Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spring is here!

Well it is April now and we are well under way with the season. We started our first CSA delivery on Monday and it feels good to be delivering veggies once again. I love the Spring and the beautiful greens that are predominant in the garden right now. Nothing looks better to me than the soft dark green leaves of a spinach plant. Yummy!

The heat is coming on fairly fast and I am a bit worried about the spring veggies. They are not especially fond of the heat. We sure have had a warm winter. It was really nice to work in but the heat makes the plants mature faster and they bolt or go to seed. I need these plants to last a few more weeks without bolting, so I pray for the cool nights and the not too hot weather.

On the up side of the hot weather we are getting our summer plants in the ground quicker than usual. The peach and wild plum trees are loaded with fruit! Yea! it has been a couple of years since we enjoyed any fruit off our trees. The late freezes have been preventing the trees from producing their precious fruit.

I am wondering about the summer weather since we did not get much of a winter. We are still leary and weary from last years drought and intense heat. Gosh I sure hope we don't see that again too soon! We lost quite a few fruit trees and bushes. We could not keep everything watered.

Well we are growing our first batch of Freedom Ranger chicks on a non-GMO feed. I have been wanting to do this for a while and I am so excited to be finally able to do it. The freedom ranger chicks are a fast growing meat bird and a good forager on the pasture. They are supposed to be ready to process in 9 to 12 weeks. I can tell you this is about half the time it takes to raise a heritage breed bird on the pasture and I am not sure of the weight you would end up with. We did it and we averaged 3 to 5 lb birds. Mostly on the low weight side. Quite a long time to get them big enough to eat. So I am really excited about the Freedom Rangers.

Commercially they raise a white dutch cross breed that is genetically bred to be ready to be processed in 6 weeks. This bird grows so fast that it has problems with it's legs because of the rate of growth. They can't get around much and I don't think they look that healthy. The freedom ranger are supposed to be great foragers and do really well running around and chasing insects. They get lots of sun and plenty of room to be a happy chicken. The non-GMO feed has been the problem to get here in our area. No one carried it locally and we had to drive 5 hours south to get some. We now have a couple of other farmer friends to go in together and purch on a bigger scale. Still very expensive to feed and we are hoping we can still get the cost down more as our order gets larger from the mill.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

New year

Hopefully this year will be a year to blog more. I am going to really try hard to. I am gratedful to those who take the time and interest in this farm to want to learn about it. Thank you so much.

Well we are gearing up to start a new year. I am always so hopeful and excited at this time of year. We look back each year and see how we made improvements to the farm and the mistakes we made. Yes I said mistakes! We do make them and they are hard lessons to learn. When you realize that you have made a mistake on the farm it is generally not quick to be fixed. Like planting too late for a cover crop or vegetable. Choosing a variety of a certain type of vegetable only to find out too late that it will not produce in the heat here in Texas. Maybe wishing that we would have put the crop in a more shaded spot in the garden because of the intense heat. Sometimes we make the same mistake over and over again because we thought we understood the problem and found out later it was not as we thought. In other wards there are so many variables to farming it is extremely hard to narrow them down and figure out the problem. Experience is the key! Experienced "hopefully younger" farmers.

Having farmer friends who have been farming for a long time are invaluable. They can look at a problem and see exactly what is wrong and how to fix it. They are however becoming fewer and fewer. We need young farmers who have a passion for the land and are not afraid of hard work. There are rewards beyond belief for the right person on a farm. Financial hardship is what keeps most away. We need to change that by realizing that our food is our medicine. It is what keeps us healthy and happy. The farther we get away from the land the sicker we get as a society. We need to honor our food and how it is grown. Protect the land and the animals and the people who are willing to work exceptionally hard and not use chemicals, fungicides or growth hormones. If we don't become activists we will all be limited to eating third world country staples. Unsecured, unprotected and undiversified.

I didn't know that this was where I was going when i started to write today, but ...it did end up that way. I would like to see us all become personal activists by putting our money in our community farms and not the industrialized "agricultural" conglomerates. Who in my opinion are poisoning our lands, our animals and our food just to make it last longer on the shelf, grow it bigger and quicker so they can make more money regardless if it turns into something that makes us sick. Alot of the industrialized "agricultural" conglomerates are in fact owned by the big chemical and drug companies. Sick people .......more drugs! Do we see this trend?

