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MY FARM

Dancing Moon Farmstead from Ranger, TX
Dancing Moon Farmstead

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Farm Name: Dancing Moon Farmstead

Year Farm Established: 2007

Years I’ve been farming: 7 years

Animals I raise: Nigerian Dwarf Goats
Chickens
Mules


Crops I grow: Kitchen Garden with herbs

Hobbies I enjoy: Quilting, Gardening and Photography

Club/Associations memberships: http://about. me/emerypatrici- a
http://dancingm- oonfarmsteadblo- g.wordpress. com/


The proudest moment on my farm: When we re-built an old outbuilding into our chicken coop using 99% reclaimed materials!

Pets: ALL my farm animals are pets! But we do also have a couple of dogs and cats and one of each that lives IN the house with us...

Farm Motto: If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny. — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)


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  
  Hi!
I'm sorry I've been absent. So much to do, so little time! I love your thoughts on canning. Our pears are in so I canned up a bunch in light syrup. Then, I found a recipe for Carrot Cake Jam using pears, and just had to try it. It turned out great, and was delicious the next morning on a batch of cheese biscuits. The recipe came out of my new canning book - I can't remember the full name but it's the New Ball Complete Canning Book, or something like that. I already had the Ball Blue Book (Two copies, actually -- one fairly old and a newer model). I'm loving some of the crazy recipes in it. I also put up some Watermelon Jelly with one of the last of Danny's watermelons (he's our neighbor and grows them every year). Hope everything is going well for you, and hope your tomatoes spring back. I just planted six Celebrity's for the fall -- I want to make more batches of the Bruschetta in a Jar that was in the book. Take care!

Come visit me, The Farm Wife & Paradise Plantation.

09/07/2010 07:32.58 AM Report This Comment  
  Goats
I love Nigerian Dwarf goats. Now if I could only convice my husband that we really should have some.....

Come visit me, Elmcrest Acres.

08/11/2010 08:05.52 AM Report This Comment  
  GRAPE JAM!
So far we have made three batches of grape jam from the Concord grape vine we have. It came with the property and was terribly over-grown when we moved here. This is the best harvest we've had in three years and the first time for us to make grape jam. Our first batch is sweetened with Honey and the two we did last night aren't sweetened at all, but we DID include a cup of unsweetened apple juice to each batch.

Pears are still looking good, but it will be a few weeks before they are ready to harvest! We had a small storm blow in last night around dinner time and it took off a branch of our one and only Pecan tree... UGH!

We really need to plant a couple more Pecans and some Figs this fall as they take a few years to start producing. We'd also like to add a few more Blackberries and a couple of Pomegranates, too...

Come visit me, Dancing Moon Farmstead.

07/26/2010 04:46.29 PM Report This Comment  
  Summer's Garden
Summer's Garden is slowly winding to an end... the heat and lack of rain have really dwindled our recent harvest! Still getting cukes, zukes and patty pans, but it's just too hot for the tomatoes to blossom right now! The plants themselves still look good, so I'm hoping they'll have a second round of production when we finally start getting some cooler temperatures!

We purchased a new canning book at our local Tractor Supply store this season and today tried our first batch using a recipe from it's pages. The title is: The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard. The title caught our eye as it is just the two of us here "on the farm" and we have only a small, square-foot garden plot.

The recipe we did today is called "Mixed Japanese Pickle Sticks". I liked it because it uses both cukes and zukes, something we have in abundance right now! It also calls for Daikon, which we have never grown ourselves. Wasn't even certain if we could FIND Daikon in our local grocery. They not only had it, but it was ON SALE, too! Can't wait to taste a jar of these in a couple months.

What are YOUR favorite canning recipes using garden-fresh produce!?!?!

Come visit me, Dancing Moon Farmstead.

07/23/2010 07:55.27 AM Report This Comment  
  Love 'em!
I just loved the pictures! And your raised bed garden looks great. I wish mine was so neat! Sounds like your world is a whirlwind, just like ours. It was great to hear from you again!

Come visit me, The Farm Wife & Paradise Plantation.

