Archive for January, 2011

Tribute to Max: Our First Dexter Beef

January 25th, 2011 by Kim

Baby Maxwell in his stall hangout.

Jan. 19, 2009, S&H Hilltop Sara brought a strappin’ little black bull calf into this world.  The next day our temperature plummeted to give us the coldest weather we had all year…-2 F.  I kept them put up in the stall overnight, with the doors all closed, to protect the little bugger from freezing to death, but he didn’t even seem to notice that it was cold!  And thus began Maxwell’s life with us.

Max helps with the morning milking…2 for you, 2 for me.

Mama Sara is a cow who doesn’t like to let down her milk for anyone other than baby for the first several weeks after calving.  So, since I wanted to milk her, I needed help, and for the first month of his life, Max was my assistant.  They would be separated overnight so to keep him company I would put his big sister, Keira, in the stall with him, and she seemed quite content to babysit.  Then in the morning, I would take Sara into the parlor, clean up her udder & hook up the Surge, and she would let down nary a drop until I came back dragging Max in with the halter.  Once he had his teat, all was well!  (more…)

PDCA Election Results: Nothing Ever Changes

January 13th, 2011 by Kim

Noel & Chuck play peekaboo under Rousseau.

For those of you who may not have gotten the news yet, here are the results from the recent election of officers.  First, let me say that here on our website, we HAVE had some change.  We were moved to a different server about 2 months ago, and unknown to silly me, it messed up the site email.  And, yes, it did take me this long to figure it out, after several faithful friends failed to reply to my emails.  Well, needless to say, we fixed it, so if you’ve tried to contact us in the past little while & failed, please try again.  Also, since I’ve been getting ridiculous numbers of spam “comments” on the blog, we’ve had a ‘Ban’ plug-in put in.  It does restore a sense of empowerment to be able to ban certain especially obnoxious folks from leaving their trash for me to sort through.  However, if you try to leave me a real comment and think that I have inadvertently deleted it or banned you, please email me to let me know.  We do love to hear from you!

Now, on to things that haven’t changed, along with some of my favorite Dexter photos from the past year or so.  Here are the final vote counts, as sent via email by the election committee.  (more…)

Land Use Planning on the Homestead

January 1st, 2011 by Kim

Happy New Year to all and welcome to Hope Refuge Farm in 2011!  If you’re a new visitor to our site, we hope you find what you’re looking for.  We have some good information for getting started with a family milk cow here in the blog.  You can find previous articles at right by category, or just flip through the archive month by month.  If you want to check out our animals, go to the herdbook & get to know everyone.  We’d love for you to drop us a line to let us know you stopped by & what you think.  Enjoy!

Our Christmas snow makes the contour of the hillside stand out better.

The Homestead Land Use Plan

It’s that time of year again when we evaluate the year behind us and make resolutions for the year ahead.  Perhaps for you also, some of these resolutions involve getting things done on your family farmstead.  These cold winter months are a good time to look over your property & evaluate things, then make a “master plan” for how you can best use your land.  Having a good land use plan can help eliminate the headache of undoing, moving or re-doing things in the future.  For instance, when we first started developing our farm, we decided to plant fruit trees on a nice, large, open field at the top of the hill.  Then a couple years later when we added cows to the picture and needed more pasture, we had to move the trees so we could reclaim the prime pasture area.  It was a big setback for the young trees and a lot of work for us that could’ve been prevented if we had thought through things more thoroughly before we started.  So let’s get started & walk through some of the basics of developing a land use plan. (more…)