Forgive me if I have offended any one. I don't mean to harm, I mean to motivate us all into action. Let's make 2012 the year of change. Let's become educated about what we are really eating and why it is so bad for us. Let's get back to eating unadultrated whole foods. Forget about convenience! It is not convenient to be sick!


Monday, January 17, 2011

New Year

Well it has been quite a while since I have blogged. This past year 2010 was really hard. We had a few really great things happen for us this past year and a few really tough things. I never meant to let it go this long without sharing something along the way.

We got our bed maker and water wheel planter in June. That was awesome! I will try to get some pictures posted of it really soon. It was exciting to finally see those things come, we waited so long for those two pieces of equipment. Yeah!

We were blessed with a new grandbaby his name is Caleb, he was born in December and weighed 5 pounds 7 ounces. He is doing great. His mom had such a difficult pregnancy and I am so glad to see that part end. They are both doing wonderful.

This past year we found out that my grandson who is 10 years old (Caleb's brother Cameron) has Muscular Dystrophy. He is doing fine but right now they are in the process of trying to test to see what type of MD he has. We changed his diet to a much stricter one and were able to start adding some important supplements that will help him. So today we pray and continue to seek God's direction. We are convinced that the changes are doing some good!

The gardens last year had some set backs and we ended up with the hardest year we had to date. You want to think that every year you can improve on your situation and each year it will get better. Generally that does happen as we learn more and aquire more needed equipment. This past year the bucket fell out. It was a combination of many things that took us to where we ended up. One of the first things right off the bat is we were late getting our garden beds in. We have grown in numbers (memberships) and doing it by hand is not a easy as it once was. We waited for our bed maker to come in and by the time got by us, the higher temperatures came and the plants we were unable to get established and just struggled against the high temperatures. Long story short always get an early start and get those plants in at the appropiate time of the year! It makes the difference between real success and struggle.

We did learn alot this year in the soil amendment department last year. We finally got a great combination of soil amendments worked out for our particular soil type. We saw exciting results this past fall and we are looking toward seeing those same results this year.

I love farming! To me it is the most important job on earth, providing clean, nutrient dense food to my family and to my farm family is an honor and a blessing. If you don't have your health it makes it extremely hard to enjoy the things God puts in our lives. It is the most challenging job I have ever had in the sense of trying to figure out how to grow healthy plants by manipulating the soil they are in; is as hard as trying to figure out what a child is crying about who is not yet able to speak.

I am looking toward a great year this year and hope that together we can make a great harvest!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Max Kane, Filmmaker, Raw Milk Activist

I came across this today and it made me cry! Real men, Real Milk! People fighting for our right to have access to raw milk across this country. The government is putting people in jail! When is enough .........enough? If you want to see more click on the link, there are a few more videos concerning this movie to see. Pamela -Rose Creek Farms

Quote: "Kane is also making a film of his journey towards food freedom, and just this weekend he released the trailer. Max filmed his cross country bike ride powered by raw milk, he filmed interviews at the Weston A. Price Conference last fall in Chicago, he filmed the recent public hearing in Wisconsin, and each of his encounters with the judicial system. The film is called Milk Men. This trailer brought tears to my eyes.
Men, real men, will stand up and be counted. Mark McAfee, Michael Schmidt, Dave Gumpert, Scott Trautman and Max Kane are such men. I am proud to know them. Right will always prevail against might. It just may take a while. And that is why I blog." By Kimberly Hartke Published: March 22, 2010

Quote: "Are we ready to defend with inner dignity and courage those who nourish soils and souls? We all will stand up and unite with those who keep nourishing us. We all become farmers ready to guard our land. " - Michael Schmidt


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cold Cold Winter!

Wow it has been a while since I have written. What a winter so far! One week we are 8 degrees and the next week we are in the 70's. This is crazy! Well besides struggling to save the plants we have in the ground, strawberries and so forth. We have had pipes busting and well pumps freezing. We have also been trying to keep the animals warm and dry. It has been very exciting around here. Everyone is still intact and getting along just fine. From chickens to pigs.......to us.

Our daughter was in the hospital from late September until just before Christmas. She had kidney failure and we didn't know if she was going to make it. But she is doing great! She's at home and going to physical therapy 3 times a week. She came out of the ordeal not being able to walk or even stand. So the struggle for her to recover will be trying ..........but she is very blessed. God laid his hand on her body and she is doing great.

I have transplants started and really getting good germination rates! That's good.......news believe me. That has been something we have struggles with for some time now with. Planting seed and not getting anything in return is expensive and discouraging. This year we are starting off great though and are seeing good return. The transplants are growing and healthy.

