Winterizing the Farm

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November has passed and with it the last of the Thanksgiving Turkeys! We are just about finished up with the processing of the poultry for this season with the exception of possibly doing a few stewing hens.

Thanksgiving was a relaxing, joyous one, spent with family and friends. We got our Christmas tree the Saturday after that and enjoyed putting it up together.

December is here and we’ve been busy with winterizing the farm, finding hay to feed the stock now that the pastures aren’t growing. We’ve built up quite a herd of heifers and have decided to sell a few to take the pressure of wintering them over on hay. Dad took pictures of them all and we put them up on our big white board and everyone gets to vote for the ones they’d like to keep. Of course, older kid’s votes count for more as they are able to weigh in on important factors such as, was their mama a good milk cow? Is she friendly? Etc. But it’s fun to all cast our vote.

We also have some fun social things lined up such as caroling, weddings and seeing the Christmas Carol in live production in Smithfield!

What have you been up to? Do you have any special plans for December?

Morgan

Recent Photos

Here is a collection of pictures from the past month or two. (Some of them not the best quality) It gives you a little insight into our recent “happenings”.

-Morgan

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There have been Saturday evening bonfires…
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Epic photo opportunities.
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Tailgating at the bonfire
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Farmers Market with sisters
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New babies at Church! Baby Liberty
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Baby Grace
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I love working in the nursery!
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Gospel Conference in N.C, that Katie and I attended. It was such a blessing!
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Up in the balcony
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Dancing during fellowship time
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Kevin Swanson
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Volleyball fun
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Dancing fun
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Unloading feed
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Photo fun
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A lovely farm wedding! A dear, family friend of our’s married his sweetheart Nov 15th.
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Helping out in the “kitchen” before the wedding.
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A fast glimpse of the bride as she walked down “the aisle”
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The trap door in the barn used to haul cider and hot chocolate back and forth.
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The happy couple as they cut the cake.
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Starbucks after a busy turkey pick up day!
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With friends at Starbucks
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Friends lending a helping hand
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A recent batch of rabbits

Farmer’s Daughter Notes // Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way

We were in the middle of dinner when we remembered that the pigs still had to be moved. It was about 6pm. Dad and oldest Son had headed off to Georgia on a father-son adventure that morning and so we women folk were holding down the fort. Of course we had a list to help us remember all the things that Dad and oldest Son do, (They sure do a lot!) and then we remembered that one last thing we had forgotten; moving the pigs. So off we trooped to complete the task. Middle Sister had spent an hour or more creating the new paddock and now all that was left was to shoo them in, right? Wrong. Their shelter still needed to be pulled into the new pen, that was easy enough, the only problem was that it had been there for a while and after rain and piggy mud puddles on hot days, the shelter had turned into something of a castle surrounded by a moat. Hills of nice, packed dirt rose up steeply on the insides of the shelter creating a stubbornly rooted abode. Using the tractor we appropriated the front loader to lift the shelter over the hills. Now the shelter was pretty heavy and caused the back tires of the tractor to lift slightly (With second Sister still in the seat) sending Mom and oldest Daughter into a slight panic. Second Daughter assured them that she had the situation well in hand. After pushing at the front end of the shelter she made her way around the moat to the other side and pushed at that end. The back end was really stuck and didn’t appear to want to give at all.

“We’ll just have to expand their current pen and give them some more pasture” Someone said.

“But Dad said he didn’t want them tearing up that part of the pasture.” Middle Sister said, gesturing to the new paddock she had set up on the other side, “I set up the new paddock where he wanted it.”

“Well, he’s not here to give us advice on the shelter,” Someone shot back. (He was also out of cell range)

Middle sister, who had worked so hard on the paddock that afternoon, among her other chores, began to get teary.

“Its ok!” I comforted, stretching out my hand towards her.

“No its not!” She said, rubbing at her eyes with a short, jerking motion. (We had now been working on this project for about an hour.)

