Thursday, January 17, 2013

I Believe.

The Song from Alabama "I Believe There are Angels Among Us" has been in my head of late, Several things have happened that Just can't be explained any other way......
An opportunity came out of the blue that Is life altering and more exciting that I care to admit, an old friend walked back in to my life at the perfect time, and I met a real live Angel, His name is Buzz and he is 93 years young.
Buzz, wow, where do I begin,
Well lets just say he took a look at some treasures and had to have them, The stories he tells of why they are so important to him I'll save for another time. Let's just say that he touched me in a way that I did not know was possible. He has such passion, such courage, and such conviction about what is good and right that it rubs off on everyone he meets! You can't help but see a glow around Buzz! He changed my perspective, gave me back my drive, and set me on a straight course for tomorrow.
He worked with my Pop many years ago and gave me some pictures from their movie days, and a mouse!
The mouse is one my Pop made for him years ago and he thought that I should have it. It's a little forged piece and I adore it! I carry it in my pocket, So when you see me next, ask if I have a mouse in my pocket, I'll sure tell you yes, and tell you a story about that Angel! Thank you Buzz!

Now back to farm stuff! Many of you have expressed an interest in following a couple of our steers from Conception to Consumption(tm), We're working on getting the video together so that you can do just that. At the same time we are moving part time to Kentucky, but will still have a presence in So. Cal.

I'm following my passion and keeping our ranching heritage alive, just in a way that I had never dreamed of!  I am the luckiest woman! Great friends, great business partners, great passions, and a gift of gab! I can't ask for anything more. I'll get pictures up soon and promise to try to be more regular about posting. Love you all and thank you for your continued Love and support. And remember,
"Take a deep seat, and a far away look, cuz he's gonna pitch a little, but If you can stay with him, you have the makings of a true pardner for life" R.K. "Pops" Sowders.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Have you ever felt like you were walking on a pontoon bridge with no hand ropes? Yeah! Whew! Scary, exciting, disturbing, all the adjectives come to mind. Taking a position that shifts my focus away from the farm full time, Changing my base of operation, Bringing people in to manage my stock, and the Biggie, Letting the home farm become a rescue. What Monumental shifts! I'm used to being hands on 24-7 and the shift has and is humbling and a bit uncomfortable. Thank Heaven for great friends and business partners that see beyond my scattered emotions and have the courage to kick me in the tush when I want to say F*** it! What they say about one door closing and a window opening is absolutely true! As the year draws to a close and we move forward I have to thank a few people that have really made a difference during this time of change.
I have to thank D for being the man he is, A good man, and an honorable man, but not strong enough to be the partner that I need as this life Blooms into greatness. He showed me that I am worthy and that Love will find a way.
Jan, for being the strength through all the whirlwinds, my friend, cattle prod, the voice of reason and at times the emphatic DON"T BE STUPID!
Mick, for being Mick, 30 years of friendship and still the shelter when I need it.
T for coming back into my life. And adding a Hard Rock beat to the process. (Not to mention an ability to read people and cut to the chase that I sorely lack!)
Jerry, For being the best friend a girl could ask for, John, for being the Dad right now. Mom, for being mom and saying that Kentucky sounds like a grand Adventure!
And all my friends both near and far that walk this journey with me, Especially my baby Brother and my lil sis Serri.(Shee Kicks my butt regular!)
California, Oregon, and Texas will still have our grass fed beef and lamb, but so will Kentucky and Oklahoma!
We've elected to keep our local offerings small and personal in each locale and the ship is slowly but surely righting itself and moving in a positive direction.
After the new year the blog will focus on each locale and my team will guest post so that you can meet them all, I will be focusing on the Genetics, forages, management, and the challenges that come with having stock spread across the country, a recipe page, and farm photos section is in the works, and Yes I am still on the Primal Journey, logging 260 lbs gone and ready to show you the changes!  I love you all! Thank you! Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, or New Year, and Keep those Orders Coming!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Update! Or A new Chapter Begins!

The last few weeks have been an absolute Whirlwind of Change! Moved the Majority of my California Cattle to Tulare County, Sheep Flock to the Central Valley, Took a Job that has me Flying all over doing what  I love! Talking Ag! The position will have me splitting my time between Sunny California and the Midwest.
 I will be in Southern Cal the Second week of every month and am maintaining herds and flocks here to service my locals! Your loyalty has been Amazing and I will keep you supplied with Grass Finished Beef and lamb as well as Pastured Pork. I am Having to discontinue Farmers Markets However, With the exception Of The Murrieta Certified Farmers Market One weekend a Month. I have a good crew Hired to keep things running smoothly. Thank you for your continued support and stay tuned to keep up with my new adventures! There is a lot for you to learn and this old Ag-Nerd is looking forward to showing you the what, where, when, and how of what is important to YOU from the world of Ag!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9-11-12 A New Beginning

