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Wildfire Spirit Ranch from Hesperia, CA
Wildfire Spirit Ranch

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Farm Name: Wildfire Spirit Ranch

Year Farm Established: 2004

Location: Hesperia, CA

Years I’ve been farming: 11 years

Animals I raise: Horses, chickens

Crops I grow: Grapes, vegetables, lavendar, roses and a whole lot of ants!

Hobbies I enjoy: Training and rehabilitation of horses we have adopted from a horse rescue. Studying viticulture and learning everything I can about gardening on our small acreage. Researching biodynamic farms and vineyards.

Club/Associations memberships: Mojave Sustainability Project
Mojave Animal Science Collaborative
Green Technology Career Pathways Advisory Committee
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

The proudest moment on my farm: Planting our grape vines as a family.

Watching a hen lay an egg and feeling how warm that egg was once I picked it up!

Pets: 6 dogs and 3 cats and two fish!

Farm Motto: Work hard. Learn hard. Play hard.

Farm Blog
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  In an effort to improve our website for our visitors, we will be changing some of our service providers. We do not expect to experience any technical difficulties. However, if you are unable to access our website, please be assured it will be temporary as we transition to the new service. 10/19/2013 12:00.00 AM  
  If you’re not already getting your bimonthly issues of Hobby Farms, you’re missing out on articles including livestock husbandry, sustainable agriculture and crop growth, equipment purchasing, successful small farms and agricultural events. Whether you are a newcomer or an experienced hobby farmer articles address the core information needed to succeed, but also delves into advanced how-to information. Every issue informs, educates and inspires readers to farm for pleasure or profit. Subscribe today -- 1 year (6 issues) as low as $15.00. 06/01/2011 01:07.18 PM  
  January 30,2011 - Cool and cloudy today
How's the weather in your area? It is supposed to be cloudy and in the low 60's today which is unseasonably warm for where we live.

One of my horses is lame and we have a chiropractor coming out to help with an adjustment next weekend so hopefully he is back to himself very soon, the horse that is!

It just breaks my heart when one of my babies is not feeling good and am hopeful he will be back to his horsey playful antics!

Come visit me, Wildfire Spirit Ranch.

01/30/2011 08:14.55 AM Report This Comment  
  Thank You and Merry Christmas to your family... Long day here. Took hores for a long walk. Was for me at least. Muddy and icey. Sold all my eggs last 2 days. Have 1 egg for breakfast. Will have oat meal i guess. Let chickens play out in field today. Then why did they hang out at back door. Peck peck peck... Spolied for sure.. Pretty day... Had company over.. Good meal.... Now football. Yuck... Happy New year.....

Come visit me, Pattys Pampered Pets.

12/19/2010 03:44.49 PM Report This Comment  
  Lots of hard work for sure. And i learn something new every day. Im new into horses. So far we have a Tennesse walker and a Fox trotter. Around 75 chickens and 2 dogs. Just sold all of my goats.

Come visit me, Pattys Pampered Pets.

11/21/2010 03:53.55 AM Report This Comment  
  Just dropping by to say hi and love the horse! Maybe next year we will be able to get one or two....Happy Farming!

Come visit me, Harmony Acres Farm.

10/15/2010 06:42.00 PM Report This Comment  
  Boy oh boy, if you all lived closer you could have your pick of baby chicks...:-(, but you all aren't.

P2 has (2) copper maran hens crossed with a new jersey giant roo, then 15 (lost one over night to a mysteries head shaking thing) and 2 dz in the incubator to hatch out the week before the fair.

Now this head shacking thing. It caught my attention the other morning when I heard this loud chearping. So taking a look in the brooder there he was shacking his head back and forth and the lefting a foot to scratch like all get out. I thought the chick had food stuck in it's crop. Pick it up held it upside down and started to massage the throat. The only time it would shut up was when it was wrapped in a towel and held close to me. So I brought it into the house under a hotter light and in a black mineral tub. Well with two buddies, too. This one did not make it.

But anyhow life goes one, doesn't it.

Weighed Summer over the weekend she did not lose any weight and did not gain any either. Still scratching my head on that one.

Ruby is being walked out of her pen to get her back hams built up without using that paylean stuff. It's just too expensive for P2's wallet, but we can't get it over here anyhow.

