Monday, January 26, 2015

Jerry's DIY Goat Feeder Plans

Howdy FarmGirls!  

My hubby Jerry is always ready to make my farm dreams come true.  That is especially true when I need another structure to house or feed farm babies.

Last year our herd more than doubled in size and I decided that I needed a strong feeder for my dairy goats. A feeder with a roof to keep the hay dry, and with enough vertical structure to prevent grass hay from slipping through and being stepped on.

Within a few hours Jerry built me this wonderful feeder. He made most of it from scraps and a few lengths of cull lumber from a home improvement store.

This feeder has been a great help.  I have a few more on my list once our new buck barn is finished.  

Here is a drawing I made from my feeder, complete with measurements.  

Please feel free to use the plan to construct your own feeders, and by all means SHARE this post.  I'd really appreciate if you would send me photos/link of your feeder once it's made too.  

DIY IS FREEDOM!  These feeders cost almost $300 around here to BUY.  Jerry built this one using recycled wood, steel, and $7 in culled lumber for the slats.  

Save your money to buy more goats!  That's my motto.  


One Day in the Life of a Farmgirl...

Today was a busy day for a day off from "work".  I spent a few hours on the tractor moving and turning my goat barn compost pile.  I prepped a few raised garden beds and planted a few cuttings. I covered my hay stack in preparation of a storm that is due overnight.  I even made time to play with my goats and chickens.

Tonight, I sat down before the woodstove to finish the day off with potato leek soup that I made from my CSA vegetable box.  Life is pretty darn good.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

You're Invited!

Calling All 

We are having a party and you are cordially invited to JOIN our Facebook group (Farmgirl Chit Chat) and to LINK UP your blog for our new Farmgirl Chit Chat Blog Party!

What are you waiting for???

Saturday, January 24, 2015


Luxury Goat Milk Soap
When Matt and Rhonda Shaul of Cranberry Ridge Farm offered me the opportunity to review several of their amazing goat milk soap bars I JUMPED at the chance!

They've been making their very special luxury soap bars for more than a decade, and they've crossed this great country doing it.  Read about their incredible farm journey on their website HERE.

My Review-
Jerry and I have used their soaps exclusively over the past 6 weeks. Jerry's favorite has been their bar- The Anvil's Ring (image above). Its scent is reminiscent of balsam and leather.  Our weather has been very cold and dry so far this winter.  Jerry loves the fragrance and tells me that the soap has comforted his dry skin and chapped hands.  He wants more as soon as possible.

I have a small herd of nigerian dwarf dairy goats.  Daily chores are very drying, especially at this time of year.  I have to use strong cleansers and disinfectants to prepare and clean up after milking. My hands often become dry,cracked, and sore in winter months from all the chemicals and frequent washings. 

I have enjoyed Cranberry Ridge Farm's Lavender, Lemongrass, and Lavender Patchouli bars. All three soaps have been very nourishing to my overworked skin.  I could see and feel a positive difference in my skin's texture and moisture in just about a week.  

My impression of their Lavender bar is that it has a very pleasant, lavender fragrance.  This bar is not too strongly scented, which is common for this scent.  It is attractive and would make a lovely gift.  It cleanses well and does not leave a film on your skin or in the shower as many of the handcrafted bars I have purchased have done.  

The Lavender Patchouli bar smells amazing.  It's musky with the calming lavender fragrance blended into it.  This fragrance is calming and relaxing.  I will definitely need more of this one too.

My FAVORITE so far is the Lemongrass bar.  The smell is so pure and invogorating.  It wakes me up and puts a smile on my face!  

There you have it.  I recommend these goat milk soaps. I send a BIG thank you to Matt and Rhonda Shaul of Cranberry Ridge Farm for giving me several bars to use and enjoy.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Cranky

Do you know what a cranky is???  I have to admit that I was not familiar with that term before The Best of the Valley Quilt Show last Sunday.

I have SEEN them, but I had no idea what to call them...

What am I talking about you ask???

A cranky is what collectors call a pre-electricity vintage hand crank sewing machine like this one.

I LOVE vintage sewing machines.  I have a featherweight, a treadle, and a few toy sewing machines too.  I have always wanted a non-electric machine that I could actually use if we ever went off-grid (a future goal).  I am not coordinated enough to move the treadle pedal with my foot and sew a straight line though.

At the show we met vendors Ginger and Mike of SewCranky and their wonderful working antique machines.

There were several brands and models.  We saw the familiar American brand Singer, a few British brands, and even a few German machines.  (These machines were all imported from the UK)

Back in the days before in-home electricity, these portable hand crank machines were more affordable and more common than big bulky treadles for rural people.  I imagine that the cost of transportation for a big, heavy cast iron treadle influenced this fact.

The crankies were remarkably EASY to use. My hubby Jerry and I tried them all out.  I had no problem sewing a straight stitch as I cranked away.  That was a pleasant surprise.

the little hamster wheel in my head was turning...

All I could think about was how practical one of these little machines could be.  No more power outages ending a sewing session... or a glamping excursion in a tent.  I could really enjoy demonstrating its use at a primitive rendezvous re-enactment (another adventure I hope to enjoy someday). Heck, I could enjoy sewing with one of these little babies anywhere.

Willpower kicked in long enough to allow me to finish viewing all the wonderful quilts and vendors; and to go have a bite to eat and say goodbye to our friends.

Before I knew it my hubby offered to take me back to get one.  Our 23rd wedding anniversary is coming up in a few months and he didn't want me to let this opportunity go. I might not see one again. We headed back to the show after lunch.

As we struggled to find a parking space a few blocks away from the actual show (it was that busy) my heart was fluttering.  We almost did not get a machine because they had just about sold out in the short span of time it took to eat and say our goodbyes...

Somehow, this machine was right there waiting for me upon my arrival.

I had fallen in love with it earlier.  It's a German machine by Frister and Rossman that was made in the early 1920s.  Notice the unique decorations.  After the opening of King Tut's Tomb, the world was enamored with all things Egyptian.

The quilt show was great fun.  You can see pictures of a few of my favorite quilts HERE.  I saw a few old friend's quilts and met one of my longtime quilting heroes, Nancy Rink.  I cut my quilting teeth on her patchwork patterns back in the day.  She is just as friendly in person as she is in film.

So goes my cranky adventure.  I plan to break it in this weekend.

Do YOU have any old treasures you love?