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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Organic Potatoes for sale....

Organically raised potatoes - we have harvested 2500 pounds and they are now available for pick up! They have been raised organically on virgin ground without any chemicals. We can't say they are certified organic because we don't have them inspected, but they are as natural as they come.

Varieties available until sold out:

Alaska Red Eye - a creamy white potato with pink eyes....$1 a pound

Red Russian Fingerlings
Rose Finn Apple Fingerlings
Red Dale

All $2 a pound, and in limited supply.

Email us to place your order! Minimum order is 10 pounds.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Our Barn

Our barn is a nice barn. I thought it was time to post a photo of it! Rick built it by himself except for when he had to set the roof rafters. The floor is concrete. The bottom half is board and batten spruce milled from the trees from our property. The big beams and metal cross plates that hold up the barn are also from our trees and Rick's welding talents. It's 36x48 overall. The dairy goats get the 3 big stalls in the barn. The sheep have different barns for them, 3 sided day sheds with gates across the front. The barn has wings on both sides that extend out 10 feet, offering the goats shelter from rain and snowfall.

New Residents Of The Goat Kind

Aren't they pretty? Nubian goats! They arrived here yesterday and now reside in the quarantine pen. These are the 'cheese goats'...we talked for years about getting a Mini Jersey for cheese making milk, but there is a certain instability in the Mini's right now.....some might/may/could have Dexter in them, there seems to be 2 registration bodies that don't like each other, there's infighting and also some questionable folks involved for money rather than milk production. We got tired of trying to figure it all out and who's going to spend $2,000 to $4,000 on a heifer calf with doubts like that. So we gave up. I told Rick we already have the setup for goats so might as well add some nice Nubians to our herd of Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats for his cheese making milk supply. That's fine with me, I have always loved the Nubians, I like goat hugs and slightly needy girls that can bellow a morning welcome and 'hum' their content when they're full and happy. So here they are! Sunshine on the left is 7 months old and Flower on the right is a year and a half and recently bred so we'll have milk and little Nubian kids in another 4 months.

First Frost - Organic Potatoes for sale

woohoo........and heeeeeeere we go! Woke up this morning to 32 degrees and our first frost. Very light frost, not bad at all, and it won't kill but the most tender of plants. But it's definately chill time here in South Central Alaska (you know, the place where Sarah was Mayor....hehehe......and yep, we call her Sarah!).

Yesterday we had plenty of help for the potato harvest. 2500 pounds of 6 different varieties are now dug up and in burlap bags and will wait till later this week for washing and sorting. So if you're needing to buy organic potatoes this fall, we've got your spuds!

Rose Finn Apple Fingerlings
Russian Red Fingerlings
Alaska Red Eye
Red Dales

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Can we gripe a bit?

How about a good gripe session. Is everyone ready for a good session?

How about those phone calls when you have your hands full, lovely automated calls that have to tell you what you already see too much of on TV, that their candidate is the perfect choice? If they don't have the courtesy to have a real human on the other end that you can ask questions to, then don't bother to call.

Let's see, what else.......

Oh yes! The person that emails to say they will be at your farm on said day at said time, to pick up said animal(s), and then they don't show up, didn't call, and didn't think to email that they had something come up and wouldn't make it. Well, we all have days like that, but for some reason there are many people out there that think farmers in particular sit on their chairs on the front porch all day with nothing better to do than to be waiting at the house for that person to show up. Hello? It's harvest time? Do they even realize how you carefully arranged your schedule for that day so that you'd be somewhere near the house and could have time to spend with this person? Nope, they email you the next day to say they got busy and that they'll just drop by sometime today - NOT! We're in the middle of harvest which can put me a quarter mile away and out of sight of the house, I have too many projects already planned for today, and I'm ticked that this person thinks my time isn't worth as much as theirs is.

What's your gripe today? Come on, I'm sure you'd like to get it off your chest....

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Would you like a Gulmoget?

Would you like a Gulmoget? I have one that I like, and lucky me, he's a boy :-) So that means if all goes well, we'll have little Gulmogets in the spring. Would you like one? If so, I will be glad to put you on the list for one, just let me know!

How was your day? Ours turned very wet, and it's colder now too, down into the 30's tonight...fall is here and winter not far away. But it was a good day.

Friday, September 19, 2008

And I happen to love Violets!

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

Breeding Groups are set

Breeding groups are set for the season now.

Peyton, our young scurred Gulmoget:
Princess; Flutter; Caribbean; and our HST lamb

Topple, our gorgeous HST ram with the HUGE horns:
Fairy Slipper; Cheesecake; Blanche; Feather; and one spotted black lamb.

Captain - our softest fleeced boy:
Windsprite (Topple's mom); Sleeping Beauty; and our 6 Alaska-born ewes from Honey Hill Farm.

I still may switch Blanche and put her with Peyton for polled lambs, since they both carry the polled genes. To be decided this weekend...

How are your breeding plans coming along? Pulling out your hair too???

Well, what's new?

I know most folks in the lower-48 are enjoying the last of summer. Not to rain on your parade, but it's still raining here. Today is windy and showers, and the wind is chilly! A day of clouds then a day of rain or showers. Now we're making the big move into winter.....yes, already. The highs are only in the mid 50's at best. The clouds are keeping in what little warmth we have tho - if it clears off, we'll get a hard frost. People are cleaning out their gardens, I still have to clean up mine. The leaves on the trees are now mostly yellows and golds with some green trees still left here and there. The snows are working their way down the mountains. I took photos the other day of the last goodbye of our cranes sad. They made several fly overs and called out, then kept flying away. We haven't seen them since, and I will miss them. They were very entertaining, very elegant. We hope they don't get shot between now and next spring and return to our farm so that they are safe once again. The sheep are separated into their breeding groups, so once I get things together I'll post who's going to be bred to whom. Maybe you'll need a few Alaska lambs next's certainly getting cheaper to fly 2 lambs to you than for you to even drive to the next state for sheep with the gasoline prices the way they are! Peyton will have his girls so that we can have little Gulmogets here next spring! Topple has his group and so does Captain - who yes, has the softest fleece in my whole flock hands down, except for his daughter Princess, my special girl. Incredible Intermediate fleece with plenty of crimp and such a soft hand to the wool - wow. I hope you're doing good, I haven't had time this week to catch up on blogs but I will do so! Photos soon....

