Results for tag "wisconsin"

Chocolate pudding & a NEW documentary!

 

What is it like to “Live the Dream”? Here’s the trailer for a short documentary made this summer on the farm, by the very talented filmmaker Jila Nikpay. Go to her website to watch the whole piece for free! Click HERE. It is very personal and honest and….it made ME cry! Jila was able to collect and capture all this information, all my ramblings, all these images, all the sounds and craft them into such a beautiful piece. I am so honored to have had the privilege of working with her. Thank you Jila and Mike!!

Dreaming with Lola (2016) / Trailer from Jila Nikpay on Vimeo.

The goldenrod has already come and gone and the hint of fall is in the air. This happens every year …What?! Summer’s almost done? If you live in the midwest you probably also “sort-of” like winter.14362436_10153954401246448_8669829185709533780_o

It has been a crazy but hard yet also wonderful summer for me and the farm. My Ducks are absolutely rocking it due to the cool and wet year, the geese are enormous, hilarious and LOUD, so they are ready to for harvesting (please contact me if you want a delicious all organic pastured Holiday Goose!) the broilers and summer turkeys have been harvested, the Thanksgiving birds are growing well, the two pigs are monstrously huge, and the two cows are up to their eyeballs in luscious grass.14188647_10153933162941448_2556383787366049248_o

Lola had her first calf this summer. It went wonderfully and I got to watch him being born, but tragically her calf died after being attacked by something. It was a horrible and extremely heartwrenching experience, but you cannot control everything, ever. I did want to have a Scottish Highland milk cow, so that’s what I now have. I milk her once a day and am making all kinds of dairy delights… my very first butter, melty cow cheese and an absolutely heavenly chocolate pudding which is completely ridiculous when made with Duck Egg yolks! Here’s that link, you are VERY welcome!! Make a double batch, you won’t regret it! A couple notes- I use semisweet chocolate chips instead of the bittersweet baking bar that you have to chop up, maple syrup instead of the sugar, and whole milk instead of the cream and milk. I pour the hot pudding into pint size canning jars and immediately put the lid on to avoid the “skin” forming. This recipe works great for frozen pudding pops too. Yummmmmmm.13937885_10153883152596448_6347625148290197272_o   14124246_10153928190096448_7425627787009195793_o

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March thaw

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March is here and everything is thawing out like crazy! The pigs are really happy to be able to get their snouts into the earth and grub around for any treats left after the frozen winter.  They are growing steadily and soon they will be out on pasture helping us regenerate our landscape while transforming into incredibly delicious pork. Meanwhile they are snarfing down our own organic hay with much appetite. It’s an exiting time of rebirth and growth – We’re gearing up for our next season of raising the best possible pastured ethical meat that we can, and we need your support! Sign up for any of our CSA offerings and you will partake of the best possible meats in the land this year! Go here for more information: LTD Farm CSA!

 

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Our lady ducks are gearing up to start laying as the warmer days and nights visit us regularly – the sun warms our hearts and bodies and we all feel more productive and ready for action. They are loving the ephemeral streams that meander all through the property as the whole world warms and snow disappears down gullies. Sap is flowing in the maples and birches and birds are flitting about searching for snacks after the long lean winter months. Seedlings are growing indoors under lights and we’re getting excited about rich green nettles popping out of the soil!

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Help us build our “Farmer Barn”

We’re building a Farmer Barn -aka- a warm, energy efficient little cabin! The project is already underway, but we need a financial boost to complete the build – so we’d like to offer YOU a unique offering from our farm! Every little bit of support will help us out and this is a great way to support us AND get a useful, awesome gift every month!

Why we are fundraising right now:

For the past 4 years we’ve focused 100% on our farm; keeping all of our animals healthy and happy as well as building infrastructure. Finally we’ve decided it is time to build ourselves a  little studio home/Farmer’s Barn so that we can actually stay warm in the winter and live more energy efficiently. It’s felt like we’ve been living in one of the coldest houses in Wisconsin for the past 4 years!

