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Online Farming?

Colonel's Blog, Earthdate 14 Jan 2023...

Hey Y'all!!

We awoke to a cold 19 degree high humidity morning with frost on everything. It quickly turned into 'one of those mornings.' I couldn't get the wood in the wood-burning stove to light so that set us behind our normal schedule. The chimney got cool enough over night that it didn't want to draw. When I finally got it to draw, the smoke just sank down the side of the house. The 'adult supervision' ewe that is in with the lambs got too cold and didn't want to get up. So we had to tend to her before milking. We finally decided that she was too far gone and we would just process her later in the day and went to the milk barn to find the new milking machine was too cold to pull a vacuum. Obviously, it tripped the breaker in the attempt. So, back into the house to reset it. After heating it with a blow dryer for a bit, it finally started to work. We successfully milked Happy but she gave us a half gallon less than normal, I guess it was her way of saying she was less than enthused with our tardiness. We then went back out to the paddock to get the ewe to process her and she stood up and ran over to the hay and started eating as if nothing had happened. We won't process her today, but most likely will do so soon. Our ewes are here to have lambs and she is not in any shape to do that and is not responding to our efforts to get her there, so we will cull her. Our way of culling is to put them in the freezer for food. Yesterday we set a gallon and a half of milk aside to make clabber. I spent the majority of the day sitting at the desk working on the computer; it reminded me of being at my staff jobs. I wanted to work on the store portion of the website and to get product descriptions in for all of our meat products. About 4 descriptions in, I commented to Shelley that I felt like I was writing Officer Performance Report (OPR) bullets for the cuts of meat! Today we are going to work on the new hog paddock and will make yogurt and hopefully some cheese. The pic above is 'Happy' enjoying her alfalfa/clover/mixed-grass hay with 'Betty' in the background.

If you remember back to the blog regarding our 'Why' you will recall we wanted to have an online presence and make sales through that avenue. Well, step one for an online presence is to have constant reliable access to the internet! So far, we are hit-or-miss in that department. We've tried cellphone boosters, cellular routers, cellular routers through cellphone boosters, and we now have satellite internet. By far, the satellite internet is the best, but the data limit on our current service is extremely limited, by today's standards. For example, we downloaded a 15 minute video on how to make butter and it used all of the high-speed data we had available for the rest of the month. So we are 'snailing' the internet for a couple of weeks instead of surfing. We have another satellite solution inbound and hope that it will be better still. It turns out that website design isn't in the standard curriculum to learn to fly fighter jets or even to master military strategy. Shelley and I have been learning as we go and have a solution that we think will work for us for at least the next couple of years. It isn't perfect as an online grocery store/meat market but the other features (like this blog) make it worth the workarounds for local-vs-shipping, or how to add tax to some purchases but not others, or how to pass along the 3% credit card fee we are assessed, etc. Hopefully things settle down on the digital side of the farm soon and if we can get better access we will get back to posting youtube videos. Online farming...LOL!

Local Farm Report for 13 Jan 2023


26 Chicken eggs

6 Duck eggs (Would have more if we could keep the crows out of the duck yard!)

3 Gallons of milk



Cheers! Rich & Shelley

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