P2's pullets are starting to lay and his Cubuylans' eggs are so small you have to take a double take on if they are chicken or quail eggs...LOL

Well it's been cool in the mornings so I have not broken a sweat feeding up. It's so nice to be able to pull your clothes off with out having to take a bath to get them off....Louisiana humidity.

Thanks for all the well wishes. I'm going to need them more then P2. He told me last night that he has it all under control. Which is fine, I'll have the butterflies until he finshes showing. He's back to back with showing Ruby and Summer.

Will start to pack the show box this weekend, you should see the list that I've keep on adding to.

Well hope you all have a great weekend.

Come visit me, The Homestead.

09/29/2010 06:07.55 AM Report This Comment  
  No chill in the air for us. It still in the 90's and a chance (on my knees praying) of rain. Been breaking a sweat trying to get ready for the Parish Fair in October. OMG!!!!!! 3 wks LEFT!!!!

Breadmaking is so fun, but I'm the only one in the house that eats it. Hubby and child fight over the raw cake dough, not my cup of tea.

We got Summer's hooves trimmed for the fair and all her vaccinations are done. Ruby (pig) has been walking outside her pen and we are trying to increase it every day so she will be ready to run at the fair...LOL

We have a lot of baby chicks being hatched and going to the kids in the community. Got a home for 15 this week and it sounds like there will be another 15 hatching at the end of this week. All Copper Marans.

We've been seening turkeys in the field and our fall calving season is fixing to start. Watch P2's cow will calve while we are gone to the fair.

With fingers crossed P2's Hereford hogs, male and female, will be here at the end of Nov.

Open Beef Classic is on Nov 12th and 13th. Jr Livestock Show is at the end of Jan.

Found a PQA class for P2 in Winnfield, road trip. We were able to due P2's BQA online through Mississippi State, yes.

P2 is in 4H now and we are working on his community service. We are collecting Community Coffe Proof of Purchases, Box Tops for Eduction, Tyson Chicken eduction labels and Cambell labels. We will start working on "Ouch Babies" for the health unit for the kids that get their shots. Boy my wallet is getting thin...LOL

Haven't tackeled the "jungle" (garden) yet, even though my finger nails have finally healed. Between getting the pump shed up and P2 wanting to show goats next school year, I don't have time to think..LOL

Top it all off his grandmother has been in the hospital since this past Sunday and they still don't know what's wrong with her. But sooner or later something should pop up on the test that they are running, right?

Hope you have fun backing and canning and eat some warm bread for me.

Come visit me, The Homestead.

09/23/2010 08:07.05 AM Report This Comment  
  Autumn is officially in the air.
I love summer and all that is has to offer, but now that it has ended for 2010, we get to celebrate crisp, crunchy, aromatic AUTUMN!

Ripened fruits and veggies, leaves changing color, falling leaves, turning the fields and all of the sites and sounds of the wildlife scurrying for last minute food stores.

Living in the desert, this time of year we get more done throughout the daylight hours as there is a slight chill in the air and its a great time to workout horses and play outdoors and the 105 degree days are behind us.

Time to dust off the crock pot, canning pots and jars and the breadmaker for one pot meals and canning our harvests. I love the smell of the breadmaker baking home made bread!

What are you favorite things to do this time of year? I'd love to hear from you!

Come visit me, Wildfire Spirit Ranch.

09/22/2010 10:09.16 AM Report This Comment  
  Summer's almost over!
I cannot believe that summer is winding down already.

Summer nights always remind me of my summers as a kid playing "kick the can", "tippee tippee over the iceberg" and "Red Rover" and capturing as many lightening bugs as possible in Mason jars back home in Northwest Indiana. We'd spend our days helping out around the yard, house and garden and swimming and riding our bikes all over the place.

Now, in Southern California, we're hitting the garden and bringing in all kinds of tomatoes and melon and counting the weeks until our pumpkins are ready to share with the neighborhood kids. I regret not planting corn this year, but definitely next year. Paying $1 for three fresh ears still in husks at the grocer is RIDICULOUS!!!!!! Thank God for the local Farmer's markets where we can get corn more reasonably priced.

Have a great evening.

I now have a Fan Page on Facebook called The Green Maven where I share organic gardening, cooking, workout and cleaning tips as well as organic alternatives for dog, cat, chicken and horse feed.

Come visit me, Wildfire Spirit Ranch.

