Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tuesday on Tail Spin Farm

It is a chilly day here in Mid-Michigan.  We are still remodeling, but are getting closer to the end.  The wood floors go in tomorrow and after that cupboards!  I will be one happy woman when that day comes!  Here is what we are up to today:

Weeding (yes there is a neglected garden out back!)
 We finally we able to get the landscaping around the house done this weekend! 


 The girls are out across the road right now picking mulberries.  We are going to try mulberry jam after lunch!
 The bridge across the ditch that my son made many years ago...I love that little thing!
 Our new rabbits are finally in their new home.  A deluxe rabbit tractor.  They were quite happy this morning!
 I have gotten the primer on the walls in the spare room
 The walls and ceilings are all painted! It is hard to see the color here, but it is a light yellow/beige.  I love it~
 This is what I have looked like the last few days.












Saturday, June 25, 2011

Just for Terri

I had to post this just for Terri She had a picture of their Lab on the couch, and I told her our dogs must be sister, separated at birth!!  This is Bailey's favorite spot (when she doesn't get caught!!)



Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday on the Farm

What miserable weather we have had this week!  Although in the midst of it we were able to get a lot done.  The rabbit/goat barn was cleaned and rearrange this week to accommodate new bunnies.  The chicken coop got a good cleaning yesterday with new bedding.  Our new bunnies are doing well and I think are a little more relaxed today.  I will be moving them into the bigger cage today.


Our new rooms are drywalled and are being sanded today, so painting can start.  We have a busy weekend planned.  We are meeting with three families tonight who are interested in attending our home church.  Tomorrow I am hoping to start painting.  Our two oldest sons have been gone since Sunday to a two week music tour with a local christian college.  The kick off concert is Sunday night, then our two boys, plus their two roommates will be staying here with us for the night.  They have a big week of travel next week and then close out the tour next Friday night.  I am trying to find Joy in everything right now, as it is so easy to let life weigh me down right now.  So here is my "Count it ALL Joy!" list:

1.  My Mom is hopefully moving to rehab on Monday (yes, she is still in the hospital and this one has been hard to stay joyful with!)
2.  There are walls in our new rooms that will be ready for paint this weekend!!!!
3.  I get to paint...OK I know this is pushing it, but I am excited because this is one step closer to being done!
4.  I get to see my boys Sunday after not seeing them for a week!
5.  Once the walls are painted the wood floors go in!!!
6.  Once the wood floors are in the cupboards come in!!!!!
7.  Everyone is healthy
8.  I finished a crochet project that I started over a year ago...I know!
9.  It's supposed to stop raining next week:))
10.  I have the best Hubby in the world!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Newest members here at the Farm!

I was contacted about a month ago by a woman who was given my name through a breeder.  She had two Angoras that she had to get rid of do to her daughters allergies and asked if I would be interested in giving them a good home.  I was happy because this breeder is one of the biggest in Michigan and she is in the process of retiring from angoras.  For her to give this lady my name and say that they would get a good home here made me feel good!

We went this morning to pick them up.  She met us half way and I felt so bad!  She was really having a hard time and I assured her they would be well cared for!

So introducing Daisy and Jeffery (Daisy is the front one)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tuesday on Tail Spin Farm

The first day of summer is upon us and we have been busy today!  I did some angora fiber dying this morning.  The kids and I were finally able to get into the gardens around the house without getting into any workers way and got those mostly done today. 

We finally are seeing our new rooms comes together and actually have walls!!  The drywall is almost done and then I can start painting and then Hubby will be helping get the wood floors in!  I am so excited.  I feel like I have been in "layover" mode the past month.  I haven't had a kitchen to do anything thing in and even room to do some of the stuff I enjoy isn't available right now until we can get everything back into place.  I hope the next pictures I post will actually be almost finished rooms, and soon!

Bright blue angora fiber
Dinning room
 Kitchen
 Kitchen...can't you just see the counters, and the new sink under that window?!?!?
 The spare room.
 Flower bed by house
 Kayla's garden.  We started this about 5 years ago, Kayla took it over the last couple and this year it is really beautiful.

Wisteria and the willow arbor that Kayla and I worked on this year, right behind it you can see our little goldfish pond!
 Bek's cast...4-5 more weeks:))

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Free Range Meat Birds - 101

I have had a few questions on how we raised our meat birds. First, everyone does things different, so what we do might not work for everyone. We start our birds in our chicken tractors that my very skilled father-in-law designed for us:



We can keep them in here for quite a few weeks, depending on how many we are raising.  Each tractor holds about 12 comfortably.  Now, anyone who has raised meat birds know they grow fast, smell, and eat like ravenous pigs!  We usually feed them a little grain in the morning and night when they are in the tractors.  Now, with this year having our pen for our goats, we decided to move them into that area and cut their feed down to just some grain in the morning and let them free range the rest of the day.