Second Sister saw the tears from her perch on the tractor and the Stone-Wall Wilson gene kicked in. A determined gleam shone in her eye as she pushed the tractor into gear and gave orders for little brother to run up and grab her boots. (Did I forget to mention that the majority of us were wearing flip-flops. Yep. Just call us the flip flop farmers)

Up crept the tractor tires again as she used the front loader to lift the back of the shelter over the hump. After much lifting and pushing and shoving the shelter was successfully dislodged from the hill and over the moat. We cheered. surely the next part, moving the pigs, wouldn’t be so bad. About that time, brother came running back with the boots and the pig round-up began. The herding them up wasn’t so bad, we got them up to the edge of their old paddock just fine and then they came to a dead stop. They refused to cross the line. Now, if you’ve ever been out to our farm and walked back to see the pigs, you’ve probably noticed that all it takes is a little old bitty wire to keep them in. When moved to a new paddock, it only takes about one or two times for them to find the fence, realize, “ouch, this thing bites!” and then they are (pretty much) forever trained to never cross the line. Well, here we are trying to move them, we’ve removed the wire at that corner but they won’t cross the invisible line. We coaxed and pleaded. We ran up to the house and found some succulent watermelon rinds, but to no avail. They settled themselves right down in the corner and started digging around in the dirt, just inches away from their new paddock. We started to press them a little, urging them to cross the line, then the pigs started getting nervous and then, oops! One broke through the ranks and dashed back to the far corner of the old paddock, followed by the rest of the herd. We repeated this process about three more times. Time is ticking, the sun has disappeared behind the trees and the mosquitoes are starting to get bad.

To be continued…

-Morgan

Rainy days

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Sometimes rainy days are slower on the farm, however, that was not the case yesterday and today! In the space of two days we have:

• unloaded eight tons of feed
• processed, cut up and packaged early season turkeys
• rearranged freezers
• rescued chickens from drowning in last night’s rainstorm
• regular farm and office work

There’s never a dull moment at Full Quiver! Farming sure keeps you on your toes, you never know what a day might bring.

Our Story // Part Two

Last Week…

Dad was a nervous about making the plunge. What if it all fell apart and he didn’t have a job? But he felt the Lord’s calling strongly, so he made the leap of faith. At the next business meeting when all of the employers and employees sat around and discussed their hopes and plans for the coming year they got to Dad and asked him what his dreams were.
Dad cringed a little in his seat. “Um, well I’d like to become a full time farmer.”

Continued…

To his surprise his employers showed a great interest in his plan.
“How can we help you fulfill that dream?” they asked.
Dad was amazed at this reception and it confirmed his assurance that the Lord was calling him to make the plunge and come home.
His employer graciously worked with Dad on a plan for him to taper off on his work schedule for the duration of a year and then reconvene at the end of that time to kind of see where we were and go form there.
When Dad got home that evening we rejoiced greatly in the Lord’s provision! He had smoothed and prepared the way before us.
The Lord grew our business so much that season that Dad didn’t finish out the year at his office because we needed him at home to help run the farm which was bursting at the seams!
I remember the evening Dad drove home from work for the last time. We were all gathered out in front yard with welcome home signs and cheered as he came into the driveway.
In the five years since we had moved out to the farm, the Lord had grown our dream into a reality! We were all together, doing what we loved as a family! It has been seven years since that day, though it seems like forever. People ask if I love farming, and always reply, yes, I do! But the thing I love most about the agrarian lifestyle is that we can work together as a family team. The years have been tough at times, but inexpressibly sweet and I can honestly say that I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

Farmers Daughter Notes // Spring Time

The pastures are really coming in after this recent burst of warmth! It’s great to be able to look out of my office window and see the cows grazing up to their ankles in clover. The window is open and the sounds of spring are wafting in. I can hear the neighbor’s lawn mower, the birds, the crickets, the sound of my siblings calling to each other and the wind in the tree tops. The breeze is cool and refreshing and makes the blinds rustle back and forth in the window frame. I have a pretty nice office.
    We processed our first batch of chickens recently. It was good to get back into the swing of things after our winter break. Processing seems to be something you never forget how to do. Just like milking a cow, I suppose. My sisters and I are sure we’ll still remember how to milk cows when we’re ninety.
    Processing chicken is one of those things that the whole family is involved in from start to finish. We get up early at about 4:30am. Drink our coffee and pray together for the busy day ahead. We enjoy getting to visit together as we work. After an hour or so, the sky in the east will begin to lighten and the stars begin to fade one by one. The birds wake up and begin chattering to each other. Then the sun begins to peek up over the trees and the sky is tinged with gold and pink. It’s a beautiful part of the day to be outside.
-Morgan