Tuesday, March 22, 2011


The weather is so pleasant and spring like.  A slight breeze is blowing that is refreshing.  I decided to go outside and take a few pictures of the sheep grazing.  They were all laying down when I headed out.  

It is hard to take a picture of them relaxing because as soon as you get close they get up.  That's why the first picture is so far away. 

After waiting for a while, they relaxed and a couple lay down again.  One of the older babies was out of the fence.  I let it stay out because it wouldn't run off by itself.  They stay together.

 As I was trying to post this, the doorbell rang.  I went to the door.  A very kind gentleman had stopped to warn me that our sheep were out and had been by the road.  Shelly and I thanked him and dashed outside to try to corral the sheep.  I grabbed my phone to snap a few shots of the wayward animals.

They were grazing in our backyard by the time I got out there.  Thankfully I had Shelly to help block them from running back out to the front.  We were trying to get them in their fence when Mark got home with the boys.  Whewww!  Saved once again by my knight in shining armour!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Normal day

Today was a normal, busy day.  On Monday we have guitar and violin lessons in Lafayette for some in our family.  Between lessons we stop at Java Jo'z, my parents coffee shop, to deliver any chicken or eggs that people have ordered.  It makes it nice to have a pick-up point for those in town and for us to get the product to them.  Today we delivered a whole chicken for a customer.  If you are a first time buyer from us, we give you a dozen eggs at no charge. 

On a side note, our little 17 month old is so busy that it is taking twice the time to get this post uploaded. =)  She runs from one thing to the next, her eyes always scanning what she can get into next.

Some random pics for you to enjoy.....

Well the random pics aren't happening.  The blog isn't "working" correctly so I guess I'll have to add some on a different post.  Plus my alignment won't move to the left.  Have a blessed day!

(Written on Monday and posted on Tuesday.)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

All we like sheep!

As I came out to the kitchen this morning, I noticed one of the sheep was beside the bin.  This means that at least one was out of the fence.  I called Ben to go get the sheep back in.  When he went out the door, the sheep heard him and started running up.  There were 3 mommas and 3 babies loose.  They are so amusing to watch. Actually all our animals are.  Anyway, Ben walked to the barn to get their feed, and they followed right up to the door.  The problem is, he shut the door in their face.  Ohhhh, what a let down!  Immediately they ran behind the barn to the pen area.  Seeing he wasn't coming, back they came.  Ben came out the barn at that time and they trotted right behind him back to where they belong.  Maybe we'll start calling Ben, Mary.  (Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb......)

The sheep got out yesterday, too.  Mark had the boys put up electrified woven wire fence so the sheep could graze more.  This would allow for more flexibility in our rotational grazing system.  The problem we've had has been to keep this kind of portable fencing standing in the corners.  Who wants to stay in when there is complete, unhindered freedom?  This time I found the sheep grazing by our front porch.  I was a little alarmed by this because we live close to the highway.  It wouldn't be good for the sheep to get spooked.  Thankfully they followed Zach as soon as he came around the corner.  As for now, Ben put them in their regular pen until the fencing problems are resolved.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Eggs Galore

This is Ben, our chief egg cleaner and sorter.  He informed us that he processed 5 dozen eggs today.  At 13 yrs. of age he is our oldest right hand man.  The others are right behind him in learning to work.

We have eggs piling up around here.  They are $3.00/dozen.  We go to Lafayette every Monday afternoon so if you place your egg order, we can easily meet you there.  Thanks to our neighbor friend, Phyllis, who puts in a good word for our eggs.  We know they're good but it's always nice to have someone else say so too.  =) 

Our chickens are enjoying the warmer weather as they roam.  We see them wander in the field by the woods, in the pasture, and wherever they desire to walk.  They are quite independent and like to go where they please. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011


On one of my first posts I told you that on our property we have a forest.  This area has been unmanaged and allowed to grow up into a dense, uncontrolled forest system.  We have some unwanted species of invasive plants like honeysuckle.  Some of the forested areas had been productive pasture in the past 25 years, but with lack of management they have produced honey locust trees and wild cherry trees.  Our vision was to create a productive forestland that is managed and to reclaim some of the pastureland.  We wanted to create more of a savannah atmosphere, using grasses to control erosion and provide a controlled grazing area.  We also have a rather large "creek" flowing through our property.  This is a wonderful added bonus to the tranquility of the place but does cause issues with erosion and flooding.  We are consistently losing trees along the bank to the swift waters of a flowing creek.  Taking all this into consideration, I met with the local district DNR forester this last week and came up with a workable plan to create a managed forest.  I also met with the local Soil and Water Conservation officer and discussed some of our erosion problem.  He made some suggestions on the best ways to stop soil erosion in the creek and our driveway wash out area.  I am thankful for the encouragement, advice, and help that these two fine gentlemen have given us. 

In Oregon we worked on similar projects and found excellent counsel from our local extension and SWCD agents.  These folks know your area better than most people and can help you in invaluable ways.  Upon the advice of our district forester we began last week to log trees that are sitting on the bank of the creek.  Most of these trees were leaning over the water.  They created quite a challenge to drop and retrieve from the flowing water.  Some of the trees were able to fall onto dry ground while others fell into the creek.  Those in the creek required the use of our small dozer to pull out.  We had a rather large cottonwood (see top picture) that after many attempts to pull out of the creek, still rests there waiting on a larger dozer to get it out.  I often call myself a farmer or livestock owner, but never before have I called myself a Lumberjack!  I always have enjoyed watching, with respect, the Oregon lumberjacks that would work day in and day out cutting, clearing and hauling logs.  These men were a tough crowd of folks.  After working just one day at our forestry project, I can see how these men became tough and rugged laborers of the forest.  Now our 26 acres will not make me a fully experienced lumberjack, but I have a feeling that it will toughen me up and give me an even greater respect for those homesteaders and pioneers of the past.  Those folks labored hard to clear some land to raise a few acres of food and run a few head of stock.

 The work may be hard, but it is enjoyable.  Here is my dad who worked as our dozer/skidder operator, dragging logs and dropping trees where we could best work with them.