Today, Jackson and I cleaned out the poultry house. If I have been informed properly, the last birds that were on this property were Guinea fowl. We found exactly one feather that looked like evidence of Guineas.
I am very excited to get chickens and turkeys in Spring. It will be our fist step toward “adaptability.” Lately, I have been thinking that adaptability is more important than the concept of sustainability. More information on this later, I’m sure.
Posted by blacksheepfarms on October 26, 2008
Sam, Jack and Comet were successful in naming our new tomcat after their favorite wrestlers, Matt and Jeff Hardy. Hardy is about 12 weeks old, and we got him from a friend, Michael Murphy. (No, he doens’t have any cats left.) Kelly’s suggestion for the name was Murphy, and Jackson’s second choice was Death Cat.
Right now, he’s living in our greenhouse, and Kelly thinks he’s getting the better end of the deal since it’s warmer there than in our house. He’s getting friendlier, and he enjoys playing with dirt clods. Really. In Spring, we’ll turn him loose on the property so he can control the mouse population in the barn, granary and garage. Tall order for a small cat, but I have faith in Hardy.
Posted by blacksheepfarms on October 22, 2008
This morning, it was a cool 33 degrees. Although Kelly had been warning me for a week, I finally decided that today was the day to cover my artichokes for the winter.
Artichokes are not a standard crop in Nebraska. They prefer warmer climates, but we decided that it would be worth the effort to grow them. We started the seeds in January, gave them an “artificial winter” in March, and we had chokes this summer. They typically produce in their second year, so I was excited to have anything.
However, we’re uncertain if they’ll last our cold weather. In an attempt to keep them alive, I covered them under a blanket of straw. If they come back in Spring, I’m sure that the chokes will be big and beautiful in the summer months.
We also have a new resident at the farm: a kitty. A friend’s cat had a litter, and we needed someone to hunt for mice in our outbuildings. We’ve not settled on a name for him yet, but he’s a tiny little thing with a loud voice. You can see him at the Farm Fresh Photos page.
Posted by blacksheepfarms on October 17, 2008
Today, I spent a lot of the day with a chainsaw and an axe. It’s time to get the winter’s wood supply stacked. On the farm, we have a wood furnace, so the more we can burn, the less propane we need to buy. Since this is our first year, we have no idea how much we’ll need, but the previous owner had built a wood crib in the basement, so my plan is to fill it.
In the future, Kelly and I plan to construct a wood shed. I’ve already scoped out the location, so we’ll be on the lookout for building materials. We’ve got lots of plans, though. The most important building project right now is to make improvements to the poultry house so we can start chickens and turkeys in the Spring.
We’re eager to get animals at Black Sheep Farms. They are an integral part of sustainable farming, and our farm hasn’t had them for a long time. This summer, we visited a farm that had peacocks. Not sure we’ll go that direction, but you never can tell!
Posted by blacksheepfarms on October 13, 2008
I am proud to report that we are finally getting settled on the farm. This year has been full of anticipation for us. In April, we signed the lease on our farm, but there were a lot of renovations that needed to be done to the farmhouse before we could move in. We farmed here during the summer, but it was difficult to manage while we drove back and forth.
That’s over. A couple of weeks ago, we moved, and, while we still have a lot of boxes, things are coming together. Our efforts to make Black Sheep Farms a reality have paid off… just in time for Autumn. This gives us time to get acclimated and to plan for 2009. It promises to be a big year for us. We anticipate a small CSA and supplying restaurants in addition to the Village Pointe Farmers Market.
Today, I took two of the boys on a field walk. We wandered around the farm near the highway and took in the wonders of a freshly-mown hay field. I envisioned a small herd of cattle, maybe some sheep. (Black ones, of course.) As all the neighbors are shaving their fields of corn and soybeans, it was nice to imagine our farm producing food. Can’t wait for July’s tomatoes.
Posted by blacksheepfarms on October 10, 2008