I know things have been quiet over here on the blog and social media. Why? Well because it’s finally fall and most days (and nights) are spent outside enjoying this beautiful fall weather we’ve been having! I feel like this entire spring/summer season has been one long marathon and fall is finally our finish line. It’s that perfect time of year in between extreme chaos and hibernation. But that doesn’t mean we’ve all been lollygaggin’ and jumping in leaf piles. Maybe some of us have. Certainly the dogs have been. Fall is the perfect time for reflection and construction and both of those things have been happening. Here’s a little catch up on some of our fall activities and one new adventure that I’m about to start (hopefully with all of you!).
Part One: Construction
Now that summer craziness has died down, David and Nathan were able to work on an actual fun project. A project that was interesting and would go to benefit leisure time! And warm weather. They made this awesome and huge floating dock for our pond! We found some plastic 55 gallon barrels for el cheapo and used them for the base of the dock. Then they built a deck around it, weatherproofed it/sealed it… then made two more separate floats. They attached all three pieces together with cable clamps and put tires in between each piece to prevent friction. With all of the pieces attached, they added a gangway that goes from the floating dock to the… what is that called when the water meets the land part of a weird farm pond? It’s not a shore. I think there would have to be sand for it to be a shore. But you know that I mean… the walking, dry land part. The entire floating dock goes halfway into the pond and is easily room for 5-10 people and multiple dogs. So that’ll be nice to enjoy next spring.
Oh, and speaking of the pond, we finally started to stock it with a couple thousand minnows and blue gill for the winter. The good stuff, like big ol’ catfish, will be introduced next spring. Then after that, when anyone’s hungry they can just go fish for their dinner. (It’s happened before).
Moving on, don’t think that we’ve forgotten about our pig pasture project. This summer was so wet and rainy that it ended up setting this project back about six months. But towards the end of summer, we got all of the cedars cleared out of the pasture! Part one of the project is done! The front half of the pasture is wide open and polka dotted with big oaks, hickory and persimmons. It’s getting really exciting to watch the pasture transform. I can almost see the pigs running around the woods and wallowing underneath oak trees. But we still have a ways to go before that happens. Now we’re in the midst of processing all the cedar trees we cut down. We’re saving some good logs for timber and lumber for other projects around the farm. Once all of the fallen trees are processed and out of the way, we can start stretching fence and growing pasture seed. But for now, we’re swingin’ chainsaws all day long.
Part Two: Fun Things
What else has been going on? Oh, we have a stud buck in with our lady goats right now. This is his first breeding season so it’s taking him a while to “warm up” to our girls. But once they come back into heat, he’ll hopefully breed Judy, Liza and Babs. This is Babs’ first breeding season and Judy and Liza’s second. They’ll get it all together and then we’ll have goat kids next April/May. Our pigs are done breeding for the rest of the year. We’ll be introducing them to a new boar in December/January. Until then, our momma pigs are staying fat, happy and resting up until next breeding season. But I do miss having some sort of baby animal running around the farm.
Beginning mid-October we had a lot of fun social events. It all started off with Outstanding in the Field. This was our second time hosting and I have to say, I believe that we outdid ourselves this year! Dave made this amazing rotisserie for chef Josh Poletti to roast the pigs on. This year our tour included baby goats and baby pigs AND it was the eve of my 30th birthday. More pictures and posts to come. The weekend following we provided a pig for Strange Donut’s backyard BBQ/employee appreciation extravaganza that was SO much fun! Then, on Halloween we attended the costumed wedding of our friends’ Luc and Tina. I went as Maleficent (my favorite villain) and Dave went as “guy in ghilli suit.” This past week was Slow Food St. Louis’ 10th annual Art of Food event. We’ve participated for the last three years and this year we were paired up with Perennial Artisian Ales. They made a delicious salad that featured our pumpkins and bourbon barrel aged maple syrup. We had a social life in October!!!
And finally, the most important announcement, is that our farm is growing in more ways than one! No, I’m not pregnant. But we did just acquire more land that borders our property. This means more space for events, for growing, for animals and for our humans! Right now we have a kickass group of people out here. In addition to Nathan and Nicole that live with us, we also have our farm hands (and soon to be special project managers); David, Morgan and Abbye. With their help, everything is really coming together nicely out here. Things are getting done, dreams are being not only dreamed but also realized and materialized! Plus, we all have fun together which is very important. They’re able to grow along with us and the farm. Or maybe the farm is able to grow because of them. It’s a symbiotic relationship that we’re really lucky to have. But now that we have more space, everyone can concentrate on their own project and really run with it. We might start a small CSA and Abbye will be in charge of that. Morgan wants to raise rabbits for all of us. And David just wants to live like a viking which is dope.
Part Three: New Adventure
Speaking of special projects, since the garden is done for the year and my midwifery/baby animal snuggling skills aren’t needed for a while, I need my own special project. All summer, I’ve been freezing excess goat’s milk in anticipation for winter. But now that things are slowing down, I’ve decided to use that goat’s milk on a new venture. So coming soon to the Such and Such Farm online store… goat’s milk soap! Goat’s milk makes for some wonderful soap and we can infuse farmmade ingredients for special seasonal scents.
This is where I want you guys to come in. I want you to help us decide on scents. We will have our own “signature” scent that will be available all the time. Then we will have four seasonal scents that reflect that time of year (spring/summer/fall/winter). In addition to those scents, we will have a special scent that will be a collaboration between different breweries, butcheries, farmers, etc or made especially for dudes, babies, allergen-free, etc.
I’ll be sending out some of our first soaps to some special contest winners so keep your eyes peeled to our facebook page! Until then, please feel free to fill out the poll below or comment with scent suggestions!