or phone (276-694-4369).

Please go HERE to learn all about Herd Shares.


Peaceful Heart FarmCast

A new podcast is in the works. The latest podcast “Planting the Garden,” has a lot more information on the breeds of our new chickens as well as springtime animal births on the homestead. Give a listen to bring yourself more up-to-date on how our lambing and calving season went. A large portion of that podcast details my original spring plans for the garden. As life goes on, those plans changed. More on that in the next podcast.  


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 Update: 1/27/2022

 Hello beautiful peeps,

I’m back, I know it has been a long time and it is high time for a farm update. Getting back on track with everything has taken more time than I thought. Along the way, I’ve made advances in getting us off of the Facebook platform and onto another social media platform that is made for the people and not for gathering the people’s information. 

My platform of choice is Locals.com. Our Locals community can be found at https://peacefulheartfarm.locals.com. This platform is designed to be a community and to be able to support itself. Not only will I post, but subscribers can post as well. You can view all of the content without becoming a subscriber, but there are significant benefits to taking the subscriber route. To get you started here is the promo code for a 30-day free trial. FREE30 is the code to enter when registering.

After 30 days, it is $5 per month to become a subscriber. Subscriber status gives you access to ALL content, including the subscriber-only content. Subscribers can post and comment on my posts or any other post in the community. Start conversations around local food, homesteading, cheese or any other topic of interest in this realm. Maybe ask a question about an issue you are having with your home and/or homestead. Get feedback from me and the entire community. Think of it like Facebook groups without the trolls. I post and we all comment. You post and we all comment.  

The pay wall does more than support your local food chain and our farm, website and podcast, it also keeps out those trolls. Anyone who wants to be part of the community pays a nominal fee. Those who only want to be angry and destructive will not usually invest any money to be able to post their tirades. There are too many free ones, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok, and who knows how many others, where anyone can make any comment without fear of coming in contact with a real person. You know what I’m talking about. People saying things they would never say to a person in a face-to-face interaction.

In any case, check out Locals and let me know what you think. Here’s the link again: https://peacefulheartfarm.locals.com

PODCAST DETAILS

I realize it has been a long time since I updated you on goings on here at the homestead. There are lots and lots of changes. I’ll hit the highlights here and provide details in my podcasts. I only send out an email when I have an announcement. Podcasts are where to find everything you ever wanted to know about the homestead. 

General homestead updates are covered in detail on my podcasts. The last 10 episodes are now listed on our Locals page.

There has been a significant lag with the podcast publication as well. I believe the last one came out in September last year. A new episode will come out in the next few days getting you up-to-speed on the cows. Subsequent episodes will bring you up to date on the dogs and the sheep. There is just too much to get into one episode.

I’m also starting a series of podcasts that include information on growing your own food. The first in the series is a brief introduction to types of soil conditions involved in container gardening, raised-bed gardening and the conventional row-type garden. In the podcast, I only have time for a very brief description following the homestead updates. More detailed information will be forthcoming separately on the Locals platform. This will be subscriber-only content. Get started with your free trial to see if this is something you want to learn.

This newsletter is getting long. Here we go with the very briefest of updates on the homestead. 

HOMESTEAD UPDATES

Sheep, Finn and Charlotte 

Last time you heard about the addition of a new ram and three ewes, bringing our total to five breeding ewes. We can expect the first lambs in just a few weeks. They could come as early as the first week of March.

Finn and Charlotte, the two newest livestock guardian dogs are doing a great job protecting these guys. It took a while, but I think they are beginning to see these sheep as something to be protected. It’s hard to tell. New dogs are not completely settled and trusted with livestock until we’ve gone through an entire four seasons — one year. We have a plan for keeping the sheep and lambs safe during this first lambing season. We don’t want any accidents between the dogs, sheep and lambs. Once the dogs see what’s going on and learn to bond with the lambs, we will be good to go in future years. 

Mack and the Cows 

Over the past few months, the cows have all been brought together. At first Mack was with the calves and yearlings. Next, we added the three new heifers, Molly, Ginger and Wanda to Mack’s responsibilities. After a while we put all of those guys in with the rest of the herd. Mack stays with them throughout the day. He has adopted all of them as his charges.

Same as with the cows, during calving in late March, we will have to watch closely and take some precautions, too. We don’t want any slipups.

Quail

The quail are hanging in there in this cold winter weather. They seem to have no difficulty whatsoever with the cold. The biggest problem is keeping unfrozen water in their cages. 

We are still getting lots of eggs. Sometimes there are fewer when it gets really cold. But for the most part we get 25 to 30 eggs a day.  

Creamery and Scott’s Other Stuff

The electrical installation is getting ramped up. The cut list for all the electrical parts is done (I think) and estimates are being gathered. The power guys have been out and seen what needs to be done to connect the power. We have that estimate. The propane gas folks have also been out and we have that quote.

