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in Livestock, Sheep

What you don’t know about your pregnant sheep may kill it

Twin Lamb Disease Last night one of our sheep refused to stand up.  This is a big deal with sheep and indicates something is very wrong.  Worse, the saying that a sick sheep is a dead sheep is very true.  A quick look told us this was one of our very pregnant ewes and a quick feel told us that she had lost significant weight recently.  Unlike the other livestock, it is too easy for a sheep to lose weight without any notice.  Their puffy wool makes even the skinniest animal look fat and without feeling through the wool, you…

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in Blog, Sheep

Care of sheep in winter

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…

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in Blog, Farmlife, Published in Daily Press

What should your New Year's farm resolutions be?

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…

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in Blog, Chickens, Farming, Livestock, Prepping, Sheep

Winter is Coming-8 Tips for preparing your farm for winter

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…

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in Blog, Gardening

25 Veggies You Can Plant in November

Did you know there are all sorts  other vegetables that you can be planting right now?  While most people are putting away  their gardening tools, there really is no end to the gardening season especially in Southern California.  Not in sunny California?  Read this great article about gardening with cold frames. This spring, when most people are starting their gardens, we were so busy with lambing that we never did a garden.  That was really sad because I love the summer garden particularly.  The zucchinis, melons, pumpkins, tomatoes, and all  the other wonders of the spring and summer gardens.  Of…

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in Blog, Farmlife

Free-Range kids

Recently, we hosted a group of elementary kids.  It was so much fun.  They got to feed the animals, collect eggs, milk the goat, learn how to make mozzarella cheese, harvest pistachios from the tree, pet the kittens, and so much more. While everyone seemed to love the trip, the teachers were curious about the free time the students had.  We feel strongly about the importance of free time.  Here at Flip Flop Ranch, we believe that free play is important for the proper development of children.  Plus if you want your child to experience what real farm life is like…

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in Blog, Farming, Natural Health

Health and modern farming

While obesity is on the rise, ironically so is malnourishment. It is strange how such well fed people can be lacking in basic vitamins and minerals. This malnourishment is contributing to issues as severe as cancer or to the daily misery of chronic fatigue syndrome. We all know that the modern diet of most Americans is unhealthy. In fact, the average American is deficient in at least three vital nutrients. Data on American eating habits show that we prefer a one item meal, already prepared. Vegetables are side dishes and Americans don’t have time for something so superfluous.  In just…

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in Blog, Chickens, Food Preservation, Livestock, Poultry, Prepping, Published in Daily Press

How you should store your eggs

I lived in Ireland for a few years and one of the things that shocked me the most was going to the grocery store and seeing unrefrigerated eggs sitting on the shelf. I thought it was almost barbaric and I couldn’t imagine how many people got sick from such a backwards practice. Now I know better. Salmonella on My Eggs Although I didn’t know at the time, salmonella was what I worried about when I saw these grocery store shelf eggs.  Salmonella is almost ubiquitous in eggs.  It is a bacteria that comes from chicken feces and can make us…

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in Blog, Canning, Chickens, Farmlife, Published in Daily Press

How you should store your eggs Egg

I lived in Ireland for a few years and one of the things that shocked me the most was going to the grocery store and seeing unrefrigerated eggs sitting on the shelf. I thought it was almost barbaric and I couldn’t imagine how many people got sick from such a backwards practice. Now I know better. Salmonella on My Eggs Although I didn’t know at the time, salmonella was what I worried about when I saw these grocery store shelf eggs.  Salmonella is almost ubiquitous in eggs.  It is a bacteria that comes from chicken feces and can make us…

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in Blog, Farmlife

Update after the Surgery

So a lot of you have been asking for updates from after the surgery and I have just been in too much pain and too tired to provide it for all of you until now. For those of you who don’t have a clue what is going on, my wonderful beautiful horse Tarik had a sore back and I, thinking that he was over it, was violently disabused of that notion. I prefer to call it an unplanned dismount but really, he bucked me off. I landed right on my wrist and it only took a glance to see that my…

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