Sunday, June 29, 2014

Pasture Happenings




 I feel like I have been MIA. Life has been busy!

When we get the chance to go out and take pictures and I can't believe how much bigger the lambs are!








The Jerseys have  been a little naughty this week. I caught them chasing some of the sheep. I think the sheep got startled and took off running and these guys decided to take off after them. When the sheep stopped,  they stopped-looked around and walked away. If it becomes a problem, they will need to be separated. NO Chasing Sheep Allowed!


 
My favorite photo of the week- "Can she see me? I don't think she can see me!"





My favorite Ram Lamb-looks like Emmet!

 
 
You can't always get a photo of the goats, they never sit still long enough. One of our Ober-Toggs.

We are going to have to get out there and mow some of the pasture, it has been a good year for grass, and the sheep can't keep up. There is also some Thistle out there, that needs taken care of-it is a known enemy to wool.  Nasty Stuff!


The weather has been a little humid and sticky, but after this past winter, I said I would not complain about the warmer weather, and I am going to keep my word.


Enjoy your week!


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Thursday, June 26, 2014

HomeAcre Hop #76



Fiber has taken over my life!  Okay, I am being a little dramatic, but I have been up to my elbows in wool all week.

I hope you find time to link up some of your Homesteading, Homemaking, and Homeschooling post!
I always look forward to seeing what everyone is up to. 



HomeAcre  Host

Kathi@Oak Hill Homestead
Nancy@Prudent Living on the Home Front
Jenny@Black Fox Homestead
Lisa Lynn@Self Sufficient Home Acre
Mary@Homegrown on the Hill
Heidi@Pint Size Farm
and Me @Clearwater Farm Journal


Each host will feature her own picks from the posts linked the previous week. that means your chances of being featured are even better! Visit each of the blogs to see if you were featured this week! (Don't forget to link back to one of our blogs if you'd like to be featured!)

 My Featured Post

Winter Wood Stoves: Using Wood Ash from Eight Acres 


 

Congratulations!
 We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured blogger this week. If you were featured, grab the button to display proudly on your blog.

Be sure to check out the HomeAcre Hop Pinterest Board where we share our Hop Favorites each week.

Clearwater Farm Journal
Featured


You are invited to share your original posts on: Homesteading, livestock care, gardening, environmentally friendly farming, self sufficiency, preparedness, off grid living, healthy recipes, home remedies and herbal concoctions, green living, homeschooling, food preservation, environmentally friendly crafts and home decor, photo posts of natural living and homesteading subjects! Now that’s a lot of information to share! If it fits any of these topics, we want to hear about it.  There are just a few little rules to follow:
  • Family friendly posts only. 
  • Please, no posts dedicated to advertising products.
  • Link as many appropriate posts as you’d like each week. Older posts are great too.
  • Please visit as many of the other posts as you can and let them know you found them here!
  • If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on either host’s blog) with the button, text link, on the post, your side bar,or blog hop  page and please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and/or Pinterest!
  • Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business. 
  • Only share content that you have created.
  • Please remember that the whole idea of a blog hop is to visit the other bloggers and make connections and friendships…so share the linky love!
  • By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post if you are featured. We will also include one photo from your post in the interest of sending visitors your way 
                 To keep things fresh on the Hop PLEASE do not share a post that you have previously linked up.




          Any post that does not fit in the guidelines will be removed. Thank you for participating!!
 
Clearwater Farm Journal



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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Etsy Shop Announcement!



We finally took the plunge! We are offering wool roving that has been processed right here on the farm, by our very own sheep!

We have been working on this for so long, that is hard to believe that we are actually up and running!


We are still working out some bugs, and will continue to make improvements to our small operation, but as of today, Mitten State Wool is open on Etsy.

We will continue to add items through the week.

I am very excited about this endeavor, as well as a little nervous. But for better or worse, we are in business!



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Friday, June 20, 2014

2014 Fleeces, Washed!

We have had a lot of rain this week, which is great for indoor projects.  I am happy to say that all of the 2014 Fleeces are now washed.



Border Leicester Fleeces-First Wash


 It was humid, so the fleeces were not drying very fast. I ran out of room, and had to set up some make-shift drying racks. I took over the barn, fleeces everywhere!



Tunis Wool Drying
 Rainy days are good for chick flicks too, so it took some motivation to get me out there, but I am glad I did. Feels great to be able to check something off that, ever growing list.