07/20/2010 05:29.25 AM Report This Comment  
  New photos: HOSS, Handsome Henry and Kit Kat!
Had to update the photo of HOSS as he's no longer such a little puppy! Oh, but he is SO rotten! New game is "get the bunny" - wether or not there IS a bunny... So he goes bounding off into the woods behind the barn -suddenly DEAF to anything I say!!! Comes back 20-30 minutes later all muddy-pawed and SMILIN'; ready to go back into the main yard and into his kennel... We do this twice a day as I go out to the barn to get some hay for the goats and mules!

Oh, and he's not IN his kennel ALL the time... at night the goats go into THEIR kennel and Hoss has free-range of the goat yard which is bigger than most "back yards" in Norfolk. Also, he's out with me in the mornings while I feed all the critters and water the garden. He just CANNOT be out while the chickens are out or the game becomes "get the chicken" which is NOT good!!!

Visuallize that smilin' face with feathers stuck all over it... NOT a pretty sight, but he's so PROUD of himself for catching that chicken!!! Luckily he hasn't actually hurt any of them... just scared them AND ME! Their heads can pop off rather easily, so I keep him well away from them.

The rooster, Handsome Henry, has actually done more REAL damage to my pretty girls! His spurs and/or tallons are tearing them up. I made a little "chicken saddle" to experiment with, and need to make a few more. I've also read that getting a few more hens might help, too.

Kit Kat lives with the chickens in relative harmony. He even shares half the coop with them. They are all big enough that he doesn't pose a real threat, but I DO worry about having him around chicks! Thus far he's killed two male Cardinals, a baby cottontail and a juvenile squirrel. His presence didn't keep away the five foot gopher snake that came into the coop to steal eggs and got caught after eating the fake on! Grrrrr!!!

Come visit me, Dancing Moon Farmstead.

07/16/2010 05:15.50 AM Report This Comment  
  Hidden Zucchini
WHY does zucchini link to hide!?!?! I had THREE this past week... Think I'll try grilling them and stuffing them with couscous instead of just tossing them into the compost! Been enjoying lots of my famous "squash skillet trio" this week as well: zucchini, yellow and patty pan sauted with onions and sausage = YUMMO!!! Tomatoes are really coming in, now, too. Need to pick more corn and start digging potatoes...

Pears are coming along so well that I've had to prune them a bit. Luckily I give the trimmings to the mules as a treat! Time to start picking grapes and putting them into the freezer. Once there's enough we'll be making jelly! My father-in-law says that his pomegranates are doing well this year and he'll be sending us a couple cases soon.

How's the harvest going on YOUR farm!?!?!

Come visit me, Dancing Moon Farmstead.

07/14/2010 06:48.36 AM Report This Comment  
  more company!
Hubby's son and girlfriend flew into Dallas yesterday and so we picked them up for their week-long visit. Actually, I think they are only staying through Sunday, so it's not quite a full week. They love the critters and garden and talk about moving to Texas... can't blame them as they live in Wisconsin - UGH! I couldn't survive a single winter up there with all that snow!!!

Had a simple dinner of home-made nachos with corn and black bean salsa last night. The corn came from OUR garden! First time for us to grow corn, and it is YUMMY! Discovered that girlfriend can't handle too much spiciness and so don't know what to cook tonight. Chili was on the menu, but I don't know how to cook un-spicey chili!!!

This afternoon we are heading over to Eastland to run a few necessary errands. While there we'll take the kids to one of our favorite antique shops! They claim to actually enjoy looking at antiques, so that's cool! Money is a bit tight, and so "window shopping" doesn't (usually) cost anything. There is always the danger that I'll actually find something that I WANT, but I don't NEED anything!

Come visit me, Dancing Moon Farmstead.

07/07/2010 06:18.03 AM Report This Comment  
  still need rain
Well the rain didn't last long at all yesterday... really could use a day or two of soft showers! At least it's nice and cool out this morning (72F). We don't cool off very much here at night - usualy only about down to 79! If there were a breeze this morning it would be absolutely heavenly!!!

Come visit me, Dancing Moon Farmstead.

