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Dreams Change

As I was tearing through random boxes looking for cookie cutters, I found a box of shoes. And then found these ruby red gems. The memories came flooding back- about the shoes themselves and the woman who used to wear them…

That woman wore combat boots for over a decade. She wore them all over the United States, in several different countries, and in a war zone. That woman traded out those combat boots on the weekends and went out salsa dancing in D.C. She wore those heels to all the best Ethiopian, Lebanese, and Pakistani restaurants the Capitol area had to offer.  She moved to Dallas and wore those heels to brand new places, armed with the dream of storming onto the culinary scene, soaking up experiences like a sponge, and then opening up her own edgy fusion restaurant/cafe. But dreams change.

That woman saw her future shattered when plans abruptly changed. She found herself and her children living in the slums, then in another bad living situation, and then homeless for awhile. Those ruby red stilettos quickly found their way back into a box as they were replaced by $5 ratty tennis shoes and flip flops from the dollar store down the street. That woman struggled to put a smile on her face in front of her children and then later cried herself to sleep. 

One day, that woman found her combat boots hidden under the piles of bags in the car. She stared at them for a long time. She prayed- hard. And then as she allowed herself to mourn her broken dreams, she reminded herself that dreams do, in fact, change. 

That woman then pulled herself up by those combat bootstraps and made some life-altering decisions. She found a house. On a farm. In the middle of nowhere. A place she could turn into a home for herself and for her children. She prayed some more and put in an offer. It was accepted! 

That woman slowly started to rebuild her life and rethink her dreams. Those ratty tennis shoes were replaced by workout sneakers (as she began to take better care of herself). They were then accompanied by the “chicken boots” pictured as her life on the farm slowly unfolded. Those chicken boots- and the chickens and pigs and goats and sheep and turkeys and cows that came with them- allowed that woman the chance to begin to heal. And her dreams changed. 

These chicken boots represented a new dream. Raising animals the way they were meant to be raised and feeding her children quality food from the farm. Building a farm literally from the ground up. The woman in those chicken boots took new culinary arts courses to become a chef. She taught herself to expand her cooking and baking and began to share her creations with others. She learned to preserve harvests and make delicious jams. More importantly, she learned to share her new dreams with her new community. 

And that is where I am now- sharing my new dreams with 4,485 of my closest new friends as I work hard to open the farm here in our new town. As I work toward achieving this goal with the support of my community, I feel so very blessed to learn that dreams do, in fact, change.

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Let’s See Those Eggs, Ladies!

Let’s talk about eggs…

Most commercial eggs you find in the grocery store come from hens in battery cages. They lay eggs everyday for 2 years and then are gotten rid of (usually killed). They are fed a diet of mostly wheat, white corn, barley, and soybeans. This results in eggs with pale yellow yolks.

(Not my eggs, not my photo- I don’t own the copyright)

Sometimes you’ll see the eggs with darker yolks claiming to be “cage-less” or “free range”. This may be true: however, regulations for the egg industry are very lax on the subject. Cage-less chickens are often packed into barns by the tens of thousands. Hens can be given the label “free range” as long as they are allowed outside for for even five minutes a day. It doesn’t even have to be on grass. The stench is unbearable, and the workers often work in uniforms similar to hazmat suits.

Wait, but their yolks are orange. That must mean they’re on grass, right? Sadly no. A hen’s diet determines the color of the yolk. Now some of the feed companies add dried marigold to their feed to get the right color.

Hens that are pastured or truly free range (as mine are) then the gold color you see is coming from green grass and plants, any bugs they can get their feathers on, and other tasty things. Ever seen a chicken catch a mouse? It’s like watching a velociraptor in action (no, chickens are NOT vegetarians).

This is when you should get to know your farmer. Ask if they give tours. Inquire about what they feed, how many hours do the hens spend outside, are they debeaked (a brutal practice that is horrible to see)?

Why does the color of the egg yolk matter? While inconclusive, some studies report that orange yolks are higher in omega-3s (the good fatty acid, like from fish oil capsules you see in stores). They have also been shown to have lower cholesterol. And while there is no solid evidence pointing to darker yolks tasting better, I encourage you to discover that for yourself.

