Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Little Spring in that Stuff

Well, the week leading up to the official first day of spring was quite nice. Temps in the upper 60's, even a 70 degree day! It was quite nice to start appreciating the yard and garden yard again and to see the potential it will have in the upcoming months. This winter had been such a downer for me and it was good to have my spirits lifting again. This morning after doing chores Dixie and I ran some to the vet to pick up some needles and order 2 bottles of CDT, then to the post office, then to pick up hay and an alfalfa bale (for Patty and her babies), and then the tack shop for a new halter for Johnny my POA, a bag of Peppermint treats, & a new plastic rake basket head because "someone" in the barn broke the other one when that "someone" had a temper tantrum at some of the animals ( no one has hurt during that tantrum, just a lot of bad language and a broke rake head:).

It was a tad breezy today but the sun was out so I started cleaning up and reorganizing stuff in the garden barn. I decided in honor of the first day of spring to put out some spring decorations.

In the window greenhouse I put together a little spring scene................

..........however, some passersby, were thinking those eggs were meant for them.

My old green Muck boots sprung a serious leak this winter so I was "forced" to buy new ones. Now because I just love pink gardening accessories, these new pink Muck boots for spring and summer were the perfect fit:) Notice the nosey chicken in the back ground!

Since the weather has been so nice the past few days, I have been letting Patty and her babies out to run and enjoy the sun. On Thursday the babies got dehorned at the vet and were given a clean bill of health by the vet.! Pictured above is the doe kid. Her name is going to be "Arabella".

This is not the best framed photo but I just loved the little buck loving on Patty.
I am so glad spring is here. I know the weather can still deal on wild cards but its just nice to know new life is just around the corner.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Fresh? Natural? Organic?

One of my many ideas with the little homestead is to start marketing what I have. There is a lot here but I just need to focus on the direction I want to take and with what.

One of things that I have readily available is eggs. My parents and I are the first consumers of the eggs with a few relatives and one of my neighbors. Its interesting that I live in the country and yet some of my "country" neigbhors are "polite" when it comes to not taking any of the eggs as they are still die-heart grocery shoppers. However, there are a number of staff members at my school who love to purchase my eggs as they are city-dwellers and love the country perks.

I was thinking about buying some of the egg cartoons with my farm name on them instead of using those used grocery cartoons. The farm name will go them but what else?

Should it say "Farm Fresh Eggs"? "Naturaly Raised Eggs"? " "Organic Eggs"? Which label is the most marketable and appealing to the customer and makes them feel like they are really getting "special" eggs? The organic eggs are probably out as of right now. I know that it is the current rage or whatever but the more I read and look into it......well first I can get organic feed at the Amish feed store I go to. However, 100# of organic chicken feed is $29.50 vs. $15.30 for 100# of chicken mash (I add the oyster shells myself). If I am going to feed organic feed, the price of the eggs has to go up to $3.00 a dozen but then if I feed kitchen scraps or garden stuff that is not organic as of right now, then I technically could not call the eggs organic, right? While I like and would love to do the organic thing, it definitely needs more thought esp. on the cost part.

Not that my freeloading, I mean my wonderful, fun-loving animals, purposeful animals that I slave over, are not worth it, I just need to be conscious of spending. So, I think that leaves me with "Farm Fresh" or "Naturally Raised". I am not using a medicated feed or any growth hormones. They are free range right now but come planting time, they are in the coop with outside access. First impression always stick so I want to start off on the right foot.

The other day when I went down to Amish Country, my Mom and I stopped in at a fabric/sewing store down there. Since chickens have been on my brain lately, it was too coincidental that I found this chicken apron design with 2 potholders also. I thought this would be fun for spring and summer. And its an easy sew for a beginner like me!
Its been a longer winter but I am feeling motivated and much better about things.........well of course there is that insane amount of mud out in the barnyard that is trying to suck me down but I refuse to give up my boots:)