2020 Uberlist · Chickens · CSA · Meat · Production

The First Chickens for 2020

This whole year has gone a little wild for us, like many others. We called our processor a couple days ago to book processing for our first batch of chickens, and we are excited to announce they will be available on July 4th, 2020! This was definitely an intentional decision on our part, and we hope you will consider purchasing some fresh, never frozen chicken for your socially distant 4th of July celebrations.

These birds are from a previous batch

We will have them available whole, halved, or 8 piece. We will not be separating them into parts. Whole chickens are $4.50/lb, halved and 8 piece are $5.00/lb. Whole birds are great as a “beer can chicken”. Halves are awesome for the smoker or the grill. And the 8 piece is perfect for frying, grilling, oven roasting, or just about anything!

In addition to the birds, we will have feet, necks, hearts, gizzards, and livers back in stock!

We can’t wait to start feeding you again.

Goal 84 · Patreon

Some Behind The Scenes Updates

As part of our 2020 Uberlist, we set ourselves a goal of putting up a profile for each of the animals on our site. This is a multipurpose goal. It will keep all of our relevant records in one place that is easily accessible, and it lets people find out more about their favorite critters. You can find that page here.

So far, today’s drizzly grey day has allowed me to get individual pages up for each of the goats. There isn’t much there yet, but as time goes on, I will be working on it. I am also going to attempt to get the rest of the animals pages made, but we shall see how much endurance I have for this, and how much other stuff I get done!

In addition to these profiles, we have added a couple more tiers to our Patreon page. You can now Sponsor A Ewe! For $25 a month, you can cover the cost of her care AND get a fun little package full of surprises, a letter about what she has been up to that month, and whatever else I come up with. I know we are going to have some fun with this one. We have also added a lower tier for folks who are indifferent about the rewards of the other tiers.

We are so appreciative of your support in every form. Without all of you, this farm would crumble. And we don’t want that to happen.

2020 Uberlist · Goats · Tutorial · Uncategorized

Supplementing Copper for Goats

Different species of animals have very different nutritional needs. This is why there are so many types of feed at local feed mills and farm stores. There are even different nutritional needs between animals of the same species being used for different purposes. For example, broiler chickens need more protein and less calcium than egg laying chickens. Dairy cattle need more calcium than beef cattle. Pregnant and lactating animals need more protein and fat than others. One of the big differences between animals housed together on our farm is that goats need copper, and sheep can easily experience copper toxicity.

First thing’s first, how do you determine if you need to supplement copper? Generally speaking, goats will always need some source of copper. Some of the symptoms goats will show when they are copper deficient are as follows:

  • Faded coat
  • Fish Tail (the tip of the tail loses hair)
  • Hair loss on the face
  • Fertility issues, both in males and females
  • Difficulty during pregnancy and labor
  • Increased susceptibility to parasites

On farms that raise only goats, or keep their goats separate from other copper sensitive animals, the animal caretakers will often give a them a free-choice mineral supplement that contains copper. This is the easiest way of supplementing copper, and can be sufficient for many animals. It is important to remember that these mineral mixes provide a good baseline for the animals, but will not fix a severe deficiency. If you are lucky enough to have a local feed mill, they might be able to custom mix minerals for you.

Another easy way to provide copper is through goat-specific feed. It has the right balance of minerals and vitamins to raise healthy goats. We don’t feed our animals grain regularly, and again we house our goats with our sheep, so we cannot offer the feed to everyone. This also wouldn’t work for people who are raising their goats in a grass fed situation.

Because we have our sheep and goats together, we cannot give them a feed or mineral mix with copper in it. So we go the route of feeding them copper boluses. Our bolus of choice is UltraCruz. They are available in 2g and 4g doses. The larger one is for adults, and the smaller is for kids or very small adults. We dose with the larger bolus about every 8 months. So far, this has worked for us.

To administer the boluses, we skip the balling gun that so many people use. It’s just one more thing for us to drop into the mud, or to shove into our pockets. Our method of choice is to handle the goats one at a time, and give them animal crackers. Most of our animals would sell their best friends for a single animal cracker. They get one cracker, and then we shove the bolus into the back of their mouth, and quickly give them more animal crackers, being sure they don’t spit out the bolus in the process. Of our seven goats we treated this week, we only had one of them spit the bolus out. Thankfully, it’s easy to find in the dirt, and just shove it back in there. The packages all say it needs to be eaten whole, however we have not experienced issues with them being chewed partially before being swallowed. You may have a different experience.

What is important for your animals is that you are aware of their individual needs. Find a local farm vet if you are able, and work with them to figure out what will work on your farm. Do the best you can, and your goats will live happy, healthy lives.