06/29/2010 05:35.19 AM Report This Comment  
  RAIN!
Getting some light showers this morning! Hope it lasts ALL day as we really need it... Been harvesting cukes and squashes for a couple weeks now, and the first of the corn is ready, too! First time I've ever grown corn, so I cannot wait to eat some of it!!! Think I can harvest a few potatoes soon as well... YUMMO!

Come visit me, Dancing Moon Farmstead.

06/28/2010 06:12.17 AM Report This Comment  
  Empty House!
Finally have the house to myself... for a little while, at least! My sister and her sons hit the road this morning and are heading back up to Oklahoma. I'll miss them, but it's nice to have a little peace and quite, too! I'm taking a little break this morning before diving in to the housework. Have to strip all the beds and start doing laundry, dishes and other chores!

More company arrives July 6th, so I have a few days to catch up with myself. Garden and critters need attention! There's weeding to be done, mulch to put down and hooves to be trimmed. Hopefully I'll have a little "me" time in there to work in my craft studio as well!!!

Hope everyone's having a wonderful and SAFE summer!

Come visit me, Dancing Moon Farmstead.

06/24/2010 06:56.31 AM Report This Comment  
  What to do...
Trying to decide what to do which day while my sister and her boys are here... never seems to be enough time to do ALL the things we'd like to! Would be SO much easier if they lived closer.

Come visit me, Dancing Moon Farmstead.

06/20/2010 06:29.56 AM Report This Comment  
  MORE company
My oldest sister and her two boys arrive tomorrow afternoon and will be staying for most of the week. Not sure what all of our plans are, but I told her I REALLY want her to show me how to put the borders on the quilt top that I finished OVER a year ago!!! I'm new to quilting and have never done borders before... Once the borders are on then it can get quilted!

We'll certainly be heading down to Dublin on of the days they are here as her oldest son hasn't been to the Dr Pepper plant and museum there! Always a FUN trip!!! Will probably head over to the Velhuizen Family Dairy Farm and sample some of their YUMMY artisan cheeses, too. Discovered a place for "you-pick-um" blackberries not too far from here and will give them a call to see if there's still any left!

As for today, I really need to get back out there and finish mowing! Did most of it yesterday, but today I need to use the push mower to get all the places that the riding mower doesn't fit: into corners, around obstacles and around the raised beds of the garden area!

Come visit me, Dancing Moon Farmstead.

06/18/2010 06:56.16 AM Report This Comment  
  FERRAL HOGS!
Trapped and killed our third ferral hog this morning! This one was still young - about 6 months or so - but she was already pregnant! That's part of why they are such a menace - they start breeding at 6 months old, have LARGE litters and one sow can have 2-3 litters per year!!! Still hoping to get the elusive male that we've seen, but he continues to destroy the catch pen by busting his way out...

Come visit me, Dancing Moon Farmstead.

06/17/2010 06:16.20 AM Report This Comment  
  Busy, busy, busy!
Last week's company left EARLY Thursday morning, but we had an unexpected guest come up for the day on Saturday! It was a super-nice surprise to see Jimbo, who was our best-man at our wedding back in 1993!!! Sunday we went to Abilene for their annual quilt show and I took a "horned toad" applique class with Susan Cranshaw... AWESOME!!! Did just a tiny bit of shopping while there, but mostly enjoyed the beautiful quilts and wall hangings on display.

Monday I made TWO trips out to the hog trap... early morning with hubby to check it and again that afternoon with our hog-pro to add a couple snares. That HUGE male continues to elude capture, which is frustrating to us all!

Yesterday was my quilt guild meeting down in Brownwood. I pick up a friend along the way and we spend the better part of the day down there as it is an hour's drive and is a much bigger town than either of us lives in! Got rave reviews about my "horned toad" which I brought for show-N-tell, so I'm inspired to make more.

After guild we had lunch and went shopping. FINALLY found the Summer 2010 issue of "Urban Farm" at the Brownwood Tractor Supply! Been searching for it for almost TWO months now. Had to by a copy for myself and one for my sister - so she won't "borrow" mine!!! She arrives on Saturday with both of her boys and will be staying for about a week.

