Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Late Summer Check List

I'm still not giving up on Summer. But I will admit that "not summer" speeds up before it slows down. I'm still working on my priorities from earlier.

The good news is that we are making a lot of progress. The bad news is that there is always something that needs to be done.

Meat management - check!
Veggies - check and some still in progress!
Farm repairs..... pending. Rats.

The best progress we've made is on our meat management. First, we secured two rounds of meat chickens and they are growing like bad weeds. The two pens of meat chickens are a big stinky mess but those little meatballs are showing tremendous growth.

This is the most amount of meat chickens we've ever had at one time. So it seems expensive. We are going thru one bag of feed a week - and honestly we are going to need a second bag starting this week.

Next, the pigz growth has also really taken off. They are really putting on the weight. Nice and fat.

We also solved our immediate meat problem by joining that warehouse store.

I finally got my arms around the tomato problem...but I didn't can as much as I wanted to have on hand. So we will have to deal with that at some point. But we've had some nice meals with the fresh tomato sauce - and we are square on small portions for pizza sauce.

The green beans continued to vex me but I finally got a bushel of them in the canner.  The auctions are starting to wind down but I still have several more weeks to get some late-summer veggies. I'll be working fast and furious on this one.

I need to work on repairs for both the chicken house and Turkey House.

Now that I've made some good progress to my previous list -  I need to add:

Garden clean up
Greenhouse repairs and winter set up
Firewood management

One item that we are ahead of the curve is heating oil procurement. Prices are significantly lower this year so we are filling the tank as soon as possible.  You'll remember what happened when the guy showed up last year. This time we are making extra sure that we know when he is coming.

However, before I can get to any of these new items this week is a free fall. I signed up to participate in an off-farm community event so I've been unable to work on most of my goals. That's also why I haven't been around. But starting next week we are really going to be focused on these on-farm efforts.

As for fall? Harrumph. I'm still not buying it. I will continue to revel in the golden light and ignore all the leaves falling off the trees. I won't give up until I absolutely have to.

Happy Tuesday everyone - are you working on your priorities?

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Moving the Meat Group One

Yesterday I worked on my project to de-stankify the garage. We've never had this many meats at one time and they are making the garage unlivable. Unfortunately, they are too little to put outside. They are not entirely feathered out and while a hawk probably couldn't fly off with one of those little meat balls... they are kind of sitting ducks for anything else.

The new meat pen - easily whacked together. You can make anything with hog panels.

Our solution was to build another meat pen at the end of the garage with the big sliding door. This way we can get some fresh air into the garage and also provide a way for them to go out and toddle around next week.

Because the War on Rats continues to rage - and gets worse in the fall - we don't want to put the meats over in the Turkey House just yet. But we couldn't take the stank much longer so we think this is a good short term so solution.

I tacked a short piece of hog panel into the garage wall beam, used a heavy dirt "tamper" as a support at the other end, and used bailing twine to lash the whole thing together. It actually works remarkably well.

I filled in the new pen with fine pine shavings from TSC and then set up their feeders and waterers...and their heat lamp.

The only tricky part was moving that much meat over into the new pen. My big idea was to flush them out with a broom and funnel them into the new pen. My hubs decided it would be better just to carry them over. We used a box to move a few at a time and got them installed pretty quickly.

The pen opens toward the barnyard. I can easily open the pen and let them out.

At first they were terrified at seeing The Whole Wide World. And then some "wolves" that came over to check them out. Kai and Zander thought they looked delicious.  So I put a blanket over the "open to the barnyard side and that calmed them down. Kai and Zander had to go and sit on the deck now that they know where the meatballs are located.

Today I'm shoveling out the old pen for Meat Group Two who will be moved from the brooder. Earlier I went to get more pine shavings... so now I gotta get at it.

Happy Thursday everyone!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Ineffective Meat Management and why we joined the warehouse club.

One of the things that didn't go exactly as planned this summer was our Meat Management. We were not on target with getting our pigz or keeping up with our poultry purchases. There are a lot of reasons for this but mostly the weather worked against us and the normal summer rush of things to be done.

