Strong Heart Ranch

Hogs, Honey, & Horses..and a couple Longears

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Happy 100th Birthday Arizona!

It’s that time of year when the Arizona desert calls to me.  I love the southwestern culture and sharing it with my daughter. This year it is Arizona’s 100th Anniversary so it made the trip a little more exciting.

We made it to the Parada del Sol Parade which for my horse crazy kid it was fantastic. I believe I had heard that there was  150 entries in the parade while not all are horse, it was a great parade to watch.

I had 3 food and beverage goals this trip. First was to collect Arizona beers for my friend Dan the Microbrew Cyclist to review, check out his site to see how he liked my picks.

The 2nd goal was to eat at the True Food Kitchen, which follows the anti-inflammatory diet by Dr. Andrew Weil. My mom, sister and I went to lunch on Valentines day at the Biltmore Fashion Park. It was fantastic, the food was excellent, the sever was knowledgable, the restaurant is open, fresh, and very clean.  I could rave about it for hours and can’t wait to go back. The Sashimi Salad was a favorite at the table, can’t wait to make it at home.

My 3rd goal was to visit Joe’s Farm Grill in Gilbert, AZ. I had tried to eat there a year ago and it was so busy and we didn’t have the time to wait.  They have a simple Americana style menu with burger, hot dogs, pizza, and salads. The added bonus is that the food is high quality, from fresh produce, local meats and affordable.

We loved our visit this year and can’t wait to visit again.



! 2012 Year of the Horse for Turkey Feather Farm!

Well they are back! Horses….Mini horses and they are fun & cute. Years ago we had bought ourselves a couple horse, rode a little bit.  Then life changed we had a baby, started farming and didn’t make time for riding.

Picking hooves seem to be a favorite task.

Our 5 year old daughter wasn’t about to let that happen any longer. She’s horse crazy! It started with plastic horse, horse coloring books, horse movies and counting every horse we saw driving down the road. She just recently turned 5 and we decided to see how much she loved horses. Lessons have started and our suspicions are confirmed, she loves horses.  She’ll probably out grow them in year or two, but this a great place for her to start the ground work.

We had the opportunity to barter a cow for a mini mare/foal pair for a surprise Christmas gift. Mo and Little Jo arrived Christmas Eve and we manage to keep them hidden until the morning. That was one excited girl Christmas morning. Yesterday the weather was nice enough to saddle up Mo and go a leisurely  stroll.

I guess the next question  is “Will Mom & Dad get in the saddle again.”

Little Jo running wild.

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You gonna eat that? Winter Browse for farm critters.

Goat Camo

Look closely and you’ll see happy goats chomping away.  These are leftovers from our corn, sunflower, and winter squash pasture.  Even though the wet spring and summer left was a challenge to grow crops, it proved beneficial in the end.

The goats, birds, chickens, turkeys and geese have been cleaning up.  Riping down corn stalks and finishing up sunflower seeds. It’s already got me thinking about next years plantings. Cornstalks seem to be the most desirable but the seed heads on the sunflowers run a close second. Maybe next year I will add amaranth and milo to the mix.

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Irish Dexter Cattle Herd for Sale

We are once again downsizing our Irish Dexter cattle herd. They are great cattle for the small farm, great meat & yummy milk. In 4 yrs we have never had to assist a calving, and they are protective momma’s. There are bulls, cows, heifers, steers to choose or mix and match. Contact us for details.


Gathering of Goat People

Not to be confused with people who look like goats, but “goat people”. People who live and breathe dairy goats. This week we converged on Grand Rapids, Michigan for the 2011 American Dairy Goat Association Convention. It’s a long jaunt for this Oregonian but well worth it.

I get the privilege of being the coordinator of the cheese judging competition. I spend a good portion of my time preparing cheese for judging. During the judging I get the opportunity to taste all of the cheeses. This year’s Best in Show was Sunset Bay from River’s Edge Chevre Reserve Best in Show Jalapeno & Garlic Marinated Chevre from Fiore di Capra

Jalapeno & Garlic Marinated Chevre

Sunset Bay-River's Edge Chevre

Body Product Baskets

I also was able to attend a fun class on making your own body products. Mostly face masks, body scrubs, and foot soaks. Made with products most of us have in our kitchen along with goat milk and yogurt.

The best part of the ADGA Convention is all the lifetime friendships you make!

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Super Glue…Is it in your 1st aid kit?

Do you have super glue in your 1st aid kit? Maybe liquid bandage or the new spray bandage? I have to tell you I will never be without it again.

Monday night I went out to milk my goats only to find my beautiful 2yr old doe Sunday with one soggy milk drenched teat. I was horrified, I knew instantly that this wound could be the end of her milking career. She was bouncing around like a school girl acting like nothing had happened.

Once I regained my composure we put her on the milk stand for closer inspection. At that point it was hard to gauge the damage we could see a vertical “v” shaped wound a couple of inches long.

Fast forward to the next morning. I had contacted my veterinarian and he was going to meet me first thing in the morning. To my surprise when I went to check on Sunday her udder had filled back up and she wasn’t leaking milk from the injury. After inspection from the veterinarian he decided the best course of action was no stitches instead the medical version of Super Glue.

After several days of milking below the wound and keeping the milk pressure low it appears to be healing. Today is the 8th day and I’ve re-applied the glue once. Super Glue and liquid bandage will always be in my 1st aid kit.

It was hard to get a good picture.