Winter on the Farm

Winter on the farm lately has been very wet. The building site is really, really muddy. And it’s not just any mud. It’s this sticky stuff that clots up on your boots. Literally, there is an inch of mud that is loose on the surface. When you walk across it, you build up a large mass of red gooey stuff on your boots. Behind you is a clear path of prints where the crust of mud has been completely removed. It’s incredibly hard to get this stuff off of your boots. At least we have lots of blocks to use for scraping posts.

A few days ago, it rained so much that the big pond was filled deep enough to cover 3/4 of the overflow pipe. It’s back down now, but we have had over 5 inches of rain recently. I love that we get so much . . . and I’m happy the sun is shining today.

Creamery Update

As I mentioned above, the weather has been wet. Working outside has been impossible for a couple of weeks. Instead, Scott has been working overtime on the plans for the creamery. Plumbing is the topic he is focused on. He has spent hours watching YouTube videos and is currently drawing up the plans. Architectural drawing is one of Scott’s strong suits. Working with his hands on detailed images is a true talent he possesses in spades. A quick trip to town brought home some new tools to make the drawing tasks go much more smoothly.

He also has quite a few of the plumbing fixtures purchased. They are full-scale models as he works through the details of what goes where, which pipe line crosses above another, how deep of a trench to get the proper drop so everything flows out and many other details I know nothing about.

As soon as the weather clears and the ground dries up some, Scott will be back out there finishing the footers then digging trenches for the plumbing.

Animal Husbandry

We are still waiting for the lambs to be born. Ewes are so much wider than tall at this time. Every morning the first thing I do is open the blinds and count the sheep. We still have seven.

Five of them are still very wide. Two are too young to be pregnant as they were kept apart from the rest to ensure that did not happen. I think we were at least successful with that action. The five wide ones participated in unauthorized breeding which is why we are monitoring the flock closely this early in the year. Normally, lambing season begins the first of April. The grass is starting to take off and it is much warmer by that time. The lambs will thrive in that environment.

Last year we had quite a bit of difficulty with our sheep flock. We have one aging ewe who had triplets so large we had to assist. And another had triplets but was temporarily paralyzed during labor. Again, we had to assist. It was as very bad year for lambs. So I am watching them all very closely.

Still waiting . . . . .

Wood Stove

January was a really cold month. Scott has been busily gathering wood, chopping and splitting, loading crates of wood and hauling them inside. My part revolved around learning some really good tricks for maintaining a comfortable level of heat. At first, there were lots of really hot nights followed by the main furnace running for long periods of time as the fired died and it got cold inside. As Scott collected a greater variety of wood and I gained greater experience with using it, the temperature has become more consistent.

We used lots of wood but not lots of electrical energy.  The wood stove is paying for itself. Love my stove.

Look for wood stove cooking recipes and tips in the very near future. I’m also doing some research on cooking on a hearth fire. This kind of hand made touch with traditional cooking methods are fascinating to me. The closer we are to the natural origin of the food, the closer we are to the nutrition and goodness.

Winter is a difficult time for me emotionally. Traditionally, around this time of year I get emotional at the drop of a hat. I’m looking forward to my birthday and the beginning of spring. That usually alleviates the emotional instability and things start roaring forward at break-neck speed. Life becomes more like a roller coaster. I’m also shopping for new vegetable seeds and looking forward to getting the garden going. Cravings for fresh greens start to build up and get stronger and stronger as the season gets ready to take off.

Thanks for following us. May you always have water and shade.

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

Peaceful Heart Farm

224 Cox Ridge Road, Claudville, VA 24076

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