News and Blog
Happy Holidays to Everyone!
It's here! December is here and that means Christmas is just around the corner. Are you ready? I'll tell you I'm not. I'll get the Christmas tree up in the next couple of days and I have purchased a few (very few) Christmas gifts. This month seems to fly by for me. I bet its the same for you!
We've had a few early Christmas gifts arrive today. Zoie had her babies. A little buckling and a little doeling. The little boy is gorgeous and BIG! His sister is petite with a very LOUD voice. Zoie's doing great. Next in line is Gwendolyn. She should have her babies any second now. You know that I don't normally have babies this time of year but thanks to our big buck Roo and his ability to jump the fence, we're having unplanned babies. They are super cute though! This is the little boy, his sister is a bit camera shy.
Our son, Jon, loves to hunt and trap. He's been trapping on our friend's farm. He's had a BIG problem with Beavers eating the trees in his nursery. Today Jon took care of one of the problem animals. Look at this HUGE beaver. Guess eating trees is a great way to gain weight! I never knew Beavers got this big!
We've had a wonderful time at all of the Holiday Festival and Craft shows that we participated in the last few months. We've met a lot of new friends and reconnected with many of our old friends. There are lots of folks that will be getting some of our Girly Goats Soaps, Lotions, and Bath Products for Christmas this year! We're running some great specials this month if you need to pick up some Christmas gift. Now through Dec. 8th, we are offering $7.00 off an order of $25.00 through our webiste www.girlygoats.com Just use coupon code: Cyber2013 at check out. You will receive a FREE Girly Goats Soap dish with your purchase of $35.00. And, if you follow us on Facebook, you can participate in our weekly give-a-ways. Just click here to like us on Facebook. This week we are giving away one of our cute Felted Soaps. Just like us and share the photo to enter.
Next month I will have our Spring Class & Workshop schedule ready for you. We'll be offering some of our old favorites plus some new classes. We'll continue with our Raising Chickens, Raising Goats, Poultry Processing, & Soap Making Classes. And, **ta-da**, we will be offering a few Cheese-making classes. Keep posted for all of the details!
I will also have details for our CSA (Poultry, eggs, breads) program and our Herd Share (milk & cheese) program ready for you. There will be lots of options for you to join our farm family!
Now, let me close out with one of our FAVORITE Christmas Candy recipes. Oh yeah, the calories don't count at Christmas time. That is what January 1st is all about.
Mom's Chocolate Toffee
1 pound of butter
2 Cups Brown Sugar
2 Large Hersey Chocolate Bars or 12 regular size bars
Melt butter and brown sugar. Bring to the hard cracked stage over medium heat. (Use a large pan so you don't boil over) While you are waiting for the butter & sugar combination to reach the correct temp, butter a 13 X 9 pan and break your chocolate bars in to pieces. (the pieces don't have to be prefect, just chucky. When your butter/sugar mixture has reached the hard cracked stage, pour into your buttered pan (be careful....this is VERY hot) Sprinkle your chocolate bar pieces over the top. Sprinkle walnuts if you decide to add them. Place in the frig to cool. Once cool, turn out onto a cutting board. Use a hammer to break into bite-size pieces. Store in an airtight container. ENJOY!
Finally, from our family, we want to wish you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We appreciate your support and look forward to a new & exciting New Year with you!
The Staff of Hidden Springs Farms
I am a few days early for our November newsletter but I'm booked (over booked to be honest) for the next few days so I wanted to let you know I've not forgotten. First off, I hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween. The weather doesn't look too promising for middle Tennessee tomorrow but maybe the nasty stuff will pass before the children head out. I can't believe it is almost November. The months really seem to fly by this time of year.
Thanks to all of you that supported us at the Robertson County Farmer's Market this season. We had a wonderful time and enjoyed being there every week. We have BIG plans for next year including expanding our pastured poultry and giving you the opportunity to buy cheese, yogart, and milk from our herd of lovely Nubian Dairy goats. Yep, we are going to be offering a Herd Share program where you can get cheese, yogart, and milk. More details in January, but wanted to give you something to look forward too over the cold winter months.
