• Animals,  Homestead

    Welcome, Little Cow

    Well friends, our little sanctuary farm has welcomed home a miniature Jersey steer.  He is the sweetest little thing ever!!  I found him advertised on craigslist and something in that ad really pulled on my heartstrings. Rehoming a 2 year old small Jersey Steer. We were going to butcher him for meat, but don’t have the time or right tools now. If you’re interested in him for meat or a pet, it doesn’t matter. Feel free to contact us. He’s up to date on his vaccines and worming. He has an even temperament. Unfortunately, he’s hard to lead though. You have to pick up.   Poor thing was only 3…

  • Food Love,  Spirit

    Why I am Going Sugar Free

      I am a sugar addict. When I was in high school, I used to buy a twix bar every single day at the school snack bar. That’s when it all began. I was thin and in great shape, rowed on the crew team, ran for fun, took ballet classes and step aerobics in college…on the outside I looked like a healthy, fit young adult. But, I was an addict. I wasn’t able to buy a box of cookies and eat a couple, I ate the box. When my kids were little, I was a good mom who made sure they didn’t eat too much junk food – but I…

  • Animals,  Homestead

    Five Things You Need to Know Before Getting Goats

    Goats are trouble!  We’ve had them for 6 months and I can tell you that we weren’t ready for them when we thought we were! 1. Goats don’t control where they poop.  Seriously, this is an important fact because they just let it go whenever and wherever, unlike horses or dogs that tend to go to a specific area.  So, that being said, here are some things you might not have thought about. Goats will poop in their water bucket if it’s too low, OR their mineral bin.   I tried the small over the fence feeder for their minerals and no matter where I place it, it doesn’t work out.…

  • Food Love

    Indulge Yourself Brownies!

    This is a family favorite recipe that we enjoy making over the holidays….um, okay who are we kidding, we enjoy making this recipe ALL the time!  No holiday required! It is simple, because we start off with a box cake mix.  We have great success using the Cherrybrook chocolate cake mix and our favorite chocolate chips are the semi-sweet chocolate chips by Equal Exchange, although you may of course use any brand that you like. Ingredients: 1 box of chocolate cake mix 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar 1 cup of chopped walnuts 1 stick of vegan butter 1/3 cup of soymilk   Recipe: First…

  • Homestead

    A Farm Thanksgiving

    This is our first Thanksgiving on the farm, and it’s funny how farm work can creep into everything!  I had planned for a nice family dinner, the girls had each picked out a favorite recipe and we were going to spend the afternoon cooking and eating together!  Well, it was a nice thought.  But, what really happened was that we spent much of the day installing last minute fence posts.  Here is the back story… Our new rescue, Georgie, is young and bold and headstrong!  “Electric fence.. what’s that?”, she says.  Nope, our 5 mile solar powered electric fence charger did nothing to keep her contained.  We didn’t realize how lucky…

  • Homestead

    Perilla Mint – Toxic Weed

    It would never have occurred to me that the mint we have all over our property is toxic!  It’s not one of the top poisonous plants you hear about when you have horses.  But apparently, this particular variety, Perilla Mint, is quite toxic and can be fatal to goats, sheep, cattle and horses.  Luckily, we had an agricultural extension agent out from Virginia Tech to help us identify any potential toxic plants growing in our pastures – and she found it all over.  She spotted some right up against our barn, and in the back pasture.  Unfortunately, they exploded all over our property throughout the summer.  They like growing near wooded…

  • Animals,  Homestead

    How did we end up with goats?

    Goats?  I never would have thought it.  But, life doesn’t always take you down the roads you expect!  My high school daughter was working at our local vet’s office and her colleague rescues baby goats that are headed to slaughter.  One day she brought two babies into the office to spend the day with her when they were teeny tiny, and if you haven’t seen baby goats before, well, there isn’t much chance you can walk away without a soft spot in your heart for them.  I would have to say that was the beginning. We visited her rescue farm and got to meet her goats and pigs, and the…

  • Hiking

    Hiking Mt. Brandon – Dingle, Ireland

    I love to find beautiful places to hike!  I always have to have at least one good hike on any vacation I plan.  Here in Dingle, Ireland I couldn’t resist hiking up Mt. Brandon, the highest peak on the Dingle Peninsula at 953 meters (3127ft.).  I had done some brief research online and found most people said it was doable in under 5 hours.  However, we got lost trying to find the path which leads up, and initially started hiking on the All Saint’s path which led us through a sheep pasture and then we found ourselves boxed in with barbed wire fences on all sides and no path to…

  • Homestead

    Fencing

    Who knew there was so much to think about when fencing your property!  It’s fairly expensive, so you want to do it right the first time around, especially when you have a larger piece of land. Most importantly you need to consider functionality, maintenance and cost factors. Here are some questions you should ask yourself before fencing your farm. 1. What type of animals do you have currently, AND, what type do you want to have in the future?  This is important because when installing permanent fencing you don’t want to have to go back and make changes.  (Yeah, we learned the hard way.)My daughter and I ended up adding about…

  • Food Love

    Simple Kale

    I don’t like kale.  And I eat ALL sorts of vegetables.  So, why this disdain for kale?  I’ve tried to “make good choices” and substitute kale instead of rice at my favorite fresh bowl place –  didn’t turn out like I thought.  I could barely get through all that chewing and texture, and the kids were the ones who had to tell their mom, ‘finish your vegetables!’  Yeah, they loved that one.  But I just couldn’t.  I do like kale chips, if that helps my case. So anyway, that’s the background story…now to present day.  My husband, who has never shopped for greens his entire life, suddenly comes home one…