(My ladies, my photo, and my fine china)

Some people question the price of my eggs. I charge $4.00/dozen. “But why so high when I can get them at the store for less than half??” High quality (and cost) feed, not being able to buy supplies in bulk like bigger companies, and of course labor. My girls don’t lay on a conveyer belt. They lay anywhere and everywhere- some days I feel like I’m on an Easter egg hunt 😂

If you feel like trying out something new and seeing the difference for yourself, talk to your local farmer and support them and your community while getting quality food. If I happen to be your local farmer, just give me a call and we’ll get you hooked up.

Good night and God bless!

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As Promised- Elderberry Syrup!

So I still haven’t kicked this head cold. The temperature was up to 63* today! This constant changing of the weather and temperature finally got to me, and I am miserable. And as I promised in the last blog post, I will be making elderberry syrup as well as posting the recipe for y’all!

When I first started learning about the benefits of elderberries, I scoured the interwebs looking for all the info I could get my hands on. Most of the recipes had the same basic ingredients. Over time, I gradually came to develop my own version. 

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Elderberries

This is a good brand of elderberries easily available on Amazon (shameless plug for affiliate link). I have bought it in the past several times: I chose the new one because it was on sale for way less. And I’m kinda cheap 😂

The  tart cherry juice concentrate is important in this recipe for several reasons. DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT A DOCTOR. Or the FDA. So while I cannot medically prove that it boosts immunity, reduces soreness (especially after working out), and can even improve sleep, I CAN tell you from my anecdotal experience that it really helps me. Here is the brand I usually go with:

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Cherry juice concentrate

Finally, I really love the ginger in this recipe. Besides the well-known benefits of ginger, the tang it lends to the syrup is delicious! You can use freshly grated ginger or ground ginger with no problem but personally I prefer the puréed ginger I found at the store. You can even find it at Wally, in the veggie department near the bagged lettuce. 

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Okay, okay, I guess y’all are ready for the actual recipe instead of listening to me drag on. So here you go!

ELDERBERRY SYRUP

1 cup elderberries, dried

4 cups water

2 cups tart cherry juice concentrate

1 tbsp puréed ginger (or 2 tbsp ground)

1 1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (I used Saigon)

2/3-1 cup raw honey, to taste 

Bring water to a boil, and add elderberries, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon. Cover with lid and simmer for about 30 minutes then strain with cheesecloth or a sieve, so the berries don’t fall through. 

Now add the tart cherry juice concentrate and bring to boil once again. Immediately remove from heat and let cool completely.  Finally, add the honey, a quarter cup at a time until the sweetness is to your liking. I personally go with almost a whole cup because I give this syrup to the kids and the honey cuts back on the tang for them. 

Finally, I put the syrup in these jars:

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Boston amber bottles

The syrup needs to be refrigerated but can last as long as 3-4 months!

Finally, let me leave y’all with this thought:

Stephanie got sick.

Stephanie didn’t make her elderberry syrup until she was already sick for several days.

Stephanie was miserable longer than she had to be.

Don’t be like Stephanie- make your syrup 😂

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A New Step: Subscription Boxes

The weather here has been crazy lately. First it’s 60’s, then it drops to 20’s with a chance of snow (we got sleet), and today it was back at 63* and pure sunshine. All the changes have been messing with me and giving me a head cold. I’ve been drinking tea like crazy, trying to get it to go away. If it’s not gone by tomorrow, I’ll probably get in the kitchen and whip up a batch of elderberry syrup. Have y’all ever had that?

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It’s touted as a “super berry” that can help fight colds, sickness, etc. It seems to do the job for me, along with the other stuff I take. I wouldn’t say it kicks the cold to the curb by itself but I DO notice a definite improvement after taking the syrup. As I was saying, if this head cold isn’t gone by tomorrow then I’ll get in the kitchen and make some elderberry syrup. How about I take some photos and walk y’all through the process? These are the bottles I use when I make the syrup, and other things as well. You can find them here (affiliate link):
Amber mini bottles

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Although if you don’t feel up to making the syrup (or are missing ingredients and don’t want to go buy them), you can always buy the kit via Amazon. Super easy to make, and tastes delicious (I used it before I started making my own).

Elderberry syrup kit

Now onto the subscription boxes. One of my dear friends sent me a very generous donation to put towards the farm (I put it toward the special, secret project that I’m working on this year. I wanted to thank her, so I packed up a box of goodies and mailed it. I sent chocolate chip cookies (my special recipe), gingerbread biscotti, a jar of my 5 bean soup and a loaf of white bread to eat with it, along with some of my favorite teas. And guess what? She LOVED it! She was complimenting all the items and the flavors. And I gotta tell you, it made me feel so appreciated and thankful for her kind, sweet words. Then she made a suggestion: what if I did a subscription box, like the ones you see in the Facebook ads??