Our “Farmer’s Barn” is a very modest 20 by 32 cabin, which Andrew is building with the help of his folks. We’ve always been bootstrappers, but this project is taking a lot of upfront payments to get to the next level. So far we have built a road with 80 tons of gravel delivered, had a cement truck come to pour the concrete piers upon which our cabin will sit, and then began building from the bottom up. We have only just begun, and every day brings us one small step forward in building and one more chunk of change out of the wallet! P1110043

How can you support us while getting something super unique  in return?

By snapping up a subscription to our “Year of Goatmilk Soap”! Treat yourself, or give it as a thoughtful and fantastic year long gift!

P1110039We will send you two bars of our luscious Goatmilk Soap EACH and EVERY month for a WHOLE YEAR, with your contribution of $100! This includes shipping to US addresses, International Residents will be charged $155 for subscription, shipping, and processing fees.

Khaiti makes this soap by hand, using the milk our goat MayMay gives us. The secret recipe is one she worked on for years… it’s super long lasting, extremely gentle on your skin (goatmilk has the same pH as our skin), AND it lathers richly without leaving any cruddy residue. Our soap is made from goat milk, coconut oil, olive oil and lye. Some varieties have essential oils added for scent, and organic materials for color or texture (like oatmeal, spices, coffee.)

The Year of Goatmilk Soap will begin in December 2014 (perfect timing for the Holidays!) and run until November 2015. Unlike a Kickstarter project, even if we don’t reach our total goal you will receive your Year of Goatmilk Soap! Our Fundraising Goal is to reach at least 100 paid subscribers! You can see our fundraising graphic on the side there which will keep you updated on our progress – you can always click on it to go to sign up for our Year of Goatmilk Soap!

If you are gifting a fantastic Year of Goatmilk Soap, please email us the “ship-to” address(es.) Thanks!   farmers (at) ltdfarm.com


Choose an option




Or Click Here to go to our Year of Goatmilk Soap Page!

Every little bit is really going to help us get this done, and we really look forward to being warm this winter!

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!

If you are so inclined you can donate any amount to our cause!




The new farmer revolution!

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Since we started farming together here on this land in 2010, the two of us have been learning HOW TO farm at the same time. Without any formal farming apprenticeships or interning experiences, we both were total greenhorns when we started. We didn’t have much money to live on, and every penny we made and make keeps going back into our farm. But you know what? We’ve learned ALOT these past 4 years, and we’re still learning, and we’re making a living. Each year, life keeps handing us humbling setbacks and curveballs, but we keep our eyes on the prize of fulfilling our mission and keep at it. Perhaps we aren’t doing everything perfectly just yet.  Many things we planned to have completed by now aren’t totally done. We’ve experienced some disasters and many frustrations. But this is how you learn. You have to hang in there during the tough times to see the reward.P1100925

This season it feels like we have our act together and are headed in a solid direction. It is satisfying to feel that the many steps we took toward a goal are finally adding up to something – It’s been a tough road to get here alright! The key for new farmers is to start something, work as hard as you can, and find the things you are really, really good at, then keep doing them and grow. When we started, we tried as many farm projects as we could. By necessity, many of them have been abandoned when it was clear that they weren’t helping us financially to move forward, or they just didn’t fit into our work flow, skill set, or we weren’t 100% passionate about the product we were producing. Too much diversity means you can go absolutely crazy trying to keep up with it all. Breeding poultry, rabbits, pigs and goats are some examples in our farm journey. Gardening for a CSA has been a challenge, especially starting on a totally new patch of land, and of course climate change has meant very odd weather patterns.

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What we are really passionate about is giving our ducks, chickens, turkeys, and pigs  the best lives possible on pasture. We love the food that they become. Since we can never stop exploring other things we may love, we are trying out pastured veal calves this year as our new project and so far they have been just lovely to raise. Basically, the theme for us is animals. Our farm start-up was based on providing an ethical alternative to factory farm food and connecting customers to their food.

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Check out the latest issue (August) of ACRES USA magazine to get the first installment of Khaiti’s article series geared towards new farmers. The focus is to help aspiring ecological farmers get going into farming smartly, by following their passion. We’re pretty excited to watch this publication reach out to the new farmer revolution underway!

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Calves on grass

Our three dairy calves are doing great, Osso, Bucco, and Cutlet – They are a little over a month old now, and we are weaning them off the milk replacer we had to purchase to keep them alive and healthy. At this point, we are milking our one remaining goat, May, to get a gallon of fresh goatmilk to supplement the replacer, and they are loving it! We also have them on some calf starter feed that we purchased at our local feed mill, which looks like some kind of snack mix. After some discussion, we decided it was time to get them on some grass!

