Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Macro Monday: Thai Basil

We are having Macro Monday because I never know that day it is and apparently I forgot to do something important. Rather.... I remembered but I just don't know what day it is. I blame the new math...and living life without any sense of time. Anyway, I'll see everyone later.

Thai basil - I can't get enough of it.... It's beautiful and smells heavenly.

And an extra shot of Zander being very dapper. 

Happy Monday everyone!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Yard Full of Angry Goats

We set up the new goat yard. Then I ran around, snagged, and dragged the goats into their new yard. All I got for my trouble was a yard full of angry goats. They were very mad.

Angry goats. 

I was thrilled to set up a brambly area for the goats to graze - and I wouldn't have to stand there with them. They were not happy about it. At all. I got a lot of mean looks.

Fence line thru the bramble. Step 1: mow.

I put this yard together really quickly after my husband's expert mowing the other day. All I really needed was some push-in posts and to string up more hotwire.

Once it was all laid out I could use this expert technique to hook it up to the existing pig yard. You can't pay for this kind of professionalism....

Any actual electricians out there getting a twitch in their eye? Ha!
Seriously,  just twist the wires together and you'll be fine.

After a certain amount of running and chasing I got all the big goats - and one small one - into the new yard. The complaining and mean looks began immediately.

Behold -  the chair in which I sit and give zero hoots for a bunch of complaining goats.

When the mean looks didn't work the goats started bellyaching. That didn't work either as the sad lamentations of angry goats has never successfully moved me to action. I continued to sit in my chair and enjoy the cool day.

After I got up and walked away the goats called pitifully after me.  I wasn't sure they'd stay behind the hotwire but they did and I'm calling this project a huge success. Since we moved the pigz into the yard where the goats used to free range I've had to stand there and shepherd those goats. Now I can just take them down to their new yard and go on about my business.

All this fencing and refencing is pretty boring - but that's what has been happening around here. Sometimes there are long stretches of doing the same-same everyday. Fencing, refencing, weeding, and garden maintenance ... all while I wait around for the tomato onslaught to begin.

Happy Friday everyone! Are you moved by the sad lamentations of angry goats?


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Uplifted

What a great day! Yesterday was even better than this superduper day last week. While all my friends on the West Side are baking in extreme heat.... we have good and lusciously cool temperature. It's just like heaven. It was so cool in the morning that I needed a sweatshirt for the first hour I was outside.

Uplifted.

We got so much done yesterday. But the very best was that my husband spent most of the day mowing so I didn't have to do it. When he was done we were wow'd by how well it came out. Between the goats, the pigz, and the mowing we have a lovely green swath going down to the woods. Just in time to do more fencing!

Dahli took one for the team yesterday. She was screwing around - like normal....

Oh Dahli....

... when all of a sudden she started screaming, hopping around, and bucking. I saw the tell tale swarm around her which looked to be mean ground beez.

RUN!!!

The goats have learned to listen to me - albeit begrudgingly. They know the command "Run" and we all did. It took me a while to get ahold of Dahli - and yep she had a big ol' welt right on her big ol' udder. She hid inside the goat house for a while and was fine by the time we did evening chores. Dahli has never been my favorite but she is a good sport.

Today will be just as lovely as yesterday so I'm headed out. Happy Thurday everyone!


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Celery

I can't believe that one of our biggest garden successes this year has been..... celery. Seriously. I never thought of growing it before.... but the store celery is just so bad and so expensive I figured why not try a couple six packs?

Who would have guessed?

It has been the best thing ever. I love being able to go and get a stalk from one of the plants for potato salad, my lettuce bucket, or a stir fry. Unfortunately I've been stealing stalks and some of the plants need time to come back from a hard pruning. If I remember right I think I can over winter some of the plants inside. I'll have to go back and find my resource on that....

Soon.

My tomatoes are really coming on also. These last few big rains and going to yield some big 'maters. Some of the plants are bigger than me!

Good thing I have Shine in the garden to keep it bunny-free. 

Kai did an excellent job with the pigz this morning. She and my Dog#1 came and helped me again. Kai is really doing a great job at holding her ground and also controlling her prey drive....there is no nippin' at the heels with bear killers. She could have one of these pigz down within seconds. One of the reasons I have her working with my Dog#1 is not only to learn the ropes... but also to make sure that she follows his lead. She did great.

The pigz tried to nose up on her but Kai gave them the mean face and her growl. Then I had Dog#1 move the pigz back towards the woods - Kai was right there bullying them back from me.

