I woke up early before the sun was up to get some beautiful pictures of the sky and enjoy the quiet of the desert before the farm animals wake up. I wish I’d had more time as the sunrise was extra beautiful and the weather extra perfect which is rare in the extreme desert. But alas, I had to teach my psychology class at Victor Valley College.
After a super interesting class on false memories and cult methods for brainwashing members, I headed back to the ranch to keep working on our renovations. The Read More
It isn’t really the beginning of the new year here at Flip Flop Ranch until the Cotton Patch Geese begin to lay their eggs. They’re a little late this year as we usually get eggs around valentine’s day (great present isn’t it?), but the weather has been a little weird so maybe that’s why. We hatch these eggs and ship the babies all around the country. We’ve never eaten one although it would probably make an awesome omelette. They’re just worth more as babies since they are rare…plus I’m allergic to eggs!
I gave a farm tour today to some wonderful people from a homeschooling Waldorf group from Topanga Canyon, CA who are considering bringing their whole group here for a field trip. I love Waldorfers. It’s a style of teaching that is very hands on and very connected to nature and to doing REAL things. Very much how we teach the kids who visit the farm.
There were three adorable little munchkins who just ran all over the farm loving on the animals, especially Bologna the pony. The kittens were of course the big winners.
I haven’t posted much about this even though we’ve been struggling with it since january. I was walking past the farmstay guest house and noticed water leaking out the walls.
I ran inside and there was just inches of water covering the entire first floor. Disaster! I was so upset.
The hot water heater’s heating element had shorted out Read More
Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat
Please to put a penny in the old man’s hat.
If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do,
If you haven’t got a ha’penny then God bless you!
~Traditional nursery rhyme
The History of the Eating Goose
The goose has been part of the winter holidays for millennia since the Egyptians first recorded eating them around 2500BC. It boasts delicious dark meat and what is considered some of the highest quality high temperature cooking fat available. Charles Dickens wrote that goose’s “tenderness and flavour, size and cheapness, were the themes of Read More
There is no happier day on Flip Flop Ranch for me than when the cotton patch goslings hatch. This year started good with a nice amount of eggs in the incubator week 1 and so far has continued good with many pipped eggs. As of right now, three goslings are out of their eggs and every single one is healthy.
It has been a struggle over the years for us to get the hang of hatching goslings. It’s nothing like hatching chicks which is basically just toss the eggs in and let the incubator run. Goslings are sensitive and need the right humidity and the right turning and the right Read More
We finally got some rain here in the desert. Crazy right? Okay, well it sprinkled for a while. It was enough to get the ground wet and the pig pens are nothing but mud…I need to go put some straw down.
We have lots of sheep here, mostly Navajo-Churro, a good desert breed. So what do we do for them here at Flip Flop Ranch? Well, not a lot actually. Sheep do really well in the winter generally, and here in southern california the winters are usually mild enough on them that they don’t need a lot of care.
We do have a shelter for them where they can get out Read More
With 2014 a thing of the past, our family has never been so happy to see a new year. Almost every single person in the immediate family and many of the extended family have dealt with a surgery, accident, financial disaster or something else bad this past year. We celebrated the new year with more enthusiasm than ever before and with better food too. We had a rib dinner with lamb, pork and beef ribs all raised here at the ranch. The new year is going to HAVE to be better with that kind of welcome.
So what awaits you and your farming endeavors in the new year?
- Start! Read More
This past storm that blew into the desert may have come and gone, but we can be sure another one is coming with even colder temperatures. It’s easy for us desert rats to forget how harsh the winters here are after the extreme heat and sunshine of the summer. Sure it’s not a Vermont winter, but it can still be tough on both farmer and farm animal.
Batten down the hatches
While ‘batten down the hatches’ is an old shipman’s phrase referring to covering grated openings in the ship’s deck (hatches) with a tarp secured by wooden strips (battens) to prevent water from getting in during a storm, it still is Read More