Need to get off this computer and start cleaning up the house a bit! Dishes and Laundry are piling up fast...

Come visit me, Dancing Moon Farmstead.

06/16/2010 05:42.14 AM Report This Comment  
  Done for the DAY!
WOW! It's only 8am and I've already completed ALL my "farm chores" for the morning - including a walk out to the "back 40" to check the hog trap!!! Laundry is started as the sun is starting to burn off the morning's grey cloud cover. Even managed to fill all the critters water trouphs AND water the orchard - both are pretty time consuming.

Last night as I did the evening farm chores I discovered a Bull Snake in the chicken's pet, He was beautiful and at least 5' long! Hated to have to kill him, but he had swallowed the fake egg that I keep in one of the nesting boxes. This egg is wooden and therefore impossible for the snake to digest, pass or regurgitate - that means a slow, painful death, so we chopped his head off as a mercy killing...

Now those of you who HATE SNAKES have to realized that Non-Venomous snakes ARE GOOD SNAKES!!! They eat rodents when can spread disease and since snakes are territorial the "good" snakes help keep away the "bad" ones. I would much rather find a Bull or Gopher snake the my coop than a Copper Head or Rattler!!!

Come visit me, Dancing Moon Farmstead.

06/11/2010 06:26.42 AM Report This Comment  
  SQUASH!
Our zuccini and patty pans are REALLY producing well this season and I've already harvested a straight neck, too. Cukes and gourds are in full bloom and I should pick my first tomato today!!!

This weeks company was awesome - my oldest nephew and his girlfriend!!! Hadn't seen Danny in YEARS and had never met Nance. She is really cool and is was odd seeing Danny drive a car and drink a beer... he's 25 now and wasn't old enough for either activity last time I saw him!!!

This weekend is the Abilene Quilt Show and I'm taking a class on Sunday! This is the first time I've taken a class AT a quilt show - I'm really looking forward to it. Susan Cranshaw is teaching her applique technique using her "horned lizard" pattern. Just Google her name to see this and her other TEXAS quilt patterns!!!

Come visit me, Dancing Moon Farmstead.

06/10/2010 05:59.44 AM Report This Comment  
  Good Mornin'!
Hope you enjoyed your company! Things have been hectic here, and my farm is suffering, but I think I'm about to get settled down. First things first - my garden and my chicken coop! One of my 'Easter Egg' babies has started to lay, and I now have two blue eggs. I just love my chickens! I'm looking forward to hearing back from you, but please know, I really understand if it takes a day or two. I know first hand how the days can slip away too fast. In fact, I'm afraid if I blink I'll be wishing you a Merry Christmas in the next week!

Come visit me, The Farm Wife & Paradise Plantation.

06/09/2010 05:19.43 AM Report This Comment  
  Summer time is COMPANY time
Last weekend it was our friends from Triple "S" Ranch... this week it's my nephew and his girlfriend! Next week it's my sister, Jaci, and her two boys!!! The whole summer is jam-packed with people coming and going... At times it makes it difficult to stay on any kind of routine with the critters and garden, but feeding and watering are a MUST for BOTH!

Luckily the critters supply the fertilizer for the garden - LOL! Also, summertime is too hot here in Texas to spend too much time outdoors... So my posts my start to get a bit sparse on here, but drop me a line and tell my how YOU'RE doin'!!!

Come visit me, Dancing Moon Farmstead.

06/08/2010 06:32.33 AM Report This Comment  
  Hog Trap Update
The large male and female ferral hogs continue to elude capture... actually, we've captured them several times, but they are large enough to destroy the trap and escape! Each time they do we make some type of modification to the trap in hopes that it will hold them until we can "dispatch" them! These are TWO really large and dangerous beasts - and they not only destroy the native habitat, but they "run off" native species...

Come visit me, Dancing Moon Farmstead.