08/28/2010 07:38.26 PM Report This Comment  
  Oh I just LOVE those Early Girl tomatoes, but did not know that there was a yellow kind out in the market. We can get lemon tomatoes down here and they are oh so sweet, but to tell you the truth we have fell in LOVE with the chocalate (sp?) cherry tomatoes this year. It got to the point that the ladies (chickens) had to be kept in their secure run, so we could get our portion of the tomatoes...LOL...

Taken our 1st time 4H(er) to Alexander, La to a Purina Mill Show Chow course for his heifer and pigs in 2 weeks. We will get up at 3 (feed up and leave) drive to it, do it and come back. With this weather (more like HEAT), we can't stay away no longer then a day.

We were blessed with some rain this morning and P2's S. Buttercup roo is just learning to crow. I was out feeding the pigs in the lighting and could not understand where the strange noise was coming from and when the lighting/thunder rolled there was Mr. Roo standing on top of one of their shelters trying to crow. It sounded like a cat drowing in water, he'll get better with time (I hope)...LOL

I hope you all have a safe trip and drink extra water with this heat, just think once we all get through August then we will be complaining about the fall/winter weather.

Safe Weekend.

Come visit me, The Homestead.

08/05/2010 06:23.21 AM Report This Comment  
  Well it was 101 yesterday and hotter on the tractor bailing hay. They are calling it to only be 100 this afternoon. The field that we cut yesterday will back itself and no need to fluff this field if the sun is covered by clouds.

Ways to relax on our farm. Get a cup of coffee set on the rocking chair and watch the traffic go by on the highway in the evening. (2) If you are dirty already, go to the pig pen, let son's show pigs into their walk pen and give them their ball and watch them play soccer. Becareful that you are not the scratching post to the little red ones...LOL...(3) Hand feeding the chickens, son has these 2 Cubulyans (sp?) they think they are parrots, they come to you and make all kinds of noise, put you hand out they jump on you hand, go up your arm and perch on your shoulder while you check the bigger ladies out in the flock. (3) Watching our son introduce his show calf to new things, yesterday was the sprinkler, she did fine until it water hit her. (4) Checking cows to see if their anything going on.

Well they think there will be another tropical depression this week in the gulf. Got to keep an eye out for hurricanes.

Son's sugar cane is ready to harvest. Need to find which ones we will replant and hope we get a better crop for the pigs next year.

Finger nail is still stuborn and have to be very careful on how much dirt I play with. Things have turn off dry which is a catch 22 because we can bail hay but with no rain we can't make hay.

Things are going good here P2 starts school this Friday and his B-day is coming up, too.

Hope you all have a great week.

Come visit me, The Homestead.

08/02/2010 06:31.48 AM Report This Comment  
  So you all are playing like us, we stretch 300' of fence over this past weekend. Was going to construct the shelter for our son's show calf, but the Amite Open Beef Show is this weekend and Hubby got the call for work this weekend. Chickens are doing fine, got some newbies a layen. The hogs are growing like weeds and with my broken fingers a healing and awaiting on new finger nails to grow in been banned from the garden that need morning glory removal detail.

Don't you love where you live?

Have a safe weekend.

Come visit me, The Homestead.

06/03/2010 07:24.10 AM Report This Comment  
  More vines to plant
Adding 10 Alicante Bouschet grape vines to the vineyard and all of our vines from last years planting survived except for 2!

We're trying a chemical free approach to the fly issue that surrounds us every summer, Fly Predators. Received them yesterday and will see how they work out. If anyone else has any chemical free tricks for getting rid of flies, let us know.

Come visit me, Wildfire Spirit Ranch.

06/02/2010 10:49.13 AM Report This Comment  
Sorry it took me so long to reply,I am still trying to work around a computer-let alone a site to actually talk to someone.We are focused mainly on the Yorks,but have a couple of Berkshire and Durocs.New at this farm stuff,but having a blast.We also have rabbits and chickens.There are also plenty of plants,including grapes;all of which are also on my learning curve.It sounds like you have a full plate yourself!
Our goal is to be ecologically practical--the plants to feed off the fish waste and vice versa.Am always doing something to be "green"and incorporating it into our farming.Hard work is definately the term (but very enjoyable).Thanks again hope to hear from you soon.

Come visit me, RichLinns.

