Fox Trot Farm

Grass Fed Lamb, Fresh Eggs, Honey, Soap, Tours, & Farm Fun!

Birthday Card

October 2, 2018
by Deborah Burgess
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Hey, Ewes Guys! And News from the Farm

Isn’t this just the cutest birthday card ever???? Farmer Bob’s cousin Carol sent it to me for my birthday.

Birthday Card

News from the farm:

-Farmer Bob continues to improve and is finding his arm brace uncomfortable. Of course it is! Only 3 1/2 more weeks till it comes off, and then PT begins.

-Our friend Ed did a great job mowing the grass and with all the landscaping . He and Farmer Bob cleaned up and stored lots of empty bee boxes. Thank you so much for your help Ed!

-We have two group tours scheduled for this week and are looking forward to having our visitors here and making new friends. Maybe there will be new babies for them to see! 

-We worked our bees Saturday evening, getting them ready for winter. I found out that mosquitoes can’t bite me through my beekeeper’s suit! I’ll be bottling more honey today.

-We will be taking lambs for processing in a couple of weeks and will be fully restocked by the end of the month.

-We’ll be returning to the Waxhaw Farmer’s Market on October 27th to sell our eggs and soap and take preorders for lamb.

Autumn is a beautiful time of year on the farm and we’re looking forward to cooler weather and hope it comes soon! Come see us on Sunday afternoons when our farm market is open. Guided tour at 2:00. Group tours by reservation. Call ahead to pick up eggs during the week. 803-804-3541.

EIEIO!
Debbie

 

Border Collies and Sheep

September 30, 2018
by Deborah Burgess
2 Comments

Border Collies want to work!

Every evening, Farmer Bob and I take the border collies (along with the rest of our pack) to the Back Forty. We check on the ewes to see if they’ve had any lambs, we inspect fences, we enjoy the peace and beauty of the pasture, and the old pond, the forest and the SKY. It’s so quiet in the early evening here on the farm. Everyone is relaxed. Well, except for the border collies! They see those sheep and they want to round them up!

Border Collies and Sheep

Clarence and Peanut Butter are in the pasture we bring the dogs through, and often Carly or Blaire will bring them to us. Clarence isn’t wild about ANYONE making him move (haha he’s stubborn), but the border collies are persistent. They are predators and horses/mules/donkeys are indeed prey animals, and so Clarence and Peanut Butter MOVE. After Farmer Bob retires in June, he’s going to take some training with the collies, and hopes to get good enough to participate in trials. That will be fun for him! Continue Reading →

Pregnant Ewes

September 26, 2018
by Deborah Burgess
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Still waiting, Farmer Bob and Welsh Harlequins get their winter plumage

Just look at this lineup! These ewes have udders that are filling up, a sure sign that we’ll be seeing lambs soon. For now, we all wait!

Pregnant Ewes

Farmer Bob continues to do well after his surgery, with no sign of infection and no pain. Of course, his arm is immobilized, so that helps. Friday we go back to the surgeon and he’ll replace the splint with an adjustable brace. Then he’ll have PT once a week, where they’ll slowly adjust the brace to extend his arm over the next month. He rode on the golf cart with me while I did chores last evening. I know he’s thinking about all he has to do but can’t. Continue Reading →

Peanut Butter

September 23, 2018
by Deborah Burgess
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Autumn Days & Market Schedule

I’m getting started on chores earlier so that I don’t get caught after dark, walking through all those awful HUGE spider webs that form here in the Autumn. It’s STILL so hot at 5:00, however, and I can’t wait till cooler weather arrives. I’m sure these pregnant ewes are thinking the same thing. Our plan to move lambing to fall seems to be paying off. These girls have stayed very healthy all summer long, and haven’t shown the stress they used to from dealing with the heat AND parasites AND making milk for their lambs over the hot summer months.

Pregnant Ewes

Our Anatolian Shepherd, Turk, is so happy these days. He is bonded with these rams and they all seem to love each other. Often, I find a ram standing next to him while he’s lying on the ground. Sometimes they all lie down together and he sleeps with his head resting on a ram. They are buddies.  Continue Reading →

Hobart the Anatolian Shepherd

September 21, 2018
by Deborah Burgess
3 Comments

1st Day Post-op, Hobart, and spider webs

I’m so pleased with how Farmer Bob is doing today. He opted not to be put under anesthesia and so he didn’t have all the side effects from that, although the surgeon did say he talked nonstop during surgery and told him all kinds of golf stories. I guess the “truth serum” didn’t work! hahahaha The surgeon ALSO told me he was quite pleased with how the surgery went and that he should be out of the arm brace in a month, although he’ll have another couple months of weekly physical therapy after that. He’ll have to pace himself.

