chickens, farming, Feed Store, goats, horses, Things I Enjoy

One Thing At A Time

We’re coming up on the two-week mark of running the feed store, and I have to remind myself every day that there is a honeymoon phase to every adventure in life – you know what I’m talking about, right? That time period when everything is bliss, and nothing seems to hard to tackle.

I can’t even fathom a bad day at the feed store. It just doesn’t even seem possible. Every day I wake up, and I’m almost afraid I’m going to realize it was a dream that came while I was asleep…and then I pinch myself and get to enjoy that this is instead, a dream come true.

The ideas I have are endless….I have to keep a notepad near me always. As more ideas come to me, I’m afraid of losing the last one that came to mind. I want to do all the ideas…NOW.

We have our grand opening shindig happening on March 31st from 9am-6pm, and we cannot wait to see every one for that! We are going to have vendors, food, games, and fun. We’ll even be hiding Easter eggs inside and out for the kids to find.

We will have a photographer on scene to capture fabulous photos of your kids! Her name is Paula Lynell and you can find her on Facebook.

I am honored that you continue to shop at the feed store even though it changed hands. I hope to build a relationship with you, to come to know you better with every visit.

I have an event planned for April, and for May, too!

One of my priorities for the feed store is to continue the family friendly legacy, and to drive connection in the community. While I want the feed store to always be a place to get farming and pet staples (like feed and tack) I also want the feed store to be a place of connection between local growers/artisans and the community.

I hope you’ll stop by today and say hi! And I hope you’ll bring the family out on March 31st to celebrate with us.

Until next time…wordswag_1519782540149.png



chickens, farming, goats, horses

The Daily Grind

When I launched this blog and site, I had such high hopes of writing every day to tell the story of our farm. This was my space to explore all the rattling in my head, all of the learning, all of the lessons, and jot it down, and make sense of it, and share it with any one that was interested in the journey of our little farm.

Then life happened, and sometimes in the daily grind, I don’t find myself with time to come write it all out. This is a sad fact for me, one that causes me a bit of frustration. See, I’m a writer by nature, and writing out all of the things that float through my head really helps me sort things out and solidify ideas.

Our farm is in a holding pattern, things are just business as usual at the moment. The chicks haven’t started laying eggs yet, but we’ve wrangled our other two hens and a rooster, and they are all cooping together quite well. We are getting a few eggs from the two hens each week. The ducks are not happy about the cold days, especially when a layer of ice takes over the pond. They come running for dinner, but they still aren’t the friendly pets my kids wish they were.

Risky is lame more than she is not – in fact, at this point, only the kids ride her. I don’t expect her to tote me around with her foot aching. So the boys catch her and use the round pen to climb up on her, and they wander around on her a few times a week. I love that they get to do that now. I long to ride, in fact, my heart aches for a time when I get to climb aboard a horse once more, and ride my afternoon away. I’ve been praying for a solution, but it’s not in the books to go buy another horse right now.

My goats are doing well. When Shimmy dried off, I went through a phase where I was very frustrated with myself for spending what could have been sound horse money on goats. But I had to accept that everything in life has an opportunity cost – taking one opportunity always means saying no to a different one. Once we are in the spring season, with cute baby goats, and milk again, I think it will be easier to remember why I picked goats. The fact that they all come running for scritches whenever I set foot outside is a big help in reminding me that my life just wouldn’t be the same without them.

We did decide that 9 goats was a few goats too many, so we thinned out. Our buckling found a home with girls he wasn’t related to, and three of our does found homes, all with kids to play with like they are used to. One family needed a doe for milk for a kiddo that is lactose intolerant, and the other two does went to a Grandpa because his grandkids were begging him for goats.

That leaves us with 5 goats to enjoy each and every day – 5 is a much more manageable number, and while it was a tough decision, I know we made the right one.

Our livestock guardian dogs do an incredible job fending off predators all night long. We haven’t lost any of our critters to the lurkers. Ana, our female LGD, did get torn up pretty bad just before Thanksgiving – bad enough that she spend several days and nights in the house, locked away in my bedroom/bathroom to recuperate. If you’ve ever met my LGD’s, you know the house isn’t where they want to be. Poor girl, every time she heard her partner Anakin alerting outside, she was restless.

Thanks to a dear friend and her advice and salve, and my precious momma’s extra hands and know how, we were able to get Ana on the road to recovery and today she is as good as new. She is running and playing and making my heart happy with her antics. I was quite worried about my sweet Ana dog.

I’ll be back, hopefully with some measure of consistency, as we continue to learn and grow and love this little country life of ours.

farming, goats, horses

Fodder Feeding


I started with these plastic totes for $0.97 each. I grabbed the lids, too, just in case they came in handy later. I got this drill/screwdriver for $14.97. I drilled holes that were too small in the beginning, so I had to go back and re-drill my holes. I’ve found the 1/8″ in holes are the right 20170926_082742size for these tubs, my fodder growth, and the drainage I want. I tried two small sizes before landing on 1/8″ in holes. I also recommend drilling from the inside of the tubs to the outside – often the drilling leaves behind a ridge or tall spot, and by drilling out, that spot doesn’t impede drainage.

I drill 4 holes across, and 6 holes down for a total of 24 drainage holes in the bottom of each tub.

20170926_082807While I was at the store, I got paint sticks to be able to stack my tubs on top of each other. I expected to be able to stack all 6 or 7 days of growing trays on top of each other. In reality, I only felt comfortable stacking 3 trays on top of a drain tray (so 4, total).

I grow my fodder for 6 days before feeding it.

