Tuesday, July 19, 2005

What We're Doin' on The Hill

Things are pretty busy around here this week. Leah and her sister have been making a mess of jam. They got the black caps done and yesterday they picked blueberries. While they picked blueberries I dug a grave for Katie. It was hot and the ground is dry and hard. Took forever getting a hole dug. Shes in the ground now, I sure miss our morning time together. Last night we went and bought supplies for our trip to Polyface and delivered some eggs on the way. We will be leaving on Friday. I'm getting exited, I haven't left the farm over night in several years. I'm also felling kind of nervous and jerky about it as well. I'm a creature of habit, always have been. I can't remember the last time I missed a milking around here. Heck, I broke my foot a few years back 2 hours before milking and didn't miss that milking or any after for that matter. I'll be up bright and early looking for something to do. Thankfully Joel has invited everyone over for morning chores! The girls made jam late into the night with their fresh blueberries. This morning I'll have a bowl of them with sugar and heavy cream. Agrarian rocket fuel. Some of our early apples are starting to get ready. Seems early, don't have a clue what they are. We have a few ripe tomatoes already. I grew the tomatoes on the layered compost garden I'm experimenting with. I can't believe the yields! I've never seen so many tomatoes. The first beans were ready yesterday, just a few. In a few days we'll have beans coming out our ears. I hope they aren't waiting for me to leave. We grew the broccoli on the layered compost as well. We have had 5 cuttings worth of side shoots on the oldest ones. I have been surprised by the yields on them as well. We had a calf born this morning. She is sired by This Bull. We have a few and they are all pretty nice.


At 7/19/2005 9:08 AM, Blogger KSmilkmaid said...

Somehow, I missed that you were going to Polyface, or I didn't understand what that was. I am envious. (In a good way that is) I am sure you will learn a great deal. My wheels have been turning since I got the pastured poultry book. I can't wait to get the other we ordered. Now if I can just fight this feeling of inadequacy. How are we ever going to do it on 7 acres? Do I have enough fortitude to help milk cows and manage the home? My DH works outside the home now so we all have to pitch in. There is always more to do than I can get down. I know we need more land. I haven't a clue how the Lord is going to do this for us. I am sure he will do it better than I ever imagined. How did the kefir work out? I forgot to tell Leah to rinse the grains if it wasn't working out. Praying for a safe trip for you all. Tell Leah hi. I have been on CMOMB lately cuz I have been messing around with blogging. At this stage, I am really needing encouragement with our farm. Encouragement and foundations building. Blogging and reading blogs has helped remind me of the values of what we are doing.

At 7/19/2005 1:37 PM, Anonymous Matt Davis said...


GREAT article! It is very encouraging. Sorry to hear about the dog and congrats on the calf. That must be exciting.

A friend of mine will be at Polyface at the end of the week. I gave him your email in the hopes y'all (that's suthun for you all) could meet. I figure there'll be a lot of people, but just in case. He is like a kid in a candy store with anticipation! All on top of news that his wife is having twins! This will be their 7th and 8th blessings in one.

Milkmaid, I discovered your blog through this one and Farmer Buie last week. Your stories have been a huge blessing to my wife and I. Keep up the hard work. You are an encouragement to people like us who are following the same vision that you and the other agrarian bloggers are making happen. You are sowing seeds that you do not even know about yet, but they are there. You are glorifying your Father in Heaven and blessing others along the way that you may not even know about. Thank you, your husband and your children.

At 7/19/2005 3:37 PM, Blogger reformed farmer said...


We started milking with a couple of cows and an old 9 stall barn. The Lord lead through some mighty strange places and ordeals before we got to where we are now. Everything will work out, just wait and see. There are a lot of people that REALLY love your blog. You write some great stuff over there, keep it up. And Leah says Hi.


Look forward to meeting your friend! Before I go I'll post a family photo so folks can spot me. Can't wait to meet some of these guys. After Polyface we're driving down to Bristol and we are going to finaly meet Rick from DHP in person.

At 7/19/2005 6:47 PM, Blogger Chad said...

Scott, I hope you have a great time at the Field Day! I wish I could be there, but I'll have to wait until next time.

Milkmaid, I really enjoy y'alls blog too. Everyone needs encouragement, you're no further behind than most of the rest of us, and further ahead of more than you probably realize.

At 7/19/2005 7:07 PM, Blogger KSmilkmaid said...

Awww, shucks, thanks guys. Tears are welling up and goosebumps are surfacing. Seriously, I am truly humbled that anyone can find meaning and hope in our lives on the farm. I know the Lord has a great plan for all of us. Though I may never meet any of you on this side of eternity, it will be a joy to worship our glorious God with many agrarian families on the other side of heaven. Won't the harvest be grand there!

At 7/20/2005 9:09 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

Scott - Good to hear that the "lasagna" gardening method is working for you. Did you plant the seeds into the soil under the compost, or into the layered compost itself? I have heard of folks using both methods.

Milkmaid - You can do quite a bit with 7 acres! There is a family in Pasedena, CA that grows 6000 lbs of fruit and vegetables a year in a suburban lot, along with raising ducks and chickens, and a lot more. Sometimes, less is more. :-)

Jeff Schmidt

At 7/20/2005 9:35 AM, Blogger KSmilkmaid said...


Our primary focus is the dairy aspect of our homestead. We milk five cows now with a total of 14 head roaming around on less than seven acres. It is way toooo crowded. I am yearing for pasture for our cows. We could improve on using what we have around that is not fenced off for cows in gardening. We also have a hen house and free range chickens. The children are putting together a chicken tractor so they can raise pastured poultry. The cow lot is so eaten down we can't run them behind the cows with much grass at all. We are going to run them on the property for now that is not fenced off for cows. If it goes well, they are talking of leasing 20 acres from our neighbor who has his cows on the pasture. I would love to lease some for our cows, but I don't want to compete for space with his cows. It isn't right for him. We are praying for some solution for our girls. Right now the big competitive edge is to have grass based dairy here. We don't have that we bring in good quality hay for them right now.

At 7/20/2005 9:49 AM, Anonymous scott said...


I used it for transplants this year. Tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, and squash. I plan on expanding it next year and plant seeds in it to. I'm not sure how I'm going to plant them. Everything that was planted by seed this year went in a plain old tilled soil garden.


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