Monday, December 22, 2014

Why Do We Farm?

Why Do We Farm?

This question comes up alot. People are always asking, "Why do you farm?" and, "Whats the point? Seriously, just go buy eggs at the grocery store! And save yourself a load of work!" You've all heard it at one point or another. Well, this post will tell y'all why we do, what we do. 

The questions a simply one, and likewise, so is the answer. 

Because we love it.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that dragging yourself out of your warm bed first thing in the morning, slipping into your well worn barn clothes and a pair of old boots, and heading out into the cold to feed critters, is sometimes not as pleasant as one would wish, but that's life.

In today's society, the standard way of life for most folks, seems to be a fast-paced goal, of chasing after the American 'dream'. 

It makes me sad that people nowadays, don't appreciate the simply things in life, the everyday blessings. I feel that people who live out in the country, closer to God's nature, learn to appreciate the simply blessings of every day life, and find peace and joy in the simply tasks of their lifestyle. 

Nobody ever said farming would make you rich, but to be honest, I never want to be rich, at least, not in that way. I want to be rich in memories, in family, and in a lifestyle that gives glory to God. 
I'm not saying if you live in town, you can't ever experience any of these things, but rather, farmers, tend to come by them easier.

Going out to check on your chickens, and finding a freshly laid egg, that's still warm, is one of those moments when you know exactly why you do, what you do. Or squeezing warm milk out of an udder and hearing it splash into the bucket, it doesn't get any better than that folks! 
Sure farming, homesteading, country life, or whatever you want to call it, isn't easy, but it's worth it, and it makes you stop and appreciate the little things in life.

Farmers work hard to grow their own food, raise their own meat, eggs, milk, etc. And they appreciate it far more than they would if they went to the store and bought it. 

So, next time you see a farmer (or me) barefoot, covered in hay, chicken poop, and mud, carrying a handful of eggs..don't judge. They're doing what they love!

Blessings - 

~ Aspen


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Fluffy Cows and All Delightful Things

Fluffy Cows and All Delightful Things

Before I get into all the delightful things, I'd like to introduce you to our flock..err..I mean herd, yes, herd of cows.

First we have Bessie....Say Hi Bessie!...Hmmm that was a bit too up close and personal, but it'll have to do!

Here is a better picture of my darlin' girl. It is my firm belief that if everyone had a Bessie, this world would be a better place. I mean really, who doesn't want to go out and get cow-licked (I mean that literally, of course...) every morning. It warms the heart, indeed it does!

Ah yes, and this is Chubby..I mean Barley, Bessie's son:

You all know, Belle, of course. She is our main milker at the moment. Her personality differs muchly (muchly..I like that word!) from Bessie's. She'd sooner kick you. than have her head scratched. Bessie, on the other hand will beg for attention like a puppy-dog.

A flattering picture of Belle:

An unflattering picture of Belle:

Belle: "Stop taking my picture, women!!"

This heres' Blizzard. Wanna' know how he got that name? Yep, you guessed it. He was born in a blizzard. *ahem*
His personality is muchly (there's my new favorite word again!!) like his mothers. He doesn't care much for you, or your head scratches..unless of course you have food.

Barley photo-bomb:

"SToph taking her picture and wook at mooeoee!"

Oh look, there's Rusty. How'd you get in here? Oh well.

 One of my absolute favoritest things about cows, especially Jersey's, is there big, soft eyes and long lashes. I mean good grief! What I wouldn't give for lashes like these boys have! I mean honestly...

I told you they were fuzzy!! Just look at them ears! I love to pet their big soft ears..and look at his adorable little red curl! <3

And their fuzzy, curly-top heads! How cute is that?! I mean, they resemble Mammoths..

This guy comes to mind:

A little bit more *poof* on top and they'd have it made!

<3 Bessie Lou <3

Barley: "Human...stoph taking pictures of her and wooook at meeoeo!!!"

"Hellooooo in there?!?!?!?!?!!!"

"Can you hear meeoooo??!?"

*fine. I'll just stick my nose in your camera...*

^^^^^that is literally what happened!!^^^^^

Then of course we could talk about their fuzzy wittle' backs..that are very round. ;)

One of their favoritiest activities is to sniff my pants, and then lick them,

Whenever I come in from my daily doze of cow love, I'm covered in cow slobber. But I wouldn't have it any other way, let me tell ya. I love my cow kisses. 
Wait. Did I just let it slip out that I give my cows kisses??? Oh well. They already know I'm crazy. And I wouldn't have that any other way either! ;)

One of those moments when you know exactly why you do what you do: farm.

Moment's like these, make it all worth it.

Bye y'all!

And give your cow(s) some kisses from me.

Only loyal followers will do this. We'll weed out the weak ones, oh yes we will! 


