Farm Photo Friday

I’m actually getting this posted on Friday this week!

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Caught in the act!  Kitty has some kind of weird obsession with oregano.  I grow catnip and she has no interest in it.  But when I bring in oregano to dry, she goes into some kind of strange trance where she just buries her nose in it and won’t leave!

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Did you know pumpkin is supposedly a natural dewormer for chickens?  The suggested amount is to feed free choice for a week each spring and fall.  The seeds of pumpkins and other members of the cucurbitaceae family contain cucurbitacin which paralyzes worms.  Although my chickens are showing no signs of worms, I think I will give this a try.  They already love pumpkin anyway and got some today as I was roasting pumpkins to puree for the freezer.

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I finally listened to my body this week.  I’ve been having intense aching pain in my left hip  joint that wakes me up in the night for weeks now and shuffle around like an old lady when I get out of bed in the morning.  I was starting to wonder if it had anything to do with riding because I’ve been riding a lot harder and more often these past few months.  I pride myself on still being able to get on my almost 16 hand mare with no mounting block (I’m 5’4″ with short legs!).  Well, it turns out that silly pride was the cause of the problem.  I used a mounting block all week this week and guess what?  No more pain.  Relief yes, but it’s hard to acknowledge the changes and limitations you face as you age.

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Duck feathers are all over my yard!  I guess they pull a lot out as they preen constantly.

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This is just a lovely old barn not too far from my house.   I drive past it all the time.  You know how you become immune to things you see all the time.  I finally decided to stop and get a picture of it.

Farm Photos

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Not a whole lot going on this time of year.  I believe all 3 does are bred and the buck’s work here is done and he can go home.  I’ve dried up one of the goats, still milking two but will be drying them up in a couple weeks.  Because of a couple trips to Iowa planned this winter and next summer, I had to schedule my breeding to where they will be dry before Christmas and yet still have their kids on them in late June next year (my parent’s are celebrating their 50th anniversary then).  It isn’t easy to find someone willing to milk for you while you’re on vacation.

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Chores aren’t taking very long this time of year.  I can feed 4 horses, stall them/put them out, clean stalls, feed 6 cats, 3 pigs, 25 chickens, 2 dogs and 4 goats, plus milk 2 goats, in about an hour in the morning.  Evening chores take a little less time because I don’t milk in the evening.  This leaves me with time to focus on photography, and I did quite a bit of that this week.

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The burning bush is just gorgeous this year.  The trees haven’t been as colorful as usual.

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Have a great weekend!

A Learning Curve

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I have a new obsession–dressage.  I have always been a “cowgirl”, since I got my first pony at age 3.  I was into barrel racing and even did NBHA for a short time, then my daughter got into rail and pattern classes and so I learned along with her.  Then we got into trail riding.  But there was something missing, I wasn’t feeling challenged, I wanted to feel like I was really RIDING.  I started looking into dressage and found that it appealed to me on so many levels, and I started looking for a trainer in my area.  It took a couple years, but I finally found the most awesome trainer anyone could ask for last spring.  She’s trained in classical dressage and she really knows her stuff.  And what does she compete on?  Not a fancy warmblood, but an awesome Paint , so she totally relates to me learning on my Quarter Horse mare.  Anyway, this is a huge learning curve for both of us as my mare was a western pleasure horse before, and so we’re spending a lot of time learning FORWARD.  I’m loving how worn out I am after each ride, I’m actually RIDING, and riding hard.  I’ve improved my seat and my communication with my horse, I’m thinking about everything I do while I ride, how she moves, how the aides coordinate, etc.  Some days I wish we would progress faster, but that’s not what dressage is about, and it’s good for both of us.  I’m hoping to compete in the future, but even if we don’t, I know I’ve become a much better rider.

Farm Update

 

 

 

I meant to get this up on Friday, but time just got away from me.  Anyway, here’s a little recap of what’s been going on at Silver Moon Farm:

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I know Halloween has passed, but I just had to share how cute my daughter decorated my front porch!

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The pigs are getting very big, probably about 180 pounds or so now.  We sold half a hog to my farrier, and she will be going to the processor on December 17.  The other two my husband and son-in-law want to process themselves, probably not until January when we get some colder weather.

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Jon built a new shelter for the pigs as he thought the other one was getting to be too small for them.  This was made out of stuff we had around the farm, and the straw will be going to the garden for mulch when the pigs are gone.  It’s deeper than it looks, and they are very well protected from rain, wind and cold in there.  They still divide their time between this one and their original shelter.  Pigs like to pile and that’s what they do in the original shelter.  One day it’s going to bust at the seams though, and they’ll have no choice but to move over here permanently.

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One of the chickens working the compost pile.  I love how my girls work for me, churning up compost, eating bugs and weeds, and laying eggs!

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Bobcat, fearless leader of my faithful, awesome rodent patrol!  He follows me everywhere during chores and in the garden.

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We dug 25 pounds of sweet potatoes last week.  I had ordered 25 slips, but we didn’t get them planted in a timely manner and only 7 actually grew.

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Cabbage is doing great….

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as is the salad mix.

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And finally, here we are, Alicia and I, with the 3 does whose milk keeps us in the soap making business.  They weren’t feeling very photogenic today.