This Post is Marginally On Topic

Every morning when I get to work, I look up and print out a motivational quote for the day. This is probably a terrible use of office resources, but it gives me a good jumping off point for the day and every time I look at it during the day it reminds me to refocus. Also, I’m super cheesy and really like motivational quotes. Because I have been struggling lately with it, I found myself browsing through quotes about self care. This is the one I picked out.

Self Care

Self care is this super cheesy buzzword that has been flying around for a while now. As we established earlier I am super cheesy, so I’m a big fan of this idea. I also suck at it.

This fall has been pure chaos. I have an infant who somehow got a cold that seemed to never end and he didn’t sleep through the night for almost a month because he was waking up coughing. Harvest never seemed to stop, which meant I was working somewhere around 60 hours a week most weeks. I was working through one of my most reading-intensive graduate school classes. I picked up a side gig 8-10 hours a week for some extra money. AND we have a major project going on the farm. I was responding to other people’s requests for my time and making sure I fit their needs into my schedule. No wonder there were days I felt like I was drowning.

With all of the things I did do this fall, there were even more things I didn’t do. I didn’t get to play with my son for more than a few minutes each night. I didn’t get to go to my favorite aerial yoga class. I didn’t get to visit my best friend. I didn’t get to read a book for pleasure. I didn’t get my eyebrows waxed. I didn’t get to spend hardly any time running or at the gym. I didn’t get to go to church very frequently. I didn’t get to take Kenton to the zoo or the science museum. I didn’t get to spend much time taking care of my livestock. I didn’t get to cuddle in bed with my dogs.

All of these things are things that I love and that feed my soul. They relax me and help me reset my brain so that I can work better and more efficiently. When I’m burned out, those things rekindle my fire for life. In short, they contribute to my happiness, balance, and well-being; just like that quote says.

Its really easy to get caught up in what has to be done, and miss out on those self-care things. So what was it that made me realize I was being really bad at taking care of myself? Well, luckily for me, I have some experience pushing myself too far without investing in myself (this is sarcasm). First, I got a cold. A really bad cold. From an infant. I got sick and couldn’t kick it. Then I started breaking out, another one of my body’s best stress responses. Then my gut reacted. I’ve actually made two different emergency room visits for this in my life. Every time I swear I’m going to change my lifestyle, and I do for a while. Basically, my stomach starts to hurt and eventually it feels like someone is stabbing me in the stomach and the pain is so intense that I can’t function. So I go to the ER they do a bunch of scans, tell me its either gastroenteritis or an ulcer, give me some heartburn meds and tell me to watch the spicy food and coffee for a while. Maybe they’ll even send me to a gastroenterologist just to be safe. Luckily this year I caught myself before I hit the ER. I noticed myself headed that direction and decided it was time to stop.

So last Sunday I did a couple things. First, I folded laundry. This sounds silly but it relaxes me and I feel better having it done. Then I dropped the baby off with mom and I went to my yoga class. Then I came home and I laid in bed with the baby and my dog until it was time for me to drive to my best friend’s house and hang out with her until hubby got off work. After that, we ordered a pizza and did farm chores. That night Kenton slept through the night for the first time in a long time. It was great.

I’ll admit, I have regressed a little this week and haven’t made it to the gym and have been nose to the grindstone at work and with school. But now that I have publicly come out as terrible at self care, I HAVE to be committed to be better at it!

I encourage you to be better at it too! In the United States, farmer suicides are on the rise, so even my tough farmer friends need to decide what it is that contributes to their happiness, balance and well-being and chase those things. You cannot pour from an empty glass, so make sure that you are taking the time to refill your glass!

As for me, tonight I will be hitting the treadmill, putting a roast in the oven, and hanging out with my dogs and my baby until hubby gets home!


A Turkey-licious Adventure

So we have been raising poultry for a while now on our farm. We are pretty good at raising broilers. We know when to switch from starter to grower feed, how to watch for pasty butt, how to help them adjust to fluctuating weather conditions and temperatures, and a myriad of other little details you need to know to raise meat chickens. When I proposed that we give raising turkeys a shot for Thanksgiving, it seemed like an easy decision. Besides, they’re just bigger chickens… right???


