Life got a little crazy for a year or so, and I totally neglected to write things, so I figured I would completely start over and delete most of my old posts and totally revamp my writings and turn them less toward just chickens and rants, and more toward homesteading. I’m more than that girl that loves chickens, people! (although my reputation precedes me, and I’m still and will always be known as “the chicken girl.)
My name is Ruby. I married the love of my life back in July 2015, a grain and beef cattle farmer, as well as a full time territory rep for a grain bin company. Needless to say, I don’t get to see a whole lot of him, so our time is precious and spent doing farmer-y things. We’re currently living in a small rental house on about 3 acres with a small garden. We have beef cattle, a horse, a puppy, ducks, chickens, and guineas. We can’t explode with farm things because our landlord won’t allow it, so many of our critters are kept at our family farms. We’re hoping this year is the year that a farm comes up for sale! We keep our cattle on my hubs’ grandpa’s farm for now as he doesn’t use the barn or pasture anymore.
My hubs has been raising beef cattle for approximately 10 years or so and I’ve recently been nudging him toward starting our small business selling grass fed beef. Long explanation short, some (not all) people these days have NO CLUE where their meat/food is coming from. I aim to change that. I am fueled by a comment on Instagram I read not too long ago where there was a picture of someone butchering their own beef and this person commented “I couldn’t kill a precious and innocent animal, that’s why I buy all my meat from the grocery store.” Insert facepalm here. I could rant about this for days/weeks/years but I’ll just leave that little excerpt here and let your imagination go wild. Basically, I want to be able to teach people that meat can come from animals that know love and comfort and have names. It’s their purpose. My opinion I know, I don’t need to be attacked by the vegans. You do you, I’ll do me.
I was raised on a small hobby farm and have been helping my mom can and preserve every summer since I was tall enough to reach the stove. I owe so much to my mom for teaching me how to can the produce from my garden to enjoy year round. It’s so much better knowing where your food comes from! Canning is so addictive and I encourage everyone to do it. Start small and grow. I got my best friend addicted a couple years ago and she can’t stop. Last year alone I canned over 300 jars of food to feed my small family of 2. You wanna know what I canned? Well, I’m gonna tell you anyway. Green beans, chunk tomatoes, pizza sauce, pasta sauce, salsa, habanero salsa, peach salsa, blueberry pie filling, pickled banana peppers, sweet pickles, dill pickles, sauerkraut, shredded chicken, chicken bone broth, apple butter, and apple sauce. Plus, 6 pecks of bell peppers, 24 quart strawberries, 18 quart blueberries, and 20 quart peaches for the freezer. Whew! Gotta love it to do it, that’s for sure.
I’m hopelessly addicted to gardening. Looking at seed catalogs is FUN to me. I cannot wait until I can go nuts and order everything I want and just go crazy and plant for days. Goals are to have my own strawberry patch, blueberries, and maybe even get a bit crazy and have a small apple and peach orchard. Who knows what will happen down the road?
Last winter I raised a brown swiss cross bottle calf, Buttercup, and am hoping to get her bred this summer and have our own family milk cow by next spring. Buttercup’s mom was a deadbeat, basically she calved, Buttercup came out, and the cow walked away and never looked back. I’m all about making my own butter and cheese and probably overly excited about the whole thing. I mean, what girl gets excited about milking a cow? I plan to post updates as my plan comes together. (I worked on a dairy for about 8 years, so I know what I’m doing.)
Last year I also added ducks to the mix. I’ve always had chickens, but downsized considerably. I went from raising and selling 5 different breeds, to having 5 chickens. I have 1 rooster and 4 hens, chocolate and chocolate cuckoo Orpingtons. Being the sucker that I am, I saw 6 sad ducklings at the farm store and brought them home without talking to my husband about it first. I now have 6 beautiful Pekin ducks, 2 drakes and 4 duck hens (whatever you call them) and have enjoyed them so. I plan on getting at least 6 more ducks this spring, as my duck egg sales are greater than duck egg production, plus I just love them.
I post quite a bit about our homesteading/farm adventures on Instagram, handle “rubybroeske” if you’d like to check it out and throw me a follow so I can follow you back. #TheFreakinPekins are my ducks… if you want to see hilariously cute duckies. If there’s something homesteading-ly or farm-y (totes made those words up) that you would like more info on and me to post about please comment below, I’d be happy to share. I don’t know why every time I try and type share, I actually type shart and don’t realize it until it’s underlined in red and spellcheck says GIRL GET YOURSELF TOGETHER.
Best of luck in 2017