We have four acres of wine grapes growing at our ranch. Wine grapes are common in Southern California, but pretty rare in our area where there is a lot of homesteading, but few commercial level farms. I don’t know if we exactly qualify as a commercial farm, but we sure are trying hard to support ourselves through farming alone!
Anyhow, the High Desert of Southern California is a pretty extreme climate with cold winters and hot summers. Since it gets so hot in our area, we harvest our grapes pretty early at the beginning of August.
This year was the easiest harvest we’ve ever had because Read More
Today was a special day. We have a small fold (the proper scottish term for a herd) of Highland Cattle here on the main part of the ranch. They have been stuck in corrals for a bit while we got, what we optimistically call, the ‘pasture’ prepared for them.
(In the meantime, they have destroyed these poor corrals.)
We have a ranch in the Mojave desert of Southern California, which means the land is dry as bone. Many of our cows are raised off the main part of the ranch in the mountain rangeland because the desert isn’t super great about producing grass lol. Read More
Written by Gail Damerow of Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens
Researchers have shown that there are at least 24 different sounds chickens make and maybe as many as 30. While chickens don’t have nearly the vocabulary that us humans have, and their chicken brains don’t allow for abstract and deep conversations, they are still a very vocal and conversational critter. And if you pay attention, you can learn to understand and speak their language too.
Pleasure peep-A soft, irregular chirp that says “I’m here and all is well.”
Pleasure trill-A soft warbling sound often used when settling down for a nap that says “Life is good.”
Distress Read More
Keto is dangerous. Keto destroys your kidneys, Keto is too restrictive. Keto will give you nutrient deficiencies.
Yea I’ve heard it all. I wasn’t a believer in Keto until about five years ago. Actually, I’d never even heard of it until I stumbled across a documentary about it. I thought it was insane. You purposely eat fat?? You purposely cut out fruit and grains and beans, which are obviously healthy and necessary???
Learning about the Ketogenic Diet
I have a bit of a crunchy personality strangely mixed with a healthy dose of skepticism, conservatism and gun ownership as I was raised by two scientists. Read More
Ok so don’t judge me. I had some bananas and I know they’re not keto friendly. The good news is while I bought them, I only ate like two of them. The rest sat on my counter and started to go bad.
Which of course inspired thoughts of banana bread.
After experimenting with banana bread recipes all over the internet, this is the one I found/altered, and fell in love with. It’s super easy to make and using one banana it is only 5 net carbs. If you use banana extract then you can drop that down to 2 carbs per muffin. I think I’ve eaten Read More
This morning was a scary moment for me. I was ran down by a cow.
Cows are the number 1 cause of injuries and the number 2 cause of death for farmers right after tractors. After this morning I believe it.
Fortunately for me, it was our 6 month old Highland calf who ran me down. Having said that, she’s not some adorable little fluffy thing. Well she is adorable and fluffy, but she probably weighs 600 pounds at this point and she was pretty effective at causing damage the day she was born.
The current (and hopefully long lasting) trend towards farming is part of the movement towards contentment searching in our society. Despite our material wealth, or perhaps because of it, Americans are a very discontent society. We are searching for a sense of purpose and happiness. Many of us have looked at the last few generation’s pursuit of material wealth and seen that it didn’t bring happiness. We have instead given up on wealth as a goal and have begun to look at the quality of our life and simplification as a way to bring this contentment. A very efficient way Read More
I have sorely neglected this poor website. I had the amazing opportunity to get away from it all and spend a month touring europe and doing photography.
I started my trip in Ireland where I got to catch up with some old friends and then photograph a wedding. What an amazing experience. It was so similar to weddings here in America, but different in a lot of ways too.
After that, I took the train up to Read More
Merida the Highland Calf
We are the proud new owners of the most adorable little critter on the planet. I mean barring the hundreds of other highland cow babies born this spring. No, our’s is definitely cuter.
We decided to name this adorable little girl, Merida from the Disney movie Brave. Why not? First of all Highland cows are a Scottish breed and then she’s a red head. It’s perfect. Plus this little calf has zero fear. She doesn’t understand why she needs to stay in the Read More
I have too many pigs. And now because I have too many pigs, I have too many ducks. Let me explain and maybe you’ll learn something about Muscovy Ducks along the way.
Becoming an accidental pig farmer
Pigs breed fast. I mean REALLY fast. Their gestation time is God’s little joke of 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days. And they can get pregnant basically as soon as the last piglet pops out.
Historically, that’s been fine with me. I started off with two pigs, added a few extra breeders along the way to diversify the gene pool (nobody wants an inbred jed Read More