Scott is ordering construction materials to finish out the entire building all right now because the prices on materials are currently double or more. Even if it will be months before he gets to it, the floors, ceilings, electrical and plumbing parts are being purchased now. So far, we have been able to get everything we need.

There are lots of horror stories out there of having to wait months to get materials for construction. How are the supply chain issues and inflation affecting you?  

Garden

I’m still undecided about what to grow this year. I need to make up my mind soon for anything that needs to be planted indoors ahead of time. 

That’s it for farm news. 

ITEMS OF NOTE AT FOR SALE AT THE FARM AND INDEPENDENCE ONLINE MARKET:

  • Mild, Medium Hot and HOT Salsa in pint jars

  • Sweet and sour pepper relish (pint jars)

  • Spiced pear jam – a hint of ginger and cloves (pint jars)

  • Pickled quail eggs in 1/2 pint jars.

  • Apple and Peach pie filling (quart jars).

  • Pickled pepperoncini (pint jars). I have a variety with red pepper if you like a bit of spice.

  • Pepper jam in 1/2 pints

  • Quail eggs by the dozen

  • Quail meat in 1 lb packages

  • We have ground goat (approx 1 lb)

  • Grass-fed ground beef (approx 1 lb)

  • Grass-fed ground lamb (approx 1 lb) 

Herd Shares

I’ll see you in my usual location in Independence.

Add on as you desire. All cheeses and butter are at your service. Looking forward to seeing you every other Wednesday. Next pick up date is the 2nd of February — Ground Hog Day. 

You can pickup 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 available. Contact me via email (melanie@peacefulheartfarm.com) or phone (276-694-4369).

Please go HERE to learn all about Herd Shares.


Peaceful Heart FarmCast

No new podcast yet. I’m working on it. Until then, listen to the last podcast where 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


Half Beef Sale – 200 lbs of grass fed beef

Hello beautiful peeps,

I’m back. I know it has been a while. Scott has completed all of his treatments and is doing very well. We are slowly getting back on track. The whole experience turned our lives on end in subtle ways. Getting back into a reliable routine is a blessing.

As a result of our encounter with cancer, I am rethinking my life and mission. We will no longer be vending at the Wytheville Farmer’s Market. This Saturday, December 11th, will be our last market at that location.

After re-evaluating my life, I determined it was too far to drive — especially with gas prices as they are now. I’m still delivering to the Independence On-Line Market. Independence is currently the only farmer’s market that we are serving. Farm sales and visits are still the same. Tuesday mornings 10 – 12 noon and Saturday afternoons 3 – 5 PM.  

Half Beef Sale: As the title suggests we have a couple of 1/2 beef meat packages for sale. The price is still the same as last year but will go up in the coming year. As with all things in our lives, inflation is taking its toll. Hay, organic supplements and processing fees have all increased dramatically.

We have only two (2) halves available. The cost is $1,300 or buy both for $2,400. The packages are just over 200 lbs each (400 lbs for both). About 40% of it is ground beef. The rest is a variety of steaks, roasts, ribs, brisket, soup bones, and liver. Let us know ASAP if you want one or both of these packages. You can order on-line here. You can also contact us via phone or email (276-694-4369 or melanie at peacefulheartfarm dot com).

I realize it has been a long time since I updated you on goings on here at the homestead. There are lots and lots of changes. I’ll hit the highlights and provide details in later updates. 

HOMESTEAD UPDATES

Sheep 

The last you heard was that the vet was out to preg check the cows and we had her look at the sheep as well. She tended a ewe with a growth and tried to help Lambert our ram. The ewe recovered, Lambert did not. We had to put him down. It was hard as he was a bottle baby.

We have now added another flock ram and three ewes. They are happily hanging out with our two veteran ewes and the one wether lamb. We got some really good stock and look forward to increasing the flock over the next couple of years. 

Mack Plus Two More

We now have three livestock guardian dogs and we just love them all. You’ve heard some about Mack. He liked to chase the sheep so we put him in with the calves and yearlings instead. He has now bonded with them. Plus we added three (plus one being boarded) more heifers to our cow herd. More on those ladies a little later. Mack is taking care of all of them.

Finn and Charlotte are getting to know the sheep. Finn (Great Pyrenees/Anatolian Shepherd) also chases the sheep but we are taking lots of time and effort to break him of that habit. Charlotte either does really well with the sheep or ignores them. We can trust her not to chase them but I’m still skeptical that she feels obligated to protect them.