This post was sponsored by our Patreon supporter Melina. Find her gorgeous hand dyed yarn on FacebookInstagram, and Etsy, and find her knitting patterns on her website and Ravelry.
This post is meant to be informative, and is not intended to treat or cure a sick animal. It will not replace advice from your veterinarian.
This post contains affiliate links. If you click them and make a purchase, we make a little money. Doing this helps keep our farm running.

2020 Uberlist · Not Farming Related · Recipe

Recipe: Home Made Chili Powder

Picture this: A chilly winter afternoon, I decided to make a batch of turkey chili, with some of our delicious pasture raised turkey that we ground and froze. I get half the ingredients into the dutch oven, grab the container of chili powder, and it’s empty. SERIOUSLY? You can’t have chili without chili powder!!! What was I supposed to do? I was really looking forward to this chili. So to Google I went to see if I could find a substitute for chili powder. Lo and behold, I found several great recipes for home made chili powder. I combined them together, and made some tweaks, and came up with this deliciousness. It will keep for a long time if you put it in an air tight jar.

Chili powder ingredients

Ingredients
-1/4 cup paprika (regular, not smoked)
-1 Tbsp garlic powder
-1 Tbsp onion powder
-1/2 Tbsp oregano
-1/2 Tbsp ground cumin
-1 tsp cayenne pepper
-optional: 1/2 tsp Old Hickory Smoked Salt from Spice Islands (See note at bottom of recipe)

Combine all ingredients in a container that can be sealed. We put ours in a canning jar. Put lid on and shake to combine. Use like you would store-bought chili powder. Will keep for up to a year.

Note regarding Old Hickory Smoked Salt: This isn’t just your regular smoked salt. It contains cocoa, which adds an extra level of flavor. It can be omitted entirely, or replaced with a dash of smoked salt and a good sized pinch of cocoa.

This post contains affiliate links. If you click them and make a purchase, we make a little money. Doing this helps keep our farm running.

2020 Uberlist · Animals · CSA · Eggs · flowers · Goals · Market · Meat · Production · Vegetables

The Frontière Farm House CSA 2020

In 2019, we had some amazing supporters for our CSA card, so we decided to bring it back again this year!

What is a CSA?
CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture.” Farming is an expensive endeavor that requires a lot of upfront investment, and the returns take a while to show. Having a CSA means that farmers can get an influx of capital up-front, and customers usually get a discount for making that investment early on.

What makes our CSA different?
We are asking for a purchase of a CSA membership upfront in a set amount of $100, $250 or $500. This will get you what is essentially a Frontière Farm House gift card loaded with that amount that you can use at any of our markets. There is no expiration date on the card, and it can be topped up whenever is convenient for you, in those same amounts. You can spend as much or as little as you want, when you want. You do not need to pick up weekly, and you get to choose exactly what you receive.

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What do you get with the membership?
With this purchase, we are offering a bonus on loading and reloading the card. If you make the initial purchase before April 30, 2020, the bonus will be as follows:
$100 purchase gets you: $115 (an extra 15%)
$250 purchase gets you: $292.50 (an extra 17%)
$500 purchase gets you: $600 (an extra 20%)
After April 30, 2020, including any reloads, the bonus will be as follows:
$100 purchase gets you: $110 (an extra 10%)
$250 purchase gets you: $280 (an extra 12%)
$500 purchase gets you: $575 (an extra 15%)
This bonus amount will remain the same for all of 2020. We may change the bonus percentage in the future.

What can you get with the CSA?
In short, anything we sell! This year, we plan on offering: Chicken, duck, turkey, and goose eggs; and chicken, duck, goose, and turkey meat. We also hope to offer lamb this year, if all goes well with lambing season in the spring! In addition, we will have other sheep products at various times, such as raw fleeces, processed fiber, and yarn. We are dialing back our plant production, but we will have a small selection of seasonal vegetables, herbs, and cut flowers; our delicious spice blends and infused salts; and some of Nicole’s handmade items (at most markets). We will post a Facebook update with what will be available at the market weekly.

What can you not get with the CSA?
The only things that the CSA cannot be spent on are wholesale orders, deposits for pre-orders, whole or half lambs, and our Egg CSA. Basically, you cannot “double dip” the discounts.

If you are ready to jump on board, contact us here! We have also made e-gift cards available here! To get the bonus for your CSA level use the codes ONEHUNDRED, TWOFIFTY, or FIVEHUNDRED for the respective amounts you’d like to purchase! Using the code will discount your card to the amount owed.

2020 Uberlist · Goal 3 · Knitting · Knitting Pattern

Knitting Pattern: Plush Junimo from Stardew Valley

As part of our 2020 Uberlist, I plan on releasing a couple free knitting patterns. Knitting is one of the many facets of what I do here on the farm, and bringing it all together in one place seems logical for us.
Robert has been playing Stardew Valley pretty consistently since it was released. He has a Nintendo Switch, and it was one of the first games he got for it. I love watching him play, and I wanted to knit him something from the game as part of his birthday gift back in December.