Border Leicester Wool Drying

P.S. I have a new camera, and I am not sure what setting I had it on, the pictures looked almost wavy, if that makes sense. Time to read the manual!


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Thursday, June 19, 2014

HomeAcre Hop #75

Cat Watching


Welcome to the HomeAcre Hop!

I enjoyed reading last weeks post-recipes, gardening tips, DIY, livestock care, so much information in one place! I hope you join us again,  this week with more of your Homesteading, Homeschooling, and Homemaking post!


 HomeAcre  Host

Kathi@Oak Hill Homestead
Nancy@Prudent Living on the Home Front
Jenny@Black Fox Homestead
Lisa Lynn@Self Sufficient Home Acre
Mary@Homegrown on the Hill
Heidi@Pint Size Farm
and Me @Clearwater Farm Journal


Each host will feature her own picks from the posts linked the previous week. that means your chances of being featured are even better! Visit each of the blogs to see if you were featured this week! (Don't forget to link back to one of our blogs if you'd like to be featured!)

My Featured Post

Growing Seedlings in a Greenhouse from Montana Homesteader



 How to Grow Seedlings in a Greenhouse


                                                       Congratulations!

 We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured blogger this week. If you were featured, grab the button to display proudly on your blog.

Be sure to check out the HomeAcre Hop Pinterest Board where we share our Hop Favorites each week.


Clearwater Farm Journal
Featured






You are invited to share your original posts on: Homesteading, livestock care, gardening, environmentally friendly farming, self sufficiency, preparedness, off grid living, healthy recipes, home remedies and herbal concoctions, green living, homeschooling, food preservation, environmentally friendly crafts and home decor, photo posts of natural living and homesteading subjects! Now that’s a lot of information to share! If it fits any of these topics, we want to hear about it.  There are just a few little rules to follow:
  • Family friendly posts only. 
  • Please, no posts dedicated to advertising products.
  • Link as many appropriate posts as you’d like each week. Older posts are great too.
  • Please visit as many of the other posts as you can and let them know you found them here!
  • If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on either host’s blog) with the button, text link, on the post, your side bar,or blog hop  page and please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and/or Pinterest!
  • Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business. 
  • Only share content that you have created.
  • Please remember that the whole idea of a blog hop is to visit the other bloggers and make connections and friendships…so share the linky love!
  • By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post if you are featured. We will also include one photo from your post in the interest of sending visitors your way 
                 To keep things fresh on the Hop PLEASE do not share a post that you have previously linked up.



          Any post that does not fit in the guidelines will be removed. Thank you for participating!!
 Clearwater Farm Journal









 photo number2sig_zps2f1f6501.png

Monday, June 16, 2014

Pasture Happenings

Happy Monday!

We have been busy with a High School Graduation Open House, daughter #4.
All I can say is time flies!

Delaney has been spending some time, working with fair lambs, and took some snap shots for me. I haven't been out there all week. She does such a great job, keeping an eye on everything for me.



The lambs are growing so fast...







Chasing cats...







These two are behaving themselves, they leave the sheep alone and do their own thing.



Bad hair day...


I am hoping to get the rest of the garden in this week (yes, I am so behind), put up the rest of the round bales (we did decide to put them up in the barn), plant some grape vines, and continue to work with our blueberries, they are not doing so well.
 I am not sure how much outside work, we will actually get done, since the forecast says rain/thunderstorms  for most of the week. But, I am sure we can find some inside work to do as well.
I still have some white fleeces to wash.

I hope you all have a good week!



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Friday, June 13, 2014

Making Yogurt



Yogurt is a favorite around here!

Homemade yogurt is no exception.  When we are milking, there is always fresh yogurt in the fridge.

When I make yogurt, I use pasteurized milk. I know, there is controversy about pasteurized versus raw, but I am not going to get into that debate. I have used both, personal preference.

When making yogurt you need

Milk-
Typically when I make yogurt, I use goat's milk. But, when I do not have goat's milk on hand, I have used store bought milk, and dried milk.
I like a thicker yogurt and add some dried milk in most of my batches.

Starter-
I use Dannon Plain Yogurt, you can use any yogurt as long as it has live active cultures.
I have contemplated buying a starter, I have heard you get better results. Something, that is on my to do list.