06/06/2010 09:18.29 AM Report This Comment  
  potatoes and chicken saddles!
Planting more potatoes this weekend! Reclaimed a half barrel from the goats and will use that along with a re-used tree planter to put more in... the goats can have the barrel back this fall! Don't think they'll miss it much as they have a whole yard full of "toys".

Yes, you read that correctly - Chicken Saddles! Handsome Henry, our gorgeous rooster, is very ruff on our hens... to the point of damaging them with his spurs. We've trimmed his spurs, but it only helped a bit, so now I've resorted to sewing saddles for the hens. Made my very first one yesterday and put it on the worst of the girls last night as they roosted. Should be interesting this morning to see how she takes to it!

Come visit me, Dancing Moon Farmstead.

06/04/2010 04:53.11 AM Report This Comment  
  Birdhouse Gourds
Last night while watering the garden I noticed the first bloom on the birdhouse gourds!!! The first of the Zucchini and Patty Pan squash will be ready to pick in the next day or two - first harvest from the new garden!!! Well, that's not exactly true as I've eaten a couple of strawberries while watering - hee hee!

Need to water the grapes, pears and pecans as we haven't had rain in a while. I have to remind myself that trees need to be watered here in Texas as I grew up in Mississippi where there's enough annual rainfall that established trees and vines don't need supplimental watering!!! This fall we want to plant figs, persimons, pomegranates, another pecan or two and a few almonds. Might try blueberries, too, but need to get a bathtub to plant those in because of the natural lime in our soil... One of my blackberries didn't make it, one is hanging in there and the third is THRIVING! May need to plant a few more of those again as well.

Come visit me, Dancing Moon Farmstead.

06/02/2010 06:37.48 AM Report This Comment  
  Garden and Wildflowers
Just uploaded some photos of the "new" garden beds AND the beautiful wildflowers from the "back 40"... We should be enjoying some fresh squash soon! This is our first time to ever grow corn and it's already got tassles!!! We're also growing some birdhouse gourds and cannot wait to do some cool things with those. The grapes and pears are loaded this year, too. Hopefully we can harvest more than the birds eat!

The rains this winter really made for some awesome wildflowers. Plan on making some prickly pear cactus jelly this fall! Never tried THAT before, either... will post updates when we get around to it.

Come visit me, Dancing Moon Farmstead.

06/01/2010 08:23.58 AM Report This Comment  
  Are we living on the same farm??????
I had to laugh about your roof. We had about $35k from the sale of our city house, and I had that money spent nine ways from Sunday -- and trust me, our farm was going to be picture perfect. Well, the farm house was actually two sharecropper houses that were built in the late teens to early twenties, and moved to our property in the 60s, then a front glassed in porch, a master suite and a cellar added on. The good thing was that it made for more room in the house. The bad things was that owner did it himself, and he didn't have a clue as to what he was doing. And, when you walked across the land, the only thing you could really think of was the old tv show Green Acres. Between fixing the house, buying a tractor and a few other pieces of equipment, doing some serious fence repairs and buying a few Polled Herefords to start our herd, somehow there wasn't enough to make that 'picture perfect' farm. As for the roof, it was patched, but for the last year we've been living with some serious leaks. Randy put a bright blue tarp up to prevent any major damage, until we could get a new roof put on. While on the roof, he noticed quite a few more patch jobs, so we're gonna have to strip that baby all the way back when we do get a new roof, to make sure there really isn't any major damage. I just recently came into a small inheritance, and rather than get to spend it on fun stuff for the farm, it's gonna go straight to a new roof. We are getting a quote for a metal roof -- and I've told Randy that while we're at it, I really want a back porch. So the contractor is going to quote me on that, as well, but it really remains to be seen. I can live without the porch -- I can't live without the roof!

Hmmm....thanks for the info on the Pygoras. I hadn't heard that, and it's definitely something to think about and look into further. The reason I want a Jersey instead of milk goats is I already have cattle, and she'll fit right in. To get goats, I have to find a place to put them, and then build fencing and housing for them. My friend and neighbor across the street raises Nigerians and ....oh, rats. My mind went blank on the other breed.... but I get milk from her for my soaps. And yes. We've made goat milk ice cream and it is really, really good! Another drawback is Randy really doesn't like goats (shame on him!), and it's taken me six years just to get him to consider them. Of course, he feels the same way about sheep (NO WOOLIES!), and he's finally relented to that being part of my farm plan. See, I've learned. Patience can really be a virtue -- and I need all of it I can get to get him to see things my way!!!!