On September 11, 2001 I knew my life as I had always known it was over.  I had lost my husband earlier that year, and was talking to my friend and dance partner who was at Windows On The World when the plane hit.   He had become my lifeline during the months preceding that horrible day. Making sure I left the house to take care of the livestock, keeping the business going, Breathing, thinking, trying to keep my faith and move on. On that day, Randy had called to make sure that I was indeed on my way to meet him in NYC for a trip Upstate for a competition, I was watching the news as the plane hit the building, He asked what had happened and I told him. We stayed on the phone until the signal failed. His last words to me were, Promise me that you won't stop living, and Always Always Remember I Love You!
 I haven't honored him the way that I should, I fell into a bag of potato chips and stayed there for 9 years, doing the bare minimum, feeling sorry for myself and unworthy, I know I know Stupid Huh?  Two years ago things started to change,2 People came into my life that saw what I had buried so deeply under 300 lbs and took my hand and said that they wanted me around. That what I had here was special and I owed it to myself to at least try what they suggested. 240lbs down and a lot of bumps and bruises later, I know that they are right. I have decided to stop wasting time, I know that life can change in an instant, and I know that I have something to say and a difference to make in my world. The world of Agriculture. Yesterday I had surgery to fix a problem that was preventing me from doing many of the the things I love, and I made a decision.
9-11 is now more than a day of remembrance for me. It is the day that I made the vow to honor my friend and live life to the fullest, Share my passions, and be the example that I should have always been. Who knows! Maybe someday I will even Dance again. I have a lit of repairing to do, relationships, Business reliability, and the list goes on. But you know something? I will do it!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Back in the swing!

We've been crazy busy around here! New people, babies, market garden, Streamlining the Office stuff! Whew! Overwhelming at times but I think we are really moving forward in a positive direction. Delivery schedule is being firmed up. Trying to keep up with the educational aspect of things as well. The website is being improved and I am really pleased with the momentum! I'm sure there will be some bumps along the way but the difference is night and day! Come on by and say hello, Pick some veggies to take home, and if you feel like it grab a rake and pitch in! I love my farm family and am so grateful to have you all in my life! Now, back to mending fence!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

WOW! Just Wow! on a variety of things....

I have to say again how humbled I am by all of the love and support my farm family has shown. You are all Just amazing!
We're getting things ready for the new crop of grow out pigs here at the home farm, they will be Hampshire crosses this round as they do well in an outdoor setting, I looked into some Yorkshires, but the Landrace influence does not lend itself to outdoor production, These Types of hogs have been bred for decades to live indoors in confinement and are too delicate for our pasture based system. The Hampshire cross hogs we are getting this year are from an outdoor breeder of show hogs and will do well in our climate. The Mule foots are just getting ready to farrow and won't be ready until fall. The Red Wattles are being reserved as breeders to help improve the critically small population.
The steers have been ultra sounded and marked for re-checking as they approach Market weight on the irrigated pastures and the lambs are growing well despite late lambing this season due to the weird weather.
Baby Jesse is being weaned and her mama is definitely ready for the brat child to have her own space!

The squash, melons, tomatoes, and peppers are going great guns in the garden and we have some wacky heirlooms for you all to enjoy this season. The lettuces... well they became Dawg Food! The little brat got out and had a wonderful time chomping them up! Darn that Goat anyway! Nan-e is going to kid any day, with Floss, Floretta, and Baby G not far behind. Bill-e will be going to a new home and a replacement Buck is on his way from Kansas. We have registered Boer Goats and percentage Market Goats available.

The mini cattle for our research project are doing well but I can tell already that at least for us, these tiny guys just don't add up as profitable alternative. (they would work great as a family project though!) Their daily gain is about 1.5 lb compared to the Simangus at 3.2 and we won't even mention the dairy cross steers. Big Boned and definitely not designed to forage! They all had to come in and be supplemented and summer isn't even here yet!
Comet, the new guard Llama is AWESOME! He really takes care of his sheep and gets along with Lorenzo who is getting up there in age. Tony still lives with his horses and cows, he is just too pushy for sheep work.

The BC's are all tuning up for the season and Tweed seems content to just work the Granny's on the home farm (at 12 all day in the field is too much for his old bones) Gracie (aka The Land Shark) is solidly working the flocks, and Wallace is our Cow Dog extraordinaire! Cricket, Sweep, and Monk are all going to stock dog boot camp with auntie Robin for the summer so by round up time we'll have a great team! I tell ya, a good horse and good dogs really can do the work of 10 people, without the stress of chasing! Just a step and a look makes those critters turn for the chutes or holding pens. A brace makes moving an entire herd or flock a breeze, and there is nothing more beautiful than well trained dogs working healthy stock.

We'll have 8 steers that look like they will be ready to go by the end of next month so hot season orders shouldn't be a problem. We have tentatively scheduled our branding and gathering party for late October and I will keep you posted. Last year's party was a blast and those of you that came out sure got an education!

Until next time, thank you and see ya at the farm!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Good thing they called us first!

As some of you know I am part of a group that offers consults for small startup farms, We received a call from a very nice man wanting to start raising a few calves for finishing and he asked us to come evaluate his pastures before he brought in any livestock. What we found when we got there was a tragedy waiting to happen! He had a toxic Garden on that 5 acres! Oleanders along the fence, Nicotiana(Tree Tobacco) near outbuildings, Locust and Chinaberry trees, Nightshades and Star Thistle in the pasture itself, not to mention salt cedars, ragweed,  and Fiddle heads. We showed him how to remove the biggest hazards without the use of poisons and suggested fencing off some of the trees so that the animals could not gain access, He is blessed to be able to irrigate so we gave him a few suggestions about what to plant and how to maintain healthy pasturage year round, Nick Volunteered to go out and plow for him and bring in some well cured mulch from the dairy, NICE!

I'm sure glad that he called us rather than just jumping right in blind! he could have ended up with some very sick animals or worse!  Here are some stock photos of some of the toxic species I mentioned, so that those of you considering doing some small scale farming yourselves know what to watch for, some of these plants and trees are beautiful, but your livestock will be just as dead! UC Davis has a very comprehensive list of toxic plants that you can review at your leisure as well.                                                                                                                       

tree Tobacco       locust  nightshade     ragweed                 Fiddlehead                                                                                                         salt cedarStar thistle, there are both yellow and purple varieties.