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We bought a few rebar posts and some insulators, and used the aluminum wire we had leftover that we had for the pig paddock, and made a small paddock, about 20 ft by 20 feet. We put pieces of aluminum tape on the wire so that the calves would be sure to see the wire. We had been training them to a simple twine halter and they have been getting the hang of walking alongside us, although if they don’t want to walk somewhere they resist like a mule! We walked them over to the new paddock and put them in it, and they didn’t really know what to make of it all.P1100611

After a while they ventured to eat a few blades of grass, and like all animals do, walked toward the boundary – which in this case was going to be a shock. The grass was not greener on the other side, but they didn’t know that yet…

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After a few quick shocks to the nose and the haunches they quickly learned to stay away from that terrible wire. Then they just settled into grazing peacefully and enjoying the spring sunshine and breeze. We also got zapped a few times in a bit of absent mindedness, so we learned our own lessons!

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Overall we love raising these calves and look forward to working with cows in general on the farm- they are very peaceful to have around and so far they are a lot less of a handful then pigs.

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Moving Pigs!

And it was Pig Moving day again! We didn’t know it yet, but it turned out fortuitous that we moved our pigs on that day, since the next few days were filled with inches and inches of snow! But in any case, here is the story…

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Our Permaculture Plan for the property included fencing in our southwest corner as a permanent paddock for our pigs and the cows we will eventually have (hopefully this year). This area consists of about 2 acres of older spruce and a lot of dead tree matter. The idea was that in the winter, this forested area would provide some protection from the elements for our animals. We also know that to overwinter animals in our climate, which has about 6 months of winter, you need a permanent paddock close to zone 0, the home, in order to minimize efforts to feed and water your animals , as well as moving bedding around. So this spot fit those requirements. It was also allowed us to continue our paddock construction in the northwest corner, about 6 or so acres of steeper sloped land, filled with wild apple trees and raspberry.

In any case, we had to get our main paddock done asap. We purchased a larger amount of cattle panels to enclose about an acre or so, which was what we could afford. It took two harrowing trips to transport the panels back from the store, with 7 feet of panel in the truck bed and 9 feet hanging off the back of the truck onto a snowmobile trailer. The panels didn’t move, but the trailer did, so that created some interested effects on driving. We took it slow and drove the backroads. Next time, we will rent a larger trailer…

We took a day to clear the fence path. Two sides of the paddock had some fencing, albeit at odd angles and in different states of usefulness. We had to buck a large tree that had fallen on the fence, which took most of one morning, and finally with some blood sweat and tears we got it all cleared out. Then came the very difficult task of hauling 16 foot long, 4 foot high panels through a tangled brushy woods. That was another 2 days or so of effort. Finally, we were able to pound in a T-post so we decided to get the whole thing enclosed.

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The next day it was time to just get those pigs moved. They had been housed comfortably in the hoophouse, and now we were charged with the task of making a chute of hog panels from the hoophouse to the new paddock and not letting them get free at any point. That wasn’t too difficult but it turns out that they weren’t all that interested in leaving the hoophouse!

“Come on, ” We said, ” You will have the best time in your new paddock! Look at all the dirt to root up!”P1100129

We manhandled them up the slight slope out of the hoophouse, sinking into the super sloppy swamp which they had created in the hoophouse, losing boots and our sanity. We shuffled them into the hog panel shoot and farther into the paddock and finally, after about an hour or so of chaos, had them where we wanted them! Breathing a sigh of relief, we watched as they all took off into the forest, galloping and rooting like madmen.

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They were happy and we were happy. They spent the rest of the day rooting up the forest and making glad pig noises as we tightened up the fence and rigged up a temporary shelter. They were so excited they were not very interested in eating the soaked grains for the day. Finally they collapsed in a pig pile and fell asleep.

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And then it snowed all night…

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To learn more on how to raise pigs like we do on LTD Farm, check out Andrew’s article in the new May edition of Acres Magazine , Practical Permaculture Pigs! http://www.acresusa.com/magazine