How's the garden growing? Mine is a disaster. My aunt passed away three weeks ago this Wednesday, and I'm one of the two executors of her estate. I've been in town (an hour's drive from the farm) almost every day for the past four, caring for her in the hospital, and then trying to work on settling her estate. It's been a

Come visit me, The Farm Wife & Paradise Plantation.

06/01/2010 05:41.08 AM Report This Comment  
  Company's Comin'!!!
New friends of ours are coming out to visit our little farm today! They have a ranch about two hours from here where they raise Naturally Colored Angora Goats... That's where I learned fy first lesson in shearing! Hubby and I have been workin' hard to get the house, garden and animal areas looking presentable! The new garden paths are almost finished - got dark on us last night and we had to quit.

Right now he's out checking the hog trap. So far we have caught just two young ones - the HUGE, black male has been destroying the pen as he's just to much for it! Troy almost got the drop on him the other day, but those critters are FAST! We keep hoping to get him and "his female" as they are of breeding age and will just have another litter later this fall. UGH!

Can tell why Memorial Day weekend is considered the official "kick-off" to summer - it's getting HOT!!! Installed the first of our four window A/C units last night - the rest are going in this morning. We want our company to be comfortable.

Come visit me, Dancing Moon Farmstead.

05/30/2010 05:54.16 AM Report This Comment  
  can hear the corn and squash GROWING!
It rained all day yesterday! As a result, I swear the corn and squash grew overnight... They are getting HUGE! Can't wait for our first meal of squash and sausage cooked in onions... YUMMO!

Luckily it's sunny today, so I'm trying to catch up on laundry! We have our first visitors of the season coming out to the farm on Sunday... need to do a bit more tidying up INSIDE, too. This weekend really is the kick-off for summer as we have guests and family lining up to make "reservations" for our bunk room from now through September!

Once the grass dries I also need to get out there and push mow around the new garden area. The space is too small and has too many 'things' in it to be able to use the riding mower efficiently!!! Also, the push mower has a bagger so that the clippings don't blow up into my raised beds AND can get dumped into the compost pile instead... This enclosed garden area is an "animal free" zone and so the grass is essentially 'poop' free.

Come visit me, Dancing Moon Farmstead.

05/26/2010 10:13.35 AM Report This Comment  
  Hi!
Wow! You sound just as ambitious as me! I think one of my favorite things about the farm is that there is always something to do, and yet still a lot to plan for! But I'm with you. Hubby has to do the yucky stuff at our house. We have an old turkey that really needs to go, but i just can't do the dirty work. I tried to get my hubby and son to do it a few weeks ago, but I almost laughed when those two self proclaimed great hunters couldn't do it either!!!! Their attitudes were -- they weren't using it for food,and it wasn't so sick it was suffering, so they didn't have the heart. We already raise a large portion of our food -- veggies, meat, pork & fish, but I am eager to add chicken to that, as well. I'm also searching for a Jersey cow for my dairy products. Hubby thinks I could compromise and get a 1/2 Jersey 1/2 Holstein, but I've researched it, especially my end product needs, and am set on the fb Jersey. Now, what I'll do with up to 12 gallons of milk a day, i have no idea, but it looks like i'll be sailing into the cheesemaking end of milking sooner than i probably would want to do!

As far as the difference in Angora and Pygora, according to my research a Pygora fiber will stay softer as the animal ages. An Angora's fiber is softest at first shearing, and as the animal ages, the fiber becomes coarser, until eventually it is used primarily for rug yarn. Now, just remember -- I haven't actually spoken with an Angora breeder or a spinner yet regarding this, and I definitely plan to before I actually purchase a fiber goat. I have a tendency to try to cross every 't' and dot every 'i' before I will actually part with my money.