I really need your help to qualify us for the opportunity to be considered for a Main Street Grant through Chase. In order to qualify, we have to have 250 votes. It only takes a minute (you'll have to have a facebook account to vote). This grant would give us the capital to build a Grade A licensed Goat Dairy and Cheese plant. Wouldn't it be GREAT to have farmstead cheese produced right here in Robertson County? Please take a minute to cast your vote for us by clicking here
If you are familiar with our Pastured Raised Chickens, you know that we use the tagline "We Love Local Chicks"...we wanted to have a cute visual to go along with that so we ran a contest and ** ta-da** here is the winning design! What do you think? Would you like a T-Shirt or Shopping Bag with this design? (yeah, she's a little "flashy" but I wanted a Pin-Up Girl kind of chicken)
As you know, we added a new grandbaby to our family in May. Little Miss Emory is a handful. I call her my Drama Queen! G-G, that's me, finally decided to get a little help and got a bouncy swing. She loves it for about 5 minutes! She loves to be entertained 100% of the time. But she's a cutey and loves her Big Brother Tyler!
A few weeks ago I participated at a festival in Clarksville at the Hayloft. What a wonderful event. It was held on a farm and in and around a beautiful barn. I had to snap a shot of the cute bathroom they had. Everything was rustic looking but I thought this was a clever idea. Very simple but very cute!
Its been romance time on the farm. The cows are all bred, the goats are bred, and I will most likely have some puppies in the next 30 days. Don't be surprised if you see baby goat pictures in our next newsletter either. While I normally don't have baby goats in the winter, this year my bucks have been experts at getting to the girls. In fact, Zoey looks like she could deliver within the next couple weeks. I honestly don't know HOW that happened. I never saw her with a boyfriend!!! And, I certainly didn't consent to her visiting either boy! Oh boy!
Cows are interesting characters. Ken put a tire swing up for our grandson Tyler years ago. Its in one of the cow pastures and they LOVE the tire swing. Just before I snapped this shot, Thelma was pushing the swing all around. It was like a game. As soon as she noticed I was watching, she stopped and I swear said "I wasn't doing nothing."
This weekend, Friday & Saturday, I'll be at the Christmas Sampler at the Center in Springfield. It is Friday evening from 4:00 til 9:00 pm and from 8:00 to 5:00 on Saturday. It is a great event to get your Christmas shopping started. I'll be there with all of the Girly Goats items. I'm on the second floor. Please plan to stop by and say "Hi"! If you can't make it, I will be at The Grace Lutheran Christmas Craft Show on Nov. 9th in Clarksville and the following weekend at the Handmade Holiday Fair in Clarksville. Watch our facebook page for the latest.
Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away. I hope you all get to spend a lot of time with family and friends and enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving meal! We have lots to be grateful and thankful for!
The Staff of Hidden Springs Farms
And, a Happy start to Fall! Its hard to believe it is October. Does time fly by faster as you get older? Or maybe its because we are all so busy that we just don't have enough time. I wish I could figure it out. Fall is my favorite time of year. I can see things starting to change, but I'm looking forward to seeing all of those beautiful colors when the leaves change. What about you?
We are weaning our little bull calf and he is none too happy right now. We put a young heifer in with him to see if that would help, but he still cries like a girl. It doesn't help that our BIG bull keeps coming through the fence to visit. Must be nice to know that you are big enough and bad enough that you can basically do whatever you want.
Most of you know that I've had a terrible time this year with my laying hens. First, a raccoon came in and killed all of them. Then after I replaced them, a fox decided that free chicken dinner was being served at our farm. So, the laying hens have spent the majority of the summer in the horse barn. I finally decided to move them back to the coop area and they are super happy to be outside. I started a group of young chicks the beginning of spring and now have 5 Roosters (that's what happens when you buy straight-run chicks). I have to decide which Rooster gets to stay, but they are all so pretty, its tough to decide.
