A New Chicken House…the Daily Farm Adventures {74}

Well, I said was interested in talking about the real costs of raising your own meat, or owning a small farm…and here’s one now. {smile}

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My fellas are working on a new, hoop-house style chicken house–made of pieces of a greenhouse we salvaged from a friend. This is a pretty big undertaking and a new design–which is part of what Mr. Fix-It enjoys about farming. The creative, creating, problem-solving stuff. He enjoys re-inventing the wheel because there’s always the possibility of doing it better. {smile}

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We’re building a new house because we’re increasing our laying flock and now that summer is fading, we need to get them into sturdier shelters for the winter. They’ve all been raised out in the field pen and duck pen all summer. (Have I mentioned lately that I’m really missing our ducks?) We’ll be keeping our old chicken house, of course, for future birds, sick birds, or as a brooding house for self-hatched chicks.

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I think we’ll all be excited when it’s done. We’re all a little over the chicken-chaos of the free-rangers right now. They get into everything and we find chicken…piles…all over, everywhere. Mr. Fix-It drew the line when one started hopping up on his toolbox shelf in the garage and laying an egg. Every. Day. Time to exert a little control around here! (Easier said than done, but I digress…)

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Needless to say, we’ll be welding and hammering and stapling this weekend between birthday parties and soccer tournaments. Follow us on Facebook to see some real-time progress being made!

And don’t forget to

" target="_blank">sign up for our newsletter!! We’ll be starting a series on Starting a Small Farm…the Basic Expenses soon, and you won’t want to miss a post! I’m excited to share some tips and lessons learned (some good and some hard!), some farmer profiles of fellow homesteaders and small farmers, and some of our go-to resources as we go along on this narrow path of praying, grazing, and growing.

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Plus hopefully updates on how much further along we are–maybe even a move in notice!

Have a good weekend!

See where I’m sharing…

boots footer 2014

When There Are No Last Moments…Grieving and Growing

Thoughts on learning acceptance from sudden grief via www.walkinginhighcotton.net Grieving, growing, and faith. #orphan

All this chatter about Brittany Maynard makes me sad. Not just for her–although I have found myself praying for her so often since hearing her story–but for everyone in the conversation. So many hurting hearts. So many dealing with tough, tough choices. But what makes me so sad about this talk of “death with dignity” is that it assumes that cancer is taking your choices away and there is a way to wrestle control back from it and be in charge of “the end” yourself. I can see where you would see that when facing a prolonged illness. But what … Continue Reading…

Is Raising Your Own Meat Really Frugal?…the Daily Farm Adventures {73}

Is raising your own meat really "frugal"? Not really, but it can at least be affordable. Some thoughts on REAL costs of raising livestock. {via Walking in High Cotton}

I read an article recently about how much it costs to run a small farm, and I have to admit, it hit me all wrong. I love homesteading and our small farm and would never want to discourage anyone from trying it–but I also think that it doesn’t help people to be successful by making it all sound easy-peasy, no big deal, throw some animals in your backyard and suddenly you have organic food for a quarter of the price of the grocery store. Because the ugly side of that is people tying goats to your front porch with a note … Continue Reading…

Organizing Direct-Market Lamb Sales…the Daily Farm Adventures {72}

Here's a break down of the simple system we use to track our direct-market Fall lamb sales. (via Walking in High Cotton)

All of our customers buy directly from us here at the farm. Customers give us money, we give them an animal–we sell live animals only from the farm–which avoids extensive liability and food safety issues. If they want it processed by someone, we sell them the animal and then arrange transport for them to an approved facility for butchering and they pay the butcher directly for the processing at that inspected, approved facility. Last week I explained that our Fall lamb harvest is mostly Muslim customers buying for Eid (the celebration of sacrifice). Supplies of fresh, whole lamb are limited in this … Continue Reading…

We Survived Our 1st Month of Public School…

We survived our 1st month of public school...but it was bumpy, my friends. Very bumpy.

It was bumpy, my friends. Very bumpy. It was touch-and-go. It was iffy. I think blatant evidence that Momma was flat out losing her mind might have finally snapped everyone into getting a grip. But here we are, heading through our second month of our family’s public school career, and I think it’s starting to even out. I think we’re getting the hang of it. We’re figuring out the lines of communication, making sense of the forms, and getting the hang of the acronyms. Our school experience actually started a few weeks before the first day of school when I didn’t have … Continue Reading…

Serving Muslim Customers at the Farm as Christians…the Daily Farm Adventures {71}

Serving Muslim customers at the farm, as Christians. Our experiences, and a few common mis-understandings. via Walking in High Cotton

We had our lamb harvest day on Saturday this year, so we’re wrapping up another sold-out lambing season here at The Lowe Farm. 90% of our customers are repeat customers, or a referral from a regular customer, and this is our 4th sold out year. Mr. Fix-It and I had a long talk the other day and we decided that being more transparent in our experiences might have a lot of value for our readers, and maybe some other small farmers out there. Based on some of the…um…unkind comments that we have heard over the years from other farmers and observers of … Continue Reading…

Wearing Many Hats…the Daily Farm Adventures {70}

The fields are starting to lose that summer lush green look. Fall is marching on...via Walking in High Cotton

Things are a little crazy around here right now. We’re in the middle of soccer season, so the kiddos have practice during the week, and then games on Saturday mornings. This Saturday is also lamb harvest this year, so we’ll have customers at the farm all day on Saturday. The Cowboy is very excited that he won’t have to miss it this year, like last year, for school. Plus Mr. Fix-It and I have started teaching Wednesday night bible club at our church. It’s a joy, but it takes up a lot of our time and energy working on class … Continue Reading…