Wish me luck. I recently came into a small inheritance from an aunt, and I've chosen to use the money to put a new roof on my house, which is desperately needed. I'm opting for a metal roof -- mainly because they last so much longer than a shingle roof, and price-wise, they are just a little more expensive than a shingle. I'm thinking that there just may be enough money left to where i can also add a porch to the back and possibly the side of my house, if my hubby and his friend Ron do the construction. My dream has always been to have a 'Southern Veranda' - one of those deep porches with traditional porch flooring (not decking) and simple columns. No railing -- no gingerbread -- no extras, just a plain roofed porch with an enclosed ceiling and a few ceiling fans. We had the roofer out yesterday to give us an estimate. Cross your fingers for me. It may not come to pass, at least where the porch is concerned, but I will definitely put the roof on. It's either that, or the back bedroom is going to float away, as there is a leak!

I too am hoping you have better success with your feedbag barrier. It could just be that I prepped it wrong. I just bought some of the black barrier cloth at the dollar store and I'm going to put that down this week, and top it with pine mulch. Trust me. I'm willing t

Come visit me, The Farm Wife & Paradise Plantation.

05/25/2010 08:30.21 AM Report This Comment  
  huntin' hogs
Well, hubby spent the whole night out in the "back 40" hoping to kill a ferral hog or two... turns out he didn't even SEE one! He did see a really big skunk around midnight and that's when he decided to just stay up in his tree until day break! On the way back to the house early this morning he thought he had cornered a hog behind the barn, but it turned out to just be an armadillo... Poor hubby!!!

Come visit me, Dancing Moon Farmstead.

05/25/2010 05:20.26 AM Report This Comment  
  re; goats not liking the rain & blaming you
Ha! Not having goats I didn't know that about them!

Come visit me, wendy's way.

05/23/2010 07:28.00 PM Report This Comment  
  mucking out the goat's pen
Been putting THIS job off for a while, but couldn't ignore it any longer!!! What a mess! We had such a cold, wet winter that I handn't mucked out their kennel since this fall - it was deeper than I thought... gonna be great in the garden, though!

Zucchini and patty-pan squash are blooming! Wish I had room to plant more potatoes - could really use a couple of those cast iron tubs previously blogged about! They'd be GREAT potato beds...

Bumper 'crop' of Ladybugs this year! I've literally NEVER seen so many!!! Yeah for Ladybugs!

Come visit me, Dancing Moon Farmstead.

05/23/2010 01:55.33 PM Report This Comment  
  more severe weather
The severe weather stayed just to the south of us last night, but it was close enough we could see the lightening! Forecasters were warning of 60 mph wind, plus possible tornadoes and quarter-size hail! Still overcast this morning, which is keeping me from starting a load of laundry... Got plenty of "inside" chores I need to do, but instead I'm procrastinating and playing on the computer (evil box!).

Come visit me, Dancing Moon Farmstead.

05/21/2010 07:17.39 AM Report This Comment  
  more rain
Glad I managed to get most of the inner yard mowed yesterday after lunch because we had quite a storm roll through again during the night! At least I don't have to water the garden this morning... I'll be letting the mules up into the back yard and they can "mow" the rest for me!

Did a bit of light weeding in the garden last night - the beds are looking really good, but there are some weeds coming up in the sand where we need to finish the paths. Also had a couple of "bad bugs" that I picked off by hand. Dead-headed the marigolds and pinched back some of the leggy herbs. The mules enjoyed nibbling on the mint sprigs! Also noticed that I need to cut back the mums at least one more time - this variety gets really leggy and I keep trimming them up until around Father's Day. Easy to remember as it was my Father-in-Law who gave them to me!

Come visit me, Dancing Moon Farmstead.

05/20/2010 06:47.26 AM Report This Comment  
  Come on SUNSHINE!!!
REALLY need to get out an mow! Recent rains have made the weeds, er-um, GRASS really grow!!! Overcast again this morning, but I'm hoping it will all just burn off. Ground is still too damp to mow, but maybe by this afternoon it will dry up a bit! I'm being brave and hanging out laundry as it's really piling up as well...

