Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Name The Calf Contest

Well, it's time, folks.

It's time to name our new Red Poll heifer calf. She was born December 30, 2009 at 5:10 p.m.

Here are the parameters/rules of the name the calf contest:
  • Name must be 3 syllables or less
  • Name must be a feminine name
  • We will pick the top five names we receive and then the public will vote on these five names.
  • We will collect names until January 20, 2010.
  • Voting will take place from January 20, 2010 until February 3, 2010.
  • Winning name receives a prize - either a pack (two chops) of our Angel Acres Farm pork chops, or a $10 coupon to use on your next Angel Acres Farm purchase!
E-mail your name choice to:

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year first video from the Angel Acres Farm

Happy New Year to everyone!! We are taking it easy today and enjoying one of our new toys; a digital camcorder. We hope to have images up soon for your viewing pleasure. I have tried to upload Thomas' first trip out with the video camera. But it would not load. We will try again later.

FYI Farm Terms

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the terminology used on the farm, this one is for you. I will add a term when ever I realize it is not one normally used off the farm. If you have any questions on terms you want an explanation for just email me at and I will list it here for all to see.

Poultry terms:

Chicks are any chicken under 2 months old
Hens are female chickens, usually means layer (egg production) chickens
Rooster mature male chicken
Pullet female chicken prior to or in the early stages of egg production
Cornish cross is a meat variety of chicken
Cornish game hen is a young Cornish cross hen (5 weeks old)

Pork terms:

Sow: a female pig who has had at least on set of piglets
Gilt: a female pig prior to her giving birth the first time
Boar: in tacked male pig
Barrow: Castrated male pig
Hog: pig 6 months old or older (sexual maturity)
Pig: Between piglet and Hog
Piglet: newborn to 2 months old
Farrowing: the act of birthing piglets
Farrowing hut: the place where farrowing occurs
Confinement pig operations: the pigs are always inside and never see the light of day
pasture-raised operations: Production takes place out of door (weather permitting) on pastures

Beef terms:

Heifer: female bovine (cow) proir to the birth of her first calf.
Calf: baby bovine
Cow: female bovine who has given birth at least once
Bull: In tact male bovine
Bovine: Cattle or dairy animals
Beef: any non dairy bovine use in meat production
Dairy: any bovine used in dairy production
Steer: Male bovine who has been castrated
Utter: a cows milk bag
Tits: the Nipples on the Utter
Silo: tall circular structure where silage is stored

Maple Syrup terms:

Sugar Bush:
the area where the maple trees are located; it is not an actual bush

to be continued as needed . . . .

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Gifts

There are some Christmas' which are meant to be remembered. This is one of them. I am on the receiving end of some wonderful gifts.

The first gift is Claudia Broman who contacted me to do an article on our family for the Catholic Herold ( She has been such a blessing, not only did she write the Herald article, she also wrote one for the Ashland Daily Press ( Then she helped us complete our website and set us up in the "social media". Claudia has done all this with a gentle grace, eagerness and generosity that we can never thank her enough for.

Then came the
Fr. Conan Mitchell, OFM Council 832 of the Knights of Columbus, who recognized our family with the award mentioned in the Catholic Herald article. This was a surprise to us and we are humbled by it. May God bless the Knights for their thoughtfulness and kind thoughts of us.

Third: My eldest son volunteer to say behind and tend the farm
so the rest of the family (minus Jeff, who is out on the Great Lakes) could go to Grandma's for Christmas (I am so proud of him for this). On the night of 12/23/09 we left for MN in the middle of the night to avoid nasty weather, and all went well. We had an excellent visit with "the family".

Fourth: Then sometime between Christmas eve and Christmas day our sow "Opel" gave birth to 11 piglets. (The few who had issues, have passed, but the ones who remain are robust.) All my son had to do was count them and clean up her "nest" after the nights events. He was very thankful for that.

Fifth: We all made it home safely from Grandma's and then Michael went to Grandma's.

Sixth: Tonight another blessing appeared. Duchess, our Red Poll heifer, became a cow with the arrival of a huge heifer calf. Duchess is a bit skid-dish, but handled the whole experience calmly and without visible distress. Despite the calf being large and appearing to barely make it out. Back on her feet after the birth, she is showing herself to be an excellent and protective mother. (A bit loud in the kazooing* department though.)

