We started this adventure when we decided to purchase 10 acres in the middle of Missouri. When we first moved in we planted a bunch of fruit trees, that was when we encountered a problem, there were no bees flying around. That fall we dove in to becoming beekeepers. The first hive did not make it, it was a combination of our ignorance and the way our hive was set up. So that spring we took a class and purchased more bees with much better luck. During this time we learned a lot and continue to do so. One of the most important things I learned is that everyone has a way of doing something and their way is best. I've learned that I needed to figure out what was important to me and what my focuses are when it comes to the farm.
When we started to have some success with the bees, we added chickens. I will tell you that chicks are only cute the day you get them. After that moment the start to smell and make a mess, and in the case of the first ones, get eaten by something that thought they were walking chicken nuggets. The most important thing I learned about chickens is that they die. I don't mean to sound harsh or morbid, but it happens. It may be a hawk, fox, coyote, even your loveable dog. It's a good idea not to get too attached to them or you might give up. On the other hand chickens are a blast to watch, they make me laugh and I love watching them out in the woods trying to dig up all the bugs. Our chickens our truly free-range, they are free to roam anywhere to find food (except the garden, we keep that fenced). When chickens are truly able to forage for their own food, they are healthier in many ways due to the diverse diet of bugs, seeds and greens that they love, our chickens are also given access to a non-gmo (non - genetically modified organism) feed that they eat more of during those times of the year that there isn't as much around.
After a couple years of having chickens, we decide it's time to tackle the next step in our adventure... Sheep. The sheep has been my favorite addition to the farm so far, they have such wonderful and amusing personalities. Some of you may be wondering "Why sheep?", we decided on sheep because they had more than one purpose. They can be used for meat, wool, lanolin, leather and other things. My personal reason for choosing sheep and particularly the Corriedale, is the wool. I have a deep love of yarn and the color possibilities for dyeing are endless. I have started learning to spin my own yarn with a good amount of success. I'm looking forward to offering lots of yarn to you all for purchase.
Well this is the conclusion of my first blog post on this wonderful new website and I look forward to filling you all in on all the adventures and misadventures as we continue to learn this "farming thing". Until next time...
Shannah and her sheepy sheep