It was a very long day yesterday, but I got him home, settled in, fed, and went out to feed the animals as soon as I got finished with taking care of Farmer Bob.  Hobart was so happy to report that there were no new lambs, and he had scared away all the bad things so his sheep were safe.

Hobart the Anatolian Shepherd

Hobart’s on duty. Can you see that his tail is wagging? He’s so happy to see me!

Even though I hurried, it was still past dark till I got finished. I walked through THREE of these:

brown orb weaver 1 - Neoscona crucifera

(this picture is from Bug Guide)

She’s a brown orb weaver spider. Walking through their webs is bound to happen this time of year because these spiders are huge and spin giant webs between anything, even between two trees 20 feet apart, and they hang right in the middle of the web. Ugh. I’m glad nobody was videotaping me last evening because I sure did some screaming and dancing! I’m planning to get my chores finished before dark today, needless to say.

Farmer Bob’s up and dressed and had his breakfast and is feeling good. The nerve block is still working, so he doesn’t feel his arm at all. We’ll have another 24 hours that way and I’m hoping that the pain isn’t terrible once it wears off. We’ve got something for that if he needs it, but he’s planning to stay quiet (well, I mean he’ll be still…he can’t stay quiet, hahaha) and rest so maybe it won’t be so bad.

Thank you all for keeping Farmer Bob and his surgeon in your prayers yesterday, and also for my favorite aunt, who had a good report from her surgeon and will be heading home today.

EIEIO!
Debbie

September 19, 2018
by Deborah Burgess
5 Comments

Farmer Bob’s Surgery, Mac’s Speed Shop, & more quilting

***Due to Farmer Bob’s Surgery, we won’t be open for tours and hayrides Sunday, September 23rd or 30th,
but I’ll be here if anyone wants to come get honey or eggs.***

I must admit that Farmer Bob’s impending surgery loomed large in my mind while we were awaiting the arrival of Hurricane Florence and the possible catastrophic damage it would bring. Monday we met with the surgeon our doctor referred him to and instantly liked him. He spent a lot of time explaining the surgical procedure and what to expect afterward, so, now that we have that information, we can face the immediate future armed with knowledge instead of fear.

First of all, Flo just COVERED our farm with smallish bits of tree debris, so we got right outside after the appointment with the surgeon and began the cleanup. (Well, to be honest, we stopped for lunch on the way home from Charlotte and then took a nap when we got home. THEN hit the ground running.) There is a sense of urgency now to do things that I cannot do alone or cannot do at all, such as hauling hay and operating the big tractor. We got a lot of rain with Flo, but it came gradually over three days, so we had no flooding and the footbridge is still in place, thank goodness. I was really worried about that! For those of you who haven’t visited the farm yet, this is Farmer Bob and the bridge he built to get across the creek to the Back Forty.

Foot Bridge

I had planned to be in PA this coming week to help my favorite aunt recover from breast cancer surgery, and I feel so bad that I can’t do that now. If only I could clone myself! Her son will be with her for a few days and, after that, her girl friends will take over. She has a wonderful support system in her neighborhood and her church family. I’m not worried about her not having help. I’ll go visit her in a few weeks after Farmer Bob is able to use his arm a bit.

We had to go back to Charlotte yesterday for another appointment and we ended up having TWO appointments, so we missed lunch. By 5:00 we were just starving. You know, that kind of starving where you want to eat everything in site and don’t care if it’s on your diet plan? We stopped at Mac’s Speed Shop in Matthews. (There are several locations in the Charlotte area.) DISCLAIMER: Tempting photos to follow of good food that’s not necessarily good FOR you. (We shared all these dishes. Well, not the dirty martini…that was mine. Farmer Bob had a NoDa craft red beer that he pronounced delicious.) You’ll see the martini, smoked brisket taco, smoked chicken wings (not fried and DELICIOUS), bbq sauces (also DELICIOUS), and our veggies sides, which were onion rings, collards, and slaw. EVERYTHING is delicious at this restaurant, so make it a destination one day if you are close by. Continue Reading →

September 16, 2018
by Deborah Burgess
4 Comments

Wedding Present Quilt, Soup, Florence, etc.

Farmer Bob came in from evening chores yesterday and pronounced that “The storm is officially here. It’s blowing like crazy on the Back Forty!” 