*Kazooing is the soft "kazoo" like sound a cow makes to keep track of or communicate with her calf. As soon as the calf is born she will softly "Kazoo" in it's ear over and over again to imprint on it the mothers voice and call. Later when she wants to check up on her calf she "Kazoo's" and the calf will answer. It is how she calls her calf to nurse, come to her or in general fuss over her baby.

Duchess' idea of Kazooing is a full blown, from the gut, moo. (Nerves I guess). I will not be surprised if this calf has some form of hearing loss. Duchess would nussel in the calf's ear then let out this full voice moo that we could feel though our feet. The calf didn't even bat an eye. Just laid there being licked and Kazooed (bellowed) at. Duchess then tried to eat a few chicken who dared to perch and look to closely at her new baby. Those Chickens are scary things to a new cow=).

As I closed up the barn, the chickens did figured out roosting near a new momma cow was not the thing to do. The calf learned (with much tail wagging) that nursing is the thing to do. And our new momma, Duchess; finally realized that if she just stood still her (beautiful) calf would nurse. Instead of, chasing each other around in circles as Duchess tried to get her calf on the teat.

By lights out, Cow and Calf are settled down and sleeping (or chewing her cud) respectfully. The chickens are
roosting somewhere else, out of reach of the cow. The moon, in its heaven, is full and brilliant. My house is warm. My children are all safe. There is contentment in my heart and I am deeply grateful. God is good and all is well in my neighborhood. Thus, I mark this Christmas for the treasures laid before me and I will savor it.

With a smile on my lips and peace in my soul I bid you and yours a very good night and a very Happy New Year. I hope your Christmas was as blessed as mine.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Birth of a Website

Good Morning all. Today is a new beginning, our farms website is finally up and running. Come take a closer look as us at then tell us what you think.

Our Designer has waited a very long time for us to put this all together. Thank you, Rebecca for your patience and efforts in designing our site.

None of it would have been done if not for the help of Claudia Broman, who helped formulate all the pages. Her fingers fly over the keyboard, unlike mine which move at a snail's pace. Thank you Claudia you have been my saving grace.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas to all.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The story behind the picture=).

In July 2008, my husband and I met our neighbor, Steve (who lives to the northwest of us) at our local Hospital. Being business minded, we gave him our business card. Which, at the time, was a picture of our farm (from the north) the month we bought it in 2004). After chatting awhile we were on our way.

On the afternoon of August 5th 2008, we had enjoyed a sizable thunderstorm from the comfort of our covered porch with our excited children noisily scurrying about. When it had finished, Jeff and I, slipped indoors to discuss (what we thought were) important financial matters at our dinning room table. We were well into the conversation, (pigs eat tons of feed and we were wringing hands over the costs because the money was quickly running out) when Anne Marie came running in all excited saying; "Mommy you've got to see these awesome rainbows, they're so bright!!" Both Jeff and I told her it would have to wait, we needed to finish our discussion. With that she left, and we continued to fret with no real solution show for it. We never did take the time to see those "awesome" rainbows.

The next morning when I checked my email there was only one email from Steve. The subject line was; "this must be that Heaven thing. . .. " in the body of the email opened this photo along with several others; the rainbows where literally hitting the house on the dinning room roof (right above where the table would be) and the second rainbow was hitting the hogs pasture (right where the source of worry lay).

We took this as a sign that "all is well and right in our neighborhood and we should stop worrying. We should take the time to enjoy the beauty of our farm and the wonder of it all when viewed by a child" these other matters of concern are in the hands of much Higher Authority.

I still needlessly worry (but not as much) and I will never forget what I was doing the day that picture was taken and the beautiful message of hope that poured down from the Heavens above! This is why we say: "Angel Acres Farm; Where Heaven Meats Earth". We use this picture because it is our hope in a visual form.

(The tag line: "Where Heaven Meats Earth" is the brain child of my eldest daughter. She came up with it months before it was made a visual reality from heaven in the form of double rainbows.)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Virgin Post!

Here I sit in my friend's living room doing my virgin post. My daughter's just left to find some chocolate and here we giggle.

You can find Angel Acres Farm on the web at

You can also find us on Twitter at

Or, become a fan of Angel Acres Farm on Facebook

I'll have more posts as I learn how this whole blogging thing works. In the meantime, the weather here is fine. It'll be a balmy one degree later tonight. Welcome to Angel Acres Farm. The pigs are all tucked into their straw houses.