This month begins our Festival and Craft Fair season and boy, its a busy one this year. We will be participating in all of these:
Oct. 12th 10:00 - 5:00: J. Alexander & Friends Handmade Harvest Vintage Farm Fair: Alexander Farm, Alexander Lane, Bethpage, TN
Oct: 17th, 18th, & 19th: Barn Sale at The Hayloft: 551 Port Royal Rd, Clarksville, TN
Nov. 2nd & 3rd: The Christmas Sampler: At the Center in Springfield, TN
Nov. 9th: Grace Lutheran Craft Fair: Clarksville, TN
Nov 16th & 17th: Handmade Holiday Fair: Clarksville, TN
Dec. 1st: Lylewood Inn Bed & Breakfast: Christmas Open House, Indian Mound, TN
Keep an eye on our facebook page and we'll remind you of all of these events and give more details. You can follow us on facebook by clicking here.
We have also scheduled a Cold Process Soap Making class on Oct. 26th from 1:30 - 3:30. It will be our last soap making class for the year and is prefect if you'd like to learn to make soap to give as gifts this holiday season. You can register by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org The class is $40 and we provide everything you need.
The Robertson County Farmer's market is still going strong. I picked up some wonderful locally grown Apples last week along with some potatoes, kale, and sourdough bread. (I love to bake but haven't mastered the sourdough bread yet) Those fall colors are everywhere with the beautiful pumpkins, mums, and more.
Have a WONDERFUL October!
The Staff of Hidden Springs Farms
I hope you are all enjoying a great Labor Day Weekend. Here we are beginning another month. To me, September means that Fall is just around the corner. I'll be honest, I am really looking forward to the leaves changing and the weather to cool off. This past week was very HOT...But, of course, everything is growing like crazy. I can handle cutting the grass in the heat but the thought of dragging the weedeater out and trimming all of those places the lawn motor won't reach is not appealing. Lucky me......I have many non-motorized weed eaters! My girls love to help out. We take our walk and all I have to do it take them where I need weed eating done, and they take care of it.
Tyler and I spent one very hot afternoon with our friends Mr. James and Miss Suzan at their beautiful swimming pool. Tyler loves the water and swims like a fish. He played volleyball, drove for objects, and in general, had a wonderful time.
Yesterday Tyler, Jon and I went to Shade Tree Farms and picked apples. It is so much fun and the on-farm store is filled with lots of great things. I bought an apple peeler and boy, did it make a difference. Sarah and Tommy Head have many varieties of apples and if you've never had a locally grown apple, you are really missing out. If you want some fun family time, be sure to visit Shade Tree Farms in Adams, TN. I brought my apples home and made applesauce and apple pie filling.
Now that the weathers is starting to cool off (hopefully), we will be offering some more classes & workshops on the farm. This month we have two classes scheduled:
Cold Process Soap Making: September 14th, 1:30 - 3:30 Join us to learn the art of soapmaking. In this class you will learn to amke handcrafted soap the way great grandma did. You'll create two bars of handcrafted soap to take home with you. Sorry, but this class is not open to students under the age of 18. $40.00 per person
Raising Chickens: September 28th, 1:30 - 3:30 If you are thinking about adding some chickens to your place, this is a great class to help you get started. We talk about how to care for your chickens, housing, protection, health, nurtition, and more. $40.00 per person
If you are interested in attending either of these classes, you can register by emailing us at email@example.com Pre-registration is required.
Remember, the Robertson County Farmer's Market will start back up this coming Saturday, September 7th. We'll be back at the fair grounds now that the fair is over. Please come and visit with us. The market is open from 8:30 - Noon.
Have a wonderful Labor Day!
The Staff of Hidden Springs Farms
I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful summer. While summer will be around a bit longer here in Tennessee, the children are actually getting ready to head back to school. It seems so early! Tyler, our grandson will be in 1st grade this year. We took him up to Ft. Campbell last week so he could tour the Pratt Army Museum and he had a ball. He is really interested in "Army Men" right now and all of the Helicopters, planes, and more.
