Thursday, June 23, 2011


My front yard looks like the Amazon. The hay field is chest high,  the back yard is a sponge, and the lakes, rivers, and streams are fully recharged!
One very soggy llama
As a farmer it is considered VERY bad form to curse the rain, and after an eight year drought in this little corner of Wisconsin, I will refrain from doing so, I just wish there was some way we could share this moisture with Texas.

Fortunately for us, the weather is forecast to be great for this weekend for
Pizza By The Pond!  "The Eddies" are going to be singing for their supper starting at 5:00pm and the "Milking of the Sheep" is due to start at approx  6:00pm .

Dave milking while under the watchful eye of one of our goats
Bring a  kite! Bring a mitt and ball! Bring a spirit of adventure!  Lots of fun outdoorsy things to do, or just kick back and relax and watch the wild bird population....or maybe milk a sheep or goat!

We have new "bottle babies" including  three  June calves and a couple of goat kids, three more cows are left to calve.

The big guy on the far left is actually two weeks younger than the other two...the boys named him
"Sir Loin"

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Father's Day!

No better way to celebrate Father's  Day than a relaxing  day in the country topped off with a fantastic wood fired pizza! Pack your favorite beverages and picnic gear  and get ready to relax  with a fun game of ladder golf, horseshoes, or take in a hike in the  wildlife refuge. Dont forget to bring along  baseball mitts,  Frisbees, kites or whatever other lawn games etc you may have in mind.
Dad  can also enjoy visiting with the resident animals (sheep, goats, cows and llamas), and maybe even milk a sheep (or two!)
There are 8  small "old fart" fishing lakes within two miles of LoveTree where Dad can sink his line, or easier yet,...just a little over a mile down the road is a cool little fishing spot where the Trade River enters into Little Holmes Lake. This is where  the locals  like to simply drop their line from the roadside bridge, makes for a quick, easy, and fun excursion.

Fishing spot at the bridge over Trade River on Cty Z
If you are more interested in  a weekend "getaway", then check out our links to the left of this  column. We have listed the local state parks, horse parks, and even our favorite B&B  (Smoland Prairie Homestead) to get you started in your quest, along with many other areas of interest. Have fun exploring the possibilities of this unique glacial region of Wisconsin!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A June Bug,Locust, And Bulls!

She's here! On June 3rd we had the first calf of the season and she is a lovely brindle named
June Bug! Her sire was a Scottish Highlander and the  mama cow ( aka "Roundhead" ...Dave named her) is showing promise of being  a fabulous milker! She is half beef breed crossed to a jersey (dairy breed) so we really didnt expect too much in the way of production, in fact we werent even figuring on milking her, but the way she has developed we thought that she just  looked too good to pass up. She has been "fresh" (dairy term for coming into milk) for less than 3 days and she is already milking 5 gallons of milk a day on GRASS ONLY!!!! No grain whatsoever!  Many dairy men would scoff at the lowly amount of 43 lbs of milk per day, but we are thrilled. It is so creamy and the butterfat is decidely jersey influenced since it is bright golden orange in color.. YUM! It's going to make great cheese!

San Marzano Tomatoes all mulched and loving the heat!
We've gone from a very cool and wet spring to record breaking temps in just a few days, we hit 100F here yesterday BLECK!  Tonight the temperature is supposed to drop to 44F! Crazy weather!  The San Marzano tomatoes  in  our pizza garden  shot up close to six inches in  just over the last two days during the heat spell, thanks to the compost and mulch they never even needed to be watered during the high temps! I topped dressed them with compost and then mulched them in old sure made the difference in how they fared in the heat.  I planted them alongside of a mesh fence this year, hope it works well  as a trellis.

Wild Honey Locusts Blossoms
Lilacs cant  hold a candle to the thick sweet perfume of the wild honey locusts blossoms which surround our home. It was their lingering fragrance  that  made the past few days  of sweltering heat bearable. I hope to harvest a bunch of the blossoms tomorrow  for "Wild Honey Locusts Ash". I really do cook them down to the  point of ash, and then I dust certain cheeses with them. The ash attracts some very cool molds and adds a very nice hint of flavor.

It appears that no farm is without it's  bit of "drama". Our two bull calves, "Freddie" (the brown one) and "Rib Eye" were having their fair share of  it today. It seems that "Rib Eye" who is obviously bigger and more heavily muscled than lighter framed  and all around smaller Freddie, decided to be a bit of a "bully". Now you know where the term "bully " comes from!
Poor Freddie  didnt  even paw the ground, he just humbly lowered his head, waiting for the pending impact.

You can notice by comparing the two photos how much "Rib Eye's"  overall heft shoved Freddie back by quite a few feet! Not to worry! There is one great leverage that mother nature endowed our little underdog with, and that is the world's great equalizer....

Horns!!!   Freddie has horns, Ribe Eye does not.  Little Freddie has him on the run...yes, life is good !

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Lazy Day

The wind has finally slowed to a mild breeze, it is a gorgeously,  lazy day!  Every critter on the farm seems to have shifted into low gear as they enjoy the peace and calm of this tranquil day. Even the vat of cheese seems to be sleeping  as it slowly knits into a curd. ZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

The chickens softly clucked their way across the yard  as their guardian ,Candace, quietly looked on, she has never been one to steal Peter the Rooster's thunder.

"Dobby" and "Yoda" 

 As I left the cheese room I heard a commotion int the barn, it "app ears" that  the kid goats were upset about  something.Hmmm. Upon further inspection, the yearling  calves were not where they were supposed to be and were, upsetting the goats greatly......

Shame, Shame.....

"Freddy",   and  "Blossom"...

Guilty as charged!!!                                            

The beasts go back to their pens, and ......the pups get bored 

They get tired of watching their "aunt" watch "her " chickens,  and the chickens wouldnt off they go to explore the barn.

 Ahh yes, lets wake up big sister, chew up a hose and make a general mess of sense in taking the blame...we'll just go back to sleep and.....

simply blame it on the chickens!!!!!