Because of the rain we have yet to finish the new garden paths either. Also on my "to-do" list: clean out the goat pen (UGH!) and turn the compost piles!!!

Garden is coming right along! Also notices we're having a great blooming season for the cacti and wildflowers. Need to get out and take some photos up in the "back 40". Don't know if it's due to the wet winter or what, but we have more lady bugs than I've ever seen before. They are so thick that I hate to walk across the yard for fear of trampling them!

Come visit me, Dancing Moon Farmstead.

05/19/2010 07:46.30 AM Report This Comment  
  Mules... Oh so much more than "a horse"
Although Storm Dancer, the big girl, does have a beautiful, horse-like physique our two equines are actually MULES, not horses... Just look at their ears if you don't believe me!

For those who don't know about mules, they are a hybrid - their sires being a Jack (donkey) and their dam being a mare (horse). For more information check out lovelongears.com

Come visit me, Dancing Moon Farmstead.

05/18/2010 03:45.08 PM Report This Comment  
  You lucky dog!!!!!
Okay, now I'M jealous! You're already learning to shear! I am happy for you, though. And I think we're married to the same man! My hubby tells me very quickly that, with the exception of cows, we just can't handle any more animals right now. I can't even get a shipment of meat birds, and they don't take up near as much room as a goat or sheep. That's okay. One thing about me is -- I have the patience of a saint when it comes to getting what I want. I havea to admit, I've been contemplating the naturally colored angoras instead of the pygoras, though. Both have such strong pros, and the angoras only have a couple of minor cons that I may just change my mind. Right now though, animals are the last thing on my mind when I'm at home. I've been too busy fighting stupid pigweed in my garden. I absolutely cannot wait until my raised bed garden is complete and I won't have near the problem with it as I do when gardening on the flat. Speaking of which, I noticed that you are going to use feed sacks as a weed barrier underneath your mulch as garden pathways. Uh, let me know how that works for you. I did it, and just got finished pulling it all out again, as the grass started growing on TOP of my sacks. A couple of weeks ago, I went to the dollar store and bought a couple rolls of the black weed barrier, and then last week we went up to the parsonage, where they had cut down some trees and ground the stumps and got a trailer load of pine mulch (love those freebies!). I'm hoping that'll work. I've already picked a few yellow squash and have a load of tomatoes on my plants. Um. I just can't wait to sit down to a homegrown veggie dinner in the very near future. We love the fresh beef, chicken, pork and fish that we produce, but there are times that I just want a plate full of veggies! How's your garden doing? Oh! And did you get those tubs? Just keep me posted! I'm really enjoying learning and hearing all about your farm and accomplishments. Before you know it, you'll be able to do it all in your sleep!!!!!

Come visit me, The Farm Wife & Paradise Plantation.

05/18/2010 04:06.24 AM Report This Comment  
  Pics
You have great looking horse!

Come visit me, Moravian Farm.

05/17/2010 11:26.08 AM Report This Comment  
  spelling
FEEL... I really can spell! My fingers just get ahead of my brain and there's no spell check on here!

Come visit me, Dancing Moon Farmstead.

05/16/2010 08:53.29 AM Report This Comment  
  Almost Summer!
Can really feal Summer in the air today! After yesterday's rain it's really muggy outside and warming up quickly! There are SO many chores and projects that need to be done and never enough time (or money) to do them... Hubby is out checking the hog trap this morning. So far we've caught two young ones. The big ones have eluded us by tearing up the pen to escape.

Once hubby returns from "the back 40" we'll hopefully get to finish the new garden's paths. To make the paths we're using paper feed sacks as a degradable weed barrier (on top of sand) and then we're putting home-made mulch down. We've got a pile of tree debris and some big, ol' redwood bark nuggets that we're shredding in the chipper. The nuggets came with the property -they were stored in black plastic bags in the barn's lean-to stalls. The bags themselves are now falling apart, so we're not only creating mulch, but cleaning up a bit at the same time!

Come visit me, Dancing Moon Farmstead.

05/16/2010 08:52.09 AM Report This Comment  
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