We did pregnancy checks on all of our cows & heifer last week as well. Let me tell you, drawing blood from a cow's tail is not as easy as it sounds. But, between Ken and I, we were able to get it done and YEAH...all of the girls are pregnant except one. The one that isn't pregnant is my least favorite one. I call her "the black-eyed witch". She's just crazy! She'll be leaving our farm soon...T-Bone, our steer went to the processor last week and I am driving back up to Kentucky tomorrow to pick him up. I'll be having a big, juicy T-BONE tomorrow evening for dinner. Yummy!
The Nubians are working hard to clean up the weeds and such all around the farm. We are still taking a walk every morning and every evening. I find it to be very relaxing and it has been wonderful for the girls. Even the little girls join in.
I've been trying my hand at making some new cheeses. So far I've done Feta and Cherve (Goat's Milk Cheese) Both of these are super simple and oh so tasty. The Feta is in the frig in a salt bath and will be ready in about another week. The Cherve has already been eaten. I made Herb, plain, and Spicy. Prefect to top a bagel.The photo below is of the Cherve draining. I'm considering adding some cheese making classes next year. Who's interested in learning to make cheese from scratch?
I am redoing the Fall Workshop & Class schedule and will hopefully have that completed this weekend. I'll post it on our homepage, facebook, and pinterest so you'll be able to see what we have coming up. Oh, and if you are not already following us on Facebook, you can find us here I post on Facebook almost daily so its a great place to see what is happening on the farm.
This Saturday I'll be at the Clarksville Farmer's Market. I'm bringing Cinnamon Rolls, Blackberry Cobbler, Summer Harvest Bread, and Rosemary Sage Bread. The Summer Harvest Bread is AWESOME and prefect for all of the wonderful veggies that are in season right now. I made mine with Eggplant, Tomatoes, Zucchini, and Yellow Squash. Its an easy bread to make so try it yourself and use whatever your garden is producing a lot of. This works especially great with anything squash related.
Summer Harvest Bread (makes 2 loaves)
2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup vegetable Oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 Cups veggies (squash, zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant) finely chopped or grated
3 Cups Flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp nutmeg
Mix all together and pour into two well greased loaf pans. Bake at 325 for approx 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool before cutting. Eat one loaf and you can freeze the other.
Enjoy the rest of your summer!
The Staff of Hidden Springs Farms
In case you missed it, Summer is officially here! I can hardly believe it is already July. This year is just sailing by. I will admit, I feel a bit like a hamster in a wheel. Running and running and I never seem to catch up. There is always something else that needs to be done, animals to tend, grass to cut, weeds to pull, milking, soap making, and of course, my "paying job" in corporate America. Ken has spend much of this year working out of state so I have figured out quickly that I can't get everything done by myself. There have been a few melt-downs and I often look like this:
I will say that I am very glad that we do not live too close to our neighbors. I do get pretty passionate (that's a nice way of saying "I cuss like a sailor) when the cows are not cooperating. I have threatened all of them with becoming freezer beef if they don't straighten up. Somehow, I do not think they really believe me and they are certainly NOT afraid of me. What happen to my cute little bottle calves? Those I loved. These 1200 pound heifers are a pain in the neck. I've had my hand jammed up against the cattle shoot, stuck myself with the needle that was supposed to go in the cow, been kicked at, pooped on........I don't think they like me!
On a more positive note, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my goats. The last of this years babies have been sold. I kept my 4 bottle baby girls as they will be future milkers. I have started taking the Big Girls for a walk every evening and of course the little girls join in. We stroll through the woods and they enjoy a nice snack and I get to unwind. It is a lot of fun for all of us. Well, except for the two bucks. They whine like sissy-girls when we walk by. Sorry, guys, but you don't listen and don't follow so you have to stay in the pasture. Here's a picture of little Baylee. She loves the milk stand and is practicing to be a future milk.
Our puppy Dakota is growing like a weed. He has fit in prefectly on the farm. He loves the goats, plays with the ducks (well, he plays, the ducks run, yell, and try to keep their distance from him), and is always under my feet. He does love the water. If he is not in the pond, he will jump in any other water he can find. Little Girl, in the background, hates the water.