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Rain, rain, and more rain....

After a long week of recuperation and catching up on farm life, I'm back! More of the 'catching up' part than the 'recuperation' part, it was still a good week.

Except for the rain....

it won't stop......

every day, clouds, showers, rain, clouds.

This has been going on since July. I haven't mowed the lawn in 2 weeks and frankly it doesn't need it. It's not growing. The hayfield isn't growing either - there's not been enough sun to get it going again.

So, with all this rain I think the sheep were starting to get crabby.

Yep, crabby sheep!

So today I put a full bale of fresh hay into their big shed, and today they spent their time in there, relaxing, eating, relaxing, eating some more. Every once in a while sticking their heads out to call out to me as I went by or worked near their big shed. I think they enjoyed staying out of the rain today.

Yesterday and today have been spent cleaning and picking up anything I don't want lost under snow or what I don't want to work on or repair when it's 10 degrees outdoors. I doubt we'll have early snows this year, but then again we don't ever bet on that so might as well start the cleanup for the winter. Replaced screws that were getting worn out, little doors that were worn or torn up, insulation missing or needing replacing....all that little stuff that is NOT interesting to do when it's too cold out! I stripped down goat stalls and carried water buckets outdoors to scrub them out good with the brush. Got all 3 birthing stalls cleaned to the concrete and rebedded for whenever things start to arrive again this winter. Pallets left behind were loaded up and hauled off to the main stack at the barn. Flakes of hay put on the side outdoors that were yucky, not VERY yucky from sitting there in the rain for weeks, loaded up and hauled to the dumpster. YOU KNOW - all that STUFF that needs to be done.

I started a long list of things to do, and am always grateful when I can start crossing them off! YAY!

I have one more winter sheep pen to strip down and get ready, then 3 of the boys will be going into their separate pens and their intended girlfriends will go in too. It's about that time, time to select who will go with whom for the breeding season. Topple the Magnificent will get a fair share of the girls; Captain will be used on girls that need better fleece quality on their lambs, as Captain's fleece is soft as a baby's behind. It's to die for! And Peyton, my new little Gulmoget guy from Garrett, will get an assortment of girls to keep him company too. Oh, and if you'd like a Gulmoget of your own next spring, just give me a holler and I'll be glad to put you on the list for one! I plan on keeping a girl or two but that's all next year! Remember, 2 lambs can fly in the same crate and it's usually cheaper flying than driving 6 hours to get one nowadays!

So, one more big project to do with the help of the tractor and it will be time for everyone to settle into their groups for the winter. YAY again!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Here's Lola

I just received Lola's win photo via email and had to share it here too. Lola of course is a Shetland Sheep Dog, who has earned two Reserve High in Trials and one High in Trial for her AKC HSAs herding title, all done on Shetland Sheep! Here's the beautiful girl!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Another great day and another trial

Well today was the last AKC herding trial for the year. I was already on cloud nine with my Anna taking HIT yesterday, I didn't think it could get any better. Well, today was certainly interesting!

Anna, Silveraurora's Silver Platinum STDs, PT took 4th place overall for the trial under Judge Janna Duncan, finishing her HSAs title! Anna's year and a half old son Silveraurora's Expected Outcome, HT, aka Russell, came up with a stunning run, beating his mom's score yesterday with a 91 (out of 100 points possible) and took today's High in Trial! WOW! I concentrated on keeping Russell calm through the course and oh he did a very nice job, with a split on the lift and a moment at the repen that cost him a few points. I was VERY proud of him. I have to thank Terri Jones for taking Russell to Nevada when he was a year old and putting some basics on him with exposure to types of stock that we don't have up here - you did a great job Terri! My first kid I've ever sent out for a few months too. :-) He loves his Terri no doubt. Russell is my 4th generation breeding.

I also handled Lola again this weekend, a lovely Sheltie who took time off to have a litter this summer. Lola finished her HSAs title today with a Reserve High in Trial, completing her title with 2 RHIT's and 1 HIT. She is a wonderful dog to work and I'm privileged to do so. There were a number of finished titles this weekend too so now we have lots of move-ups to the Intermediate level for next year to work on through the winter blizzards and -20F temperatures. EEEK!

It was a wonderful weekend and we managed to do it in fairly dry fall weather for once with yellow leaves floating down onto the arena. A colorful way to end the herding season here!
Doing the happy dance........

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Another herding trial weekend so the sheep are working!

Another herding weekend I've been missing in action since my last blog in August after the State Fair. Since then we've all been working hard to get ready for the herding trials....and in between also put up 37 round bales all wrapped and sealed for the winter needs. Today was the first day of trials, and I'm THRILLED to report that my Anna, who is my 3rd generation Australian Cattle Dog that I bred, took High in Trials in AKC HSAs.....Herding Started A course sheep! WOOHOO!! I also trialed her young son, Russell, who qualified for his first leg on HSAs too (it takes 3 'legs' to get your title). So it was a VERY good day indeed. Bidgee, another one of my puppies, was handled by her owner to a beautiful run in PT (Pre-Trial) and qualified easily.

So tomorrow we try again to qualify, and then Monday we have a herding clinic all day. So I'll be back.....