At first I was hesitant. Are my goodies “good enough”? Who would want to subscribe? How would I come up with a price? But the more I thought about it, the more the idea intrigued me. Why not?? So I decided to go for it!

After my friend (love you, Laurie!) posted these photos and gave me a great review, I received several messages asking me about next month’s box for Valentine’s Day!!

(I’ve borrowed the photos of Laurie’s box that she took and posted to her Facebook, I hope she doesn’t mind!)

I have some fun ideas of what I’ll put in next month’s box- since they are for Valentine’s Day, I want them to be absolutely perfect!

Stay tuned for subscription box updates!!

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5 Bean Soup with a Chance of Flurries

BRRRRR! It’s COLD here in Tejas!

It’s a new year, with new plans and new ideas, and excitement is in the air. Unfortunately, so are below-freezing gusts of wind.

Today was a relatively lazy day here on the Homestead, just lounging on the couch with a heating blanket and my trusty idea notebook, until I checked the weather and confirmed that we are indeed expecting snow tomorrow! That snapped us into action.

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Everyone got a huge bucket (or two) of fresh hay for bedding. The calves (yes, we finally have cows- more to come later) snuggled up together for warmth after their evening milk bottle. Bacon and Rosa shuffled around the hay in their hut until it was to their liking. The goats chewed on theirs… a good time was had by all. We filled up all water troughs to the brim, and the extra buckets got filled up as well.

After I went through the house and prepped for tomorrow’s potential weather, I decided we needed to prep foods too. Since I was already baking up some bread for a customer, I thought, “Why not a delicious, hearty soup to go with it?”

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I scoured the Pinterest until I found something that looked like what I used to make- a traditional 5 bean soup in a jar. I quickly scanned the recipe to see if I had what I needed to get started. I had most of it, so I decided to just improvise with the rest. This soup is delicious- I’ve had the other recipe several times now- and this one will stick to your ribs and fill you up.

All you need to add to this soup is water and a can of diced tomatoes and you are ready to go! I decided to pair it with a simple but delicious loaf of white bread. I put it up on the Homestead FB page and within a small amount of time had people asking to purchase the pair. I quickly made up more jars of soup, but I’ll need time to make the bread, and this mama is tired!!

Happy to take orders for next time though!!

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Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potato Coins

Well, it has been raining like crazy here at the homestead. Central Texas has gotten 10 inches of rain in the past 30 hours, and they predict another week or so of rain. My kids’ field trips are getting canceled left and right and I think we’re all going a little stir crazy.

hold my beer

We needed some good home cooked comfort food, so I decided to go with roasted chicken. We still have some whole chickens left from the batch we butchered last season, so I grabbed one of those and went to work.

roast chicken mise en place

Go ahead and preheat to 425*. We didn’t have fresh herbs at the time so I went with a mix of dried herbs along with lemon juice and some kosher salt. Shoot some lemon juice in the chicken cavity and then blend the herbs to liking and generously spread in there. Baste the outside with melted butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put it in the roasting pan and stick it in the oven for about an hour and a half or until a meat thermometer reads at least 165*. Take it out and let it rest at least 15 minutes.

roast chicken finished

While the bird is roasting, slice up the sweet potatoes into coins. Lay in pan and drizzle with melted butter. Sprinkle with kosher salt and dried rosemary.

roast chicken sweet potato coins

When the chicken has about 30 minutes left, go ahead and put the sweet potatoes in the oven. They should be ready about the same time as the chicken.

roast chicken sweet potato coins cooked

While the chicken is resting, take the pan drippings and add some chicken stock to it. Bring to simmer and slowly add a teaspoon of flour at a time (whisking constantly) until it reaches the consistency you like.

roast chicken gravy

Serve chicken with sweet potato coins and gravy on the side. If you’re eating carbs, this is a great dish to serve with a side of rice.

roast chicken plated

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Senseless Killing and Tears on the Farm

Welp. It happened. I went two whole years without worrying about it, and now it has happened. Neighborhood dogs came onto my property and killed some of my hens. Among them was one of the hens from my very first chicken endeavor, and my favorite hen- a Dominique named Nikki that would come up to me and let me pick her up and hold her. I ran inside and got my shotgun and shot at the dogs. They took off and left and I went to check on the hens. One of them was already dead, but Nikki was alive and barely breathing.

