Our Magic Apple Life
Welcome To Our Life on the Farm
|Posted by Cara on January 9, 2017 at 4:30 PM||comments (2)|
Are gardens were largly successful this year! So much so that they kept me too busy to keep up on here Enjoy the pictures of the fruits of our labors from summer of 2016
|Posted by Cara on June 9, 2015 at 2:00 PM||comments (2)|
This last Sunday we had the pleasure of making our furthest shipment with our goats. We flew Magic Apple MAD Fallawater and Magic Apple MAH Fearns Pippin to Kona, HI.
Hawai'i is very rigid with it import protocal and animals must be very healthy and are met upon arrival with an inspection to be able to stay on the island.. This has been an adventure and I'm so happy and blessed to have successfully flown these two over the ocean to their new home, which I'm sure we are all jealous of, LOL!!
Here is a bit from Heidi, their new owner in Hawai'i:
"I am so impressed with these girls! I am thrilled that I decided to
choose you over the other breeders I found on-line. I will be very
happy to be a reference for you and will keep you in the loop as they
grow up and especially with their first freshening sometime late next
year. I think I told you Dr. Kim was impressed that I had decided to
go to the expense and bother to import new blood to the island and was
equally impressed with how you handled all the requirements and hoop
jumping, and was equally impressed with the girls and how healthy they
"Well, the girls passed their last inspection, but then I am sure you
knew they would! These does are really wonderful. They were patient
in the truck getting to Dr. Kim's office, stood quietly on their
leashes (thank you for them, by the way!) while I talked to Dr. Kim
and did not struggle very much at all while she inspected their eyes
and ears. Dr. Kim was also impressed by you and was happy to see such
healthy baby goats. She was also happy to see someone was bringing in
new blood for Dwarf Nigerians, as she says she sees a lot of animals
that have physical and health issues due to inbreeding."
|Posted by Cara on April 17, 2015 at 3:40 PM||comments (0)|
As those of you who breed know disbudding is the most difficult but necessary task when raising and breeding goats. For the safety of our dairy herd and for the safety of the two leggers who toddle around with them it is a necissary evil that must be done. And in striving to do it effeciently and effectively you need a good iron!
To date, I have disbudded over 120 baby goats. And in doing so my iron has earned it's keep but has also been in need of a very thorough cleaning. Jason had a fantastic idea and went out to his tool shed and came back with something I hadn't ever used before.... a battery terminal cleaner! It fits perfect and gently cleans every nook and cranny on that sucker! See how shiny and ready for another 100 in the years to come!
|Posted by Cara on April 2, 2015 at 12:25 AM||comments (0)|
Short and Sweet -
Cherries are HEALTHY... Peaches are HEALTHY... Apples are starting to leaf out.... What can I say. Nothing else that I know of would keep these trees HAPPY in our conditions. Even though our area is a very tough place to grow in I would highly recommend everyone getting in on Hugelkultur. What a time saving, water saving, high yielding adventure!!
|Posted by Cara on April 2, 2015 at 12:10 AM||comments (0)|
Moving into the milk room today!!! Jason has been working so hard... and we're finally at a point where I can really kick it in gear too.... PLUS, I think he's really ready for more fresh milk A little more raking and cleaning up tomorrow. We will work on a solid floor as we can but that might be a project for next winter as the milking area will be full of activity in the next couple of days. Despite us being out of frozen milk this year for our dry season, mama's have nursed for a full 4-5 weeks and we will just now be separating babies at night to milk mama in the morning. And the greatest thing with our setup this year??? The ONLY babies that are even shy this year are Arcades, and she's just always a nervous mom and tends to convince her babies that we should be avoided, lol
Anyway, a little more cleaning and I'll be back to milking by this weekend... fresh milk.... here we come!!
|Posted by Cara on March 24, 2015 at 3:10 PM||comments (0)|
I'm so excited to have the layout and blueprint done for the garden this year. I've maximixed our layout and ground usage using a garden planner and have implemented companion planning to hopefully reduce pests. The one that I'm not sure about getting rid of is the dang flea beetle. From what I've read they are extremely hard to get rid of naturally, but constant sprinkling of wood ash is supposed to be a big deterent for them.
After inspection of all the fruit trees they are budding out perfectly!!! We did not lose a single tree with the help of these hugels!!! The peaches are starting to show the first peak at their pink blossoms. The apple trees are just starting to beginning to show the hint of their leaves and the cherry buds are plentiful!!