01/11/2010 12:30.03 PM Report This Comment  
  coop light
I put a light in the coop, but it has a red light, so that may be why it hasn't helped them lay again yet. I did something like you with combining composting with the coop floor, except I raked alot of leaves into the coop, when it's dirty it'll go into the compost pile. the hens seem to like to make 'beds' in it in this cold weather.

Come visit me, wendy's way.

01/10/2010 09:01.51 PM Report This Comment  
I think it is so awesome that you are growing grapes to make wine! It sounds fabulous. Lucky you for having such great weather. Good luck.

Come visit me, Fox Chapel Farm.

01/08/2010 05:01.21 PM Report This Comment  
  Happy New Year, Everyone!
I can't believe we are still enjoying 65 degree weather where I live - its typically in the 30's and 40's during the day. I'm not complaining! Wearing a t-shirt and jeans outdoors grooming horses in the sunshine. Unbelievable!

How was everyone's holiday? I was surprised that I received only one item related to farming this year. Do you know what it was? A corkscrew from my parents - for the first bottle of wine that we make with our grapes. We still have a long way to go before we make our first bottle, but the process is a journey and so much fun.

Any grape growers out there who have made wine before?

Come visit me, Wildfire Spirit Ranch.

01/07/2010 04:38.02 PM Report This Comment  
  Thank you
Thanks for the egg laying tip you left at my farm, I'm going to turn the coop lights on as you do.

Come visit me, wendy's way.

11/12/2009 09:59.25 AM Report This Comment  
  Getting ready for winter
Hi, Everyone,

Hope you're all doing well. It is still warm in Southern California, but we are really starting to get some cold temps once the sun goes down.

So time to get the chicken coop ready for winter. We built it from 2x4s and chicken wire with a corrugated aluminum roof. All sides are open for full ventilation during the spring and summer months. However, as we get closer to high winds and cool temps, its time to "winterize" with sheets of plywood to keep out the drafts.

We recently rearranged and cleaned up our pasture area with cozying up the corrals close to each other so all our horses can nuzzle each other over the tops of the rails. We now have a more open area to work the horses and think about planning for the spring.

I have a ton of bulbs to plant and that is keeping my gardening hands busy and happy. I love digging in the dirt!

Only had to do light pruning on our grapevines as they are only two years old. In the spring we will add more vines and start putting in posts and trellis wire.

If anyone has any good recipes for Sweet Potato Pie, please post!

Thanksgiving is just around the corner.

Happy Gardening and Happy Farming!


Come visit me, Wildfire Spirit Ranch.

11/09/2009 08:47.47 AM Report This Comment  
  good luck learning viticulture!

April, Centreville, VA.

11/01/2009 08:09.09 PM Report This Comment  
sounds like you have an interesting operation there.

Come visit me, wendy's way.

10/14/2009 07:31.02 AM Report This Comment  
  Hello. Well I told my son no to showing one of his layen hens. None of his Americanas fit the rule book for showing. His Production Red, Welsummer or Barred Plymouth Rocks he could show. When I was young and showing my very on chickens, you need to put your hands on them ever day so when the judge goes to get them out of the cage they don't act wild. Clean their legs with soap and water. I used olive oil to shine up the legs and combs. The reason why I don't want him to show his chickens is what we will have to go through to get the animals that we show excepted back into the flock. At our fair the animals stay there Monday through Saturday and the others will forget in that time that she was part of the flock. Feathers will fly when I release her back into the flock.

If you show your eggs, you have to see what divisions they have. Our has a white, brown and green. Brown is all colors but white and green. You need a dozen eggs in a plain carton. If you are showing through your school the name of school and school colors has to be marked on the tag. We are not showing the eggs through the school but through our farm. You may want to to collect several days before the fair. One person suggested that you arrange the eggs according to size so the judges will know that your flock is of different ages. Other says arrange your eggs according to shade of colors. I'm going to let P2 pick his eggs out and put them into the carton and call that good.

Showing animals. Well my hubby can tell you about showing bulls. I've showed Catahoula Curs. P2 is getting a set of barrow pigs next year and they may have enough weight to be shown at next year fair. I've been told that what you show you need to start trainning ASAP and walk them 30 minutes each day to help with toneing.

Stay tune and I will type more info as I learn with P2 starting 4H next year and when he get Gilbert and Iggy...lol...

Be safe and have a great weekend

Come visit me, The Homestead.

