Saturday, January 14, 2012

The New Year and Running a Tiny Farm

I just had to share this picture.  This is the scene that awaited me when I walked out the door on New Year's Day morning.  I took this as an omen that 2012 is going to be a good year for my family.  We are looking forward to sharing our year with you and yours!

Our first venture into raising pasture fed Black Angus was a success in terms of the quality and quantity of the beef we produced and our ability to sell it.  We have someone driving over to pick up a quarter this afternoon which leaves one more that we plan to sell.  Two of our customers asked to be notified when we were down to the last quarter; so that one might be gone soon, too. **BEEF IS SOLD** The beef is so tasty that we are keeping a side all for ourselves.  Many people have asked when we will have beef for sale again.  First we have to finish "crunching all the numbers" to determine if we made any kind of profit from it. If we did, we will raise more.  Because we are such a small farm and we don't want to put too much pressure on our pastures, we can only raise two or three steers at a time.  That means it will be another 18 months before we would have beef for sale again.  We are also considering raising meat goats.  Please let us know if you would be interested in goat meat. 
What do we have for sale right now?  We have honey from our 2010 and 2011 harvests.  This is 100% real, natural, raw, unfiltered, mixed wildflower honey.  Glen describes the taste as "a rich floral".  We are selling it in one pint mason jars.  They weigh over a pound (most beekeepers sell their honey in one pound jars).  The 2011 harvest is $8 a jar and the 2010 harvest is $7 a jar.  We have happy bees on Our Tiny Farm and plan to increase the number of hives this year.
We also have a few ristras (strings) of dried cayenne peppers for sale.  The peppers are from the 2011 harvest.  The strings are approximately two feet long and have more than 40 peppers each.  You can eat these or use them for decorations.  We use them for both.  These are for sale for $12 per string.

Our beef and honey customers usually come to the farm to pick up their orders and so many of them say "we want to do what you are doing" and "you are living an idyllic life" and "it would be fun to have a few cows, chickens, and horses".  We DO think we are living "an idyllic life" on a little farm just like one of those highlighted in Mother Earth News magazine.  But before you get your chickens and try to do this for yourselves, I urge you to spend some time visiting with some folks who are already doing it.  It's a great life, but there is more work to it than most people realize.  Remember, a farm is not a part-time effort; it is something you have to tend to every single day.
 It was a cold morning today, so I gave the girls some hot oatmeal in that little black tray
Let's just use our morning chores as an example.  Every morning, 365 days of the year, regardless of the weather, we have to venture outside shortly after daybreak, or earlier if our schedules demand it.  We move the chicken tractor, open the coop, check the nests, and give the girls food and water.  Then we clean (muck) the barn, give the equines their morning rations, fill the mangers with hay, top off the water trough, and take a wheelbarrow load of manure to the compost pile.  When we had cows in the pasture, we had to check on them, too.  All this has to get done every morning in addition to all the other morning chores we all have to do, e.g., feeding cats and dogs, showering, dressing, eating breakfast, etc.  Usually I love doing the outside morning chores. It's my quiet time with the animals, it's good exercise, and I get to see many beautiful sunrises.  But when it is pouring down rain, or sleeting, or 9 degrees outside, it's not much fun. So, just think about that before you get your own chickens and horses. Most small farmers like to show people what they are doing and we are no exception.  If you would like to schedule a farm visit, just drop us an email.


  1. Oh my gosh, that picture of the mountains is stunning!

  2. The first picture, the one with the rainbow, is amazing! I like simple living like in the farm that you have.

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