I finished the deer netting, so the chickens are unable to dig 1' deep holes in the hugel beds so the next step will be to turn over any grass clumps that took root last year in the two smaller beds. Piece of cake! We will be 100% ready to plant at the end of this month are cooler weather seeds like spinach, chard and maybe some radish and lettuce! Fresh veggies, here WE COME!!!
|Posted by Cara on March 19, 2015 at 2:00 PM||comments (0)|
Picked up the extra deer netting today to finish netting off the large back garden area from the chickens and picked up some burlap to lay down over the front hugel that is destined to grow raspberries... This will be my second year putting in raspberry starts... so, wish me luck! Last year I didn't have the bed finished early enough and the starts were put in rather late. I was hoping for some new growth to start this year... but I'm pretty certain that they won't be popping up on their own.
The large veggie hugel and the other smaller ones have successfully kept our 2 cherry, 2 apple and 2 peach trees thriving!!! I'll post more pics of the healthy buds coming out on them as soon as the sun comes out to get some decent ones. What a FEAT for living in dry high desert!!!
Ok, off to go prep to keep those dirty free ranging chickens out of my gardens
|Posted by Cara on March 17, 2015 at 10:45 PM||comments (0)|
Starting this blog after disbudding on the second set of 8 babies. First set of mostly boys was done about two weeks ago. This next set should have happened last Saturday but bright and early Saturday morning I threw my back out.
But, by Tuesday night I was ready to get at it after 3 days of what I consider idleness. Just those few extra days made the littler girls buds just that mush bigger that we had to be a little more attentive to burning properly. It all went flawlessly!The only year I've goofed a doe was the spring right after I had Eli. Our now 2 year old boy. Jason and I have a great team effort going here when it comes to disbudding. While trying to teach a couple our style a couple of years ago, it hit me hard how well him and I work together to make things as smooth and seamless as we can for the sake of the babies. You see, disbudding is probably the WORST part of goat breeding. But it is the responsible thing to do when you have a dairy herd. The only thing I can think of that might be worse than disbudding, is to have an udder torn up and an animal lost due to there being a horned animal in the herd. On top of that, Nigerians are perfect for families. And who would want to worry about their children around horns?? Not us!
Cherry just had her kids last night. So, when we are ready to disbud them I will get pictures up of Jason and my process.
This year we also opted to bite the bullet and tattoo at the same time as disbudding. I've always worried that it was too much stress and to try and spread it out. Well, I tell ya what!!! I LOVE it!! Disbudding AND Tattooing is done on 16 kids (17th will be done by Karen at Bridgeport) and they are all already coming out of the scardicatness that goes with the event. So, CD/T's by 6-8 weeks and these kids are golden. I only have one set of kids that are being skittish but they are Arcades and she is such a nervous nelly mother, it's no wonder. They'll need a little extra TLC but not because of the necissities of the trade.
|Posted by Cara on March 16, 2015 at 2:50 PM||comments (0)|
We've had multiple requests for sharing about our goats, cheesmaking, soap making, Hugel Adventures ... the list goes on. This summer I will be doing my best to start a consistent flow of blogging to help share what we've learned over the years. Thanks for being with us <3
I guess I'll start by telling you all why "Magic Apple"? It's rather simple really and it involves an incredibly sweet huband to be. You see, he confessed to me one day (when he was courting me) that I was his "Magic Apple" If you don't know what that is think of an apple display, stacked up and there's that one apple that holds the stack together. If it's removed, the whole tower will crumble. He told me, that for him... I was that apple. And I'd have to agree 100% that he is that for me as well. Ok, so there you have it... short and fruity sweet. Lol
|Posted by Cara on April 3, 2014 at 11:05 AM||comments (0)|
What is a Hugelkultur Garden? Well let me tell you
For us, at Magic Apple Farm it is drought resistant gardening and improving soil quality. Soil that isn't by itself suitable for gardening and growing...well, anything!
" Often employed in permaculture systems, hugelkultur allows gardeners and farmers to mimic the nutrient cycling found in a natural woodland to realize several benefits. Woody debris (and other detritus) that falls to the forest floor can readily become sponge like, soaking up rainfall and releasing it slowly into the surrounding soil, thus making this moisture available to nearby plants"
With the use of Hugel beds -In the first year alone!!- I reduced my water usage by 50% (awesome considering we also have to haul all of our own water) and increased productivity of the garden by more than 100% when compared to my flat bed garden. I also implement compost from our goats which includes straw and hay scrap and extra wood chipping for mulch cover. Please, enjoy the photos of our building process below from our first year....