Supplies-
Pot, to warm the milk.
Thermometer, to check the temperature of the milk.
Crock or other container to keep yogurt in.
Heat source-I use a heating pad

The supplies can vary, these are the items I use, and as you can see from the photo, nothing fancy here.
Making the Yogurt is just a few simple steps.

First, heat up the milk ( I usually do 2 quart batches)  in the pot. The book I started out with, reminds you not to heat the milk to more than 115 degrees.
That being said, I do!
I read that if  you get the milk to boiling, you can get a thicker yogurt, and I like the thicker yogurt. I just have to let it cool down to 110 degrees, before I add the culture.
Next, I check the temperature,( if the milk is too hot it will kill the culture) If it reads 110 degrees or less, I add the culture (about a 1/4 cup) I like to mix the culture with some milk before adding it, no lumps.
At this time, I also add the dried milk-1-2 cups (instant dried milk)
Mix well.

Then, it goes in the crock. (from an old crock pot) that I have sitting on the heating pad (covered with a towel). Cover the crock,  turn the heat on low-medium.  It is important to keep the temperatures between 90-100 degrees.

The yogurt should be ready between 8-12 hours.
I have had some failures in the kitchen when making yogurt.
Watch temps, and use fresh yogurt culture.

I always make the plain yogurt and store in the fridge. Ready, when we want to make smoothies, frozen yogurt, or plain, with  just some fruit and honey added.
It can also be used in place of Sour Cream.

Lime-Honey Frozen Yogurt


I really would like to try a culture starter that you can buy at the Cheese Making Supply stores-

Any recommendations from the yogurt experts out there?

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

HomeAcre Hop #74



Wow, this week just flew by!

We have been busy with hay, garden, and graduations.

Look forward to hearing what you all have been up to-
Link up your Homesteading, Homeschooling, or Homemaking post!


 HomeAcre  Host

Kathi@Oak Hill Homestead
Nancy@Prudent Living on the Home Front
Jenny@Black Fox Homestead
Lisa Lynn@Self Sufficient Home Acre
Mary@Homegrown on the Hill
Heidi@Pint Size Farm
and Me @Clearwater Farm Journal




Each host will feature her own picks from the posts linked the previous week. that means your chances of being featured are even better! Visit each of the blogs to see if you were featured this week! (Don't forget to link back to one of our blogs if you'd like to be featured!)




Congratulations!
 We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured blogger this week. If you were featured, grab the button to display proudly on your blog.

Be sure to check out the HomeAcre Hop Pinterest Board where we share our Hop Favorites each week.


Clearwater Farm Journal
Featured





You are invited to share your original posts on: Homesteading, livestock care, gardening, environmentally friendly farming, self sufficiency, preparedness, off grid living, healthy recipes, home remedies and herbal concoctions, green living, homeschooling, food preservation, environmentally friendly crafts and home decor, photo posts of natural living and homesteading subjects! Now that’s a lot of information to share! If it fits any of these topics, we want to hear about it.  There are just a few little rules to follow:
  • Family friendly posts only. 
  • Please, no posts dedicated to advertising products.
  • Link as many appropriate posts as you’d like each week. Older posts are great too.
  • Please visit as many of the other posts as you can and let them know you found them here!
  • If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on either host’s blog) with the button, text link, on the post, your side bar,or blog hop  page and please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and/or Pinterest!
  • Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business. 
  • Only share content that you have created.
  • Please remember that the whole idea of a blog hop is to visit the other bloggers and make connections and friendships…so share the linky love!
  • By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post if you are featured. We will also include one photo from your post in the interest of sending visitors your way 
                 To keep things fresh on the Hop PLEASE do not share a post that you have previously linked up.


          Any post that does not fit in the guidelines will be removed. Thank you for participating!!
 Clearwater Farm Journal






 photo number2sig_zps2f1f6501.png

Monday, June 9, 2014

Making Hay: Round Bales versus Square Bales




We are getting our first cut of hay today!

I can't tell you how happy I am that we are working with someone who has hay making experience AND is responsible! He also doesn't mind that we ask a lot of questions!

We decided to have the first cut taken off in Round Bales. I am not sure how it will work out but we decided to give it a try for one reason-

Less Labor-
Putting up square bales is more labor intensive. With the round bales, you use the tractor to move the hay. When you have allergies, like most of my crew,  handling the square bales can make one miserable.