 

I looked to find her wounds and sprayed them with antibiotic spray but it was too late. She died in my arms. My son was crying and when I told him she was dead he became hysterical. “Mommy shoot the dog! Go after it! Why won’t you shoot it?!?!?”  This from a child who is a total animal lover. He understands death on the farm- butchering, hens dying from old age, having to put lame animals down to end their suffering. But this, this was senseless killing. These dogs killed just to kill.

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Now, our chickens free range. They run around happily eating bugs and plants, thus giving us fresh, healthy, and beautiful eggs. I went looking for the chickens but about a third of my flock was hiding in the chicken run and the rest of them had run away and hidden themselves. They slowly started to come back after I chased off the dog and I counted them to make sure they were all there. One was still missing. Feathers were all over the yard.

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the beautiful eggs our girls give us

I decided to keep the chickens penned up just in case the dogs returned. Sure enough, I went outside to feed the animals the next morning and there it was, just laying around in my backyard. It saw me and immediately took off before I could grab my shotgun. Later I went to get something from the car and it was back, pawing at the chicken run. I grabbed the shotgun and just barely missed it. It ran completely off the property.

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the shameless chicken killer

We decided to make a run to the Starbucks and when we came home– the jerk was back. I got out of the car with my son and started chasing it. I yelled to him to open the barn door and I chased it into the barn and slammed the door shut. So then it was trapped in the barn. After awhile, I put a bowl of water in there but no food. The damn thing already knew there were chickens here. I didn’t want it associating us with free food, too.

 

Animal control is closed over the weekend (today is Sunday) but tomorrow I will be filing a police report, complete with photos of the little killer, as well as calling animal control to come and get it. Whoever owns it owes me payment for three chickens. Yet another reason to pen up their animals: if they won’t contain their animals, then they will literally PAY.

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Free-ranging ladies

I will keep everyone updated as I deal with the bureaucratic part of this nightmare. Stay safe, my friends, and hug your chickens.

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Nikki the Dominique, my favorite hen RIP

 

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Apricot and Almond Lamb Tagine!

These past few weeks have been a blur with all the new items I have loaded onto my plate. As many of you know, I became the Cub Scout den leader for both of my children’s dens. So I have a den of eight Wolf scouts and a den of 3 Webelos and 2 Arrow of Light scouts as well. We have been zooming through the guide books and activities:  last year, we had an “issue” with the Tiger den leaders which eventually led to the den falling apart by December. I know that stuff happens and there can be complications, but those combined with a complete lack of communication and lack of teamwork equaled a total bust for the year. My little man was heartbroken. So this year I decided to take on BOTH dens to ensure history did not repeat itself.

We have been earning badges left and right, selling popcorn (yayyyyyyyyyy lol), and planning our first big event- a “campout” here on the farm. We will only be running it for about 6 hours- NOT OVERNIGHT. Just long enough to do the activities needed to earn our badges and have a ton of fun. Not to mention s’mores! We have meetings once a week (usually lasting about three hours total) and the pack meetings are once a month. Our older kids are working on their badges as well, in addition to learning flag ceremony procedure and the requirements needed to cross the bridge from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts. Busy busy busy!

I also signed up for my Personal Trainer certification course. I have about six months to complete it, and then I’ll sign up for my specialization courses. I just started a new round of P90X and do most of my workouts first thing in the morning (we’re talking waking up at like 4:30am to get these bad boys knocked out). After this round of P90X and another round of Insanity, I’ll work on getting certified to offer the Live! classes here on the farm. Then we can really get “Fitness on the Farm” up and running!

So as you can see, it has been a busy busy start to the school year (I haven’t even gotten to the ninja gymnastics classes, the after school activities, the myriad of medical appointments- mine….). One of the big things I work into my schedule is my culinary arts homework. I really have to schedule that time in advance, especially when it is something like braising that requires several hours at once plus prep time. I decided to take today (Saturday) and knock it out. I chose lamb tagine- for several reasons. One- we’re doing protein braising. Two- I LOVE lamb tagine (Moroccan food in general, really). And three- I have been itching to try out the lamb in our freezer. I also thought it would be hilarious to make lamb tagine out of Tagine– the name of our lamb in the freezer. I had been looking for a Dutch oven or something I could use on the stove and then transfer to the oven. I did some research and read a buttload of reviews and found this (affiliate link):

10.5 quart stockpot


I ordered one, figuring I could give it to a friend of mine if I didn’t like it, but I ended up loving it! I use it all the time now, for bone broth as well as the three different braising assignments I have done for my culinary arts classes. It goes in the oven all the way up to 350*F and is even dishwasher safe (if you’re one of those lucky people who has a functional dishwasher). If you’re in the market for a new Dutch oven at a low price, give this one a shot!