I’m pretty sure I could not have been more wrong. To give you an idea of how successful our first attempt at raising turkeys was, we started out with 18 birds! We finished with THREE. Yeah. That gave me a 16% success rate… Boy did I feel like an idiot.

Before you start thinking to yourself “how did she screw that up that badly!! Can you believe she killed ALL of those birds??? What a moron.” Let me explain exactly what went wrong.

  1. I broke one of my cardinal rules of literally everything. I trusted Google. Not only did I trust Google, but I trusted a discussion board that I had found through Google. The saying that “Google knows everything” is definitely true, but that means that Google knows things that are true and untrue and everything in between. It is up to the user to discern which is true and which isn’t. My first mistake was believing the discussion board I found that turkey poults (young turkeys) could be started using just the same starter grower feed you use for chickens. This is false. Don’t try this. You will lose an absurd amount of poults in a very short amount of time. We switched to a feed with significantly higher protein and all of a sudden our poults stopped dying. Unfortunately, within a three day span we had lost like 12. I was bitter because I had just lost about $60 worth of turkey poults because I didn’t think through something all the way. Avoid this mistake. Don’t trust discussion boards.
  2. I failed to research whether there were any quirks to raising turkeys versus chickens. The answer is there are. First, was the feed difference. That cost me the most. I also didn’t know a ton about turkey behavior, so when they weren’t walking around much as they got older, I just thought it was a product of the turkey putting on weight fast that they didn’t want to stand, which is what chickens do, not a joint infection. Once again, I was wrong. Also, had I read about it at all I would have known that turkeys are notoriously hard to raise.

We had a joint infection come through the flock. This one we didn’t have much control over. Luckily for us, we were able to address the issue quickly and start the remaining sick turkeys with an antibiotic and save their lives. Fortunately, the joint infection hit the herd early enough that the meat withhold was up by the time they went to butcher. We still had to wrestle a turkey every day for a while and give it a shot. Which, btw, is not fun. Also, we lost another 5 turkeys in the 2 days it took us to realize that the first turkey dying wasn’t just a freak thing and come up with a diagnosis and treatment plan. This also sucked.img_6258.jpg

Our remaining three turkeys thrived and reached an acceptable weight for butcher by the date we had them scheduled. We sold two to people outside our family and my mom bought the third for our Thanksgiving dinner. This Sunday she cooked it for our family and it was delicious! All of our struggles had at least paid off in that we got a delicious turkey to share with our family! I certainly learned a lot about raising turkeys, but also about using the internet to learn things in general from this experience. Now I can’t wait to start more turkeys for next year!!


The Part I Hate.

I hate taking my livestock to the butcher. I’m not sure there is any farmer that looks forward to the moment they have their animals that they have worked so hard to raise and spent so much time on loaded up ready to go to the butcher. This week we took our turkeys to the butcher and I was incredibly sad to see them go. Seriously, it always sucks.


I also know I am making a sound decision sending my livestock to butcher. Here is why. Many, many thousands of years ago, before we had domesticated animals humans had to hunt all of our food. Over time we have domesticated a large number of animals starting with dogs, then cats domesticated themselves (because we all know that cats don’t do anything on anyone’s terms but their own) and on to livestock and other animals. The one thing that all domesticated animals have in common is that they exist with humans in a mutually beneficial relationship. For dogs, this meant that the dogs and humans would work to protect each other and hunt. For cats this meant that humans would supply them food and shelter and in return they would kill the rodents that spread disease and destroyed food in ancient Egypt. For livestock, this means that we provide them with everything they need in life (food, water, shelter, healthcare, protection from predators, etc…) and in return they help us nourish our bodies. (Fun Fact: Chickens were originally domesticated for fighting!)

It is that simple. We help them and eventually they help us. In science they call this a symbiotic relationship, where both parties need the other to live. I am positive that I gave my animals the best life they could have in the time they are on my farm and I am incredibly thankful for the fact that I am able to nourish my family, myself, and my customers using those animals.turkey


A Pork Public Service Announcement

My fellow Americans,

We have done a great disservice to the pork industry (and the meat industry in general). You see, farmers listen to consumers, and adapt their production methods accordingly- just as any good company listens to its customers. A number of years ago a study was published regarding the effects of dietary fat (aka fat that you eat in your food) on heart health. This caused the nation to go into a frenzy over eliminating fats from our diet. The demand for “lean meats” became pervasive and farmers began to breed for leaner and leaner animals. As consumers continued to demand lean meat for decades, the animals got even leaner and the National Pork Board launched its “Pork, the other white meat” campaign. The days of a beautifully marbled (the intramuscular fat that gives meat flavor) bright red pork chop from the grocery store were gone and consumers were left to figure out how to make that plain, pale, completely fatless pork chop they wanted so badly taste good. In addition, the true effect of dietary fat on heart health has come into question. The pork industry isn’t the only one this has happened to. The cattle industry is suffering similarly.

