The Gravy on our Biscuits

You know it’s hard to not pair biscuits and gravy together.  Yes, you can have them separate, but boy are they really good together.  It’s no wonder that biscuits and gravy are my all time favorites!!

Well, that’s how I feel about the two girls that work for us….my biscuits and gravy!!  Let me introduce you to these farm assets.   Griffin Poulter and Katherine Jones

They are Treasures here!!  They keep the animals taken care of and that’s not an easy task especially in the summer heat.  Neither is scared of anything, well I take that back  Katherine hates spiders.  If it’s spidery she may balk a little at the task.

They can catch and hold a full grown ewe or tenderly cuddle a scared orphaned lamb.  They do all the castrating and ear-tagging when the lambs are born.   Let me say that catching ewes to be wormed or treated can be difficult and they get it done.

Heavy farm machinery is no problem for these girls!!  Katherine is a master at the bush-hogging and Griffin can plow a garden row in no time flat!!

From catching piglets to catching a wayward black snake to relocate.  All you need to do is ask.

They can milk a cow

Shoot a gun or guns!!

Of all the assets we have here on the farm, I would say these two beautiful girls are two of the best!!  They can never know just how much I love them both.  Just how much they are needed and wanted!  God didn’t bless Kent and I with children of our own, I think he wanted to share these two with us though.

Say “Hey” to them when you come!!  They clean up nice too!!!

Farmer Amy

 

All About Ears

One of the questions I always get when I am either giving a farm tour or showing new customers around the pigs is “What’s wrong with their ears?”  As you can see in the above picture their ears are funny looking.  No, they were not born that way.  Let me share our system with you.

We use a universal ear-notching system.  This provides us a means to identify each pig without a lot of expense.  It gives each pig an individual identity so that we can follow the life of that pig from the time it was born until the time it goes into the freezer.  If we have a pig that gets sick or injured for some reason and we have to use medications on that pig, we can cull that pig at the sale barn and not use it for our pork production.  We have been very lucky on that front and have had to cull out only a few pigs.

Each coordinate of the ear represents a number and each ear represents the litter and the individual piglet.  Here is a picture to help explain…

We use a special tool to notch the ears and we do this when the piglets are no more than 3 days old.  At the same time we will castrate the males, remove the incisor teeth (we’ll get into that later) and check for hernias, get weights and look for any birth defects.  They receive an injection of iron to boost their immune system.

Here is a picture of the notcher….

About removing the incisor teeth on the piglets.  We do this for a few reasons.  The reason the piglets are born with such sharp incisor teeth is because sows can have litters that have more piglets in them than they do teats to nurse the babies.  In nature this allows the strong to fight for their teat to nurse on and survive.  We strive for all our piglets to survive so if we have an issue with too many piglets we will remove the piglet and bottle raise it or if we have another sow with the piglets the same age we may try to get her to adopt it.  Piglets are born highly competitive and fight for the best teats which are toward the front of the sow and give the most milk.  After about 4-5 days the piglets will establish ownership of their particular teat and the fighting will subside.

Neither procedure is harmful, stressful or painful to the piglets.  The most stress is from being held for the procedures.  We do this while the sow is eating so that we don’t stress her over taking her piglets away from her.

It’s all a process and everything has a reason and a purpose.    I enjoy picking the little piglets up and cuddling them before we get started.

As always if you have any questions or comments please let me know!!

Farmer Amy

A Hundred Years!!!

A lot has changed in the last one hundred years—the Industrial Revolution the boom of Technology—Fashion and even our language—If you could travel back in time and ask a farmer about Blogging on their webpage about their farm, you would probably be sent for a lobotomy back then.

Tractors haven’t changed all that much, they’re still one of the hardest working tools on the farm from cutting, racking and gathering hay to plowing and bush-hogging.

Heritage breed hogs like our Berkshires have changed very little.  They have retained much of their original characteristics, see you can’t improve on perfection!! (insert wink).our pigs

1917 President Woodrow Wilson (and I hate giving him credit for anything) but he did have a herd of sheep that kept the White House lawn mowed.Now our sheep are much different than what was in the United States back in 1917.  The meat breeds that we have Dorper and Katahdin are cross bred sheep from South Africa and have been bred specifically for their meat quality and not for their wool.our sheep.

Some things I’m glad have changed!!! Washing clothes this way would not be to my liking.  I cherish my Maytag Washer and Dryer.  I’m posting some more pictures of our farm.  Come on out and see what I’m talking about.  Give us a visit!!  Buy some great Sausage from our heritage Berkshire hogs!!

Love Ya

Farmer Amy

 

 

Preacher, My Son

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.

In The Beginning

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!!