Blog

The Omnivore’s Dilemma

I read the book with this title by Michael Pollan back in maybe 2008.  It certainly contributed to my desire to get closer to my food.  I highly recommend the book if you really want to dive into what goes into producing what you eat. We had our steer ‘Junior’ butchered a few weeks ago.  People often ask me – how can you eat an animal you know?  My question is – how can you eat an animal you DON’T know? A decade ago, I began to learn about the plight of animals on factory farms.  I was disgusted, sad, …

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Farm Store is LIVE

We did it!  We got the farm store up and running!  We are so pleased to be able to sell our handmade soaps and fiber online at FHF Soapworks | Beautiful soap from our farm to you! (indiemade.com)   Thank you to all our friends and followers for your support on this journey.  Sometimes farm life is really hard – like today when I threw my back out first thing in the morning!  So having a community of great people behind you sure does make it easier. Enjoy browsing – there are only 3 soaps cured and ready for sale …

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Welcome 2021

As we close the door on 2020 and welcome in 2021, I pause to reflect on the year behind and the one to come.  Although 2020 had it’s challenges, here were so many positives for us.  We made significant progress on farm projects including our living space, the horse barn, and sheep shelters.  Finally all the sheep have shelter in their winter paddock.  I sleep so much better at night!   We added new dogs including Zarra our Karakachan livestock guardian dog, again – I sleep so much better at night!  Koda and Sophia found their way into our lives …

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Clun Forest Sheep

Clun Forest sheep are a heritage breed of sheep originating from the area around the ancient market town of Clun in the southwest corner of the Shropshire region of England.  The area is mountainous reaching an altitude of over 1600 feet above sea level.  The area has a deep and rich history of shepherding and it is thought that Clun Forest sheep were originally bred by the semi-nomadic or pastoral shepherds who lived in the area about a thousand years ago.  In recent times, the Clun Forest sheep are desired for their hardiness, self-reliance, and adaptability. They are content and …

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Winter’s Coming….. We had our first hard frost of the year last night. Although I knew it was coming, I still get anxious when I look out the window and the world is white. I never seem to be ready. Every year I feel like we are not ready, even though we are in far better shape than a year ago or five. I failed to clean out my garden…that is the big fail this year. Not all of my animals have shelter….another big fail in my mind. The good news is that the hay is in the barn and …

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Heritage Breed Addiction

That’s right folks! Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery. So here it is….I have a serious addiction to heritage livestock breeds. Why? There are lots of reasons. I love rare breeds of animals – which is why I dedicated much of my adult life to protecting and conserving rare wildlife species. With a big shift in my life and my career, I now find myself applying that same passion to rare livestock breeds. I’m so in love with my little black sheep. They just make me happy by existing. I initially got these sheep because …

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Parasite management – Resistance is futile…. Parasite management is a concern for anyone raising livestock.  Coming from a horse and cattle background, frequent treatment for internal parasites was the norm for me.  We commonly dewormed our cows several times a year.  The horses were dewormed fall and spring.  I don’t remember anyone ever talking about resistance to these drugs being an issue, although in cattle it is now becoming one.  The first year we had our sheep, when I consulted my veterinarian about what dewormer to administer, he cautioned me about the potential for drug resistance to form without careful …

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Pod Casts and Such

I was so excited to be asked to participate in a series of podcasts about raising heritage sheep.  I’ve never done an interview for a podcast before.   It was actually a lot of fun.  I didn’t realize how excited and energetic I get when talking about sustainable farming, sheep, and our plans for the future.  If you are interested in learning a lot more about me and the farm – my interview is here https://anchor.fm/deerlywoven.  I listened to the other five episodes before I did the interview.  I was struck by how many of the stories were so similar to …

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To LGD or not to LGD

That IS the question…… We have been discussing whether or not to embark on the Livestock Guardian Dog adventure or not.  There are many angles to consider and adding an LGD to your farming operation is a big committment.  We have finally landed on adding an LGD but I wanted to share our thought process and some resources we have consulted in making this important decision. Do we need a LGD? At this point, we haven’t lost any sheep to predators (knock on wood!).  So, weighing out the additional cost and responsibility versus the financial risk of not having protection …

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Thankfulness

Whoa!  Where did November go? We had a crazy month!  Matt went to a solar class in Los Angeles, I went to Africa for 3 weeks on a trip of a lifetime (more on that later) and we lost our beloved ranch mascot Angus.  It was a roller coaster of emotions.  I’m still processing the grief over losing my baby (5 years old!) to bone cancer.  Life does indeed go on, but it will certainly look different now. Enough about sadness, let’s get thankful. The weather has been very mild, thankfully!  We have been able to get a number of …

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