I've been enjoying some fresh veggies and meats lately. I did a cucumber & tomato salad one evening. Love a cold veggie salad after working outside in the heat. I also made some home-made potato salad with a touch of curry. Fresh potatoes right from the Farmer's Market. I've baked zucchini bread, my personal favorite bread this time of year. And this past weekend, a fresh chicken salad. Here's the recipe for the Chicken salad:
Curried Chicken Salad
2 Cups cooked and chopped chicken (I roast a whole chicken and then take what I need for the salad and enjoy the rest for another meal)
1/2 Cup Red Grapes, seedless, sliced in half
1/4 Cup chopped onion
2 TB chopped Clinatro
3-4 TBS Mayo (use less or more depending on your taste)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 tsp Curry Powder
Mix all together and enjoy on either fresh bread or a bed of fresh greens. The curry powder really gives it a good kick!
This Saturday, I'll be at the Clarksville Downtown Market from 8:00 - 1:00 Hope to see all of our Clarksville readers there. We'll be bringing our new Rosemary Garlic Vinegar, Fresh Garlic, Freshly baked breads and Wild Blackberry cobbler, and our fabulous Goat's Milk Fudge. We'll also have all of our Goat's Milk Soaps and herbal body products. Hope to see you!
I want to take a minute to wish everyone a Very Happy 4th of July! I hope you are able to spend some time with family and friends, BBQ some awesome food, and in general celebrate this GREAT Nation we live in! Have a safe and happy holiday!
Until next time,
The Staff of Hidden Springs Farms
Can you believe we are already in June? Where does the time fly? We are half way through another year already. This time of year is so busy, luckily we have more daylight to get more done.
Our first BIG NEWS is we have a new grand baby! Emery Berlin Wortman was born on May 24th weighing 8 lbs 8 oz and 21 inches long. Our grandson wasn't too thrilled about having a baby sister, but that all changed once he got to hold her. Personally, I am THRILLED to have a baby girl. I've been surrounded by men forever so it will be nice to have someone to do some girly things with.
It has been such a strange weather year so far. Our animals have really struggled. I have several of my Nubian girls that have some hoof problems so I am doctoring them. The cows are simply tired of mud and rain and the poor chickens have been confined to the barn because we have a young fox that has moved into the chicken coop area. I've seen Mr. Fox several times and haven't been able to catch him yet. The only happy ones on the farm are the ducks! They love the rain and nice full ponds although I have found them all laying around in the middle of the barn during the day when its been hot. Must be nice to be a duck on our farm
All of the baby goats are now weaned. As you can imagine, it is pretty noisy when you wean babies. The babies cry for momma and the momma's cry for the babies. My little bottle babies are the worse by far. They yell everytime they see me. They have all settled down now and I love watching them all play. I have many for sale. If you are looking for a doeling, I have 4 for sale starting at $150 and a bunch of bucklings starting at $75.00 I'll have some individual pictures posted on our Sale Page on the website later this week. But, you can see a lot of the colors I have in this picture. They have all been wormed, vacinated, and disbudded. Call or email if you are interested in coming and looking at them. Since all of the babies are weaned, we have started milking. The older girls have no problem getting on the milking stands but the first time girls fight like a tiger. It takes a few weeks for them to understand that I am NOT going to hurt them. Anyways, we are working through it and the milk is flowing.
We have two classes scheduled this month for those who want to learn to make soap:
Cold Processing Soap Making: June 29th, 1:00 - 3:30 Learn to make soap the old-fashioned way like great grandma did. You'll learn how to take easy to find ingredients and make your own creative soaps. $35.00 plus a $5.00 supply fee
Advanced Cold Process Soap: Working with Color: June 15th, 1:00 - 3:00 If you already know how to make basic cold process soap, learn to put a little COLOR into your creations. $35.00
If you are interested in attending either class, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to register
Since it gardening time and fresh veggies are coming in, here's a quick, easy recipe to use some of those tasty veggies:
1 Large Whole Bulb Garlic
4 Medium Potatoes (cut into quarters)
4 Small Onion (cut in half)
6 Plum Tomatoes (cut in hald)
2 Medium Zucchini (sliced 3/4 inch thick)
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
2 TB Olive Oil
1 TB Italian Seasoning (try ours!)
1/2 tsp cracked pepper
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Cut 3/4 inch off the top of the garlic bulb and then wrap tightly in tin foil. In a large bowl, combine seasoning ingredients. Add veggies and toss well to coat. Place potatoes (keep onion, tomatoes, and zucchini in bowl) on a jelly roll pan with garlic (wrapped in tin fold) bake for 30 minutes. Add Zucchini, onion, and tomato, bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Carefully unwrap garlic and squeeze over veggies. Toss with cheese and serve. YUMMY! (you can substitute other veggies that are in season as well)
Thanks, as always, for your support. Come visit us at the Farmer's Market. We are at the Robertson County Farmer's market every Saturday except for the 1st Saturday of the month when we attend the Clarksville's Downtown Market.
And, lastly......HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all of the Dad's out there....especially my dad....its the GREATEST!
The Staff of Hidden Springs Farms
Finally, it is May! That means the colder weather is gone and we'll have lots and lots of SUNSHINE, right? Apparently NOT here in Tennessee. The rain rolled in again and the temps dropped again this weekend. We had the first Robertson County Farmer's Market this past Saturday and our awesome customers braved the nasty, wet, cold weather to come out and support all of our local farmers. The market was wonderful even if the weather wasn't. I think the only ones happy on our farm about all of this rain are the ducks. My three mallards think I am building them new ponds but really, its just water pooling since the ground is maxed out with water. Cher is still sitting on her nest. I think we'll have baby ducks anyday now. Cher is in a really, really, really bad mood right now.
Remember last month when I told you I was looking for a vintage camper to use a my mobile retail space? Well, meet Bubbles:
Bubbles is a 1968 Shasta Compact Camper. She's a little lady, only 13 feet long and in need of a facelift, paint job, and a re-do of her interior, but I am so excited to get her. She has the original stove, frig, and sink inside. She is getting new tires before I bring her to the farm, but that will be happening very soon. I'll post pictures of her as we go through the renovation. I promise, she'll be AMAZING once she is done. We've entered Intuit's Small Business Growing Strong contest for a chance to win a cash prize to help with Bubble's Renovations. If you have a minute, please vote for us by clicking here. You can vote once per day!
My little bottles babies are growing like weeds. The girls THINK they are old enough to drive now, but I've told them I am just not comfortable with them zipping around the farm in the UTV. Still they LOVE to play on anything!
Speaking of weeds, I put up some temporary fencing in a very overgrown area of our woods and let the big girls and their babies enjoy all of the green-goodness. Goats LOVE all of the weeds, baby trees, brush, etc. They can clean out an area very quickly. I've found it is the quickest way to a goat's heart
I will begin weaning babies in the next couple of weeks and will have some bucklings and doelings for sale. If you are interested in getting a Nubian from us, send me an email at email@example.com and I will email you a listing with pictures. Our bucklings sell for $75.00 and our doelings start at $125.00 I am limited on doelings so let me know ASAP so you'll be at the top of the list.
This month, we have a couple classes going on that you might be interested in joining:
May 18th: Beginning Bread Making (1:30 - 4:00 pm) Imagine freshly baked breads in YOUR kitchen. We'll teach you how to make wonderful bread for your entire family to enjoy. $25.00 plus $5.00 supply fee. Yep, you'll be taking some fresh bread home...or you'll at least enjoying eating WHILE you drive home.
May 22nd: Herbal Salves & Lip Balms (1:00 - 3:00 pm) Learn to make your own herbal salves and lip balms with simple, easy to find ingredients; just like great grandma did. $25.00 plue $5.00 supply fee. You'll be taking home your own Salve and lip balm that you create yourself.
May 25th: Beginner's Melt & Pour Soap Making Class (1:00 - 3:00) This class is open to all ages. This easy method of soap making is great for a mother/daughter day. $25.00 plus a $5.00 supply fee. Children under 12 can attend for just $5.00 with a paying adult.