Since you’ve read through all my schedule whining and stayed with me, here is your reward: a kickass lamb tagine recipe!  Enjoy!

APRICOT AND ALMOND LAMB TAGINE (Serves 3-4)

Ingredients:

1 lb lamb chunks (often listed as “for stew”)

1 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp paprika

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cinnamon (I used Saigon cinnamon)

1 tsp ground ginger (can also use fresh)

1/2 tsp ground white pepper

1/2 tsp ground coriander seed

1 pinch saffron threads (optional)

1 to 1 1/2 tsp coarse kosher salt

1 onion, chopped

1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped

1 can (10-15oz) diced tomatoes

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 orange, juiced (or 1/2 cup orange juice)

2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

olive oil

Recipe:

  1. Preheat oven to 325*; heat oil in stockpot over medium high heat. Add lamb pieces and sear/brown. Remove with slotted spoon and put on plate covered with paper towel. Put all spices in small bowl and mix thoroughly.
  2. Add more oil to stockpot and add garlic, onions, and apricots. Saute until onions are translucent. Put in half of spice bowl mixture and incorporate well. Cook one minute.
  3. Add broth, juice, salt, and lamb. Add the rest of the spice mixture. Bring to boil.
  4. Turn off stove. Cover with lid and put in preheated oven. Cook 1.5-2 hours until meat is fully cooked and fork tender.
  5. Serve over couscous and top with chopped fresh mint and toasted almonds.

 

Tried it? Drop me a comment and let me know how it went!!

 

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Fitness on the Farm- Let’s Begin!

Well, I did it! I finally took the first step and signed up for Fitness Trainer certification!!  I had put it off for awhile since I thought I would be having surgery this fall, but that has been postponed. So I thought, “why not now?” I hope to have Fitness on the Farm up and running by spring of 2019, and this is the first step to attaining that goal! Eventually we’ll have a full 8-week boot camp, featuring Beachbody’s Insanity workouts, their P90X workouts, and full on farm style boot camp days, where clients will haul feed bags and buckets of water. They’ll also push tractor tires, do hurdles over hay bales, and maybe even try some chicken yoga!

After the initial opening, I also plan to expand and offer senior fitness classes on the farm as well. Many of my farm customers tell me how relaxed, how refreshed, and how rejuvenated they feel after visiting the farm and breathing the fresh, clean air. I would love to have my “more seasoned” customers out on the farm, breathing in that clean air, enjoying the view, and getting in a good workout while doing it. One of my specializations will be modifications for injuries, beginners, and for seniors.

Additionally, the commercial kitchen should be up and running by then. So not only will I be able to help my clients meal plan, I will be able to help them meal PREP as well and even offer my services as a personal chef at a discounted rate. At that time I’ll have the commercial kitchen finished and licensed, I’ll have my certification in Culinary Arts, and I’ll have all the necessary requirements to begin the next stage in my entrepreneurial life!

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5 Things I Learned the Hard Way My First Year of Homesteading

We’ve “officially” been homesteading for about a year now, and like all homesteaders I have learned my share of lessons. We’ve seen good days, bad days, and REALLY bad days. But every day teaches us a little bit more. Like how to properly brood the chicks. How to build fences. How to not build fences that piglets can sneak out of. Overall, there are some bigger themes to note when learning what to do and what not to do in that first important year.

1. START SMALL. This seems like a no-brainer, right? I thought so, too, but it is too easy to get caught up in all the fun projects you see on Facebook and attempt aaalllll the activities on your “Homesteading” board on Pinterest. And then life happens. The kids get sick. Or you get sick. Or you need surgery. The weather doesn’t want to cooperate, or something around the house breaks down thus converting your homesteading-allocated funds to save-the-house fund and leaving your half-finished projects in the lurch. Take my first garden for example. I had such high hopes for it. I spent literally hundreds of dollars on seeds. I FaceTimed with my sister for probably close to twenty hours as we painstakingly planned out every aspect of the garden. I was definitely at the “go big or go home” point in my bipolar manic phase LOL. And then Murphy came to visit…

 

First, Murphy came to visit. The well pump broke. Twice. Then our heater went out in negative ZERO degree weather. Then the freezer. And then later the AC unit. Two blown out tires after running over trash dropped on our road by the house. Between high deductibles, a marginal emergency fund, and just aiming too high the first time, I didn’t have the money to finish what I started. We couldn’t purchase the amendments we needed for the soil and ended up doing container gardening. They did well…. until the escape artist pig got to them. No more garden. Next time I will aim a little lower and start a little smaller. Which brings me to my second lesson….