All day yesterday we had blustery wind and just a few showers from time to time, but nothing scary, so I bagged up that quilt I’ve been working on for a wedding gift for a friend’s son and dropped it off at The Homeplace, where the wedding was to be later in the day. (That’s where I host our quilting retreats and is a wonderful place for a small wedding.) I’m really pleased with the quilt, and the bride and groom were, too. 🙂

Sticks and Stones Quilt

I did the quilting, too. It was so relaxing. Here you can see a bit of the detail. (I won’t show you any mistakes. haha) Continue Reading →

Trajectory of Hurricane Florence

September 13, 2018
by Deborah Burgess
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Prepping for Hurricane Florence Today

We’ve been checking things off our prepping list here at the farm, and I think we’re in pretty good shape. The generator fired right up, the weather radio has batteries and is working great, I’m charging our bank charger for our phones, my Kindle will be fully charged, we have lots of water (just in case), and are stocked up on first aid and prescription meds. I’ve taken down the flags and spent the morning outside either taking things down or putting them up. Everything that could be a missile is secured. 

Farmer Bob went out today and picked up extra feed and hay for the animals. I put fresh straw in the goat stalls. Those girls have no idea what is coming, and were just plain excited about getting fresh straw to rummage through for oats to munch on. Here they are:

Dairy Goats in Fresh Straw Continue Reading →

Tropical Storm Florence

September 12, 2018
by Deborah Burgess
1 Comment

Hurricane Florence & the Calm before the Storm

This is what we woke up to this morning, a drastic shift in direction for Hurricane Florence.  This puts us on the “worst” side of Flo, with forecasts of lots of rain, wind, and possible tornadoes. For my friends who aren’t sure where we are on this map, find the “M” in Myrtle Beach and look north to the state line, then west till you almost hit that dog leg, and that’s where our farm is. Just a couple miles south of the state line.

Wed5AMTrack_1536744034456.jpg

Of course, Flo could change her path yet again. That’s what Hurricane Hugo did way back in 1989. He was forecasted to come ashore in Savannah and head west. Instead, at almost the last minute, he decided that he would roar ashore in Charleston and race straight for us, bringing tremendous devastation to our area. Farmer Bob was out of town, the children were small, we lost all our fences and were without power for 10 days.

Ever since Hugo, we don’t mess around with assuming a hurricane heading anywhere near our farm will NOT impact us, so we prepare each time. We’ve upgraded our fencing, have a generator now, and are well stocked with oil lamps, batteries, flashlights, meds, fuel for all the vehicles, generator, tractors, chain saw, etc. We have a freezer full of goat milk, we have bread, LOTS of eggs, and cans of soup for quick meals. I’ve cooked ahead so we can reheat leftovers on our gas range. Almost all our county, if not all, has access to the county water system, which sure was a blessing during all those days after Hugo. It’s such a luxury to have running water to take showers, flush toilets, and for drinking.

Farmer Bob came home from his business trip last week with an injured arm, and now we know it is a torn bicep and he has very limited use of it, will have to have surgery ASAP and a possible long recovery. I’ve got something really painful going on with my ankle, and am going to see an orthopaedic doctor this afternoon.  I’m hoping he’ll be able to fix me up because, you know, a lot of farming is walking.

In the meantime, let me share a picture of my goat barn mascot.

Huge Spider

Those two boards are 2x4s, so she is a big girl. I’ve no idea what kind of spider she is, but she’s just been loafing around inside the feed room all summer. I really don’t like spiders but I’m not freaked out by them (unless they are on me), and I’ve been pretty much in awe of this one. I wonder if she is catching mice to eat? (Maybe big spiders do????)

I feel like this is the calm before the storm, and I guess it really is. I remember that feeling before Hugo hit. Now I’m walking around looking at things here on the farm and wondering what changes Flo will bring. Small and large things may change. This morning glory won’t see Flo, so I took a picture of this pretty flower decorating the old garden fence. You can see Carly in this picture.

Blue Morning Glory

Blue Morning Glory

I guess I’m trying to stay calm amid flashbacks to Hurricane Hugo. One of my friends who is a fabulous quilter says she goes in her sewing room and stitches to calm her nerves. I plan to do that because I have some projects to work on, and it helps to stay busy. I have Farmer Bob’s Grannie’s treadle machine, so we’ll be “clicking” right along, even if we lose power. I have knitting and crocheting. We’ll have fences to check and animals to keep an eye on, including those ewes heavy with lambs. I’m trying not to think about what we’ll do if trees come down on the fence, because Farmer Bob can’t start his chain saw with the injury he has. Thank God for good friends who’ve already offered to do whatever they can to help us! Let’s hope we don’t need that!

Soooo…..we have a hurricane coming to visit and she’ll hang around for 3-4 days. Ugh. And we’re both crippled. Double UGH. Oh well, you just have to take what life hands you and keep going, right? At least I have one good leg and two good arms, and Bob has two good legs and one good arm, so I guess we’ll make a pretty good team, right???? hahahaha

Batten down the hatches, say a few prayers for those along the coast, and I hope everyone makes it through this hurricane unscathed.

EIEIO!
Debbie