We bought a new (bigger..better) filter for the irrigation system. It was a nightmare to get things watered and fertigated but it is working great now (more good news). We have also purchased more frost cover blankets so we are getting prepared for the spring plantings. We suffered such loss from the late freezes last year. God has blessed us with a little extra money to buy frost cover blankets and low tunnels. We are far from having enough but we are working on it.

Monday, October 19, 2009

We just finished the latest planting of Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower and Romaine lettuce. There was approximately 1200 plants in the last planting. Danny our farming intern planted every one by his self with none of us to help him. He had it done pretty quickly too! I had to leave to deliver last weeks CSA delivery and he stayed here and planted. The next morning I had another obligation and couldn't be there to help him and he finished all of them by his self. Awesome! The picture on the left is taken of one of the rows Danny planted. He did 4 more just like it!
He is such a real blessing to us and this farm. Thank you Danny! We really appreciate your efforts and you have made a real difference here. Danny is getting ready to move on to another farm in a couple of weeks and we will miss him alot. He has become a great friend and we feel really blessed to know him.

Danny also helped us participate in the 2009 ECO Fair in Wichita Falls. I really had decided that we were not going to be able to participate because of the time factor. He offered to help me on a day that were supposed to be his time off from the farm. If it wasn't for him we would not have been able to participate in the event. He made coffee, washed coffee cups and collected coffee donations for the ECO Fair. He helped run our booth and really enjoyed meeting people and sharing about the farm. He worked hard to help me with all the preparations before and clean up afterwards. Again thanks Danny for all your wonderful help.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Beneficial Rain

Well it has been a while since I last got on here. We have been fighting a losing battle with disease. It has run through all of the squash plants, cucumbers, pumpkins, and melons. The rain just made it worse. We battled it as long as we could and then decided to go ahead and just pull everything out. That was a sad day. It has put a halt on our CSA program for a few weeks until we get more of the veggies producing. The cooler temperatures are really not helping the warm season veggies, but the cooler season veggies are loving it (not the flooding rains but the cooler temps). So we have concentrated on planting and growing the cooler season crops. We seeded 4 beds about 150 feet long each with Napa Cabbage, Kale, Broccoli Rabb, collards, turnips, tatsoi, and Pak choy. A few would germinate and come up and then some would not. We then planted again, more rain and waited for our efforts to pay off and still nothing. More rain and still more rain and still a few would come up and then we planted again. This time I just gave up and started seeds in the green house. We are having more luck with that but not the germinating rate I would have hoped for.

A good point was made the other day from a farmer friend when he was sharing a story about about how farmers years ago used to pray for rain. They used to gather together and pray for each others farms and ask God to make it rain. However they specifically prayed for "Beneficial Rain". These days farmers pray individually for their own farms and they just pray for rain. I think there is power in numbers and being a little more specific really can't hurt.

We let the chickens out in the pasture behind the house and let them run around during the day. They are loving it. There is lots of excitement out there all the time. At any given time I see them chasing each other or the turkeys chasing them. It is very interesting to watch the turkeys when the chickens get in their food spot. The black hen turkey was so upset at "Mr. Red" our Road Island red rooster she chased him around for a very long time. She was extremely mad and was determined to set him straight. Those two are at it all the time because the rooster tries to run the turkeys off from their food so he can eat it. She is not having that! The rest of the turkeys just circle around those two and make tons of gobble noises. It is quite the "field fight"!

Mr. Red is just beautiful. He is stout and he is bossy. When I walk down to the garden to work or gather something and I have to pay close attention to where Mr. Red is at all times because now he thinks I should not be walking through his territory. He will walk slowly behind me and then all of the sudden he charges me and trys to peck me. I have no patience for that or him so he usually gets a swift kick. I thought that he might be detoured from doing that to me but so far he is not stopping. Each time it seems he gets a little more brave. Ronny says he may start trying to fly up and spur me but I can tell you if that happens he will be chicken soup quick. None of the other chickens bother anyone just Mr. bossy.

We did get all of the strawberries picked up and are ready to put them in. However it has rained for so many days and the ground is like mush. We are going to have to wait a little longer to put them in. I will be so glad when that job is over. It is a nightmare getting those in.

Well I hope the weather is better soon and we can all go outside and enjoy this beautiful fall weather. It really has been nice to have some cooler days to work in.