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We didn’t attend the March against Monsanto

I know, this is completely “out of character” for owners of a Certified Organic Produce and custom raised meats farm.

Here’s why we chose not to actively march (aside from the excuses that Bev’s knee hurt… she’s having knee replacement surgery this Wednesday and we just bought four ducklings that have to get home as it’s too hot in the truck for them).

We believe the problem is bigger than just Monsanto. The anger,  and the protests really need to be against Congress, and the results of their voting… The creation and explosive growth of the USDA is a good start, along with the FDA, EPA, and any other alphabet soup agency that has ways of controlling our food, how we grow it, where we choose to raise it, how and when we sell it, and who chooses to purchase what we produce.

Don’t get me wrong,

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Posted in Certified Organic Garden, Farm Tales
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Temple Grandin, a most powerful spokeswoman for the animals

About 30 years ago, I (Shari Thomas) became aware of a woman who was “speaking for the animals”. She wasn’t an animal rights activist, and she wasn’t a farmer. She suffered from Asperger’s Syndrome a form of autism that enables her to use her energy in very positive ways, or more commonly, in less than stellar ways.

She was talking to the meat industry on behalf of the animals, not telling them to quit processing meat, but to make it more humane, to stop the suffering, and in turn, increase the quality of the final product. I was in the rabbit processing business, so I already understood what she was saying on behalf of the animals. We were really good a minimizing stress before slaughter, but in my opinion, did a lousy job of transporting our animals.

In my new life, I am one of the Four Country Gals. 

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Posted in Custom Meat Program, Farm Tales
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Owl gets second chance

This one is for the folks who question the animal welfare we farmers provide.

While doing chores this morning, Cindy was collecting eggs when  she came upon a chicken that appeared to be setting on a nest in the corner of the coop. Upon closer inspection, the chicken was dead.

Imagine Cindy’s surprise when she turned to see a full-grown owl within about 4 feet of her, sitting in a feed bowl. I couldn’t see it because the sun was blocking my view through the screen. We’re still not exactly sure of the breed. I thought it was a barn owl, Cindy thought maybe a Great Horned. We’re sure it isn’t one of our local Long-earred Owl’s.

I gotta’ tell you, Cindy was just a little undone. I can’t repeat what she said, as there are some youngsters who follow this blog. Let’s just say she was more undone when I wanted to lock the outside door (that meant her in),

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Posted in Around the farm, Critter Central, Farm Tales
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Below zero temps with livestock to feed

Damn! We’re so tired of the below zero mornings while doing chores, only to have to repeat  the process with the windchill below zero in the afternoon.  Mind you, this is an area that routinely hits 100+ degrees in the summer time.

Let me share with you exactly what we do on a typical week day in this weather..

Mom usually starts the day shortly after 5 AM. It’s lights on in the kitchen and check the coffee pot time. Even though the machine is on automatic, Mom doesn’t trust it. We don’t trust that Mom set it right, but that’s another story. The kitchen is her domain until she gives it up.

Bev is next up about 5:30. By shortly before 6:30 she’s out to pre-trip and start the school bus. In below zero weather, all kinds of things can happen. She’s already had two dead batteries,

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Posted in Around the farm, Farm Tales
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‘Twas the week before Christmas…

The Four Country Gals had more than enough to keep them busy.

We had to make sure all the animals had enough hay… that meant moving 80 bales here and yon… to the Nubians, to the Pygmies, and Zena too. To the cow and the sheep, 20 bales should do there.

Keep working on the hoop houses… got one cover on after aborting one try a week earlier. No double cover yet, though.

Someone said it would snow. Mom said no. She never believes any old forecast, as it seems to go around us.

Well, guess what!

It snowed… a bunch, then the temp went to below zero, and we weren’t really ready. The frost-free’s froze up. The animal water barrels froze up. We forgot to bring in wood for the stove, so no extra heat for us either.

I got on the tractor and dug us out best I could,

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Posted in Farm Tales
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  • Goats helping photographer
    Hey, we'd love to help you take your pictures.
  • Coco's little calf born July 30, 2014
    Coco's little calf born July 30, 2014.
  • Cindy feeding Chaffhaye
  • working in the kitchen
    Bev recording milk weights, Shari stirring the Cajeta
  • The first two little doelings.
    The first two little doelings.
  • Mom with Thor
    Mom is cuddling our new buckling, Thor.
  • cargo trailer
    Our Farmer's Market cargo trailer.
  • Hand digging trench
    Shari pitches in and digs up broken water line.

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