I was sprouting 4 cups of barley per tray, but decided that was too thick, and realized I was overfeeding, so I’ve backed that off to 2.5 cup of barley per tray. I dilute 2 TB of bleach in a water bottle and after washing the trays, I spray them with my bleach


solution. I don’t rinse the bleach out. I do the same with my mason soak jars, and I put

the new seeds to soak in the jar while it’s still

damp with the bleach solution, then I add warm water until the seeds are covered. I rinse them after 12 hours of soaking, then fill the jar with warm water again, and let them soak for an additional 12 hours. (When something happens and the seeds only soak for 12 hours, I feel like they don’t grow out as well.)


I stack my trays and water from top down, every day. Then, after 6 days of growing, I feed them. I’m on a system now, so even if the growth isn’t ideal, I still feed that day’s fodder. Sprouted grains, and fodder with less growth is still much more nutritious for my herd than processed feeds or a missed meal.

This fodder system reduced my feed bill from $1000/month down to $300/month. Fodder was a learn and do it now, or sell animals thing for me. I’m thankful it started up and started growing without too much of a hitch. If you have any questions, comment below!





farming, horses, People

Look a Little Deeper

Risky reminds me of a lesson I learned years ago, as a young girl with horses. We had a bay mare, named Socks, who came to us in poor condition. Her frogs were rotten, and she had quarter cracks that were bloody. Her coronets were excessively scarred, and those are just the problems we could readily identify.

Several years later, we had a young palomino gelding, Dreamer, who couldn’t catch a left lead – not in the round pen, not under saddle, and not running around in the pasture.

With Socks, we solved the issues we could see and identify, but we were new to horses, and I believe we never helped her as much as she needed. Lord knows we tried, we just didn’t know to look for some underlying issues. My brother worked hard, under Mom’s supervision, to get her frogs to grow back. With the help of some good farriers (and a few setbacks with not-so-good ones) we got her quarter cracks healed. It wasn’t until after we parted ways with her that we learned about chiropractic care for horses.

The chiropractor was exactly what Dreamer needed. With his spine aligned, and a properly fit saddle, he could easily catch a left lead – under saddle, in the round pen, and in the pasture!

Risky started acting a little crazy when we moved her – I think the combination of weather, hormones, and change in environment got the best of her. All of those things combined sometimes make it hard to show self control, for animals and their human counterparts.

Sometimes we see the bad attitude, the disrespect, the shaking fist, flying finger, or hear a nasty word, but we don’t always know the underlying cause. Often times, the people in our own home are carrying a burden we haven’t noticed, or they are feeling a pain that they haven’t mentioned. We see this often in our blended family – the effects of going back and forth from one home to the next, and the changes in rules, trying to be involved in two completely separate schedules, and trying to remember clothes, shoes, jackets, toys, all of these things add up and wear on kids. (And this is just if there is no nastiness or hate being spread/forced from the other family. That adds a whole new dimension of wear and tear.)

I see it in my husband, too. He doesn’t like to complain, so sometimes instead of saying, “My ________ hurts, I smacked it on the wheel lift,” he gets a little short. I do it, especially if I get hungry! It can be the hardest to show grace to the people we love and live with, and my prayer is that God would show me all the grace they give me, and that His grace would flow through me. I’ve been struggling with it a lot lately. I don’t like coming down on the people I love best with a critical attitude, it’s one of the things I do that bothers me the most.

Considering all of this, causes me to consider the driver that cut me off, the cashier that was rushing me and not very nice, the server that didn’t make it back to fill up my sweet tea, and many of the other people I encounter. What are they facing that is making their day harder, and how can I be a blessing as opposed to being another hurdle in their day?

Phone feb 18 239

This is Dreamer, and his daughter, Sunny. They are both enjoying life not too far from where I grew up.

If you’re going to be doing any shopping today, check out the items below. I earn a small commission if you make a purchase by following these links. This money goes directly to keeping this blog alive, so thank you.

Storey’s Barn Guide to Horse Health Care + First Aid

Storey’s Barn Guide to Horse Handling and Grooming

farming, horses, Things I Enjoy


One of the early things having Risky in our lives reminded me (and came up again today, in the dreary, drippy weather) is how much I learned from having horses. We hadn’t had her home for too many days, when we found ourselves taking care of her in yucky weather.

I grew up with a younger sister, and a variety of pets. Always having someone to look out for and take care of taught me a lot. (And I also look back and shake my head at the times I didn’t take care of things the right way, especially with my sister.)

One lesson that sticks with me, whether I have pets or not, before I became a mother, and since I’ve started the journey of motherhood, before I had stepsons, and even now with two stepsons that I adore, is determination. See, it takes a special something, deep inside someone, to get through the grimy days, the rainy days, the messy days. As I trudged through the mud, and the rain drenched me from the top of my head down, and drops ran off the end of my nose, I found some small joy in it. I thanked God for carrying me through the times I can’t walk, and for being there for the times I can – whether or not I see or notice, or want Him there.

And I’m thankful that I learned, from a young age, to do what it takes to get the job done. It may not be easy, and it may not always be fun, but it is worth it.

I am learning to be more determined and focused on taking care of our home – not just letting the messes pile up from day-to-day, but actually taking care of things as they come up. It’s not always easy, especially with 3 toddlers underfoot, but we are getting it done. One day at time.

Being so aware of how much my responsibilities shaped me as a young girl has made me push my kids harder and focus on handing over responsibilities that they are big enough for. I don’t want them to miss out on the lessons that have proven to be incredibly valuable to me in my adult life. They all learn so much from helping, having a job to do, and accomplishing something. And hopefully, these rainy feeding days will teach them to trudge through the mud, to do what needs to be done, so that when the sun is shining, we can play!


(Risky, all wet, and a view of the big mess she used to make with her hay.)