Greener Pastures Farm - Current News

Jon kneels down to let the pregnant Cascade Farmstead ewes check him out. Visit our website to learn more about these great little low-maintenance, no-shear, meat sheep!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

And the stockings were shipped to a soldier with care...

I donated the socks shown below to one of our fine soldiers. is a wonderful organization that makes it easy to support our men and women serving our country. If you utilize this organization, be sure to read the FAQ thoroughly before doing anything. With the large number of deployments coming up, it's important to get on board and do what we can.

Christmas was simple and lean this year, and we took this opportunity to shake things up a bit to make it memorable. Instead of spending money we don't have on turkey and all the trimmings, we ate salmon caught last summer from the banks of local rivers, cooked in a new-to-us way, blackberry cobbler from our own berries picked in August, etc. It was wonderful!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ronda's Real Socks

I have one pair of socks ready to mail right now; fits a woman who wears a size 9 or 10 shoe. Amethyst, sapphire and emerald on navy as shown. Custom socks for women and men in more colors available now, as well as gift certificates.

I create hand knitted wool socks warm enough for hunting in the woods, working on the farm, and padding around on wood floors in winter, yet soft, sturdy and smooth-fitting inside boots.

These socks are knitted double thick, using two strands of the highest quality superwashed wool yarn. They are very soft, washable and durable, with a reinforced heel and toe, and they do not shrink!

If you have read any of our farming web pages, you know that we are all about practical farming and frugal living. Slow fashion is the current term for clothing with a long life. My 5-year-old socks are still soft, warm, comfy and sturdy. I believe that you get what you pay for, and my family is worth every penny.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The 10 Net Commandments

I'm trying to get to the many updates needed on my website, but we are ill and I'm not up for much at the moment. However, I stumbled upon this excellent item this morning and had to share:

"The 10 Net Commandments

1. Thou shalt not buy merchandise found in pop ups or spam.

2. Thou shalt not post thy email address, phone number, address or social security number on the internet, NOR SHALT THOU POST ANYONE ELSE'S.

3. Thou shalt not forget to update thy Windows software with important updates.

4. Thou shalt not connect to the internet without installing an antivirus program, nor shalt thou begin a scan without checking for updates.

5. Thou shalt not connect to the internet without installing a firewall.

6. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's credit card number, nor his bank routing number, nor his social security number.

7. Thou shalt not enter thy credit card number without seeing the tiny padlock icon on thy status bar.

8. Thou shalt not reply to the email from the Nigerian banker.

9. Thou shalt not forward chain letters to thy friends and family. (Friends and family, please take note!)

10. Thou shalt not use "password" as thy password, nor thy birthday, nor thy children's names."

Please note that I am not attempting to copyright the above quote. I don't know who owns it, if anyone, and want you to please feel free to pass the part between the quotation marks along.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Butchering Classes

There has been some attention paid lately to a new book about eating meat. I haven't read the book yet, but was pleased to see in the review in my local paper that the author doesn't go as far as to promote not eating meat, thoughtfully leaving that decision to the reader, but he apparently did a good job of illuminating the sordid facts about factory farming and agribusiness. And that seeking out small farmers who humanely slaughter is a good thing to do if you plan to eat meat.

We raise small, grassfed livestock on our small farm, and do our slaughtering and butchering ourselves. My husband is rather good at this, being fast and humane, and is offering classes to local farmers and local hunters on how to do this yourself.

We also offer grassfed lamb to locals.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Comfort Food

Flu and colds have been making the rounds at our house. Which means that comfort foods have been in demand. I post some of my own natural, free-of-refined-sugars recipes at our website, and added one today that is a favorite; Applesauce Muffins. But I've been out of applesauce lately, so I substituted canned pumpkin in the last few batches, which worked great! Even my husband, who has been telling me for 25+ years that he hates pumpkin, gobbled them down.

I might tell him. Eventually.


Monday, October 12, 2009

When you reach the end of your rope...

"When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on." ~ Thomas Jefferson

I was doing some cleaning today and stumbled across an old check register with this quote in my own handwriting. And I'm thinking about all the people trying to hang on besides us; some in truly dire straits, some much better off. And I give thanks for what we have.

But I'm still tying that knot as tight as I can!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Move Over, I Want To Back Up To The Fire, Too!

When you have to jostle with the dogs for position in front on the wood stove, you know it's cold in the house. And that it's time to keep the home fires burning, so to speak, pretty much round the clock from now through early spring.

Yes, we heat with wood.

We have plenty of seasoned firewood stacked and ready to use, whereas we do not have plenty of dollars to pay an exorbitant electricity bill during winter. And it's nice to have heat when (not if) the electricity goes out during cold winter storms.