Blessings - 

~ Aspen 

P.S. Bessie wants to send y'all a viral kiss...*muwuah*

Monday, December 8, 2014

For The Love of Turkeys

For The Love of Turkeys

(or the post in which I convince all my readers to be crazy-turkey-enthusiasts) 

Now, you may be asking yourself why on earth you need or would much less want turkeys, I mean seriously; the only time you think about having a turkey is for thanksgiving. Yep, ahuh. 

Well I'm here to tell you otherwise!

As you know (or you may not know?) I got 8 turkeys this past spring, along with a dear friend of mine. I raised them in my room (yes, you read that right) for a month or so, give or take a little, and fell utterly in love with my goofy little darlings who would display and act like grown up turkeys, even though they still had soft down feathers and scrawny little legs. Oh yes, I was hooked from the very first moment I opened up that cheeping box from the post office and held the darling little boogers.
Little by little, they eventually moved into a big dog kennel. 
One morning I let them out to free range; came back an hour later and found three missing. Went searching and found a couple plies of feathers and a leg...yep coyotes (that's what we're assuming) came right up to the house and carried off three of my precious babies, WHO also just so happened to be my only females. As of now, I have five goofy toms, who never desist from keeping me entertained!

Know that you have a little back story of how I plunged into raising turkeys, lets move on to the statistics, shall we? Of course we shall! 

My boys are currently housed with my waterfowl (geese, ducks, muscovys). One thing you must keep in mind when raising turkeys, is to not house with with chickens, or peafowl. They can get a serious sinus infection from their droppings, and just trust me, you do not want to deal with that! So either house them by their onesises, or with other birds that are "safe", such as waterfowl. 

My boys defiantly rule the roost in their pen, but they are not aggressive towards any of the other birds in the least. as far as I can tell. Every now and then a fight will break out amongst the different toms, but other than that, they all live in relative harmony together.

As far as housing goes, they roost in a metal house covered with pine shavings, and run around in a big chain-link pen during the day.


There are many benefits of raising a small flock of turkeys. 

Meat - Many people raise a few turkeys just for thanksgiving dinner. That way they know exactly what that turkey has been eating, how he was raised, and can provide their family with nutritious meat, without hormones, fillers, etc.

Pest Control - Turkeys are excellent forgers, and if given the chance, will consume quite a bit of their own food. Have a garden? Lots of bugs? Your turkeys can help by eating up all those pesky bugs. If given access to a pasture, they will gladly gobble up grass, seeds, and plants of all sorts. Tired of mowing your yards? Enlist your turkey's help..or get a goat, but that's a whole nother' post. ;)

Gardening - I've often set my birds to work 'tilling' (a.k.a scratching) up the garden, and they are more than happy to eat up any extra garden produce or scraps. If you have birds of any kind, they poop. What? It's true! Those droppings, and all that soiled litter you shovel out of the coop is excellent fertilizer for your garden crop, and flowers.

 Pleasure - There is nothing more relaxing and soothing, than watching a flock of turkeys mingle and interact with each other. A lot of people (like myself), have a few turkeys around just for pleasure, and or pets. *ahem*

So you see! There are lots of benefits to having a few turkeys around the place.

Still need convincing? Here's a few more things I love about my tom-boys:

They have warty skin. And it's adorable. That is all.

Their feathers (and themselves in general) are gorgeous! Just take a look'n see:

They are ridiculously adorable, and have puppy-eyes.

They like cuddles, and think your lap is the best place to be. Especially if you have snacks.

They display, and think they are the hottest thing to ever walk the earth.


They gobble, and make this (odd) 'booming' sound..and it's really cute. 
Seriously tho, I can walk out the back door and holler "Hi babies!!" and they will start gobbling like crazy. Sometimes, we even get into gobbling matches. They always win. I've yet to master my turkey gobbling sound, I'm afraid I sound more like something dying, rather than a turkey!

They have a chest beard..thingy..that I forget the name of.

They have a snoot. Nuff' said. 

A rarely known fact: turkey's favorite occupation is to photo-bomb. Beware, lest you end up with a pictures like this:

Be afraid, be very afraid!

People say cats are curious, right? Well, they have clearly never owned a turkey. I cannot go, or do anything without having these five goobers looking over my shoulder and pecking my camera lens.

My five stalkers:

They are very photogenic.


Too much adorableness in one picture, yes? Of course yes!

"Look at me. Love me!"

Samantha, these are for you:

Jack Thornton, the turkey. And YES! My cousin and I totally did name a turkey after the mountie from When Calls The Heart! Deal with it. 

Don't you see the resemblance? Of course you do!

Handsome Jacky boy struttin' his stuff: 

 So want to join the ranks of us crazy turkey enthusiats? Jump on the bandwagon, so you too can get your fingers pecked by noisy-too-curious turkeys who think they are puppy-dogs:

and shovel manure with the rest of us.

And get gobbled at every time you walk out the door, and master the art of turkey language.

Come join the party folks! Times a wastin'!

Blessings - 

~ Crazy-Turkey-Enthusiast