I whipped up this cute little buddy, and decided I should share the pattern with you in case you have a fan of Stardew Valley in your life! It’s a very simple pattern, and the extra details like arms, legs and antenna were made super easy by using pipe cleaners. If you want to have it be a little softer, feel free to knit a black i-cord in place of the pipe cleaners, and sew it on. Please keep in mind that this is not a toy suitable for small children.

Yarn
Any smooth worsted weight in the color and fiber content of your choice. I used some random blue acrylic that was sitting in my office.

Needles and Notions
US 7 (4.5mm) DPNs (Or size needed to obtain a tight fabric that doesn’t show stuffing through)
Darning needle
Pair of safety eyes (I used some of the second largest from this set)
2-3 black pipe cleaners
Something to stuff the plush

Instructions
Using Judy’s Magic Cast On, CO 8 sts (This counts as the first row)
Row 2, and all even numbered rows: Knit around
Row 3:KFB around, dividing evenly between four needles
Row 5: *K1, KFB* repeat around
Row 7: *K2, KFB* repeat around
Row 9: *K3, KFB* repeat around
Row 11: *K4, KFB* repeat around (total 48 sts)
Knit approximately 15 rounds, or until body is long enough to make a rough sphere once stuffed.

Place safety eyes. Junimo eyes are usually widely spaced, and slightly below the midpoint of the body.

Cut one pipe cleaner roughly in half. Insert each end through the inside of the body so they come out where the legs should be. This can be moved around until you find the right spot. Once placed to your satisfaction, fold back about ½ inch of each end, twist to cover sharp end, and bend to form the feet.

Stuff body about halfway.

Poke second pipe cleaner through each side to make arms. Trim a few inches off to desired length. Repeat folding, twisting and bending so as to form hands.
Add more stuffing.

Resume knitting top of head:
Decrease 8 sts every other row as follows:
*K4, k2tog* repeat around
Knit around
*K3, k2tog* repeat around
Knit around
*K2, k2tog* repeat around
Knit around
*K1, k2tog* repeat around
Knit around
Add more stuffing here if needed to form spherical shape.
*K2tog* around
Break yarn, using darning needle, thread through remaining stitches, add more stuffing if needed, and draw shut. Weave in end.

Top Leaf:
Using same needles, CO 2 sts
Knit across
KFB twice
Knit three rows
K2tog twice
Knit across
K2tog
Break yarn and draw through final stitch. Weave in ends.

Stick end of pipe cleaner left over from making legs through CO end of leaf. Fold over and twist to secure.
Fold up ½” of opposite end and bend and twist to secure. Place firmly through small BO hole in top of Junimo’s head, adding glue if desired.

There’s your Junimo! I would love to see your finished projects on Ravelry, or in the comments here!

This post was sponsored by our Patreon supporter Melina. Find her gorgeous hand dyed yarn on Facebook, Instagram, and Etsy, and find her knitting patterns on her website and Ravelry.

2020 Uberlist · Animals · Goal 65 · Sheep

Ushering in a New Year with Ups and Downs

When we published our goals for 2020, I really wasn’t expecting to get started on them right on January 1. I was truly expecting to sort of lazily glide into the new year and start tackling goals by the first weekend. Unfortunately, that’s not the way life goes on the farm, and we lost one of our sheep overnight.

Verse was born on our farm on March 18, 2019 to Haiku. She was an adorable little lamb who was our only surviving lamb between the two ewes. For the last few months, she has been dealing with an unknown illness. We’ve had the farm vet out to take a look at her, Verse received some medication, and good food, and she continued to decline despite her extra TLC. Last night, she passed away due to an injury caused by the complications of the illness that she couldn’t recover from. I removed some of her wool to be used in a project in the future. It’s wonderfully soft.

We were both very upset, and sort of abandoned some of our plans for the day. However, as other farmers know, you can’t just give up when one thing goes wrong. We took care of some other chores, and then we headed north to another farm to bring a new ewe home. A Romeldale/California Variegated Mutant sheep fell into our laps recently, and we couldn’t say no to her. While picking her up from the farm about an hour away, she attempted to jump through a gate twice, and was generally quite rambunctious. That is until we got the halter on her and tried to lead her. Apparently, she forgot she has legs, and just turned into a bag of bricks. Robert carried her to the truck and loaded her in, where she happily rode the hour back home in a large dog crate surrounded by hay bales. When we got her home, we introduced her to the rest of the flock through a gate. The boys took an immediate interest in her, even though she should already be bred. We will see what happens in May when she is due! We named her Calypso, which follows our “hop variety” name theme for 2019. (We were supposed to pick her up in 2019, but scheduling just couldn’t work out)

As much as it hurts to lose Verse, she is no longer in pain. We need to continue to build the farm even when we suffer losses like this. We will continue to grow throughout this year, and we hope to share the ups and downs with all of you.