It is also less work at feeding time. This past winter, feeding time was very difficult. Hauling individual bales of hay, twice a day, out to the sheep took its toll. One of these round bales are equivalent to 10-12 square bales.  If you only have a few animals, it may not be the best option, but we have enough animals to justify using round bales.



There are some  disadvantages to using Round Bales 

Square bales sell better- we sell hay to homesteaders who only have a few animals. For this reason we will be putting up the second cut in square bales.

You need equipment to move the hay-
We are doing shares, so we do not have anything to do with the mowing, raking, and baling of the hay, just the moving and feeding of it. You need something to move the large bales which we are not set up for. Mike would like a skid loader, but that just isn't in the budget right now.  He decided to  purchase a hay spear which attaches to the tractor, so he can move the bales.

More Waste-I have been told there is more waste with the round bales.
Our sheep do a pretty good job of cleaning up the hay they are fed, but we will need to buy a feeder to put the round bales in. I am not sure what type we will buy, but hopefully they sell one that is goat proof! When we fed round bales in the past, we did not have a feeder, and the goats LOVED making a mess of the bales.
I am interested in finding out how much more room the round bales will take up in the barn.
If the hay can be stored inside, out of the elements, you will have less waste. I am not sure if we will have room for all of them. If not,  the bales are wrapped in a netting that is suppose to shed some of the rain.

We figured our share would be 19-20 round bales from first cut, imagine our surprise when we were told, it was 37! The hay field produced twice as much hay as last year! I never thought I would be excited about HAY!'


Well, that is what happens when you start this thing called homesteading... who knew?

If you feed round bales, and have a recommendation on a feeder, I would love to hear from you!







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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Pasture Happenings



The weather has been close to perfect this week. I have enjoyed some pasture walks, even though, they are not as quiet as they use to be. I have a few ewes that like to follow me around, not because they enjoy my company but because they think I may just have some grain in my pocket. After they realize I have no treats, they lose interest pretty quick.




I have been waiting for a good lamb race, but have not seen one! I have never had such a quiet  group of lambs. They are perfectly content with just moseying around the pasture. BORING! (ha ha)






I did find this guy hiding, hoping not to be seen. I wanted  to get close enough to get a good shot from the front, but he was not having it, I got this shot instead....






Do you think he was trying to tell me something?




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Thursday, June 5, 2014

HomeAcre Hop #73




Welcome to the HomeAcre Hop!
A place to share your Homesteading, Homeschooling, and Homemaking Blog Post.


 HomeAcre  Host

Kathi@Oak Hill Homestead
Nancy@Prudent Living on the Home Front
Jenny@Black Fox Homestead
Lisa Lynn@Self Sufficient Home Acre
Mary@Homegrown on the Hill
Heidi@Pint Size Farm
and Me @Clearwater Farm Journal



Each host will feature her own picks from the posts linked the previous week. that means your chances of being featured are even better! Visit each of the blogs to see if you were featured this week! (Don't forget to link back to one of our blogs if you'd like to be featured!)

My Featured Post-






Congratulations!
 We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured blogger this week. If you were featured, grab the button to display proudly on your blog.

Be sure to check out the HomeAcre Hop Pinterest Board where we share our Hop Favorites each week.


Clearwater Farm Journal
Featured




You are invited to share your original posts on: Homesteading, livestock care, gardening, environmentally friendly farming, self sufficiency, preparedness, off grid living, healthy recipes, home remedies and herbal concoctions, green living, homeschooling, food preservation, environmentally friendly crafts and home decor, photo posts of natural living and homesteading subjects! Now that’s a lot of information to share! If it fits any of these topics, we want to hear about it.  There are just a few little rules to follow:
  • Family friendly posts only. 
  • Please, no posts dedicated to advertising products.
  • Link as many appropriate posts as you’d like each week. Older posts are great too.
  • Please visit as many of the other posts as you can and let them know you found them here!
  • If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on either host’s blog) with the button, text link, on the post, your side bar,or blog hop  page and please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and/or Pinterest!
  • Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business. 
  • Only share content that you have created.
  • Please remember that the whole idea of a blog hop is to visit the other bloggers and make connections and friendships…so share the linky love!
  • By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post if you are featured. We will also include one photo from your post in the interest of sending visitors your way 
                 To keep things fresh on the Hop PLEASE do not share a post that you have previously linked up.



          Any post that does not fit in the guidelines will be removed. Thank you for participating!!
 Clearwater Farm Journal



 photo number2sig_zps2f1f6501.png

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