It is no wonder that meat sales are decreasing.

My friends, I present to you here a pork chop from a heritage breed hog.


This chop looks almost nothing like what you would find in the grocery store, because consumers decades ago decided that this wasn’t what they wanted. Consumers are missing out on the full, rich flavor of a pork chop that looks like this! I think that this is simply unfair! Unfortunately, demand is a very strong pressure and farmers are obligated to respond.

There is good news though! Heritage breeds with stunning marbling do exist! This is a hog that we raised just for ourselves, but we are considering raising some for sale in the next year. If you think that buying a share of pork is something you might be interested in, send us a message or drop us a comment! Your input helps us decide what we will raise!

And who knows? Maybe we can work together to make pork great again!


Harvest Salad

Okay. I slacked a little. I didn’t get Tessa’s amazing salad recipe posted like I said I would yesterday. BUT I am posting it now. Will you forgive me? I promise to make it up to you somehow. Maybe some pictures of the cattle on Instagram later? I hope that will work. Also, during our presentations on Saturday I had planned to take pictures of her demonstrating this recipe and then I got really into the presentation and totally forgot, so you also don’t get pictures for this until I actually get time to make it for myself! I clearly have failed you too many times today… I’m going to have to really work to make this one up…

Harvest Dressing


  • 2 Tablespoons Real Maple Syrup
  • 4 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Brown Sugar
  • Salt and Pepper


Add all of the ingredients together in a mason jar (or other container) and shake to combine. Allow the dressing to sit overnight for a fuller flavor.

Harvest Salad


  • 12 oz. Brussel Sprouts
  • 1/4 cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese or 1 container of Goat Cheese
  • 1 pear, Chopped
  • 1 apple, Chopped


  1. Peel the hard outer layer of the Brussels sprouts off. Hold on to the core and thinly slice the Brussels sprouts, discarding the cores.
  2. Use your hands to separate the layers of the Brussels sprouts.
  3. Place the shredded Brussels sprouts into a bowl and add the other ingredients, drizzling the dressing on top and serve!




Wow! Yesterday was such a whirlwind! I had the opportunity to present yesterday with my dear friend, Tessa, as our alter ego, 2 Farm Girls at a Women’s Event called Straight from the Heart, presented by Farm Bureau. It is such a fantastic event, filled with great food, phenomenal speakers and lots of fun! The topic we spoke on yesterday was eating locally. We made four awesome batches of a spicy squash soup and a harvest salad. I’ll talk you through the squash soup recipe today and post Tessa’s amazing Harvest Salad recipe tomorrow! Enjoy!

Squash Soup


  • 2 butternut squash or an equivalent amount of other squash
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • ½ a small onion diced
  • 2 cups chicken broth or equivalent amount of water and bouillon
  • spices of your choosing, I used cumin, oregano, chili powder, garlic powder and season salt
  • 1 container or log of goat cheese or an equivalent amount of a similarly creamy cheese.


  1. Cut your squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Brush with olive oil, poke several holes with a fork and roast at 400°F for 35 mins or until a fork easily punctures the squash.
  2. Remove from the oven and scrape the guts of the squash from the skin. Blend in a food processor or use an immersion blender until smooth. Set aside. You can also freeze the squash to use later.
  3. In a medium pan, melt the butter and cook the onions over medium heat until they are clear. About halfway through cooking them, add your spices.
  4. Once the onions are cooked, deglaze your pan by adding either the chicken broth or the water followed by the bouillon. Stir until mixed.
  5. Add the roasted squash into the sauce pan and cook for about 10 minutes over low heat stirring occasionally.
  6. After 10 minutes add in ¾ of the goat cheese and then stir for another five minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Ladle into bowls and then crumble some of the remaining cheese.