She is as great dog as well as a Great Pyrenees. Her problem is that she was abused at a very young age and is really skittish. I have to trap her and get a leash on her to get to pet her and give her some love. She is slowly coming around. However, the jumpiness seems to be a permanent part of her. She jumps at things I don’t even see. I’m thinking of giving her CBD oil to see if that helps her anxiety. I have a pet formula of a brand that works well for me and my exaggerated startle response. Perhaps it will work for her also. More on these wonderful dogs later.

Cows 

Because of the results from the vet visit, we have two cows that will be culled from the herd soon and a third shortly thereafter. I talked a bit about that last time. We just happened to come across these three new heifers that have the exact genetics we are looking for in developing our herd. Scott had to drive all the way to Wisconsin to pick them up. We also picked up a fourth heifer for a friend and herd share member that is going to raise their own milk cow for the family. We are helping them get started with that and all the learning that it entails. Check out our Facebook page to see photos and videos of the news girls. We have Wanda, Ginger and Molly. The fourth and youngest (and smallest) is Daisy.

Just a little bit more about Molly. She is actually 75% jersey and 25% Normande. When bred to a pure bred or full blood Normande bull, her calves will be registerable with the North American Normande Association. She was just too beautiful to pass up. Check out her pictures. She has the darkest red coloring, called mulberry, made even darker with the Normande blood lines. I cannot describe to you how gorgeous she is so you must see her pictures. I’ll add more on the cows in later newsletters.

The calves are all weaned and they, along with the newbies, will be put in with the main herd for the winter very soon.   

Quail

We hatched out 19 babies this last time. Not a good hatch rate but it was enough to replace all of the roosters and add a few more hens. All of these guys were in the top left penthouse, but I have since spread the roosters around to the other cages. Our current situation is one rooster and six hens in two of the three bottom breeding pens. There are two roosters and 9 hens on each side of the penthouse. The third breeding cage only has the six hens with no rooster. Unfortunately, they took him out. I don’t know which one was the culprit but they beat him up so badly over night that he died. Birds of all kinds are vicious and very territorial. It always breaks my heart, but you can’t change nature. Though we do try to cull the overly aggressive hen that does this if we can find her. We certainly don’t want to breed more of those genetics.

We are getting lots of eggs. The newest hens just started laying a few days ago. Only two are laying at the moment, but again, there are nine in that cage. 

Creamery and Scott’s Other Stuff

Scott finished radiation treatments on November 1st. The last week of treatment was really hard on him. He got to where he was on a liquid diet only — and that in very limited quantities. The healing afterward went very quickly. We thank you for all of your prayers. His recovery was swift.

On November 4th he had carpel tunnel and cubital tunnel surgery on wrist and elbow. That is also going well. Tomorrow he gets the carpel tunnel release on the right wrist. We expect that to go well also. It will be months before we know the full benefits but just yesterday he was saying there was as marked improvement in the feeling in his fingers.

In between all of the radiation, trips to Wisconsin, carpel tunnel surgery, Scott completed the walls in preparation for electrical installation. He painted everything else after putting up some waterproof panels in the milk room.  

The electric plans are on paper. He watched tons of YouTube videos. His next step is getting quotes for all the pieces and parts he needs to make it all happen. 

Garden

There is not much to say about the garden. We finally got a few good frosts and everything is now put to bed until the spring. I’ll talk about some plans in that area in a future newsletter.

That’s it for farm news. 

ITEMS OF NOTE AT FOR SALE AT THE FARM AND INDEPENDENCE ONLINE MARKET:

  • Mild, Medium Hot and HOT Salsa in pint jars

  • Sweet and sour pepper relish (pint jars)

  • Spiced pear jam – a hint of ginger and cloves (pint jars)

  • Pickled quail eggs in 1/2 pint jars.

  • Apple and Peach pie filling (quart jars).

  • Pickled pepperoncini (pint jars). I have a variety with red pepper if you like a bit of spice.

  • Pepper jam in 1/2 pints

  • Quail eggs by the dozen

  • Quail meat in 1 lb packages

  • We have ground goat (approx 1 lb)

  • Grass-fed ground beef (approx 1 lb)

  • Grass-fed ground lamb (approx 1 lb) 

Herd Shares

I’ll see you in my usual location in Independence.

Add on as you desire. Yogurt, all cheeses and butter are at your service. Looking forward to seeing you every other Wednesday. Next pick up date is the 15th of December. 

You can pickup 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 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, 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

No new podcast yet. I’m working on it. Until them listen to the last podcast where 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: 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


    You found our farm!

    }

    FARM STORE Hours:

    Wednesday:  10am – 12pm
    Saturdays:  3 – 5pm

    Peaceful Heart Farm

    224 Cox Ridge Road, Claudville, VA 24076

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    We'd like to make sure we have cheese available where you can get it. Whether it be at the Farmers Market or a specialty food store.

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    FARM STORE Hours:

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    Saturdays:  3 – 5pm

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    Fridays:  9am – 1pm (May thru October)

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