Of course the pigz only wanted their milk and corn and couldn't figure out why I brought in the Brute Squad.

Not only is this great training for Kai but it's also teaching them pigz they can't just run up on me. This weekend I watched while the pigz swarmed my husband when he went in to feed them. One of the overjoyed porkers darted between my husband's legs. There was almost a hog wild rodeo. It was funny when it happened to him... but the fact is if those pigz did that to me they would have just tumbled me over. If they would have gotten me on the ground it would have been no laughing matter.

So the dogs always come with me and have a strong message for the pigz to stay back and give me plenty of room.  I'm glad every day I have such hard workin' farm dogs.


The Brute Squad. 
 
Kai was so proud of herself when we walked up the hill. You should have seen her prancy, princess wiggle walk!  Good job, Kai!

Happy Tuesday everyone! Did you plant celery? Does your princess have a wiggle walk?



Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday Happy Snaps

Wow what a rain! Inside day today.... here are a few happy snaps of what has been going on.

Basil box. Nothing is better than having fresh herbs... I love walking out to get a handful of basil. 

Shine has been keeping everyone in line. And racking up the bunny kills. Our best assassin.

Zander's reaction to the pigz. He gets his ridge up, curls his tail tighter, and huffs at them. 

The pigz are so happy in their new spot. Our main focus has been "growing meat" this summer...

...and this is why. We had these Dinner plate sized chops the other nite. Heaven. Pure heaven. 

And then there are these characters... Geese vs Goats. No matter who wins we all lose. 

Happy Monday everyone! Are you staying dry on a soggy day?


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Moving the pigz again...

I wanted to document moving the pigz to their newest lot. Partly because I want to keep track of when we moved them but also to let folks know how easy it is to put up new fence. We talk a lot about fencing here. Some folks put way too much thought and dread into their fencing projects but really all you have to do is get out there and do it.

Electric hotwire on the inside of field fence. Easy peasy!

I was lucky that my husband was around for this run of fence. As you know I can do projects like this myself - and so can you - it would take a while for me to heave ho the run of fence down the hill... he just cave-trolls it down there and gets it done without even breaking a sweat.

As with before we staked out the electric to make sure we had enough wire. We just re-used the wire and push in posts from when this was the goat grazing area. We had plenty.

The meadow before. This used to be heavily treed.

Then we pounded in the 6 1/2 foot tposts. I always think they are so expensive but Tractor Supply had them for less than $4 each. The other day I bought 10 of them - we only needed 5 in addition to the posts that were down there.

Happy pig in his new yard.

Next we measured how much field fence we needed. It was about 100 ft to cover this new section. The new fence section connected with the line of fence we set up a couple years ago. All we were doing was closing in the yard. I stood on the tail end of the fence roll and my husband unrolled it down the drive way. When he got to mark in the drive that indicated 100ft he used bolt cutters to clip the fence and voila!

Then it was just a matter of lugging the fence down the hill and stringing it up along the posts. That's all the time we had for that day. But the next morning me and the dogs made sure the electric hotwire was close to the field fence line, added an electric gate connector, and tested the fence. It worked!

No fancy gate needed.

To our mind a gate is really just a break in the fenceline. Some folks scoff at our "gates" thinking they need to be some kind of expensive, fancy, prefab thing... but a short section of hog panel works just fine as the "door" to the actual gateway.

Once we confirmed, again, that the electric fence was live, we opened the gate where the pigz were standing around watching us.... and lured them in with corn and goat milk.

There is always that one guy that just doesn't understand how the gate works. GO AROUND! Pigz.

The pigz started looking around and thought this new place was great. I think they loved the tall grass and bramble. Then, you know, this happened. *sigh*

My big idea was to put a lot of corn around the ground hog hole so the pigz would dig it out.

Yesterday the pigz figured out that there is the new and wonderful place called "The Woods." Part of their new yard is down the in cool and heavily treed part of the property. Now they have given up on the meadow and my clever plan to get them to dig out the ground hog... and the pigz are all about the woods.

This project to move the pigz, yard by yard, down to the woods has been a terrific success.

Happy Sunday everyone! Did your pigz find the woods?


Friday, July 11, 2014

Pig in a Tub

I don't even know what to do with this....

I guess "pork stew"?

Totally an inappropriate use of a water trough.... but hey! I got the pigz moved into their new yard. The electric worked and everything! And they are still in the new yard so I guess it's a win. More on the move to the new yard later.

Weirdos.


Pigz. What are you gonna do?

Happy Friday everyone! Are your pigz weirdos?


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