 

goaties

2. HAVE A BACK-UP PLAN TO THE BACK-UP PLAN. Back in the late spring of last year, my sister asked me if I could raise up some meat chickens for her and her family to take back home with them when they came to visit. I quickly agreed and started prepping. I ordered the chicks, found a non-soy/non-GMO natural feed, and designed housing for them. Initially everything went well. But then it got hot. Really, really, hot. Hotter than anyone could have predicted. The young chicks literally began to cook in the heat. I gave them fresh cool water several times daily, I misted them with cool water, I set out frozen water jugs for them to huddle around, and I did many other things I could think of to cool them off. I finally had to move them off pasture and into a sick bay pen in the shade that was big enough for all of them while I came up with plan B. I did get them into a better situation eventually, but the damage was already done. Their growth had been significantly stunted. No matter what I did, how much I fed them.. they never did reach the weights they should have. And many of them died. Though my sister was very understanding- my niece told me it was very thoughtful of me to grow chickens “just my size”- I cringe to think of my fledgling business reputation if it had been a non-family customer.

 

turkey pen

3. PROCRASTINATION IS A CRUEL MISTRESS.  She lures you in with empty promises of free time: she uses seductive words like “tomorrow” or “next payday.”  She lulls you into a false sense of security, so that you truly believe you’re doing the right thing by buying a trailer for your car (that doesn’t have a hitch yet) or by breeding your pig before reinforcing the fence line. Everything is just peachy—— until you end up driving almost three hours with over a dozen stinky meat chickens shitting in Rubbermaid totes in the back of the car, trying to push out of the chicken wire precariously preventing their escape. And you can’t get that smell out of your car for another month.

Or you relax while sipping your coffee Sunday morning while looking out the window, only to see piglets making a mad dash across the front lawn. Then you rush outside in your jammies and chicken boots only to see that ALL NINE piglets are on the move. You then spend the next two hours chasing them all down and fixing the fencing.

Forget the cruel mistress.

Procrastination is a BITCH.

 

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4. DEATH HAPPENS. And it sucks. No matter how well we plan, or how hard we work, death will inevitably happen. Looking back over the year, we have seen death a number of times. We lost numerous meat chickens to the heat. We lost several of our new laying hens to being egg-bound. We lost Bacon’s companion to pneumonia the week after we brought him home, and we almost lost Bacon to it as well. We lost one of Bacon’s piglets to a birth defect: we took him to the vet and had him put down humanely as soon as we realized he was suffering. Surprisingly, we did not lose a single turkey- the animal with the highest mortality rate. We even almost lost Chase to a rattlesnake den when he was bitten THREE TIMES while saving my minion’s life. By the grace of God (and the best veterinarian in the county) he pulled through.

But yeah, death happens. And it is sad. Rather than run the farm by the all-too-common farming phrase “you can’t have livestock without dead stock”, we choose instead to learn from every single death in order to do our best to prevent it in the future.

 

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5.  DO NOT GET AHEAD OF YOURSELF. Now, part of this one is my personality and another part could possibly my bipolar tendencies rearing their crazy head. Putting the cart before the horse (or in my case the chickens or piglets) is probably the hardest lesson I have learned, because I have done it repeatedly. From the garden to breeding Bacon without enough guaranteed buyers, to elaborate plans without proper budgeting; I have definitely learned the hard way to slow down and plan things out before diving in. A huge part of this is due to overestimating my health and underestimating my disabilities. I don’t know how many projects I’ve thrown myself into only to have to quit or postpone because I couldn’t physically or mentally finish. Another time I made the mistake of word-of-mouth advertising before getting properly settled in. I actually lost so much money on my first few big sales simply because I wasn’t prepared. That being said, I learned from each of these mistakes and thankfully have not repeated them (made plenty of others though).

 

What about y’all? Any lessons you’ve learned the hard way? Drop a comment below!