Year in Review

2012 was the year of the big learning curve in the overall scheme of self-sufficiency, and I will say we learned a lot but still have long way to go.   We learned from reading lots of great books, following some inspiring blogs, and had lots of real life experience, which is of course the best teacher of all.

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We raised 50 chickens for our own consumption, all heritage breeds.

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Egg production from our 12 layers was outstanding, more than enough for us with some extra to sell or trade.

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Our Alpine and Oberhasli does gave us 4 healthy kids, 3 boys and 1 girl.  We found homes for the boys and kept the Ober girl as a replacement doe.

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With all the milk our 3 does gave us, we had more than enough to meet our needs for drinking, cooking, yogurt, cheese and soap.  Any extra we had went to the barn cats and chickens.

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We launched our all natural soap business this fall on Etsy and have been very pleased with the sales we’ve had, and especially the wonderful feedback we’ve had from our customers.  People love our soap!

We won’t talk about the garden.  Pretty much a failure.  However, that really made us take a hard look at our garden and put several improvements in place for next year.  Our biggest success in the garden last year was raspberries, which I LOVE and can’t get enough of and didn’t even think I’d have success growing them this far south.  Boy, was I wrong!  We ate pounds of fresh raspberries, froze even more, and gave some away.

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Tomorrow we will see what’s in store for Silver Moon Farm in 2013.

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8 thoughts on “Year in Review

  1. Very nice pictures. I enjoy meeting people on the same journey that we have begun. We focus mainly on heritage breeds, raising Red Poll cattle and Delaware chickens. This year we plan to hatch and sell some peeps. We may finally process a few (or have them processed) and we have two calves to sell. We have not quite branched out into goats and goat milk…I will have to check out your soaps. Thanks for the nice post and giving me a bit of motivation.
    DrJeff7
    http://heritagebreedsfarm.com

    1. We have Delawares too, and they are a wonderful breed, very hardy, docile, and great egg producers. I commend you for raising heritage breeds, there are so many benefits to having them. We’d like to expand our heritage breeds outside of goats (Oberhasli) and chickens to include pigs and sheep at some point. Wish we could have cattle like you do, but not enough acreage.

      1. What breeds of pigs and sheep are you considering? We have looked into GOS pigs and Santa Cruz Sheep. I almost purchased three Santa Cruz sheep this past fall, but did not have the fencing to keep them in.
        DrJeff
        http://heritagebreedsfarm.com

      2. I really like Hereford pigs, but the challenge will be finding them. As far as sheep, there are so many I like–Jacob, Shetland and Cotswold for wool, Tunis or Katahdin if we wanted to focus on meat. It will probably come down to what is available around here when we’re ready to purchase.

      3. I looked at Herefords as well. I found some heritage breeds near me and went with them, though the Red Poll Cattle were a must for some reason. I was set on those. There are several herds in our state, but they are at least 2 hours away. Fortunately a new herd just started about 45 minutes from here, so hopefully that will make genetics a bit easier.
        DrJeff7
        http://heritagebreedsfarm.com

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