If you are looking for a fun event to attend this coming weekend, join us at the Toast to Tennessee Wine Festival on Saturday, May 11th Noon - 6:00 pm at Nashville Shores. We'll be selling our Goat's Milk soap and previewing our Wine Soap made from Tennessee Wines! You can get more information about the event by clicking here.
Finally, we want to wish all of the Mom's out there a VERY, VERY Happy Mother's Day! We're offering a special on our Goat's Milk Soap just for Mom! Order 3 bars of our goat's milk soap and get the 4th one FREE! To order, visit our soap website at www.girlygoats.com Pick your 4 bars and use the coupon code MOM13 when checking out. The coupon will take $4.50 off your order. This offer is good just for the month of May.
Enjoy your week and think Sunny thoughts
The staff at Hidden Springs Farms
Happy Easter Friends!
We want to wish everyone a very Happy Easter. We hope you are able to spend time with family and friends and have a wonderful day.
We know that Spring is supposed to be here but it is not reflected in our recent weather. The pastures are basically swampland and if I could figure out how to make money out of MUD, I'd be a millionarie relaxing on a sunny beach somewhere. The other day, we went from sun to rain to hail to snow. Kind of like 4 seasons in about an hours time. This is actually hail, not snow.
It has been very busy here on the farm. All of the Nubian girls have had their babies. I felt like I was working full time in a delivery room. We ended up with 21 babies all together. I have 4 bottle babies now. You got to see Baylee in our last newsletter and I have since added Fawn, Bella, and Brittany. Fawn and Baylee were both from two different sets of triplets and they were just too much for momma. Bella and Brittany are Tye-Dye's girls. This is Tye-Dye's first time having babies and she was just so confused on what she was supposed to do so, I'm raising her girls. Now, if I can figure out how to hold 4 bottles with only 2 hands, life would be much easier. Here is a picture of Baylee, Bella, and Fawn. Brittany is a little camera shy.
OK, so you probably think I am like grandmother showing off all of the pictures of her grandchildren.....my baby goats are kind of like additional grandchildren. :>)
Our first set of baby chickens arrived the middle of March. Cute little ones right now but that changes quickly. We will have whole chickens ready for the first farmer's market the beginning of May. Tyler loves the babies chickens.
I have more baby chicks arriving next week and more the end of April. I went to Kentucky a few weeks ago and bought some new laying hens from the Amish. Brought the girls home and they had settled in nicely until Friday evening when I discovered that all but 2 of the new girls had been killed. ARUGH! I called my son and had him come out and put traps all around the coop. I told him "load it up! I want whatever it was". Well, we caught a HUGE Racoon, I mean HUGE! Let's just say, he will not being having anymore free chicken dinners. So, I am back in the market for more laying hens.....again
We have a lot of classes scheduled this month:
Raising Chickens: April 6th, 9:00 - Noon ($40.00)
Growing Herbs: April 6th, 1:00 - 2:30 ($25.00
Herbal Salves & Lip Balms: April 13th, 1:00 - 3:00 ($25.00 + $5.00 supply fee)
Cold Process Soap Making: April 20th, 1:00 - 3:30 ($35.00 + $5.00 supply fee)
Poultry Processing: April 27th, 1:00 - 4:00 ($35.00 + $9.00 per bird)
You can register by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org Or, if you have questions about any of the classes, you can download the class schedule on our homepage or just email me. I'll be happy to answer your questions. And, we'd love to have you attend.
Its COUNT-DOWN time for farmer's market! We start the first Saturday in May. Are you ready? I've been busy the last few weeks getting things ready. Our new herbal vinegars are almost ready to be bottled. I've got a list a mile long of new breads, pies, and treats to bake, and there is a TON of goat's milk soap curing.The only hold up is getting things started in the garden. Its been too muddy to plant but I really want to get my lettuce, peas, and such planted. I am going to be doing the SUN DANCE! I always get so excited when the Farmer's Market is getting ready to start. I can't wait to see everyone! I'm working on my display too and putting together some cute things to show you. I'd love to find one of these to use as my farmer's market "store". Anyone have an old travel trailer hiding in their backyard or barn they'd like to sell. I LOVE the vintage. (it doesn't have to be this pretty and I'd prefer one that "needs work"......I have a very handy hubby)
Thanks to all of you for your continued support! Happy Happy Easter!