They did great!  We butchered them last weekend and they ranged in weight from 4 pound to over 7 pounds for some.  We had no issues with birds struggling to move, in fact I had to chase down some of them to get a hold of them!  They free ranged on all the grass and bugs they could want, and we only gave them a small amount of grain once each day!  We are considering another batch before the summer is done.

Monday, June 13, 2011

In the Freezer




http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-pZXzQgqG45o/TfWIqdOEbcI/AAAAAAAAFUI/GCVkNG2S48w/s1600/Barn-Hop.jpg

Hubby and I with the help of our youngest daughter, spent Saturday morning butchering meat birds.  Scott and a buddy a work designed and made a chicken plucker and we have been anxious to try it out.  It took the three of us (Bek's broken hand and all) about three hours to completely butcher 23 birds.  Hubby has a little tweaking to do on the plucker, but it worked amazingly well!  Our freezer is full of meat that has been free-ranged and well cared for.  We are tempted to do another batch before summer is through.

My grandparents raised chickens for butchering, for many years.  I have many childhood memories of butchering chickens at their farm.  My grandma and Mom often talked about how every Sunday was chicken dinner because they always had it in the freezer.  It is so neat to learn these "lost skills" and continue them with our own children (ok, only one, but she loves it!)  I was teasing Bek that she had better find a "farm boy" to marry, cuz a city boy won't put up with this kind of stuff!

I am amazed at how many people are grossed out when we tell them we butchered chickens that we fed, free ranged, and took care of, but they think nothing of getting chicken nuggets at the local fast food restaurant or in a box on a grocery shelf and not blink an eye.  I am thinking about getting copies of the movie "Food Inc." and passing it around to those people who question us and see which they would rather eat:))





Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Blogger Issues

As of lately I have had issues with commenting on friends blogs.  Terri has post the solution!!

Tuesday on Tail Spin Farm

Peony

 New babies
 More tomatoes to go into garden
 Our new little strawberry patch
 Apples


 Pears
 Nasturtium


 Goats, rabbits and chickens oh my!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Free Range Meat Birds

With the new goat area this year, we had enough space to try a free range our meat birds a bit longer.  We have had these birds since the beginning of March and they are doing beautiful.  Normally we raise them a bit longer (about 14 weeks or so) in our chicken tractors and they are able to be free ranged in there also, but there isn't as much room.  I think Jenna at Cold Antler Farm had a post about this a while ago.  She had one that missed butcher time (lucky duck..I mean chick:)) and lived happily for almost a year, maybe more.  I totally agree with her that when they are able to run free, they stay much healthier.  We have some beautiful birds with no problems like we have had in the past (pecking one another, unable to get around easily).  Normally meat birds legs will break from the strain, not pretty, but they just are designed that way.   Hubby and a buddy are building a plucker, hopefully we will test run it next weekend.  If all goes well, I will be placing an order for more birds!

Garden Is In!!!

Hubby hasn't felt well today, so the kids and I went ahead and finished out the garden.  It is a bit bigger this year, with lots of different varieties of food, mostly heirloom this year.  I can't wait for canning season!!


Saturday, June 4, 2011

It's Going to be a LONG Summer...

I am wondering at this point what else is in store for us.  Our yougest daughter took a flying leap off the top of a round hay bale last night and missed.  She bruised her hip and broke her arm!  Please pray for healing for her.  Of course summer weather finally has hit today (it's 89 degrees in the shade), and no swimming for her!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Kitchen Remodel Day 40

The remodel has been slow to say the least.  We are finally starting to see some progress this week.  The base floors are almost done.  The electric was done yesterday.  Prior to the remodel our dining room had NO lighting other than table lamps.  The last picture here shows the ceiling, and all the recessed lighting we are putting in!  We are getting closer to the end now and I think we will see some dramatic differences next week.  The insulation goes in next, then drywall, painting (which we are doing ourselves to save some money), wood floors (also we  are doing) and then cupboards and appliances.  The last few days have been difficult for our family (we almost lost my Mom, she is doing amazing now) and this remodel just keeps dragging on.  Even Hubby, who is usually much less "high strung" than I am with this kind of stuff, is getting frustrated.  I have learned a couple of lessons through this whole process: 1.  Life continues even when you don't have a kitchen 2.  I will never remodel anything again 3.  There is nothing better than homemade bread 4.  Things never go the way you plan them too 5. #1 God is still good! 6.  This kitchen will be better than what we could have ever hoped for...if it ever gets done!