I saw an article in some publication in the U.K. asking which form of heat was least harmful to our air and most renewable. The answer is supposed to come out next week, but thus far they showed that burning seasoned wood is on top of the list. I'll drink a cup of hot cocoa to that! Especially considering that our local hydro power dam is causing the wild salmon to die off in increasing numbers. We are not allowed to keep wild salmon; they must be tossed back and hope that they survive. We can only keep the hatchery-produced salmon. Produced at what cost?

But I digress. The house is warming up, and I need to make sure all of our wool socks and flannel jammies are accounted for and ready-to-use in the rooms furthest from the wood stove. Layer up!

Friday, October 9, 2009

I Miss My Geese!

My husband and I were cooking dinner together the other night (leftover turkey from the freezer, that was actually pretty juicy for turkey), and I just had to say it. “I miss eating roast goose!” He does, too.

We made the difficult decision last spring to sell all of our geese, with the promise from Husband that I could have geese again in a couple years. (We have other projects going on right now that require every blade of grass we have at this time on our tiny farm.)

But still, I miss my “grazing doorbells.” Geese have such keen eyesight that they can see jets flying so high that I can barely see them. They have good hearing, too, and let us know when anything or anybody enters our farm. And boy, do they taste good! I prefer roast goose over a turkey for the holidays.
We are all about hardiness, productivity and easy-to-manage on a small farm. So Pilgrim Geese will make a comeback here at Greener Pastures, for certain!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

DOGS: Feeding the BARF Diet

I just finished feeding our dogs this afternoon, and once again am thankful that we have the resources to provide a healthful, natural diet for them. It's rather ironic to feed livestock and people the best natural foods, then buy dry dog food for our beloved pets.

BARF stands for "Bones and Raw Food" or "Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods", depending on what resources you are looking up, and if you google this, you will find a plethora of controversial sites, many condemning the idea (dog food companies) and many attempting to jump on the bandwagon by calling their prepared food "raw," and many advocating cereals and more. You gotta give 'em credit for trying. It took some searching to find a site that mirrors my feelings on how and why to feed dogs this way, as well as touching on the reasons this subject can be so divisive:

We feed raw meaty bones and organs leftover after butchering our lambs, as well as raw meaty bones leftover after butchering wild game, and any raw chicken bones or necks we happen to have. Questions on safety? See above link. I freeze portioned sizes after butchering, and thaw a portion daily. Our dogs are in good condition; not too fat and not too thin, their poop is NOT stinky and actually crumbles and dissolves into the earth very quickly. Stinky dog poo on the soles of your shoes is not an issue when feeding the BARF diet, if you do step in it, nothing sticks!

When we had Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGDs), this diet made the most sense. There was no need to keep the livestock away from a grain-filled food not made for them (ewwwww!), and the dry, white BARF diet dog poo in the pasture dissolved into powder quickly, as opposed to the stinky brown piles that sit on the pasture the livestock need to eat. (Ewwwww!) I converted a new LGD owner to the BARF diet, and every time we talk on the phone now, he thanks me profusely. Enough said.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Introducing Cascade Farmstead Sheep

We keep and breed Cascade Farmstead Sheep, which are small, as can be seen in the top photo. They are only knee-high to us, and thus very easy to handle. Yet they are meaty and produce a carcass large enough to butcher in the fall when the lambs are only 6 or 7 months old, yet small enough to fit in the freezer above the fridge, all without the necessity of feeding grain!

Our Cascade lambs grow quickly, and reach a live weight of 40 to 65 lbs by 4 months of age. They are able to breed the first autumn when they are about 7 months old, producing a lamb by the time they are 1 year of age, and in subsequent years they produce twins. Ewes and rams shed their fleece in late spring or summer. You can see that Lavender, above with her strikingly beautiful lamb, has shed off her luxurious fleece in mid-May, while Igraine has not. We gathered Igraine's fleece about a month later.

Keeping sheep that are productive, taste great, don't require shearing, are easy keepers and easy on the land, if managed intelligently, is an absolute joy. They keep our pastures mowed, we get healthy, tasty meat without feeding grain, fleece if we want it, or we can let it drop and the birds use it to make nests. We've tried 5 different Northern Short Tailed breeds of sheep, and our Cascades are the easiest and most productive breed in our opinion.

Play Nicely In My Sandbox

Despite appearances, I have a smidge of Cherokee in my ancestry, and I'm proud of it. Whether the following story is true or not, I love it and posted it on the About Us page of our website.

"An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. This same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."
(Unknown Author)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What Am I Doing Here?

It's late, I'm behind on just about everything, and I must be crazy because I'm starting a BLOG!

I find this amusing, because I have a huge website full of information on farming, keeping sheep, geese and chickens in an organic manner, and general how-to tips on making life easier for the farmer.

We'll see how this blog thing goes. This farmer girl needs to hit the hay; tomorrow will be a busy day.