The first group of meats looking .... creepy. Ew. 

The very last meat chicken from this summer is in the stew pot and we are scraping the bottom of the freezers so it became clear that we are going to have to do something to get our Meat Management back on track.

The second group of meats.... almost creepy. One surprise duckling is in there too.

The first thing is that we are hustling the creepy meats into glorious meaty fatness and deliciousness. This might be a little more expensive than our summer meats but we don't even care. Our zeal for farm meat knows no boundaries. So we are going thru a sack of Chick Starter every week.

Pigz. Looking good!

We are also hot stepping those pigz right along. We are pouring feed on them and just about everything else. They are getting nice and fat. And ha! Unlike someone else we know... I think our pigz can hold their liquor because they haven't gotten drunk yet off all the "bad" apples we have received from our very generous orchard friends.  But anything could happen!

Then we finally had to break down and admit defeat....and we joined one of those warehouse stores. We are hoping for much better results than when The Big Man had his epic Sam's Club Freak Out. So far so good.

Yesterday we drove an inhumanly far distance to pay someone $55 for allowing us to shop at their store. That doesn't sound like my normally cheap ways does it?

This is what we figure.... until the first group of the meats is ready (at least another month from now) then we need to buy some meat. I cringe every time I go into the normal stores around here and check out the meat prices. I keep wondering how normal families can afford it? So we remembered how back in the day we used to get more reasonably priced, big packs of meat from the warehouse club.

Then we thought about how our big truck needs new tires and maybe if the prices were good enough then the cost savings from a set of tires might offset the membership cost.

And then we finally thought about how The Big Man's job has shifted a little and now, some days, he's "working from home." So we need some office supplies too. We noodled around with this idea for a long time and the finally decided to get up off our wallet and get on with it.

So we did. Yesterday. The gal at the membership desk veritably had to pull the money out of my hands but we signed up. I took a horrific picture for my card. As per usual, my husband looks like a convict. We both laughed.

Determined not to go "off list" we got out of there in under 20 minutes and under $100. We had some meat, cat food, and blue cheese. That was it. We ran for the car.

Will the CostMoreCo membership pay off? I dunno. But I'm hopeful. We did also note that gas was $0.10 - $0.20 cheaper than most places... if anything we might get to "even Steven" on gas alone. So we'll see.

In the meantime the meat chickens are producing a noxious gas in the garage and I need to get them outside before the barncats revolt.

That's the word here, friends. What do you think? Do you have a warehouse membership? What do you buy?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

This guy.....

The Grand Duke of Luckyness.....

...is all smiles. 

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope you are as happy as Lucky today!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Monday Morning Greens

The greens are loving the cooler weather.....

The kale is outrageous...

I waited all summer for this to produce little broccoli rabe... but it might just be collard greens instead. Hummm.....

The pears are glorious this year. 

And an arty pic of my Zander givin' the pigz hell. 

Happy Monday everyone! It is all green all the time where you are?

Sunday, October 4, 2015


I am the last person to let go of summer. Fall-schmall..... love the color October? No. I love summer. Sum-sum-summertime. I will wear shorts until the snow flies. I will never willingly embrace stupid fall or gleefully skip around yelling, "Winter is coming!" like someone I know.

This is not me.

So all y'all have absolutely no proof that this was actually me sitting by the fire yesterday. None. Zero. I don't know who those dogs are but they are not Kai and Zander.

I don't know who's nose that is. But I smooched it. I mean... "someone" smooched it.

Yesterday's super-sucky rain and 40*-ish windchill made everyone unhappy. But this week we are going to have beautiful, warm, sunny, 70* days and mild evenings. I might even need to turn on the air conditioning.

It's still summer. I will never give up! Never surrender!

That is all.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

I need some floof today....

Any body else need some floof today?

The Major Fuzz. Nicholas knows how to take it easy.

These are not squishbeans... they are mouse stompers. Nicholas's paws are impressive.

Happy Saturday everyone! Go and hug your floof!

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