10/14/2009 06:24.08 AM Report This Comment  
  Having fun gardening
Thank you so much for your kind words. Gardening can be a fun thing for sure, but mostly it's a place for me to be able to get away from the hustle and bustle of life and go to my happy place. Not that I don't enjoy being in the hustle and bustle of helping others with their projects, but sometimes I just have slow down and smell the compost. Having spent a good portion of childhood on the farm, it's just good therapy for me to dig in the dirt.

We can grow grapes here in Nebraska but it seems like a lot of work to arbor them up and keep them pruned. Grandparents are indeed a wealth of information. I learned all about fishing from my grand father. It's followed me all through my life and I still like to just sit on the bank of a lake and dangle a line in the water. It's not just about catching fish, but also to drink in the surrounding sights, sounds, and smells.

I think it's a very noble cause to rehabilite resuced horses. Horses have been involved in our lives for hundreds if not thousands of years. They are magnificent animals that are very close to being man's best friend like dogs. What do you do with them after they are rehabilited?

Come visit me, Nebraska Dave's Garden.

10/14/2009 06:07.18 AM Report This Comment  
  2 wire and 3 wire trellis method for grapes
4" x 4" posts that are 8' long are put in the ground and 2 or 3 9-gauge steel wires are stretched across to give the grapevines room to spread out and make pruning somewhat easier.

There is a lot of instruction on this method online. This is our first season so next year should be an interesting season as the vines start to really take off and produce some fruit. Anyone else out there managing a vineyard?

Come visit me, Wildfire Spirit Ranch.

10/13/2009 10:01.01 PM Report This Comment  
  Work hard. Learn hard. Play hard.
I have leaned over the course of the years that yes you can work hard, but also you can have fun while you are working hard. Learning can be a life style. I have learned things just by listening to an inspired group talk about what their passions are in life. A question or two will spark the conversation into a learning session that many times go on for hours. I for one am always looking for one of those learning sessions. Hmmmm, now play is one thing I have always struggled with. I always had so much fun working that I thought it was play.

Come visit me, Nebraska Dave's Garden.

10/12/2009 05:53.25 AM Report This Comment  
What is the 3 wire method?I havee a few grapes and want to plant more.I live in PA

Come visit me, Blakers Acres.

10/12/2009 04:27.59 AM Report This Comment  

Come visit me, Little House & Garden.

10/11/2009 01:00.40 PM Report This Comment  
  Welcome. What kind of grapes do you grow? What do you make with them? Hope you all have a safe week.

Come visit me, The Homestead.

10/11/2009 09:09.09 AM Report This Comment  
  Welcome Wildfire to Hobby Farm. Here in NC grapes have become a big deal. Vineyards have sprung up everywhere. Tobacco was King for many years here. But that has changed. It sounds like you have a great vision. Looking forward to reading about your future progress.

Come visit me, Hidden Meadow Farm.

10/10/2009 08:31.18 PM Report This Comment  
  Thinking GREEN
We live in California and anything we can do on our farm to reduce, reuse and save energy, we are trying to incorporate.

We are currently researching solar-energy focused lighting and other energy sources to reduce our carbon footprint and save costs.

We started a small composting project based on an article that we read in a Hobby Farms issue where we are utilizing our chickens and chicken coop as a means of composting. This has proven to be quite successful as the chickens await each morning, the new items we are composting. We have used some of this compost when planting our grapevines.

Our horses provide a steady supply of manure that we are composting and processing on our farm as well. We used this as a base when putting in sod in our front yard as well as the vegetable garden.

For an overall energy source, we are looking into wind turbines and a solar energy source for all outdoor lighting and heating.

Would love to get some ideas from others on how you are incorporating a green focus on your farms.

Come visit me, Wildfire Spirit Ranch.

10/10/2009 01:20.02 PM Report This Comment  
  Planting the vines
We ordered our grapevines online and went to work getting them planted. This is our first year and a lot of thought had to go into the location on our farm, testing the soil and determining which method to set the vines - post or three-wire. We chose the three-wire method as this is the method my grandfather used on his farm in Indiana. A few months before he died, he shared so much knowledge about grapes that I just took it all in and wrote avid notes and now we are realizing the same dream as my grandfather - hard work will yield a good harvest.

Come visit me, Wildfire Spirit Ranch.

10/10/2009 01:12.37 PM Report This Comment  


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