I’m asked a lot about whether we worry about predators with our sheep flock and chicken /turkey flocks and the answer to that is “No”. We have three Security Guards that are on duty 24 hours a day seven days a week. They have proven they can handle their jobs so we rest easy knowing our flocks are well taken care of.
First I’ll introduce you to Junior, the big male of the Team. He is actually Lily’s pup from her one and only litter. He is a Great Pyrenees, a breed of dog known for their protection of livestock. Junior is a character who adores ladies, but not so much fellas except for Kent—he loves Kent. Junior will protect anything we put him with. He has taken out an opossum or two trying to sneak in with the chickens, he patrols the fence lines and you can hear him barking from a great distance especially when the coyotes start hawling. He is also very good at watching the sky and barks at any and all buzzards, hawks, and geese that happen to fly over. He is intimidating to look at and weighs in about 135 lbs. He’s frontline of defense.
Lily— the oldest and wisest of our Security Team. Lily is the Boss-Lady. To look at her, you would think she is a lazy loafer that couldn’t protect an old shoe, but you would be wrong. Lily works smarter not harder. Lily sets up advantage posts where she can see as much of her guard area as possible. Whether that is a corner or smack-dab in the middle of the pasture. She is ferocious along fence lines , daring anything to come in her area. She is gentle with the lambs and routinely makes checks of her lambs. Lily also is our teacher and Emma Jean spent a great deal of time learning her job along side Lily.
Emma Jean—our craziest and youngest member of our team. Just about to turn 2 years old. Emma Jean has proven herself well already. The most ferocious when she spies a flying predator and will leap in the air barking to run them off. Emma Jean is comical and ALWAYS in your pocket. It’s an ordeal just to gather the eggs when she’s on chicken duty. Her face has to be in your face. We are hoping that one day soon she will be able to pass some of her great protective traits to a litter of pups. But, that will be a while off.
We sure couldn’t run this farm without them. There is no telling how many tragedies have been avoided because they were on duty. They are a vital part of the farm. Most of the time visitors won’t see them because they are working.
We love them and will keep you posted on their jobs.
Berkshire Pork—-the best of the pork world and that’s not just me talking….The Food Network Chef’s kinda like it too. Berkshire pork was one of the basket ingredients on the show Chopped. You can see it featured on some of the top restaurant menu’s.
One of my favorite cuts is the Pork Cutlet—-it is cut from the loin muscle like the pork chops. It is sliced thin and can be used in a variety of recipes from the basic fried cutlet to Wienerschnitzel. Here is my favorite way to serve our Pork Cutlets.
- 2 dishes, one for the flour mixture and one for the egg/milk mixture
- plate to transfer cooked cutlets
- paper towels to line the plate
- 1 pack of Thames Farm Pork Cutlets
- 1 cup flour
- 1 Thames Farm egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- Onion Powder
- Lard (if you want gravy) otherwise Peanut Oil or Canola
To get started you want to assemble your flouring station. In one of your dishes add the flour and season with the salt, pepper and onion powder (about 1/2 teaspoon each. In the other dish crack your egg and add milk and stir to combine and season the egg mixture with salt and pepper..
After your station is assembled you can start the cutlets. Season them with salt and pepper. Dip into the flour mixture, then into the egg mixture then back into the flour mixture—make sure you shake between each step to get off excess.
Heat your skillet to medium high and add in enough lard or oil to cover the bottom of the skillet. Fry each cutlet 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Tip–don’t crowd the pan, you don’t want the cutlets touching each other.
Transfer as they are cooked to a paper towel covered platter and keep warm.
I served our with mashed potatoes, gravy I made from the drippings and butter peas.
Leftovers were turned into egg and cutlets on English muffins.
Hope you will try them!! Nothing better.
If you’ve been to the farm then you know that face. Preacher is my pride and joy on this farm. He’s 11 yrs old and for all 11 yrs has been the best boy. A friend found him on the side of the road in Sumter County as a 5 week old puppy. He was in the middle of the road jumping at the cars. In the culvert was his 7 siblings. I think he was trying to save them and was the only one brave enough to seek help. That’s the story I like to believe anyway knowing his character, cause that’s the kind of thing he would do.
He once charged and rolled a neighbors dog that started chasing one of the farm cats. He loves his little sisters.
His favorite place in the whole wide world is the back of our farm truck. He once got so excited that he was going to get to ride that when he jumped in the back of the truck he tinkled…..here’s a picture of his face after I asked him “Son, what did you just do?”
He’s a huge helper around the farm he watches over the chickens, pigs, cats and has even helped lead Spot back out to pasture…
He always, and I don’t know why, surprises me on Farm Day. That’s when we have so many people, strollers, activity and excitement going on around the farm. He always seems to take everything perfectly. He’s not around children that much, but tolerates all the petting and fur-grabbing with gentleness.
I know he won’t be here forever and that’s why I cherish each and every day with this sweet boy. I love him beyond words.
I guess for my first ever BLOG post I should start by answering a question I get a lot….”How did you get started in farming?” To answer that I need to go back to the beginning…..”In the beginning was a Veterinarian and the Veterinarian was without a wife. God said “Let him have a wife.”…..well, maybe it wasn’t quite like that….But, close!
My Aunt Diane had come home from New York City where she had worked for a Veterinary Clinic there. She was hooked on heroine and was on the road to a death sentence when a friend drove her straight from NYC to my parents house, ultimately saving her life. She was able with our families love and support and giving her life over to Christ walk away from heroine never to return. She was clean for 6 months when in the paper there was an ad for a Veterinary Technician position with a new Veterinary Clinic opening. The young Dr. was in need of an assistant. Little did he know…… Anyway, she called him and I drove her to meet him for the interview. He looked liked John Denver from afar and we giggled at that. She was hired on the spot even though she was very upfront about what she had recently been through.
It was a week or so later that I went to pick her up from work and met him for the first time…..And to make a long story short, it wasn’t long until I was hired as the front receptionist. I had zero experience but apparently the red hair was enough.
A few months passed before the first date—-then the second and so on and so on. We were married in December 1988.
From an early age all I wanted was a farm. All I prayed for was a farm. I could listen to my Dad tell about growing up on the farm over and over. I would sit in the floor with paper and pencil and draw the layout of all the barns, house and pastures. All the animals were named and we all lived happily ever after. Back then the thought of eating MY animals was not in my little head. Kent’s Grandfather was a big influence in his love of farming also.
So here we are. Raising healthy and happy animals for our community. Our pasture raise meats are second to none. We love farming and hope to share this adventure with you. It’s a hard, long, hot/cold, sun-up to sun-down job and we are loving it together.
I hope you join me in the Blog adventure. I plan on posting tricks, tools, reviews, stories, recipes, short cuts and many more. Please join me.
And come by the farm!!