The Staff of Hidden Springs Farms
Can you believe that February is over already? Boy, it sure flew by fast. It was a short month, but we've had so much happening on the farm. We're also counting the days until Spring gets here. I'm itching to get started in the garden and to see things start to get green again. I know its not too much longer because the babies are starting to arrive at Hidden Springs Farm.
Our first new addition is named "Trouble" because he caused me so much trouble. I was fast asleep when I heard his mother and all of the cows bellowing very loudly. So, at 11:15 pm,in 20 degree weather, I pulled my coveralls on over my PJ's and drove over to the pasture and found Pearl with her new son. Apparently she was telling everyone else to stay away and they were telling her "congratulations". Anyways, this handsome little guy is so much fun to watch running around the pasture.
The Girly Goats are also starting to have their kids. You can tell how big the ladies are getting who haven't delivered yet and honestly, they do start to look like they are miserable. Check out the bag (udder) on Olivia (the one with her butt to the camera :>)
Olivia gave birth to triples about two days after this photo was taken. For whatever reason, she has decided she didn't want to take care of this cute little lady, named Baylee.
Baylee is in the laudry room right now while she gets used to taking a bottle. Image having a newborn human baby.......having a bottle baby is the same thing. They eat, sleep, poop, and cry. And, they cry VERY loud when they want their bottles. Cute as a button though. Amelia had twin girls. She is a first time momma and doing an awesome job with her girls. They are all in the barn right now because the weather has been so cold and wet the last few days but as soon as we see some sunshine, we'll let everyone outside to play. You can say we are officially on "Baby-Watch" because we still have 8 more girls that will be having babies. Its a lot of work, but I do love the babies~
I don't know about you, but opossums are one of the ugliest animals around. Our oldest son caught this young one and brought it over to show me before letting it go in the woods. Its alive, but playing possum....look at those teeth!
A couple of reminders for you:
** We are still taking orders for our "We Love Local Chicks" CSA. Remember, if you place your order and pay in full by March 15th, you can save 5%. We have several options for you and you can get all of the details by clicking here
**We start our classes and workshops this month! We have so many different things you can learn right here on our farm. This month we have Raising Chickens, Home Spa, Soap-Making, and more. You can download our full 2013 Class & Workshop Schedule by clicking here.
The Robertson County Farmer's Market starts in just about 60 days! Can't wait! If you've never attended, make a point to visit us this year. We start the first Saturday in May and run through the last Saturday in October. Market starts at 8:30 and ends at noon and we're at the Fairgrounds. This year we are allowing some select local arts & crafts folks and food vendors. (Thanks to the City of Springfield and the County for changing the policies so we have this option!) If you know of anyone who creates non-farm type crafts or food, let them know to contact me for details on what it takes to become a vendor. The non-farm vendors will go through a jury-process so you can rest assure that we are not becoming a flea market or a "made in China" fair. Our first jury is being held on March 30th from 9:00 - 11:00 at the fairgrounds.
We visited two goat dairies this month to do a little research on what it takes to have a Grade-A goat dairy and Cheese-making facility. (We're only in the research phase so, no, I don't have any goat cheese for sale. **smile**) A special Thanks to Kim at Kira's Kids Dairy in Spencer, TN and to Jim & Gayle at Bonnie Blue Farm in Waynesboro, TN for taking time from their busy schedules to show us around and answer all of our questions. It was interesting and informative. Its always fun to visit other farms and see what folks are doing. Plus, you get to meet some awesome people!
I will stop now before I write you a book. You know how much I love our farm and everything we do here so its easy for me to get carried away. Have a wonderful March and think warm thoughts!
The Staff at Hidden Springs Farms