In celebration of ice cream

I’m not sure it is possible to separate the story of our farm from ice cream. Ice cream is the fuel that powers our farm. It is the treat of choice for brainstorming sessions and hard conversations. It is dinner at the end of a hot day filled with field work and chores. It is the sweetener we add to our coffee during morning milking. (If you haven’t tried ice cream in your coffee, step away from your computer, pour yourself a cup, scoop in some ice cream, and try it right now!) It is the midday snack when it is too hot to eat, but we need to refuel our bodies. Ice cream is our deep exhale at the end of the day before we crawl into bed. Ice cream is the glue that holds our farm together.

In celebration of ice cream
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Keeping our faces to the sun and our feet on the ground -- 2015 in review

2015 was a hectic year. Amidst the push to build two barns, we found time for three (and a half) cuttings of hay, brought calves into the world, milked our cows 730 times, grew our CSA, and strengthened our little family.

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Keeping our faces to the sun and our feet on the ground -- 2015 in review
Sarah FickenComment

#DairyChristmas: Love and Latkes

And just as we reflected on the meaning of Channukah, we found a way to save our favorite tradition. While we didn't have a cooking stove, we found enough wood to light our wood stove, heat oil in the big cast iron, and make latkes. Those first latkes in our new house were especially sweet.

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#DairyChristmas: Love and Latkes
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When Progress Looks Like Poop

Our new barn project offered the opportunity to fix our daily poop struggle. The single most expensive part of our project and the part we spent the most time designing was our manure push off. Our manure push off allows us a safe, easy, and clean place to push the manure into the spreader. Once the manure is in the spreader, we are able to spread it on our field, returning important nutrients and organic matter to the soil.

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When Progress Looks Like Poop
Sarah FickenComment

You Know You Are a Farmer When.....

The mud is always deeper than I expect it will be and the high spots I hope to jump between are always just a tad too squishy.

Sarah FickenComment
You Know You Are a Farmer When.....
Sarah FickenComment

Ask us: What does a typical day on the farm look like?

Each day on the farm is different. Our animal’s needs are constantly changing, our to-do list evolves with the changes we make to the farm, and our priorities reflect the season.

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Ask us: What does a typical day on the farm look like?
Sarah FickenComment

Ask us: Why do your calves live in little plastic houses?

We have chosen to house our calves in hutches for these first few years on our farm because the hutches provided safe, reliable, and effective housing for our young animals while we became more established.

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Ask us: Why do your calves live in little plastic houses?
Sarah FickenComment

Ask us: What are you hobbies? Why can you never commit to plans? Want to eat out on Thursday?

Well, I love rowing, knitting, and reading. In the past 3 years I have been in a boat once, finished one non-agriculture related book, and knit about 2/3 of a scarf.

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Ask us: What are you hobbies? Why can you never commit to plans? Want to eat out on Thursday?
Sarah FickenComment

Finding A Rhythm

In January the snow piled up, in February we ran low on wood, in March we got swallowed by mud. April’s weather was capricious and May brought forth a riot of life.

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Finding A Rhythm
Sarah FickenComment

Power Outage

Our contingency plan for a power outage is solid and the generator was quickly in position and  waiting for a tractor hook-up. Chris jumped in the Ford and turned the key. Click

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Power Outage
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Ask us: What do you do with your bull calves?

When a cow does have a bull calf we name it after a cut of meat and raise it.

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Ask us: What do you do with your bull calves?
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You look familiar

“HONK. HONK. HONK.” If you live on a farm, you know that that sound can only mean one thing: cows are out. Chris immediately threw on his boots and ran out the door and I slowly waddled out after him in my slippers.

Sarah FickenComment
You look familiar
Sarah FickenComment

Great weather for chasing heifers

If it's sunny, mid-seventies, and there is a slight breeze, the cows won’t touch the fence. If its 34 degrees and raining, the cows will book it down the road.

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Great weather for chasing heifers
Sarah FickenComment

Ask us: Why do you keep your cows in the barn?

We have built our barns so that the conditions inside approximate pasture as closely as possible and so that our cows are as comfortable as possible.

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Ask us: Why do you keep your cows in the barn?
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Egg-Delivery Chicken

Every now and then one of our chickens earns herself a name. Most recently, Egg-Delivery Chicken introduced herself to us.

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Egg-Delivery Chicken
Sarah FickenComment

Ask us: Your Cows Live on What?

The pack is dry and clean, but underneath there is some serious composting going on. 

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Ask us: Your Cows Live on What?
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FarmHer, or how I came to terms with being a farm wife

I can be the farmer that Chris is, but it doesn’t serve the best interests of the farm for me to be so.

Sarah FickenComment
FarmHer, or how I came to terms with being a farm wife